Curriculum for Gifted Learners
Gifted students thrive with the right curriculum, but most students will still benefit as long as you choose the right age level.
Moving Beyond the Page curriculum was designed with gifted learners in mind. What does this mean exactly? Shouldn't we just move gifted learners to the next level? And what if your child is not gifted? Can she still use Moving Beyond the Page?
Gifted students will perform better and learn more when they use a curriculum designed with them in mind. The great news is that the same strategies that are essential for gifted learners are also beneficial for most other students. The key for any student is making sure you choose the right age level.
What Do Gifted Learners Need?
Gifted students often master content quickly, so our curriculum often moves at a rapid pace. If you find your student struggling, just slow down for a spell and give them time to catch up.
Higher Degree of Difficulty
Whether it is the reading level, the writing level, or the content of our science and social studies, our curriculum expects that children will be ready for content at the upper end of what is generally expected from them. This is why we use age ranges instead of grades for our curriculum levels. If your child is ready for a more advanced or less advanced level, she can be placed in the right level with no stigma associated with being above or below grade level.
When encountering challenging and deep topics, gifted learners often have a huge appetite to understand, know, and explore. Doing this effectively can require slowing down and spending time on a topic or project. Our activities and projects require students to spend time grappling with topics and ideas, proposing solutions, and working through meaningful problems.
Organization by Concepts
Gifted learners excel when learning experiences are organized by concepts, principles, and application rather than by facts. This allows students to examine factual information in relation to prior knowledge, see more patterns and connections, and use more creativity to solve problems.
Opportunities to Fail
Many gifted children never experience failure or even struggle as they make their way through school. Gifted children should be invited to take risks, make mistakes, and correct those mistakes — all while providing the support needed to succeed in doing so. A curriculum built around activities and projects that require a students' ingenuity — rather than primarily worksheets that have a single correct answer — will give students the opportunity to take these risks and experience struggle.
Less Review, More New Material
Gifted children pick up new concepts and ideas more quickly, and they don't need to spend a lot of time reviewing. Daily review sheets that cover material they have already mastered will not only be a frustration, but this extra busy work also has the potential to make a gifted learner not want to engage in schoolwork. Gifted learners just don't need as much review.
Most Learners Can Benefit
Whether your child is gifted or not, the strategies used within Moving Beyond the Page can still be beneficial. This is because a lot of what we do is just common sense. With Moving Beyond the Page, students will learn at their pace, wrestle with interesting topics, risk failure on a regular basis, and think deeply about the world. This is an educational approach that is necessary if your child is gifted, but still beneficial if your child is not.