How to support gifted students in your classroom
How do you identify, recognize, accept and utilize giftedness in your classroom? I am not currently in a classroom but I have learned so much in the last 8 weeks about gifted children and how to identify them.
First and most importantly it’s important that we don’t just depend on test scores as our only way to identify and recognize giftedness.
One way to begin finding gifted children in our classrooms is to focus on a range of behaviors that occur in the daily conversations, activities, and responses to learning in and around the classroom.
Also an important component in identifying our gifted students is consulting with parents at the beginning of the year. Studies show that about 80% of parents can identify their children's giftedness by ages four or five.
Ways that we should accept and utilize giftedness would be:
It’s important we maintain a warm and accepting classroom. Teach your students to embrace diversity and differences in people. I also think we should establish a noncompetitive and open classroom so students can advance at their own rate.
Gifted students don't want to feel different than their friends or singled out. So while we should celebrate their achievements sometimes doing so in front of the class can be embarrassing to them.
I'm a big believer in students teaching/leading the class in learning and discussions when possible. All students, high and low. The more they talk, the more they learn and learn from each other. Make sure your high kids get an equal opportunity to do so.
Gifted children can feel isolated. If possible, let them work with a partner who also is high and finishes their work quickly
Provide alternate and/or extension activities that are challenging for them but make sure it relates to the lesson and isn’t just extra work. Even allowing independent study can be very beneficial to the gifted student.
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