I learned many new things as a result of attending the USC Differentiated Curriculum class. First, I did not know there were actually GATE standards. Well, there are! Basically, they outline what opportunities gifted students need to have (in several areas) to MEET and EXCEED the state standards. The training I went to provided me with an understanding of how to differentiate by acceleration, depth, complexity, and novelty. It was very inspiring! Sandra Kaplan is amazing, too! The overall positive message was that gifted learning is beneficial to all students - not just gifted. This article in UrbanEd magazine is a great overview of Sandra's work. The two day seminar focused on strategies that can be used when designing curriculum.
Some key points from my lecture notes:
Critical Thinking Skills - these are higher levels of thinking skills.
Prove with Evidence
Judge with Criteria
Determine the Relevance
Basic Thinking Skills - basic skills that make up the critical thinking skills above.
Creative Thinking Skills - how to provide the novelty component to diff. instruction
Put to other uses
Depth and Complexity Prompts - used to diff. curriculum
Think Like a Disciplinarian - used to establish a motive for learning. Check out the blank graphic organizer for defining a discipline.