I am Fine!

I am smart, I don't need your help.


Being gifted is often correlated to being smart, and achieving high academic success. However, this is not always the case. Like all students gifted students have their own learning styles. They need good differentiated instruction, and an environment that helps them flourish. So yes these students do need special attention. They should not be put on the back burner! Without a supportive and enriching learning environment these students may suffer not only academically but socially, and psychologically as well.
Why gifted may not be what you think: Michelle Barmazel at TEDxHGSE
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How can you help?

What is gifted?

According to the Ministry of Education gifted means: An unusually advanced degree of general intellectual ability that requires differentiated learning experiences of a depth and breadth beyond those normally provided in the regular school program, to satisfy the level of educational potential indicated.

However it is common for students to be twice gifted or to be dually diagnosed with gifted and a learning disability. Either way we as teachers need to ensure these students are engaged and learning in our classrooms.

So how is this done?

To meet the needs of our gifted students teachers should regularly be using differentiated instruction and Universal Design for Learning. To further ensure these students are successful teachers may use one or more of the following strategies:

  • Acceleration: Where the student works at a higher grade level or on different learning expectations than their peers.
  • Compacting: After a pretest the student can spend more time on content that is of interest to the student skipping the content that the student already knows.
  • Ability Grouping: Grouping these learners according to their ability, interests, or specific skills.
  • Enrichment: These students work through self directed projects, research, and extensions to go deeper into the current grade curriculum usually focusing on the students interests.
  • Withdrawal Program: For part of the school day or week these students will be pulled from their classrooms to work with students who are also gifted.
  • Congregated Classes: Classes for students identified as gifted they usually focus on more abstract and higher order thinking skills.

It isn't all about the academics though!

These students may lag behind socially, have a second psychological diagnosis such as anxiety, and may have a hard time at school as they try to fit in with their peers. As a result it is important to teach the whole child. We need to offer these students extracurricular activities that appeal to their social needs as well as interests. These students should be given lots of leadership opportunities and would benefit greatly from a buddy or mentor. These students should directly be taught character traits which can be shown through literature, the media, or be modelled by the teacher and other students.

Organization and Time Management

These students may often seem behavioural as they are bored or unengaged in the classroom. They need to be rewarded for their efforts, and prompted at times. These students will benefit from using an agenda or day planner to communicate with home. For assessment extra time, graphic organizers, technology, and a timer may be added to their accommodations.