Ask your students to write about their summer breaks, but remix their activities into a new genre or setting. Perhaps they vacationed at Hogwarts, Mordor, or Tatooine? Not interested in a writing assignment? Have them rewrite a Beatles song about their summer vacations.
The year opens with a vocabulary skill analyzing “Suffixes: -ful, -less, -ly.” I adjusted this lesson to examine how these suffixes change the part of speech of words, rather than the meaning.
You know you’re supposed to put your cart into a designated area in the parking lot, but you’d rather not take the effort since you’re in a hurry. And after all, one cart doesn’t make a difference! However, if we all take this mindset, soon the parking lot is impossible to park in, carts are slamming into cars, and businesses are raising prices to pay for all of the broken carts.
We’re supposed to rank fifteen items according to usefulness if we were stranded on the light-side of the moon. The items range from pistols to powdered milk. Some seem useful, but are actually worthless while others seem unnecessary on earth, but are actually vital when stuck on the moon. However, the structure of the activity as a website is not optimal. Let’s improve this and make it an awesome problem–solving exercise for our class.
At our school, 6th graders participate in an annual egg drop. To increase the rigor, I looked for unique scientific roles and came up with three: designing a parachute to slow the egg’s descent, testing materials to pack inside the structure, and developing the structure itself. Each of these roles will be developed into a scientific discipline.
Judy Galbraith identified boredom with school as a gripe of gifted students. This complaint is completely understandable. How many meetings have you sat through, going over material you had already mastered? For our gifted students, their school career is a long stretch of those meetings.
The priority is to nurture a love of learning, exploration, and problem solving by creating a flexible, content and activity–rich environment. Make a safe space where children can pursue that which sparks their interests from a selection of purposeful, multi-sensory, content-based activities. In this type of setting, poignant learning takes place as children work, explore, create, and observe.
What a concept! Students’ behavior will improve when they work with a teacher who enjoys them! However, anyone who’s had to wrangle two or three dozen gifted minds at once knows there’s much more to the story than angelic super–computers who eagerly obey your every whim. In fact, gifted students can present some interesting behaviors that throw off unprepared teachers.
Think Like A Disciplinarian is a method for teaching students to approach concepts from an expert’s point of view. You’ll expose you class to new modes of thinking, teach subject–specific language, and develop questions that delve deeper into problems. As a bonus, students will learn about potential careers.
By and large, we underestimate the learning capabilities of young students, beginning in preschool and extending through first or second grade. We tend to focus on the basics – alphabet, letters, numbers, individual words, basic shapes – in isolation, sometimes forgetting to add the richness of depth and complexity that allow students to learn on a deeper level, and provide interest for those students who already have already learned the particular skills.