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Differentiation In a Nutshell Presented by the G/T Team Professional Development Services http://delicious.com/pdsgtrain


HISD Gifted and Talented Curriculum Framework, K-12

Scholars & Knowledge K-5: HISD CLEAR Program Options for G/T: Core Curriculum

HISD CLEAR (Clarifying Learning to Enhance Achievement Results)

G/T Framework Strands Strand I. *Ascending Levels of Intellectual Demand

G/T Homogeneous Classroom G/T Clusters in Regular Classroom Combination of G/T Homogeneous and G/T Clusters

K 1 2 3 4 Continuum of Learning

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6-8: • HISD CLEAR • (Pre-AP) • Pre-Advanced Placement • (IBMYP)Internat ional Baccalaureate Middle Years Program 6 7 8

9-12: HISD CLEAR • Pre-AP • IBMYP • (AP) Advanced Placement • (IB) International Baccalaureate

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K-12: Modifications based on unique needs of individual G/T students in the following: ƒ Escalating levels of challenge, abstraction, complexity, and depth ƒ Appropriate levels of challenge-the zone of proximal development ƒ Cognitive processes, learning styles, interests, prior knowledge, readiness levels Learning environments that foster affective growth for all students K-12: Universal Concepts Strand II. Concepts ƒ Universal Concept Based Teaching Establishes Interdisciplinary Approach to Learning ƒ G/T Framework Universal Concepts overlay CLEAR Subject Area Concepts ƒ Year long Universal Concept for Grade Levels to be Selected by School Site Vertical Teams ƒ K-2: Patterns, Change, Relationships, Community, Interdependence ƒ 3-5: Adaptation, Power, Conflict, Exploration, Systems ƒ 6-8: Order vs. Chaos, Systems, Structures, Exploration, Conflict ƒ 9-12: Systems, Structures, Interdependence, Order vs. Chaos, Conflict, Exploration K-2nd Grade: Strand III. 3-5th Grade: 6-8th Grade: 9-12th Grade: Differentiation Identifies & defines Identifies key Integrates the Conducts each single words that define dimensions of Interdisciplinary Scholarly Behavior dimension of depth the dimensions of depth/complexity Studies. Is able to & complexity and depth/complexity. with the Content make decisions relates to four core Uses the Imperatives. based on **Depth/Complexity content areas. dimensions of D & Designs an reasoned Identifies traits of C as prompts to Independent Study arguments using **Content self with scholarly form questions pathway using the dimensions of Imperatives behavior. &/or answers. dimensions of depth & complexity Recognizes depth/ complexity. and Content relationships of Imperatives as Content substantiation. Imperatives with depth complexity. Thinking Skills Applies strategies Uses analytical, Substantiates the Utilizes analytical, of problem-solving, critical, problem use of analytical, critical, creative analytical, critical, solving, & creative critical, problem and executive and creative skills skills in relation to solving, & creative process thinking as they relate to the dimensions of thinking skills & skills in debating, content area. Depth and relates the skill to art of Complexity. other skills. argumentation, & problem-solving. Independent Recognizes & Understands & Develops abilities Evidences Research/Study applies the steps of exemplifies the to work increasing levels of Independent Study. student’s role as a autonomously. professional quality researcher. in Independent Research. Strand IV. K-12: Evidence of new student learning (daily or longer-term knowledge, Products understandings & skills). Products / Performances are advanced-level. Products are authentic, equitable, respectful, efficient, aligned to standards, and diagnostic. Concrete/Abstract *The Parallel Curriculum, NAGC, ** Javits Grant to USC, Dr. Sandra Kaplan Figure 1.2 Scholars & Knowledge- HISD Advanced Academics Dept. (see accompanying glossary) Revised, August 11, 2003.

2 HISD Advanced Academics Department

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Steps to Successful Compacting    Curriculum compacting is a three‐step process in which the teacher:    • • •

pre‐assesses students’ skills or knowledge about content prior to instruction,   plans for teaching what is not known and excuses the student from what is already known, and  plans for freed up time to be spent in enriched or accelerated study. 

This strategy:    • • • •

honors the large reservoir of knowledge that some students have  satisfies students' hunger to learn more about topics than school sometimes allows  encourages independence  eliminates boredom and lethargy resulting from unnecessary repetition of material   

1. Identify the objectives in a given subject area.  • •

What objectives can not be learned without formal or sustained instruction?  Which objectives reflect the priorities of the school district/state department of  education? 

 

2. Find appropriate pretests.  • • •

Which objectives have already been mastered by the student?  Which objectives have not already been mastered by the student?  Which problems might be causing students to fall short of reaching any of the  objectives? 

 

3. Identify students who should be pretested.  • •

Look at individual strengths of students in your class.  Use academic records, class performance, and evaluations from former teachers to  identify candidates for pre‐testing. 

 

4. Pre‐test students to determine the mastery level of the chosen objectives.  • • • • •

Point out that some students will already be familiar with the material.  Ask if any students would like to demonstrate that they already know the objectives  being taught.  Assure the students that they’re not expected to be competent in all the objectives  being tested.  Tell the students that their curriculum may be streamlined if they can exhibit partial  mastery of the objectives.  Help the student understand that they are not labeled “poor learners” if they can’t pass  one or more sections of the test. 

 

5. Eliminate instructional time for students who show mastery of the objectives.  •

Students who have a thorough grasp of the learning objectives should be allowed to take part in  enrichment or acceleration activities or may be excused from specific class sessions, while  others may skip certain chapters or pages in the text or specific learning activities. 

 

6. Streamline instruction of those objectives students have not yet mastered but are capable  of mastering more quickly than classmates.    7. Offer challenging alternatives for time provided by compacting and keep records of this  process and the instructional options available to compacted students. 

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Compacting Strategies  The Most Difficult First  • • • • • • • • •

Teach for 10‐15 minutes; assign homework.  Allow 15‐20 minutes for in‐class practice.  Offer Most Difficult First option to all students.  Any student who can complete the most difficult first, neatly, legibly, and accurately  (and without help) doesn’t need more practice.  Offer help only to those students who do not choose to do the most difficult first.  Teacher corrects work until a model paper is corrected.  Appoint “checker” to correct other Most Difficult First volunteers.  Collect all the volunteers’ work.  Enter all grades at the same time. 

Pre‐Test and Choose from Alternate Work  (Spelling, Grammar, Vocabulary, Penmanship – all skills)    • Offer pretest for volunteers at beginning of each unit‐Those who demonstrate mastery  receive mastery grade.  • Those who demonstrate mastery do choice activities; read, write, or independent study  (no extra credit).   

Examples of performance based pre‐tests:    • Student could write and submit a persuasive essay which teacher would read and  analyze for content.  • Use student portfolios and work samples which show mastery of the learning  objectives.  • Observe students taking notes, tracing thought pattern, and posing open‐ended  questions.  • May insert performance based pre‐tests.        The Golden Rules of Compacting    ™ Don’t bother anyone.  ™ Don’t call attention to yourself.  ™ Work on something the entire period.    Remember:  It’s their time. Trust them to use it wisely.    ©Susan Winebrenner, Education Consulting Service  Reprinted with permission 2009  4


How to Use the Contract for Reading Skills and Vocabulary    1. Offer a pretest on vocabulary and skills for the upcoming reading unit. Students who  achieve a score of 80 percent or higher are eligible for a contract.    2. Prepare contract eligible students.   * Fill in the top part with concept descriptions and/or page numbers from skill work  sources.  Check those that indicate concepts for which the student must join the class  for instruction.    * Fill in the middle part of the contract with the vocabulary words the student has not  yet mastered, as evidenced by the pretest. Designate activities students should do to  learn their vocabulary words.    *At the bottom, list the working conditions you expect students to follow or create  Working Conditions chart to display in your classroom.      3. Tell contract students that they may not work on any checked item until it is taught to  the class as a whole, when they must join the other students for a teacher‐directed  lesson.    4. Explain that on days when they don’t have to be with the rest of the class reading, they  can choose any activity that requires them to read and/or write. Have them record their  extension activities on a Daily Log of Extension Work.    5. Call students’ attention to the Working Conditions. Remind them that they must do  their work without bothering anyone or calling attention to themselves. Make it clear  that if they can’t follow the conditions, they rejoin the class for the rest of the unit.     

