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1st Grade P.E.T.S.

A Curriculum for Higher Level Thinking


The P.E.T.S. program is introduced to all children in first grade.  The program is presented by the ALPS teacher working with the first grade classroom teachers.  P.E.T.S. is a systematized enrichment and diagnostic thinking skills program that is integrated into the first grade curriculum.  This program serves the dual purpose of helping in the identification of academically talented students and teaching students higher level thinking skills.

The P.E.T.S. curriculum presents lessons in analysis, synthesis, and evaluation.  It gives all students the opportunity to develop an understanding of these different types of thinking skills.  The units will introduce deductive logic, analysis, inventive thinking, creative thinking, judging, and mental manipulation of shapes.  P.E.T.S. also provides teachers the opportunity to identify talented students in the classroom setting.

The format of the P.E.T.S. program allows an entire class the opportunity to experience the challenge of the new thinking skill introduced using fictional characters such as Dudley the Detective and Sybil the Scientist. Each character serves as a guide through a story to introduce a type of thinking and a series of whole class activities to reinforce the type of thinking.  Based on teacher observation and student interest, a small group of students is then given further opportunity to explore the thinking skill in a variety of in-depth activities.  During the small group activities, the teacher is able to evaluate student potential further and plan future programming accordingly.

Illustration taken from the cover of Primary Education Thinking Skills by Nichols, Thomson, Wolfe, and Merritt