In-Class Highly Capable Services in Grades 2-5 are provided in the general education classroom at the neighborhood school. Classroom teachers meet students’ instructional needs in the classroom based on the student’s skill level and needs within the content areas being taught – English Language Arts, Math, etc. The cornerstone of In-Class Highly Capable Services is “differentiated instruction.”
Differentiated instruction is defined as a way of teaching in which teachers anticipate and respond to a variety of student needs in the classroom. To meet students’ needs, teachers may differentiate by modifying one or more of the following:
- Content (what is being taught)
- Process (how it is taught)
- Product (how students demonstrate their learning)
Differentiated instruction is designed by the classroom teacher to accelerate and enrich the content taught (English Language Arts, Math, etc.) based on the needs of the individual student. The classroom teacher will often pre-assess students to determine their skill level and needs before they dive into teaching particular content areas. In a differentiated classroom, the teacher is constantly doing quick, formative assessments to determine the on-going needs of the student and where the instruction might be modified, if necessary, in order to ensure student learning is happening. The instruction that is developed as a response to assessment will look different depending on student need. This model allows the student to receive Highly Capable services while participating with other students within their neighborhood school community.
When possible, a classroom teacher may choose to group students who demonstrate advanced learner needs together for instructional purposes in a given content area.
Differentiation can be structured in a variety of ways including:
- Whole group
- Small group
- Individual instruction
Northshore’s teachers plan and facilitate lessons using grade level curriculum. Analysis of pre- assessment and formative assessment data is critical. Analysis of this data will guide a teacher’s instructional plan for all students, including those qualified as Highly Capable.
At any time, professional judgment can be used to access and/or construct lessons or materials to meet the needs of a diverse learning community. Resources available to support the work of teachers serving Highly Capable students within the In-Class model include:
Curriculum Resources – Often, standard grade level curriculum includes unit and/or lesson level enrichment and extensions.
HiCap Toolbox – An online resource for Northshore teachers. Akin to an “electronic file cabinet,” the Toolbox includes ideas for homework modification, unit level math extensions, learning menus, learning contracts, and short professional development modules.
TenMarks Math – TenMarks is a supplemental online math program that is designed to complement core math instruction through small group or blended learning models. Students in Grades 2-5 who are designated as Highly Capable in math, and served in the In-Class model, have been provided TenMarks accounts. Teachers and students now have access to math content through Algebra II. TenMarks is adaptive, offering scaffolded lessons, guided practice, inquiry-based tasks, and assessments. The curriculum can be tailored in scope and sequence, to meet students at their level of readiness. Student accounts are also accessible at home.
Reading and Writing Learning Progressions - Available to teachers, Learning Progressions are a tool illustrating how skill acquisition in reading and writing unfolds in a predictable way. The progressions allow for a teacher to intentionally select skills for students that increase in complexity and sophistication. Progressions are available for both reading and writing. In the content area of reading, teachers can access progressions for narrative and informational reading. Teachers also have access to progressions for informational writing, opinion writing, narrative writing, and the writing process.
Words Their Way - With Words Their Way, word work lessons are selected based on the learner's stage of development. As needed, students may be provided more advanced levels of word work experiences.