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Modules: Addressing the Needs of Gifted Learners

Purpose:
To increase the ability of schools to meet the special educational needs of gifted and talented students.

Objectives:

  • Facilitate change of teacher practice in supporting the educational needs of gifted students
  • Increase gifted achievement as a result of implementing innovations of practice or curriculum.

Who should consider taking these courses?
The modules were specifically written for practicing licensed educators interested in learning more about meeting the needs of gifted learners.

The Modules:

  • Affective Guidance: Addressing the Social-Emotional Needs of Gifted Students

    • We invite you to recognize the affective needs of gifted students, to understand the components of a supportive classroom environment as well as the impact of appropriate intervention, and to be able to respond to specific social/emotional and educational needs of gifted students in a classroom environment.

  • Creativity
    • In this module you will be introduced to specific information, research, strategies, and models for developing and/or enhancing creativity. Instruction in this module will enable you to recognize, nurture, and assist in developing the creativity of your student(s). When researching the field of creativity, one will find a multitude of opinions, suggestions and ideas. This module is a selection of information gleaned from educational, psychological, and mainstream resources. In that sense, it is clear that creativity transcends the classroom walls. One can find creativity in a backyard as children fashion a clubhouse from found materials as well as in a dance studio at the Joffrey Ballet. We may be surrounded by creative individuals and not even realize it.
  • Developing Mathematical Thinking in Gifted Learners
    • Each of the sections in this module is designed to help you increase your expertise in working with students with mathematical promise. This course will assist educators in identifying mathematically promising students; select, modify and/or create materials to use with these students; assess the effectiveness of the strategies and materials used with mathematically promising students; and use a variety of evidence-based programming and instructional strategies to create environments that promote the growth of the mathematically promising.
  • Differentiating for Gifted Learners
    • This course will assist educators in practicing the key component of what makes differentiating for gifted learners different than differentiating for all students. Participants will engage with either an elementary GT student or secondary GT student (your choice of level) as their teacher guides them through the steps to design learning experiences at the appropriate level using a "litmus test".

  • The Gifted Learner
    • This course will assist teachers to recognize the characteristics of the gifted learner, to understand the importance of addressing their needs and will provide suggestions for strategies that can be utilized in the classroom. Participants will implement a strategy and examine its effect on a gifted student, and will reflect upon their own professional practices.
  • Raising Thinking Skills, a Concept-Based Model
    • This course will assist teachers to build higher level thinking skills and expertise for gifted learners via “pathways” for creative, critical, and reflective thinking. Strategies for building higher level thinking through different questioning models will be highlighted as just one approach to “bump up” the thinking levels of gifted students. Each section in this module will assist teachers to build skills for the development of a concept-based lesson or unit framed around essential questions and higher level questions for gifted students.

  • Reading for the Gifted Learner
    • Where does the gifted reader fit into lesson planning? This course will focus on characteristics of gifted readers, help teachers identify and recognize instructional levels, and offer a range of strategies to provide complexity and depth to reading instruction. Participants will identify students in their class and create lesson plans to accommodate students’ high-level instructional needs in the context of the regular classroom.

The modules were piloted in Colorado by educators around the state during fall 2006 and winter 2007. The courses are currently available to teachers and other educators through the Colorado Department of Education and facilitators in districts and regions. Facilitators must attend a Training of Trainers session before offering a course.

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Colorado Dept. of Education
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