Teaching Gifted Students
Developed by: Joy Sama, Michelle Watson, Dana Weber and Rachel Smethers-Winters
Myths about Gifted Students
Myth: Gifted children will achieve without guidance.
Fact: Without appropriate guidance and support, gifted children may lose motivation or underachieve.
Myth: Gifted students are best served when tutoring others or when given larger quantities of work at average grade level.
Fact: When gifted students consistently tutor others, often they are not learning anything new. This can cause unhealthy self-esteem issues for both the tutored and the gifted student. Gifted children need a high degree of educational challenge, not more of an average level.
Myth: Gifted students are ‘teacher pleasers,’ are easy to teach, and will always make straight “As.”
Fact: In order for gifted students to maintain high levels of achievement, teachers must make curricular adjustments, not just give ‘more’ work. Without appropriate modifications, gifted students may develop behavior problems. Gifted students will not always achieve, especially if unmotivated.
Knowing the Student: Other Considerations about Gifted Learners
Gifted students may experience specific social and emotional considerations:
- Asynchronous development
Modify Instruction and Assessment
There are three ways to differentiate standards for gifted students: teaching advanced skills and using high quality, grade-appropriate content; teaching grade-level skills and using above-grade level content; and teaching advanced skills and using above-grade level content.