14 ideas to engage gifted and talented students beyond classrooms – Guest Post by Ivanka Mendes, Los Angeles, CA
My son was one of the gifted students. He used to be curious about things all the time. He used to ask me questions and wanted to learn more. Not only academics but also he used to show interest in whatever he observed. Being a mother, I had no idea how to make learning efficient for him. I had seen parents struggling with their kids. These kids faced difficulty in learning. This was not the case with my son. He was a gifted child. Therefore, I wanted to adopt different teaching techniques for him. I was confused until I came across the below-mentioned ideas.
All the parents who are blessed with gifted children must know their interests. The 14 ideas to engage gifted and talented students beyond classrooms would also encourage them. I suggest all parents use the following ideas for kids.
1. Know their interests-Try to identify what fascinates your kids. Try asking your kids fill an interest inventory. The inventory should contain a fun writing exercise. Students should know themselves better. It is similar to a questionnaire. Filling it will help parents know what fascinates their kids. This way parents can plan the curriculum as per interests of kids.
2.Book talks-Share what you are reading with gifted students. Often, these students experience a reading lag where they can’t find a sweet spot because it is hard for high-ability students to understand what is both challenging and appropriate. Other than the academic and class, buy knowledge books for your kids.
3. Keep them active- Gifted students often need to have the ability to move when learning. Provide them with home-like activities. Ask the schoolteacher also to include activities for the students. Engaging kids with activities will keep them active. This is a technique for the perfect education.
4. Flexible seating-Try to change the seating position of your kids. Make it unusual for them. Changing the location keeps the brain active. Also try different seating options like round chairs, square chairs and more.
5. Current event solving-No matter how talented your kid is, engage him into current world problems. Let him analyze the situations. Try programming for kids. This will develop logic in children. Help them use their talent to solve real-world issues.
6. Look for helpers- As important as current events are, it is also just as important to understand that gifted students internalize global happenings on a very personal level. Kids do not have the experience with the world to understand that despite there being a war or attack, there are still good things happening in the world.
7. Allow for groupings-Not all gifted students are meant to be the project manager. Allow students the opportunity to work alone or in a group. Even cross-grade groupings work well with gifted students.
8.Follow the child labor laws-Gifted students who finish early should not automatically be the teacher’s helper. Gifted students can be some of the worst students to assist others because their brains often work very differently. Having a gifted child help a student who is struggling may do more harm than good.
9. Minecraft -Do not be scared to incorporate students’ passions and interests. I once had a student who never wanted to practice spelling words until I told him he could practice them in Minecraft.
10. Create a Makerspace-Keep your kids engaged with interesting ideas. Collect things of daily use like cardboard. Keep your kid’s hands busy with such items. This will make them creative and productive.
11. Set deadlines for them-Ask children to write a letter to their future selves. Set a deadline for them so that they finish it by that time. This will help them know the importance of time. They will also learn the art of meeting deadlines on time.
12. Set realistic goals-Give their activities to perform. Set goals for them. This way you will teach them how to be creative and manage the time simultaneously. Teach them more about building strategies. It will help them in doing things smartly.
13. Decision making skills-Great learners can have a fear of missing out. They always expect to stand first in whatever they perform. You need to handle such a situation with love. Teach them the essence of failing. This will help build a culture of learning.
14. Be patient-Gifted students are processing a lot in their minds. Be patient and give them the time to reflect on what they need to come to a consensus they can live with.
Instead of trying to dictate a step and by step approach to learning, the gifted students learn best by actually trying to figure out the solution themselves. Here is an example of the gifted and talented kids publishing their own book.