AIG Glossary

  • In-Class Flexible Grouping (K-8)
    Students in each class are assigned to a small group for instruction according to skill level. To be effective, grouping should be flexible and match the instructional purpose. It is important that each student be provided tasks that are appropriate and challenging.

    Cluster Grouping Within the Regular Class (K-5)
    A group of four to ten or more AIG students (advanced learners) are assigned to a regular heterogeneous class for instructional purposes. The cluster teacher works closely with the AIG teacher to design appropriate differentiated curriculum for this group. The cluster teacher is expected to participate in extensive training in gifted education that addresses both the academic and social/emotional needs of these cluster students.

    Cluster Grouping Within a Grade Level (K-5)
    Students are assigned to one grade level. The AIG students requiring advanced instruction in reading/language arts or mathematics within a grade level are re-assigned to one or more teachers for a specific block of instructional time. Placement within this group is flexible, based on student performance. Teachers providing advanced instruction should meet on a regular basis to review student progress.

    Content (Subject) Acceleration (K-12)
    Based on assessment, students are allowed to test out and bypass specific subjects or skill levels. They may receive instruction at a higher level with another group of students, but remain with their peer group for most of their instructional experiences. This service option works best in subjects that have clearly developed a sequence of skills (i.e., reading, mathematics). It is appropriate at any grade level. Once acceleration opportunities have begun, the availability of continued opportunities is essential.

    Curriculum Compacting (K-12)
    Curriculum compacting is modifying or streamlining the regular curriculum in order to eliminate repetition of previously mastered material, accelerate the challenge level of the regular curriculum, and provide time for appropriate enrichment and/or acceleration opportunities while ensuring mastery of basic skills. Curriculum compacting can be implemented at any grade level.

    Advanced English/Language Arts or Mathematics Class (6-8)
    Identified students are grouped for instruction in language arts and/or mathematics. This level of instruction provides more in-depth content and differentiation, adds breadth and depth to the North Carolina Course of Study and avoids repetition of previously mastered content. The students are actively engaged in the learning process and are required to use critical, creative and problem-solving skills to achieve mastery of the skills taught.


    Grade Acceleration (K-12)
    Students move ahead one or more years, skipping levels in the normal sequence of promotion. This has been used successfully with highly gifted students. Specific guidelines should be developed and incorporated into school policy.

    Early Entrance (K)
    Using the North Carolina criteria for early entrance, students are allowed to enter kindergarten before their fifth birthday. It is the responsibility of the parents/guardian to provide individualized test data and supporting evidence of readiness. The principal makes the final decision regarding early entrance to school.

    Academically and Intellectually Gifted Enrichment (Resource Services) (K-5)
    For students who demonstrate a need for in-class differentiation, AIG teachers will provide consultative services. The AIG teacher will work with the regular classroom teacher to observe students, assist in the development of appropriate differentiated services for individual and /or groups of students, provide research-based resource materials, and teach lessons that model best teaching practices.

    Students who demonstrate a need for direct enrichment/resource services will either leave their regular classroom for a specific period of time for services provided by the AIG teacher or will be served in a flexible grouping learning environment where instruction is provided by both the AIG and regular classroom teacher. In both of these service delivery options, the lessons/activities extend the regular curriculum and may focus on specific skills such as critical and creative thinking, problem solving, research skills, and independent and/or small group investigations. The learning environment may include the library, the computer lab, the flexible grouping classroom(s) as well as the AIG classroom. The success of this service depends on cooperation and collaborative planning by the AIG teacher, regular classroom teacher(s), and principal.|


    College Gateway/Dual Enrollment (6-12)
    This option allows students to be enrolled in two levels of school at the same time. Students may remain at one level and attend another level for a specific course or period of time. This option works best with content that is highly sequential, such as mathematics and foreign language courses.

    At the high school level, College Gateway and dual enrollment opportunities will be sought for students who have exhausted appropriate course offerings at their school. Students who enroll for community college or university courses must meet prerequisites and obtain necessary permission. Students may receive college credit for courses taken while still in high school.


    Honors Courses (9-12)
    Honors courses are advanced courses that cover traditional content and focus on issues, programs and themes related to topics. They are designed to help students develop a knowledge base in that specific discipline and learn to apply that knowledge at an advanced level. Although these courses are not usually limited to gifted students, they have clearly defined prerequisites and entry and exit criteria. The teachers of these classes are required to follow North Carolina guidelines for honors level courses.

    Advanced Placement (AP) Courses (11-12)
    The advanced placement program consists of college level courses and examinations for high school students. AP course descriptions are carefully followed and are usually taught by teachers who have received Advanced Placement training. College credit may be earned for Advanced Placement courses. In order to receive college credit, students must take and pass the AP examination. Policies about credit for AP courses vary among colleges and universities. Students are expected to check specific policies and AP examination scores required in each school’s catalog or with the registrar.