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SUCCESSFUL STRATEGIES FOR TEACHING GIFTED STUDENTS

It is estimated that students who are gifted and highly talented encompass 5 to 15% of a school age population and these students can have increased capabilities in academics, creativity, music, dance, art, and/or leadership. Gifted and talented students and those with high abilities need gifted education programs that will challenge them in regular classroom settings and accelerated programs to enable them to make continuous progress in school.

Gifted students are both boys and girls that come from all ethnic groups, they live in both rural and urban areas, students who are intellectually gifted demonstrate many characteristics, including, a precocious ability to think abstractly, an extreme need for constant mental stimulation, an ability to learn and process complex information very rapidly, and a need to explore subjects in depth. Students who demonstrate these characteristics learn differently thus have unique academic needs. The experience of the gifted child in intertwine, some choose to be successful given the constructs of the school and others choose to rebel but either ways a few simple changes to their academic experience can dramatically improve the quality of their lives.

You may or may not spot these gifts of student in the classroom or most likely the high achievers or straight-A students might be a little different, because a gifted learner’s brain processes information rapidly, and he or she often thinks in more sophisticated ways, so many standards meet, and so many things learnt, stretched in an infinite number of directions.

Although, the most challenging part generally isn’t the teaching; it is managing student behavior, the most difficult student in your classroom is generally the one who finishes every assignment in less than five minutes and requires constant redirection. Some schools and districts have substantial resources to identify and support giftedness, wherever it shows up. Some offer pull-out programs while others offer cluster grouping, in which gifted students are grouped in specific classes at each grade level.

Parents can be powerful partners in the education life of their kids as vocal advocates, parents need to be informed about the resources the teachers have and be encouraged to work with their child’s teachers on enrichment projects, sometimes parents have insights that can help teachers. For instance, gifted children may seem focused in class but come home and tell parents they are bored. These gifted students need less grade-level work, faster-paced lessons, deeper and more advanced content, and opportunities to work with other gifted students. They also require a different kind of interaction with the teacher, who must be less of a “sage on the stage” and more of a “guide on the side.”

Meeting the needs of gifted students does not need to be an all consuming task and one of the easiest ways to better understand how to provide challenging material is to conduct informal whole class assessments on a regular basis. For example, before beginning any unit, administer the end of the unit test and students who score above 80 percent should not be forced to “relearn” information they already know, rather, these students should be given parallel opportunities that are challenging. Consider offering these students the option to complete an independent project on the topic or to substitute another experience that would meet the objectives of the assignment, i.e. taking a college/distance course etc.

Children are gifted when their ability is significantly above the norm for their age. It may manifest in one or more domains such as: intellectual, creative, artistic, leadership, or in a specific academic field such as language arts, mathematics, or science.” An imaginary student will benefit from an assignment that he’s free to complete in a unique way but an intellectual student will prefer to investigate why certain areas of the world struggle with starvation rather than simply listing those areas.

When gifted students work together, they challenge themselves in an unexpected ways and they bounce ideas off one another and take a peer’s idea to a new place. They also learn that as smart as they are, they, too, must exert effort with challenging content and that they’ll sometimes fail along the way. That way they will need to work both in and out of their group and teachers and adults can provide a means for these grouping to go down well.

 

Article by Blessing Bassey

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