Category Archives: Differentiation

Ability Grouping and Self-Esteem of Gifted Students

gtchat 02082018 Ability

Ability grouping is often a topic of discussion in the gifted community, but this week at #gtchat we expanded the discussion to include whether ability grouping can affect a gifted student’s self-esteem. Ability grouping can be a boost to a gifted student’s self-esteem by reducing exposure to bullying, name calling, and feeling like they are loners. It aids in placing highly-abled students together where cooperative and collaborative work result in mutual respect in pride in results. A shared workload with peers improves  a student’s belief in their contribution.

We group athletes and musicians without charges of elitism; why not high-ability students? It is sometimes beyond belief that society is so accepting of the benefits of ability grouping in sports and the arts; yet expresses such anathema towards academic grouping. We can be born to be anything except intellectually gifted. In the court of public opinion, the gifted community must take the high road – look for ways to improve identification, define what being gifted is and isn’t; then, focus on self-care for our kids.

Grouping can take many different forms and look very different in elementary school than it does at the secondary level. Grouping strategies should be tested and adapted to specific situations when necessary. It may be strictly tracking (secondary) in some instances when student choice dictates a specific career path. Grouping can consist of cluster grouping in inclusive classrooms and flexible grouping when called for. Small group rotations in the elementary classroom can allow teachers to differentiate the curriculum and spend time with groups who need the most intervention while allowing others more independence.

Teachers should be flexible in their approach to grouping; willing to change and tweak what might not be working. They should consider that needs of all students to see what works best. Effective grouping can ensure success across the intellectual spectrum; presenting challenge at the appropriate level. Teaching how to work in a group should be the first step when introducing grouping. Assessment of a student’s work should reflect each individual’s contribution; traditional grading methods may not work.

Can ability grouping be used to promote equity in high-ability tracks? States with a larger percentage of 8th grade students tracked in math had a larger percentage of high-scoring AP students four years later. Heightened AP performance held across racial subgroups—white, black & Hispanic. Equity has a better chance to occur when the ‘human’ factor is reduced within the identification process; reliance on universal screening is better.

It’s important that grouping not be used to replace gifted programming. It should be considered simply another tool in the classroom teacher’s toolbox; a different strategy to be used to meet students’ needs. Grouping should be considered in addition to other strategies as part of the student’s total educational plan. Students have different strengths and often challenges which need to be met with a variety of options. A transcript of the chat can be found at Storify.

Global #gtchat Powered by the Texas Association for the Gifted and Talented  is a weekly chat on Twitter. Join us Thursdays at 8E/7C/6M/5P in the U.S. and Fridays at 2 PM NZST/Noon AEST/1 AM UK  to discuss current topics in the gifted community and meet experts in the field. Transcripts of our weekly chats can be found at Storify. Our Facebook Page provides information on the chat and news and information regarding the gifted community. Also, checkout our Pinterest Page and Playlist on YouTube.

Head Shot 2014-07-14  About the authorLisa Conrad is the Moderator of Global #gtchat Powered by TAGT and Social Media Manager of the Global #gtchat Community. She is a longtime  advocate for gifted children and also blogs at  Gifted Parenting Support. Lisa can be contacted at: gtchatmod@gmail.com

Links:

How “Tracking” Can Actually Help Disadvantaged Students

Education for Upward Mobility – Tracking in Middle School: A Surprising Ally in the Pursuit of Equity? (pdf)

Gifted Students Are Unnecessarily Sacrificed (2017)

Ability Grouping Is Not Just Tracking Anymore (pdf 2003)

UK: What are the effects of ability grouping on GCSE attainment? (pdf 2005)

AUS: Effects of Socioeconomic Status, Class Size and Ability Grouping on Science Achievement (2013)

Ability Grouping Effects on Academic Achievement and Self-Esteem: Who Performs in the Long Run as Expected (pdf)

Effects of Ability Grouping on Math Achievement of Third Grade Students (pdf)

Raising Standards: Is Ability Grouping the Answer?

Ability Grouping Presentation Notes (pdf 2012)

NZ: Raising the Bar with Flexible Grouping (2017)

Ability Grouping (Slide Player)

Tracking and Ability Grouping (SlideShare)

Flexible Groupings

Grouping without Fear: Effective Use of Groups in Classrooms (SlideShare)

Grouping Gifted Children

Ability Grouping – Has its Time Returned?

Effective Grouping of Gifted Students 

2016 Brown Center Report on American Education Part 2: Tracking and Advanced Placement

The Resurgence of Ability Grouping and Persistence of Tracking

Should Schools Rethink Reluctance to Track Students by Ability?

In Search of Reality: Unraveling Myths about Tracking, Ability Grouping & the Gifted (pdf)

Grouping the Gifted: Myths and Realities (pdf)

Sprite’s Site: Columbus Cheetah, Myth Buster – Myth 6

Sprite’s Site: Belonging – A Place of Sanctuary

Sprite’s Site: Brown Brogues

Clipart courtesy of Clipart Library

Graphic courtesy of Lisa Conrad.

