Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Action Plan for High Schoolers

Grades 9-12 can be frustrating for gifted teens.  Too often schools believe that offering AP, IB or honors courses of one sort or another will adequately meet the needs of all gifted high school students.  Truth is, secondary schools need options now common in elementary schools like differentiated instruction and curriculum compacting.

This frustration comes through loud and clear when bright students are allowed to air their gripes.  Usually they're pretty generic like these from students in a recent workshop:
  • I hate it when it takes forever to teach something
  • Classes simply move too slowly
  • I'm bombarded with homework when I already know the answers
  • Teaching me stuff I already know is a waste of time
  • It's hard to act like I’m paying attention in class

But helping them to focus on the specifics and choosing just one thing at a time to change is a good place to begin.

I like to use a format like this which puts the student in the pilot's seat:

This example is just the beginning of the year-long  plan and it may feel like baby steps to only address one need. But often success breeds success . .. for oneself and those following along behind!

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