Catering for gifted students in unit planning


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  • Content consists of ideas, concepts, descriptive information, and facts
  • Activities must be restructured to be more intellectually demanding
  • Encouraging students to demonstrate what they have learned in a wide variety of forms that reflect both knowledge and the ability to manipulate ideas
  • Gifted students learn best in a receptive, non-judgemental, student-cantered environment that encourages inquiry, independence, includes a wide variety of resources and connects the school experience with the real world
  • Catering for gifted students in unit planning

    1. 1. Catering For Gifted Students In Unit Planning: Models and Strategies of Differentiation
    2. 2. Framework For Gifted EducationTo ensure effective provision forindividual students who are gifted, stateschools need to consider a range ofoptions for their curriculum and theirschool organisation. These includeidentification procedures, differentiatedcurriculum and acceleration. (Dept of Education and The Arts, 2004, p. 1)
    3. 3. Overview• Curriculum Differentiation - definitions• Why do we need to differentiate the curriculum• Types of learners• A Model For Differentiation- Maker Model• Practical Strategies for differentiating curriculum
    4. 4. Also known as:–Differentiated Instruction–Multilevel instruction
    5. 5. What is Curriculum Differentiation CURRICULUM DIFFERENTIATION is a broad term referring to the need to tailor teaching environments and practices to create appropriately different learning experiences for different students. Keirouz (1993) suggests typical procedures in the case of gifted and talented students include:• deleting already mastered material from existing curriculum,• adding new content, process, or product expectations to existing curriculum,• extending existing curriculum to provide enrichment activities,• providing course work for able students at an earlier age than usual, and• writing new units or courses that meet the needs of gifted students. (, accessed 12 June, 2004)
    6. 6. When we recognise the diversity of thelearners in our classrooms and provide fortheir diverse learning needs in ourplanning, we differentiate the curriculum. (Braggett, 1997)
    7. 7. … a set of planned learning experiencesthat are designed to meet the specificneeds of learners (Eddie Braggett,1997).A program that is qualitatively (rather thanquantitatively) different from the basiccurriculum… (Maker, 1982).
    8. 8. To differentiate instruction is to recognize studentsvarying background knowledge, readiness, language,preferences in learning, interests, and to reactresponsively. Differentiated instruction is a process toapproach teaching and learning for students ofdiffering abilities in the same class. The intent ofdifferentiating instruction is to maximize eachstudent’s growth and individual success by meetingeach student where he or she is, and assisting in thelearning process. (accessed 12 June 2004)
    9. 9. Differentiated Curriculum refers to teachingthat is adapted to take into account theindividual differences and needs of studentsin any one classroom.It comprises modifications to the curriculum,teaching structures, and teaching practices incombination to ensure that instruction isrelevant, flexible and responsive, leading tosuccessful achievement and the developmentof students as self-regulated learners. (van Kraayenoord, 1997)
    10. 10. In a way, its just shaking up theclassroom so its a better fit for morekids. Carol Ann Tomlinson Associate Professor of Educational Leadership, Foundations, and Policy The Curry School of Education, University of Virginia From an interview with Leslie J. Kiernan, 1996
    11. 11. Why Differentiate?• All students should be given an opportunity to develop to their full potential.• For most students the regular classroom will provide appropriate challenge.• For gifted learners special provision must be made in the regular classroom if they are to have the same exciting and challenging learning experiences as their classmates.• Gifted students need the opportunity to work through the curriculum at a faster pace and need less time on basics and revision.
