Degrees and Certifications:

Dr. Michelle Sands

Pequenakonck Gifted and Talented Program

Student Services

Grade 3

Junior Great Books

A reading and analytical discussion program that utilizes classical literature to promote shared inquiry. Students meet to craft original questions, probe texts through directed note taking, and share ideas to answer an interpretive question- a question about the story that  has more than one good answer but must be supported with evidence from the story.

Math Enrichment

Students will participate  in units from the Mentoring Mathematical Minds curriculum which is designed to promote mathematical discourse, problem solving and inquiry in maths. Students will be exposed to topics not normally covered in the grade level curriculum through problem based learning.

Genius Hour Drop In

During the support block, students who attended a Day 1 and Day 2 experience can sign up to come to a drop in session related to the Genius Hour topic. The purpose of the Drop In session is to complete projects started during Genius Hour or to have the opportunity to spend more time exploring the content/technology that students were introduced to during the original  Genius Hour session. Participation in Genius Hour Day 1 and Day 2 is based on self-nomination. All students are given the opportunity to sign up during their library-media center time.

Grade 4 & 5

Talent Pool

Research- Identified students, meeting twice a cycle, will participate in direct instruction related to the  study of research design. Descriptive, historical, experimental, correlational, and developmental research will be studied. Students will choose an interest area, develop an original research question, and choose an appropriate research design. A final research abstract will be produced and presented as part of the Kids Inquiry Conference in June.  Independent project blocks are utilized for self-directed time related to student chosen research topics.

Content Specific Enrichment

Math Olympiad - Students will meet twice per cycle to practice problem-solving strategies. As a team students will meet twice per cycle in preparation for five monthly contests beginning  in November.


Math Compacting- Utilizes a specific math curriculum, Mentoring Mathematical Minds, designed specifically to promote mathematical discourse, problem solving and inquiry in mathematics.  Meeting three math periods per cycle, students will be exposed to topics not regularly covered in grade-level math classes.



Independent Projects- Individuals or small groups who demonstrate a sincere interest in particular topics or problems, and who show the willingness to pursue these topics at advanced levels of study, may propose an independent project. Meeting times will be contracted between the student, classroom teacher, and teacher of the gifted.  

Grades 3, 4, & 5

Genius Hour & PQ Makerspace

Grade 5 A & B Days

Grade 4 C & D Days

Grade 3 E & F Days

Students will be given the opportunity to participate in creative and critical thinking in the areas of science, technology, engineering, art, math (STEAM), and computer science.  Genius Hour themes will rotate throughout the year and length of sessions will be determined by student interest. Students will be introduced to current offerings during their library media block. Students who sign up to participate  will be invited to Genius Hour activities during their lunch and recess block. Genius Hour activities will be facilitated by Ms. Diehl, Ms. Koehler, and Dr. Sands.

Genius Hour Boot Camp

Grades 4 & 5 A, B, C & D Day

Students who participate in a Genius Hour experience will have the opportunity to nominate themselves to attend additional days of direct instruction related to the current Genius Hour topic. Direct instruction will occur during the Genius Hour lunch and recess period between Genius Hour sessions. Students will learn advanced skills and content that can be used to nominate themselves to participate in a related independent project.