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Teacher Needs Advice!

Gifted and Talented Expert Advice from Noreen H. Joslyn, LISW, ACSW

Q: I am a fifth-grade classroom teacher. I have children with a very wide range of abilities in my classroom, including one gifted child. I am spending an incredible amount of time differentiating my lessons to help this child, yet I feel I am still not tapping into her true abilities. I'm looking for help so that I don't have to constantly reinvent the wheel.

A: The reference that I always recommend for teachers in your position is Teaching Gifted Kids In The Regular Classroom by Susan Winebrenner (Free Spirit Publishing, recently updated). Teachers always find it helpful.

I would also ask you if there are any resources within your school building that could offer learning opportunities for this student -- such as periodically having him work with the teacher of a class of younger students to help them learn a special topic. What about an online class, through a school computer, to allow the student to pursue a more advanced subject? The Council for Exceptional Children also offers free handouts on teaching gifted students. These topical papers from the ERIC Clearinghouse on Disabilities and Gifted Education can be downloaded free of charge from their website You sound like a very caring teacher for your gifted student. Thanks for getting in touch with us.

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Noreen Joslyn is a licensed independent social worker in the state of Ohio and is a member of the Academy of Certified Social Workers. She has a master's degree in Social Work, specializing in family and children, from the University of Pittsburgh. She is a psychiatric social worker in private practice with Ken DeLuca, Ph.D. & Associates, where she counsels parents and children.

Please note: This "Expert Advice" area of should be used for general information purposes only. Advice given here is not intended to provide a basis for action in particular circumstances without consideration by a competent professional. Before using this Expert Advice area, please review our General and Medical Disclaimers.


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