TeachersFirst's Gifted in any Classroom: General Tools for Differentiating Academic Content

Other TeachersFirst Special Topics Collections

Start • Helpful Background • Differentiating Academic Content • Respecting Creativity• Personalized Connections • Organization for a Sane Classroom

This collection of resources provides general tools and information about differentiating for gifted students in the regular classroom in all subject areas and grade levels.

Differentiating doesn’t mean giving gifted students more work. It means offering them different, more appropriate tasks and challenges that go deeper or make broader connections. This will look different in different classrooms, depending grade level and course content. In some classes, students may be permitted to test out of material (via pretest) and move on to the next chapter (acceleration). In other classes, differentiating may include an enrichment unit or challenge beyond the regular curriculum. Another excellent way to differentiate is with open-ended projects that extend the curriculum. See ideas on the Respecting Creativity page and resources.

Be sure to read specific suggestions about gifted students in the resource reviews. Explore the TeachersFirst Editors’ Choice “best” pretesting tools for students to “test-out” of certain curriculum. Find rubrics for differentiating expectations and requirements. Other resources include personalized, K-8 differentiation based on Common Core standards, resources that offer leveled work in all subjects, an activity generator linked to Bloom’s Taxonomy, and a site to find higher level courses, including college level.

Create a differentiated "center" on your elementary classroom computer  by organizing colored tiles based on difficulty levels (see Symbaloo).  Offer differentiated resources on your class web page so students can access them without your help both in and out of class. If you simply want to offer a quick challenge, don't miss the Mindstretchers on TeachersFirst.

 For more specific subject-area tools, try:

Gifted in Any Classroom: Editors' Choice Tools for Pretests

Gifted in any Classroom: Tools for Differentiating in ELA/Reading

Gifted in any Classroom: Tools for Differentiating in Math 

Gifted in any Classroom: Tools for Differentiating in Science and Social Studies 

 

0-10 of 10 

10 Results | sort by:

Less
More

LessonPaths - MentorMob, Inc

Grades
K to 12
0 Favorites 0  Comments
 
Create, share, and explore learning lists of web-based resources with LessonPaths (formerly MentorMobEDU). Similar to Pinterest, but in a slide show format. This site shows thumbnails...more
Here is the direct link to share this resource review. Feel free to copy and paste this URL into an email or place it on your web page or blog so others can read this TeachersFirst review:

 Close Link

Create, share, and explore learning lists of web-based resources with LessonPaths (formerly MentorMobEDU). Similar to Pinterest, but in a slide show format. This site shows thumbnails of each resource. LessonPaths allows you to view and create "playlists." Browse through playlists by subject or keyword. Each playlist has links to online content correlated to the topics. As you browse through each playlist, choose Next to view an overview of each link. At the left side, roll over the list of steps to find out what to do at each stop on the playlist. Click within that link to go to the web content displayed. When ready, create an account and begin to create your own playlists.

tag(s): classroom management (135)

In the Classroom

Browse to find ready-made activities for classroom use. Create your own playlists for organizing classroom resources found on the web along with tasks to do at each place. Create playlists for students to view and/or add to as a whole class activity. Some ideas include things that use energy, food groups, or groups of items for primary level vocabulary/practice (clothing items, farm animals, clock faces for telling time, etc.). In lower grades, create very simple sequences of activities for students to try from a class computer center or at home. Since your directions will require reading, keep it very simple! In higher grades, make playlists for different subjects or units where you collect videos, images, classroom blogs and websites, etc. Share your playlists with students and parents by putting the link on your class website. Have them work through the tasks at their own pace. Challenge your older students to create their own playlists with thought-provoking questions as a product from a research project. For example, they can compile information about a disease and how it is transmitted, asking questions at each resource. (What a great way for them to read informational text and then generate questions that go further!) Teachers of Gifted or regular ed teachers trying to design independent tasks for gifted students to do will love the flexibility of the playlist format.

Add your comments below (available only to members) | Become a Member

Rating (click star to set rating):

Close comment form

You must be registered and logged in to add items to your favorites.
Use the form at the top of the page to log in, or click here to join TeachersFirst (it's free!).

