Finley Elementary School

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Gifted and Talented Education (GATE)

Following the Westminster School District guidelines, Finley School provides services for Gifted and Talented students in grades 3-5. All of the teachers in grades 3-5 are GATE certified to teach Gifted and Talented students.


Characteristics of GATE Students:

  • Engage in a great deal of experimentation
  • Extreme curiosity and questioning
  • Question rules, customs and traditions.
  • Looks for consistency and are irritated by exceptions
  • Have highly focused interests; immerse themselves in these interests.
  • Imaginative
  • Heightened self-awareness; may feel
    different from peers.
  • High levels of energy
  • Value logic and rational approaches
  • Extra emotional; may be over sensitive
  • Advanced comprehension
  • Accelerated thought processes
  • Heightened capacity for seeing unusual and
    diverse relationships
  • Think in alternative and abstract terms 
  • Their intellectual development out-paces
    their social and emotional development.
Myths about GATE students
  • They can succeed without help.
  • Their special abilities are always prized.
  • They are not aware of being different.
  • They enjoy serving as examples for other children.
  • They are insensitive and disrespectful.
  • They like to be alone.
  • They should be valued primarily for their brain power.
  • They are more mature and emotionally stable.

    The National Association for Gifted children states: “Definitions provide the framework for gifted education programs and services, and guide key decisions such as which students will qualify for services, the areas of giftedness to be addressed in programming (e.g., intellectual giftedness generally, specific abilities in math), when the services will be offered, and even why they will be offered. There is no universally accepted definition of giftedness."
    - See more at:
Federal Definition of Gifted and Talented
"The term ‘gifted and talented,” when used with respect to students, children, or youth, means students, children, or youth who give evidence of high achievement capability in such areas as intellectual, creative, artistic, or leadership capacity, or in specific academic fields, and who need services or activities not ordinarily provided by the school in order to fully develop those capabilities."

(No Child Left Behind Act, P.L. 107-110 (Title IX, Part A, Definition 22) (2002); 20 USC 7801(22) (2004))
- See more at:

Fifth graders use GATE thinking prompts, including Detail Flowers, to organize their research for their biography projects:
Thinking Maps and GATE thinking prompts, including multiple perspectives, to analyze the causes and effects of the American Revolution, before explaining those causes and effects in infomative writing:
GATE thinking prompts to analyze the impact of European exploration: