Global #gtchat Powered by TAGT

Ginger Lewman 2014

 Ginger Lewman

This week’s guest was Ginger Lewman. Ginger is a PBL and GT Keynoter/Consultant as well as a Google Certified Teacher based in Kansas. She is also Co-Creator of Life Practice PBL and of STEAMmaker

We first discussed some strategies to encourage reluctant educators to use 21st c. technologies in their classrooms. Ginger told us, “It’s a very complex question. Some don’t have access because of blocks, bandwidth or hardware issues beyond their control. If blocks are the issue, check out ‘Unmasking the Digital Truth‘ to find out the TRUTH to CIPA, COPPA, FERPA.” She went on to say, “Acknowledge it’s not all about tech and NOT about tools. It’s about learning, connecting, going deeper – which tech supports.”

Developing modern communication skills by providing authentic learning opportunities was considered next. Teachers must first understand the importance of digital citizenship and then model the use of such resources as Kidblog, Edmodo, Vidconf, and social media platforms. Students today must also be able to find reliable information online. Ginger firmly believes that kids learn best by doing and encourages Project-based Learning. Jo Freitag of Gifted Resources pointed out that participation in global projects can help build modern communication skills.”

What are some of Ginger’s favorite essential learning tools available to teachers in collaboration with technology? For starters, Google Hangout, Skype, and Facetime. She also likes Twitter, Facebook and Google+. Ginger will be sharing even more tools during her presentations at TAGT 2014 ‘In Focus’ Conference in December. A full transcript of the chat can be found on our Storify Page.


Ginger Lewman will be at TAGT’s Annual Conference 2014 Dec 3rd  & 4th  in Fort Worth, TX. You can register for the TAGT 2014 Annual Conference here.

Global #gtchat Powered by the Texas Association for the Gifted and Talented is a weekly chat on Twitter. Join us Fridays at 7/6 C & 4 PT in the U.S., midnight in the UK and Saturdays 11 AM NZ/9 AM AEST (currently Noon/10 AM AEDT) to discuss current topics in the gifted community and meet experts in the field.



Time to Debunk Those PBL Myths

Ginger Lewman’s Livebinder

Apps for Gifted and High-Ability Learners from Ginger Lewman at Livebinder

Apps for Gifted Kids  Hoagies Gifted

Edupreneur from @GingerLewman

Improving Google Classroom for Students Around the World

GingerLewman at ESSDACK

Meet GingerLewman at

TeachePBL-PLC at ESSDACK: 6th Grader Reflection (YouTube)

Evil Teacher Traps in the PBL Environment

Cybraryman’s Technology Pages

Cybraryman’s Project Based Learning Pages

Cybraryman’s Google Docs, Forms, Drive

Cybraryman’s Google Hangout

Cybraryman’s The 4 Cs+

Owning Problems … and Results

Do It On Their T.E.R.M.S.

LifePractice PBL

Why Project Based Learning (PBL)?

Project Based Learning from Edutopia

The Secret to Encouraging Reluctant Teachers to Use Ed Tech

Project Based Learning on Pinterest

Twitter for Education on Pinterest 

Your Digital Dad (Free download) from Kevin Honeycutt

Creativity and Creation Apps for the iPad Livebinder from Ginger Lewman

Report: Teachers Better at Using Tech than Digital Native Students

Nikhil Goyal Twitter Head Shot


Nikhil Goyal, Keynote at this year’s TAGT Conference in Fort Worth in December, was our guest this week to chat about Reclaiming the Freedom to Learn. At age 19, Nikhil’s list of honors and accomplishments are long and impressive. (See links below.)

There is much talk these days about school reform by those in the education field. It was interesting to hear the perspective of a student on the issue. Nikhil doubts that schools as they now exist can be reformed, but is “much more interested in transforming and revolutionizing education, rather than just making tweaks and reforms.”

How to begin? In Nikhil’s words, “I think it starts with educating the public that there are wonderful humane alternatives to traditional schools. We have to stand up and not be afraid to say that conventional schooling is harmful and oppressive to many children.” And what is at issue when discussing today’s educational system? According to Nikhil, “The features of schools are man-made: grades, tests, grade levels, periods, and bells. They are not grounded in science. The notion that “you go to school to learn” is distorted. The fact that our society is filled with so few lifelong learners is an indictment of our education system.” A transcript of this chat may be found here.

