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Nick Wansley
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Female Student
I taught an all-female physical science class during my student teaching at Cedar Shoals High School. The particular female student I am focusing on is a gifted student that was in a general level physical science class. Through the observations and actions my mentor teacher and I observed in the first few weeks, we recommended for her to be placed in the gifted physical science class.
Observable TraitsThis 9th-grade female student represented many of the characteristics of Giftedness, while residing from a low socioeconomic class. She was very shy and reserved at the beginning of the semester, at times seemingly overlooked; however, as the semester moved on, the gifted characteristics involving outgoing and intelligent behavior began to show. She began to be social with the other classmates, and really demonstrated to my mentor teacher and I that she was in need of instruction that led to higher learning.
Gifted Characteristics´╗┐Positive:
  • Highly motivated
  • Showed a high interest in learning
  • Very creative
  • High grades on test scores

Negative:
  • Extremely social and talkative
  • Initially unsure of her abilities
  • On occasion, can be stubborn and rebellious

´╗┐Teaching Strategies

As mentioned, this student represented the gifted characteristics of the female gender, and expressed herself socially after a few weeks into the semester. She also began to show her interest in physical science and her intelligence. To allow her to combine her social skills with her interest level in the subject, I wanted to start some different teaching strategies to incorporate these. The best was to implement lessons allowing her to utilize her skills, such as group work. While performing work in front of the class was not ideal for her, she did seem to excel more at working with a couple of other students. This allowed her to be social and share her interest in physical science with other students. Socially-adept students thrive well with group work, where they do not "get in trouble" for talking or working together. The students are able to express themselves freely about the subject and put their minds together for the best learning. When I added more group work to the curriculum, this particular female student began to excel in the class, and become a role model for learning for the rest of the students.




Male Student
At North Gwinnett High School, I taught a general chemistry course, with a few gifted students mixed in. This gave me the opportunity to view the characteristics of gifted students and those that were not, while also viewing the difference in giftedness of males and females. I had a male student that was gifted, and by observing his characteristics, I was able to understand what set him apart from the other students, and how his characteristics differed from the female gifted student.
Observable Traits
This student in one of my classes showed extraordinary logical abilities, as well as a high curiosity and motivation for the subject. Asmentioned, due to this student being in a general chemistry course, I was able to view his characteristics against other students, and female students. While he showed positive gifted characteristics, he could also exhibit some negative ones if not challenged by the curriculum.

Gifted Characteristics
´╗┐Positive:
  • Logical and complex thinking
  • Highly motivated
  • High achievement in mathematical and scientific skill

Negative:
  • Often rambunctious and uncooperative
  • Can be talkative at times
  • Sometimes overactive mentally


Teaching Strategies
This particular student was very gifted in science, with a high motivation for the subject. The times when he would become rambunctious or talkative, would be the result of being bored. His high achievement of the subject led to a necessity of some different teaching strategies. The best thing to do with him in the general chemistry course was to implement differentiated instruction. To help meet his needs intellectually, I needed to challenge him, while also attending to the needs of the other students. I needed to create tougher material and tasks that he could work on. The high motivation that he possessed for the subject allowed for me to trust that he would complete extra assignments that he could do on his own. His motivation proved that he wanted to learn the subject, and receive whatever tasks he could that would benefit his higher learning.




SourcesSilverman, L. (1997). What We Have Learned about Gifted Education. Denver, CO. Gifted Development Center.Johnsen, S. (2006). Definitions, Models, and Characteristics of Gifted Students. Prufrock Press Inc.

http://www2.winthrop.edu/studentaffairs/complaints/