As I prepare for the 2013-2014 school year, I am taking courses to attain my certification to teach Academically Gifted students. I will have an inclusion classroom next year with learners who have very diverse needs. I have had much training on how to support those learners who struggle with grade level material, but none on how to challenge and enrich those students who are working above grade level. I am really enjoying my gifted education classes because I am learning so much about how to differentiate for those students in my classroom.
According to Susan Prior in her article “Student Voice: What do students who are Intellectually Gifted Say they Experience and Need in the Inclusive Classroom?” as publishes in Gifted and Talented International, 26(1), August 2011 acceleration, enrichment, and homogeneous grouping lead to more successful learning than just one approach to differentiation.
The research also shows that a moderately gifted student learns eight times faster than an average student. This has me musing about planning for instruction for these gifted learners. I want to do more than enrich them, I want to challenge and accelerate their curriculum. We will be reading about five books this year in our class, but I am thinking that my gifted students may need more. As I plan my weekly and daily lessons, I will have to plan additionally for those students so that I am not holding them back. The above book may help, (image courtesy of Amazon.com) watch this space for more on how I will plan for my academically gifted students next year. I welcome your comments about the latest research, what works in your classroom, or resources.