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Gifted Education: Program Design on a Shoestring. Dr. Barbara L. Branch Branch Consulting. Objectives. First Day Legal aspects California Standards. State Law Federal Law and NCLB. Federal Definition of Giftedness.

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Gifted education program design on a shoestring
Gifted Education: Program Design on a Shoestring

Dr. Barbara L. Branch

Branch Consulting


  • First Day

    • Legal aspects

    • California Standards

State law federal law and nclb
State Law Federal Law and NCLB

Federal definition of giftedness
Federal Definition of Giftedness

  • Children and youth with outstanding talent perform or show the potential for performance at remarkably high levels of accomplishment when compared with others of their age, experience, or environment.

  • These children and youth exhibit high performance capability in intellectual, creative, and/or artistic areas, possess an unusual leadership capacity, or excel in specific academic fields. They require services or activities not ordinarily provided by the schools.

  • Outstanding talents are present in children and youth from all cultural groups, across all economic strata, and in all areas of human endeavor.

Nclb definition of gifted

NCLB Definition of Gifted

The definition of gifted and talented in NCLB is as follows:

The term 'gifted and talented', when used with respect to students, children, or youth, means students, children, or youth who give evidence of high achievement capability in areas such as intellectual, creative, artistic, or leadership capacity, or in specific academic fields, and who need services or activities not ordinarily provided by the school in order to fully develop those capabilities.

Title IX, Part A, Section 9101(22)Page 544

California definition
California Definition

Each district shall use one or more of these categories in identifying pupils as gifted and talented in all categories, identification of a pupil’s extraordinary capability shall be in relation to the pupil’s chronological peers.

  • Intellectual Ability: A Pupil demonstrates extraordinary or potential for extraordinary intellectual development

  • Creative Ability: A Pupil characteristically:

    • Perceives unusual relationships among aspects of the pupil’s environment and among ideas;

    • Overcomes obstacles to thinking and doing;

    • Produces unique solutions to problems

  • Specific Academic Ability: A pupil functions at highly advanced academic levels in particular subject areas.

  • Leadership Ability: A pupil displays the characteristic behaviors necessary for extraordinary leadership.

  • High Achievement: A pupil consistently produces advanced ideas and products and/or attains exceptionally high scores on achievement tests.

  • Visual and Performing Arts Talent: A Pupil originates, performs, produces, or responds at extraordinarily high levels in the arts.

  • Any other category which meets the standards set forth in these regulations

    CAL CODE REGS, title 5, § 3822

History of gifted education in california
History of Gifted Education in California

  • MGM – 1961

  • GATE – 1980 – AB 1040

    • Districts set up own criteria

    • Expanded services beyond intellectually gifted

  • Updated GATE with standards - AB 2313

  • Title V of the State Code

  • Recommended program standards
    Recommended Program Standards

    • Components

      • Program Design

      • Identification

      • Curriculum and Instruction

      • Social & Emotional Development

      • Professional Development

      • Parent and Community Involvement

      • Program Assessment

    Important elements of a gifted program
    Important Elements of a Gifted Program

    • Continuum of program services

    • Integral part of the day

    • Flexible groupings

    • Trained teachers

      • Characteristics

      • Differentiation Strategies

    • Respect for gifted needs

    Program options based on identification
    Program Options Based on identification

    Gifted program delivery models
    Gifted Program Delivery Models

    What can schools do to help these students when they really care, but don’t have the funds?

    Gifted program delivery models1
    Gifted Program Delivery Models

    Some gifted students may be candidates for early entrance to kindergarten, or possibly first grade if they are already reading.

    Gifted program delivery models2
    Gifted Program Delivery Models

    Pre-assess gifted students before a unit or a course for mastery of the subject matter and offer a more advanced unit or course.

    Self-contained classes for gifted students, particularly in core curriculum classes, help them move on to more advanced subjects.

    Gifted program delivery models3
    Gifted Program Delivery Models

    Multi-age, self-contained gifted classes are even more effective. Learning with intellectual peers encourages gifted students to achieve.

    Gifted program delivery models4
    Gifted Program Delivery Models

    Subject acceleration is appropriate when a student is proficient in a particular subject.

