Math Resources for Gifted Children

edward zaccaroEngaging gifted mathematicians in a regular classroom can be incredibly challenging without good resources. Finding these resources is always the challenge. It is one thing to have good resources, it is another thing to use them effectively. Starting math lessons with an engaging and challenging problem can be useful for all students, however, it can be captivating for gifted mathematicians. Two resources that have helped me enormously over the last two years are the Challenge Math Series by Edward Zaccaro and the NRICH website.

While teaching resources rarely meet teacher’s high standards, Zaccaro’s books come very close. Three books I would highly recommend are Becoming a Problem Solving Genius, Challenge Math, and Primary Grade Challenge Math.

The NRICH website is a collaboration between the Faculties of Education and Mathematics at The University of Cambridge. This website has a vast array of games and problems. This website can be frustrating to navigate at first, however, once you use it for a while you learn how to unlock a treasure trove of incredible resources.

Edward Zaccaro

My Way

It is important to get to know your students as quickly and deeply as possible at the beginning for the school year. It is during this establishment phase of the year that the seeds of a successful year are planted. On the first day of school I play “get to know you games” such as class bingo and a “guess me” game. These games, and many more like them, help develop a supportive and co-operative class culture. However, I believe, of equal importance is understanding how your children learn, what they would like to learn, and how they best like to express their learning.

Joseph Renzulli and his team at the Neag Center for Gifted Education and Talent Development at UCONN developed an excellent tool that allows teachers to quickly gauge how your students best like to express their learning called “My Way”. I have found this tool incredibly useful when planning lessons and units of work. One year I discovered that the majority of my class liked to express their learning through building and constructing. Therefore I gave them a lot of opportunities to express their learning in this way. Read this article if you would like to find out more about “My Way”.

Two other fantastic tools that will help you understand your student’s interests are the “Interest-A-Lyzer” and “If I Ran the School”.

My Way.pdf
If I Ran the School.pdf