Case #2: Able, Gifted and Talented Students
These are students who we really want to push and encourage.
The summer vacation is a long-time to be away from formal education, and we don’t want these students to lose momentum or interest.
I’ve found that project work is particularly useful for these types of students. I usually set work based on the following procedure:
- Find out what the student is really interested in. What does she have a passion for? (For example: hip hop dancing)
- Think of ways that you can link your subject area to the student’s area of interest (For example: A project about vector mathematics as a model for the movement of a hip hop dancer during a routine)
- Discuss the project with the student. Make sure it’s relevant and deep. Ask the student to come up with ways to process the information and present the final output. Perhaps a stop-motion animation will work well. Maybe the student prefers to do a performance. Maybe a project portfolio will work well.
- Offer some kind of significant reward and recognition for the effort. Discuss the benefits (e.g. how this project will improve subject knowledge in a particular area). Speak with senior management about any material rewards that can be given (e.g. book tokens, medals, certificates or a trophy).
- Follow through and keep our promises: We must make sure that we honour our promises to these students. If we’ve promised a medal, then we must damn well make sure that the kid gets a medal. If we’ve set the work, then we must fulfill our professional duty by giving feedback.
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