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iStock_000016012136Small.jpgIf you are like me, you are in the middle of progress monitoring for your end of quarter comparisons. Do you have students that haven’t progressed at all? If you look closely, some of those students are your “bright” students. So what can you do to help those high achieving students to engage in your classroom?

This post will focus on those students that are either high achieving or identified as a gifted learner. There is a difference, but for the sake of this post we are putting them in the same category. 

Extension Activities

Take the lesson a bit further with these students. One year I had a student tell me, “just because I’m in extended studies (name of our gifted program) doesn’t mean I have more time!” I took this to heart. Don’t create extra work, but find meaningful activities that replace lower level assignments. My favorite is to allow students to research a self selected topic or something that is related to the novel we are reading.

Engaging Materials

Most likely these students are reading far beyond grade level. However, it does NOT mean they comprehend everything they are reading. In my Gifted Reading Class, we focus on vocabulary. They could say the word, but had no idea what it really meant.  My students are required to have a notebook and write down unfamiliar words. Then, we do various games with their new vocabulary. The books that you select can be lower than their reading level and that’s fine!  As long as they love what they are reading they will be engaged. STEM related books and activities are always a hit with my students.


Most high achieving students enjoy setting goals. This allows them the freedom to decide what they will read and for how long.  Encourage your students to read different genres or subjects to expand their background knowledge.


1.These students can be great resources, but be careful when using them as a “student-teacher”. Some students love the attention, but others would rather not be in that role. 

2. Posting Reading levels or goals. Be aware of student privacy and self-esteem!

3. Be flexible! It’s ok if you don’t know all the answers!

Teaching high achieving students can be equally challenging and rewarding.  Every day I learn something new from my students and they keep me on my toes.  We love to hear from you, our readers, what other ideas have worked with your high achieving students?

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