Presentation on theme: "Optimal Grouping of All Ability Levels for Optimum Achievement For All ITAG Conference DeMoines,October 2013 Susan Winebrenner, presenter MS and co-author."— Presentation transcript:
Optimal Grouping of All Ability Levels for Optimum Achievement For All ITAG Conference DeMoines,October 2013 Susan Winebrenner, presenter MS and co-author of The Cluster Grouping Handbook with Dina Brulles, Phd. www.susanwinebrenner.com firstname.lastname@example.org 760 510 0066 (Pacific time)
Historic Resistance to Gifted Education Elitism, Elitism, Elitism! The politics of education do not favor gifted students because of its perceived i nequity of services for underserved groups and because of general beliefs that gifted students: Will make it on their own Dont need anything extra Who are getting high grades, must be learning Should not get services that are not fair to other students
How has gifted education been delivered in the past? Full time self contained classes Pro – Full time learning experiences with other gifted students Con - Open to only a small percentange of gifted students Pull-Out Pro- Some time with like minded peers: Extended learning options Cons: For short time(s) only Content Replacement ProsCons In the regular classroom ProsCons Weekend/After School Classes ProsCons
Content Replacement Pros - Curriculum can be easily differentiated Learning with like-minded peers Cons – Is curriculum truly differentiated rather than student getting simply more work? Organization problems for 2e students In the regular classroom Pro – Part of the regular school program- does not interfere with continuity with other classroom experiences Con- Only as effective as the teachers ability to differentiate Weekend/After School Classes Pro – At least its something! Con Would it be enough for other kids with special needs?
The Schoolwide Cluster Grouping Model: (SCGM) How to Challenge Gifted Students and Improve Achievement for All www.freespirit.com What is the solution? A Paradigm Shift!!
The SCGM: Everyone Benefits! Implementing and Supporting The Schoolwide Cluster Grouping Model \ Susan Winebrenner, M.S. susanwinebrenner.com Dina Brulles, Ph.D. dinabrulles.com
The SCGM is a method for providing full-time gifted services without major budget implications, and with potential to raise achievement for all students. With the SCGM, all students are purposely placed into classrooms based on their abilities, potential, or achievement. What is The SCGM and why should we consider it?
The Schoolwide Cluster Grouping Model (SCGM) Recommended classroom composition 30 students in 3 classes GiftedHigh Average AverageLow Average Far Below Average A6012 0 B06 66 C06 66
The SCGM allows schools to employ… The critical elements of effective gifted programs: flexible grouping differentiation continuous progress intellectual peer interaction continuity teachers with specialized education Program elements identified by Barbara Clark
What does it mean to place students into cluster groups? A group of gifted identified students is clustered into a mixed ability classroom with a teacher who is trained to appropriately differentiate for the curriculum for them.
Placing students in the classrooms : Determine placement for upcoming year following spring testing Gifted students make up approximately 20% of the gifted cluster class Create the number of gifted cluster classrooms necessary to serve all gifted students in each grade.
Special considerations when making placements Create procedures for determining placement of the following groups: Kindergarten students New students enrolling during school year Twice-exceptional gifted students ELL gifted students
How does the SCGM fit with other inclusion models? The two models are totally compatible. For ease of scheduling and to ensure that students receive appropriate instruction by properly trained teachers, schools commonly cluster special education students according to the services they require. The same arrangement should be available for gifted students.
No. In tracking, students are grouped into classrooms with others of comparable ability and remain together throughout their school years. Curriculum is based on the ability levels of the students in each track. When clustered, all classes have a range of abilities. Teachers modify or extend grade level standards according to the students needs and abilities. The classroom composition changes each year. Isnt cluster grouping the same as tracking?
Gifted children typically… Are intensely curious and have many interests Process information with great speed and deep understanding Remember forever what they learn Readily grasp underlying principles and make generalizations Are highly sensitive
Prefer to work alone Relate well with older students and adults Demonstrate advanced sense of humor Require little direction Sustain long periods of attention and concentration These behaviors apply to all content areas, all day long. Gifted students also:
Why should gifted students be placed in a cluster group instead of being assigned to all classes? Gifted students… need to spend time learning with others of like ability to experience challenge and make academic progress better understand their learning differences when they are with peers Teachers are more likely to differentiate curriculum when there is a group of gifted students
What are the learning needs of gifted students ? All students deserve consistent opportunities to learn new material. With gifted students, this means having opportunities to engage in intellectually stimulating endeavors that go beyond grade level curriculum.
Can I create clusters of gifted students in all classes? The desired outcomes of the SCGM become diminished when doing so because: there is less accountability for teachers to facilitate progress of their gifted learners teachers feel a decreased need to identify gifted students providing appropriate teacher training becomes difficult Teachers have the full range of abilities!
Wont the creation of a cluster group rob the other classes of academic leadership? With either gifted or high achieving students in every class, all classes have academic leaders Gifted students do not make the best academic leaders because they make intuitive leaps, and therefore do not always appear to have to work as hard as others High average students have new opportunities to become academic leaders
Arent gifted students needed in all classes so they can help others learn? This consideration should not impact programming… helping other students learn is not the responsibility of gifted students, and they are usually not very good at it!