How to Use the Reading Activities Menu    1. Prepare a list of activities from which students may choose several they would like to do.     2. Tell students that they may choose an activity to work on during times you designate.  They may continue working on their activity until it is completed; they don’t have to  start and finish an activity on the same day. They should record the dates they begin  and end each activity on the Date(s) lines. Example: 10/5‐10/7.    3. Invite students to come up with their own ideas for projects or activities. They should  discuss their ideas with you before starting to work on them. After you give your  permission for a specific project or activity, the student should record it on the menu in  one of the blank spaces provided.    4.

Have students record their work on a Daily Log of Extension Work. 

  @Susan Winebrenner, Education Consulting Services. Reprinted with permission 2009.

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CONTRACT FOR READING SKILLS AND VOCABULARY Student’s Name: ______________________________________________________________________ Page/Concept

X

X

Page/Concept

___

____________________________________ ___ ____________________________________

___

____________________________________ ___ ____________________________________

___

____________________________________ ___ ____________________________________

___

____________________________________ ___ ____________________________________

••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••• Vocabulary Words for Unit ___________________________ ___________________________ ___________________________ ___________________________ ___________________________ ___________________________ ___________________________ ___________________________ ___________________________ ___________________________ ___________________________ ___________________________ ___________________________ ___________________________ ___________________________ ••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••• Working Conditions

Student’s Signature: ___________________________________________________________________ Teacher’s Signature: ___________________________________________________________________ From Teaching Gifted Kids in the Regular Classroom by Susan Winebrenner, copyright © 2001. Free Spirit Publishing Inc., Minneapolis, MN; www.freespirit.com. This page may be photocopied for individual or classroom work only. For other uses, call 800-735-7323. Since Free Spirit Publishing allows educators to adapt this form to their needs, it may have been modified from its original format and content.

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WORKING CONDITIONS FOR ALTERNATE ACTIVITIES If you are working on alternate activities while others in the class are busy with teacher-directed activities, you are expected to follow these guidelines.

1. Stay on task at all times with the alternate activities you have chosen. 2. Don’t talk to the teacher while he or she is teaching. 3. When you need help and the teacher is busy, ask someone else who is also working on the alternate activities. 4. If no one else can help you, keep trying the activity yourself until the teacher is available. Or move on to another activity until the teacher is free. 5. Use soft voices when talking to each other about the alternate activities. 6. Never brag about your opportunities to work on the alternate activities. 7. If you must go in and out of the room, do so as quietly as you can. 8. When you go to another location to work, stay on task there, and follow the directions of the adult in charge. 9. Don’t bother anyone else. 10. Don’t call attention to yourself.

I agree to these conditions. I understand that if I don’t follow them, I may lose the opportunity to continue working on the alternate activities and may have to rejoin the class for teacher-directed instruction.

Teacher’s Signature: _____________________________________________________________ Student’s Signature: _____________________________________________________________

From Teaching Gifted Kids in the Regular Classroom by Susan Winebrenner, copyright © 2001. Free Spirit Publishing Inc., Minneapolis, MN; www.freespirit.com. This page may be photocopied for individual or classroom work only. For other uses, call 800-735-7323. Since Free Spirit Publishing allows educators to adapt this form to their needs, it may have been modified from its original format and content.

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READING ACTIVITIES MENU Student’s Name: ________________________________________________________________ Directions:

During the next _________ days, create your own menu of activities from the list below to do in place of the regular assignments. Date(s)

Activity

__________ Create and perform a puppet show of the story or book. __________ Interview another person who read the book. __________ Write a letter to the author. __________ Write another chapter. __________ Write a different ending. __________ Using a thesaurus, find synonyms for your 6 favorite words. __________ Create a dialogue between 2 characters. __________ Read other books by the same author. Compare/contrast. __________ Read another book of the same type. Compare/contrast. __________ Write a story or book of the same type which contains similar elements. Include 3 free days. Add on days to the activities listed or create your own activities:

__________

_________________________________________________________________

__________

_________________________________________________________________

__________

_________________________________________________________________

From Teaching Gifted Kids in the Regular Classroom by Susan Winebrenner, copyright Š 2001. Free Spirit Publishing Inc., Minneapolis, MN; www.freespirit.com. This page may be photocopied for individual or classroom work only. For other uses, call 800-735-7323. Since Free Spirit Publishing allows educators to adapt this form to their needs, it may have been modified from its original format and content.

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CONTRACT FOR PERMISSION TO READ AHEAD Check each statement to show that you agree with it. Then sign the contract. I will not tell anyone anything about the story until everyone in the group has finished reading it. I will not participate in prediction activities.

Student’s Signature: ____________________________________________________________ From Teaching Gifted Kids in the Regular Classroom by Susan Winebrenner, copyright © 2001. Free Spirit Publishing Inc., Minneapolis, MN; www.freespirit.com. This page may be photocopied for individual or classroom work only. For other uses, call 800-735-7323. Since Free Spirit Publishing allows educators to adapt this form to their needs, it may have been modified from its original format and content.

---------------------------------------CONTRACT FOR PERMISSION TO READ AHEAD Check each statement to show that you agree with it. Then sign the contract. I will not tell anyone anything about the story until everyone in the group has finished reading it. I will not participate in prediction activities.

Student’s Signature: ____________________________________________________________ From Teaching Gifted Kids in the Regular Classroom by Susan Winebrenner, copyright © 2001. Free Spirit Publishing Inc., Minneapolis, MN; www.freespirit.com. This page may be photocopied for individual or classroom work only. For other uses, call 800-735-7323. Since Free Spirit Publishing allows educators to adapt this form to their needs, it may have been modified from its original format and content.

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DAILY LOG OF EXTENSION WORK Student’s Name: ________________________________________________________________ Project Topic:___________________________________________________________________ Today’s Date

What I Plan to Do During Today’s Work Period

What I Actually Accomplished Today

From Teaching Gifted Kids in the Regular Classroom by Susan Winebrenner, copyright © 2001. Free Spirit Publishing Inc., Minneapolis, MN; www.freespirit.com. This page may be photocopied for individual or classroom work only. For other uses, call 800-735-7323. Since Free Spirit Publishing allows educators to adapt this form to their needs, it may have been modified from its original format and content.

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Extension Menu Topic:___________________

Student Choice

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AMERICAN WARS EXTENSIONS MENU Present a detailed biography of an important person during the time of this conflict. Include evidence of this person’s influence during the war period.

Discover how military people communicated with each other and with their commander-in-chief during this war. Focus on events in which poorly understood or poorly delivered communications influenced the outcome of a military effort.

Choose 25 key words from this unit. Create a directory that lists each word, its meaning, and its effect on this war.

Research the patriotic music used by both sides in the war. Point out similarities and differences. Describe how music influences patriotism in civilians and soldiers. Compare the patriotic music of this war to that of other wars.

