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In this lesson, we’ll learn how to differentiate for advanced students by offering enrichment. Some types of enrichment are provided by changing the materials and configurations, while other types of enrichment rely on questioning techniques.

Background on Enrichment

Your classroom is filled with students who have varying experiences and backgrounds. Each requires differentiation to meet his or her needs. Some students will need remediation to bridge gaps in learning, while others need an enriching challenge. Enrichment provides students with the chance to acquire mastery of standards at a deeper level than what is outlined in the required curriculum.

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In this lesson, we will learn more about enrichment and how to provide it to your students.

Appropriate Time for Enrichment

As teachers, you write your lesson plans beginning with the required standard and assessment materials that indicate the expected degree of mastery. What do you do when you find out you have some students who have already met the standard before instruction even begins? Part of the lesson planning process is creating remediation and enrichment opportunities for each learning segment.

Enrichment doesn’t translate into more work; rather, it provides meaningful instruction at a higher level for those who need it. How do you know who needs enrichment? Teachers use diagnostic assessments prior to a learning segment and formative assessments throughout a learning segment to monitor student progress. When a student consistently demonstrates that they understand the required concepts, that student needs enrichment.

Adapting Curriculum for Enrichment

A simple way to adapt the curriculum for students who need enrichment is by making adjustments to the level of questioning according to Bloom’s Taxonomy. According to Dr. Benjamin Bloom, there exists a hierarchy of cognitive skills.

The basic level is a simple recollection of facts, but as students move towards the higher levels of Bloom’s, they’re able to understand, analyze, and construct new concepts related to the learning objective.For example, Ms. Jamison may ask the class to describe the events that led up to the Revolutionary War. For students needing enrichment, she might ask students to compare and contrast the American Revolutionary War to the Democratic Republic of Vietnam’s revolution or to defend England’s position in taxing the colonists.Enrichment does not require a completely different set of lesson plans, but it can be accomplished by making sure students are asked various questions in the higher levels.

Some sentence stems for higher level questions include:

  • Why do you think;.?
  • What might happen if you try;.?
  • What is another way to solve this problem?
  • How might you use this information in another way?

Configurations and Materials

Various configurations may be used to target instruction based on the needs of the individual student.

Teachers may use small group instruction, one-on-one teaching, peer tutoring, computer-based intervention, or a combination of settings to support student learning.As a teacher, it’s likely that you will need to locate materials to support enrichment other than the adopted text book. The school library generally holds a variety of books, videos, and audiovisual equipment in every content area at various levels. Supplying access to materials for students at their instructional level provides necessary challenges.

Grade-level team teachers of gifted and talented students may be valuable resources when determining enrichment activities that will challenge students displaying exceptional abilities.

Lesson Summary

Enrichment provides for the needs of students who have already mastered the required material. Enrichment does not mean more work but can be accomplished by making adjustments to the lesson.

Asking questions or providing learning experiences for students at a higher level of Bloom’s Taxonomy, which is a hierarchy of cognitive skills created by Dr. Benjamin Bloom, adapts the curriculum without changing the learning goals or materials. Other ways to adjust the curriculum to provide enrichment include changing student configurations, which are used to target instruction based on the needs of the individual student, or using materials which support enrichment other than the adopted textbook at the student’s instructional level.

The school library is a valuable resource for obtaining materials. Colleagues can offer ideas and resources to provide for the needs of all students.

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