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The Inconvenient Student

gtchat 12142017 Inconvenient

The twice-exceptional student has long been seen as the ‘inconvenient’ student by many educators since the term was first introduced into our educational vernacular. But who exactly is the twice-exceptional … sometimes referred to as 2E … student? This week’s guest on #gtchat, Dr. Mike Postma, recently wrote a book addressing this often misunderstood population. The Inconvenient Student (sample pages here as pdf) provides parents and educators with a unique perspective rarely seen in 2E literature … a view from the educator.

Dr. Postma is an educator, parent of 2E children and the Executive Director of SENG. His credentials lend an insight into twice-exceptionality that has been missing, but sorely needed by those touched by the lives of these extraordinary kids. We appreciate Mike taking time out from his busy schedule to chat with us.

So, how should we define twice-exceptionality in educational terms and should we even try? Within the same child can reside high intellectual ability and mental health challenges. Either may mask the other. “Twice-exceptional (2e) individuals evidence exceptional ability and disability which results in a unique set of circumstances.” (K. Dickson in The Inconvenient Student, p. 20) According to Dr. Postma, “There are a number of definitions but the essence is that 2e persons have dual exceptionalities.” Carol Raymond, M.Ed., of EA Young Academy in Texas, reminded us of the importance of the ADA and its implications for the twice-exceptional student; specifically, “The ultimate outcome of an individual’s efforts should not undermine a claim of disability.”

There are characteristics teachers should look for if they suspect a student may be twice-exceptional. 2E students often exhibit a ‘disconnect’ between performance and ability. Look for discrepancies. Asynchronous development will make assessment more challenging; all avenues should be pursued because there may be multiple disabilities and abilities.

“Teachers should be looking for a number of things: flashes of brilliance, high intensities, evidence of creative thinking and problem solving, discrepancy data on formalized assessments, inconsistent performance…to name just a few.  I have yet to meet a 2e child that is exactly similar to another … all present unique profiles and thus require unique accommodations…however, there are patterns that can be detected by the astute teacher.” ~ Dr. Mike Postma

What are some successful strategies for teaching 2E students in the classroom? Always seek first to nurture strengths before accommodating disabilities. An effort should be made to identify the exact abilities and disabilities before determining specific interventions.   Use a combination of simultaneous supports – gifted intervention with OT or support personnel.

“In hiring staff I always look for empathy first; an understanding of what it is to be a 2e student. Basic strategies include flexible teaching, teaching to strengths; first to assist in remediating areas of weakness, sensory awareness, use of depth, breadth, and complexity. 2E kids need extra time for tests and assignments … they tend to be slow processors.” ~ Dr. Mike Postma

Strengths and weaknesses can present differently in 2E kids. Children with intellectual disabilities will not present the same as gifted children who also have intellectual challenges. Intellectual ability can sometimes compensate for the weaknesses and make identification harder.

“Adults need to understand the differences between misbehavior and brain function. In most cases, when a 2e child is acting out, the issue is a function of limbic delay or the limbic system being overwhelmed. At that point the child needs to reset in a safe environment. In addition, due to limbic delay, skills such as executive functioning, language development, emotional regulation are not present ‘in the moment’. Adults need to work on building these skills in 2e kids rather than punishing them for ‘overreacting’.” ~ Dr. Mike Postma

Finally, we explored the difference between underachievement and non-production. Mike explained, “There is a big difference. Underachievement is a psychological disorder that needs to be addressed by professionals while non-production (fairly common with g/t kids is a conscious decision not to do the work for a host of reasons: boring, busy work, low level. If a student can articulate why he or she will not due the work, that would be non-production whereas an underachiever will not be able to explain the issue.” A transcript of this chat may be found at Storify.

Global #gtchat Powered by the Texas Association for the Gifted and Talented  is a weekly chat on Twitter. Join us Thursdays at 8E/7C/6M/5P in the U.S. and Fridays at 2 PM NZST/Noon AEST/1 AM UK  to discuss current topics in the gifted community and meet experts in the field. Transcripts of our weekly chats can be found at Storify. Our Facebook Page provides information on the chat and news and information regarding the gifted community. Also, checkout our Pinterest Page and Playlist on YouTube.