Nikhil’s new book The End of Creativity: How Schools Fail Children (tentative title) will be published by Doubleday/Random House in 2015.


Global #gtchat Powered by the Texas Association for the Gifted and Talented is a weekly chat on Twitter. Join us Fridays at 7/6 C & 4 PT in the U.S., midnight in the UK and Saturdays 11 AM NZ/9 AM AEST (currently Noon/10 AM AEDT) to discuss current topics in the gifted community and meet experts in the field.


“Why Kids Hate School? : Nikhil Goyal at TEDxYouth@BFS” (YouTube)

How Students Lead the Learning Experience at Democratic Schools

One Size Does Not Fit All: A Student’s Assessment of School (Amazon) by Nikhil Goyal

Nikhil Goyal on Forbes 30 Under 30 2013

Nikhil Goyal’s Website

Nikhil Goyal on MSNBC on the Student Loan Debt Crisis

“Can This 17-Year-Old Save America’s Education System?” (2012)

“He Passed on College to Change the World”

4 Radical Ideas for Reinventing College, Drawn from Stanford Research

Democratic Schools

UK: The School with No Rules that Teaches the Unteachable

Lisa VanGemert2014

This week #gtchat welcomed longtime friend, Lisa Van Gemert, the Youth and Education Ambassador for American Mensa, to tackle the tough questions surrounding effective grouping of gifted students. Lisa explained to us the many different types of grouping that were possible, but reminded us “it’s important to keep groups fluid – allowing movement with achievement and progress.” She went on to say, “Teachers need to teach the skills of working in groups. It doesn’t come naturally to anyone, especially the gifted.” A valid point often overlooked by critics of grouping.

One of the biggest complaints that gifted students have about grouping is having to do the majority of the work. Lisa told us, “It is *critical* that a student never be graded on another student’s effort (or lack thereof). Instant frustration. It’s unfair to set up GT kids for social failure by putting them in groups in which they have to take over in order to succeed.

An oft heard criticism of ability grouping is that it undermines less-able children. However, Lisa pointed out that this is just an excuse to deprive GT kids of the opportunity to work with their peers. Her philosophy ~ “I believe that best serving all children best serves all children. The end.” We couldn’t agree more! A full transcript of this chat may be found here.

Lisa Van Gemert will be presenting at this year’s TAGT Conference in Fort Worth, December 3rd to the 5th. You can register for the conference here. Check out the conference schedule here.

Global #gtchat Powered by the Texas Association for the Gifted and Talented is a weekly chat on Twitter. Join us Fridays at 7/6 C & 4 PT in the U.S., midnight in the UK and Saturdays 11 AM NZ/9 AM AEST to discuss current topics in the gifted community and meet experts in the field.


Amazing Classrooms: Engaging the High Achievers (YouTube 14:35)

Why Separate Classes for Gifted Students Boost All Kids

To Track or Not to Track via @jeff_shoemaker

Grouping Students by Ability Regains Favor in Classroom

Differentiation Class Poster – Free Download from Lisa Van Gemert

Lisa Van Gemert’s Profile at eSpeakers

Lisa Van Gemert’s website

Grouping without Fear from Lisa Van Gemert

The Resurgence of Ability Grouping and Persistence of Tracking

Effective Classrooms, Effective Schools: A Research Base for Reform in Latin American Education

What Educators Need to Know about Ability Grouping (pdf)

The Relationship of Grouping Practices to the Education of the Gifted & Talented Learner (pdf)

Grouping Gifted Children at Hoagies Gifted

The Schoolwide Cluster Grouping Method (SCGM) A Paradigm Shift in The Delivery of

Gifted Education Services by Susan Winebrenner (pdf)

Your Favorite Grouping Strategy Creates Bullies from Ginger Lewman

Our guest this week was Allison Edwards, author of Why Smart Kids Worry: And What Parents Can Do to Help. Allison began working with gifted kids 15 years ago as a school counselor. She was responsible for identifying, placing and coordinating resources for gifted students. Allison had to learn very quickly what gifted students needed and how they functioned inside the regular classroom. 8 years ago, she started a private psychotherapy practice where she specializes in working with gifted and anxious kids.

