School Enrichment Model (SEM)
Introducing The Schoolwide Enrichment Model (SEM) At Obama Elementary School
Obama Elementary School is now a Schoolwide Enrichment Model (SEM) School. The Schoolwide Enrichment Model is based on the research of Joseph Renzulli which promotes the belief that all scholars are gifted! Here at Obama Elementary we also believe that every scholar is gifted and has a right to use that giftedness to become the best person he or she can be. We will make this happen by looking at our scholar’s strengths and interest ad capitalize on them.
The SEM model consists of 3 parts called Types. Type 1 involves providing exploratory activities to expose scholars to a wide variety of topics, occupations, hobbies, persons, places, events that would not be covered in the regular curriculum. Type 1 activities are designed to stimulate new interests leading to the Type 2 or 3 activity. Some Type 1 activities we have already had this year include African Drumming, Health Fair, book making and a trip to the Oliver Kelley Farm. Upcoming Type 1 activities are Officer Friendly, a visit from the St. Paul Fire Department, a professor from the University of Minnesota speaking on the performing arts as well as a trip to the Mill City Museum.
Type 2 activities focus on the development of creative thinking, problem solving and critical thinking. Type 2 activities provide a wide variety of the specific learning of how-to-learn skills. Written, oral and visual communication and the use of reference materials are also a component of Type 2 activities.
Type 3 activities are the Enrichment Clusters. This is where small groups of scholars work together based on a common, self-selected interest. Our scholars are surveyed to determine their interest area, expression style and learning preference. The Obama staff then uses this information to develop an enrichment cluster where scholars take on the role of firsthand inquirer and have an opportunity for applying interests, knowledge, creative ideas, and task commitment to a self-selected area of study. For example, in our Extended Day Learning Program, there are SEM Enrichment Clusters in crafting using recycled materials, creating a daily news program, robotics and the math involved in basketball just to name a few.
All scholars at Obama have taken an interest inventory and we are in the process of interviewing all our families and community members to discover their interests and skills. Involving family and community members in the SEM Program is crucial to its success.