Student Choice

Investigate other types of wars: between families, clans, children in school, mythical creatures, etc. Share information about them and include a comparison of elements found in a traditional war between countries.

Locate information about the medical practices used on the battlefield and in field hospitals during this war. Include biographical information about famous medical people of that time.

Investigate battles in which creative or uncommonly used tactics were employed. OR design strategies that you think would have led to more victories and fewer casualties. Be sure to use only the technology available during that time period.

Create alternate ways for countries to solve their problems without resorting to warfare.

From Teaching Gifted Kids in the Regular Classroom by Susan Winebrenner, copyright Š 2001. Free Spirit Publishing Inc., Minneapolis, MN; www.freespirit.com. This page may be photocopied for individual or classroom work only. For other uses, call 800-735-7323. Since Free Spirit Publishing allows educators to adapt this form to their needs, it may have been modified from its original format and content.

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MATH EXTENSIONS MENU Investigate the lives of several mathematicians to discover what it is like to be a mathematician. Compare the experiences of mathematicians from different backgrounds or cultures.

Create a story filled with as many math-related puns as possible. The glossaries of math textbooks might be helpful resources.

Investigate and describe the use of mathematics in athletics. Try to create a system to improve scoring practices.

Conduct a scientific experiment and explain the math required to complete the experiment.

Student Choice

Discover the history of the use of math programs in schools since 1945. Observe and describe the trends.

Research and describe the connections between mathematics and a field in the fine arts, such as photography, sculpture, music, composing, drama, or stage direction.

Conduct a survey of students in the class on any topic of interest. Translate the results into statistical representations.

Study the use of the metric system in most countries. Hypothesize why it is not used in the U.S., and create a method to get the U.S. to use it.

From Teaching Gifted Kids in the Regular Classroom by Susan Winebrenner, copyright Š 2001. Free Spirit Publishing Inc., Minneapolis, MN; www.freespirit.com. This page may be photocopied for individual or classroom work only. For other uses, call 800-735-7323. Since Free Spirit Publishing allows educators to adapt this form to their needs, it may have been modified from its original format and content.

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GENERIC EXTENSIONS MENU Investigate

Teach/ Convince

Prioritize

Compare

Demonstrate

Student Choice

Dramatize

Synthesize

Hypothesize

From Teaching Gifted Kids in the Regular Classroom by Susan Winebrenner, copyright Š 2001. Free Spirit Publishing Inc., Minneapolis, MN; www.freespirit.com. This page may be photocopied for individual or classroom work only. For other uses, call 800-735-7323. Since Free Spirit Publishing allows educators to adapt this form to their needs, it may have been modified from its original format and content.

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MATH EXTENSIONS MENU FOR PRIMARY GRADES Compose raps, poems, or songs to help kids remember number facts in all operations.

Create several math games to help other kids practice math concepts we’ve studied this year.

Prepare 10 story problems for a specific problem-solving strategy. Give them to other students to solve.

Create a questionnaire to survey other kids about 3 different topics. Graph your results on a computer.

Student Choice Using any materials you choose, construct threedimensional geometric shapes to display in the classroom. Include some that are complex.

Compute the class average for each timed test given for math facts. Chart the class progress for 1 month. Do not use any names.

Design math activities for a learning center in our classroom that will appeal to visual, auditory, and tactilekinesthetic learners.

Investigate how the math we learn is used by adults in their work, in their play, and in their homes.

From Teaching Gifted Kids in the Regular Classroom by Susan Winebrenner, copyright © 2001. Free Spirit Publishing Inc., Minneapolis, MN; www.freespirit.com. This page may be photocopied for individual or classroom work only. For other uses, call 800-735-7323. Used with permission of Sarah Holmes and Lona Kay O’Brien. Since Free Spirit Publishing allows educators to adapt this form to their needs, it may have been modified from its original format and content.

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GENERIC EXTENSIONS MENU FOR PRIMARY GRADES

Illustrate or Draw

What Would Happen If . . .

Invent Something Better

Compose

Compare: Alike or Different

Demonstrate

Student Choice

Build or Construct

Act It Out

From Teaching Gifted Kids in the Regular Classroom by Susan Winebrenner, copyright Š 2001. Free Spirit Publishing Inc., Minneapolis, MN; www.freespirit.com. This page may be photocopied for individual or classroom work only. For other uses, call 800-735-7323. Since Free Spirit Publishing allows educators to adapt this form to their needs, it may have been modified from its original format and content.

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Topic: ________________ EXTENSIONS MENU

Student Choice

From Teaching Gifted Kids in the Regular Classroom by Susan Winebrenner, copyright Š 2001. Free Spirit Publishing Inc., Minneapolis, MN; www.freespirit.com. This page may be photocopied for individual or classroom work only. For other uses, call 800-735-7323. Since Free Spirit Publishing allows educators to adapt this form to their needs, it may have been modified from its original format and content.

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PRODUCT CHOICES CHART Auditory

Visual

Tactile-Kinesthetic

Audio recording Autobiography Book Classifying Commentary Crossword puzzle Debate or panel talk Dialogue Documentary Editorial Essay Experiment Fact file Family tree Finding patterns Glossary Interview Journal or diary Learning Center task Letter to editor Limerick or riddle Mystery Newspaper Oral report Pattern and instructions Petition Position paper Press conference Reading Scavenger hunt Simulation game Song lyrics Speech Story or poem Survey Teaching a lesson Trip itinerary Written report

Advertisement Art gallery Brochure Coat of arms Collage Coloring book Comic book or strip Costume Decoration Design Diagram Diorama Drawing or painting Filmstrip Flannel board Flow chart Graphic organizer Greeting card Hidden pictures HyperStudio or other multimedia presentation software Illustrated manual Illustrations Learning Center visuals Magazine Map Mural Pamphlet with pictures or icons Photo album Photo essay Picture dictionary Political cartoon Portfolio Poster Rebus story Scrapbook Slide show Transparency talk Travelogue TV program Video Web site

Acting things out Activity plan for trip Animated movie Collection Composing music Dance Demonstration Diorama Dramatization Exhibit Experiment Field experience Flip book Flip chart Game Game show How-to book Invention Jigsaw puzzle Learning center—hands-on tasks Manipulatives Mobile Model Museum exhibit Papier-mâché Photograph Play or skit Pop-up book Project cube Puppet show Rap or rhyme Reader’s Theater Rhythmic pattern Role-play Scale drawing Sculpture Simulation game Survey TV broadcast

From Teaching Gifted Kids in the Regular Classroom by Susan Winebrenner, copyright © 2001. Free Spirit Publishing Inc., Minneapolis, MN; www.freespirit.com. This page may be photocopied for individual or classroom work only. For other uses, call 800-735-7323. Since Free Spirit Publishing allows educators to adapt this form to their needs, it may have been modified from its original format and content.

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Taxonomy of Thinking Category

Synthesis

Evaluation

Definition

Trigger Words

Products

Re-form individual parts to make a new whole.

Compose · Design· Invent · Create · Hypothesize · Construct · Forecast · Rearrange parts · Imagine

Lesson plan · Song · Poem Story · Advertisement · Invention · Other creative products

Judge value of some thing vis-à-vis criteria.

Judge · Evaluate · Give Opinion · Give view point · Prioritize · Recommend · Critique

Decision · Rating/Grades Editorial · Debate · Critique · Defense · Verdict Judgment

Investigate · Classify · Categorize · Compare · Contrast · Solve

Survey · Questionnaire · Plan · Solution to problem or mystery · Report · Prospectus

Transfer knowledge learned in one situation to another.