    12. 12. Learner ProfilesWe need to consider differences We must take into account: in: Learning rates  Ways students take in Abilities Prior knowledge information Interests  Amount of time to Preferred learning styles complete work Affective needs  Assignment or tasks  Means to assess what has been learned
    13. 13. Characteristics Of Gifted LearnersGifted learners may display some or all of these traits: The ability to learn new materials in much less time and in greater depth The ability to readily retain a quantity of information The ability to handle complex and abstract ideas The ability to simultaneously focus on a number of tasks Have intense interests and passions Draw generalizations about seemingly unconnected concepts Ask provocative questions Susan Winebrenner (2000)
    14. 14. Differentiation Can Be For:• The GiftedAnd For• In Class (mixed ability differentiation)
    15. 15. What Can We Differentiate? PROCESS CONTENT PRODUCT LEARNING ENVIRONMENT Maker Model of Curriculum Differentiation
    16. 16. The Maker Model• June Maker• 1982• Differentiation requires modification of four primary areas of curriculum development: – Content – Process – Product – Learning environment
    17. 17. Content What we teachAmount and type of new content • PRE-TESTING!!Degree of complexity and • Curriculum Compacting abstractness • Abstraction, moreNumber and sophistication of advanced concepts resources • Learning ContractsDepth of study • Flexible pacingUse of specific methods of inquiry • Thematic, broad-basedLearner interests integrative content • Interdisciplinary approach •Acceleration
    18. 18. Content• Several elements and materials are used to support instructional content. – These include acts, concepts, generalizations or principles, attitudes, and skills. – The variation seen in a differentiated classroom is most frequently the manner in which students gain access to important learning. – Access to the content is seen as key.• Align tasks and objectives to learning goals. – Designers of differentiated instruction determine as essential the alignment of tasks with instructional goals and objectives. – Goals are most frequently assessed by many high-stakes tests at the state level and frequently administered standardized measures. – Objectives are frequently written in incremental steps resulting in a continuum of skills-building tasks. – An objectives-driven menu makes it easier to find the next instructional step for learners entering at varying levels.• Instruction is concept-focused and principle-driven. – The instructional concepts should be broad based and not focused on minute details or unlimited facts. – Teachers must focus on the concepts, principles and skills that students should learn. – The content of instruction should address the same concepts with all students but be adjusted by degree of complexity for the diversity of learners in the classroom. (accessed 27 May 2004)
    19. 19. Process How we teach • Thinking models- Hats, Blooms, Gardner’sThinking complexity Multiple Intelligences • Critical and creative Thinking Skills (HOTS) • Independent Study - student choice of topic forLearning pace • study Use of advanced novels/texts • Problem-based curriculum • Active Investigation and Discovery LearningLearning style • Simulations • Concept Mapping • Open-ended questionsThinking creativity • Research skills • Use of technology • Student/adult mentorsActive decision- • • Tiered lessons Learning Centres with advanced tasks making • Cooperative Learning • Use of Graphic Organisers
    20. 20. Process• Flexible grouping is consistently used. – Strategies for flexible grouping are essential. – Learners are expected to interact and work together as they develop knowledge of new content. – Teachers may conduct whole-class introductory discussions of content big ideas followed by small group or pair work. – Student groups may be coached from within or by the teacher to complete assigned tasks. – Grouping of students is not fixed. – Based on the content, project, and on-going evaluations, grouping and regrouping must be a dynamic process as one of the foundations of differentiated instruction.• Classroom management benefits students and teachers. – Teachers must consider organization and instructional delivery strategies to effectively operate a classroom using differentiated instruction. – Carol Tomlinson (2001) identifies 17 key strategies for teachers to successfully meet the challenge of designing and managing differentiated instruction in her text How to Differentiate Instruction in Mixed-Ability Classrooms, Chapter 7. (accessed 27 May 2004)
    21. 21. Product What we expect students to do or showTasks that reflect: • Real World Problems • Open-ended TasksLearning levels • Advanced projects, tasks, assignmentsInterests • PEPLearning Styles • Tiered tasksMultiple Intelligences • Reflection JournalsOpen-endedness • Written/recorded response as wellMetacognition as oral responseReal audiences • Products that reflect student’s preferred learning stylePurposeful deadlines • Synthesise rather than summariseShared development of information criteria for quality • Should include a self-evaluation process
