All students in first and second grades attend PEP once a week. The Primary Education Thinking Skills Program (PETS) is used. PETS serves the dual purpose of helping in the identification of academically talented students and teaching students higher level thinking skills.
All students participate in four to five lessons for each of the units. The students will explore the following thinking skills: deductive thinking, analytical thinking, creative thinking, visual/spatial perception, and evaluative thinking. A character from Crystal Pond Woods introduces a high level thinking skill used in his or her job. The character reinforces the type of thinking in the whole class activity. Dudley the Detective uses deductive thinking strategies to find the one right answer and Sybil the Scientist uses analytical thinking strategies to examine attributes and classify objects. Isabel the Inventor uses divergent thinking strategies as she brainstorms and invents while Yolanda the Yarnspinner, also a divergent thinker, creates colorful stories. Max the Magician, a visual thinker, explores different spatial perspectives and mentally manipulates shapes. Jordan the Judge utilizes evaluative thinking by determining the best solution based on factual criteria.
The students who successfully complete the whole group activities, will qualify for small group pullout lessons. In the Fall, first graders will learn about simple machines and second graders willa study Newton's Laws.
The kindergarten students will attend whole group PEP lessons at the end of the year.