Curriculum Compacting Differentiation Strategies for teachers of Gifted Students Chantal Cravens GATE Specialist firstname.lastname@example.org 626-575-2310
Compacting… • High-ability or high-achieving students are frequently asked to participate in practice exercises or instruction that they have previously mastered. • Curriculum compacting is a process to "streamline" and modify the grade-level curriculum by eliminating material that students have previously learned.
Students who already know the material can face boredom, depression, inattentiveness, and underachievement, and may become discipline problems in their classrooms. Less repetition of previously mastered material can result in more learning for some students. Why?
How Does It Work? • In the curriculum compacting process, a form entitled the Curriculum Compactor can be used by teachers to guide the compacting services provided to the students. • Teaching Young Gifted Children in the Regular Classroom p. 55 • Differentiating Instruction-p. 142 • http://www.sp.uconn.edu/%7enrcgt/sem/semart08.html
Pre-assess • Students report being pre-tested in spelling and math. • Some express frustration because they still end up doing what everyone else does. Some get “free time” which they enjoy, but without thoughtful planning, this time becomes “Academic Down-Time”.
The following 3 steps are involved: • Defining the goals and objectives of a particular unit/segment. • Documentation of mastery most of learning outcomes. (scores, work samples, etc.) • Providing replacement options that enable a more challenging and productive use of the student's time Teaching Young Gifted Children in the Regular Classroom p. 47 sample compacting forms • Differentiating Instruction-p. 142 http://www.sp.uconn.edu/%7enrcgt/sem/semart08.html
Okay, what do I use for pre-tests? • Unit pretests, or end-of-unit tests that can be administered as pretests are ready made for this task, especially when it comes to the assessment of basic skills. • Pre-testing enables the teacher to document proficiency in specific skills, and to assess weak spots as well. (Gifted kids have “holes” in their learning too.)
Who gets pre-tested? • All or some • Although this may seem like more work for the teacher, it provides the opportunity for all students to demonstrate their strengths or previous mastery in a given area.
Online Resources on Tiered Assignments: • Tiered Assignments for Kindergarten: http://webtech.cherokee.k12.ga.us/littleriver-es/ewilliams/tieredassignmentskindergar.htm • Tiered 3rd grade literature study: http://webtech.cherokee.k12.ga.us/littleriver-es/ewilliams/Tieredassignmentelementsofastory.htm
Considerations… • Great care should be taken to select activities and experiences that represent individual strengths and interests rather than the assignment of more-of-the-same worksheets or randomly selected kits, games, and puzzles.
Motivation and Underachievement… • When some previously bright but underachieving students realized that they could both economize on regularly assigned material and "earn time" to pursue self-selected interests, their motivation to complete regular assignments increased. As one student put it, "Everyone understands a good deal!"
Listing Objectives/Standards • First, list the objectives for a particular unit of study. • Teaching Young Gifted Children in the Regular Classroom p. 55
Documentation of Mastery: • Teachers should detail the pretest vehicles they select, along with test results. • Level of Mastery:____________ • How demonstrated:________ date:___ • The pretest instruments can be formal measures, such as pencil and paper tests, or informal measures, such as performanceassessments based on observations of class participation and written assignments.(You can attach these to your cover sheet-essay, photos, video, multimedia, etc.)
Specific Documentation: • Specificity is extremely important, depending on the subject. Recording an overall score of 85% on ten objectives, for example, sheds little light on what portion of the material can be compacted, since students might show limited mastery of some objectives and high levels of mastery on others.
Filling in the holes… • The child may be asked to sit in on whole group lessons on an area in which they demonstrate a need or weakness.
The final phase of the compacting process is based on cooperative decision making and creativity on the parts of both teachers and students. Efforts can be made to gather enrichment materials from classroom teachers, librarians, media specialists, and content area or gifted education specialists. Providing Acceleration and Enrichment Options
Enrichment: • Materials may include self-directed learning activities, instructional materials that focus on particular thinking skills, and a variety of individual and group project oriented activities that are designed to promote hands on research and investigative skills.
Strengths and Preferences: • The Interest-A-Lyzer (Renzulli) provides profiles of general categories of student interests. www.gifted.uconn.edu/3summers/pdf/Interest-A-Lyzer.pdf (free download) • learning styles: http://members.shaw.ca/priscillatheroux/styles.html
Go Forth and use your books! • Teaching Young Gifted Children in the Regular Classroom is full of great ideas for working with students in the Primary grades, very user friendly. • Curriculum Compacting is in Chapter 3 (page 47 and 55 have sample Compactors and planning tools) • I like the Tic Tac Toe Menu found on page 44 and 53. • Chapter 10- Social and Emotional Needs • Differentiating Instruction, Diane Heacox -p. 137-143 Curriculum compacting -p.125 Managing Differentiation