- Project-based learning can draw on students’ innate drive to learn and consequently increase motivation. It permits frequent feedback and opportunities for students to learn from their experience, and it can also act as a collaborative learning experience with peers that will help to develop social skills and increase self-esteem. Projects can be open-ended, thus encouraging students to engage in the art of inquiry. Similarly, other methods of representing the product of learning such as, script writing, film making, graphic representations, poetry or fiction writing can provide a stimulus for this group of learners.
- Exceptionally able students may be very verbal in the classroom. Some may want to contribute more frequently in class discussions and find it hard to understand that other students may struggle with areas that they themselves find easy. Clear guidelines which seek to encourage the students to respect the opinions and ideas of others can assist in reducing difficulties in this area.
- Encourage students to manage their own learning. Ask them to discern between what they did well and what they could do better in a particular project. Find out what aspects they are especially proud of. The emphasis should be on the evaluative component, rather than on the grades achieved.
- Give the student opportunities to consider questions/problems to which there are no definitive answers. Also consider open-ended learning whereby the answer could be given and the solution is represented by possible methods of coming to the same answer.
- Give the student access to activities that enrich and extend them (e.g. chess, quizzes, debates, drama, etc).
- Invite outside speakers to make presentations and use the topics as a springboard for ongoing work.
- Avoid giving the student repetitious work as this may lead to students slowing down their work rate to avoid being given extra repetitious work as a ‘reward’ for finishing quickly. It is preferable to build extension activities onto the foundation of what has already been learned in new ways.
- Create opportunities for the student to express what they are learning in non-traditional ways (e.g. PowerPoint® presentations, speeches, web-page productions, inventions, classroom demonstrations, exhibitions, video/film, mind-mapping, etc).
- The student could be invited to act as ‘Expert on a Topic’, if they have demonstrated a deep understanding of a topic/concept/task. However, care must be taken that the student is accepted by his/her peers rather than being the subject of ridicule or sarcasm.
- Encourage the creation of school displays and enter competitions in the student’s identified area(s) of interest. Competitions, run by outside organisations, provide opportunities for the student to research a topic beyond its content in the curriculum and assist in the development of the student’s autonomy.
- Compact the curriculum to render it denser and more complex. This involves sifting through and streamlining the curriculum in order to challenge students and provide more time for pursuing accelerated and/or enriched activities. It also involves establishing a baseline assessment to ascertain how much of the prescribed material the students have already mastered and how to devise a programme of enrichment.
- Plan for acceleration by moving the student through the curriculum at a faster pace. This may involve skipping sections where work has been adequately mastered to move further ahead. However it is recommended to ask for guidance in this area from the school’s NEPs psychologist.
- Encourage and facilitate higher-order thinking and questions. Encourage critical thinking in relation to the curriculum. Encourage comparing, evaluating, critiquing, analysing and creating. Allow the student to look for themes, patterns, main features, etc.
- Allow access to the Internet for up-to-date broadcasts and/or research in areas of interest.
- The student may enjoy assisting peers with their work, which is valuable in terms of creating inclusive school environments. It is important, however, not to overuse this strategy and to negotiate it with the students concerned.
- Provide opportunities for independent study.
- Suggest and/or provide supplementary reading on selected topics.