Skip To Main Content


High Ability: Extended Learning, Honors, Advanced Placement


  • Anchoring Activities—ongoing independent activities that students work on throughout a unit of study.
  • Compacting—a 3-step process that 1) assesses what a student knows about material to be studied and what the student still needs to master, 2) plans for learning what is not known and excuses student from what is known, and 3) plans for freed-up time to be spent in enriched or accelerated study. 
  • Content—aspect of differentiation that pertains to what students learn (see also Differentiation”). 
  • Contracts—Contracts take a number of forms that begin with an agreement between student and teacher. The teacher grants certain freedoms and choices about how a student will complete tasks, and the student agrees to use the freedoms appropriately in designing and completing work according to specifications. 
  • Differentiation—an effective teaching approach to meet students’ individual, unique needs. The teacher proactively plans and carries out varied approaches to content, process, and product in anticipation of response to differences in readiness, interest, and learning needs (see also: “Content,” “Process,” and “Product”). --p. 7, How to Differentiate Instruction in Mixed-Ability Classrooms (ASCD, 2001) by Carol Ann Tomlinson 
  • Domain—includes the following areas of aptitude and talent: general intellectual, general creative, specific academic, technical and practical arts, visual and performing arts, and interpersonal. 
  • Flexible Grouping—Students are part of many different groups—and also work alone—based on the match of the task to student readiness, interest, or learning style. Teachers may create skillsbased or interest-based groups that are heterogeneous or homogeneous in readiness level. Sometimes students select work groups, and sometimes teachers select them. Sometimes student group assignments are purposeful and sometimes random. 
  • Formative Assessment—a process used by teachers and students during instruction that provides feedback to adjust ongoing teaching and learning to improve students’ achievement of intended instructional outcomes. 
  • Process—aspect of differentiation that pertains to how students go about making sense of ideas and information (see also Differentiation”). 
  • Product— aspect of differentiation that pertains to how students demonstrate what they have learned (see also Differentiation”). 
  • Summative Assessment— an assessment that gauges, at a particular point in time, student learning relative to content standards. 
  • Tiered Assignments—In a heterogeneous classroom, a teacher uses varied levels of activities to ensure that students explore ideas at a level that builds on their prior knowledge and prompts continued growth. Student groups use varied approaches to exploration of essential ideas.
  • Varying Questions—In class discussions and on tests, teachers vary the sorts of questions posed to learners based on their readiness, interests, and learning style.



  • Advanced Placement (AP) exams—the College Board offers a series of examinations assessing students’ content knowledge and reasoning skills at the entry level of college.  AP Exams represent the culmination of AP courses, specially designed classes which follow the AP curriculum guidelines.  Students who earn scores of 3 or above (on a scale of 1-5) may earn college level credit or advanced standing at most of the nation’s colleges and universities. 
  • AIMSweb – A universal screening tool used to assess basic academic grade-level skills
  • CogAT – A cognitive abilities test available to use with K-2 students.
  • End of Course Assessments (ECA)- As part of Indiana ’s school accountability system under Public Law 221, Core 40 End-of-Course Assessments (ECAs) are designed to ensure the quality, consistency, and rigor of Core 40 courses across the state. Aligned with Indiana’s Academic Standards, End-of-Course Assessments are final exams measuring what students know and are able to do upon completion of targeted Core 40 courses. In addition, the End-of-Course Assessments are an integral component of Indiana’s P-16 Plan for Improving Student Achievement.  As a part of this vision, these exams would serve an additional purpose of providing valuable information for college placement. 
    Students must take the Biology ECA and must pass the Algebra I and English 10 ECA to graduate from an Indiana high school. 
  • InView - this cognitive abilities test reliably measures verbal, nonverbal, and quantitative skills and abilities and yields a CSI score (Cognitive Skills Index).  Five subtests combine to yield a CSI score:  Verbal Reasoning—Words; Verbal Reasoning—Context; Quantitative Reasoning; Sequences, and Analogies.
  • IREAD K, 1, 2 – A reading test to assess grade-level skills
  • IREAD 3 – A reading test to assess grade level skills.  Students must pass this test in grade 3 to move to grade 4.
    • Exceptions:
      • Special education designation
      • LAS-Links score of 1-2-3 for English Language Learners


    • Was previously retained 2 times prior to grade 3.
  • ISTEP+ - the Indiana State Test of Educational Progress (ISTEP+) is administered to all students in grades 3-9 each Spring. The open ended response portion takes place in March and the multiple choice takes place in May.  This test measures students’ levels of achievement in reading, language, writing, and math.  In grade 4 students are also assessed in science and grade 5 students are also assessed in social studies.
  • Kingore Observation Inventory - (KOI) enables teachers to observe student response to enrichment activities and identify patterns which occur over a period of time.
  • Lexile-a reading measure that describes a student’s reading ability.
  • Naglieri Nonverbal Ability Test (NNAT) - this brief, culture-fair nonverbal measure of school ability was developed to assess ability without requiring the student to read, write, or speak.  Students must rely on reasoning or problem-solving skills, not verbal skills.
  • SRI-an acronym for “Scholastic Reading Inventory,” the instrument that generates a student’s Lexile score.
  • Terra Nova: CAT (California Achievement Test) - This achievement test is administered to students in the screening pool at one grade level above the grade level of the applicant.  It measures achievement in reading, math, and language.  The test is administered to groups of students rather than individually.
  • Writing Sample - students are given a prompt to respond to and their written responses are assessed using a rubric.