The Middle School Years ~ Tweens to Teens

In this chat, we discussed both school and home strategies for dealing with gifted middle school kids. We learned that Ireland and Australia utilize a primary/secondary model and the U.S. uses both a Jr. High model and Middle School model. The Middle School model was originally intended to address the social-emotional needs of early adolescents through heterogeneous groups. It was noted that this does not aid gifted students in middle school. Homeschoolers present at that chat cited this as a major reason for homeschooling.

The moderator noted that middle schools need to understand the limitations inherent in cooperative learning for gifted students. School districts need to support teachers by providing them professional development in differentiation and individual strategies. They need to be open to flexible grouping based on ability. Enriching all students in a regular classroom is not equal to providing gifted students with an appropriate education.

Turning to what parents can do in the home, it was suggested that parents need to recognize peer influence and provide opportunities for gifted kids to get together outside of school. Middle school is often a time for making new friends and testing boundaries. Firm, but flexible is a good strategy. We need to understand that gifted tweens are under more stress to achieve and to compete during the middle school years.


Meeting the Needs of High Ability Learners in the Middle Grades

Academic Diversity in the Middle School (1995)

Educating Gifted Students in Middle School (2005)  (Amazon)

Inspiring Middle School Minds (2009) (Amazon)

Young, Gifted and Neglected

Gifted Learners and the Middle School: Problem or Promise?

Responding to the Needs of Middle Level Gifted Learners (pdf)

“Gifted Students Are Seldom Given What They Need” from Dr. Deborah Ruf.

Embracing Introversion: Ways to Stimulate Reserved Students in the Classroom

Cluster Grouping

Living the Life Fantastic (Blog)

Differentiated Instruction (from Cybraryman)


Posted on September 26, 2012, in Education, gifted, gifted and talented, gifted education, Teens and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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