Demonstrate · Use guides, maps, charts, etc. · Build · Cook

Recipe · Model · Artwork · Demonstration · Craft

Demonstrate basic understanding of concepts and curriculum.

Restate in own words · Give examples · Explain · Summarize · Translate · Show symbols · Edit

Drawing · Diagram · Response to question · Revision · Translation

Tell · Recite · List · Memorize · Remember · Define · Locate

Workbook pages · Quiz or test · Skill work · Vocabulary · Facts in isolation

Support judgment.

Understand how parts relate to a whole.

Analysis

Application

Comprehension

Understand structure and motive. Note fallacies.

Translate into other words.

Knowledge

Ability to remember something previously learned.

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Language of the Discipline

Details

What are its attributes? What terms or words are specific to the work of the __________  (disciplinarian)? 

What features characterize this?

What tools does the __________ (disciplinarian) use? 

What specific elements define this? What distinguishes this from other things?

Thinking Skills: Categorize and Identify

Thinking Skills: Identify traits, Describe, Differentiate, Compare/contrast, Prove with evidence

Patterns

Trends

What are the reoccurring events?

What ongoing factors have influenced this study?

What elements, events, ideas are repeated over time?

What factors have contributed to this study?

What was the order of events? How can we predict what will come next? Thinking Skills: Determine relevant vs. irrelevant, Summarize, Make analogies, Discriminate between same and different, Relate 

Thinking Skills: Prioritize, Determine cause and effect, Predict, Relate

Unanswered Questions

Rules

What is still not understood about this area/topic/study/discipline?

How is this structured? 

What is yet unknown about this area/topic/study/ discipline?

What are the stated and unstated causes related to the description  or explanation of what we are studying? 

In what ways is the information incomplete or lacking in explanation?

 

Thinking Skills: Recognize fallacies, Note ambiguity, Distinguish fact from fiction   and opinion, Formulate questions, Problem solve, Identify missing information

Thinking Skills: Generalize, Hypothesize, Judge credibility

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Ethics

Big Ideas

What dilemmas or controversies are involved in this area/topic/study/discipline?

What overarching statement best describes what is being studied?

What elements can be identified that reflect bias, prejudice, discrimination?

What general statement includes what is being studied?

Thinking Skills: Judge with criteria, Determine bias

Thinking Skills: Prove with evidence, Generalize, Identify the main idea

Changes Overtime

Different Points of View

How are the ideas related between the past, present, and future?

What are the opposing viewpoints?

How are these ideas related within or during a particular time period?

How do different people and characters see this event or situation?

How has time affected the information? How and why do things change or remain the same? Thinking Skills: Relate, Sequence, Order 

Thinking Skills: Argue, Determine bias, Classify

Across the Disciplines

What are the common elements In the subjects that come from the different disciplines?

Thinking Skills: Relate, Compare/contrast, Differentiate, Synthesize, Evaluate

 

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Primary Learning Center Activities Library 9 9 9 9 9 9

Read information from an author study poster. (remembering) Use a How to Choose a Book chart to choose books (application) Read familiar books (understanding) Read independent-level texts. (understanding) Look at pictures in a book and tell the story. (analyzing) Share favorite parts of books with a partner (evaluating)

Big Book Learning Center 9 9 9 9 9 9 9

Use reading strategies (application) Find important information in a nonfiction book (understanding) Write a book review (evaluating) Write personal reflections on sticky notes (evaluating) Find certain kinds of words (applying) Dramatize the book with puppets (creating) Substitute words using sticky notes (applying)

Listening Learning Center 9 9 9 9 9 9

Predict what the book is about before I listen (analyzing) Read along with the book (applying) Tell if the book is fiction or nonfiction (analyzing) Retell the story I heard today (understanding) Make a picture glossary (creating) List words that tell about the main character (remembering)

Overhead Learning Center 9 9 9 9 9

Use cut up poetry transparencies so the children can rebuild the poem and read it from the white board. (applying) Place the whole poem on the overhead projector and students are required to use whiteboard markers to highlight the rhyming pairs (different colors for each pair). (analyzing) Transparent letter tiles or magnetic letters may be used to build the words of the week, spelling words, or word family words. (applying) Students may also use an overhead pen to practice writing and reading high frequency words. (remembering) Make vocabulary words with magnetic letters and sort for number of syllables, vowel patterns, parts of speech, etc. (analyzing)

Writing Learning Center Samples of a variety of forms of writing: list (applying) letter (applying) poem (creating) invitation (creating) survey (evaluating)

book review (evaluating) recipe (applying) write like a featured author (creating) card (creating)

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The Five Beliefs and Forces Behind Homework (adapted from Rethinking Homework: Best Practices That Support Diverse Needs by Cathy Vatterott)

Belief #1: The role of the school is to extend learning beyond the classroom. Many believe it is not only the inalienable right of teachers but their obligation to extend learning beyond the classroom. Inherent in this belief is the assumption that teachers have the right to control children’s lives outside the school – that we have the right to give homework and that students and parents should comply with our wishes. Many teachers claim that homework keeps children out of trouble and that homework is better for children than television or video games. This view is rather dismissive of the judgment of parents to make good decisions about their child’s use of free time. Is it really our job to be the moral policeman for our students’ personal lives? Perhaps our role in extending learning outside the school is to instill in students the value of learning and the joy of learning, and to expose them to the vastness of the universe - how much there is to learn. Perhaps our role is to help students find something in life they feel passionate about and to help them find their purpose in society. Belief #2: Intellectual activity is intrinsically more valuable than nonintellectual activity. Many homework advocates believe that intellectual development is more important than social, emotional, or physical development. Intellectual pursuits hold an implied superiority over nonintellectual tasks such as throwing a ball, walking a dog, riding a bike, or just hanging out. This belief presupposes the limited value of leisure tasks. Concurrently, some worry that too much unstructured time might cause children to be less successful, less competitive with others. As with Belief #1, this view shows a distrust of parents to guide children in the productive use of free time and a distrust of children to engage in intellectual pursuits on their own. In reality, physical, emotional, and social activities are as necessary as intellectual activity in the development of healthy, well-rounded children. Belief #3: Homework teaches responsibility. One of the most resilient beliefs is that homework promotes responsibility and discipline. Even though there is no research to support this belief, many people continue to tout homework’s nonacademic virtues (Kohn, 2006). Responsibility is often a code word for obedience. When we say we want students to be responsible, are we saying we want them to be obedient - to do what we want them to do when we want them to do it, to be mindless drones, blindly obedient to authority? One teacher said she thought not doing homework was a sign of disrespect for the teacher! When we say homework promotes discipline in students, does that mean being selfdisciplined enough to do something they hate to do because it’s their duty? Many teachers are fixated on homework as the way to teach responsibility, as though we have no other avenues. Yet we tend to neglect all the other ways students could be given responsibility in the classroom - involving them in decision making about their learning, teaching them how to self-assess, letting them design learning tasks, or allowing them to help manage classroom and school facilities (Guskey & Anderman, 2008). Even in the task of homework itself, children are rarely given responsibility for choosing how they wish to learn, how they might show what they have learned, or how they might schedule their time for homework. True responsibility cannot be coerced. It must be developed by allowing students power and ownership of tasks (Vatterott, 2007). If we are using homework to teach responsibility, won’t 10 minutes of homework work just as well as 60 minutes? If we are using homework to teach time management, don’t long-range projects that require scheduled planning do a better job of that than daily assignments? 23


