How can I Help Gifted Underachievers in my Classroom?

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Check Out the New Blog Gifted underachievers often do not find the schoolwork challenging enough.Underachieving gifted learners show a discrepancy between their achievement and capabilities. This behavior (note, it is not a disability) can make for a frustrating situation in the classroom. This learner may fear rejection for being perceived as gifted or may be bored by a lack of challenging material. Either way, the result is poor motivation for achievement.

Many gifted underachievers express a lack of interest in school curricula because they find it uninteresting, meaningless, or irrelevant. Unfortunately, the referral, screening and identification process for students tends to overlook them, especially if school personnel and parents incorrectly believe that all gifted students are, by definition, highly motivated.

A teacher’s concern about this child not doing assigned schoolwork is exacerbated by the realization that “the brain power is there!”

Consider this: Distribute a personal inventory sheet in the first week of class, and use information about the learner’s interests to match topics and lessons.

  • Ask each child to become a “resident expert.”
  • The student can pursue his or her personal interest as a means to an independent study project.
  • Use this as an avenue to incorporate standards.
  • Guide your resident expert in the development of rubrics so that this expertise can be shared with the other students.

When teaching curriculum that is less appealing to the underachiever, model ways to explore it in depth.

Learn Moreā€¦ Take this course: Differentiation for Gifted Learners in the Classroom

Discuss Here: How can you help kindle the interest of gifted underachievers in your classroom?

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