Frequently Asked Questions

  • What is cluster grouping?

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    Cluster grouping is when identified gifted students at a grade level are assigned to one classroom with a teacher who has special training in how to teach gifted students. The other students in their assigned class are of mixed ability. Differentiated instructional opportunities allow gifted students to interact with their intellectual as well as their age peers. Through cluster grouping the intellectual, social, and emotional needs of the gifted students can be addressed.

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  • What are the benefits of cluster grouping?

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    • Challenging gifted students every day
    • Creating learning and leadership opportunities for all students
    • Empowering all teachers by expanding awareness and providing preparation
    • Teachers can focus instruction to better meet all students' academic needs
    • On-going assessment of students' strengths and needs
    • All students have opportunities for extended learning
    • Gifted students need to spend time learning with others of like ability to experience challenge and make academic progress 
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  • Will cluster grouping rob the other classes of intellectual leadership?

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    • With either gifted or high achieving students in every class, all classes have academic leaders
    • Gifted students do not make the best academic leaders because they make intuitive leaps, and therefore do not always appear to have to work as hard as others
    • High average students have new opportunities to become academic leaders 
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  • What is a Differentiated Engagement Block (a/k/a DEB block)?

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    The Differentiated Engagement Block (DEB) is a daily block of time designed to provide enrichment and intervention to all children in the areas of reading or math. During DEB, students meet in small groups with peers of similar learning needs for 30-minutes. DEB is a beneficial program that provides students with individualized support above and beyond the normal literacy instruction block.

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  • What are some instructional strategies that impact differentiation for gifted students?

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    Curriculum compacting, flexible grouping, learning centers or stations, learning centers (student-produced), open-ended tasks, pre-assessment, product options, research and independent study, students as producers, students' self-assessments, thinking and inquiry, and tiered instruction (Kingore, 2004).

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  • What is the CogAT 7 test?

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    The CogAt 7 test appraises the cognitive development of students, and measures students' learned reasoning abilities in three cognitive domains most closely related to success in school:

    • Verbal : ability to reason with verbal concepts
    • Quantitative : ability to reason with quantitative symbols and concepts
    • Nonverbal : ability to reason with geometric shapes and figures 
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  • What is the Gifted Education Seminar?

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    The goal of the Gifted Education Seminar (developed by the Illinois State Board of Education and the Illinois Association for Gifted Children) is to help teachers "create an environment to identify gifted and talented learners and address the diverse needs to facilitate at least a year's growth and development in the teachers' classrooms." The course consists of more than 45 hours of training on gifted education, including: perspectives, knowing the gifted, differentiation, and various curriculum modules. Woodridge School District 68 is committed to providing teachers the professional development and support to become better qualified to serve gifted students in our district. In the summer of 2012 alone, twenty-five teachers successfully completed the Gifted Education Seminar.

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