Curriculum Compacting - Oklahoma Association of the Gifted

Linnea Van Eman PhD
[email protected]
Sandra Lundak MS; EdS
[email protected]
Understand the goals and rationale for differentiation
and curriculum compacting
Be able to implement curriculum compacting
Know where to begin curriculum compacting
Students come at different readiness levels
Students learn at different rates
Students have different styles of learning
Students have varying interests
Students have a variety of needs
What do you know about differentiation
and curriculum compacting?
differentiate the learning experience for gifted
•we adjust the content,
•the learning processes,
•the types of products that are created, and the
learning environment through
•places to do their work,
•and assessment practices.
•78% to 88% of fifth and sixth
grade average and aboveaverage readers could pass
pretests on basal
comprehension skills before
they were covered by the basal
reader. (Taylor & Frye, 1988)
75% to 85% of average and
above average elementary
school students can pass
subject pretests with 92-93%
accuracy. (Rogers, 2002)
60% of fourth graders in the
school districts studied were able
to achieve a score of 80% or
higher on a test of the content
of their math texts before they
opened their books in
September. (Reis & Westberg, 1994)
•100% of gifted sixth grader
students in a school district
had already mastered 90% ≥
of the regular sixth grade
math curriculum before they
opened their books in August.
(Van Eman, 2009)
authentic learning
develop the ability to persist with hard work
when the learning tasks are challenging
opportunities to learn that hard work and
significant effort lead to learning success, rather than
simply one’s inherent advanced abilities (Dweck, 2006)
1. Students experience repetition of content each year and know
much of the regular curriculum content before “learning it.”
2. The quality of textbooks has not drastically improved.
3. The needs of high ability students are often not met in
4. The pace of instruction and practice time can be modified.
5. Compacting enables differentiation to occur and provides
educational accountability for students (Tieso, 2006).
6. Makes work particularly relevant for underachieving students
7. Unless students are consistently challenged, they will loose
motivation to learn
Gifted students resist work that is repetitive and beneath
their learning level. Result: boredom/underachievement
(Plucker & McIntire, 1996)
When some previously bright but underachieving students realized that
they could both economize on regularly assigned material and "earn
time" to pursue self-selected interests, their motivation to complete
regular assignments increased. As one student put it , “ Everyone
understands a good deal!”… (Reis & Renzulli, 2005)
Students will stretch themselves to do challenging work if
they are convinced:
They will not have to do more work than their classmates
Their advanced work will not lead to lower recorded grades.
Instructional strategy …
 streamlines the grade-level curriculum
 allows more time for challenging work
Designed to make appropriate adjustments in
rate or level for students in any area or gradelevel.
Not just for gifted learners.
 eliminates redundancy or work that may be too
easy for any student (Reis and Renzulli, 2005)
compacting is a system designed to adapt the regular
curriculum to meet the needs of gifted students by eliminating work
that has been previously mastered and streamline it at a pace
commensurate with the students’ abilities. (Reis & Westberg, 1994)
1) What’s important?
2) What do students
already know or are able
to do?
3) How do you know?
4) What will they grasp at
a faster rate?
5) How will you adjust
your instruction based on
the information?
Already meets or exceeds standard
-Consistently finishes tasks quickly
-Mistakes are careless in nature
-Brings outside materials to class
-Tests well (despite average or below class work)
-Consistently performs high in an academic area
-Appears bored during instruction and
-Asks questions that suggest advanced familiarity
with the material
-Expresses interest in pursuing alternate or
advanced topics (Starko, 1986)
Some teachers do not believe that students should
be excused from doing work they already have
Some teachers feel there may be learning gaps
Some school districts’ renewed emphasis on
mastery and achievement tests has resulted in
administrative pressure to spend more time on
predetermined tasks
How will I manage compacting in my classroom?
Identify objectives
Find or develop pretests/pre-assessments
Identify students who may have already mastered the objectives
(or could master them more quickly).
Pretest to determine mastery levels
Streamline practice, drill or instruction for students who show
mastery of the objectives
Provide (small group/individual): instruction as needed
Provide more challenging alternatives based on student interest.
Keep Records of the process and instructional options provided
(get the student involved) (Reis, Burns, & Renzulli, 1992a) AND ..
Meet often with students to help them locate resources, to develop
the confidence to choose challenging work, to follow the behavioral
expectations or contract for working independently, and to
demonstrate that you are still available to assist and coach them.
1. Identify learning objectivesWhat to consider:
• Do the objectives represent new learning?
• Do the objectives reflect C3/Common Core
Find or develop pretest that assesses the skill or
content which is the instructional focus.
What is the most powerful difference you
expect to see among students?
