Glossary of Terms

Acceleration – Progress through an educational program at rates faster or ages younger than conventional.

Alternate Assignments – Assignments given to a particular student or small group instead of the assignments given to the rest of the class. The assignments for gifted students are designed to be more challenging or to capitalize on a student’s special interests or skills. Often used in differentiation.

Balanced Literacy Techniques – As defined in Reading benchmarks; instruction balanced between small and large groups, and skills and strategies

Bloom’s TaxonomySix levels of learning and questions which go from lower levels of knowledge and comprehension to the highest levels of application, analysis, synthesis and evaluation. Often used in differentiation, pullouts and independent study.

Cluster Grouping by Ability – Flexible grouping and regrouping of talented students within a classroom to accommodate different instructional needs; a small group of students with similar talents are assigned to a particular teacher’s classroom.

Compacting – Modifying or “streamlining” content, process or products in order to eliminate repetition of previously mastered material and to provide time for appropriate enrichment and/or acceleration activities while ensuring mastery of basic skills.

Complex Tasks – Providing multiple-step projects for advanced knowledge and skill acquisition. Often used in differentiation.

Contracting – A formal agreement with students which may include specifying learning goals, resources, time frame, and evaluation and/or grades. Contracting usually offers choices from a variety of available project/product options. Often used in differentiation.

Differentiated Education Plan (DEP) – Documentation of a child’s individualized plan for general intellectual ability.

Differentiation – Instruction which includes, but not limited to, modification in assignments and materials, alternative forms of assessment, grouping strategies, and small group or independent work.

Enrichment – More complex, higher level thinking and/or broader based activities instead ofregular classroom work.

Flexible Grouping – Teach content to the whole group, then regroup into small cluster groups according to ability or interest.

Higher Thinking Skills – Questioning, activities based on processing requiring analysis, synthesis, evaluation or other critical thinking skills. Often used in differentiation and independent study.

Independent Study – A programming option which allows a student or small group of students to pursue an area of interest related to a specific curricular area .

Learning Contracts – Student and teacher jointly developed contract for accomplishment of learning goals. Often involves streamlining of regular class work. Often used in differentiation.

Multiple Intelligences – Uses the following eight intelligences: verbal-linguistic, musical, logical-mathematical, spatial, bodily-kinesthetic, interpersonal, intrapersonal, and naturalist which every person possesses to various degrees.

Open-Ended Assignments – Providing students with tasks and work that do not have a single outcome or answer. The task may have timelines and a sequence of activities to be accomplished, but outcomes will vary with each student. Often used in differentiation, pull-outs and independent study.

Subject Acceleration – Placing a student in the next grade for a single subject because the student meets criteria to make this an appropriate option. The student is working with age mates for all other subjects.

Tiered Assignments – Teachers match students’ needs with assignments geared to the level of the learner. Often used in differentiation.

Underachievement – A performance which is significantly below the child’s potential for academic achievement.

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