Gifted children can present unique challenges. Without the right approach, they can become bored and are in as much danger of falling behind as their peers who struggle. This was the challenge faced by Kaden and his mom, Heather.
Differentiated instruction and assessment is a way that teachers can successfully reach all students in their classrooms and ensure they are successful. It is a critical approach for all students but an essential one for gifted students who are particularly at risk of becoming bored and tuning out.
Eight-year-old Kaden had been admitted to the Galactic (Leap) program due to his high IQ. However, in his current classroom, he was falling further and further behind, especially in mathematics. “I rarely saw evidence of differentiation,” says his mom, Heather, “and Kaden was frequently bored.”
Although Kaden had accelerated an additional grade level each year since kindergarten, in grade three, the school abruptly took him out of his grade three math and put him back into second-grade math.
Kaden scored 77% on his math evaluation. However, the school was looking for 95% to ensure he had the skills necessary to excel in grade three math. According to his teachers, he was missing four essential skills required to advance. His mom felt there was more to the issue than just a lack of specific skills. “Kaden is a quick learner,” says Heather, “but he wasn’t being challenged.”
Heather was determined to help her son master the four essential mathematical skills he needed to advance to grade three mathematics. She needed a program that could do this but also address his unique challenges. “The challenge is to understand my son and his abilities and gifts, but also to pinpoint the weak areas that were not adequately covered when he jumped an additional grade level,” says Heather.
She found Elephant Learning and decided to give the program a try.
Elephant Learning was what Heather was looking for and exactly what Kaden needed. Gamification provided the differentiation and engagement Kaden required, and the algorithms driving the program ensured that he mastered the four skills he was missing and continued to build on those foundations.
Even more importantly, Elephant Learning provided the challenge that allows gifted students like Kaden to thrive. In just six short months of playing Elephant Learning, Kaden went from an Elephant Learning Age of only 4.6 years to 11.2 years. That’s a difference of more than six years!