Our first question was to ask why smart kids worry. Allison told us that smart kids worry because their minds take them places they aren’t ready to go emotionally. They have the ability to intellectually understand things they can’t emotionally process thus creating anxiety. The ability to think about advanced topics is an asset inside the classroom but can be a detriment outside of it.

What signs should parents look for if they suspect their child is unduly worried? Parents will want to look for changes in behavior. These include: resistance to participate in previously enjoyed activities, stomachaches, headaches or loss of appetite. Kids who process anxiety outwardly will talk incessantly about their worries and/or ask repetitive questions about fears. Kids who process anxiety inwardly will withdraw, pull away and be resistant to talking about their feelings.

What advice did Allison have for parents to help their children to not worry so much? She would advise parents to acknowledge their child’s feelings and resist the urge to rationalize the anxiety away. When parents try to rationalize with an anxious child, children feel devalued and will become defensive and resistant. The best way to help kids handle anxiety is to teach them anxiety-reduction tools. The tools will empower them to handle anxious moments and learn to self-soothe. A partial transcript may be found here.

Allison Edwards Pic

Allison Edwards will be speaking at the 2014 TAGT Annual Parent Conference in Fort Worth, Texas on Friday, December 5th at 12:30 PM. You can register for the TAGT Annual Parent Conference here.

Global #gtchat Powered by the Texas Association for the Gifted and Talented is a weekly chat on Twitter. Join us Fridays at 7/6 C & 4 PT in the U.S., midnight in the UK and Saturdays 11 AM NZ/9 AM AEST to discuss current topics in the gifted community and meet experts in the field.


Why Smart Kids Worry: And What Parents Can Do to Help (Amazon) by Allison Edwards

Why Smart Kids Worry Book Cover

Allison Edwards’ Bio

Allison Edwards’ website

“4 Anxiety-Reduction Tools” for Children from Allison Edwards @CounelingBits (video)

Anxiety Trapper App for iPhone (iTunes App Store)

Allison Edwards’ Blog

12 Traits of Anxious Children (free download) from Allison Edwards

Allison Edwards ‘Why Smart Kids Worry’ (YouTube)

Why Smart Kids Worry on Facebook


It is estimated that there are 300,000 twice exceptional children in the U.S. alone. (GCQ, Vol 55, #1, Winter 2011) Twice-exceptionality is the co-existence of both giftedness and a learning disability. It has been called a paradoxical syndrome. This week at #gtchat, we tackled the subject of 2ekids. It was soon realized that these kids are complex and have the ability to frustrate both their parents and teachers; but at the same time bring incredible joy into the lives of those around them.

Twice-exceptional children often face many social-emotional issues. Many struggle with self-awareness; knowing and understanding their own challenges. “They are often misunderstood and have expectations on them they can’t live up to.”(Mona Chicks) “The BIGGEST social-emotional challenge is finding true peers. Asynchrony makes it difficult to impossible. Worse in small towns. They have compassion like an adult, tantrums like a toddler, and wit like a snarky teenager. ” (Jen Merrill) “Two gifts, blessed with two gifts both of which need recognition & addressing in parallel, overlapping and together.” (Elaine Hook) “2ekids don’t ‘fit the mold’ for gifted, they challenge stereotypes and remind us that gifted doesn’t mean perfect.” (Andi McNair)

Labeling of children in an attempt to explain behaviors does little to address their need for specific accommodations. The gifted ‘label’ is too often misrepresented as meaning high-achiever; adult disappointment can emotionally harm twice-exceptional children. They can compensate for or mask their disability and do not get the help they need.

An exceptional resource was shared during the chat by Jo Freitag of Gifted Resources in Australia. Jo’s blog, Sprite’s Site, relates the experiences of Sprite, a fictional character, who happens to be twice-exceptional. Sprite’s disability is visually expressed by an ever present cast on one foot. Jo’s ability to make twice-exceptionality easy is to understand makes this a go to site for anyone wanting to know more about how these children feel and how to help them. She also writes a monthly newsletter which can be found here.

If you are interested in learning more about twice-exceptional children, please check out the full transcript of our chat and then the links provided below.

