Category Archives: Differentiation

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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Using Technology to Engage GT Students

gtchat 10102017 Ed Tech

Technology can be an excellent way to engage gifted students. They can use the Internet to link to more “knowledgeable peers and experts” and collaborate on projects. Online connections can assist GT students to locate mentors who can scaffold their learning.

Tech tools can help teachers differentiate for a wider range of abilities with increasingly sophisticated programs. Technology can provide platforms for students to advance at their own pace; utilize distance learning; and engage in independent study.

Research shows that gifted and talented students use tech to do creative and  social learning activities in the classroom. Teachers can look for small changes in student engagement; this will impact student achievement. If you notice attendance is up and students want to be in your classroom, it may be because they can use tech to demonstrate proficiency.

How can technology help 2E students (i.e., Asperger’s/EFD) be more engaged in school? Many twice-exceptional (2E) kids respond well to computer programming that eliminates emotion in instruction and provides patience in interactions. Also, they can use smartphones and tablets to organize schedules and assignments.

Parents can support the use of technology in their child’s school. A student’s  technology-rich life outside of the classroom can serve to support learning that goes on at school (Siegle, 2004). Students who do not have access to computers outside of school may fall behind academically (Neuman & Celano, 2006).

Check out the links below to see what technology was most liked by chat participants.  A transcript of this 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 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:

Technology and the Unseen World of Gifted Students (pdf 2004)

Using Technology in Gifted & Talented Education Classrooms: The Teachers’ Perspective (pdf)

High-Tech Teaching Success! A Guide to Using Innovative Tech in Your Classroom (Prufrock Press)

Giftedness and Technology

Help Gifted and Talented Students with Technology

Is classroom technology good for learning or wasting time?

Factors Affecting School Teachers’ Perceptions of Instructional Benefits of Digital Technology (pdf)

8 Ways to Use Technology to Engage Students Better 

Is Technology Helping or Harming My Students?

Handheld Technology in the Classroom: Respecting & Meeting the Needs of All Writers 

Helping Kids Get Organized Some Suggestions for Parents (pdf)

Learning in the 21st Century: How to Connect, Collaborate & Create (Amazon)

Personal Computers Help Gifted Students Work Smart (1990)

Strategies for the Tech-Savvy Classroom (Prufrock Press)

Explore the Garden (Edufest 2017)

Using the Schoolwide Enrichment Model with Technology (Amazon)

Tech Tools & Resources to Whet Your Appetite (Slideshare)

5 New Edtech tools for Teachers

Edmodo.com

Flipgrid.com

Cybraryman’s Tech Integration for the Gifted Page

Padlet.com

iPiccy: Leveraging Thought Bubbles to Differentiate Learning (YouTube 5:21)

Wonderopolis An excellent website to support reading, writing, and curiosity (YouTube 4:20)

Shazam: Writing techniques using technology (YouTube 1:05:03)

Using Word Clouds 21st Century Gifted Students (YouTube 55:45)

Vocaroo.com

QRCode Monkey

ClassDojo.com

Aurasam.com

RemindHQ.com

Let’s Recap

Kahoot!

Doink.com

Kahn Academy

Learning Ally (2E)

Breakout EDU

Photo courtesy of Flickr   CC BY-NC 2.0

Graphic courtesy of Lisa Conrad

Making Critical Thinking Matter – Prioritizing Higher Order Instruction in a World of Constraints with Featured Guest, Colin Seale of thinkLaw

gtchat 08152017 Critical Thinking

This week on Global #gtchat Powered by TAGT our featured guest was Colin Seale, Esq. Colin is the Founder and CEO of thinkLaw, which helps educators teach critical thinking to all students through an award-winning, standards-aligned supplemental curriculum based on real-life legal cases and powerful & personalized professional development that helps educators apply critical thinking across grade levels and subject areas. thinkLaw partners with over 60 schools in 11 states as part of its revolutionary agenda to create a world where critical thinking is no longer a luxury good.

Colin and his team provided excellent information on the importance of teaching critical thinking in schools. Critical thinking is considered one of the most important 21st century skills. The days of viewing education as an information delivery service are gone. Students need to learn critical thinking as it is viewed as a ‘life skill’ necessary for success today.

“We are preparing students for entire industries that do not exist yet. Critical thinking cannot be a luxury good! It is the precursor to innovation. STEAM means zip if students can’t find, communicate, and solve real problems.”                                                                                                                                 ~ Colin Seale, Esq.

Innovative educators are realizing that learning ‘how to think’ trumps content every time. The world’s best education systems know that engaging students’ passions can tip the scales for learning. Colin explained, “[There has been a] paradigm shift: content vs. depth is a false choice. Start with powerful questions and motivate content acquisition.”

Why is it so hard to get today’s K-12 students to think deeply? K-12 students’ brains have been numbed by endless test prep and testing. Smart educators are just saying ‘NO’! Many students must endure hours, semesters, or even years of sitting in classes being required to relearn what they already know. Students think deeply about what they are passionate about. It’s time to tap into those passions! As Colin told us, “We rarely encourage risk-taking and too often punish mistakes. Freedom to fail = Freedom to think.”