    22. 22. Product• Initial and on-going assessment of student readiness and growth are essential – Meaningful pre-assessment naturally leads to functional and successful differentiation. – Assessments may be formal or informal, including interviews, surveys, performance assessments, and more formal evaluation procedures. – Incorporating pre and on-going assessment informs teachers to better provide a menu of approaches, choices, and scaffolds for the varying needs, interests and abilities that exist in classrooms of diverse students.• Students are active and responsible explorers – Teachers respect that each task put before the learner will be interesting, engaging, and accessible to essential understanding and skills. – Each child should feel challenged most of the time.• Vary expectations and requirements for student responses – Items to which students respond may be differentiated for students to demonstrate or express their knowledge and understanding. – A well-designed student product allows varied means of expression, alternative procedures, and provides varying degrees of difficulty, types of evaluation, and scoring. (accessed 27 May 2004)
    23. 23. • Think of a specific activity that your students participated in today in your classroom• NOW place that activity on the ladder to indicate its complexity• Differentiate the activity in two directions- one incorporating more high level thinking and the other to provide scaffolding• Think about the students in your class and which of the versions of the activity they would most benefit from
    24. 24. Learning Environment Where we teach/our class cultureStudent-centred • Variety of resourcesEncouraging independence • Extension of learning beyond the classroomOpen to new ideas, materials, • Flexible groupings people • Opportunities to workAccepting of others’ ideas and alone opinions • Learning centresFreedom of movement, mobile • Cooperative learningFlexible use of time
    25. 25. Learning Environment Curriculum (State directives and school based programs) Summative evaluation KLA Content Assessment Outcomes What we teach Product Student What wePre-assessment expect Readiness Process students to do Talents/Interests How we teach or show Prior knowledge (Adapted from Oaksford and Jones, 2001)
    26. 26. Planning for differentiation Differentiation/ Assessment Intervention Strategies Orientating Phase Enhancing Phase Synthesising Phase
    27. 27. Passow’s Test of Appropriate Curriculum for the Gifted• Children should be introduced to materials and activities which would be beyond the capabilities of their age-peers of average ability.• Teachers should ask: – Would all students want to be involved in such learning experiences? – Could all students participate in such learning experiences? – Should all students be expected to succeed in such learning experiences. (Passow 1988)
    28. 28. Not More of the SAME!!XMOTS
    29. 29. • Comparing Classrooms • Student differences are masked or acted upon Student differences are studied as a basis for when problematic planning• Assessment is most common at the end of the • Assessment is ongoing and diagnostic to learning to see who “got it” understand how to make instruction more• A relatively narrow sense of intelligence prevails responsive to learner need• A single definition of excellence exists • Focus on multiple forms of intelligences is evident• Student interest is infrequently tapped • Excellence is defined in large measure by individual• growth from a starting point Relatively few learning profile options are taken into account • Students are frequently guided in making interest-• based learning choices Whole-class instruction dominates • Many instructional arrangements are used• Coverage of texts and curriculum guides drives instruction • Student readiness, interest and learning profile• shape instruction Mastery of facts and skills out of context are the focus of learning • Multi-option assessments are frequently used• Single option assignments are the norm • Time is used flexibly in accordance with student• need Time is relatively inflexible • Multiple materials are provided• A single test prevails • Multiple perspectives on ideas and events are• Single interpretation of ideas and events may be routinely sought sought • The teacher facilitates students’ skills at becoming• The teacher directs student behaviour more self-reliant learners• The teacher solves problems • Students help other students and the teacher solve• The teacher provides whole-class standards for problems grading • Students work with the teacher to establish both• A single form of assessment is often used whole-class and individual learning goals • Students are assessed in multiple ways Tomlinson, A (1999). The Differentiated Classroom: Responding to the Needs of all Learners (some chapters available online at, accessed 21 June 2004)
    30. 30. Elaborations• Not all students are alike.• Differentiated instruction applies an approach to teaching and learning so that students have multiple options for taking in information and making sense of ideas.• The model of differentiated instruction requires teachers to be flexible in their approach to teaching and adjusting the curriculum and presentation of information to learners rather than expecting students to modify themselves for the curriculum.• Classroom teaching should be a blend of whole-class, group and individual instruction.• Differentiated Instruction is a teaching theory based on the premise that instructional approaches should vary and be adapted in relation to individual and diverse students in classrooms.
