Gifted Education, mathematics, numeracy, Parenting, teaching

Programming for challenge

When we start a new year or a new topic most teachers are lucky enough to be given a program from the year before to use. This can be fantastic as it saves time and also inspires ideas for the current year but there are many things we need to do before we use the program and it goes beyond just reading through and tweaking.

Always pretest

Pre test your students and consider if this program suits them at all. Does the topic need to be changed? Will they engage with the activities and are the activities differentiated to suit the needs of the current class?

Pre testing is vital for all KLA’s so that we are prepared to challenge every student in the different subject areas not just in their ability but also how they view the world through the different topic areas we are presenting to them.

How are they challenged?

How are the students being challenged in the program? Are they being challenged through the questions being asked or the skills they will develop?

Are you using Higher Order thinking stems for enrich their thinking and which model works best? 

What level is the challenge?

If there is challenge and differentiation – great but at what level?

Again, you need to consider the students in your class and think if the level being presented to them in the current program is really for them

Will the main topic generate passion for learning?

The curriculum is much more flexible than we think and as the classroom teacher you need to consider which topic will really excite your learners.

Instead of just looking at ‘living things’ can your more able students look at ‘dangerous living things’?

Instead of just writing a book review – review a book review site instead and create your own. 

How limited does the topic of space need to be? Can you go beyond just the planets in the solar system and discuss how people could live on these orbiting bodies.

It does take time to create new programs and also look through existing ones but when we do, our students enjoy learning and engage with us and this is worth the time spent!

Gifted Education, literacy

Adding Depth and Complexity to your writing program

Asking open ended questions-2

Many teachers often look at this concept and worry that they will have to overhaul their whole program to make this happen – but never fear! You do not!

As you peruse over the writing program you have, consider how:

  •  You can vary the types of text you expose the students to according to their talents and needs.
  •  Make the lessons link to real life
  •  Group students so they can work with like minded peers
  • Make time so that they are supported by the teacher on a regular basis, not just left for independent work because they are more able.

I have included some further explanation below with examples and ideas. As always, if you are keen for further support please do not hesitate to get in touch.

Vanessaryanrendall@gmail.com

Expose students to more texts of different complexity, different topics and different formats.

  • Look for patterns within these different texts. Explore how they are engaging, how the language assists the text.
  • Compare the voice of the authors.
  • Critique these – do they really convince you? Engage you?
  • Find what students like about the different texts and how they can use some of the language to improve their writing.

Peer mentoring

  • Work with like minded students to read over each other’s work.

Teacher mentoring

  • Set aside time to support your bright and gifted students to work through raising the bar in their writings

Make it real

  • Find a way to make this text type real. What sort of audience could the students write for?
  • Narrative – writing competition, school newsletter, convert into a performance or picture book
  • Exposition/Discussion – send the letter to local MP, council, PM, class debate
  • Poetry – writing competitions, slam poetry competition in school, newsletter, christmas card insert 
  • Information report – write and then change into a documentary, present to class or leadership, assembly, school newsletter.
  • Explanation – Create a documentary, present to class
  • Recount – Artwork could be created from this and displayed
  • Review – create a blog where books/products are regularly reviewed by the class. 

Give structure so they understand what is expected. 

  • Gifted and bright students still need to understand how they set out different text types but offer them more advanced options through extra paragraphs, comparisons within their text, catchy starts and finishes through rhetorical questions etc.
  • Word banks that are at their stage level and then at their ability level.
  • Brainstorm various themes they could write about
Gifted Education, Parenting, teaching

Depth and Complexity for Gifted students

So you have a gifted child and you are remote learning?

Blue and Gray Maximalist Technology Instagram Post

The activities being provided online may not be ideal for your child as teachers juggle the new platform and catering for all students.

So what can you do with a frustrated child and perhaps worried parent?

Projects!

A great way to support your gifted child is through projects that are:

– In their area of interest

– Challenging with depth and complexity

– A new area yet challenging and through provoking.

Think Dinosaurs, space, plastic waste, favourite authors, famous scientists or even LEGO. The possibilities are endless yet the depth and complexity is what needs to remain high.

I often use Kaplan’s Depth and Complexity Model to create my projects and you can try this too.

Here is an example of my use of this model – please use and give me feedback:

Using the Kaplan model to extend and enrich

 

Here are some website links:

https://www.romoland.net/cms/lib/CA01902709/Centricity/Domain/21/Kaplan-Depth-and-Complexity-1y4xdgk.pdf

https://www.byrdseed.com/introducing-depth-and-complexity/

 

 

Creativity, Gifted Education, literacy, teaching

A literacy lesson and more on Myths from different cultures…

In Year 3 this term I am embarking on teaching students about myths from different cultures and times.

This week we started on what a myth is and how to tell the difference between a myth, legend, folktale and fairytale.

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But what made this lesson higher order is what we did next.

Choose a natural phenomenon and find as many myths as you can about that phenomenon

Myths about the Sun

 

Key Questions using the KAPLAN Model for Depth and complexity

 

  • BIG IDEAS- What are the big ideas behind the telling of this myth?
  • PATTERNS – Are there similar patterns throughout the different myths?
  • UNANSWERED QUESTIONS – What was the characters motive? What was the purpose of the sun before this myth? Why was this myth created?
  • CHANGES OVER TIME – Has the myth changed over time? How are our viewpoints of this natural phenomenon influenced today?

 

Have you taught myths in your classroom? I would love to know what you have done!

Click to access Kaplan-Depth-and-Complexity-1y4xdgk.pdf