    Consider grade acceleration when a student demonstrates proficiency at a particular grade level. Use the Iowa Acceleration Scale to evaluate this and other options.



    A nation deceived
    A Nation Deceived

    • Limited familiarity with the research on acceleration

    • Philosophy that children must be kept with their age group

    • Belief that acceleration hurries children out of childhood

    • Fear that acceleration hurts children socially

    • Political concerns about equity

    • Worry that other students will be offended if one child is accelerated.

    Gifted program delivery models5
    Gifted Program Delivery Models

    Dual enrollment in middle or high school, or high school and college, offers challenging opportunities for gifted students.

    Middle School

    High School


    Gifted program delivery models6
    Gifted Program Delivery Models

    Offer Advanced Placement (AP) courses and/or International Baccalaureate (IB) programs for gifted students.

    Provide counselors who are trained to counsel gifted students, including advising them of talent development opportunities.

    Gifted program delivery models7
    Gifted Program Delivery Models

    Advise students of Academic Talent Searches, scholarships and academic competitions and give students credit for the advanced courses they take in academic summer programs.

    Gifted program delivery models8
    Gifted Program Delivery Models

    Create a school culture that values intellectual discovery and achievements, where students encourage one another to accomplish more than they would on their own.

    Encourage administrators and teachers to educate themselves on the wide range of exceptional abilities among bright students and increase flexibility in addressing the individual learning needs of gifted

    Rationale for cluster grouping
    Rationale for Cluster Grouping

    • Placing high achievers together in one classroom challenges those students, enabling other students to become academic leaders and allowing new talent to emerge.

    Marcia Gentry

    Rationale for cluster grouping1
    Rationale for Cluster Grouping

    • Cluster grouping makes it easier for teachers to meet the needs of students in their classrooms by reducing the achievement range of students within a classroom.

    • Cluster grouping used in conjunction with challenging instruction and high teacher expectations may improve how teachers view their students with respect to ability and achievement.

    Marcia Gentry

    Rationale for cluster grouping2
    Rationale for Cluster Grouping

    • Achievement scores improved over a three-year period for students in a cluster group environment and the number of students identified as high achievers increased.

    Marcia Gentry

    Rationale for cluster grouping3
    Rationale for Cluster Grouping

    • Flexible grouping within and between classes that reduces the achievement range of each class can provide many benefits to all students and teachers.

    • The positive effects of cluster grouping result from many changes in the school climate such as:

    Marcia Gentry

    Rationale for cluster grouping4
    Rationale for Cluster Grouping

    • creating opportunities for staff development, emphasizing a variety of instructional strategies;

    • raising teacher expectations;

    • creating a sense of ownership;

    Marcia Gentry

    Rationale for cluster grouping5
    Rationale for Cluster Grouping

    • reducing the range of achievement levels in classrooms;

    • creating opportunities for collaboration with colleagues and administration.

    Marcia Gentry

    Talent development model
    Talent Development Model

    • Identify possible gifted in K-1

      • Reading fluency

      • Math problem solving skills

      • Vocabulary

      • Characteristics checklist

      • Reading comprehension

    • Train K-6 teachers

    • Provide differentiated instruction K-6

    • Officially identify in grade 6 for 7-8 placement


    • Identify within schools using checklists and rubrics of exemplars

    Curriculum and instruction
    Curriculum and Instruction

    • Train teachers in differentiated instruction of the core curriculum

    • Create a sequence of extensions for your district content standards

      • Core Plus

    Social emotional needs
    Social/Emotional Needs

    • Teacher and administrator training

    • Parent speakers

    • Book clubs

    Professional development
    Professional Development

    • Minimal - once

      • Teacher training in characteristics and differentiated instruction strategies

    • Maximum - ongoing

      • Certificate Program

      • Differentiation

      • Social/Emotional

      • Diverse Gifted

      • Program Design and Instruction

    Parents and community
    Parents and Community

    • Parent speakers – CAG regional reps

    • Book club

    • Discussions at SSC meetings

    • Mentor program

    Program assessment
    Program Assessment

    • Review School Site Plans

    For every gifted child who is not allowed to reach his or her potential, there is a lost opportunity for a society in desperate need of creativity and inventiveness.”

    Carl Rogers