Talent Development and Differentiated Instruction

This site includes great resources for parents, teachers, and children; including the available enrichment opportunities, and quality web sites and computer programs for kids!

"Not every child has an equal talent or an equal ability or an equal motivation, but children have the equal right to develop their talent, their ability and their motivation." - John F. Kennedy


District Contact Information:

Belief & Purpose Statement

The Huron Valley Talent Development/Differentiated Instruction Program is dedicated to enhancing the talents and self-esteem of educationally advanced students in all areas of intelligence by challenging their thinking skills, developing their creativity and encouraging them to work cooperatively.

The goal of the program is to develop students who:

     · Recognize their individual talents
     · Engage in challenging academic opportunities
     · Pursue opportunities for talent development
     · Respect and value the talents of themselves and others
     · Interact positively with others in order to enhance communication and accomplish goals

The Talent Development/Differentiated Instruction Program supports district-wide learning opportunities within and beyond curricular boundaries. A comprehensive K-12 program, as outlined in this policy, has been developed to meet the academic needs of academically advanced students in the classroom.

The Huron Valley Talent Development/Differentiated Instruction Program also supports specific enrichment activities for academically advanced students to allow to grow and reach their potential.

The Talent Development Committee, which has representatives at each building, serves as a network to disseminate information to schools regarding academic and enrichment opportunities.  The committee also provides teachers with training, support and materials to meet the instructional needs of their academically advanced students.

Recognizing that parents are partners in the educational process, the Talent Development /Differentiated Instruction Program engages parent support through DOHVS (Developing Opportunities for Huron Valley Students), a parent group which meets regularly.  Parents are encouraged to become involved in programs sponsored by the Talent Development/Differentiated Instruction Program.

Contact Information - Local & State Level

DOHVS (Developing Opportunities for Huron Valley Students):

District Parent Group
Linda Kessler - President
Phone: (248) 684-1380
E-mail: Linda Kessler

County Level:

Roxanne Reschke
Consultant for Gifted/Talented & School Learning Services.
Oakland Schools
2100 Pontiac Lake Road
Waterford, MI 48328
Phone: (248) 209-2273
Fax: (248) 858-1871
E-mail: Roxanne Reschke

State Level:

Michigan Alliance for Gifted Education
3300 Washtenaw Avenue Suite 220
Ann Arbor, MI 48104
Phone: (734) 667-4404
Fax: (734) 677-2407
Website: Michigan Gifted Child External Link
Marie Brucker - MAGE Vice President for parent Affiliates
email: Marie Brucker

Differentiated Lessons


PDF DocumentKindergarten - Story Elements
PDF DocumentMartin Luther King 2-5
PDF Document2nd Grade - Addition Problem - Learning Contract
PDF Document2nd Grade - Life Cycles
PDF Document2nd Grade - Math Learning Centers - Second Grade Comparing Numbers and Ordinal Numbers
PDF Document2nd Grade - Winter Magic - Reading Lesson
PDF Document3rd Grade - Fun With Fours
PDF Document3rd Grade - Thanksgiving - Communities
PDF Document4th Grade - Climate and Weather
PDF Document4th Grade - Measurement - Area
PDF Document4th Grade - Michigan History From the 1800s to the Present
PDF Document4th Grade - Spelling Lesson
PDF Document4th Grade - The Relationship Between an Inch Foot and Yard
PDF Document4th Grade - Tic-Tac-Toe Spelling
PDF Document5th Grade - Breaking Ties With Great Britain
PDF Document5th Grade - Poetry Beat Session
PDF Document5th Grade - The English Establish the Thirteen Colonies


PDF Document6th Grade - Chapter 18 Options
PDF Document6th Grade - Five Themes of Geography
PDF Document6th Grade - Geometry Formulas Lesson
PDF Document7th Grade - Fraction Facts
PDF Document7th Grade - Percentage Review Activity
PDF Document7th Grade - Tic Tac Boo
PDF Document7th Grade - Tic-Tac-Toe Matter
PDF Document7th Grade - United Nations of Africa
PDF Document7th Grade - Weather
PDF Document7th Grade - You are the Scientist
PDF Document7th Grade - Your Choice Book Report
PDF Document8th Grade - American and Me - Writing Assignment
PDF Document8th Grade - Cell Organization
PDF Document8th Grade - Cell Structure
PDF Document8th Grade - Geometry Book Project
PDF Document8th Grade - The Needs of Living Things
PDF Document8th Grade - Tic-Tac-Toe Ecology
PDF Document8th Grade - Tic-Tac-Toe Electricity and Magnetism
PDF Document8th Grade - Tic-Tac-Toe Mitosis-Meiosis-Photosynthesis-Respiration
PDF Document8th Grade - Tic-Tac-Toe Sound and Light
PDF Document8th Grade - Tiered Electricity Project

High School:

PDF Document9th Grade - Science Learning Stations - Erosion
PDF Document10th Grade - A Different Point of View

Enrichment Opportunities

Kids on Campus:

http://www.schoolcraft.edu/continuing-ed/cepd/cepd-kids-on-campus External Link

Looking for something to keep your child busy during the cold, winter season?  Saturdays at Schoolcraft College are bustling with fun and adventure for children.  What could be more exciting than participating in these hands-on classes designed to challenge young minds and expand their world.

