How do you challenge your gifted students?

Discussion in 'Elementary Education' started by RedStripey, Aug 26, 2013.

  1. RedStripey

    RedStripey Comrade

    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2013
    Messages:
    287
    Likes Received:
    1

    Aug 26, 2013

    This was definitely something that I struggled with during student teaching and I've had trouble answering this question in interviews. I know it is something that I will have to deal with when I get my own classroom so I would love to hear strategies from experienced elementary teachers. Thank you in advance!

    (Mods-I posted this on the elementary education board because that is my cert. area but feel free to move it if you feel it belongs on another board!)
     
  2.  
  3. KinderCowgirl

    KinderCowgirl Phenom

    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2006
    Messages:
    4,858
    Likes Received:
    0

    Aug 26, 2013

    There are several resources I would recommend to give you some ideas. One is:

    http://www.byrdseed.com/ -he used to teach middle school, but I've used many of his ideas on an elementary level.

    The other is: http://engagetheirminds.wordpress.com/ -she does pull-outs with different grade levels and often has suggestions of videos/technology to use with them.

    Basically you trying to have them go deeper into their objectives-making connections. It also helps if they have an interest they are excited about, to incorporate that.
     
  4. queenie

    queenie Groupie

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2008
    Messages:
    1,392
    Likes Received:
    0

    Aug 27, 2013

    I use something I call STAR Club (Students Taking an Active Role)- I got the idea from another teacher. I have a big list of like 140 "challenges" the kids can try to meet. The challenges involve a broad spectrum of subjects and skills. Students choose a challenge, do the needed research (or activity), then share it with me at recess or PAT Time to get credit for it. This is optional for any student who wishes to participate.

    I also provide links to challenge games on websites for students to investigate.

    Additionally, I allow students to work alone or with partners to learn about a topic through research and prepare a presentation to share with the rest of the class.

    Also, within each objective, I encourage students to go a little further. For example, a student who is writing a full paragraph and doing it very well will be encouraged to try a three paragraph narrative. A student who has mastered addition and subtraction might be encouraged to begin multiplication, etc.
     
  5. Curiouscat

    Curiouscat Comrade

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2011
    Messages:
    467
    Likes Received:
    0

    Aug 27, 2013

    I usually ask the students what they are interested in or would like to explore. We then come up with a plan. I try to stretch them a little further when we create the plan. For example, the student might wish to research a topic and write a report. I might encourage them to come up with a more creative way to present their research.
     
  6. Tyler B.

    Tyler B. Groupie

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2012
    Messages:
    1,288
    Likes Received:
    455

    Aug 27, 2013

    I'm getting some good ideas. Typically I do 5 things:

    - Never tell them something they already know. This means they frequently deliver the point of the lesson we're doing.

    - Never hand them something where they fill in the blank and they're done. This means most of the assignments involve writing out their thoughts/conclusions and so forth.

    - Never have them practice something they already know. This means I'll give them an assignment that is parallel to what the rest of the class is doing, but goes deeper or in a different direction.

    - Try to make their assignments connected to the real world. For example, a gifted student might research a topic, compose a persuasive letter and attempt to publish it.

    - Keep their parents informed so they won't bug you.
     
  7. RedStripey

    RedStripey Comrade

    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2013
    Messages:
    287
    Likes Received:
    1

    Sep 6, 2013

    Thanks everyone! I student taught in K and there were kids who were reading and doing math on a 3rd grade level, and were so bored! I didn't know how to challenge them! And my CT had a lot of other issues going on so she didn't really challenge them either.

    I would have them help other students and give them 3rd grade worksheets but I know that wasn't enough. And I don't really think gifted students should be forced to be "tutors" unless they want to be. But you all shared great ideas. I will put them in my back pocket ;)
     
  8. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

    Joined:
    May 13, 2005
    Messages:
    29,706
    Likes Received:
    1,122

    Sep 6, 2013

    In primary grades, it can be difficult to distinguish the truly gifted kid from the high achiever, and that's why some local education authorities (LEAs) don't launch programs for these kids till they get older. Both the high achiever and the gifted kid may read and do math precociously, but the high achiever is faster than other kids but along the same trajectory - mastering multiplication, once shown how, for example - while the gifted kid is the one who figures out that multiplication must exist and bugs you to explain it, or who regularly makes startling mental connections. Giving gifted kids worksheets from several grades ahead doesn't always work - for one thing, what will they do when they get to that grade? For another, they often need "deeper" more than they need "broader".
     
  9. DrivingPigeon

    DrivingPigeon Phenom

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2008
    Messages:
    4,212
    Likes Received:
    8

    Sep 6, 2013

    Most of my academic routines are easy to differentiate:
    -Daily 5/Guided reading/CAFE: Kids are doing work at their own level, and working on reading strategies that are specific to their individual needs.
    -Spelling: Words Their Way allows me to have flexible spelling groups.
    -Writer's Workshop: The whole-group mini-lesson is something that all students can benefit from. Students write to the best of their ability, and I meet with small strategy groups.
    -Math Workshop: I meet with students in ability-based groups, and the work they do is at their ability level.

    My whole-group lessons for ELA and math are "mini," and are focused on 2nd-grade skills. I throw in extra support and deeper-thinking questions as needed. Since the lessons are short, I don't feel that I'm "wasting" the time of my higher students, or that they are bored. I should also add that I do not have any "gifted" students in my classroom. All of the GT kids are in another classroom, but I do have kids that are performing well above grade level.
     
  10. KinderCowgirl

    KinderCowgirl Phenom

    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2006
    Messages:
    4,858
    Likes Received:
    0

    Sep 6, 2013

    That's one of my pet peeves and it's one of the reasons so many bright students get so frustrated with school. I actually worked with someone once who called it peer tutoring-she had one student go around and help everyone else all day long. They should be learning something new too.

    As TG said teaching them harder stuff isn't necessarily what they need either. You need to go deeper into the curriculum for them. The suggestion of tying their work to real-world situations I agree with as well.
     
  11. RedStripey

    RedStripey Comrade

    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2013
    Messages:
    287
    Likes Received:
    1

    Sep 6, 2013

    Well like I said I knew that wasn't really right/enough but no one properly showed me how to challenge students like that so I didn't know any better. But I would like to know for the future so I don't have bored kids in my class and can challenge them properly :thumb:

    You've all been so helpful, thank you so much!!!
     
  12. Rabbitt

    Rabbitt Connoisseur

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2007
    Messages:
    1,881
    Likes Received:
    106

    Sep 6, 2013

    Besides what everyone has said, use mind games like chess and SUDOKO.
     

Share This Page

Members Online Now

  1. CaliforniaRPCV
Total: 287 (members: 1, guests: 269, robots: 17)
test