Characteristics of the Intelligent Student
Characteristic 1 // Learns new things quickly and easily.
We all have those students, the ones that learn the new concept that you are throwing at them in record time. If you give them something they will absorb the information like a sponge. These students may exhibit boredom and frustration when their classmates do not catch on as quickly, because it holds them back from moving on. This could cause the student to also become frustrated with group work, as they feel like they are above everyone else. One way to address this behavior in the classroom is to allow this student to help explain concepts to other students. You can reward them of their good deed by a small treat such as a piece of candy or just praising the student for all of their help. You may also find additional material about the subject that you are teaching. Look for material that would be harder for the other students to understand but would challenge your intelligent student. They feed off of this. They need to be challenged daily and they need not to be looked over.
"The mind is not a vessel to be filled but a fire to be kindled." -Plutarch
Characteristic 2 // Has extensive vocabulary, background knowledge in a particular area, or memory of detail.
As educators, you will eventually have that know-it-all students that seems to want to make everyone aware that they know something that the teacher does not. Students like this may raise their hand to make a contribution to a conversation or pose a question that you as the teacher might not be able to answer. When students know a lot they might go on and on when given the permission to speak and refuse to listen to what anybody else has to say. They may also argue with the teacher. In order to use this characteristic to your advantage provide students with various choices to activities. For example, I had a student who knew all about black holes and outer space. While other students were doing a presentation on the planets, I allowed this student to explore his curiosities with black holes and he ended up giving a killer presentation. It made the activity interesting to him and he was excited that he finally got to show off all of that knowledge he had.
Characteristic 3 // Extremely sensitive and/or introverted.
Sometimes you have students that are highly intelligent but they lack in confidence and social skills. These students may prefer to work alone, may not participate orally, be overly sensitive to comments made by other students, and become upset when the classroom may get hostile. We never know what is going on in the lives of our students. As educators we need to be there for them and encourage them to do their best. Make sure to praise students with this kind of characteristic even if they do the slightest thing correctly. Pair this student up with a friendly kid in the classroom that will make the student feel comfortable and welcomed.
Characteristic 4 // The perfectionist.
Students who are intelligent often set high expectations for themselves. This is a good thing but it can turn vile fast. Students with this mindset may set unrealistic standards for themselves and work themselves to exhaustion. They may also be argumentative when they get an answer wrong on a test or get a bad grade on a paper. Make sure that these students know how well they are doing and let them know they it is ok to relax once in a while. If students get argumentative with you make sure that you can back up what you are saying and provide them with critical feedback. Perhaps including things like rubrics or showing them your key for something and explaining to them how to fix their mistakes next time will make all the difference.
Characteristic 5 // Grasp the big picture, concepts, and forms connections.
Students with this characteristic are just able to think outside of the box. They see the whole picture and are able to produce higher order thinking questions. This can come in handy in class if the students ask the right kinds of questions during lecture time, when you are going over a new concept, or doing a demonstration. Use these questions to your advantage by elaborating on the concept or ask the other students their opinions. Make sure you also give these students activities where they will need to make new connections. Challenge them by giving them two objects that may seem like they have nothing to do with each other, but make the student figure out a way that they are connected!