Close

Less
More

TeachersFirst's Editors' Choice Tools for Pretests - TeachersFirst

Grades
K to 12
1 Favorites 0  Comments
This collection of resources was selected by TeachersFirst editors as the easiest or most useful tools for creating pretests, a must-have when working with gifted students in the regular...more
Here is the direct link to share this resource review. Feel free to copy and paste this URL into an email or place it on your web page or blog so others can read this TeachersFirst review:

 Close Link

This collection of resources was selected by TeachersFirst editors as the easiest or most useful tools for creating pretests, a must-have when working with gifted students in the regular classroom. This collection is part of a special section of TeachersFirst, Nourishing Gifted Through Technology in Any Classroom.

tag(s): differentiation (47), gifted (96)

In the Classroom

You may not always be able to pretest at the start of a new unit, and sometimes an informal assessment will tell you that a student is ready to move beyond the regular curriculum content right away. You may want to wait a day or two before offering a retest, since many truly gifted students will absorb or even seem to "intuit" the full unit of content very quickly after a short exposure. The great thing about using online pretests is that once you create them, you have them for the next year. Consider teaming up with other teachers in your subject/grade to build a library of pretests that you can share.

Add your comments below (available only to members) | Become a Member

Rating (click star to set rating):

Close comment form

You must be registered and logged in to add items to your favorites.
Use the form at the top of the page to log in, or click here to join TeachersFirst (it's free!).

Close

Less
More

Cumberland Trace Gifted - DAP Tool - Julia Roberts and Tracy Inman

Grades
K to 12
1 Favorites 0  Comments
The DAP (Developing and Assessing Products) Tool is a set of rubrics developed to assess student products at varying levels of expertise. The intent of the DAP Tool is to ...more
Here is the direct link to share this resource review. Feel free to copy and paste this URL into an email or place it on your web page or blog so others can read this TeachersFirst review:

 Close Link

The DAP (Developing and Assessing Products) Tool is a set of rubrics developed to assess student products at varying levels of expertise. The intent of the DAP Tool is to differentiate while taking the ceiling off higher level and creative thinking skills (perfect for gifted learners). There are four components for all products: content, presentation, creativity, and reflection. The tool offers rubrics at three performance levels. Especially appropriate for removing a "ceiling" for gifted students is the inclusion of an expert or "professional" performance level rating. This rating acknowledges work that one would expect from a professional in the content area. The criteria for each level increase in sophisticated. Level 1 would be for younger students or those with less expertise. Level 3 might be for high school and/or your most gifted students-- at any grade level. There are fourteen different product rubrics and a blank rubric at each level. The blank rubric suggests descriptions for all but the presentation component. Some of the products are PowerPoint, poster, pamphlet, diorama, service learning, monologue, model, and more. Download the rubrics in PDF format.

tag(s): critical thinking (108), differentiation (47), essays (21), interviews (16), posters (36), rubrics (32), service projects (25), speech (92), writing (359)

In the Classroom

Offer individualized rubrics for every project so each student can demonstrate appropriate expertise. These rubrics are perfect to use in the heterogeneous classroom where you might have a mix of ESL/ELL, gifted, and learning support students. Many of these activities are ideal for differentiating for your gifted students and providing challenges more suited to their ability, creativity, and thought process.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

Add your comments below (available only to members) | Become a Member

Rating (click star to set rating):

Close comment form

You must be registered and logged in to add items to your favorites.
Use the form at the top of the page to log in, or click here to join TeachersFirst (it's free!).

Close

Less
More

MobyMax: Complete K-8 Curriculum - MobyMax.com

Grades
K to 8
6 Favorites 0  Comments
   
Practice and improve student skills in the K-8 curriculum with MobyMax. Start with pre-testing students and assigning differentiated activities for reading, math, science, writing,...more
Here is the direct link to share this resource review. Feel free to copy and paste this URL into an email or place it on your web page or blog so others can read this TeachersFirst review:

 Close Link

Practice and improve student skills in the K-8 curriculum with MobyMax. Start with pre-testing students and assigning differentiated activities for reading, math, science, writing, grammar and vocabulary. Pre-tests target areas of struggle and assign curriculum based on need. Never again will students have to practice material they have already mastered. The progress tracking throughout is based on Common Core standards. Adjust assigned curriculum on your own if desired by reassigning a pre-test or assigning your own lessons. Register using your email and school information to begin. Add your student list. Once created students have their own individual login to begin placement testing. Set student IEP goals using Common Core standards. Choose from tabs on the teacher page to view student progress reports, testing, lessons, and IEP progress. There is a PRO account that costs money; this review is only for the FREE portion.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): addition (251), differentiation (47), division (172), fluency (23), game based learning (103), multiplication (227), subtraction (208), vocabulary (324), vocabulary development (126)

