Lessons and Class Structure

The instructor prepares lessons that provide students with a conceptual-theoretical framework for the content of the course. Practical examples are discussed to assist student understanding that will aid students in mastering a skill as they work through homework and assignments. New material is introduced at a pace much faster than occurs in a typical classroom. Gifted students usually require this pace in order to remain challenged.

An example of class structure may include the instructor reviewing homework assignments, introducing new material, giving spot quizzes and longer tests, leading class discussion, and assigning homework that takes into account both previously studied material and concepts just introduced. Homework assignments, taking the average student six to eight hours to complete, are collected at the beginning of each class. This homework is graded, commented on by the instructor or an assistant, and returned to the student.

Experience suggests that some students begin a program expecting to be able to work through homework quickly, and they can become frustrated when they are unsure of what to do immediately. Students will learn perseverance with mental tasks. Other students tend to view any effort that is less than 100% correct as failure. As the course proceeds, these students develop a more mature perspective on learning. Homework helps to solidify concepts presented in class and to provide a realistic challenge, requiring these students to develop problem-solving skills and to persevere in the face of less-than-instant success. Students may feel overwhelmed at first by the volume of the homework assigned, but most adjust to what is required.

Families should consider the demands of the program before applying. Although this program is developed for gifted students, the first semester in a double accelerated program is at first overwhelming. We advise restricting other student obligations until they have acclimated to the course workload and pacing. Some additional things to consider are the student’s mental and emotional capacity for such a rigorous program as well as their maturity level.