Modifications for Gifted Students: Enrichment & Acceleration

Instructor: Della McGuire

Della has been teaching secondary and adult education for over 20 years. She holds a BS in Sociology, MEd in Reading, and is ABD on the MComm in Storytelling.

Acceleration and enrichment, two curriculum modifications that best benefit gifted students, are important tools for a teacher to have. In this lesson, you'll gain a better understanding of these two strategies and how you can incorporate them into your classroom practices.

Lee's Daily Struggle

Lee struggles in school to stay on task. He understands what the teachers are talking about with the first explanation; however, his classmates need to spend lots of time and energy practicing before they get it. The learning part of school has always come easily for Lee, but not the tedious and never ending repetition. Sometimes, Lee has been given additional worksheets, but ever since he figured out how to tell which of the worksheets count for a grade, he has been protesting them as busywork. The rest of the time, Lee daydreams or distracts other students. Things have gotten so out-of-hand for Lee that there's a chance he will have to repeat the 3rd grade over his lack of participation.


Acceleration of gifted students involves advancing students when they have learned or proven mastery of the material. This is considered a vertical move and allows students to skip assignments or whole grades. Students are pretested and often can move past a lesson if they can demonstrate they already know the information. Some students accelerate by skipping kindergarten or another grade, participating in dual enrollment or testing out early from a class.

Lee would be a perfect candidate for acceleration. He has friends of all ages and never really feels uncomfortable with bigger kids. He has already mastered all of the 3rd-grade curriculum as was evident in his grades and achievement test scores. If he actually had to pay more attention in class to keep up, he might spend less time in trouble for acting out.

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