How to Spot a Gifted Student

Gifted students possess some common characteristics. Recognizing these general traits and understanding how they may reveal themselves in the classroom is an important step toward working effectively with this unique group of children.

Some of these behaviors are listed and described below. Positive traits are included along with those behaviors that may frustrate you as a teacher. If a student in your classroom exhibits these characteristics on a consistent basis, there is a good chance he or she is gifted.

The Gifted Student But....
· Asks many questions and is very curious
· Possesses a large amount of information
· Has a good memory
· Easily gets "off task" and "off topic"
· Is impatient when not called on in class
The Gifted Student But....
· Learns new information quickly
· Retains information easily
· Masters reading skills earlier
· Demonstrates strong abilities in math
· Displays unusual academic achievement
· Finishes classwork quickly

· Is easily bored
· Can become disruptive in class
· Shows strong resistance to repetitive activities and memorization
· Completes work quickly but sloppily
The Gifted Student But....
· Is interested in many things
· Becomes involved in a variety of activities
· Is motivated to try new things
· Enjoys a challenge

· May resist working on activities apart from areas of interest
· Leaves projects unfinished
· Takes on too much and becomes overwhelmed

The Gifted Student But....
· Thinks independently
· Expresses unique and original opinions
· Is self-motivated

· Challenges authority
· Does not handle criticism well
· Does not work well in groups

The Gifted Student But....
· Uses higher level thinking skills (analysis, synthesis, evaluation)
· Makes connections other students don't see
· Considers unusual approaches to problem-solving

· Tends to be absent-minded regarding practical details
· Forgets homework assignments

The Gifted Student But....
· Has a strong sense of justice
· Likes to debate current issues and real life problems

· Can be very critical of self and others
· Likes to argue a point
· Is a perfectionist and expects others to be perfect as well

The Gifted Student But....
· Has a sophisticated sense of humor
· Understands subtle humor
· Enjoys plays on words and satire

· Easily gets carried away with a joke
· Has a tendency to become the "class clown"
The Gifted Student But....
· Demonstrates strong expressive skills
· Is sensitive to feelings of others
· Elaborates on ideas
· Shows skill in drama/art/music/language

· Sometimes perceived as a "know-it-all" by peers
· Is sometimes "bossy" to peers in group situations


Working with Gifted & Talented StudentsMeeting the Needs of Gifted Students in the Regular Classroom