How to Make Sure Your Gifted Student is Properly Challenged

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A commonly cited statistic suggests that as many as 20% of high school dropouts are gifted students. Does this statistic surprise you? On one side of the coin, you might think that gifted students would be more likely to excel in school than traditional students. On the other side of the coin, it makes sense that gifted students might drop out of school if they are not properly challenged. If you are the parent, guardian, or teacher of a gifted student then it is your duty to make sure they are pushed hard enough to meet their maximum potential.

Myths and Misconceptions

The statistic quoted earlier could be interpreted in different ways. Some might assume that gifted students will excel no matter what kind of schooling they receive while others might be able to see that gifted students are often bored in traditional classrooms which leads to a higher dropout rate. Before getting into the details regarding how to properly challenge a gifted student, it is important to address some common myths and misconceptions about gifted students.

  1. Gifted students will do fine in normal classrooms. According to a study conducted by the Fordham Institute, over 50% of teachers have not received any professional development in regards to teaching gifted students. Furthermore, nearly 75% of those same teachers admitted that the brightest students in their classrooms are often bored or under-challenged in school. These statistics highlight the sad truth that, unfortunately, many teachers simply are not equipped to deal with
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Every year thousands of American school children compete in school spelling bees. Kids in grades three to eight compete to spell increasingly challenging words in a tradition that is nearly as old as the U.S. education system itself. School spelling bee winners typically go on to regional spelling bee, which, in turn, funnel winners to the Scripps National Spelling Bee, held each spring in Washington, DC. Top spellers can earn tens of thousands of dollars in prizes and scholarship money.

Being a spelling bee champ takes more than luck. And, while children who are avid readers and who show skills in writing and reading comprehension usually do well, the most successful competitive spellers have identified some “tricks of the trade” that have helped them achieve the top prize in spelling.


Look at Other Languages

Top spellers study with a purpose. English is a unique language because many English words originated in other languages. The most successful spellers focus their study efforts on learning important foreign language root words and spelling conventions. Here are some of the languages that have most influenced English as well as spelling tips and examples from each language:



Latin has been the most influential language on English. Words related to science and medicine are often based on Latin words. To help spell Latin words, remember a few simple rules. First, the u sound, as in ooze or school, is almost always spelled with a u, and not two o’s, as in the word bugle.  Second, the letter

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What is co-teaching?


Co-teaching is an inclusion education model in which students with special education needs are provided the opportunity to learn in a mainstream classroom with the additional support of a special education teacher who co-teaches with the general education teacher. This model has proven successful in many school districts for several reasons.





Benefits for students with special education requirements


First of all, the co-teaching model ensures that students with special needs have access to the general education curriculum. By law students with disabilities must be provided access to learning opportunities that do not restrict their ability to progress in a subject or grade-level. In a co-taught class, special education students have the opportunity to move from modified assignments to typical assignments as they develop skills and confidence. As a result, co-taught special education students are generally more likely to meet grade-level standards.


While they have access to the mainstream curriculum, co-taught students also continue to receive specialized instruction. Special education teachers within the mainstream classroom can coach students individually, or in small groups, providing them the additional coaching and guidance necessary for them to complete activities and assignments.


Differentiated instruction


In addition to in-class support for mainstream assignments, co-taught students also have the opportunity to grow within the curriculum through differentiated instruction. Since there are two teachers in the class, the same material can be taught in two or more different ways. The special education teacher can anticipate student needs and, in planning lessons with the mainstream teacher, prepare
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Life Beyond High School:  The Innovative Frontier


Crafting a Plan Beyond High School

As high school students prepare for life beyond their public or private schools, it is critical that they have a plan in place for their future.  While many students are encouraged to pursue more of an academic route following their graduation, there are other more suitable options available to help them select a more suitable path.  Around the country, more programs are offered to provide students choices about their career paths which include but are not limited to apprenticeships, internships, vocational trade schools, community colleges, and four-year colleges.

Having a plan for life after high school is crucial for students prior to reaching their senior year.  Helping students hone in on their unique interests and skillsets are all components they need when recognizing and defining future goals. Most importantly, they need to be able to articulate their goals.  Many school systems look at several factors as they attempt to direct students towards being ready to pursue either the workforce or further their education. 

  • What are the student’s grades like?
  • Do they have strong community or family support? 
  • What are their academic strengths or weaknesses? 
  • Are they able to communicate their decisions and thoughts to others effectively?
  • What are their genuine interests?

Vocational Schools

Vocational schools specialize in offering very specific skillset options for students while also ensuring completion towards certification and a high school diploma.  There is no need for students to spend part of their day in their zoned school and the

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Parents Refuse Common Core Testing 

In communities all over the country, parents are choosing to opt their children out of Common Core testing. In schools from coast to coast, April has become “testing season,” the time of the year when students in grades K-12 sit for standardized tests in math and English language arts. Because of initiatives like No Child Let Behind and Race to the Top, which are intended to measure and improve student performance, some students sit for up to nine to twelve hours of testing over the course of a few weeks.  


Race to the Top

The Race to the Top program, which began in 2009, offers grants totaling billions of dollars to states that follow guidelines for education innovation. In order to qualify for the competitive grants, states must build “data systems that measure student growth and success, and inform teachers and principals about how they can improve instruction.” To gather the data necessary to meet this requirement, states have implemented standardized testing for all public school children.


Why Opt-Out?

In 2014, some parents decided they’d had enough of high-stakes, long-duration testing. Around the country handfuls of students showed up on testing days clutching formally-worded notes from their parents explaining that they were “opting out” or refusing to take the standardized tests.

There are several reasons why parents are rejecting Common Core Testing:

  • Parents believe students suffer unnecessary stress due to hours of testing.
  • Teachers are forced to “teach to the test” which limits what
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Recent Articles
How to Make Sure Your Gifted Student is Properly Challenged
How to Make Sure Your Gifted Student is Properly Challenged
Gifted students often fail to thrive in traditional academic environments because they are not being challenged. In this article you will learn how to make sure your gifted student gets the quality education he or she deserves.
Secrets of Spelling Bee Champs
An overview of the top tips and strategies used by winners of regional and national spelling bees.
Co-teaching Offers New Opportunities for Students with Special Needs
Although there are some drawbacks, co-teaching is an effective way to help special education students succeed in mainstream classrooms.

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