How might you identify these potential
differences in your students?
K-W-L Charts
End of unit test (as a pre-assessment-formal)
Parent Letters
Lists, Surveys
Concept Maps
Socratic seminars
90% or higher on the pre-assessment
Compact out of the entire lesson or unit
Partial Mastery
80% or higher on the pre-assessment
Compact out of selected lessons or portions of the
Before giving an assignment, start by determining
which items are the most difficult examples of the
entire task.
Offer the whole class the explanation and
opportunity to try the most difficult first.
Students who are successful in the completion of
the most difficult and can demonstrate proficiency
with this work are given time to explore the content
in more depth.
Allowing students that show some mastery on
some/all of the objectives, to complete extension or
acceleration activities instead of completing the
classwork. (Reis & Renzulli, 2006)
6. Provide (small group/individual) instruction as
needed for students who have not yet mastered all of
the objectives, but are capable of grasping more
quickly than their classmates.
Classroom activities: independent/small group study;
mini courses; special interest groups; interest/learning
Resource Room/Special Class Programs: Where above
activities are often held in places outside the classroom
taught by a gifted coordinator/teacher which may also
include career education, social/emotional development
Accelerated Studies: grade skipping; cross grade
subject-area grouping; honors/AP courses; college
classes; summer classes; early admission to
kindergarten/first grade; special seminars (Colangelo, et
al. 2004)
Out of school experiences: internships; mentorships;
work study programs; community programs (Reis & Renzulli,
Basic Skills Compacting
Content Compacting
is more conductive for
eliminating mastered skills and
is the easier of the two to
implement. This can be used for
spelling, language arts basic
skills, math computation or
drill and practice activities.
is more conducive to alternative
activities for those students who
absorb the content at a faster
pace (compresses the
curriculum). Designed for
general knowledge subjects like
social studies, science,
literature, math applications,
and problem solving
Both types of Compacting allow students to set their own pace for mastering new
content; choose alternative activities for mastered content; or students can eliminate
mastered content altogether.
(Reis & Renzulli 2005)
Student’s Name: ____________________
Areas of Strength to
be Compacted
Documenting Mastery
Adapted from Renzulli & Smith (1978) by Starko (1986)
Alternate Enrichment
and/or Acceleration
Jordan is a very strong math student. She scored
Advanced on her OCCT’s and in the 90th percentile
on the quantitative portion of the CogAT. The teacher
gives her the end of the unit test as a pre-assessment
prior to the start of each chapter/unit.
What might the teacher do to compact the student?
Student’s Name: ____Jordan____________
Areas of Strength to
be Compacted
Math ---Decimal
Documenting Mastery
Score of 85
percent or higher
on the pretest
Alternate Enrichment
and/or Acceleration
Will work with
class on days they
learn concepts she
has not mastered
Will work on
alternate math
activities on other
Isabelle and Martin missed only one word on
their spelling pre-test. Should they have to do all
the basic drill activities the rest of the class is
doing with those words?
What might the teacher do to compact the
student’s spelling for the week?
Student’s Name:
Areas of Strength to
be Compacted
Isabella and Martin
Documenting Mastery
Score of 90% of
higher on the
Alternate Enrichment
and/or Acceleration
Will work on
words from a
harder list; or
Complete higher
level activities
with the original
(VanTassel-Baska, 2012)
Sixth grade students Jesse, Lisa, Mya, and
Sebastian express a strong interest in ancient
cultures; specifically Greek and Roman
mythology. These students are advanced readers
who ask questions which suggests advanced
familiarity with the material. The next unit is
about Ancient Greece and Miss Smith would like
to compact the curriculum for them.
What might she do to compact for these
Student’s Name: Jesse, Lisa, Mya, Sebastian
Areas of Strength to
be Compacted
Social Studies--Ancient Greece
High Interest in
Social Studies
Strong Readers
Will read and pick up
concepts quickly
Documenting Mastery
Students will read
chapters 5 & 6 in text
at own pace
Do chapter exercises 3,
7, & 9
Take unit test when
Alternate Enrichment
and/or Acceleration
Students will select
a topic of interest
from a list of
alternate activities
related to an aspect
of Greek Mythology
for an independent
Create a myth to explain a
contemporary event, using
all the essential elements
found in myths.
Compare and contrast
religions in which multiple
deities are honored with
religions that honor one deity
only. Explain the effects of
these religions on its
Create your own
mythological family of
humans or other creatures.
Establish the order of power,
and create stories that
describe the characters’
powers, emotions, and
Hypothesize reasons why
myths from ancient cultures
have remained popular over
time. Explain your findings.
