Transitioning to Blended (In-School/Remote) Learning

 

What does blended learning look like in the era of #COVID19? Schools are offering both in-school and online learning as well as full-time online options. Students may be separated into two or more groups to reduce in-person class size and each group attends class on alternate days of the week.

Many teachers have experienced feeling isolated due to remote learning. COVID 19 has affected everyone; disrupted the lives of students, teachers and parents. It needs a community response. No one can succeed alone. This school year must be kept in perspective; seeing opportunities to improve education for the future rather than lamenting the role coronavirus has played in changing how we educate children. Isolation can lead to loneliness. Teachers should make an effort to intentionally keep connected with colleagues, family and friends. Self-care and maintaining mental health should be a priority.

What strategies can be employed to engage reluctant remote learners? Before attempting to engage reluctant remote learners, educators need to address why a student has chosen to disengage. Similar to engaging students in the classroom, building relationships is the first step to engagement. It is also the beginning of individualizing and personalizing learning for the student. Relationships should go beyond teacher-student relationships and consider the importance of strong peer-relationships which will ultimately draw students in to participate more fully in class discussions and projects.

Unlike the disruptions that result from natural disasters or calls for social change, the unique challenge of a national health emergency requires specific initiatives directly related to the public health of students and staff. Response to the coronavirus requires a two-pronged approach directed at both the physical (social distancing, PPE, school nurses) and mental health (school psychologists, school counselors, social workers). It is of the upmost importance that schools take measures to deep-clean classrooms and all facilities on a periodic basis. Such things as ventilation systems and aging school buildings must be addressed.

The social-emotional needs of GT students during the era of #COVID19 can and must be given serious consideration. In many cases, it may even be easier than it was prior to the current crisis. Remote learning has actually been a better ‘fit’ for many GT students. It has become easier to interact with intellectual peers; provided time to work on passion projects; and opened opportunities to connect with mentors. Acceptance of asynchronous learning can boost a GT student’s ability to become a self-directed learner; to forego the boredom from tedious hours in a classroom that didn’t meet their academic needs.

Blended learning provides a flexible framework of differentiation for GT students. Instruction can be individualized, new material can be processed independently, and real academic growth can be assessed through mastery. Differentiation strategies can involve project-based learning, self-directed learning, and mastery-based learning.

A transcript of this chat can be found at Wakelet.

Global #gtchat Powered by the Texas Association for the Gifted and Talented  is a weekly chat on Twitter. Join us Thursdays at 8E/7C/6M/5P in the U.S. and Fridays at Noon NZST/10 AM AEST/1 AM UK  to discuss current topics in the gifted community and meet experts in the field. Transcripts of our weekly chats can be found at Wakelet. Our Facebook Page provides information on the chat and news and information regarding the gifted community. Also, checkout our Pinterest Page and Playlist on YouTube.

Lisa Conrad About the authorLisa Conrad is the Moderator of Global #gtchat Powered by TAGT and Social Media Manager of the Global #gtchat Community. She is a longtime  advocate for gifted children and also blogs at  Gifted Parenting Support. Lisa can be contacted at: gtchatmod@gmail.com

 

Additional Online/Tech Resources:

Learning Management Systems:

Google Classroom

Schoology

Canvas

Seesaw

Classcraft (supports gamification)

Blackboard

Video Conferencing:

Zoom

Microsoft Teams

Google Meet

Video Recording:

Screencast-O-Matic

Screencastify

General:

Teach from Anywhere

InferCabulary

Edutopia

 

Resources:

Blended Learning in the Age of COVID-19 | EdWeek

What Does Blended Learning Look Like in a Distance Learning Environment? | EdWeek

12 Of The Most Common Types Of Blended Learning

How to Make Teaching Online Feel Less Isolating | Edutopia

Connecting with Reluctant Remote Learners | Edutopia

What are the effects of remote, blended learning on kids?

How to Teach Online/Blended Learning – Grab & Go Resources | Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction

Finding Success in a Blended Learning Environment

8 Teachers Reflect on the Start of the New School Year | Edutopia

Creating Moments of Genuine Connection Online | Cult of Pedagogy

Distance Education: A Systems View 2nd Edition (book)

The Indicators of Instructor Presence that are Important to Students in Online Courses | Journal of Online Learning and Teaching

The Difference Between Emergency Remote Teaching and Online Learning

Award-Winning Faculty Online Teaching Practices: Elements of Award-Winning Courses | Online Learning Journal

Designing Digital Teaching Media for Millennial Teachers: Trends and Sense | Research Gate

K-12 Crowdsourced Resources (pdf)

Preface: Reflections on the Waves of Emerging Learning Technologies | Educational Technology Research and Development

3 Ways to Deepen Student Engagement in Online Discussions | Edutopia

5 Ways to Build Connections with Students Online | Edutopia

What is Blended Learning?

