Typically, as teachers, we put more time and energy into focusing on the students that have fallen behind or are struggling. That’s where our focus lies, however, that doesn’t mean we ignore our middle-of-the-track or high flyers. Yes, we want to make sure that those struggling students progress. It is also important to spend time with your gifted learners as well to ensure they are challenged appropriately and progress too! So we came up with a list of 13 Ideas to Support your Gifted Students.
As always, we looked to our Fearless Facebook Groups to help us come up with ideas and strategies to make sure ALL of the students in our classrooms are getting the attention and support they need.
Join any of our three groups: Fearless Kindergarten Teachers: Education to the Core Facebook Group, Fearless First Grade Teachers: Education to the Core Facebook Group, or Fearless Second Grade Teachers: Education to the Core Facebook Group if you want more information and ideas to support your Gifted Students. It is also a great place to go if you are looking for feedback on anything else that has to do with navigating your #teacherlife.
Ideas to Support your Gifted Students – 1: iPads
“Do you have iPads? We have been using Beast Academy in math. It is higher-level thinking and you can pick the topic. I have a couple of mine work on that if we are working on a skill they already mastered.” -Tayler K.
2-“I’m about to introduce author studies to mine.” -Lorren H.
Ideas to support your Gifted Students – 3: Fluency Passages
Try using a higher level Fluency Passage to try and challenge them and provoke more complex thoughts when they are reading text.
4-“I do a book club with a group of 9 kids. They all read the same book. I assign them two chapters a week and q&a worksheets for each chapter. I meet with them once a week for 30 min to review the chapters read. They love it. For math, I teach 2-3 different lessons. While I teach group 1, the other two groups are on computers or at centers. Then group 1 goes and does their independent math worksheet, then I teach group 2, and so on. Group 1 is on level, Group 2 is above grade level by one year and group 3 is above grade level by 2 years. Sometimes I’ll assign my highest group a Khan Academy video to watch before my lesson so we can get through the lesson quicker.” -Tammy Y.
5-“I challenge them throughout the day. During ELA they get more difficult words to sound out, or they become leaders and help students who are at grade level while I help struggling learners. They also get a chance to write multiple sentences versus only one or more complex sentences. In math, they write their own word problems then share them with a group to solve. I sometimes give them higher numbers as well. Always encouraging higher-level thinking through questioning. Remember to give more difficult work, not more work. It would be helpful to collaborate with your gifted teacher if you have one or second grade to see what resources you can share between each other. “ -Aurora M.
6 – “My high learners love games they play with each other on the floor. Racko old game, but good practice with number sense, probability, and strategy. Decks of cards are fantastic for math games for almost every topic. They play quietly while I work with another group. After 1 year of remote the benefits of learning to play cooperatively beginning to show in how they get along.” -Karen L.
Ideas to support your Gifted Students – 7: STEM Challenge Stories
STEM Challenge Stories encourages a growth mindset. The challenges encourage a growth mindset, creative thinking, and inspire students to learn from their successes and their struggles. Challenging your gifted learned to not only do well when they know the answer but also when they do not know the answer is a huge part of supporting your gifted students.
8- “Pull out more advanced work or modify current work to be more challenging. For one student I have gone to the next grade up and borrowed activities to see what he can do. I have one who has become a regular teacher helper. She helps students who are struggling and puts smiley faces on their finished papers that are correct.” -Christina N.
9- “It won’t work for everyone, especially in this covid era but small groups. We do reading in small groups at a grade level. All students are broken up into groups and go to their specific intervention group at the same time. All students work on what they need. I teach writing in two groups. My intervention group and my capable students don’t need to learn to segment but need to learn to compose. I also do math in small groups. I’m teaching the same content but a little differently depending on capability. After guided math small groups my math intervention students get pulled for a group with paras and my more capable students work on a number sense activity.” -Susan T.
10 – “Book clubs! My high flyers read a level K Razz kid’s book about animals. They chose an animal from the book to research. We went to the library and they took out books and I also assigned them books on Epic. They are writing a report and working Inca diorama to present to the class!” -Adela F.
Ideas to Support your Gifted Students – 11: Once Upon A Stem
Once Upon a STEM is fun and great for those gifted students because these activities involve some research and can be done as a self-study activity that gives them the option to go at their own pace and not feel the pressure of trying to finish first or wanting to compare their work to their peers.
12 “Genius hour. They love it, grow reading, writing, speaking, and many other skills. everyone learns through the presentations or sharing of learning. Child driven.” -Joanne S.
13- My students love games and they build so many skills beyond academics, like social and teamwork skills. File folder games are fun!
If you enjoyed some of the 13 Ideas to Support your Gifted Students and want more tips and tricks you can sign up for our free Teaching Tiny Humans Teacher Course, where you will get weekly emails and guidance on how to navigate challenging situations, along with tips, tricks, activity ideas, and freebies to make this school year a success and constantly be honing your skills even if you are not in the classroom.
In addition, you can follow us on Instagram, TikTok, and Facebook @educationtothecore for continued information and resources as the school year progresses, or listen to our podcast Where the Primary Things Are.
Written by – Korryna Sanchez
At Education to the Core, we exist to help our teachers build a stronger classroom as they connect with our community to find trusted, state-of-the-art resources designed by teachers for teachers. We aspire to be the world’s leading & most trusted community for educational resources for teachers. We improve the lives of every teacher and learner with the most comprehensive, reliable, and inclusive educational resources.
If you enjoyed what we have to offer at ETTC, be sure to join our email list, so you won’t miss a beat. We are here to help with all your resource needs. Become a Premium Member of Education to the Core and receive immediate access to thousands of printable activities. For one small monthly or annual fee, everything ETTC can be at your fingertips all of the time.