In the Classroom

Create a classroom account. Use MobyMax during centers, for nightly homework, or computer lab time. Share with parents as an excellent resource for practicing math, reading, writing, grammar, science, and vocabulary skills at home. Use the pre-testing features at the beginning of the school year to get students started at the correct levels. Use this tool to differentiate for all students. Your gifted students can pretest out of material already learned and receive activities and instruction at their individual level. Remedial students can use this site to meet IEP goals (already saved on this site). Be sure to bookmark this site to use with all levels of students.

Add your comments below (available only to members) | Become a Member

Rating (click star to set rating):

Close comment form

You must be registered and logged in to add items to your favorites.
Use the form at the top of the page to log in, or click here to join TeachersFirst (it's free!).

Close

Less
More

ABCya - ABCYA.com, l.l.c,

Grades
K to 5
11 Favorites 0  Comments
  
ABCya.com, developed by a web developer turned computer teacher, aims to provide educational games and activities for elementary students. Nearly every subject is included. Simply click...more
Here is the direct link to share this resource review. Feel free to copy and paste this URL into an email or place it on your web page or blog so others can read this TeachersFirst review:

 Close Link

ABCya.com, developed by a web developer turned computer teacher, aims to provide educational games and activities for elementary students. Nearly every subject is included. Simply click on your grade level (K-5) and find what is available under language arts, math, and other subjects. Specific topics range from basic typing activities to creating word clouds to grammar games (at all levels) and so much more. The interactives are teacher approved and offer colorful and attention grabbing ways for learning. Opportunities for sharing on Facebook, tweeting, and sharing on social bookmarking sites are incorporated. This is a MUST SEE site for elementary teachers looking for some great practice sites for basic skills!
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): alphabet (92), decimals (133), drawing (78), fractions (239), game based learning (103), geometric shapes (163), keyboarding (38), latitude (13), literacy (103), longitude (13), number sense (97), numbers (204), operations (126), preK (281)

In the Classroom

Share this site on your interactive whiteboard or projector, demonstration how to use the specific tool/activity. Create a learning center AT the whiteboard or on individual laptops and allow students to try it out on their own. List this as a student and parent resource on your classroom website. Use this site to informally assess skills to tell you which students to allow to do alternative work or go ahead. Allow your gifted students to explore new concepts while providing necessary reinforcement for those learners that need a technology-inspired method to help master learning goals. This is an excellent tool for differentiating. Provide as an anticipatory guide for new units.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

Add your comments below (available only to members) | Become a Member

Rating (click star to set rating):

Close comment form

You must be registered and logged in to add items to your favorites.
Use the form at the top of the page to log in, or click here to join TeachersFirst (it's free!).

Close

Less
More

Symbaloo EDU - Symbaloo BV

Grades
K to 12
16 Favorites 0  Comments
 
Create, find, and share visually appealing Webmixes (web based screens of link "tiles") to share web resources. Choose EDU Teachers site tour (a blue tile) to learn more about Symbaloo...more
Here is the direct link to share this resource review. Feel free to copy and paste this URL into an email or place it on your web page or blog so others can read this TeachersFirst review:

 Close Link

Create, find, and share visually appealing Webmixes (web based screens of link "tiles") to share web resources. Choose EDU Teachers site tour (a blue tile) to learn more about Symbaloo EDU or begin exploring color-coded links on your own. Choose the EDU Tools WebMix to find links to classroom resources for social networking, video and image tools, and much more. Other WebMixes designed specifically for educators include widgets for classroom use, educational headlines, and much more. Tailor web resources to your individual need by creating your own WebMixes. Add tiles to instantly connect students with the resources you choose. Accounts are free but require a password (and email verification). Click "Edit WebMix" to change the background, rename the webmix, and edit the tiles. Link tiles to website URL's or RSS feed links. Hover over a tile to bring up a simple menu. Click "edit" to paste the URL of the resource, enter a title, and change icons and colors. Select any name to be displayed on the tile. Be sure to click "Done editing" when finished, and then "Share" to choose publicly or privately with friends. Use the embed code to embed directly into your class website or blog. Download the free iPhone or Android apps for use on mobile phones or use Symbaloo in your tablet browser as it has been maximized for use on these devices.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): bookmarks (60), DAT device agnostic tool (199), gamification (65)

In the Classroom

Be sure to know the URL's of the resources you are planning to share or have them open in other tabs to copy/paste. To share you must be able to copy/paste URLs (web addresses). Have older students create their own webmixes, but this resource is best used as a teacher sharing tool for sharing links, RSS feeds, and other resources for students to use in specific projects or as general course links. If shared with the world, the webmix can be viewed by others and is public.

