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Innovative Curriculum in the Gifted Classroom


An innovative curriculum for GT students offers a high degree of flexibility; scaffolding which is layered with options for students to choose from that may or may not need extra support. It combines tiered options, curriculum compacting, menus, and a myriad of differentiation tools. It will include pre-assessments, student voice and choice, provide multiple ways to demonstrate mastery and cross-curricular activities, and resources beyond the standard textbooks. An innovative curriculum involves complexity, acceleration, Socratic learning, research opportunities, a technology enhanced curriculum, problem-based learning, and concept development.

How do Gifted Curriculum Models differ from curriculum in the General Ed classroom? Differences between gifted curriculum and general ed curriculum involve challenge vs repetition and remediation. While general ed classrooms are often about managing behaviors, GT classrooms are facilitating growth. Gifted curriculum will favor intrinsic vs extrinsic reward programs.

Why don’t more schools offer advanced curriculum in reading & math for GT students? The lack of advance curriculum in reading and math for GT students begins with misperceptions about GT students and their education. Lack of funding and policies about gifted education that lack mandates often limit the amount of resources available for advanced curriculum. Lack of teacher training can also limit availability of advanced reading and math curriculum for GT students.

Failure to offer and innovative gifted curriculum can lead to lack of growth which is evident on many standardized tests scores for the highest performing students year over year. When GT students are not challenged by their curriculum they can become disengaged, have behavioral issues, and ultimately become underachievers.

What strategies can teachers use to match curriculum to a student’s interest and ability? Student-centered curriculum that takes into account students’ interests and educational needs can engage students and allow them to take responsibility for their own learning. Independent study is another way to harness student interests and match those interests to the curriculum. Differentiating the curriculum to address a student’s rate, pace and depth of learning is a good way to match the curriculum to the student. An accelerated curriculum which encourages students to work towards a level of learning at which they are challenged fosters a sense of learning for its own sake.

Many resources can be found via state education online sites. Most state gifted organizations as well as national ones provide curriculum resources for a gifted curriculum. Universities which offer gifted resources or have dedicated gifted centers also are good sources of information on gifted curriculum.

A transcript of the chat may be found at Wakelet.

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 2PM NZDT/Noon AEDT/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 Wakelet. 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.

Lisa Conrad 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:


Focus of the Gifted Curriculum (chart)

4 Ways Schools Help or Hinder Gifted Students

Edison School of Innovation: Gifted and Talented Education Scope and Sequence 2019-2020

Practical Recommendations and Interventions: Gifted Students (pdf)

ASCD: Six Strategies for Challenging Gifted Learners via

Inspiring Gifted and Creative Students

Developing Creativity in the Classroom: Learning and Innovation for 21st-Century Schools (aff. link)

Educating for Creativity and Innovation: A Comprehensive Guide for Research-Based Practice (aff. link)

Creativity and Innovation: Theory, Research, and Practice (aff. link)

Gifted Resources: Curriculum

Curriculum for High Ability Learners: Issues, Trends and Practices (book)

NAGC: 2019 PreK – Grade 12 Gifted Programming Standards (pdf)

Applied Practice for Educators of Gifted and Able Learners

Creating Strong Kids Through Writing: 30-Minute Lessons That Build Empathy, Self-Awareness, and Social-Emotional Understanding in Grades 4-8 (aff. link)

Curriculum Enrichment Resources

Curriculum for Gifted and Talented Students (book)

Quality Curriculum and Instruction for Highly Able Students

Making Number Talks Matter: Developing Mathematical Practices and Deepening Understanding, Grades 3-10 (book)

Center for Gifted Education at the College of William and Mary’s English Language Arts Curriculum

Resource List from A Nation Empowered: Resources for Parents and Educators (pdf)

“A Nation Empowered” with guest, Dr. Ann Shoplik

50 Tips, Tricks and Ideas for Teaching Gifted Students

Challenge Your Top Students: 10 Ways to Meet the Needs of Your Advanced Learners and Help the Rest of Your class, Too!

How to Design Learning Experiences for Gifted Students

MCPS Gifted Education Resource Collection 2019 – 2020 Materials for High Ability Students (pdf)

Cybraryman’s Genius Hour Page

Cybraryman’s Risk-taking and Innovation Page

Disclaimer: Some resources include affiliate links.

Image courtesy of Pixabay Pixabay License

Graphic courtesy of Lisa Conrad.



Educating Gifted Students for Global Competence

gtchat 08292017 Global

Global competence is not a subject often talked about in gifted circles, but it is widely discussed in the greater education community. Gifted and talented students need to be front and center in understanding the significance of becoming leaders on the global stage.

How exactly do we define global competence? It is the having the capacity and disposition to understand and act on issues of global significance. Global competence is the acknowledgment that the world is qualitatively different from the industrial age and our educational systems must change in response to new challenges.

Many problems in our world today would benefit from having globally competent students. Climate instability is driving migration and immigration necessitating the need for global environmental stewardship. The digital revolution is triggering new concerns about cyber-security which require a new kind of graduate. How global markets operate, transnational production and social interactions demand a new approach to education.

What characteristics of gifted students make them well-suited for success in a global age? They are often deep thinkers who can understand & solve emerging global problems. Many gifted students are empathic to diverse perspectives and act toward the common good. They often have the ability to thoughtfully and respectfully articulate their position.

There are obstacles to changing the focus of instruction in today’s schools. Policymakers are rarely prepared to seriously and effectively think about education for a truly global era. There is a deep distrust of education in many places that attempts to transcend borders. Few people seem prepared to take into consideration cultures, values or priorities of nations different from their own.

What does quality instruction for global competence look like? First, it identifies engaging topics of local and global significance. Quality instruction must use global competence-centered assessments and focus on outcomes.

In the future, globally competent students will be able to use big ideas, tools, methods and languages in any discipline to solve pressing issues. They can recognize multiple perspectives, communicate effectively & take action to improve conditions. A transcript of this week’s chat can be found at 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 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:


Educating for Global Competence: Learning Redefined for an Interconnected World (pdf)

Mastering Global Literacy Contemporary Perspectives on Literacy (Amazon)

Global Competence Aptitude Assessment

Connected Courses Active Co-Learning in Higher Ed

Skype in the Classroom

SENG Connect

Kathy Schrock’s Guide to Everything Twitter for Teachers

The Global Education Toolkit for Elementary Learners (Amazon)

Most Likely to Succeed: Preparing Our Kids for the Innovation Era (Amazon)

An Attainable Global Perspective (pdf 1976)

EU: European Strategy (Maastricht Global Education Declaration) (pdf)

Educating for Global Competence: Preparing Our Youth to Engage the World

Education for Global Leadership (pdf)

How Education Changes: Considerations of History, Science & Values (pdf Gardner)

Education for Citizenship in an Era of Global Connection (pdf)

Five Minds for the Future (Amazon)

Learning in the Global Era (pdf)

Veronica Boix Mansilla – Global Competence (YouTube 12:11)

The Global Classroom Project

Global Education Conference

Cure What Ails You: A Dose of Twitter for Every Day

Connecting Your Students with the World: Tools and Projects to Make Global Collaboration Come Alive, K-8 (Amazon)

Photo courtesy of Pixabay  CC0 Creative Commons

Graphic courtesy of Lisa Conrad.

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