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Classroom Strategies to Support Advanced Learners at All Grade Levels

Classroom Strategies to Support Advanced Learners at All Grade Levels

Every week you work hard at meticulously creating meaningful lesson plans for your students. However, regardless of how much planning you do, there will be a student (or two) who will finish the assignment or lesson early. You’ll hear the ‘I’m done!” commentary halfway through your slotted assignment time. So, what do you do for these students? And, equally as important, how do you ensure that the activities you’re providing are relevant and enriching?

Before you begin providing enrichment, it is important to consider the age of your students as there are certain strategies you can leverage to better ensure a positive experience with enrichment, depending on which grade span you are teaching to. Below, we’ve compiled a few suggestions for structuring your enrichment opportunities, segmented by grade levels.

Elementary School

  • Provide limited choices and transitions, especially for grades K–2.
  • Use a thematic approach (term 1 = arts; term 2 = STEM, etc.) for better comprehension.
  • Embed project-based learning into extended core classes.

Students in this grade span are most receptive to simple and intuitive enrichment. Rather than calling out enrichment, simply infuse it into activities for students who are ready for it. Providing opportunities to connect career awareness, curriculum, and instruction will unite academic and social themes and begin to introduce careers in the classroom. Scheduling your enrichment in a thematic approach will help with comprehension and enable students to more quickly engage.

Middle School

  • Make programming sequential so that students can participate over multiple years.
  • Find partners who bring new faces and resources into the school.
  • Partner with local high schools to ease transitions and prepare students for grade 9.

Middle school is when the opportunity for enrichment really starts to flourish and career exploration begins! Use career planning worksheets to help map out sequential pathways and programming so that students can monitor progress. Also, introducing outside resources is always a great way to spark energy for these students.

High School

  • Find community organizations and businesses to provide apprenticeships and internships.
  • Embed traditionally after-school activities like clubs and athletics into the school day.
  • Partner with local colleges and universities, including dual-enrollment opportunities.

Continue to build off enrichment programs from middle school, and allow students to identify which areas most interest them. High school students can embark on their career-aimed curricular journey by taking a coherent sequence of CTE courses designed to scaffold employability knowledge, skills, and experience and to concurrently support their interdisciplinary needs.

At Edmentum, our programs provide comprehensive support for enrichment by providing age-appropriate content and resources. We believe that the level and complexity of curriculum should always match the readiness and motivation of students. Interested in learning more about enrichment strategies? See on our blog on an introduction to enrichment and classroom strategies.