Engineers tend to struggle analyzing poetry. We need to make critical thinking transferable across subject areas. From the earliest years in school, cross-curricular teaching strategies can achieve a valuable liberal arts education. ‘Critical thinking’ should never rely on a single approach or methodology. Creative teaching is essential. Regarding professional development , Colin said, “it must be personalized and practical so teachers can apply it immediately. Otherwise, it’s just eye candy. Creativity, communication and collaboration must be embedded within all critical thinking activities.”

gtchat 08152017 Critical Thinking TL graphic

Content knowledge is much easier to assess than critical thinking skills. Colin suggests, “Just like GT testing, critical thinking assessment is best when it’s authentic and varied. Tie it to meaningful activities!” It should cover problem interpretation, inference, analysis explanation and evaluation skills. Critical thinking assessment tools take time to produce; worksheets and standardized testing need to be replaced.

“The crux of critical thinking assessment is students supporting their thinking with sound reasoning.” ~ Sarah Pfeiler, thinkLaw Team

Finally, we discussed practical methods and tools teachers can use to focus on critical thinking more regularly. Early on, teachers need to impress on students that there can be multiple solutions to problems; seek the best. Even very young students can be taught introspective skills; how does ‘what I know or believe’ affect decisions. Colin added, “Students who care about the problems they solve will persevere through the problem-solving process!” A transcript of this chat may be found at Storify.

gtchat 08152017 Critical Thinking TL graphic 2

 

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 Noon NZST/10 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:

Free Sample Lesson Download for #gtchat Participants

thinkLaw (Twitter)

The thinkLaw Team

thinkLaw (Facebook)

Silence is Not an Option: The Educators’ Call to Action #Charlottesville

6 Critical Thinking Questions for Any Situation

3 Tips for Helping All Students Become 21st Century Communicators

Critical Thinking Should Not Be a Luxury: 3 Strategies for Unleashing the Potential of Every Student

Three Tools for Teaching Critical Thinking and Problem Solving Skills

5 Questions Principals Should Ask to Assess Critical Thinking Instruction in Teacher Observations

3 Strategies for Increasing Student Voice in Your Classroom

Thinking Like a Lawyer: Powerful Strategies to Teach Critical Thinking to All Students (webinar)

Cybraryman’s Questioning Techniques Page

Cybraryman’s Critical Thinking Page

FlexFridays Take Learning Beyond the Classroom

Photo and logo courtesy of ThinkLaw.

Graphic courtesy of Lisa Conrad.

Meeting the Needs of GT Students at the Secondary Level

gtchat 07182017 Secondary

In many school districts, the end of elementary school also signals the end of gifted programming as well. However, giftedness has been documented as existing across the lifespan. Mistakenly, too many in education have been slow to realize the significance of this or ignore it altogether.

What are the main obstacles to continuing GT programming at the secondary level? Most secondary GT programs are fed through existing primary programs; poor identification and lack of options weaken viability. GT programming must be supported by strong advocacy from faculty and administrators; sadly, something too often missing. Secondary scheduling, too, can be difficult for any student when so many factors are involved – available classes, faculty and facilities.

There are some innovative ways to include gifted classes in middle and high schools. Innovation needs to be based on acceptance that gifted classes should be demonstrably different from general education. Middle and high school GT classes reap the greatest benefit in standalone programming; both academically and social-emotionally.

How do you approach middle/high school students who weren’t challenged at elementary level? Teachers and parents shouldn’t shy away from providing remedial   or special skills classes to catch up GT students in specific areas. Professional development should be offered to teachers on identifying underachievers and/or 2E students.

What gets included in a GT student’s schedule should balance academics with passions; including the Arts. Students, parents and school personnel can make the best decisions when lines of communication are fully open.

Academic competitions can supplement a GT student’s schedule, but shouldn’t be considered a replacement. Many GT students love and thrive in academic competitions with intellectual peers; but it isn’t GT programming. For some of these students who lack a competitive spirit, it isn’t an answer at all.

Mentorships, internships and research projects can enhance GT programming, but not sufficient as standalone options. GT HS students should be engaged in college-level pursuits with adequate supports to ensure success. A transcript of the 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 Tuesdays at 8E/7C/6M/5P in the U.S. and Wednesdays at Noon NZST/10 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:

Uppervention: Meeting the Needs of Gifted & Talented Students

Meeting Needs of G&T Students: Case Study of Virtual Learning Lab in Rural Middle School (pdf)

Services for Secondary Students Who are Gifted Questions & Answers (pdf)

Tips for Teachers: Successful Strategies for Teaching Gifted Learners

Mentorship & Gifted Youth

The Myth of Gifted Curriculum: Rethinking Bloom’s Taxonomy (p. 6, pdf)

UK: Policy for Meeting the Needs of the Most Able, Gifted & Talented Boys (pdf)

Meeting the Needs of Gifted & Talented Students (Book Depository)

Attitudes of AP Teachers Meeting 21st Century Critical Thinking Needs of GT Secondary Students (pdf)

AP & IB Programs: A “Fit” for Gifted Learners?

2 Wrongs Don’t Make a Right: Sacrificing Needs of GT Ss Doesn’t Solve Society’s Unsolved Problems (pdf)

Educating Gifted Students in Middle School: A Practical Guide

How Are Districts Meeting the Needs of Gifted Students?

TX: GT Teacher Toolkit II Resources for teachers of G/T, AP and Pre-AP Classes

Placement in Talent Development (2000)

UT High School Professional Development

Cybraryman’s Multiple Intelligences and Multipotentiality Page

Cybraryman’s Growth Mindset Page

Do you have a Book to Share?

Photo courtesy of Pixabay    CC0 Public Domain

Graphic courtesy of Lisa Conrad.

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