SEARCH (K-3) Overview
SEARCH is an enrichment program provided by the Loudoun County Public Schools for all children in grades K through 3. The SEARCH teacher visits every primary classroom once or twice each month and presents a lesson that focuses on higher level thinking skills.and is designed to foster a classroom environment that encourages students to develop an excitement for learning and discovery. SEARCH teachers work within the classroom to stimulate curiosity, practice problem solving strategies, incorporate cooperative learning activities, provide opportunities for students to use higher level thinking skills, and to identify students with exceptional ability. During SEARCH lessons the primary classroom teacher makes observations to gain insight into the students’ various skills, strengths, and learning styles. Both teachers work cooperatively to recognize and develop the potential for excellence in each student.
The SEARCH curriculum is based in problem solving and spirals developmentally through five components: perceiving, reasoning, connecting, creating, and evaluating. Each grade level learns about each component at increasingly more complex and abstract levels.
Perceiving is inderstanding and learning with one's senses. Concrete spatial and visual activities are provided. Students are encouraged to look at objects in many different ways. Pattern recognition and prediction skills are developed.
Reasoning is using information to find answers that can be proven, are logical, and make sense. Reasoning activities begin at the simple level of recognizing, labeling, classifying, and comparing attributes of concrete objects. As students mature, reasoning activities become more abstract as students use analysis and logic to solve problems.
Connecting means linking information and ideas to see how they fit together. At the basic level, students identify and extend patterns using concrete objects. More abstract problem solving involves interpreting and extending numeric patterns, determining relationships between concepts, and making generalizations. Students also make connections between cause and effect.
Creating is putting ideas, information, or objects together in a new or different way. Students learn to be flexible and fluent in their thinking with familiar objects as well as unusual and/or real life problems. Original ideas are elaborated with humor and /or beauty to provide clarity and completeness. Student products may be visual, verbal, spatial, or kinesthetic.
Evaluating is using information to make a decision. Students begin evaluation by determining what the facts are and what considerations are important in making a decision. Students learn to develop criteria and rank solutions or choices according to the criteria when making decisions.
Encourage a classroom environment, which stimulates each child's curiosity and ecnourages the child to question, to think and to be creative.
Reinforce and encourage the development of "higher level thinking skills" throught metacognitive activities.
Help classroom teachers locate and utilize meaningful learning materials, which help enhance thinking processes.
Encourage all students to recognize and use their special talents and interests.
Work with the classroom teacher to differentiate instruction.
Provide in-service that helps teachers meet the needs of gifted students.