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Ali Umbarger July 19, 2013

Differentiated Instructed

When teaching my gifted students, I must differentiate my instruction from that which I would teach non gifted students. Since I teach both Science and Social Studies, I will look at this from a Science standpoint only. Science is a subject that is rich in vocabulary and is a content-based subject. Some strategies I might use to help with this are high-level questioning, independent or small group projects, and through mentorships. In my Science class, I will use open- ended and high-level questioning skills. Not much of what I teach is subjective, but there are times where there is room for interpretation. I have always believed in carrying on conversations with gifted students during class. From my research as well as previous experiences, I think talking and asking high-level questions will help these students move to the next level. Most of the time I ask a high-level question, I am asking my students to prove something; why do you think that? Why do you feel that way? Why is your thought the best way? Different types of questions like this. Again, when they have to prove something, I feel like my students are being challenged and being challenged is the whole purpose of having these gifted classes. If I am not teaching my classes differently or challenging my gifted students, then I am not doing my job. Another strategy I will use to differentiate is the thought of independent or small group projects. We have to be careful when we look at small group projects because some students might take over and others hang back and take credit. In order to make this suited for gifted students, I would need to take the concept I have taught, find a problem, and then allow them to design and implement a solution. The students can do this through the process of technological design. The way this is different than in a regular classroom, is that we learned that gifted students want to solve the problems of the world. So if we give them a well-known problem, they will feel like they are making a difference. We can also use small group projects as a teaching tool. For instance, my students can write songs about a particular topic and sing or rap them to other classes to teach the regular ed classes about the concept at hand. I think this will be very affective. Again, when they have to put things into their own words, they are being challenged and they are learning! The last strategy I will use is mentoring. I actually read an article about mentoring in the last gt class I took and I found it very intriguing. If we take our gifted students and pair them up with a mentor, they can get some insight on how the world around them works. Usually, when these students are paired with mentors, they look for people who are similar to them and who might be in the same field as they would like to be in one day. The article says that with this process, it is hopefully not just a one-

time deal. It is a relationship that could last for the rest of their lives. These mentorships can be people at school or people in the community. Teaching the gifted students is a blessing and we should not take it for granted. We should make each day a new challenge for them and exciting and special.

Sources: Mentoring Relationships and Gifted Learners by Sandra L Berger