This is a professional development blog for Nottingham Elementary. We'll be discussing books we have read as a group. Our discussions will be focused on gifted children.
In Chapter 8 under " Questions and Answers About Cluster Grouping," the question about " What special skills or training do cluster teachers need?" on page 179 spoke to me. I think its important the remember all the bullet points on page 179, especially about being flexible in the teacher's teaching style and be comfortable to allow students more flexibility in their learning behaviors. Once teachers know they students and their learning styles, it's easier to reach out to them since both are on the same page and students are also more relaxed in how they approach how they learn and what's expected.
@Sarah...I love the last bullet: Always let their sense of humor be a guiding force in their classroom. Sometimes I can't stop giggling and it is usually the girls that notice. The boys are too busy being funny. I don't consider it a plus, though...rather a moment of being out of control!
The question that “spoke” to me was “How can teachers make sure that gifted kids dominate class discussions or activities” on page 179. I have had this problem with not only gifted students but what excited or bostoueously comical students. The text suggests using the Name Card method but I would think that I could also use Numbered Heads with Think/Pair/Share where every student is accountable for an answer. I believe the Name Card is similar but Numbered Heads makes every student needs to be prepared to share and have the opportunity to potential share.
I agree with Annie Michell's response on June 13th about using the Name Card method to hold every student accountable for an answer. I like her tweek on changing it to Numbered Heads so that they all need to be prepared to share and are held responsible for that learning,
I too agree with Annie Mitchell on June 13. I have found that I have those few students who dominate the classroom discussions/activities. It's important to get those who don't speak up to do so as often as possible. In my classroom I try to welcome a sense of community, where we welcome all ideas and answers. Finding questions that those students who do not normally raise their answer/answer that they CAN answer is also key.
I also like the use of the Name Card method to hold every student accountable for an answers during discussions. I have struggled with this in the past and will be using this next year.
The question that spoke to me was "Won't the creation of the cluster group rob the other classes of academic leadership?" p 178.I agree that new cream rises to the top. I saw this in the last class when a wonderful student leader left the community. Everyone was concerned that he would be gone, and he was referred to for the rest of the year. What happened is that those who had enjoyed him the most then took on his leadership qualities. Then I had more leaders, not less. I also noticed some shy girls came forth. So I agree that the 2nd highest group of students can rise when the highest student is gone.
Thank you for sharing this Melanie. Very good point!
I found Melanie's June 19 response interesting. I have seen this happen before; an academic leader leave and new "leaders" emerge. I often wondered why some students did not lead or actively participate. I wondered if it was intimidation, fear of competition, self-esteem, etc.?? Also, it;s interesting to see your classroom regroup or rearrange itself. This is a very good point!
The question "What special skills or training do cluster teachers need?" (pg.179) spoke to me. Facilitate sophisticated research studies by students and incorporating students' passionate interests into their independent studies are both things I would like to focus on this year. I think this will increase their engagement in reading and writing. Many of my GT boys in the past, don't like writing. They will do the minimum and will keep everything short and to the point. Allowing them to research something they are genuinely interested and have them write about it may remedy this.
The question that stuck out to me and I could absolutely relate to was the, "How can teachers make sure that gifted kids don't dominate class discussions or activities?" I find this very hard because the GT students, in reading particularly, tend to be very outspoken and want to answer everything, not giving the other students a chance to talk. I have also noticed that it intimidates some students and they will just sit back and say nothing even though they have thoughts going on in their heads. I like the idea of raising hands and making them think before they are allowed to answer. I also like the idea of question cards that they pick and have to answer themselves, but then students may add on to the conversation when the person is done speaking.
this was found on page 179
I agree with Mrs. Breidenthal on June 28 when she says gifted kids can dominate discussions and answer everything. I see this in the library. I try to provide balance by selecting those who raise their hand to speak. As Winebrenner mentioned in chapter 3, my requirement eliminates "blurters", those who like to hear themselves talk and those who like to make disparaging remarks under their breaths.
The question that spoke out to me was, "What special skills or training do cluster teachers need?" page 179 I have found that as a teacher the one thing I have truly appreciated the most is that my administrators have found the time and necessities needed for myself and other staff to obtain new knowledge all the time. From professional development to book studies, I feel as if I am always learning and growing as a teacher. It would be very important and vital that a cluster teacher was provided the ongoing support and skills training to be successful in her classroom.
The question that spoke the most to me is on page 177 “ How should all students at a grade level be assigned to classes if the school clusters gifted students?” This question / answer clearly states how to cluster the GT students with the other students and their range of abilities. Then explains that this method reduces the range of achievement in each classroom freeing the cluster teacher to spend more time with the cluster students. Since as they stated on page 171 that research shows long tern achievement of GT students suffer when they are not consistently together. Also in the summary on page 181 it also teaches the GT students that they are not the smartest thing since sliced bread, there are still some things they can learn which addresses the early topic of parents and teachers teaching GT students that learning should be a struggle.
Amy Blanchard noticed a question that also spoke to me in her July 21st post. When we look at diverse classrooms meaning that every student has to be different, in order to learn we lose the fact that students also need to find common bonds with each other, and that Gifted students gain more success when placed with other students of similar abilities.
"What special skills or training do cluster teachers need?" on page 179 spoke to me. Specifically, the point that says that teachers of gifted students should be able to "plan differentiated learning tasks for all who need them." Page 181, the summary, says that "the cluster group needs to be taught by a teacher who has been trained to differentiate the curriculum for gifted students." This spoke to me because it is currently a hot topic in the district. There are those that believe that differentiation is not taking place in the classroom for gifted kids. Especially, at the elementary level. Clustering students in classrooms with teachers who do not have to plan lessons for a wide range of abilities was suppose to encourage and ensure differentiation. Apparently, something is awry.
The question that spoke to me in this chapter about clustering students was "How should all students at a grade level be assigned to classes if the school clusters gifted students" on pg. 77. I appreciated the fact that this question addressed that research had shown that positive gains were made in all grade levels including the classes where there were no gifted clusters present. I think it can be difficult for teachers to break away from the thought that programs may be great for some, but not great for all. This question addressed that the use of clustering is something that can benefit all students.