What Should Be On The Tombstone Of Gifted Education? Part 3: Classroom Activities For Gifted Student
In Part 2 of the series, the distribution of gifted programs in school districts was analyzed in terms of the allocation of this resource within a school district. In the vast majority of school districts, gifted students are segregated in dedicated facilities in which they have to apply for entry. While this method has advantages for both children and adults in the c=school setting, the major disadvantage is that students who are truly gifted or highly motivated are filtered out by a variety of statistical factors such as test scores, grades, and age. Not only are statistical factors used but having a dedicated facility opens up the possibility of filtering based on human factors such as race, culture, and gender issues. The best option is to have gifted programs in each school so that many more students who are capable will have the access they need to gifted resources.
One of the worsening factors of modern gifted education is the level and quality of classroom activities available for these students. The modern classroom is not geared toward gifted students but rather to the middle student who is perched on the edge of passing the state test. The second priority in the classroom is the lowest student who contributes to the failing rate of state tests. It is assumed that gifted students will pass state exams so they are at the bottom of the school’s priorities. For those teachers that are allowed to design their own materials, this forces them into a teaching mode that focuses on the middle and low-level students and to virtually ignore gifted or highly motivated students. Since most school districts force teachers to use their materials, the district itself sets the stage for ignoring the needs of the gifted student.
In terms of the individual classroom assignment, gifted students require a higher quality set of goals and objectives to meet. Most assignments are geared toward a lower quality set of objectives which hinge of meeting goals based on lower-level thinking skills. The majority of students are operating at the knowledge, comprehension, and application levels of Bloom’s Taxonomy. This forces the assignment created by the teacher or district to be based on simple modes of vocabulary mastery and simple application to prescribed situations. Once this is done, the students and teachers move on to the next assignment. The gifted child, who is in need of further learning at higher levels, is left with an experience that only marginally stimulates their higher potential.
The assignments that are provided to gifted children are not properly designed for their educational needs. They are designed for students who are working at much lower levels on a daily basis. Gifted students require assignment and activities that stimulate their natural abilities to a much higher level of thinking. This is not to say that lower level assignments do not have value to the gifted student, but if the teacher stops at this point, then the gifted child to left with unfulfilled potential.
So, what are advantaged on the new age fairy tales?
• Learning foreign languages at the age of 3-4? “You must be out of your mind” – this is the exact phrase you will hear from the majority of people over 40. Well, with fairy tale apps your child will learn foreign languages in a playful manner. Just change the narration and text language and your child will enjoy listening to a fairy tale in a foreign language. Do you know that kids’ brains are like sponges? They suck in everything. Why not take advantage of it?
• Interactive fairy tales. Kids will love taking part in a fairy tale by replacing characters, changing places, colors, languages etc. This is totally possible with modern apps you can download at iTunes or find elsewhere online. It is the best way to develop logic and initial conversation skills for kids.
• Lots of fairy tales in one device. There is no need to pack dozens of favorite books when you go on vacations. You may kill time in queue with your child, amusing him/her with a new story. There will be no boring long car drives. At that, your kid will not only play but learn at the same time, which is extremely important in today’s progressing world.
• Better perception of information. Psychologists claim that kids who learn by playing or taking part in any playful activities better percept and memorize information since their brains are not “blocked”. Try to make your child sit at the table and do things he/she does not want to do! You will waste your time.
• Easy to use. Yes, your child may need help with the app at first. However, in an hour or so your assistance will not be necessary. Such applications are easy to use since they are specifically designed for small kids who use their childish logic in running software and playing games.