Cybraryman’s Blended/Hybrid Learning Page

Cybraryman’s SEL and More Page

Cybraryman’s Differentiation Page 

 

Photo courtesy of Pixabay  Pixabay License

Graphic courtesy of Lisa Conrad

Cultivating Intellectual Curiosity

 

Intellectual curiosity embodies a deep, persistent feeling of needing to know about what interests you. It helps to ensure the growth of our species; that we advance as a society. Intellectual curiosity leads to acquiring knowledge through observation and exploration. It can include curiosity about how systems work, mathematical relationships, the nature of language, and societal norms. A child’s intellectual curiosity is especially important for language and vocabulary development as they use it to describe what they are thinking. Curiosity helps children to understand the world around them.

To me, intellectual curiosity is the ability to ask “why,” and the constant desire to find the answer, and the general refusal to accept that there isn’t an answer. ~ David Walrod, a math and special education teacher with Fairfax, Virginia, and a PhD student at George Mason University-Educational Leadership.

Neuroscience has suggested that through evolution the brain responds to new experiences with the release of dopamine and other chemicals to create positive feelings about discovery of new things. Intellectual curiosity appears to make the brain more receptive to learning and thus an enjoyable experience. When intellectual curiosity leads to varied interests and how they interconnect, problem solving can be enhanced.

Intellectual curiosity is both a gift and a mindset. Babies are insatiably curious. Humans are wired for curiosity and learning. The trick is to keep that burning for knowledge and input alive and fanned throughout the lifespan. It’s a thirst for knowledge. ~ Jackie Drummer, Past President WI Association for Talented & Gifted, National SENG trainer, facilitator, online facilitator, certified coach, and Professional Development Specialist.

While most young children are naturally inquisitive and curious about the world around them; unfortunately many lose that curiosity as they grow older. It is particularly distressing when we see this in our GT kids. Oftentimes, loss of intellectual curiosity is not the result of factors within the individual’s control. Children who are unable to focus or stay on task are most vulnerable. It’s important for adults to understand that children’s intellectual curiosity can be extinguished by lack of encouragement to explore new things or through early criticism of being too curious.

“All thinking begins with wonder.” -Socrates

Intellectual curiosity looks like wonder, passion, and questioning, all of which are sometimes labeled as distractedness and daydreaming (and are too seldom celebrated in classrooms). ~ Kathryn Fishman-Weaver, Ph.D., Educator, Author, Interim Executive Director at Mizzou Academy, University of Missouri, College of Education.

When teachers model intellectual curiosity in the classroom, students learn the importance of asking questions and understand that it’s okay to admit they don’t know all the answers. This is especially important for GT students. Intellectual curiosity can be encouraged by asking questions which are thought provoking; questions that call for critical thinking; questions that aren’t covered on standardized tests. Intellectual curiosity should be valued and rewarded in the classroom. Students can be encouraged to be skeptical by questioning what they hear and see on social media. Strategies like PBL or Genius Hour can promote curiosity.

In the era of #COVID19, it’s critical that parents realize the importance of nurturing intellectual curiosity at home. With the overwhelming burdens faced by families, it’s easy to seek the least demanding forms of education. Even in the best of times, a child’s inquisitive nature can try a parent’s patience. However, it’s important to restrain from being dismissive of those ‘why’ and ‘how’ questions. Interests and passions should be encouraged at every turn. Parents can nurture their child’s intellectual curiosity by providing resources that help them discover their own answers. Availing library resources online, nature walks, and virtual field trips are inexpensive and productive.

How can intellectual curiosity contribute to success in life? Intellectual curiosity is a leading indicator of effective leadership, worker productivity, and level of career success. Cultivating intellectual curiosity increases career growth and development and the sooner this is realized, the greater the growth.

A transcript of this chat may be found at Wakelet.

TEMPO+ is now LIVE! TEMPO+ is your resource for gifted education articles, templates, lesson plans, video presentations, and more! Join the Texas Association for the Gifted and Talented as a member or eSubscriber to get full access to member only content! tempo.txgifted.org

Global #gtchat Powered by the Texas Association for the Gifted and Talented  is a weekly chat on Twitter. Join us Thursdays at 8E/7C/6M/5P in the U.S. and Fridays at Noon NZST/10 AM AEST/1 AM UK  to discuss current topics in the gifted community and meet experts in the field. Transcripts of our weekly chats can be found at Wakelet. Our Facebook Page provides information on the chat and news and information regarding the gifted community. Also, checkout our Pinterest Page and Playlist on YouTube.