Create a webmix of the most used sites for your class and first demonstrate how the webmix works on a projector or interactive whiteboard if you have special instructions or color coding for its use. Some examples include links to copyright free images, online textbooks, or online tools such as Google Docss, ThingLink, Glogster, and more. Link to teacher web pages, webquests, resource sites for your subject, and any other resource that is helpful for students. Consider creating a login for the whole class to update with suggestions from class members. Use this AS your class website. Color code the tiles on a webmix for younger, non-reader, or ESL/ELL students. For example, color each subject differently from the others. Differentiate by color coding varying levels of skills practice at a classroom computer center or to distinguish homework practice sites from in-class sites. Differentiate difficulty levels using the various colors enabling you to list resources for both your learning support students and gifted students and all in between. Use color to organize tools for different projects or individual students. You may want to share this resource with parents at Back to School Night and the color-coding system for differentiation. This will help parents (and students) find what sites are ideal for their levels. Be sure to link or embed your webmix on a computer center in your room for easy access. Share a review site webmix for parents and students to access at home before tests, as well. Team up with other teachers in your subject/grade to create chapter by chapter webmixes for all your students.

Challenge you gifted students to curate and collaborate on their own webmixes as a curriculum extension activity on topics such as climate change or pros and cons of genetically engineered food. They can use color coding to sort sites by bias (or neutrality) as well as to group subtopics under the overall theme. Use the student-made webmixes with other students to raise the overall level of discussion in your class or as an extra credit challenge. If you embed the webmix in a class wiki, all students can respond with questions and comments for the gifted students to moderate and reply, creating a student-led community of learners.

Add your comments below (available only to members) | Become a Member

Rating (click star to set rating):

Close comment form

You must be registered and logged in to add items to your favorites.
Use the form at the top of the page to log in, or click here to join TeachersFirst (it's free!).

Close

Less
More

HippoCampus - Monterey Institute for Technology and Education

Grades
9 to 12
3 Favorites 0  Comments
  
Find multimedia content and lessons ready to go, and customizable by your preferences on this incredible, free, online learning site. Whether you need a comprehensive curriculum for...more
Here is the direct link to share this resource review. Feel free to copy and paste this URL into an email or place it on your web page or blog so others can read this TeachersFirst review:

 Close Link

Find multimedia content and lessons ready to go, and customizable by your preferences on this incredible, free, online learning site. Whether you need a comprehensive curriculum for selected high school courses, a way to differentiate instruction, or materials to reinforce challenging topics, this site has it. The current subjects include Algebra, American Government, Biology, Calculus, Environmental Science, Physics, Religion, and U.S. History. The subjects extend through high school and into AP and college level material. Open a course at the left and browse the topics, especially the multimedia offerings. A free instructor account allows you to select the modules you want your students to see and share them via a unique URL for assignments or at-home review. Since the content is offered collaboratively from multiple sources, the courses each have their own "look." The ones our review team explored all included audio-- a real plus for ESL/ELL or low level readers. Requires Flash and Quicktime. Get them from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page..

tag(s): environment (317)

In the Classroom

Explore the curriculum topics for your subject area and select some options for students to use in class or for review. This is also an excellent option for leaving plans for a substitute who may have no expertise in your subject area! Many of the multimedia modules are well-suited for interactive whiteboard or projector (or for students to navigate at an individual pace on laptops). Have gifted students? Allow them to "compact" new content and extend into higher levels using this site. Be sure to share a link from your teacher web page for students who need an alternate presentation of material or for absentees. Share this site at the beginning of the school year for students wanting more of a challenge.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

Add your comments below (available only to members) | Become a Member

Rating (click star to set rating):

Close comment form

You must be registered and logged in to add items to your favorites.
Use the form at the top of the page to log in, or click here to join TeachersFirst (it's free!).

Close

0-10 of 10