Belief #4: Lots of homework is a sign of a rigorous curriculum. Many people equate lots of homework with a tough school, regardless of the type or length of assignments (Jackson, 2009). Parents will often brag: “My child goes to a really good school - he gets lots of homework.” If the mind is a muscle to be trained (as was believed in the 19th century), than more work must equal more learning. If some homework is good for children, then more homework must be even better. If 10 math problems for homework are good, then 40 problems must be better. This belief, more than any other, is responsible for the piling on of hours of homework in many schools today. Yet we all know that those assignments could be busywork, of no educational value (Jackson, 2009). More homework gives the appearance of increased rigor, and “difficulty is often equated to the amount of work done by students, rather than complexity and challenge” (Williamson & Johnston, 1999, p. 10). Ah, if it were only that simple. More time does not necessarily equal more learning. The “more is always better” argument ignores the quality of work and the level of learning required. Rigor is challenge - but it is not necessarily the same challenge for each student. Given the diverse nature of schools, challenging learning experiences will vary for different students. Belief #5: Good teachers give homework; good students do their homework. Probably the most disturbing belief is the belief in the inherent goodness of homework, regardless of the type or length of assignment. Homework advocates have believed it for years, never questioning whether it might not be true. This belief is born from both the belief that homework teaches responsibility and discipline and the belief that “lots of homework” equals “rigor”. If good teachers give homework, it naturally follows, then, that teachers who don’t give homework are too easy. This mindset is so ingrained that teachers apologize to other teachers for not giving homework! Yet we know that some very good teachers don’t give a lot of homework or give none at all. Instead of being apologetic, teachers who don’t give homework should simply explain that they do such a good job of teaching that homework is not necessary. The danger in the belief that good students do their homework is the moral judgment that tends to accompany this belief. To children who dutifully complete homework, we often attribute the virtues of being compliant and hardworking. To children who don’t complete homework, we often attribute the vices of laziness and noncompliance. But is a lack of virtue the reason many children don’t do homework? Therein lies the problem. Students without supportive parents (or with single parents overburdened trying to make ends meet), with inadequate home environments for completing homework, or with parents intellectually unable to help them are less likely to complete homework (Vatterott, 2007). Are these less advantaged students bad? Of course not.

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ALTERNATE SPELLING ACTIVITIES If you pass a spelling pretest with a score of 90% or higher, you are excused from the week’s regular spelling activities and the final test. Choose from this list of alternate activities. Using New Words

4. Create a crossword or an acrostic puzzle on graph paper. Include an answer key.

1. Working with a partner who also passed the pretest, find 10 unfamiliar words from glossaries of books in our room. (You choose 5 and your partner chooses 5.) Learn their meanings and spellings. When the rest of the class is taking the final spelling test, you’ll test each other on your personal spelling list. Here’s how:

5. Learn the words in a foreign language. Use the words in sentences. 6. Group the words into categories you create. Regroup them into new categories. 7. Create greeting card messages or rebus pictures. 8. Create an original spelling game.

a. Partner A dictates words 1–5 to Partner B, one at a time. Partner B gives a meaning for each word before writing it down.

10. Create limericks using the words.

b. Partner A dictates words 6–10 to Partner B, who writes them down (no meanings needed).

12. Use all of the words in an original story.

9. Create riddles with the words as answers. 11. Write an advertisement using as many of the words as you can. 13. Create alliterative sentences or tonguetwisters using the words.

c. Partner B dictates words 1–5 to Partner A, who writes them down (no meanings). d.Partner B dictates words 6–10 to Partner A, who gives a meaning for each word before writing it down. In other words, Partner A defines 5 of the words, Partner B defines the other 5, and both partners spell all 10. Words are counted wrong if either spelling or meaning are not correct.

14. Using a thesaurus, find synonyms for the words and create Super Sentences. 15. Use the words to create similes or metaphors. 16. Create newspaper headlines using the words. 17. Using an unabridged dictionary, locate and describe the history of each word (its etymology). Create flow charts to show how the meaning of each word has changed over time.

2. Keep track of words you misspell in your own writing. When you have collected 5 words, learn them. Keep a list of any words you don’t master in activities 1 and 2. Learn them the next time you get to choose your own spelling list.

18. Create a code using numbers for each letter of the alphabet. Compute the numerical value of each word. List the words from the highest to lowest value.

Using Regular or Alternate Words

19. Take pairs of unrelated spelling words and put them together to create new words. Invent definitions.

3. Use all the words to create as few sentences as possible.

20. Create your own activity. Get your teacher’s permission to use it.

From Teaching Gifted Kids in the Regular Classroom by Susan Winebrenner, copyright © 2001. Free Spirit Publishing Inc., Minneapolis, MN; www.freespirit.com. This page may be photocopied for individual or classroom work only. For other uses, call 800-735-7323. Since Free Spirit Publishing allows educators to adapt this form to their needs, it may have been modified from its original format and content.

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15 Ways to Do My Spelling Homework All assignments are to include all spelling words for the week. Twenty points are required each week. Choose your favorite activity that will equal twenty points. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12. 13. 14. 15.

Write the words or type in alphabetical order. (5 pts.) Write the words and cross out all the silent letters. (5 pts.) Write your words three times each. (10 pts.) Write the dictionary guide words for each word. (10 pts.) Write the dictionary definition for each word. (10 pts.) Write a sentence for each word. (10 pts.) Make a crossword puzzle with each word. Solve the puzzle. (10 pts.) Make a word search with the words. Solve the puzzle. (10 pts.) Write your words. Label the parts of speech. (10 pts.) Write sentences using two spelling words in each sentence. (15 pts.) Write a metaphor or simile using the spelling words. (15 pts.) Write alliterations using the spelling words. (15 pts.) Write a story using the spelling words. (20 pts.) Put the spelling words in a collage. (20 pts.) Using the main characters from a book you have read, create a dialogue using your spelling words about the main event in the book. Make sure you name the book you are using and the main character. (20 pts.)

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VOCABULARY BUILDERS 8. PALINDROMES: Words and phrases spelled the same forward and backward.

1. ACRONYMS: Words made from the first letters of a list of words you want to remember.

Examples: Otto, Madam, “Madam, I’m Adam.”

Example: HOMES for the Great Lakes: Huron, Ontario, Michigan, Erie, Superior.

9. PORTMANTEAUS: Words made by blending parts of other words.

2. COINED WORDS: Words created to fill a need that no existing word serves. Many trademarks are coined words.

Example: “Brunch” from “breakfast” and “lunch.”

Examples: Kleenex, Xerox. 10. PUN STORIES: Stories that include as many puns as possible. Puns are plays on words.

3. DAFFYNITIONS: Crazy definitions that make some sense.

Example: The pancakes were selling like hotcakes because they didn’t cost a lot of dough.

Examples: Grapes grow on divine. A police uniform is a lawsuit. 4. ETYMOLOGIES: The histories of words, including their origins and changes through time and other languages.

11. SLIDE WORDS: Words slid together from abbreviations. Example: “Jeep” from “GP” (a general purpose vehicle during World War II).

5. EUPHEMISMS: More gentle ways of saying things that sound too harsh. Example: “He passed away” instead of “He died.”

12. SUPER SENTENCES: Sentences made from very difficult vocabulary words.

6. FIGURES OF SPEECH: Expressions that mean something different as a whole than if you take each word literally.

13. TOM SWIFTIES: Statements that combine a word with its related adverb. Example: “I just cut my finger!” cried Tom sharply.

Example: There are many skeletons in our family closet.