Visit a local art museum and
observe how topics from
ancient myths have been
represented in the collected
works of art
Compare and contrast the
myths of aboriginal people
with those of the ancient
civilizations of the world.
Investigate words,
expressions, and ideas from
mythology that have become
commonly used in your
Assume the role of
storyteller and communicate
a myth to younger children in
a manner they can
understand and appreciate.
From The Cluster Grouping Handbook
Josh loved to read and was excited when his sophomore
teacher distributed To Kill a Mockingbird on Friday
afternoon. She assigned the first few chapters for
weekend reading. He became engrossed in the story and
finished reading the novel over the weekend. Monday
morning he reported to his literature teacher that it was
a great book.
How might the teacher compact for Josh?
After a short conversation, she was convinced he had finished.
"What are we reading next?" he asked.
She gave him the next novel. He finished it in a couple of days and
asked for the next one. She was hesitant and worried that he would
confuse the stories. He participated in the class discussion and didn't
want to miss it. He simply wanted to continue reading interesting
literature. (Siegle, 1999)
Student strength areas: test scores;
Pretests used to determine mastery and the
learning objectives that were eliminated
Recommended extensions and accelerated
(Reis & Renzulli, 2005)
Tracking Math Data Example
Basic Skills Compacting
Unit 1
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100        
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Post Test
Unit 2
Priority Standard(s)
Post Test
C3-Pacing Calendar
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bother anyone
•Don’t call attention to yourself
•Do the work you have selected
•Keep records of your extension activities
When you follow the rules, you get to choose what to do.
When you do not follow the rules, I get to choose for you.
Compacting Contract
Daily Log of Project Work
Student’s Name:
Project Topic:
Planned Work
Work Actually
Completed Today
Grades should be based on the material
compacted (what the student has mastered), not
the replacement material. This is not to say that
replacement activities should not be evaluated.
(Reis & Renzulli, 2005)
 Are they engaged and learning something
new? Are they delving deeper into the content
area? Are they adhering to the contract?
If students are not using their time wisely,
discuss the situation and the reason for
compacting. Explain what the next steps will be
if the behavior doesn’t change.
Start small, compact one content area at a time.
Start with one or two responsible students.
Try a variety of methods to determine student mastery of the
material (a brief conversation with a student may be just as
effective as a written pretest).
Compact by topic rather than time.
Define proficiency based on a consensus with administrators and
Don't be afraid to request help from available sources such as your
gifted coordinator, media specialists, mentors, community
volunteers. (Reis, Burns, & Renzulli, 1992b)
Recommended reading:
Reis, S. M., & Renzulli, J. S. (2005). Curriculum compacting: An easy
start to differentiating for high-potential students. Prufrock Press Inc.
Waco, TX.
Dweck, C. (2006). Mindsets: The new psychology of success. Random House, N.Y.
Plucker, J. A., & McIntire, J. (1996). Academic survivability in high-potential, middle school students.
Gifted Child Quarterly, 40, 7-14.
Renzulli, J. S., & Reis, S. M. (1985). The Schoolwide Enrichment Model: A comprehensive plan for educational
excellence. Mansfield Center, CT: Creative Learning Press.
Reis, S. M., & Renzulli, J. S. (2005). Curriculum compacting: An easy start to differentiating for high-potential
students. Frances A. Karnes & Kristen R. Stephens, Eds. Prufrock Press, Waco, TX.
Reis, S. M., Burns, D. E., & Renzulli, J. S. (1992a). Curriculum compacting: The complete guide to modifying
the regular curriculum for high ability students. Mansfield Center, CT: Creative Learning Press.
Reis, S. M., Burns, D. E., & Renzulli, J. S. (1992b). A facilitator's guide to help teachers compact curriculum.
Storrs, CT: University of Connecticut, The National Research Center on the Gifted and Talented.
Rogers, K. (2002). Re-forming gifted education: Matching the program to the child. Scottsdale, AZ: Great
Potential Press.
It is from Carolyn Coil's website:
Siegle, D. (1999). Curriculum compacting: A necessity for academic advancement. The National
Research Center on the Gifted and Talented. Retrieved May 28, 2012 from
Starko, A. J. (1986). It's about time: Inservice strategies for curriculum compacting. Mansfield Center, CT:
Creative Learning Press.
Tieso, C. L. (2006). Differentiation made easy: An oxymoron? Presented March 6-7, 2006 at the National
Curriculum Network Conference in Williamsburg, VA.
Van Eman, L. (2009), Academic adjustment of fifth, sixth and seventh grade children in accelerated math classes.
In publication.
VanTassel-Baska, J. (2012). Vocabulary web. Retrieved May 24th, 2012 from

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