Head Shot 2014-07-14  About the authorLisa Conrad is the Moderator of Global #gtchat Powered by TAGT and Social Media Manager of the Global #gtchat Community. She is a longtime  advocate for gifted children and also blogs at  Gifted Parenting Support. Lisa can be contacted at: gtchatmod@gmail.com

Links:

The Inconvenient Student Critical Issues in the Identification and Education of Twice-Exceptional Students (Amazon)

Critical Issues in the Identification of Gifted Students with Co-Existing Disabilities: The Twice-Exceptional (pdf)

Fundamentals of Gifted Education: Considering Multiple Perspectives (Amazon)

Identification of Gifted Students with Learning Disabilities in a Response-to-Intervention Era (pdf)

Identification and Assessment of Gifted Students with Learning Disabilities (pdf)

Supporting Twice-Exceptional Students in the Classroom (pdf)

Gifted and Dyslexic: How the Talent-centered Model Works

Introduction Supporting Twice Exceptional African American Students: Implications for Classroom Teaching (pdf)

Empirical Investigation of Twice Exceptionality: Where Have We Been and Where Are We Going? (pdf)

The Goldilocks Question: How to Support your 2e Child and Get it “Just Right” 

Is Executive Functioning the Missing Link for Many Gifted Students?

The Six Types of Gifted Child: The Twice-exceptional

Sprite’s Site: Gifted Under Achievers

Sprite’s Site: De Bono’s 6 Action Shoes 9: One Size Shoe Cover System

Sprite’s Site: New Shoes

Sprite’s Site: 2E Is

Sprite’s Site: What Makes Them 2E?

Cybraryman’s Twice-Exceptional Children Page

U.S. Department of Education: Parent and Educator Resource Guide to Section 504 in Public Elementary and Secondary Schools (pdf)

Graphic courtesy of Lisa Conrad.

Does Differentiation Work for Gifted Students?

gtchat 10172017 Differentiation

While differentiation may meet the needs of many students, there’s a unique pedagogy of differentiation appropriate for gifted students. (Kettler) Differentiation for gifted students may include pre-assessment, curriculum compacting, and modifying curriculum/instruction.

Is differentiation for high-ability students as effective as for other students? All learning should be individualized to some extent,  but not all gifted students will respond the same. The quality and type of differentiation can affect outcomes. Educators should be open to change when necessary.

There may be better ways to accommodate the needs of some gifted students. Differentiated  instruction is only one way to meet their needs. Gifted students may respond better with peer-grouping.  For highly or profoundly gifted students, it may not be possible to differentiate age-based curriculum enough to challenge them.

There are some common barriers to effective differentiation. They include believing how to differentiate and to assess are set in stone; the teacher is unable to deviate from the program. Looking at differentiation as an ‘add-on’ rather than integrating it can also be a barrier.

In order to implement differentiated instruction, teachers need to start slow –anchor activities to deepen students’ understanding of a concept; enrich skills you want them to acquire. Continue by offering more choice more often; reflect on progress;  and involve parents when implementing it.

What should be considered when using differentiated instruction?  Product (student choice) and content delivery must be taken into consideration when differentiating instruction. Consider the process: tiered activities, curriculum ladders, higher-level questioning and open-ended activities. Consider assessment as well as pace and depth which also contribute to high quality differentiated instruction. A transcript is available on our Storify page.

Global #gtchat Powered by the Texas Association for the Gifted and Talented  is a weekly chat on Twitter. Join us Tuesdays at 8E/7C/6M/5P in the U.S. and Wednesdays at 1 PM NZST/11 AM AEST/1 AM UK  to discuss current topics in the gifted community and meet experts in the field. Transcripts of our weekly chats can be found at Storify. Our Facebook Page provides information on the chat and news & information regarding the gifted community. Also, checkout our Pinterest Page and Playlist on YouTube.

Head Shot 2014-07-14  About the authorLisa Conrad is the Moderator of Global #gtchat Powered        by TAGT and Social Media Manager of the Global #gtchat Community. She is a longtime  advocate for gifted children and also blogs at  Gifted Parenting Support. Lisa can be contacted at: gtchatmod@gmail.com

Links:

Links:

The Pedagogy of Differentiation Moving from Strategies to Learning Design (pdf) (Kettler)

Why Differentiation Misses the Mark for Gifted Students

Using Differentiated Instruction for Gifted Learners

Defensible Differentiation: Why, What & How (pdf)

How to Differentiate Instruction in Academically Diverse Classrooms, 3rd Edition (Amazon)

Fair Isn’t Always Equal: Assessment & Grading in the Differentiated Classroom (Amazon)

Understanding Differentiated Instruction: Building a Foundation for Leadership (Book Chapter)

Teaching a Class with Big Ability Differences

18 Teacher-Tested Strategies for Differentiated Instruction

Compacting Contract (pdf)

A Starter Kit for Differentiated Instruction

Differentiation for Gifted

Leading Differentiation

Helping Gifted Kids Soar (pdf)

Sprite’s Site – De Bono’s 6 Action Shoes 9: One Size Shoe Cover System

Cybraryman’s Differentiated Instruction

Culturally Responsive Classrooms: Affirming Culturally Different Gifted Students (pdf)

Underrepresentation of High-Achieving Students of Color in Gifted Programs

Racial Bias in Gifted and Talented Placement, and What to Do about It

Pic courtesy of Pixabay  CC0 Creative Commons

Graphic courtesy of Lisa Conrad

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