14. TRANSMOGRIFICATIONS: Simple thoughts expressed in sophisticated or challenging words.

7. MALAPROPISMS: Words misused on purpose or by accident. They sound like the words you mean to say but have different, often contradictory meanings.

Example: “Scintillate, scintillate, asteroid minific” for “Twinkle, twinkle, little star.”

Example: “Complete and under a bridge” instead of “Complete and unabridged.”

15. ROOTS: Study the Latin roots of 10 words. Find words in other sources that have those roots.

From Teaching Gifted Kids in the Regular Classroom by Susan Winebrenner, copyright © 2001. Free Spirit Publishing Inc., Minneapolis, MN; www.freespirit.com. This page may be photocopied for individual or classroom work only. For other uses, call 800-735-7323. Since Free Spirit Publishing allows educators to adapt this form to their needs, it may have been modified from its original format and content.

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Metaphors for the Future (Adapted from the lesson “Inventing the Future” by CPAWS Education)

Overview:

Objectives: Students will:

Students use metaphors describing different degrees of control we have over our future to explore how worldviews and mental models influence and shape our actions.

ELA 3.10 Identify language that creates a graphic visual experience and appeals to the senses. ELA 4.29 Participate in teacher-and student-led discussions by posing and answering questions with appropriate detail and by providing suggestions that build upon the ideas of others.

Inquiry/Critical Thinking Questions: How do perception and worldview influence and shape our actions? How can we create a future that we want?

ELA 5.8 Evaluate the impact of sensory details, imagery, and figurative language in literary text.

Universal Concepts: Power

Time Required: 45-60 minutes Kaplan’s Open-Ended Lesson: Grade Level: 3-5th The student will distinguish the big idea of figurative language using multiple resources to create a collage.

Materials Required: • Handout: Metaphors for the Future • Depth and Complexity Dice • Question Stems • Chart Paper • Post-it Notes

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Lesson/Activity: 1) Tell students they are going to explore the future using figurative language called metaphors. You may need to define metaphor: a figure of speech in which one thing is described as if it was another, as in “Life is just a bowl of cherries.” 2) Ask the students to brainstorm some issues/problems/concerns that they feel humanity/our world must address/fix in the next 20 to 50 years (for example, poverty, hunger, cure for cancer, pollution, etc.) and post on chart paper/whiteboard. 3) Arrange the class into at least 4 groups with no more than 5 students per group. 4) Pass out the Metaphors of the Future handout and have the students decide which metaphor best describes their idea of the future. 5) Have them put their name on a post-it and place their post-in on the numbered chart paper posted on the walls. (Charts are number 1-4 to represent the different metaphors) 6) Debrief/Identify the pattern and different points of views in the room using Kaplan’s icons as visual prompts. 7) Address the fact that a majority of the class may or may not choose a view of the future but that ALL perspectives/different points of view must be considered. 8) Assign each group 1 of the metaphors from the hand out, Metaphors for the Future. In their group have the students read their metaphor together as if that metaphor was true to their view of the future. 9) Using the depth and complexity die, the students will roll to determine which depth and complexity icons will drive discussion along with depth and complexity question stems. Allow 3 to 4 rolls. • Details: What characteristics of your assigned metaphor prove your idea of the future? • Pattern: What can we predict will come next if your metaphor was true? • Overtime: How can your ideas of the __________ change over time? • Ethics: What dilemmas, problems, or controversies are involved in the metaphor? • Unanswered questions: What is yet unknown or still not understood about your metaphor? • Free Choice: whatever you feel like sharing about your metaphor, either self, text, or world connection. 10) Have groups report to the whole group their favorite depth and complexity question stem and its relationship to their assigned metaphor of the future. 11) Re-address the brainstorming list of issues/problems/concerns from the beginning of the lesson. Have them choose one issue and discuss from the perspective/ point of view of their metaphor. Would their problem be solved?

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12) Debrief using their universal concepts. Which generalization addresses their metaphor’s limitations and/or advantages? Examples: Systems: If you believe metaphor Number One is true, how does that system of belief influence other systems? Power: How can the power of how one views the future have the ability to influence their actions? Exploration: How can you confront the “unknown” of the future? 13) Have student make their own metaphors for the future for homework or create a class metaphor bulletin board. 14) Debrief the authors’ purpose of using a metaphor: • Can help readers or listeners to better understand something about the object or idea. • Can make speaking and writing more lively and interesting. • Can communicate a great deal of meaning with just a word or a phrase. • Can get listeners or readers to think about what they are hearing or reading. Writing Connection: Have students research a specific culture focusing on the culture’s “worldview”. Have them present and compare their findings.

Assessment/Reflection Questions: • What metaphor was most popular? Which was least popular? Do you think this would hold true for most people? Which metaphor do you believe is most widely held by people in your family, school, community, and nation? • Do you believe that people’s actions are influenced by their views of the world and future? Explain why or why not? • Which metaphor do you think someone would choose if he or she was a homeless child? • What will you need to implement your own metaphor or view of the future? For example, if you choose a ship on the ocean, what tools and information would you need to navigate the water?

Art Connection: Have students make a collage display depicting the worldview and values of their culture Action Projects: Adopt a school or classroom of younger students and do the metaphors for the future activity with them. Compare the differences between younger student’s impression of the future and older students’.

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Metaphors for the Future

1. The Future is Like a Great Roller Coaster on a Moonless Night. It exists, twisting ahead of us in the dark, but we can only see the track that is just ahead. We are locked in our seats, and nothing we may know or do will change the course that is laid out for us. In other words, the future is predetermined and there is nothing we can do about it.

2. The Future is Like a Huge Game of Dice. It is entirely random and subject only to chance. For example, a woman missed a plane by a few seconds and avoids dying when the plane crashes. Since everything is chance, all we can do is play the game, pray to the gods of fortune, and enjoy what luck comes our way. In other words, the future is totally random and we do not know how or if our actions make a difference.

3. The Future is Like a Great Ship on the Ocean. We can travel freely upon it and there are many possible routes and destinations. There will always be some outside forces, such as currents, storms, and reefs, to be dealt with, but we still have the choice to sail our ship where we want to go. In other words, we can choose whatever future we want if we are willing to work with a purpose and within the knowledge and constraints of outside forces.

4. The Future is Like a Blank Sheet of Paper It is there for us to fill in with our actions and decisions in the present. If we choose the future we want and spend our daily lives trying to make it happen, it will probably materialize. If we leave it to the powers that be to decide upon and plan the future, we will have a very different kind of future- one dominated by the powerful. In other words, we have control over our future if we choose to act on it.

31 Adapted from, the lesson “Inventing the Future� by CPAWS


Instructional Strategies Special strategies help gifted/talented students maximize their educational opportunities. These strategies are especially important in structuring programs for gifted/talented students that enable them to meet the state goal-the development of innovative products and performances. Curriculum compacting and tiered assignments are a few strategies that help ensure the students in flexible groups are working at their maximum potential. Other strategies, such as using student experts and production crews, can help gifted/talented students maximize their skills so that teachers and other students benefit as well.

