The Texas Performance Standards Project (TPSP) provides a series of TEKS-based performance tasks and assessments for gifted/talented (G/T) students in grades K-12. These interdisciplinary research units, some of which have a discipline-specific focus, can be used by schools and districts as a framework for G/T programming.
The primary, intermediate, middle, and high school/exit level TPSP web pages provide the following resources:
Tasks include a TEKS alignment guide, adaptable activities, and other resources. The structure and content of the tasks provide the following:
The tasks were designed to give G/T teachers the flexibility to integrate the TPSP into existing programs and instruction. The tasks are open ended and can be extended and adapted. The tasks provide teachers with a structured curriculum, but teachers still have the freedom to make appropriate adjustments and enhancements. For example, teachers can extend tasks into community service projects if appropriate.
In grades K-10, the TPSP tasks consist of two phases.
Each task has unique requirements. Submission requirements are listed within each task summary. All tasks have a presentation component to accompany the final product. Please note that each task lists options for product development—students do not need to complete all of the options.
At exit-level, tasks consist of an extended independent research project that is completely student driven and based on a student-chosen topic of interest that may be outside the traditional high school curriculum. The project structure should allow for the long-term development of a question or idea that is significant to professionals in the student’s specified field of study. Projects should allow students to demonstrate sophisticated and advanced research methods and the use of technology appropriate to the field of study. Over the course of a year, each student works with a mentor who is a professional in the student’s field of study to create a unique, innovative final product or performance that is of professional quality.
Tasks at all grade levels are aligned with a standards-based assessment system that allows students and teachers to evaluate student performance in the following six domains:
At the high school/exit level, the following additional domains are considered:
Teachers should introduce the scoring dimensions at the outset of the project so that students can understand the scope of the TPSP and the expectations for quality work. For formative, ongoing evaluation, students and teachers should regularly evaluate progress and revise plans as necessary using the language of the scoring dimensions. During product development, teachers may also wish to encourage students to use self-evaluation and peer-evaluation techniques using the scoring dimensions as a guide. Upon completion of the project, the teacher scores the final product according to assessment rubric.
See the Assessment tab on the relevant grade level TPSP page for more information on the scoring dimensions and to access assessment rubrics. Examples of student work are also provided on most grade-level pages.
Teacher support for students doing TPSP projects include the following:
The student research process should consist of the following steps:
Teachers may want to provide instruction to help students build their research skills, including lessons on the following topics:
Teachers may want to consider use of the following to support student work:
Students using TPSP resources are required to document their learning throughout the research process. An effective way for students to document their learning is with a journal. The journal will allow students to review their experiences and findings from Phase I and apply them in Phase II. Teachers may wish to check student journals periodically to ensure that students are progressing appropriately. Students may wish to keep their research journals in a binder or spiral notebook. Teachers can reinforce the idea that documentation of learning is evidence of scholarly behavior. See the Sample Forms tab on the relevant grade level TPSP page for examples of forms that students can use to document their learning, including recording research findings and documenting primary and secondary sources.
For more detailed information on using TPSP resources in the classroom, see the Guides for Success documents that were developed for the original TPSP pilot projects in grades 4, 8, and exit level.
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