Academically gifted children have some special needs related to their individual level of intelligence and talent. A lot of people wrongly think that letting gifted children studying in regular classes will help non-gifted students learn. It is not right. But first, you should know how to find out that your child is academically gifted.
– Often bored in regular classes
– Behavioral problems at school
– Poor grades even though he/she displays qualities of intelligence
– Viewed as arrogant
– Advanced for his/her age, especially in reading and vocabulary
– Independent worker
– Good leader (take-charge kind of person)
– Good imagination
In most states, a child must first be nominated by a teacher or faculty member to be admitted to the school's gifted/talented classes. Having been brought to the school's attention, he/she is then "screened" or given a preliminary test. If the results of this test are good, three more tests are given. Having passed all three tests, the parent can place the child in academically gifted classes.
Why do academically gifted children not help average children study when placed in the same classes? One would suppose that a gifted child would grasp what is being taught instantly and would then help out the kids who were having a more difficult time understanding the material. Unfortunately, it is not true.
The average child must hear a concept presented (in one form or another) 32 times. A gifted child requires it to be repeated two or three times, or, in some cases, only once. When the gifted child understands the concept, he/she is ready to learn more. The teacher, though, is simply repeating the same old thing.
As a result, gifted children in regular classes tend to daydream, ignore the teacher, and/or (especially at younger ages) misbehave. This, of course, leads to lower grades, and the child is likely to be thought of as arrogant by other students, since he/she is likely to express his/her frustration offensively (i.e. "Figure it out" or "Gosh, stupid" or other milder forms of the same). By keeping the child in the regular classes, their mental potential is not reached, they may be frustrated and lose all desire to study and therefore have their mental potential stunted. That's probably the greatest irony of all – smart kids making good grades.
The decision you may take is to put all your gifted children together in one (or more) class(es) and greatly quicken the intensity and speed of your teaching. Gifted classes are typically small (8-15 people) and this quantity helps them to know each other and bounce ideas off one another.
Gifted children learn differently, they aren't arrogant or elitist.