Challenging gifted kids in a general education classroom

Gifted students who learn in a general education classroom will often finish their work before other kids and find assignments easy. It's wonderful that these students are excelling, but to keep them doing well, they need to be challenged more. If gifted students are not being stimulated enough, they will become bored during class, which often leads to disruptive behavior. To prevent this from happening, teachers should work to accommodate different learning abilities.

Dos for teaching gifted students
To challenge the students in the class with higher IQ scores and still meet the needs of the rest of the class, try implementing differentiated instruction. This method of teaching allows instructors to meet students where they are and give them the individual instruction they need to succeed in the classroom. An example of differentiated instruction could be implementing anchoring activities at the end of an assignment. These activities consist of fun yet educational tasks, like puzzles, games and more, to engage the students who finish early. This will keep gifted students from becoming bored when they're done with the work, but will still allow kids who need extra help time to understand the assignment.

To accommodate a student's abilities, it's often helpful for an instructor to determine where a child excels. This can quickly and easily be done by giving a student an aptitude test. Using this information, teachers will be able to cater to a student's unique needs. 

Don'ts for gifted instruction
Higher-level students might need to be challenged a little more than other students, but this does not mean they should be given extra work. When teachers start handing out additional assignments, gifted students see it as a punishment and stop trying as hard during class. Edutopia also notes that instructors should avoid using gifted students as teaching assistants or tutors. When kids are viewed by peers as a teaching assistant, it can isolate them from the rest of their classmates. Students should not feel like they are getting special or different treatment just because they are smart.

Another action teachers should steer away from is separating a gifted student from the rest of the class. Being intelligent does not mean a student won't have questions or need some guidance on an assignment. Sending a talented child to another room could have poor results, especially since kids usually like being around friends and engaging in classroom activities. Isolating the student would probably seem like a punishment.

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