Teaching Gifted Students

What Classroom and Content Teachers Need to Know About Gifted Students in Ohio

Developed by: Joy Sama, Michelle Watson, Dana Weber and Rachel Smethers-Winters

Who is a “Gifted Student” in Ohio?

The state of Ohio defines a gifted student as one who “performs or shows potential for performing at remarkably high levels of accomplishment when compared to others of their age, experience, or environment and who are identified under division (A), (B), (C), or (D) of section 3324.03 of Ohio Revised Code.

Students can be identified as gifted in the areas of superior cognitive ability (general intelligence), specific academic ability (reading, math, social studies, and/or science), creative thinking ability, and visual-performing arts ability.

How are students identified as gifted in Ohio?

A child can be referred for testing for possible gifted identification by a peer, parent, teacher, other school personnel, community member, or self. 

According to state law, a child shall be identified as gifted in the area of superior cognitive ability if they have scored two standard deviations above the mean, minus the standard error of measurement, on an approved intelligence test, or performed at or above the ninety-fifth percentile on an approved composite battery of a nationally normed achievement test. 

To be identified as gifted in any of the specific academic ability areas, the child must perform at or above the ninety-fifth percentile in that specific ability field on an approved achievement test. 

In order to be identified as gifted in the area of creative thinking ability, a student must score one standard deviation above the mean, minus the standard error of measurement, on an approved intelligence test and also attain a sufficient score of an approved creativity test or checklist of creative behaviors. 

Visual-performing arts ability is measured by demonstrated performance or display of work as measured by a state-approved rubric.

Myths about Gifted Students

Myth: Gifted children will achieve without guidance.

Fact: Without appropriate guidance and support, gifted children may lost motivation or underachieve.

Myth: Gifted students are best served when tutoring others or when given larger quantities of work at average grade level.

Fact: When gifted students consistently tutor others, often they are not learning anything new. This can cause unhealthy self-esteem issues for both the tutored and the gifted student. Gifted children need a high degree of educational challenge, not more of an average level.

Myth: Gifted students are ‘teacher pleasers,’ are easy to teach, and will always make straight “As.”

Fact: In order for gifted students to maintain high levels of achievement, teachers must make curricular adjustments, not just give ‘more’ work. Without appropriate modifications, gifted students may develop behavior problems.  Gifted students will not always achieve, especially if unmotivated.

Knowing the Student: Other Considerations about Gifted Learners

Gifted students may experience specific social and emotional considerations:

  • Asynchronous development
  • Underachievement
  • Perfectionism
  • Twice-Exceptionality

Modify Instruction and Assessment

There are three ways to differentiate standards for gifted students: teaching advanced skills and using high quality, grade-appropriate content; teaching grade-level skills and using above-grade level content; and teaching advanced skills and using above-grade level content.

A Written Education Plan (WEP) is written for students receiving gifted services.  This WEP provides:

  • Strategies
  • Acceleration
  • Concept Maps
  • Compacting
  • Problem-Based Learning
  • Tiered Assignments/Stations

Last Modified: 7/14/2014 2:25:33 PM