EXPANDING OPPORTUNITIES WITH GIFTED AND TALENTED EDUCATION

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“We are not computers so how can we teach students to do things that computers can’t do?

The answer?

We need to teach students how to think, how to engage, how to take concepts further, how to do research, and how to use more of their brain.

A traditional approach to teaching has the tendency to limit our reach on the students who may not fall in line with the middle-of-the-road expectations. And that is why Katy McCombs is so passionate about Gifted and Talented Education; because of the reach for all the students, below, at, and above the average learning level.

Katy McCombs has been with ICS for two years and will receive her Master’s in Gifted and Talented Education in December of 2019. Her presence at ICS and in the classroom with our students is of immense benefit in that, as the students grow, they will reap tremendous reward to impact the world around them. In the 2019-2020 school year, ICS will be implementing a pilot program utilizing the gifted and talented approach to teaching. This program will expand opportunities for children, benefiting every student, even the ones that in the traditional classroom would be identified as “falling behind.” The benefits are clear and we look forward to the impact this approach to learning will have on our students.

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Here are 5 WAYS THAT THE GIFTED AND TALENTED APPROACH BENEFITS STUDENTS:

1.       DIFFERENTIATION -  Gifted and talented education emphasizes variety - teaching which takes into account student’s abilities and interests. Using differentiation is taking a broader approach to learning. Differentiating between content, processes, the learning environment, and product creation brings different opportunities and perspectives to students.

2. INDIVIDUALIZED LEARNING - Gifted education means teachers meet students where they are and then push them to learn more. Making a path for the learner to follow means that the teacher has an idea of where the students can go if properly led. Gifted and talented students can be motivated by making a new learning discovery that is further than where they might naturally go on their own.

3. ADAPTABLE, BUT STRUCTURED

The gifted and talented learning journey is intended to take students deeper into more complex thinking.  Walking up the path of Bloom’s Taxonomy and reaching across the Levels in Webb’s Depth of Knowledge is how deeper, more complex learning takes place. When combining these methods, it has the added benefit of preparing students for the kind of questions asked in standardized testing. Yet at the same time, students and teachers must remain flexible in their studies. If teachers have the knowledge to adapt their lessons to optimize student engagement, it ensures all the students have a better learning experience. Adaptable teaching reaches more students.

4.  PROJECT-BASED AND PROBLEM-BASED LEARNING

This is where students learn how to think through a situation and reach a solution. These group projects promote teamwork, reward “out of the box” thinking, and help students to connect what might seem like disparate ideas. Problem and project-based learning lends itself to working through real-world scenarios that have real-life opportunities connected to them. This is a great place to be innovative!

5. GOING BEYOND THE CLASSROOM - Students need to be introduced to enriching outside resources. We want to think past the end of the school day, school year, and school career of a student and look forward to what’s ahead. Gifted students have big potential for having highly-influential roles careers, and they need to be introduced to possibilities in the world and challenged by witnessing excellence around them. The world needs our gifted students to reach their full potential to be Christ-like and wise influencers.

We want all of our students to shine and thrive! There’s no shame in being smart or being good at something and we want our students to be engaged, not bored. We also need to be vigilant to the responsibility of God-given talents, because like the age-old saying goes, “If they don’t use it, they lose it.” Mrs. McCombs and ICS are strong advocates of every student and we look forward to how the Gifted and Talented Education pilot program coming up in 2019-2020 will better serve our student body. We are proud to have such a forward-thinking faculty member as a part of our ICS family and we look forward to all that the ICS students will reap from what has already been and will continue to be sown into their lives.

Click on the links below to read through the fantastic resources on Gifted and Talented Education:


http://www.nagc.org/resources-publications/resources/frequently-asked-questions-about-gifted-education  

http://nagc.org/resources-publications/gifted-education-practices

https://www.sengifted.org/post/competing-with-myths-about-the-social-and-emotional-development-of-gifted-students  

http://www.davidsongifted.org/Search-Database/entry/A10017  

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