Who Are Gifted Students? Why Do They Need Special Attention?
Gifted students are the children that are potentially above average in one or more domains of development (physical, social, creative, intellectual). Owing to these advanced capabilities, these students need extra opportunities to calm their extraordinary minds.
Hence, their instructional delivery also needs extra planning and mindful strategizing.
Read further to know more about the handling of these talented kids and the ways to engage them in a classroom.
1. Flexible and In-depth Learning
Offer these gifted learners more space to work on their own. Use more blended models to make this happen for their personalized learning. And suggest ways of deep diving more into topics/information and content.
You can make use of certain credible online applications like Google Arts and Culture. Let the kids enrich their knowledge through engaging virtual tours.
It is also a good idea to give them a chance to share their findings with other students. Because this can be additional knowledge and better exposure for all students without investing any extra time on the same content/subject matter.
You must also keep the talented student’s learning style in mind. Because just like other students, they too learn best when you teach them as per their preferences and interests.
2. Activities Like ‘Volley of Questions’
These gifted learners also love resolving open-ended questions. So, you engage them with an extra set of questions after the completion of the topic. Try to keep these open-ended. And let them suggest multiple answers for these scenarios/questions.
Later you can also discuss these findings in more detail with them. But this extra activity will keep them busy by the time other students complete their regular work.
Try to take them through more complex processes of teaching and learning. Because it is not possible to pacify these learners with what all goes well with regular students.
3. Complex Problem Solving
Let them tackle complex problems and come up with credible solutions. You can give them real-world problems and allow independent research time to suggest solutions.
Problem solving activities in classrooms return great results for all types of learners.
So, make this learning more relevant to the child’s age and intelligence type. And these advanced learners might just amaze you with some wonderful findings and great pieces of information.
Remember that gifted students are also capable of completing more tasks in less time. So, let the other students follow their regular pace when these kids research for more in-depth knowledge.
4. Extra Study Options
Another way of engaging and utilizing the caliber of these students is to encourage them for additional courses. Online courses are beneficial, especially for gifted students.
Let the kids explore the next level of online learning by the virtue of their advanced learning potential. Make sure you double-check the state laws. Because these might or might not allow the child to take up these options.
This option can be great for them. Because online schooling platforms now offer more and better course options than any regular brick-and-mortar school.
Support the child in selecting the most appropriate courses as per their career aspirations and likings. And very soon, he/she will be more satisfied with the learning process.
5. Challenge Them Enough
Your gifted student can develop numerous mental health issues and a sense of guilt if he/she underperforms. And this happens when these kids are not challenged enough in regular educational settings.
Try to raise the bar for them. And allow them to explore the topics that are already covered in the class. Because it will spark their interest and pacify their curious minds will.
6. Collaborative Learning
Since these learners are superlative, it is perfect to group them with other students in the class. It will motivate others to work harder to reach the level of these learners. This strategy will also make it easy for regular learners to understand complex problems and resolve them better.
Besides collaborative learning is also beneficial for gifted students. Because this heterogeneous mix of students makes way for better learning and inculcates soft skills like ‘teamwork’ in them.
Ensure that the learning environment is positive at all times. As otherwise, your regular students might feel intimidated or left out in the presence of these gifted students.
7. Keep the Student’s Personality in Mind
Gifted students also have unique personalities. Try to understand their personality types. And observe their behavior carefully. There is a possibility that some of these students get excessively passionate about their learning.
All this might hinder their mind’s functioning and they tend to be become overly focused only on one thing. This kind of obsession is harmful. Because the student might at times go to the extent of exerting pressure on his/her mental faculties.
Try to intervene and stop any such practices as and when you see them. And teach them the importance of joyous and happy realistic learning.
Wait! This is not the end there are some more points to consider.
Other Important Points
It is easy to find qualities like perfectionism in a gifted student. They can also feel lonely and left out at times. Many of these students do not match the maturity level of their peers. Hence, they can be easily frustrated or overconfident at times.
Discuss their passions in detail. And let them feel loved and appreciated for their innate abilities.
Educators should take extra efforts to teach them the balanced ways of working. Because they might need help in this area due to their advanced capability and superior learning caliber.
Students can also feel frustrated if he/she does not reach a level of perfection or fail to attain mastery level in a particular task. Use these opportunities to instill qualities like perseverance in them.
A gifted student needs sequential and in-depth learning. These students are beyond the laid norms of the regular educational settings. And need proper handling and support to develop socially and thrive within a heterogeneous group.
Try out these ways to engage with a gifted child. And experience the joy of witnessing these budding stars falling in love with their learning in your classroom!
All the best & thanks for reading.