Schoolcraft College
Continuing Education Services
18600 Haggerty Road
Livonia, MI 48152
Phone: (734) 462-4448

Destination Imagination:

www.destinationimagination.org External Link

Think of it as Creativity 101...a place to explore the unlimited potential of your imagination.  With over 20 years of experience in designing creative learning opportunities for children, Destination ImagiNation, Inc. is the extracurricular activity for kids who want to develop important, lifelong skills.

Destination Imagination
114 East High Street
P.O. Box 547
Galssboro, NJ 08028
Phone: (856) 881-1603

Mathematics Pentathlon:

www.mathpentath.org External Link

The Mathematics Pentathlon is a program of interactive problem-solving games, supportive curricular and instructional activities, and evaluation and assessment instruments.  This program provides a highly motivational format for developing and practicing important mathematics concepts and skills while strengthening strategic thinking/problem-solving abilities.  A critical feature of the program is the linkage of arithmetic reasoning with geometric/spatial and logical/scientific thinking.  Designed for students in grades K-8, these games and activities develop a critical futuristic ability: active problem solving.

Pentathlon Institute
1412 Sadlier Circle East Drive
Indianapolis, IN 46329
Phone: (317) 356-6284
Fax: (317) 356-6680
E-mail: mathpentath@comsys.net

WYSK Academic Game:

WYSK is an academic game designed for the 1st-8th grade students to be tested on subject matter they should know.  In January teams of 5 students participate at their grade level by taking the WYSK Game Test.  WYSK Game Test is administered by computer disk or from the internet to student teams in the individual schools.  WYSK team members receive beautiful awards for participation.  The estimated time to take the WYSK Game Test is 30-45 minutes.  The WYSK Game Test is a set of questions that students should know!

Heartland Publishers
Dept. WYSK
P.O. Box 6831
Lincoln, NE 68506
Phone: (402) 484-6300
Fax: (402) 484-6629

Let's Get Real:


Let's Get Real is an academic competition and an opportunity for teams of students to gain experience working on real business challenges.  Corporate sponsors supply real challenges for which teams submit solutions in business format.  Each team chooses from the list of challenges the one it finds most interesting.  Challenges might include areas such as environmental issues, manufacturing, distribution, software creation, human resources, chemistry, health and safety, facilities design, public relations, engineering, or any other areas deemed important to the corporations involved.

Let's Get Real
624 Waltonville Road
Hummelstown, PA 17036
Phone: (717) 566-7173

Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp:

www.bluelake.orgExternal Link

Each summer Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp, nestled in the beautiful Manistee National Forest in Michigan's western lower peninsula, welcomes talented young musicians, artists, dancers and actors to experience a time of fun and learning. They come from all parts of the country and all walks of life.

Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp
300 E. Crystal Lake Road
Twin Lake, MI 49457
Phone: (616) 894-1966

Random Acts of Kindness Foundation:

www.actsofkindness.orgExternal Link

The Kindness Movement is an international movement dedicated to making the world a kinder place.  Our goal is to demonstrate the extraordinary power and importance of simple human kindness by promoting the practice of kind acts, large and small, on a regular basis.

Random Acts of Kindness Foundation
1801 Broadway
Suite 250
Denver, CO 80202
Phone: (800) 660-2811
Fax: (303) 297-2919
E-mail: rakinfo@actsofkindness.org

Teaching Tolerance:

www.teachingtolerance.orgExternal Link

Teaching Tolerance serves as a clearinghouse of information about anti-bias programs and activities being implemented in schools across the country. The ideas presented on our web site and in our semiannual magazine, Teaching Tolerance, represent some of the most innovative, useful initiatives we've found to date.

Teaching Tolerance
400 Washington Ave.
Montgomery, AL 36104

The Math League:

www.mathleague.comExternal Link

The Math League is dedicated to bringing challenging mathematics materials to students. The Math League specializes in math contests, books, and computer software designed to stimulate interest and confidence in mathematics for students from the 4th grade through high school. Over 1 million students participate in Math League contests each year. Contest problems are designed to cover a range of mathematical knowledge for each grade level. All of the problems on each contest require no additional knowledge of mathematics beyond the grade level they test.

