ideas and Strategies for meeting the needs of the gifted Student
The following are a few teaching strategies for differentiation in the classroom. Click on the titles of the strategies to see examples.
The 6 Thinking Hats strategy requires students to look at a topic from a variety of perspectives. This works well with a small group discussion in which each student takes on the role of a different "hat".
Think-Tac-Toe (often referred to as a menu) allows students to make choices about their assignments and choose from options that appeal to their learning style and interests. The example provided here is for a novel, but could be adapted to any subject area.
Compacting curriculum: assess what the student already knows and what they need to learn, eliminate the unnecessary (what they already know), and fill the resulting free time with enrichment or accelerated study.
The icons are a series of pictures/symbols that represent levels of depth and complexity in one's thinking. By using these icons as guides, students delve deeper into their learning (depth) and explore the interconnectedness of the content to other content (complexity).
Tiered instruction: provide several choices of assignments that progress from basic to challenging, and steer gifted students towards the more challenging choice. The example provided is for a social studies class studying the 54th Regiment in the Civil War and watching the film Glory.
Inquiry based learning allows students to investigate a topic in a structured and methodical manner. They develop a question that interests them and then set out to answer it through research.
Habits of Mind: sixteen "habits" of effective thinking and problem solving. Incorporating these habits into daily lessons and discussions can help students become thoughtful problem solvers.
This article from the Davidson Institute for Talent Development contains some good tips for teachers, as well as a list of things to avoid when delivering instruction to gifted students.