Differentiating forGifted LearnersCarrie C.CB School District
Truth or Myth?• I will reveal a statement related to gifted learners and gifted education.• Decide as a group if it is true or false.• If you believe it is true, hold up your green card.• If you believe it is false, hold up your red card. According to NAGC
Truth or Myth?Gifted learners are not at risk sothey don’t need the teacher’s help.FALSE – Intelligence is developed through acombination of genetic factors and environmentalopportunities. Therefore, as teachers, it is our responsibilityto provide environmental opportunities that will challengegifted learners appropriately to fully develop their abilitiesor potential. If we don’t provide the appropriate level ofrigor, gifted students get bored and frustrated, which canlead to low achievement or unhealthy work habits.
Truth or Myth?A student receiving B’s and C’s canbe gifted.TRUE – There are a variety of reasons why a giftedlearner may not be performing at the level of which theyare capable. Some students lose interest or develop poorwork habits due to being unchallenged. Some studentsmask their ability in order to fit in socially. While otherstudents may have this discrepancy because of anunidentified disability.
Truth or Myth?• All children are gifted.FALSE – The label “gifted” in an educational settingmeans that the child has an advanced capacity to learn andapply what is learned when compared with students of thesame age.
Truth or Myth?• Gifted students are happy, popular and well-adjusted in school.FALSE – It is estimated that 20 to 25% of giftedlearners have social and emotional difficulties. While manygifted learners are able to flourish, some gifted studentssuffer from perfectionism and anxiety or the inability torelate to their same-age peers, leaving them ostracized orwanting to isolate themselves.
Truth or Myth?• Giftedness is measured by intelligence tests (IQ).FALSE – Identifying giftedness is a complex task, due tothe complexity of brain development. It requires a varietyof samples of a person’s abilities from many different areas.
Truth or Myth?• It is not beneficial for gifted learners to review skills they already know by teaching other students.TRUE – This is not beneficial for gifted learners oraverage learners. Watching or learning from a peer whoalready understands what the average student does not, isdetrimental to the self-confidence of the average student.At the same time, gifted learners are not beingappropriately challenged and would benefit from havingopportunities to complete more rigorous tasks with learnerswith similar abilities.
What is Differentiation? What It Is What Is Is Not• An approach that recognizes • Assignments are the same learning differences and taps for everyone with variety in into them the level of difficulty of• Allowing students to explore questions. curriculum content through • Allowing students who active learning and flexible finish early to play games grouping related to curriculum• Providing varied activities or content assignments that meet • Providing extra homework varied needs or extra projects after• An environment that is advanced students have enjoyable, challenging, and completed their “regular” choice-filled work
The Four C’s of Differentiatingfor Gifted Learners 1. Compacting 2. Complexity 3. Creative/Critical Thinking 4. ChoiceTurn and talk with your grade level about how youare already doing this for your gifted learners.
Compacting Curriculum• What does it mean to compact the curriculum? • To provide a way for students to “buy back” school time that we planned for them, so they can spend it in ways that extend or accelerate their learning.• Reasons to do it • Students who are just going through the motions to please the teacher become actively engaged in learning. • Careless students start caring about the quality of their work because they are invested in their learning. • Unmotivated students actually want to learn because they can spend time on areas of interest.
Compacting for Skill Work • Identify learning objectives required for all students.1 • Pre-assess all students to determine which students2 already have mastery of skills. • Eliminate drill, practice, review of any skills students3 already have mastered. • Have un-graded extension activities available.4 • Keep a record of compacting.5
Keeping a Record Handout p. 2 Learning Objective/ Standard Pre-assessment Type of Extension Activity
Compacting for Skill WorkStrategies that work great for math computation, spelling, grammar, word skills, etc. Most Pre-test for Difficult First Volunteers The Learning Contract
Most Difficult First StrategyGreat way to start – compact one lesson at a time!• Determine which problems in the class assignment are most difficult (4-8 examples) and post them as part of the assignment• If students try the most difficult problems first and demonstrate 85% accuracy, they do not complete the rest of the assignment• Students move on to extension activities
Pre-test for Volunteers StrategyCompacting curriculum that takes a week to cover• The assessment you plan to use at the end of the week should be available to take at the beginning of the week.• Invite volunteer students to demonstrate that they are already at a mastery level.• Students may stop taking the pre-test at any time if they think they will not meet the score to demonstrate mastery.• Students who score a 90% may spend their time working on extension activities.