Global #gtchat Powered by the Texas Association for the Gifted and Talented is a weekly chat on Twitter. Join us Fridays at 7/6 C & 4 PT in the U.S., midnight in the UK and Saturdays 11 AM NZ/9 AM AEST to discuss current topics in the gifted community and meet experts in the field.

Links from the chat:

“What is 2E?” from Twice-Exceptional Newsletter

“Twice-exceptional Students: Who Are They & What Do They Need?”

“Don’t Get Caught in the Lazy Trap”

“Twice-Exceptional Me” from the National Center for Learning Disabilities

Myths & Misconceptions About ADHD: Science over Cynicism

Giftedness & Learning Disabilities

Bright Not Broken: Gifted Kids, ADHD, and Autism (Amazon)

Cybraryman’s Twice-Exceptional Children Page

The Misdiagnosis of Gifted Children (YouTube)


Additional Links:

Double Inequity, Redoubled Critique: Twice-Exceptional (Gifted + Learning Disabled) Students

Gifted and Learning Disabled A Handbook (pdf)

The Paradox of Twice-Exceptionality Packet of Information for Professionals (pdf)

The Twice-Exceptional Dilemma (pdf)

Supporting the Identification and  Achievement of the Twice-Exceptional Student (pdf)

Gifted Children with Learning Disabilities by Linda Silverman  in N. Colangelo, & G. A. Davis (Eds.) The Handbook of Gifted Education, Third Edition (pp. 533-543). Boston: Allyn & Bacon, 2003 (pdf)

Twice-Exceptional Students Gifted Students with Disabilities Level 1: An Introductory Resource Book (pdf)

Special Populations: Giftedness and ADHD from Duke TIP

Identifying Twice-Exceptional Children and Three Gifted Styles in the Japanese Primary Science Classroom (pdf)

The Paradox of Giftedness and Autism (pdf)

The Paradox of Twice-Exceptional Children: Perceptions of Disabilities, Giftedness and Underachievement 

Creating a Toolkit for Identifying Twice-Exceptional Students (pdf)

Inclusion for Students with Twice Exceptionality Paradox and Possibility (pdf)

A Unique Challenge: Sorting Out the Differences Between Giftedness and Asperger’s Disorder (pdf)

Photo courtesy of Pixabay.

Roles of School Personnel

The first few years of parenting a gifted child can often be both awesome and overwhelming at the same time. By the time they are ready to enter school, the educational system can seem daunting to even the well-informed parent. While every school system may be different, they will share many of the same personnel. It’s important to learn who should be contacted in certain situations whether it is testing and identification, additional services, or the special needs of twice-exceptional students.

Who should be the first person contacted in a school when considering gifted education for a child? School psychologists are usually tasked with testing and identification of gifted students. Gifted coordinators should be contacted if there isn’t a school psychologist. Some schools may require that only the principal be contacted directly by parents. In any case, try to determine who your first contact should be prior to taking action.

Deciding whether additional services are necessary is usually a decision made by a team of professionals who may include the parent, classroom teacher, GT teacher, school psychologist, guidance counselor and/or parent. Several states use Gifted Individualized Education Plans in which specific services can be stipulated. In the case of twice-exceptional students in the U.S., parents may consider pursuing a 504 Plan. (See links below for more information.) A full transcript can be found here.

Global #gtchat Powered by the Texas Association for the Gifted and Talented is a weekly chat on Twitter. Join us Fridays at 7/6 C & 4 PT in the U.S. and Saturdays 11 AM NZ/9 AM AEST  to discuss current topics in the gifted community and meet experts in the field.


A Breakdown of the Roles of School Personnel

VA: Local School Boards: Roles & Responsibilities in Gifted Programs (pdf)

The Professional School Counselor and Gifted & Talented Student Programs (pdf)

OH: Gifted Education Coordinator Factsheet (pdf)

Social & Emotional Needs of Gifted Students: What School Counselors Need to Know

WI: Gifted & Talented Educational Services Plan

FL: Teacher of the Gifted Job Responsibilities (pdf)

KY: Nurturing Our Future ~ Parents’ Guide to Meeting Needs of Gifted & Talented Youth (pdf)

OK: Qualifications & Responsibilities of Gifted Education Program Staff (pdf)

Gifted Program Guidelines Responsibilities of District Personnel (pdf)

Auxiliary School Personnel: Their Roles, Training & Institutionalization (pdf 1966)

Diagnosis & Treatment of Attention Disorders: Roles for School Personnel

CT: Suggested Roles & Responsibilities of School Personnel

Roles of Related Services Personnel in Inclusive Schools

New Roles in Response to Intervention: Creating Success for Schools & Children (pdf)

Roles of School Personnel Section 504 Responsibilities (pdf)

Photo courtesy of MorgueFile.

