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Why I Teach Gifted Kids

Teaching gifted students is the place where I can "sparkle" as a facilitator! My philosophy in education is: When given enough choices, every student can find motivation.  With that in mind, I initially plan my lessons around concepts, which must be addressed to meet and enhance core standards, as well as provide enrichment to stimulate the gifted mind. To that end, I begin with mini-lessons on a concept using multiple avenues to guide learners toward understanding.  For example, a gifted math student may, also, be a struggling reader. He or she may actually be willing to read a shortened passage with simplified vocabulary from the same text as the advanced reader.  The concepts and knowledge gained are the same, just presented in an achievable format.  I regularly use technology, which helps me “fix” reading passages in this way.  Similarly, the student identified as gifted in reading may dislike math; thus, I have mini-lessons prepared to integrate mathematical concepts within the larger picture of project-based activities.  For example: In a project about saving our sea turtles, I have an activity to calculate the rate of decline in female nesting turtles on the Island of Palau; or, I may ask students to research the origin of the concept of zero (0) and the historical origin of the number "one" (1). Relying on my many years’ experience to guide me, I am able to identify gifted students’ needs readily and develop activities or assignments to reach every youngster and help each one "sparkle"!

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