Differences 1 Standard Deviation (85 IQ vs. 115 IQ) 2 Standard Deviations (70 IQ vs. 130 IQ) 3 Standard Deviations (55 IQ vs. 145 IQ)
Below the Norm
Remedial instruction in reg. class
Adapted teaching strategies
Above the Norm
Enrichment in reg. class
Adapted teaching strategies
Increased pace of instruction
Radical acceleration of curriculum
The Theoretical Curve of Distribution of Intelligence
Cluster Grouping be formulated for Grades 4-8th for the 2010/2011 school year : Support an on-site administrative decision to identify teachers that will be assigned student clusters.
Continue and Expand Flexible/Skill grouping (Grades 1-5) in all elementary schools – Support an on site administrative decision for the elementary schools to assess and group according to their level.
Creating the Cluster Model: Success for Gifted Students in Today’s Educational Environment
What is cluster grouping?
Cluster grouping is an administrative procedure in which identified gifted/high achieving students are assigned to one or more classrooms with a teacher who has had special training.
A group of identified students (usually from 5 to 8) are placed together in mixed ability classroom(s) for the purpose of differentiating the curriculum.
Isn’t cluster grouping the same as tracking?
No. In a tracking system, all students are grouped by ability for much of the school day, and students tend to remain in the same track throughout their school experience.
Cluster grouping of gifted/high achieving students allows them to be placed with students of similar strengths in classes with others of mixed abilities.
(Hoover, Sayler, & Feldhusen, 1992; Rogers 1993)
Why cluster group instead of assigning gifted students evenly to all classes?
When teachers are required to meet the diverse learning needs of all students, it becomes extremely difficult to provide adequately for everyone. Often, the highest ability students are expected to “make it on their own.”
Collaboration between the GATE Specialist and the general education teacher is more likely to occur when cluster groups are formed. (Winebrenner & Devlin, 2001)
Aren’t gifted students needed in all classes so they can help others learn?
Helping other students learn is not the responsibility of gifted students, and they are usually not very good at it!
Gifted children typically…
Are intensely curious and have many interests
Process information with great speed and deep understanding
Remember forever what they learn
Readily grasp underlying principles and make generalizations
Are highly sensitive
Prefer to work alone
Relate well with older students and adults
Demonstrate advanced sense of humor
Require little direction
Sustain long periods of attention and concentration
*These behaviors apply to all content areas, all day long.
Including non-productive gifted students
Non-productive students may:
not see the need to complete assignments
feel unmotivated by required work
that does not hold their interest or challenge them
be afraid to fail, so they never begin
Gifted Cluster Teachers can:
give credit for previously mastered content
allow students to do more challenging work
teach students to set their own goals
acknowledge and show appreciation for effort
allow student-directed learning based on interests and strengths
What are the benefits of cluster grouping?
Both cluster and non-cluster classrooms experience an improvement in achievement for all class members because teachers are able to provide more appropriate instruction for all students.
In cluster classrooms, teachers learn to provide strategies for gifted/high ability students and offer modified versions of the same opportunities to the entire class.
In non-cluster classrooms, new student role models and leaders emerge.
(Kennedy, 1989; Winebrenner, 1992; Gentry 1999)
What training should cluster teachers receive?
understand the unique attributes and needs of GATE students
be intellectually creative
be creatively productive
be flexible and willing to find appropriate outlets for student production.
be attuned to the process of teaching
be a role model for students
be willing to spend sufficient time in planning and delivery of instruction.
Teachers need special training in order to :
How should cluster classrooms be structured?
One class, taught by a teacher trained in differentiation, should be assigned the cluster group of gifted students and some students of average and low average abilities. (See Gentry’s model on next slide.)
The remaining classrooms include a range of students from high average to below average.
The goal is to create a more narrow range of student achievement levels, allowing the teacher to focus instructional activities. (Gentry 1999)
Study by M. Gentry, NRC/GT, 1999 30 Students in 3 classes Group 1 Highest Performers Group 2 High Average Group 3 Average Group 4 Low Average Group 5 Below Average A 6 0 12 12 0 B 0 6 12 6 6 C 0 6 12 6 6
Food for thought…
In general education classrooms, gifted/high achieving students may already know 30-50% of the grade level content. Unless the general education teacher is sensitive to each student’s needs, the student who requires the least practice receives the most. (Reis & Purcell, 1995)
Gifted/high achieving students are significantly more likely to retain science and mathematics content when taught 2-3 times faster than the normal classroom pace.
Gifted students are significantly more likely to forget or learn science and mathematics content incorrectly when drill or review is required more than 2-3 times. (Rogers, 1999)
What is Flexible Grouping?
Occurs when there is a whole group assessment or instruction initially; and then the students are divided by their need for either review, re-teaching, practice, or enrichment.
Such grouping could be a single lesson or objective, a set of skills, a unit of study, or a major concept or theme.
Flexible grouping creates temporary groups for an hour, a day, a week, or a month or so. It does not create permanent groups.
Purpose of Flexible Grouping?
Schools will utilize flexible grouping practices to enhance the opportunity to receive expanded, intensive, enriched and accelerated curricula at all instructional levels.
Why use Flexible Grouping?
Allows both collaborative and independent work.
Allows students to work with a wide variety of peers.
Allows for quick mastery of ideas.
Allows for additional exploration by students.
Keeps students from being “pegged” as advanced or struggling.
Gives students and teachers a voice in work arrangements
In the era of “No Child Left Behind”
federal legislation, it is imperative to find new ways to educate gifted children.
Cluster grouping and flexible grouping reduces the range of achievement that must be addressed within the classrooms, thereby allowing teachers to differentiate the curriculum and plan more effectively for all learners.
Gentry, Marcia (1996). “Total School Cluster Grouping: An Investigation of Achievement and Identification of Elementary School Students.” The National Research Center on the Gifted and Talented, Storrs, CT.
Kingore, Bertie. (2004). Differentiation: Simplified, Realistic, and Effective . Austin: Professional Associates Publishing.
Rogers, Karen (2002). Reforming Gifted Education: How Parents and Teachers Can Match the Program to the Child . Arizona: Great Potential Press.
Schuler, P. (1997). “Cluster Grouping Coast to Coast.” The National Research Center on the Gifted and Talented, Storrs, CT.
Winebrenner, Susan (2000). Teaching Gifted Kids in the Regular Classroom . Minneapolis: Free Spirit Publishing.
Winebrenner, S and B. Devlin (1996) “Cluster Grouping of Gifted Students: How to Provide Full-Time Services on a Part-Time Budget.” ERIC EC Digest #E607.