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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:


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.

#gtchat : Curriculum Differentiation



Our chat on ‘Curriculum Differentiation’ began by discussing what differentiation was and noted that differentiation can be based on students, curriculum, instruction or learning environment. (Kaplan) You can differentiate where, content, resources and product. (Byrdseed Gifted) The transcript may be found here.

Special thanks goes to Leslie Graves for her substantial contribution of pertinent links to this chat to add to those provided by the moderator. Teachers will find these links a great resource in learning about differentiation for gifted students.


Differentiation of Instruction From @HoagiesGifted 

The Concept of Differentiation (Tempo – TAGT)

Four Ways to Differentiate Objectives From @Byrdseed Gifted 

The Differentiator From @Byrdseed Gifted 

Strategies for Differentiating Instruction: Best Practices for the Classroom  (Amazon)

Teaching Gifted Kids in Today’s Classroom: Strategies and Techniques Every Teacher Can Use  (Amazon)

Twice Exceptional/Twice Successful: Back to School Strategies that Work  (SENG)

Developing Mathematical Talent: They Don’t Have to Be Bored to Tears Ann Lupkowski-Shoplik (pdf -CMU)

How The Gifted Brain Learns (Sousa)  (Amazon)

Tips for Parents: The Gifted Brain & Learning: At Home and at School

Differentiation of Curriculum and Instruction 

Practical Strategies For the Classroom Part I: Pre-assessment (pdf)

Teachers: Practical Strategies for the Classroom, Part 2: Content, Process, Product (pdf)

Dare to Differentiate

Gifted & Talented and Differentiated Instruction

Differentiation for High Ability Learners

Group Work

Differentiated Instruction from @cybraryman1

Differentiating Instruction to Promote Rigor and Engagement for Advanced and Gifted Students (Kingore)

Differentiating Instruction For Advanced Learners In the Mixed-Ability Middle School Classroom

Helping Gifted Kids Soar (pdf)

Differentiated Instruction Activities

Books by Laurie Westphal

Implementing Curriculum Compacting and Type III Studies to Reverse Underachievement

Universal Themes and Generalizations


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