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Teacher's Toolkit

Page history last edited by wwl1 10 years, 10 months ago


Differentiation for the Gifted Learner


"The surest path to high self-esteem is to be successful at something you perceived to be difficult.  Unless kids are consistently engaged in challenging work, they will lose the motivation to work  hard."  ~ Dr. Sylvia Rim


According to Susan Winebrenner, differentiating learning for gifted students involves adjusting the content, the learning processes, the types of products created and the learning environment through different expectations, places to do their work and assessment practices. 


The 4 C's of Gifted Differentiation


  • Complexity

  • Curriculum Compacting

  • Creative/Critical Thinking Skills

  • Choice, choice and more choice 


Some thoughts about differentiated programming for gifted learners:


  • initially, identify the student's areas of interest / strength through individual conferences, student surveys, etc.
  • incorporate the ideas and suggestions of the student when making plans; work as a team to plan appropriate activities
  • make curriculum connections
  • facilitate regular meetings / conference with the student in order to monitor progress, make modifications to the plans, encourage and praise
  • use the student's input in planning and implementing both formative and summative assessments; create the assessment tools along with the student when possible 


Ideas for Program Differentiation:

  • use Bloom's Taxonomy of Thinking Skills to create higher level thinking challenges within any given unit or topic of study 
  • create opportunities for peer-tutoring,coaching,teaching
  • encourage student proposed leadership opportunities
  • use Independent Learning Kits or centres within your class
  • provide a resource centre which has an interesting selection of reference texts, science experiment books, etc. which challenge higher level thinking
  • use the computer - these students can often explore new programs and become the expert for their classmates as well as for you
  • offer the chance for them to be news editors for newsletters, etc.
  • encourage the writers to write a short story, novel, play, speech, etc.       .  
  • provide opportunities for Independent Study projects - topic, format, plans, assessment, etc. negotiated between student and teacher - there are many ways these can be used in the classroom - as an alternate activity while the class is done something else, as an ongoing project to be worked on when other work is completed, etc.
  • provide choice by using Extension Menus which offer a variety of ways for students to show their understanding



Click on the links for more information: 


Differentiating Instruction

Differentiating Instruction For Advanced Learners In the Mixed-Ability Classroom

Differentiated Instruction Strategies for Gifted Students



Higher Order Thinking

Divergent Thinking Checklist

Convergent Thinking Skills

Bloom's Revised Taxonomy -Chart


Bloom Sample Question Starters


Bloom's Question Stems


Bloom's Digital Taxonomy


Teaching Strategies


Dare to Differentiate - great website with lots of easy to use strategies


EXTEND A MENU - extension menus at the click of your mouse!


The Differentiator

WORC Document - Differentiating for Gifted Students


Rich Performance Tasks

Effective Strategies for Able Students

Quick pathways to put Gifted into your classroom

Purposeful Planning     


Susan Winebrenner provides an excellent overview of curriculum compacting in her

 powerpoint presentation.





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