Curriculum Compacting Curriculum compacting is an instructional strategy in which the regular curriculum is adapted by eliminating work that has been mastered and streamlining instruction to a pace commensurate with gifted students' readiness. Advanced students familiar with a topic can often demonstrate mastery on an assessment before a teacher introduces content to the class. These students require engagement in replacement materials instead of redundant work. Compacting is appropriate for gifted learners because it provides an educational option that challenges learners and affords students who demonstrate high levels of achievement the time to pursue differentiated activities. Basic principles Teachers must be very knowledgeable about the objectives and content of a topic to assess what information is new or redundant for each student. Pre-instruction assessment is required to determine areas of mastery. Pre-instruction assessment strategies should be varied, efficient, and thorough to document the students' levels of attainment of required knowledge and skills. Grades must be based on the curriculum compacted rather than the replacement material. Students must have a vested interest in the replacement task, which should involve advanced content and accelerated learning rather than enrichment. Adapted from Kingore, B. (ed.). (n.d.) Reading Strategies for Advanced Primary Readers. Austin, TX: Texas Reading Initiative Task Force for the Education of Primary Gifted Children. Resource for additional information: Reis, S., Burns, D., Renzulli, J. (1992) Curriculum Compacting. Mansfield Center, CT: Creative Learning Press, Inc. Procedures for Compacting Stage 1: Indications of Student Strength Think about the following questions: 1. What are the indications of student strength in this area (e.g., standardized test scores, previous grades, teacher reports, class work, student comments)? 2. What units/topics/skills are to be compacted? 3. In what ways might a teacher assess previous knowledge (e.g., pretests, checklists, interest inventories, conferences, demonstrations, portfolios, student self-evaluations, observations)?

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After gathering information about general and specific strengths, record the findings for accountability purposes. Stage 2: Outline Specific Activities and Assignments If necessary, note the activities and assignments needed to master the material. These may be designed to accelerate content and/or teach needed skills, as indicated by the pre-assessment. Be sure to include the following: 1. Materials to be eliminated or accelerated 2. Activities designed to teach and practice needed skills 3. Means to prove mastery of skills learned Stage 3: List Alternative Activities Base these activities on students' interests and strengths, keeping in mind the resources available and local policy. At this stage, student choice is the most important consideration. Develop simple forms for documenting compacting and managing the process. Students should maintain process records instead of relying on the teacher's management strategies. Formative and summative assessment strategies and criteria, as well as a timeline for assessment, should be established by teachers and students prior to implementing the replacement activities. Source: Starko, A. (1986). It's About Time. Mansfield Center, CT: Creative Learning Press.

Tiered Assignments Tiered activities provide classroom options for all students to work on the same unit or in the same content area yet still be challenged individually. Tiered assignments incorporate appropriately challenging tasks that vary in the content level of information, the thinking processes required, and the complexity of products students must create. These diverse assignments provide for varying learner differences by modifying learning conditions, providing leveled activities, motivating students, and promoting success. They allow students to focus on the essential skills at different levels of complexity and abstraction. Such activities engage students beyond what they find easy or comfortable, providing genuine challenges that help them progress. Procedures for Developing a Tiered Activity 1. Select the concept, skill, or generalization to be addressed. 2. Determine the students' readiness and/or interests. 3. Create an activity that challenges most students, is interesting, and promotes understanding of key concepts. 4. Vary the activity appropriately for students with fewer skills. 5. Create additional activities that require high levels of thinking, are interesting, and use advanced resources and technology. Determine the complexity of each activity to document those that will challenge above-grade-level students and gifted learners. 6. Ensure that each student is assigned a variation of the activity that corresponds to that student's readiness level. The complexity of tiered activities is determined by the specific needs of the learners in a class. The levels of the activities begin at the readiness levels of the students and continue to stretch the students slightly beyond their comfort zones to promote continual development. In classes in which all students are at or above grade level, the lowest tier would respond to grade-level or even above-grade-level readiness. All tiers require teacher modeling and support.

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Adapted from Kingore, B. (ed.). (n.d.) Reading Strategies for Advanced Primary Readers. Austin, TX: Texas Reading Initiative Task Force for the Education of Primary Gifted Children. Resource for additional information: Tomlinson, C. (1999) The Differentiated Classroom: Responding to the Needs of All Learners. Alexandria, VA: Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development. Tiered Assignment Example Assumptions 1. The teacher has reviewed pertinent data on students' abilities, interests, learning styles, and production modalities. 2. The teacher has pre-assessed the students on the material to be learned. 3. The teacher has compacted the curriculum according to the pre-assessment data. 4. The teacher has organized instruction using flexible grouping. 5. The teacher has a clear understanding of the expected student performance as a result of the assignment. Learning objective: Students will use agreed-upon criteria to just information on the issue of global warming, examining a variety of primary and secondary sources. They will draw conclusions based on their findings and relate the information to the idea that conflict is a catalyst for change. Findings will be presented to the class through an oral presentation using a graphic organizer or a teacher-approved product of choice. Introductory activity: The teacher asks the question, "What do we know about the issue of global warming?" Student answers are recorded. The teacher then asks, "As scientists, what criteria might we use to judge the validity of the information regarding global warming?" The criteria are posted for future reference. Students are then asked to develop a concept map representing what they know about the issue. Using the two pre-assessment techniques, the teacher determines that there are three distinct levels of readiness to accomplish the task. All students will use the posted criteria to judge the information they will use for the activity. Tier I: Students will use reading material that pictorially represents required information and conduct a pre-developed survey of science teachers and students to determine their awareness of the issue, beliefs about the issue, and reasons for those beliefs. Students will apply the validity criteria to the information gathered. Findings will be presented. Tier II: Students will use grade-level reading material to gather secondary information and develop and conduct a survey of a least two scientists currently investigating the issue. Students will apply the validity criteria to the information gathered. Findings will be presented. Tier III: Students will compare their knowledge of global warming with at least one other environmental issue and note the similarities and differences in the evidence that is presented by each side of the issue. Each issue being addressed must meet the established criteria. Findings will be presented. Culminating activity: Students present their findings on global warming and explain how this issue is an example of conflict as a catalyst for change. After all presentations are completed, the teacher asks, "What can we generally say about the issue of global warming? What predictions can we make based on our current knowledge of this issue? What value, if any, do the validity criteria have in drawing defensible conclusions?"

Flexible Grouping Grouping within the classroom provides an optimal learning environment for all students. Flexible grouping is the practice of short-term grouping and regrouping of students in response to the instructional objectives and 34


students' needs. It contrasts with more stagnant grouping procedures in which students are placed in the same group or given whole-group instruction for all or most of the school year. Flexible groups are fluid. In any week, a child may work independently, be in one group for a specific purpose, and then participate in other groups to accomplish different objectives. In a differentiated classroom that uses flexible grouping practices, whole-class instruction can also be used for sharing introductory information and group-building experiences. Flexible grouping avoids the stigma of labeling children by their ability levels, and it recognizes that no single group placement matches all of a child's needs. With flexible grouping, students are assigned to groups in varied ways and for varied purposes. Students can be grouped by skill, readiness, ability, interest, or learning style. They may be grouped for socialization or for production tasks. Grouping can take place within a classroom, among grade-level classrooms, across grade levels, throughout an entire school, or even between schools. Adapted from Kingore, B. (ed.). (n.d.) Reading Strategies for Advanced Primary Readers. Austin, TX: Texas Reading Initiative Task Force for the Education of Primary Gifted Children.

Student Experts Many students have expertise in one area or a combination of areas. Some students are content experts and some are process experts, while others may be tools experts. The teacher's time can be increased significantly if these areas of student expertise are discovered early in the year, nurtured, and used wisely. Teachers should use appropriate care when using student experts as a strategy. Students must have the option to volunteer for this work rather than being assigned this work. Gifted students are too often used to do the teacher's work, and they feel their need to learn new knowledge and skills is being ignored. Procedures for establishing student experts 1. 2. 3. 4. 5.

