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Gifted & Talented

Sandy Luna, ALPHA Specialist

A little bit about Mrs. Luna and this year's unit of study...

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Hello!  My name is Sandra Luna, and I am the full-time Gifted and Talented/Enrichment Specialist here at Blattman.  I am originally from Iowa and received my undergraduate degree from the University of Northern Iowa in Cedar Falls.  I have taught in NISD since 1998 and have experience teaching both third and fifth grades.  After receiving my masters from Houston Baptist University with a degree in Curriculum and Instruction, I became a Gifted and Talented teacher.  This is my eleventh year as a Gifted and Talented/Enrichment Specialist in NISD.

We are so excited to begin the 2013 - 2014 school year!  This year’s unit of study is Law & Justice. Students will be investigating and discovering why people felt the need to have laws and leaders, the attempts made to help establish order, and the role power played and still plays in the development of rules and laws.  We will be using three different themes to help us proceed through the unit. Those themes are power, conflict, and order vs. chaos.

Several topics we will be exploring throughout the year are:
1) Governments of Past Civilizations
2) United States Government Today
3) Citizenship for Change

Students will be participating in a variety of projects including independent research, "ALPHA Goes Broadway" and the possibility of video productions.  Together, we will be thinking like historians and discovering why laws and rules were needed throughout history. 

Nicolas Smith, ALPHA Specialist

A little about Mr. Smith...

Hello!  My name is Nicolas Smith, and I am the part-time Gifted and Talented/Enrichment Specialist split between Blattman and Monroe May Elementaries.  I graduated from UTSA with a degree in Interdisciplinary Studies.  I have taught in NISD since 2007 and have experience teaching both kinder and fourth grades.  This is my first year as a Gifted and Talented/Enrichment Specialist.

Favorite Links

Site Description
Visual brain teasers - requires printing and cutting!
Lateral thinking; logic puzzles; spatial awareness; reasoning and more!
New York Zoos and Aquarium - Wildlife Conservation Society site Creative site that allows children to design their own "wild self" using human and animal parts!
Great search engine designed for kids!
Great activities, information, and stories for kids!
Click and drag the pieces to create the picture! Explore the site and find other math puzzles to solve!
Try solving these ancient Chinese picture puzzles using the online tools!
Great site for riddles, brainteasers and picture puzzles!
Brain twisters for elementary students!
Current Events and Information
Word play, analogies, idioms and more! Check out this site for a variety of vocabulary games to enhance your verbal/linguistic intelligence!

Curriculum Links

Site Description
Help locate the missing pieces to the Bill of Rights in the city of Freeville.
Imagine...Discover...Explore...Believe! Let's blog about exploration this year and learn from one another! Click here to go to the ALPHA class discussion blogs and share your learning! Please remember to always use your given "blogger" name each time you log in. Please use proper spelling, grammar, and sentence structure when responding.
Learn about the 3 branches of government and then test your knowledge with the online quizzes!
Take the perspective of a lawyer and test your knowledge of the Bill of Rights and other amendments with this online game.
Check out these games at this fabulous site: Do I Have a Right? ; Branches of Power; and Supreme Decision
Various games about law from the Texas LRE (Law Related Education) Organization.
What a great site! Check out the links for all areas of our unit this year. Thanks for sharing, Mrs. Casey!
Test your Presidential powers! Take the perspective of the President and see how well you'd run our government.
Read about top news stories from one of our most trusted sources, Scholastic!

Contact Mrs. Luna

Contact Mr. Smith

Contact Nicolas Smith by Email
Phone: 397-4600 Ext 3114

GT Testing Calendar

Event Location Date
10/11/2013 3:00 PM
10/18/2013 12:08 PM
11/22/2013 3:00 PM
A131 1/10/2014 3:00 PM

ALPHA Announcements

Project Date

Upcoming ALPHA Events

Event Location Date
Driggers Elementary (Bandera & Grissom) 3/20/2014 5:30 PM


Title Filename Modified
ALPHA_III-V_Newsletter_March3-7_2014.pdf 3/22/2014
ALPHA_III-V_Newsletter_March17-20_2014.pdf 3/22/2014
ALPHABITS_NewsletterWeekofMarch3-7.pdf 3/22/2014
ALPHA-BITS_Grades1and2_NewsletterFeb24-28.pdf 3/22/2014

Important Documents

Title Filename Modified
GTAdvisoryDates_2013-2014.pdf 10/2/2013
GTAdvisory_Parent Brochure 2013-2014.pdf 10/5/2013