This post brought to you by my course on Methods and Materials for Teaching the Gifted at Northwest Georgia RESA! Hi Michelle!
Today I have a video I’ve created with ten tips for differentiating for gifted students in your world language class, whether it be in a separate section for honors students or for those highly talented students (or native speakers) sitting in your regular courses.
Side note: What app or program do you use to make videos? I used PocketVideo and it was AWFUL!
- Start with clear learning goals, and keep those in mind as you design alternate activities.
- Use pre-assessments and formative assessments to determine which students need more challenging tasks.
- Be flexible – having students working on several different tasks in one room is a big paradigm shift for teachers.
- Focus on higher levels of Blooms – more apply, analyze, evaluate, and create, less understand and remember.
- Four areas to differentiate: First, content – what students are learning, or how deep they go into a theme.
- Second: product – how students demonstrate their learning.
- Third: process – how material is presented, what questions are asked, what activities students complete – gifted students need practice in making informed, logical, and appropriate uses of information rather than practice in simply acquiring it.
- Fourth: learning environment – gifted students thrive in a learner-centered classroom that is interactive, focused on student interests, and where the teacher is the coach, not the final authority.
- Vary grouping – sometimes heterogeneous, sometimes homogeneous.
- Promote independence – encourage self-reflection, learning from mistakes, and collaborative learning.
As I currently teach all regular classes (no honors), my focus this year is on improving instruction for my gifted students who have ended up in the regular class for whatever reason. My goal for next semester is to implement more tiered instruction based on formative assessment (assign students to groups with tasks of varying depth/difficulty), compact curriculum and provide learning contracts where needed (i.e., for a native speaker – we agree student will do xyz alternate activities in lieu of the regular practice and assessment), and to use a choice board (students pick from several different activities, all which relate to the same learning goal; gifted students can be pushed toward more challenging tasks, or complete a choice board as an alternative to regular instruction) at least once in each level I teach. What are your differentiation goals for this year?
- Rimm, Sylvia B., et al. Education of the gifted and talented. Pearson, 2018.
- Maker, C. June., and Shirley W. Schiever. Curriculum development and teaching strategies for gifted learners. PRO-ED, 2010.
- Winebrenner, Susan, and Pamela Espeland. Teaching gifted kids in the regular classroom: strategies and techniques every teacher can use to meet the academic needs of the gifted and talented. Free Spirit Pub., 2008.