Resources for Home and School for Our Gifted Students


Coding is a great way to enrich learning for GATE students.  Coding allows GATE students, who tend to be inquisitive learners, to tinker and explore computer programming.  It encourages problem solving and boosts analytical reasoning skills, along with other 21st Century skills that apply to areas beyond computer science.

Below are a few free resources that can be used at home or school to get students involved with coding:



Code Academy

Rocket Making Class

Sierra College Community Education is offering a Rocket Making class for students and parents.  The class is intended for students eight and older, and students must attend with a parent or guardian.  Check out the flier HERE.  Please note this is not a Westlake Charter School Sponsored Event.

Science Simulations

This website offers free science simulations that students can watch online.  It is definitely a resource worth checking out!  Science Simulations

GATE Teacher Spotlight

We asked two of our fifth grade GATE cluster teachers why they love teaching GATE students and to share a favorite strategy or resource.  Below are their responses!

Wayne Dickey

“I like the fact that GATE students ask questions, which allows us to discuss math in so many different ways because they look at math from so many differing perspectives.”

“I enjoy using material from my College Preparatory Math (CPM) Foundations in Algebra course materials.  These enrichment materials help expand the mind and allows the students to work in groups where they experience the synergistic effects of group dynamics on math solution.”  

Heather Dowling

“I enjoy working with GATE students because their creativity and unique expressions are inspiring. I encourage all students to demonstrate their understanding by using the arts, technology and/or their own interests to synthesize what they have learned. This is easily integrated into PBL projects, where students can change the final product to suit their talents; or a novel discussion, which can be reenacted as a skit or made into a movie trailer. The differentiation can even be implemented in their weekly spelling work. In 5th grade we have two options for our weekly spelling list, with one that offers more of a challenge. Students can prepare for their spelling test in a variety of ways including writing poetry, mimicking graffiti style writing on some type of canvass, or developing their own innovative practice.”

TedEd Videos are useful for mini-lessons, to ignite class discussions or even as an example of a final project students can create.”

Wednesday GATE Sessions – March

Theme:  “Journey.”  

“Life as a Metamorphic/Sedimentary/Igneous Rock”

This month second, third, and fourth grade students will be making informational rock science books.  While creating their books, they will be reviewing informational text structures and including those in their own science books.  Second graders will be focusing on metamorphic rocks, third graders on sedimentary rocks, and fourth grader on igneous rocks!

“Night at the Museum: Exploring Our World Through Literature”

Students have begun reading their novels and exploring the theme “journey” in the novels. Students will continue reading throughout the month of March, discussing theme, character, and plot development in order to prepare for their museum project.