Enrichment for Gifted Learners in a General Education Classroom

After spending 14 years in a general education classroom, I became a Gifted Intervention Specialist. I thought I understood “gifted” and what was best… after being immersed into a room with gifted 3rd and 4th graders all day for the past few years, I’ve come to discover that what I thought I knew before was hardly enough! Our gifted population is as diverse as the other end of the spectrum. One “label” does not fit all…  But who likes labels anyway?!

So now that I’m not in a general education classroom, I really understand the dilemma from the gifted point of view. We as educators spend so much time supporting and developing struggling students (because those all important test scores push it) and it is pretty much impossible to get to the opposite end.  Thankfully good solid teaching practice is what is best. What isn’t is assuming that gifted learners will “figure it out” or “already know how to do” something. Teachers still need to be intentional when meeting the needs of their gifted students.

With that in mind, I’ve climbed on my soapbox about dispelling myths and serving gifted students before, this time I’m focusing on little things that can be done to enrich gifted learners.  But first, a clarification between enrichment and acceleration:

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If acceleration is the goal, then investigate advancing a grade level or subject area. A 4th grade teacher is charged with teaching a 4th grade curriculum. While that teacher can supplement and expose students to 5th or 6th grade concepts, it is not their “expertise” area, nor their job. Teachers can enrich grade level curriculum in many ways.  Here is a presentation on some technology tips, tricks, and tools that can be used: Enrichment for Gifted Learners in a General Education Classroom.

 

 

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