In a classroom of 40-60 children, at least 10% are gifted. These students also require attention as their capacity to digest and think ahead is far greater. A gifted child may be anybody in the class: the back bencher, the class clown, the day dreamer or even the quiet kid in the corner.
What does a teacher usually do in such a situation?
1. Label such children as trouble kids?
2. Make them peer mentors for children who are performing poorly in academics?
3. Give them an additional essay or more math problems to solve?
4. Make them the class monitor?
Teachers or educators of the gifted need to go beyond the role of the classroom instructor. For this it is important to understand the needs of gifted children and possible strategies that can be effectively used even within the mixed ability classroom. A few strategies have been suggested below:
1. Differentiate according to individual student’s needs.
2. Encouraging collaborative learning.
3. Enabling fast pacing of the curriculum content
4. Create higher challenge levels
5. Facilitating independent study.
Kaveri Gifted Education Center offers professional development courses for teachers to help them identify gifted children in their classroom, become sensitive to their needs in the classroom and to facilitate differentiated activities to meet their potential.