Gifted Identification

Why is gifted identification important? Gifted identification not only provides a basis for school services but also helps a child understand his or her self. It can explain behaviors that are not universal to all children. As pointed out during the chat, it may help parents modify how they parent their gifted child and help teachers to teach them appropriately.

Our next question focused on who should be responsible for identification. Designated school personnel should be trained in gifted education and have a solid understanding of giftedness. Clinical Psychologist, Gail Post, of Gifted Challenges recommended that a psychologist or school psychologist preferably be involved in the process. Gifted Coordinator, Angie French, added, “School personnel need an understanding that not all gifted learners look the same.”

During the remainder of the chat, we also discussed what attributes should be considered when seeking to identify a gifted child; assessments to be used beyond IQ testing; how poor identification methods adversely affect low-income, minority and ELL students; and how to identify twice-exceptional learners. A full transcript may be found here.

Global #gtchat Powered by the Texas Association for the Gifted and Talented is a weekly chat on Twitter. Join us Fridays at 7/6 C & 4 PT in the U.S. and Saturdays 11 AM NZ/9 AM AEST  to discuss current topics in the gifted community and meet experts in the field.

Special thanks to Leslie Graves (President, World Council for Gifted and Talented Children) and Jerry Blumengarten (aka Cybraryman) for providing us with additional links during this chat.


Dumbing Down America (Amazon) Delisle

Ohio Dept of Ed – Gifted Screening and Identification

Identification of Gifted Children @HoagiesGifted

A Response to “All Children Are Gifted” by Michael C. Thompson (pdf) via @RFWPcom

Assessing Gifted Children by Julia Osburn via @HoagiesGifted

Use of the WISC-IV for Gifted Identification (pdf) via @NAGCGIFTED

Identifying & Serving Culturally & Linguistically Diverse Gifted Students (pdf) via @NAGCGIFTED

The Role of Assessments in the Identification of Gifted Students (pdf) via @NAGCGIFTED

The Identification of Students Who Are Gifted by Ruth Mary Coleman At LDOnline

High Achiever, Gifted Learner, Creative Thinker from Bertie Kingore

Identifying Gifted Students: A Practical Guide by Susan Johnsen (Amazon)

The Ongoing Dilemma of Effective Identification Practices in Gifted Education (pdf)

Teacher Bias in Identifying Gifted & Talented Students

Identifying Gifted Children Victoria (AUS) Dept of Ed

Identifying Gifted & Talented Students from London Gifted & Talented

Who is Currently Identified as Gifted in the U.S.? by Scott Barry Kaufman in Psychology Today

5 Issues with Gifted Education That I Have

Best Practices for Identifying Gifted Students (pdf)

Common Questions about Gifted Identification and Services (OR)

Critical Issues in the Identification of Gifted Students with Co-Existing Disabilities

Ethical Considerations for Gifted Assessment & Identification of Diverse Students (pdf)

Identification of Gifted Students Using The Naglieri Nonverbal Ability Tests (pdf)

Legal Issues in Identifying & Serving Twice-Exceptional Gifted Learners (pdf)

Additional Links (from chat participants):

Identification of Gifted and Talented Students Poudre School District

Gifted and Talented Program JeffCo Public Schools

Gifted Children Online Assessment Tool Now Available

Things My Child Likes to Do (pdf)

Use of Brief Intelligence Tests in the Identification of Giftedness (pdf) via Scott Barry Kaufman

Children Who Are Gifted, Talented, and Creative

Identification of Culturally Diverse Gifted Students (Livebinder)

Cybraryman’s 360 Degree Feedback Page

Cybraryman’s Gifted Identification Page

How to Identify the Gifted Student

Let Me Tell You About …Why Gifted Identification Matters by Jen Merrill


Graphic courtesy of Pixabay.


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