I am honored to be working with gifted students. I first started teaching Gifted and Talented students in 2016, and my initial thought about gifted students is that it would be a cake walk. Much to my surprise, it was the most challenging year of my 20+ year teaching career. I had to reflect on my techniques and revamp the way I did everything.
The students needed to be constantly challenged and allowed to be creative.
The most important lesson I learned, however, is that academics was not going to be my focal point but rather the development of their social skills. I am constantly providing opportunities for them to work as a team, and my class motto has been developed to inspire them throughout their lives: "Be smart with a heart." I particularly love their ability to empathize with other people, and I intend to continue developing all areas of their social skills.
"Organization and education, when they interact with each other, they strengthen each other, they are mutually supportive." ~Noam Chomsky
Help me give my students materials that will teach independence and organizational skills as I have already indicated that my gifted students need help with basic social skills.
I have 31 students, and I am the only adult in the room. The students have jobs that help us run the classroom effectively, and, in turn, push the instructional agenda forward.
The Mobile Storage Center will be essential for developing independence and organizational skills. I will place each group's independent tasks and daily resources to assigned bins, and table leaders will be able to access the materials when needed. When the students are done with their tasks, they will replace the materials in the assigned bins and transition to the next task in a clutter-free environment.
I also emphasize how important it is to keep focused, and the timer will help students organize their tasks in order to complete assignments. In the past, I have used an electronic timer, but it required me giving up my computer to display the timer. This also prevented me from helping students who may need my computer to research information for their assignment.
The writing folders will be used to help my students organize their writing as part of the Writing Process. The folder guides the students through the stages by providing checklists that they can use to help keep them on the right track. This can foster independence as the students can self monitor their writing.
The paddles will be used during group turn and talks so students can organize their thinking with their partners and share their thoughts when called upon. This will prevent ideas being lost.
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