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Schoolwide Cluster Grouping Model

Report of Winnebrenner/Bulles Methods

Ann McClellan

on 28 October 2014

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Transcript of Schoolwide Cluster Grouping Model

First Year Plan
Committees determine needs
Fall testing

Check in with principals
Where to begin? Which grade levels?

Cluster teaching selections & trainings for upcoming year
Professional development: teaching strategies

Professional development: Curriculum
Schedule cluster teacher meetings for upcoming year

Teaching for all: Building a Unified Learning Community
Gifted kids will benefit from being together
Skilled teachers are challenged to meet the needs of all students
Gifted students score higher on tests when appropriately challenged in cluster groups
Teachers may raise overall expectations and levels of learning in classrooms
mix of ability and achievement scores
identify in Spring using qualitative/quantitative data
combination of standardized tests results, end of year assessments, and criterion referenced measures
Susan Winebrenner
Education Consultant, author, former classroom teacher and gifted program coordinator

M.S., Curriculum and Instruction
B.S., Education
The Cluster Grouping Handbook
Configuring Cluster Group Model
identified students
high achieving students
average performing students in all
below average performing students in all
far below average students (w/out identified students)
Measure Progress
Individualized Learning Plans (ILP)
or Differentiated Educational Plan (DEP)

These plan are created in the spring, prior
to scheduling. Planned placement
is considered for the upcoming year.
Information is shared to discuss services.

Who attends?

Parent(s) or guardian(s)
Cluster teacher of identified area of giftedness
Gifted student case worker

Dina Brulles
School administrator, Gifted education director, former ESL, bilingual, gifted-cluster and classroom teacher,

Ph.D., Gifted Education
M.S. Curriculum and Instruction
"Educating your child is a team effort;
parents and children each have specific responsibilities in gifted children's education process.
The SCGM provides a way for schools to ensure that gifted students are consistently challenged while facilitating academic growth for all other students as well." (Winebrenner,Brulles 2008)
Needs assessment
Analyze: What's the current situation?
district wide implementation of state mandates?
Gifted Services: best practices in place?
gifted services currently in place?
gifted services success stories?
necessary needs analysis?
necessary interventions?
What's your vision?
consider short/long term goals
Create your plan of action:
general plan of action?
what's your timeline?
who will manage areas of program?
short/long term implementation steps?
Student needs
Determine the need for programming in each school based on teacher assessments and referrals of gifted students.

There may be cluster grouping needs in one or more content areas.

Specialized teachers or skilled classroom teachers may give scheduled instruction.
Cluster Grouping Options
Cluster Teacher Professional Skills
Measure Progress
Schoolwide Gifted Services
Supporting the Plan
Follow through
What to expect?
Considerations and Strategies for Teaching Gifted Students

Second Year Plan
More information from Susan Winebrenner:
Aug-Sept: Cluster teachers
plan/share curriculum
send welcome letters to staff&parents
Set up/hold team meetings
Fall testing

Gather student cluster data information
Professional development: gifted education
Monthly cluster teacher meetings to discuss gifted students
Gifted specialist speak

Professional development: book studies
Spring testing of gifted students
Gifted cluster teacher meetings

Student placements
Create next years budget
Plan next years professional development
Professional development: curriculum & strategies
Upcoming year cluster teacher meeting schedule
Program evaluation
Awareness and action to identify gifted students:
teacher observations
parent observations
performance based evidence
achievement tests
ability/intelligence tests
Staff qualities: humorous, flexible, organized, genuinely interested in learning/teaching

Cluster Group Teaching Staff:
schedule/administer tests
assist/consult with teachers
meet regularly with team cluster group teachers&specialists/coordinator
collect/manage test data for reports and placement reference
engage gifted students in higher thinking activities

Compacting and Differentiating
Unifying classroom: set goals high for all
content: connect learning to standards
process: support critical thinking skills
product & assessment
learning environment: mentors, flexible time limits

Author's statement:
pull-out services
regrouping for content replacement
flexible grouping
inclusion model
Recognizing gifted students
ask questions
highly curious
mentally & physically engaged/active
tests well but can be silly
discusses details
surpasses group
comprehends early
constructs abstractions
gets along with adults
draws inferences
enjoys learning
Shared Resource: for staff and parents
Display or distribute "Differences between Bright and Gifted Learner" list

identify required learning standards
document who masters standards
compact mastered curriculum
prepare extensions for in class work
manage differentiated classroom

What to watch for and minimize in mixed ability grouping:
peer teasing
humiliation/public embarrassment because of teachers/peers who might call attention to giftedness
frustration, impatience. loneliness if with peers who don't understand them or share interests ...or expect to be taught (Adams-Byers,Witsell,Moon, 2004)
Considerations for
Professional Gifted Education Staff:
Establishing & Maintaining
Teacher workshops
study groups
in service workshops
book study groups
online book study groups
peer coaching
support content learning—long term implementation
observations with discussions that follow
endorsement/certification information/coursework support
professional growth goals—establish-monitor
Effective evaluation:
measuring academic growth
establish goals
maintain gifted student database
teacher performance assessments—effective instruction?
monitor students-grade by grade-gather demonstrated evidence of learning
consider socio-emotional needs
academic needs
monitor/record achievement outcomes

Growth model
: Give standardized tests—monitor data—bring to meetings/screening held (bi-)annually

Tracking Data:
grade level
school wide
subject area
area of identification/giftedness

Project Based Learning: Students love Choice!
Phase 1: immersion in theme
Phase 2: students develop search plan
Phase 3: “ follow search plan
Phase 4: students draft/revise/publish report
Classroom activities:
Walkabouts or Jigsaw
roundtable discussions

3 types for achievement outcomes:
pre-assessment (formal pre-test/informal discussion
formative (quizzes, question, self assessments, reflective writing, homework)
summative (pre/post testing or student project demonstrating concepts)
Student self evaluations

Standardardized tests (norm/criterion referenced)

consider needs of all students
teach strategies
increase level of learning materials available
Socratic circle discussions

Brulles, D.,Winebrenner,S. (2008).The Cluster Grouping Handbook: How To Challenge Gifted Students and Improve Achievement for All. Free Spirit Publishing.

Cluster Incentives
Socially gifted students benefit from similar ability peers~peers understand each other and interest in achievement
Students in study high-ability academic homogeneous grouping referred to fast pace, high challenge level, lack of repetition in content
"We must continue to ensure that gifted and talented students have access to social/emotional advantages they attribute to homogenous grouping a)an opportunity to be with peers who share similar characteristics, interests, abilities and struggles b)teachers who are competent and caring of highly able students and c)freedom from the responsibility to tutor less able students upon demand." (Adams, Byers, Witsell, Moon, 2004)
Adams-Byers,J., Witsell,S., Moon,S. (2004). Gifted Students Perceptions of the Academic and Social/Emotional Effects of Homogenous and Heterogeneous Grouping.
Gifted Child Quarterly,
48.7 DOI 10:1177/001698620404800102
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