Have students sign up for an area(s) of expertise Assess their level of expertise License each student for an area(s) of expertise Have student experts develop an appointment book for times they can be available Have student experts keep a log of training they provide

Areas of expertise Public speaking, communication, writing Content/topic/skills Independent study process Creative problem solving process Deductive reasoning Graphic representation Production techniques Tools such as Computer application programs Photography equipment Science equipment Copier Overhead projector Sound equipment 35


Computer equipment

Production Crews Production crews can get a big job done. If a project has many and varied products as parts of the whole, then the use of production crews can be effective. Students should volunteer for the crew and should have an interest and some level of skill for the chosen task. Division of production tasks is evident in the world of work and can be just as effective in the classroom. The key is that each student has a meaningful task to complete and that each will be assessed on that task as it is related to the larger job. For example, a student may have an original idea but may lack the skills to convey that idea in a variety of ways. Production crews could take the original idea and create meaningful ways to sell it or present it to an appropriate audience.

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Scenario One: Aaron Aaron was a fourth-grade boy with “great potential” who, according to most of his teachers, had made a career out of “wasting time and not working up to his ability.” He had been denied permission to attend the gifted education class because of his poor work habits in his regular classroom. I offered to visit Aaron’s class and demonstrate the Most Difficult First strategy. I suspected it might help Aaron be more productive in math class, and I hoped that would convince his teacher to let him attend the gifted program meetings. First, I taught the day’s math lesson to the class allowing 20 minutes of practice time at the end so they could start their homework. Aaron was noticeably uninvolvedthere was nothing on top of his desk, since he had stated he had no book or materials-but I ignored him. At the end of the instructional time, I wrote the assignment on the board. It looked like this: Pages 50-69, 3-5, 8-9, 11-15, 21-13, * #5, #9, #14, #15, #22 Then I told the class: I have assigned these problems for your homework, because I think most of you will need that much practice to master the concepts we talked about today. However, I may be wrong, so I’ve starred the five most difficult problems. Anyone who wants to do the starred problems first, and who can do them neatly, legibly, and correctly-without getting more than one wrong-is done practicing. The problems must be completed and corrected before this math period is over. You’ve got 20 minutes. Aaron had been in his characteristic “I-dare-you-to-make-me-work” slouch. As I finished my explanation, his head shot up, and we had the following conversation. Aaron: “Excuse me…what did you just say?’ Me: “What do you think I said?’ Aaron: “I think you said that if I get those five problems right, and you can read them, I don’t have to do my homework!” Me: “That’s correct.” Aaron: “Uh, is my regular teaching going to do this tomorrow?” Me: “I’m not sure, but I’ll bet it has something to do with whether or not it works today.” Aaron: “Yeah, right.” (Pause) “Uh, what happens if I get two wrong?” Me: “Aaron, how much of the 20 minutes’ practice time is left?” Aaron: “Oh, yeah. Right. Okay, I’ll give it a try.” Aaron suddenly “found” his math book, a pencil, and some paper in his desk. He got right to work and finished the designated problems accurately and neatly. His teacher had evidence she needed that he understood the concepts, which made her more willing to let him participate in the gifted program. And Aaron had the joyful feeling that somehow he’d gotten away with something.

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Scenario Two: Eric Eric had failed fifth grade once, and he was now the tallest and biggest boy in his class. His former teachers described him as “lazy” because he never completed his homework in any subject. Some referred to his “poor attitude.” Eric refused to read the stories from the required reader, never even opened his workbook, and had been overheard proclaiming, “I hate reading-it’s dumb!” Over the years, he had spent many hours in the principal’s office. Eric’s new teacher noticed that he always had a magazine about cars or trucks hidden in his desk. Furthermore, it was a magazine written for adults. Eric delighted in challenging his classmates to a contest of wits over the engine capacity and speed potential of the latest cars, and he always seemed to have that information at his fingertips. It was obvious to his teacher that he was actually reading and understanding the material in his magazines. Yet he was still failing all his classes, including reading. One weekend, Eric’s teacher attended a seminar on the topic of teaching gifted students. While listening to some characteristic behaviors of gifted kids, she realized that she had observed many of those behaviors in Eric. Upon returning to school, the teacher arranged to meet with other teachers and the school principal. She asked them to tell her which student came to mind as she read aloud a list of characteristic behaviors. Eric’s name was mentioned over and over again. Could it be that his school problems were caused by boredom and frustration rather than laziness or a poor attitude? The teacher decided to test her theory by offering Eric pretesting and compacting opportunities in several subjects, including reading skills and vocabulary. At first, Eric seemed unable to believe that a teacher would allow him to demonstrate mastery by doing less work than he had previously been asked to do. And when he learned that he could spend class reading time with his magazines, as well as novels and books about car racing and race drivers, his eyes nearly popped out of his head. The results were just short of miraculous. Within days, Eric was back on the right learning track, completing his compacted work quickly and demonstrating a more positive attitude about school than anyone on staff had ever observed. His mother commented to the teacher about the remarkable changes she was seeing with her son. After about two weeks, the principal dropped by the class to see if Eric had been absent with some terrible illness. Since he was no longer being sent to the office to be disciplined, the principal assumed the worst?

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Scenario Three: Cleon Cleon, a student in my fifth-grade class, was “gifted across the board.” His ability was exceptional in every subject area, as well as in art and physical education. However, his actual classroom performance left a lot to be desired. I found it frustrating that he seemed to spend much of his class time day-dreaming, and he seldom completed his homework assignments, but he always aced the tests! This happened even in social studies, where all of the material was supposed to be completely new. Furthermore, Cleon behaved rudely during class discussions. He blurted out answers when he wasn’t called on, and he seemed to delight in making remarks under his breath that were designed to amuse or distract the other students. I slowly realized that Cleon’s negative behavior was related to his superior learning ability. Rather than “disciplining” him, I decided to find a management system that would allow Cleon to learn social studies in a manner more commemorate with this ability. Naturally, I hoped that the added challenge would have a positive effect on his behavior. When I discussed this situation with Cleon’s parents, they wanted to take away his hockey lessons until he “shaped up in school.” I asked them not to do that. Cleon was a champion player, and I don’t believe there is anything positive to be gained by taking away a child’s source of joy and satisfaction until his or her school work improves. Cleon’s predictable reaction would be to become even more negative toward school. Since his performance on assessments indicated that he could learn the material without actually doing the regular work, I believe the solution should be found at school rather than home. At the time, our class was studying the Civil War. I explained the Study Guide method and asked Cleon if he might want to try it. Cleon was interested in trains, so he said he would like to draw the trains and locomotives of the Civil War period. However, simply drawing the trains would not have provided an adequate challenge to his superior learning ability. So we negotiated a project that allowed Cleon to draw his trains on a huge piece of tag board on which he also located the major Civil War battlefields and manufacturing centers. His second task was to determine the extent to with the proximity of the manufacturing centers to the battlefields affected the outcome of the war. This forced Cleon to become more original with his thinking, and to synthesize information from many sources to create and defend a hypothesis - a legitimate activity for a gifted student.

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Scenario Four: Homework

This scenario will be entirely improvisation. Here is your situation: You are a clever student explaining your reason for not doing your homework, again!

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Houston Independent School District PDS/Advanced Academic Collaborative List 3 new things you have learned today. 1.___________________________________________________________________ 2. ___________________________________________________________________ 3.___________________________________________________________________

Identify 2 different ways in which you will use this new information when you enter the classroom. 1.___________________________________________________________________ 2. ___________________________________________________________________

Write 1 thing you would like more of and 1 thing you want less of. 1.___________________________________________________________________ 2. ___________________________________________________________________

Additional Comments:

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Differentiation in a Nutshell