Lisa Conrad About the authorLisa Conrad is the Moderator of Global #gtchat Powered by TAGT and Social Media Manager of the Global #gtchat Community. She is a longtime  advocate for gifted children and also blogs at  Gifted Parenting Support. Lisa can be contacted at: gtchatmod@gmail.com

Resources:

4 Reasons Why Curiosity is Important and How to Develop It

Encouraging Intellectual Curiosity

Why Curiosity Enhances Learning | Edutopia

Curiosity is Critical to Academic Performance | Science Daily

The Hungry Mind — Intellectual Curiosity Is the Third Pillar of Academic Performance | ResearchGate

Curiosity Can Predict Employees’ Ability to Creatively Solve Problems | Science Daily

States of Curiosity Modulate Hippocampus-Dependent Learning via the Dopaminergic Circuit | Neuron

How Curiosity Changes the Brain to Enhance Learning | Science Daily

Encouraging Curiosity in Preschoolers: Here’s What to Know

Curiosity: The Force within a Hungry Mind | Edutopia

How Are Curious People Viewed and How Do They Behave in Social Situations? From the Perspectives of Self, Friends, Parents, and Unacquainted Observers | ResearchGate

Why Young Children Are Curious | Scholastic

Six Surprising Benefits of Curiosity

All Knowledge Starts with Curiosity | Thrive Global

Why Curiosity Matters | Harvard Business Review

How to Maximize Curiosity | Medium

Why Did the Wright Brothers Succeed When Others Failed? | Scientific American

Bill Gates: High Schoolers Should Cultivate 1 Skill to Thrive in 2030 and Beyond | Inc.

Tickling Curiosity | Byrdseed

Curiosity 1: Anticipation and Dopamine | Byrdseed

UK: Why? Why Not? The Magic of Intellectual Curiosity | Henley Business School Reading University

The Death of Intellectual Curiosity

5 Ways Cultivating Intellectual Curiosity Can Improve Your Elicitation Skills

Developing Intellectual Curiosity | Virginia Wesleyan University

The Power of Curiosity

Intellectual Curiosity | Psychology Today

Cybraryman’s Intellectual Curiosity Page

Cybraryman’s Questioning Techniques Page

Image courtesy of Pixabay  Pixabay License

Graphic courtesy of Lisa Conrad

Building Perseverance in Today’s GT Students

 

Our guest this week was Dr. Laila Sanguras, educator, lecturer, author. Dr. Sanguras is a former middle school teacher. Her interest in perseverance stemmed from observing her students balk at challenging activities in school, yet excel despite struggling in areas outside of school. She received her doctorate in educational psychology from the University of North Texas.

Perseverance conjures up terms such as persistence, tenacity, and determination; all qualities we believe are necessary for success. But is there more to it? Perseverance can be a path forward to having a meaningful purpose in one’s life. It may develop through both positive and negative experiences. Perseverance is shaped by passion and guided by experience. It is voluntary action in the presence of challenges and in spite of difficulties.

Instilling the need for perseverance in GT students is often overlooked. It is assumed that it is already a natural characteristic, but this is not the case; far from it. Understanding that perseverance means learning and growth can come from both negative and positive experiences is a key factor in being successful. It is a lesson GT students must be taught. For GT students, perseverance enhances talent and intelligence. It is a driving force in achievement and how goals are met.

Passion drives perseverance; and as such, it is extremely important to identify one’s passions early and often. It comes from exposure to new ideas. This is especially true for younger children. Passion sparks curiosity and helps one to see the possibilities of pursuing goals.

What are some strategies to use to intentionally teach perseverance? It’s important to realize that avoidance behavior and refusal to work may be signs of frustration and GT students are not immune to these behaviors. It is an innate part of an educator’s nature to scaffold struggling students, but the need may not be so apparent with GT students. Many need to learn frustration tolerance and teachers should be aware of it and quickly intercede. Teaching perseverance involves nurturing abilities and purposefully providing opportunities for students to be successful. Emphasis should be placed on the importance of challenge and the rewards that come from success.

Students can cultivate perseverance on their own. It begins with exploring and identifying interests followed by pursuing those interests. It’s important for students to clarify what their goals are; what has meaning for them based on their abilities and personal needs. Trying new experiences, surrounding oneself with others who persevere, being vigilant about self-care, and acknowledging personal accomplishments all contribute to building perseverance in one’s own life.

Parents have an intricate role to play in guiding their children to persevere in life. They need to model resilience and focus on their child’s need for independence. Parents need to be realistic about their child’s abilities and not require them to be perfect. They should encourage their children to forge ahead regardless of the outcome; imagine life when they achieve their goals; but, emphasizing that they may not always excel in all areas of life.

