Monday, April 6, 2015

What Do "Regular Kids" Miss Because They're Not "Gifted?"

The other day I was at a workshop and the presenter introduced a QR Code Treasure Hunt that he used in his middle school classroom.  He used it with his gifted kids.
One of the attendees asked if it could be used with any kids.
He responded it could, but he doesn't use it with the "other" kids until later.
I wondered why he would need to wait until later, especially when using it with middle school kids.
I use QR codes with my 5th graders.

The other day, I read a blog post about a poetry project.
Many of the comments were from excited teachers who were ready to jump in and participate with their "gifted" students.

I don't have a problem with "gifted" students and/or classrooms.
I was considered a "gifted" kid in a gifted school environment.
I see  nothing wrong with providing them with a challenging environment.
That's not my point.

My problem is when the "regular" kids are not given a chance to do these things because it's automatically assumed that they can't.
Or worse, why bother because it's going to be more challenging teaching them, as opposed to the gifted student.
I know I have kids in my class who can do, and those who can't.
But I give them a chance to "can't."
And the same ones who "can't" one thing, excel at something else.

We can't automatically assume that when things are challenging, our "regular" students can't meet the challenge.
It's not fair that while some build robots, the "regular" kids are just reading about it.
While some write on their blogs, others are practicing grammar on worksheets.

Too many times, we relegate challenges to our "gifted" students, leaving our "regular" students to the mediocre, mundane, routine of classroom life.
I tell my kids there is nothing wrong with struggling, it's not making an effort that's the problem.
Let's give our "regular" kids a chance to struggle if they need to, they might surprise you!

 photo credit: Дешевый телефон via photopin (license)

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