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Want to Know Where Your Students Are? Try G.P.S.

Want to Know Where Your Students Are? Try G.P.S.

Purdue University’s Gifted Education Research Institute (GERI) offers educators a free, downloadable, customizable General Pre-Assessment of Students (G.P.S.). This pre-assessment, is an open-ended measure that shows teachers what students already know about any topic of study. Pre-assessment allows teachers to personalize learning based on a student’s current level of understanding. When students demonstrate mastery of the content, they are provided opportunities for further challenge and investigation of topics of interest.

First students write about their background knowledge of the topic they are about to learn. Students are asked to pretend their brain is like a gas tank and ask themselves, “How full would your tank be if it were filled with all you knew about the topic?” Students can express their feelings about the topic and how they think they will perform on a test of the unit. Vocabulary, questions, and interest level are also assessed with the G.P.S. The final section asks students to set a goal for their learning.

Teachers provide the unit objectives and a picture relating to the topic for students to describe. The remaining open-ended questions are all included in the document.

The G.P.S. was created by Jason McIntosh in 2012 and can be downloaded from the GPS page of the GERI website. Advanced Academics would love to hear how you are using G.P.S. to differentiate instruction, so be sure to tell your Program Coordinator!


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Klein ISD is a school district in Klein, Texas, located in northwestern Harris County. The district spans approximately 88 square miles and serves more than 53,000 students in 33 elementary schools, 10 intermediate campuses, one high school program of choice, and 5 high schools.

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