Please visit the Math League web site for more information

Mind Storming 2002:

A Summer Program in Science, Mathematics and Technology offered by Oakland Schools. Click on the above link to view class times, and registration information.

Camp Invention:

www.campinvention.orgExternal Link

Camp Invention is a joint project of the US Patent and Trademark Office and the National Inventors Hall of Fame. It is a one-week day camp where imaginations run wild. Structured for children entering grades 2-6, this unique and exciting program is hosted by schools throughout the country each summer.

Camp Invention provides every child with the  opportunity to think the unthinkable, create new possibilities and discover solutions through hands on learning. This exciting day camp encourages team work, creative problem solving and inventive thinking.

Two of the closest locations to Huron Valley are Walled Lake Elementary, 6/24/02 to 6/28/02 and Livonia, 7/8/02 to 7/12/02.

For more information or to register call 800-968-4332 or visit the Camp Invention web site.

Future Problem Solvers:

www.fpsp.orgExternal Link

Future Problem Solving Program
2028 Regency Road
Lexington, KY 40503-2309
Phone: 800-256-1499
Fax: 859-276-4306

Frequently Asked Questions

1.    How can I find out about what enrichment opportunities are available in my child's school?

Information regarding enrichment opportunities can be found in school newsletters  sent to your home throughout the school year. In addition, a comprehensive list of enrichment opportunities for all students is available. Contact the principal or talent development representative in your child's building to obtain a copy of this list.

2.    When are students identified for the Talent Development Program and how are they identified?

In HVS, students are identified at the end of second grade. Second graders who are referred by teachers and parents are given the School and College Ability Test (SCAT). Final determination is based on a matrix score which includes parent and teacher evaluations and the SCAT score.

3.    What if my child did not have access to the referral process in second grade?

If your child was enrolled in a similar program in another district, he/she automatically qualifies for the Talent Development Program in HVS.
If your child missed the second grade identification process, contact the talent development representative in your child's building and ask for a copy of the referral forms. Once these forms are filled out, they should be sent to the District Talent Development Coordinator, who will then make the final determination.

4.    What kind of training is available for HVS teachers to meet the needs of Talented Students?

Teachers at HVS are offered many opportunities to enhance their professional development on current, best teaching practice through participation in workshops, conferences and in-services.

5.    How do I know if my child is gifted?

There are numerous lists of characteristics, distinguishing features and attributes of talented children. Understanding the characteristics of talented children will help parents and teachers sharpen their observations of these children in two distinct ways: (a) while characteristics do not necessarily define who is a talented child, they do constitute observable behaviors, and (b) these characteristics are signals to indicate that a particular child  might warrant closer observation and could require specialized educational attention,  pending a more comprehensive assessment. Few gifted children will display all of the characteristics.
General characteristics of talented children show that:
   · they read two or more years above their grade level.
   · they readily grasp principles, similarities and differences.
   · they often become absorbed in certain topics.
   · they persist in seeking task completion when interested
   · they are often bored with routine tasks.
   · they exhibit self-criticism.
   · their interests are often both wildly varied and intensely focused,
   · they are flexible thinkers, able to use many different alternatives and original approaches to problem solving.
6.    How can parents help support the Talent Development Program in HVS?

Parent involvement is an essential part of the Talent Development Program. Parents are needed to organize and participate in Destination Imagination, Math Pentathlon, Science Festival, and the many other enrichment programs offered in HVS. A parent group, DOHVS has been formed to organize volunteers and to disseminate ideas and information. If you are interested in being a part of this group, contact Linda Kessler at 248-684-1386 or Lauren Borla at 360-7914.


Quality Computer Programs

For Kids

  • Sim City
  • Various Software Titles From Lego
  • Railroad Tycoon II
  • Various Carmen Sandiego Titles
  • The Sims
  • Microsoft Flight Simulator 2000 Professional Edition
  • Sim Theme Park

Supported Programs

Elementary Schools

Science Festival
Destination Imagination
Fine Arts Festival
Math Pentathlon
Accelerated Reader
Creative Writing Programs
Staff Development in Teaching Gifted Children
Selected Music And Art Enrichment Programs
Building Based Enrichment Opportunities

Middle Schools

Science, Social Studies, Language Arts Olympiads
Peer Discussion Groups
Math Pentathlon
Destination Imagination
Enrichment Invitational
Fine Arts Festival
Creative Writing Programs
Staff Development in Teaching Gifted Children
Selected Music and Art Enrichment Programs
Building Based Enrichment Opportunities

High Schools

Peer Discussion Groups
Summer Institutes
Stock Market Game/Economics America
Olympiads/Math Competitions
Destination Imagination
Fine Arts Festival
Enrichment Invitational
Staff Development in Teaching Gifted Children
Selected Music and Art Enrichment Programs