Tuesday , 12 December 2017
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Strategies for Providing Enrichment Opportunities to Advanced Learners

The purpose of enrichment is to provide extended learning opportunities and challenges to students who have already mastered or can quickly master the basic curriculum.  Enrichment gives students more time to study concepts with greater depth, breadth, and complexity.  Enrichment also provides opportunities for students to pursue learning in their own areas of interest and strengths.

Here are some general enrichment choices for teachers.  Think of these ideas as a skeleton in which the content expert (teacher) would fill in the blanks with a rich learning experience.

  • Independent Study Contract:  A student chooses a topic of interest within the context of the unit of study and works out the parameters of the project, the timeline, and the deliverables with the teacher.
  • Mentorship:  A specialist with advanced knowledge in a subject area could serve as a mentor to provide a deeper, broader content experience for a student who needs enrichment.
  • Learning Logs:  A student who has extensive learning experiences around a specific content or topic may document these experiences through learning logs.  These logs may provide evidence to support acceleration or additional enrichment.
  • Interest Centers:   Students or teachers can create special interest centers that are either embedded or tangential to the curriculum.  Students could visit the interest center to learn more or complete a project once they have mastered content.
  • Tiered Assignments:  Students who master content easily may be given more challenging assignments (different texts, more complex vocabulary, more complex problems) while students who need more support may complete the at-grade-level assignments.
  • Extension Activities:  Develop or look for follow-up extension activities in teacher resources or online.  These extension activities are often open-ended, real-world problems that are specifically suitable for students who have mastered content.

Need help with ideas for enrichment?  Contact Cheryl Rhea, AIG Coordinator – rhea.youcanbook.me.  

About Heather Mullins

Heather Mullins is the Chief Academic Officer in Newton-Conover City Schools. She is a North Carolina Teaching Fellow who spent 12 years as a high school English Teacher. She received her B.S.Ed. in Secondary English Education from Western Carolina University. Heather completed her National Board Certification in Adolescent Young Adult English Language Arts in 2002. She holds an M.Ed. in Academically and Intellectually Gifted from UNC-Charlotte. Heather has served as a Curriculum Specialist in Hickory City Schools, an adjunct professor at Lenoir-Rhyne University, and a Professional Development Consultant for the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction. She completed her Ed.D. in Educational Leadership through Western Carolina University. Heather is one of the co-founders of #NCed Chat, North Carolina’s first Twitter chat for teachers. She is passionate about innovative practices, instructional technology, student ownership of learning, and supporting teachers. Heather serves on the advisory board for the North Carolina Digital Learning Plan, North Carolina School for the Deaf and Catawba Science Center. She is a recipient of the 2015 NCMLE Central Office Administrator to Watch Award. She also received the 2016 Don Chalker Award for Excellence in Educational Leadership. Heather is the proud mother of one son, Jackson.

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