The Learning Contract StrategyCompacting one unit at a time – the most effective!• Based on pre-assessment (daily, weekly, or at the beginning of a unit) students who demonstrate 80% mastery of a skill may “opt out” of direct instruction of that skill.• Students who “opt out” work on pre- determined extension centers that relate to curriculum content.• Meet with students to establish and sign a learning contract that states expectations for working on extension centers.
The Learning Contract Handout p.3, 4Skills mastered/lessons studentsmay opt out ofExtension ActivitiesavailableChoice!Expectations
Compacting for New Content• In content areas where material is new for everyone, some gifted learners still need differentiation.• Compacting for new content allows students to learn material at a faster pace.• This is best for those students who don’t complete assignments, yet still seem to ace the test. The Study Guide
The Study GuideReducing the amount of time students must spend learninggrade-level standards• Describe to students the characteristics/abilities they need to be successful with this strategy first!• Develop a list of 10 key standards from the unit.• Create a detailed task description that tells students what they need to learn/be able to do.• Write these statements on the Study Guide in the order they will be taught.• Include a “checkpoint” or assessment in the study guide at the point in which they will occur. These assessments should be the same that all other students complete.• Allow students to learn material independently at their own pace as long as they are successful on checkpoints and adhere to behavior expectations.• This can be used in conjunction with extension activities.
Handout p. 5-8 The Study GuideKey standards orobjectivesCheckpoint
Types of Extension Activities• Learning Centers • A collection of curriculum-related activities that challenge students and extend grade-level skills or standards• Tic-Tac-Toe Menus/Choice Boards – Handout p. 9 • Carefully designed activities from which students can choose to extend their learning• Independent Study Project – Handout p. 10 • Students choose a curriculum-related topic to explore or research that goes beyond grade-level standards.• Personal Interest Project • Students are given time to explore a topic they have an extreme interest in.
Creating Extension Activities• Bloom’s Taxonomy – Handout p. 11 • Challenge learners to go beyond the Recall and Comprehension levels of Bloom’s Taxonomy.• Learning Modalities • Include a variety of activities for different learning styles.• Cross-Curriculum • Develop activities that require students to make connections with other content areas.• Open-ended • Create activities in which students can be creative with how they communicate their learning
The Four C’s of Differentiatingfor Gifted Learners 1. Compacting 2. Complexity 3. Creative/Critical Thinking 4. ChoiceTurn and talk with your grade level about somethingyou would like to change about how you teach yourgifted learners.
Taking the Leap… Possible Fears Professional Potential• It’s a lot of work and will • It will require initial time investment but will actually save you time in the take too much time. long run. Partner up with a colleague, try it together, and split up• It will be difficult to the work! manage student • If you invest time in establishing expectations and provide challenging, behavior while they meaningful activities, students will be work on extensions. so invested in their learning that you won’t have anything to “manage”.• I need to differentiate • Not all gifted learners demonstrate a every subject area for need for differentiation in all subject areas. Be sure to pre-assess to every gifted student. determine student needs. Then, start small with just a few extension Your gifted students activities and differentiating one lesson at a time. will thank you!
Evaluation• Please complete the evaluation sheet before you leave!
ResourcesPrinted Professional Resources:• Teaching Gifted Kids in Today’s Classroom: Strategies and Techniques Every Teacher Can Use by Susan Winebrenner• Advancing Differentiation: Thinking and Learning for the 21st Century by Richard M. Cash, Ed.D.Gifted Resources:• National Association for Gifted Children – www.nagc.orgEducational Websites:• www.education.com• http://www.kidsource.com/kidsource/content/diff_instruction.html