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Teaching Strategies for Underachievers

Special thanks to Dr. Linda Silverman and the Gifted Development Center @GiftedDevCenter for sharing the article, “Strategies for Teaching Underachievers” (pdf) which I drew from for the chat! A full transcript may be found here.

In answer to our first question, “What characterizes an underachiever?”; replies included that “underachievers tend to have underdeveloped sequencing skills & high spatial abilities”, their “obstinance often masks their inability to do the work rather than unwillingness”, those with “high spatial strengths have a sophisticated sense of humor & understand complex relations & systems” and they “can become a problem in mainstream classes. More likely to be referred for behaviour/LD”.

The discussion then turned to “Why do students underachieve?” Krissy Venosdale @venspired said that, ” Work presented to them is often not “deep” enough; shallow work becomes mundane; kids check out.” Susanne @Susannewith5 added, “boredom, perfectionism scaring them from WANTING to perform, a lack of work ethic, LD’s, disaffectedness” also are contributing factors.

For teaching strategies, please see the links below. Thank you to Leslie Graves for the Livebinder links.


Underachieving Gifted Students” Prezi by Rebecca Christensen

Assisting Underachieving Gifted Learners” (pdf)

How Can You Help Gifted Underachievers?” Victoria Butler

Using Peer Coaches to Explain and Tackle the Underachievement of Gifted Students

Why Class Size Matters

Tips for Teachers: Volume 1 Classroom Arrangement and Class Discussion” (YouTube)

Strategies for Students Gifted in ICT

Underachievement” from Duke TIP

Gifted Underachievement: The Who’s, What’s, Why’s and How You Can Help” Livebinder

Culturally Diverse Gifted Students” Livebinder

Family Dynamics Related to Underachievement” Livebinder

Social Emotional Needs of Gifted and Talented Students” Livebinder

Web Resources for Underachievement” Livebinder

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