Meeting The Needs Of High Level Learners In Science


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Meeting The Needs Of High Level Learners In Science

  1. 1. Presented by Jacki Omland NSU Center for Statewide E-learning 2009 TIE Conference
  2. 2. Students at the greatest risk of learning the least in the classrooms may be those at the top range of ability. The needs of these students are often neglected because these students achieve acceptable standards on state assessments. High-level learners can create multiple connections and organize those connections in many different ways: they learn differently from their classmates.
  3. 3.  The High Achiever (The Technician) Knows the answers  Answers in detail  Performs at the top of the group  Learns with ease but may need some repetitions  Completes assignments on time  Is accurate and complete  Memorizes well  Is receptive  Enjoys the company of same age peers  Works hard to achieve  Enjoys school  Does well on standardized tests (Kingore) 
  4. 4.  The Gifted Learner (The Expert) Poses the questions  Ponders with depth and multiple perspective  Is beyond the group  Learns with ease and needs few repetitions  Completes assignments on time an initiates more  Is original  Guesses and infers well  Is intense  Enjoys the company of intellectual peers  Knows without working hard  Enjoys self-directed learning (Kingore) 
  5. 5.  The Creative Learner (The Inventor) See’s exceptions  Injects new possibilities  Is in own group  Questions the need for mastery  Initiates projects but may not complete them  Is original  Creates and brainstroms well  Is independent and unconventional  Enjoys working alone  Plays with ideas  Enjoys creating (Kingore) 
  6. 6.  They are like cream that rises to the top of a classroom (Characteristics and Behaviors )  They are so smart they do fine with or without special programs (Characteristics and Behaviors)  “Gifted students are a homogeneous group and need only one differentiated curriculum” (Callahan)  Gifted learners are always high achievers (Callahan)  All high-level learners do well on standardized tests
  7. 7.  Asking high-level learner to serve as tutor for students who are struggling (Davidson Institute)  Giving high-level learners more work when they finish early (Davidson Institute)  Only allowing high-level learners to move ahead when they can demonstrate 100% accuracy (Davidson Institute)  Assuming that high-level learners are learning because they achieve acceptable standards on assessments (Winebrenner)
  8. 8.  The High Achiever Puts a lot of stress of themself   The Gifted Learner Turned off by non-engaging classrooms   The Creative Learner Gets so involved in an idea that they miss other  pieces of information, forget simple tasks, and find it hard to complete tasks
  9. 9. Recent studies have shown that U.S. students scoring above the 90th percentile in mathematics and science are among those making the least progress in school.
  10. 10.  Familiarize yourself with the characteristics of high-level learners: a precocious ability to think abstractly, an ability to learn and process complex information very rapidly, and a need to explore subjects in depth (Davidson Institute)  Continually emphasize the interesting connections between science and the real world.  Science is all around us.
  11. 11.  High-level learners need materials that “truly challenge them and appropriately challenge them” (Zaccaro).  The instructional balancing act: creating appropriate challenges while reinforcing basic skills.  The practice of offering extra credit should be replaced with approaches that can motivate students to become enthusiastic learners (Winebrenner).
  12. 12.  Let go of normal! You will not harm a student by offering opportunities for advanced work (Davidson Institute)  Opportunities and materials for learning high-level, innovative mathematics and science should be readily available where students can work with peers of similar interests and abilities (NAGC). Here is where online courses come in. High-level  learners can engage in discussions with their intellectual peers.
  13. 13.  Audience can be a powerful factor in the learning experience of high-level Learners.  Use Web 2.0 tools and electronic learning environments to give students the opportunity to share their work with an audience of their peers.  Writing is an excellent tool for extending and deepening student understanding of mathematics (Brandenburg)
  14. 14.  “When children see that an area in which they excel is valued by those around them, their interest and passion for the subject can increase dramatically” (Zaccaro)  The teacher can make students feel that they have a gift that is to be treasured.
  15. 15. “Highly able children must have the opportunity  to work with children with similar abilities” (Zaccaro)  Consider distance learning opportunities: “online high school and college courses, including online AP classes, are a great way to substitute more challenging curriculum for students who demonstrate proficiency with grade level material (Davidson Institute)  “Every high school should offer high-level STEM classes such as Advanced Placement . . .” (NAGC)  Vertical teams of teachers should work together to prepare students for these classes (NAGC)
  16. 16.  “Formative assessment contributes to student ownership of learning more than any other class-room based practice” (Brookhart, Moss and Long).  Assessment with immediate feedback and the ability to learn from their mistakes is phenomenal.  Allow them to design and create. AP exams even allow this.
  17. 17.  “Many of our students with the greatest aptitudes are underachieving, languishing in repetitive, unchallenging classes” (NAGC)
  18. 18.  Brandenburg, M. L. (2002). Advanced math? Write!. Educational Leadership, 60(3), 67- 68.  Brookhart, S., Moss, C., & Long, B. (2008). Formative assessment that empowers. Educational Leadership, 66(3), 52-57.  Callahan, C. M. (2001). Beyond the gifted stereotype. Educational Leadership, 59(3), 42-46.
  19. 19.  Characteristics and behaviors of the gifted. The Rhode Island State Advisory Committee on Gifted and Talented Education. Retrieved April 14, 2009, from .  Davidson Institute for Talent Development (2003). Tips for teachers: Successful strategies for teaching gifted learners. Retrieved April 14, 2009, from http// rint_id-10075.aspx.
  20. 20. Kingore, B. (2004). Higher Achiever, Gifted  Learner, Creative Thinker. Retrieved April 08, 2009, from gt-create.htm.  Levy, S. (2008). The power of audience. Educational Leadership, 66(3), 75-79.  The STEM promise: Recognizing and developing talent and expanding opportunities for promising students of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (2008). National Association for Gifted Children Math/Science Task Force. Retrieved April 14, 2009, from
  21. 21.  Winebrenner, S. (2000). Gifted students need an education, too. Educational Leadership, 58(1), 52-56.  Zaccaro, E. (2006). The seven components of successful programs for mathematically gifted children. National Association for Gifted Children. Retrieved April 14, 2009, from