Fall 2020 Return to Learn and Gifted and Talented Learners

Iowa school districts are developing Return to Learn plans to explain how student learning will be supported in the 2020-2021 school year following the mid-March closure of schools because of coronavirus. ITAG and gifted stakeholders want to make sure that the needs of gifted learners are part of all district plans so that all students are learning every day. 

To this end, ITAG prepared Supporting Gifted Learners in Your District’s Return to Learn Plan: Advocacy and Instructional Strategies for TAG Teachers, TAG Coordinators, Instructional Coaches, Administrators, and Parents.

Supporting Gifted Learners in Your District’s Return to Learn Plan is based on the Iowa DE’s  Return to Learn Support document. We have identified sections relevant to gifted and talented education in the Return to Learn Support document and have shared suggested advocacy and instructional strategies. The Return to Learn plans will be decided by local school districts, and your advocacy effort should be directed toward local district officials. You may wish to review the suggestions in this document and opt to focus on one or two of the issues that are most relevant to your district’s plan. Your district may be using something other than the Return to Learn guidance to create and document their plans for the 2020-2021 school year.

Fall 2020 Return to Learn: Weekly Mailings

To support educators and administrators in addressing the needs of gifted students, ITAG is sending short weekly messages during Summer 2020 with information about best practices in gifted education. Our focus is on practices that yield the greatest benefit for gifted learners (see Karen Rogers’ slideshow and the Iowa DE MTSS Advanced Learner Guide).

Here is a link to each week’s mailing.

Week 1 Using Iowa Core Standards to Guide Instruction

Week 2 Using Formative Assessments to Determine Student Learning Needs

Week 3 Creating a Pre-Assessment from a Post-Assessment

Week 4 Addressing the Social-Emotional-Behavioral Health (Equity) Plan

Week 5 Planning Instructional Strategies with the MTSS Advanced Learner Guide

Week 6 Using Tiered Lesson Plans as a Differentiation Strategy

Week 7 Differentiated Instruction for Growth in All Learners

Week 8 Strategies for Differentiation: Curriculum Compacting and Contracts

Week 9 The Why and How of Using Academic Acceleration

Partnering with School Counselors

Additional Resources