Talented math students, particularly those from underserved populations, deserve classroom experiences that ensure continuous progress and promote excellence in math achievement. Using the pedagogy of advanced instructional practices in general education classrooms, our collaborative push-in model is designed to effectively meet the needs of mathematically advanced elementary students in the general education classroom and help them reach their full potential.
The goal of the work is fourfold:
- to increase the identification of gifted students from underrepresented/underserved groups;
- to increase the math achievement of gifted students from underrepresented/underserved groups;
- to develop talents of high-achieving students not identified as gifted; and
- to improve student motivation and attitudes toward school and math.
We developed the Project BUMP UP approach to empower teachers to make differentiation choices based on their students' prior knowledge and abilities before instruction. To accomplish this, teachers pretest students and use our Project BUMP UP Differentiation Tool, which offers several options:
- Utilizing content from supplemental sources such as William & Mary math curriculum units that we will provide, or vetted websites with tasks, problem-based learning, or project-based learning options (e.g., 3-Act Tasks, YouCubed Tasks).
- Increasing the complexity of a lesson task or unit standard(s) by selecting a challenging differentiated option from the district's mathematics textbook or elevating the level of cognitive complexity of a task through Bloom's Taxonomy with Webb's Depth of Knowledge.
- Choosing from alternative standards either from the grade level not typically reached or from a higher grade level.
We offer professional learning sessions on these approaches, including the supplemental William & Mary units, a 3-step approach to increasing cognitive complexity through Bloom's Taxonomy and Webb's Depth of Knowledge, and online access to vetted websites.
In Project BUMP UP, the gifted specialist collaborates with the classroom teacher to make the differentiation decisions, with the ultimate aim of avoiding repetition of math content that students have already mastered and exposing them to new content. Our research has shown that students' engagement and enjoyment in math are positively related to the amount of new math content they reported learning each week.
Our team brings a track record of leadership in gifted education, research experience on multiple research projects, and expertise in identifying giftedness in underserved populations, professional development, program evaluation, research methodologies, and content area instruction.