    31. 31. Guidelines that make differentiation possible for teachers to attain:• Clarify key concepts and generalizations to ensure that all learners gain powerful understandings that serve as the foundation for future learning. Teachers are encouraged to identify essential concepts and instructional foci to ensure all learners comprehend.• Use assessment as a teaching tool to extend versus merely measure instruction. Assessment should occur before, during, and following the instructional episode, and help to pose questions regarding student needs and optimal learning.• Emphasize critical and creative thinking as a goal in lesson design. The tasks, activities, and procedures for students should require that students understand and apply meaning. Instruction may require supports, additional motivation, varied tasks, materials, or equipment for different students in the classroom.• Engaging all learners is essential. Teachers are encouraged to strive for development of lessons that are engaging and motivating for a diverse class of students. Vary tasks within instruction as well as across students. In other words, and entire session for students should not consist of all drill and practice, or any single structure or activity.• Provide a balance between teacher-assigned and student-selected tasks. A balanced working structure is optimal in a differentiated classroom. Based on pre-assessment information, the balance will vary from class-to-class as well as lesson-to-lesson. Teachers should assure that students have choices in their learning. (accessed 27 May 2004)
    32. 32. Print Resources• Braggett, E. (1994). Developing programs for gifted students: A total school approach. Highett, Vic.: Hawker Brownlow.• Braggett, E. (1997). Differentiated programs for primary schools: Units of work for gifted and talented students. Chelterham, Vic.: Hawker Brownlow.• Eyre, D & McClure, L. (2001). Curriculum provision for the gifted and talented in the primary school. London: David Fulton Publishers.• Heacox, D. (2002). Differentiating instruction in the regular classroom: How to reach and teach all learners, grades 3-12. Minneapolis: Free Spirit Publishing.• Renzulli, J. (1986). Systems and models for developing programs for the gifted and talented. Highett, Vic.:Hawker Brownlow• Renzulli, J. (1994). Schools for talent development: A practical plan for total school improvement. Chelterham, Vic.: Hawker Brownlow.
    33. 33. Links to Learn More About Differentiated Instruction• Differentiated Curriculum Information on The Learning Place contains definition, guidelines, frameworks and proformas for differentiated units as well as a range of practical strategies.• Guild, P.B., and Garger, S (1998). What Is Differentiated Instruction? Marching to Different Drummers 2nd Ed. (ASCD, p.2) Initially published in 1985, Marching to Different Drummers was one of the first sources to pull together information on what was a newly-flourishing topic in education. Part I defines style and looks at the history of style research; Part II describes applications of style in seven areas; Part III identifies common questions and discusses implementation and staff development.• Hall, Tracey. (2003). Differentiated Instruction.• Tomlinson, C.A., (1995). Differentiating instruction for advanced learners in the mixed-ability middle school classroom. ERIC Digest E536. The ability to differentiate instruction for middle school aged learners is a challenge. Responding to the diverse students needs found in inclusive, mixed-ability classrooms is particularly difficult. This digest provides an overview of some key principles for differentiating instruction, with an emphasis on the learning needs of academically advanced students.• Web Article: Mapping a route toward differentiated instruction. Carol Ann Tomlinson, an Associate Professor of Educational Leadership, Foundations and Policy at the Curry School of Education, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA provides an article entitled; Mapping a route toward differentiated instruction. Educational Leadership, 57,1.
    34. 34. Links to Learn More About Differentiated Instruction• The Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development (ASCD) Web site A site by ASCD (2000). which discusses differentiated instruction. Page links to other pages with examples from a high school* and elementary school*, key characteristics of a differentiated classroom, benefits, related readings, discussion, and related links to explore. *might be good to look at for case story ideas• Holloway, J.H., (2000). Preparing Teachers for Differentiated Instruction. Educational Leadership, 58 (1). This site is from an education course by Dr. John Durkin. It includes a diagram with suggestions for approaches to differentiated instruction. It also includes a listing of what differentiated instruction is and is not, rules of thumb on how to instruct, and management strategies.• Theroux, P. (2001). Enhance Learning with Technology. Differential Instruction. Theroux provides a thorough site on differential instruction for a Canadian school district. Provides links to teacher attitudes, learning strategies, teacher resources, integrating technology, integrating outcomes, exploring projects, sample lesson plans*, planning projects, thinking skills, developing Web pages, assessing, and tutorials.• Differentiated Instruction: Sources of Information A site with sources about differentiated instruction plus links to lesson plans for Elementary and Middle school, and a differentiated instruction lesson template.
    35. 35. Links to Learn More About Differentiated Instruction• Differentiating Instruction (accessed 1 April 2004)• Elements Integrated into Curricula (accessed 1 April 2004)• Partners in Enrichment: Preparing teachers for multiple classrooms (accessed 1 April 2004)• Selected ERIC Abstracts on Differentiated Instruction (accessed 1 April 2004)
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