For gifted learners to make gains in their achievement,
their instruction must incorporate supports and possibly accommodations including:
Special education supports
and related services designed to meet the unique needs of the student and
to enable growth in the general education curriculum and gains in academic
An Individualized Education
Program, which includes goals aligned with and chosen to facilitate depth
of grade-level and above academic standards.
Teachers and specialized instructional
support personnel who are prepared and qualified to deliver high-quality,
evidence-based, individualized instruction and support services.
In West Virginia, planning for services in grades
1 - 8 and Exceptional Gifted grades 9-12 is done through the Individualized
Education Program (IEP). (Link
to IEP planning guidance.) There is no set statewide or
county-wide program; the IEP is individualized to the student's needs. However,
generally, the focus of gifted programming is on;
The three placement options in West Virginia
the student's specially designed instruction is delivered outside general
education classes for less than 21 percent of the school day; 80-100 percent
in general education.
the student's specially designed instruction is delivered outside the general
education classes for at least 21 percent but less than 60 percent of the
school day; 40-79 percent in general education.
Class; the student's specially designed instruction is delivered
outside general classes for more than 60 percent of the school day; 0-30 percent
in general education
This determines the Least Restrictive Environment
(LRE). LRE is calculated using minutes per week in a special education environment
divided by the total minutes in school (1650 min./week).
- Full Time
or less percent in special education environment
- Part Time
21 and 60 percent in special education environment
- Full Time
or more percent in special education environment
Special education services are either direct
(D) or indirect (I). Direct service is instruction provided by the gifted
education teacher in the special education environment or general education
Rather than any single model, a continuum
of service delivery methods should be available to meet the individual needs
of each student identified as gifted.
Pull-out to resource
room or center
in general class
Separate Class (Advanced Studies, Reading/Language Arts,
Math) - SEE
A delivery model
used to some extent in West Virginia, is the special class, usually in mathematics
and reading/language arts, that is targeted for gifted/advanced-learners in
those subject areas. The gifted education teacher must be "highly qualified"
in the content area in order to be the teacher of record and confer grades.
The per-period class size is limited to 15 students.
Another delivery model used to some
extent in West Virginia is a Center-Based approach. Eligible students are
transported from their home school to a center in order to participate with
peers of like abilities from other schools. This may occur weekly, bi-monthly
or monthly. It is generally supplemented with another delivery model such
as "Collaboration or Consultation with General Education Teachers."
Pull-Out to Resource Room Within the School- SEE
The most common delivery model in West Virginia
is the pull-out to resource room model in which the student is pulled out
of a general classroom for some time daily or weekly to work with the gifted
education teacher on differentiated curriculum and to interact with other
gifted students. Again, the per-period class size is limited to 15 students.
Co-Teaching with General Education Teachers - GEE
Co-teaching occurs when a general education
teacher and gifted education teacher teach in the same classroom, have common
planning time and provide common assessments. Within the co-teaching model,
there are different methods:
The gifted education teacher who is co-teaching in a core academic area is
required to be highly qualified in the core content area being taught.
Collaboration with General Education Teachers - GEE
Collaboration means a style of interaction in
which two or more teachers work together to differentiate instruction in the
general classroom to ensure all students have opportunities to make gains
in learning. It must be positive, productive and meaningful for those relationships
to be effective in improving instruction and better meeting the needs of gifted
learners. The collaborative gifted education teacher is not the teacher of
record in the content area.
Flexible Grouping in the General Classroom - GEE
In the general classroom, students
may be grouped by ability, skill, interest, learning styles. Sometimes the
groups may be teacher-selected and other times student-selected. Sometimes
groups will be assigned according to purpose of the activity or role of the
group in a particular activity. Movement among groups is an everyday occurence.
Flexible grouping removes the stigma of being singled out as gifted. It still
allows for quick mastery of skills and additional exploration of content to
greater depth and breadth. It also provides opportunities for collaborative
work with a variety of peers.
Consultation with General Education Teachers - GEE
Another delivery option is consultation in which
the gifted education teacher provides assistance to the general educator in
selecting, modifying, designing materials, providing instructional strategies,
providing management and evaluation procedures, and monitoring/evaluating
student progress. The consultative gifted education teacher is not the teacher
of record in the content area.
Independent study allows the student to conduct
research and to investigate real-world issues or concerns. In-depth study
into a topic that interests a student has no limits. While independent study
is self-directed, it is teacher-planned and monitored. It should go beyond
reporting and allow the student to become a first-hand inquirer; perhaps taking
a role such as a reporter for the local news or an expert in the field of
study. Including a current events layer also adds meaning to the study.
Independent study is not just relegating the
student to some out-of-the-way spot in the classroom. It is carefully planned
and frequently monitored by the teacher. Gifted learners are not always "model"
A student is linked with a specific person who
is experienced and/or knowledgeable in the particular field of study. The
mentor gives advice, guides in acquisition of knowledge, oversees experiences
in the field of study and helps the student to succeed.
The Socratic method of teaching is one in which
the teacher or leader asks a sequence of questions designed to lead the students
to think and, through answering the questions, arrive at the desired knowledge.
The art of "Socratic
Questioning" involves over-arching questions that support thinking
skills and help students see connections between the subjects and gain a deeper
understanding. See also "The
Taxonomy of Socratic Questioning," created by Richard Paul.
Learning or Interest Centers
Learning centers are different areas in the
classroom where students may work independently or in small groups on a collection
of activities and materials that are designed to teach, reinforce or extend
a particular skill or concept. The center may include a computer with internet
access. Distance learning may also take place in a learning center.