Differentiated instruction is a teaching model which advocates responsiveness to students with varying background knowledge, interests, readiness, language, and preferences in learning within the same class. The intent of differentiating instruction is to maximize each student’s growth and individual success by meeting each student where he or she is and assisting in the learning process.
In meetings designed to identify what the LIU could do to assist our local districts with programming for our gifted students, the number one issue we identified was the need for staff development, and in particular, in relation to compacting and differentiating instruction for gifted students. In response to this request, the LIU arranged two very rewarding and informative sessions by Susan Winebrenner, a national expert in these strategies and techniques designed to meet the needs of gifted and talented students. These sessions provided an overview for local administrators, educators and parents, and an in-depth training opportunity for teams of teachers from four of our districts. Another outcome of this effort was the creation of an LIU specialist on compacting and differentiated instruction within our cadre of Technical Assistance Consultants (TAC) staff.
You can also access the PowerPoint outline from Ms. Winebrenner’s local presentations below. In addition, there are a number of books and resources available through the LIU, including Susan Winebrenner’s Teaching Gifted Kids in the Regular Classroom and The Cluster Grouping Handbook: How to Challenge Gifted Students and Improve Achievement for All.