Will the presence of gifted students in the classroom inhibit learning for others? Not when the gifted cluster is kept to a manageable size. Recommended gifted cluster is 4-9 students. By offering learning extension opportunities to all students in the class, expectations rise for all.
Including CLD gifted students Begins with identification… Use non-verbal tests of general ability that do not rely on language which measure general intelligence – not just intelligence in non-verbal area Use multiple measures that examine cognitive abilities, achievement, classroom performance, and teacher observations Evaluate learning behaviors, motivation, social abilities, leadership, creativity, and problem- solving abilities
Including twice-exceptional gifted students Twice-exceptional gifted students: have a learning disability or attention deficit disorder and are gifted! deserve similar gifted services as other gifted identified students Gifted Cluster Teachers should: teach to the areas of strength teach appropriate compensation strategies when needed embed standards through student interest
Including non-productive gifted students Non-productive students may: not see the need to complete assignments feel unmotivated by required work that does not hold their interest or challenge them be afraid to fail, so they never begin Gifted Cluster Teachers can: give credit for previously mastered content allow students to do more challenging work teach students to set their own goals acknowledge and show appreciation for effort allow student-directed learning based on interests and strengths
Gifted Cluster Teachers… Understand, respect, and enjoy teaching gifted students Strongly support in-class provisions for gifted kids Decrease use of whole group instruction Encourage student-centered approach to learning Participate in ongoing professional development
Effective cluster teachers know how to: Understand and implement the SCGM Recognize gifted potential in all populations Pay attention to students social/emotional needs Identify students who needs learning accommodations Compact and differentiate
Form flexible learning groups Integrate basic skills with higher order thinking skills Create and use learning extensions Use appropriate assessments and grading practices Develop students abilities to self-direct Build effective parent/teacher partnerships
Benefits of The SCGM include: Challenging gifted students on a full-time basis Creating learning and leadership opportunity for all students Increasing the abilities of all teachers by expanding awareness and providing preparation Improving student achievement and raising expectations for for all students Providing full time gifted services On-going assessment of students strengths and needs
The SCGM: Achievement Implications Narrowed range of abilities allows for more focused instruction On-going assessment of students strengths and needs ensures continual progress Teachers learn strategies for advanced ability learners they can use for all students, not just the gifted students Gifted ELL students are more likely to receive advanced instruction and extended learning opportunities Higher expectations for all students!
What are possible challenges with the SCGM? Parental pressure to place children who have not been identified as gifted into the gifted cluster classroom Placing students who enroll during the school year Making sure that compacting and differentiation are consistently occurring in the gifted cluster classes. Suggestions for handling these situations are included in The Cluster Grouping Handbook.
The SCGM staffing goals Gifted Cluster Teachers, at every grade Gifted Specialist, at every school – can be one of the cluster teachers Gifted Coordinator, district level
Gifted Coordinator responsibilities Hold a gifted endorsement / certification Preside over Gifted Cluster/Gifted Specialist meetings Organize and provide staff development Coordinate testing schedule, administration, and reporting of testing results Communicate with school community Analyze student achievement
Peer coaching in The SCGM Ensures long-term implication of content learned in staff development Allows gifted cluster teachers to learn together Can prepare teachers for becoming gifted cluster teachers and Gifted Mentors Supports what occurs in Professional Learning Communities
Effects TYPE OF PROF DVPT ONE WEEK LATER ONE MONTH LATER 3 MONTHS LATER Lecture Only 30% 20% 10% Lecture with demonstrations 30% 20% 15% Lecture with audience participation and practice 35% 30% 18% Lecture with audience practice and on-site peer coaching 85% 81% 85% ShowersAnd Joyceascd.orgStudent Achievement t
Achievement Data from Tulpehocken Schools, Bethel PA Lisa Kiss, Director of Special Education, strongly supports the SCGM because of the gains experienced by SPED students at the grade levels being clustered.
Grade Four Math – 2 classes Red = below proficient, Yellow=basic Green = proficient, Blue=advanced.
Gifted cluster teacher meetings Each schools Gifted Mentor leads monthly meetings. Suggested meeting components: Discussion of specific strategies Sharing resources: lessons, materials, etc. Nomination and testing issues Problem solving regarding classroom or site concerns Participating in book study groups on challenging all students Planning for growth- scheduling students and incoming gifted cluster teachers
Showing growth in the SCGM Schools can track ongoing growth by measuring: Academic achievement Gifted population identified and served by year Ethnic representation of gifted students Teachers participating in gifted education training This requires first creating a gifted student data base at the beginning of the school year
The SCGM in times of lean budgets Full-time gifted services are provided with: No initial outlay of funds needed No additional staffing No extra materials required Desirable staff development that benefits all students Retaining students that remains steady keeping tax dollars in the district
In Summary… SCGM Goals To benefit all students in the grade level by increasing the opportunity for planned differentiation due to the reduction in the range of achievement levels in the classroom. To provide high ability students with a rigorous, faster paced curriculum and instruction in a group of their intellectual peers, delivered by one teacher, to ensure continuous progress in learning.