Gifted and Talented Programs

State of Tennessee

Characteristics of gifted and talented learners

  • Be very curious and observant
  • Use adult-sounding words and reasoning
  • Think of many unusual ideas
  • Recognize complex patterns or relationships
  • Come to surprising solutions to problems
  • Show a strong memory
  • Ask unusual questions
  • Demonstrate advanced talent in a certain area (such as mathematics, science, writing, art, music, or drama)
  • Learn letters or numbers early and read before being formally taught

Testing of gifted and talented learners, and assessments

These assessments should not have a ceiling so students are able to show all of what they know.

  • They may be academic specific (i.e. Math or Language Arts)
  • Standardized tests (such as SATs, ITBS, SRA, and MATs).
  • Test of Mathematical Abilities for Gifted Students or Screening Assessment for Gifted Elementary Students (SAGES)
  • Intelligence quotient (IQ)
  • Nonverbal tests, such as the Naglieri Nonverbal Ability Test or the Test of Nonverbal Intelligence, may be more effective for students from culturally and linguistically different or low-income backgrounds to eliminate barriers.

Services for gifted and talented learners, including LRE

Primary: Kindergarten – 2nd

Developmental thinking activities are routinely integrated into the classroom curriculum for all children. Teachers observe and note responses indicative of emerging gifts and talents.

The gifted education resource teacher assists classroom teachers in providing reading, math, and special interests instruction for children who need additional challenges. Instruction occurs within the regular classroom and/or in small groups with the gifted education resource teacher.


Upper Elementary – 3rd-5th

Students identified for services participate in specially designed learning experiences with the gifted education resource teacher. This program is called the Expanded Learning Program (ELP). Needs of students with higher abilities in math and/or reading are also accommodated through collaborative efforts between classroom teachers and gifted education resource teachers resulting in additional appropriate differentiation within the regular classroom and/or in small group instruction in talent development content areas.

Accommodations used for gifted and talented learners to deepen knowledge and skills

  • Enrichment
  • Compacting

  • Acceleration
  • Grouping
  • Independent study
  • Advanced classes
  • Supplemental learning materials
  • Co-teaching, differentiated instruction

Find out more about gifted and talented

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References