A transcript of this chat may be found at Wakelet.

Global #gtchat Powered by the Texas Association for the Gifted and Talented  is a weekly chat on Twitter. Join us Thursdays at 8E/7C/6M/5P in the U.S. and Fridays at Noon NZST/10 AM AEST/1 AM UK  to discuss current topics in the gifted community and meet experts in the field. Transcripts of our weekly chats can be found at Wakelet. Our Facebook Page provides information on the chat and news and information regarding the gifted community. Also, checkout our Pinterest Page and Playlist on YouTube.

Lisa Conrad About the authorLisa Conrad is the Moderator of Global #gtchat Powered by TAGT and Social Media Manager of the Global #gtchat Community. She is a longtime  advocate for gifted children and also blogs at  Gifted Parenting Support. Lisa can be contacted at: gtchatmod@gmail.com

Resources:

Disclaimer: Some resources include affiliate links.

Grit in the Classroom: Building Perseverance for Excellence in Today’s Students | Prufrock Press (Aff. Link)

Educator’s Quick Reference Guide to Grit in the Classroom | Prufrock Press (Aff. Link)

Raising Children With Grit: Parenting Passionate, Persistent, and Successful Kids (Vimeo 45:58)

Raising Children With Grit: Parenting Passionate, Persistent, and Successful Kids | Prufrock Press (Aff. Link)

Seven Ideas to Build Perseverance in Students

The Science of Resilience: How to Teach Students to Persevere

Teaching Students to Persevere

Building Teamwork and Perseverance in Early Elementary Students with Breakouts | MindShift

Perseverance Activity Classroom Guidance Lesson

Teach Students to Persevere During Tough STEM Challenges

And Still We Teach (blog) | Laila Sanguras

Teaching Persistence to Gifted Students

Grit and Giftedness: Four Ways to Encourage Perseverance in Gifted Children

What Your Gifted Child Won’t Learn from Academics

Frisco ISD: Independence Art Teacher Models Perseverance

Supporting Your Gifted Child during COVID: Focus On Growth and Take a Step Back

Teaching Kids to Fail Well: The Perseverance Paradox

Perseverance & Persistence: Friendly Banter with Temple Grandin

Cybraryman’s Motivational Sayings Page

‘Grit Is in Our DNA’: Why Teaching Grit Is Inherently Anti-Black | EdWeek

Image courtesy of Pixabay Pixabay License

Photo courtesy of Dr. Laila Sanguras.

Graphic courtesy of Lisa Conrad.

 

The Future of Secondary Gifted Education

 

Through misguided policies and unfounded biases of decision-makers, schools who readily provide gifted education at the elementary level eschew attempts to continue programs at the secondary level. Students who participate in secondary gifted programs obtain higher grades, are more self-assured of their abilities, and choose a more challenging curriculum. Gifted programs at the secondary level aid participants in building connections with intellectual peers and increasing self-esteem by seeing themselves as responsible problem-solvers and valuable members of society.

It has become increasingly clear that many GT students are excelling during this global interruption to traditional educational options. They are no longer bound by restrictive schedules and repetitive lessons already learned. When allowed, GT students have been free to progress by demonstrating mastery rather than restricted to time-in-seat obligations. Recent innovations such as Genius Hour, Design Thinking, Flipped Classrooms which increase productive in-class discussion, project-based learning, and makerspaces plus much more are becoming acceptable alternatives.

Configuring high schools to more closely resemble college and university campuses could greatly benefit GT students as well as the general student population by providing teachers more time with at-risk populations. Collegiate models adapted to secondary schools would give GT students the opportunity to pursue passion projects, interact with experts in their chosen fields, engage in research-based activities, and expand dual-enrollment. The resulting acceleration of GT students could help school districts overcome recent budget shortfalls created by the Pandemic and advance students to more appropriate academic challenge.

There is significant concern that most students have fallen behind due to the prolonged closures of schools and lack of adequate distance learning interventions. Assessments for GT students may prove advances in achievement. Assessments that gather baseline data could be used as the basis for acceleration rather than remediation for a majority of GT students and allow them to chart a course to higher levels of achievement. Well-aligned assessments could eliminate inclusion in classes where slippage has occurred among age-peers; their presence exacerbating differences and increasing the need for extensive differentiation.

In recent years, gifted education has increasingly been made aware of the need to address the inequitable availability of programs for children of color and in school districts who lacked adequate funding. Rather than eliminate these programs, schools have the responsibility to expand opportunities by being more receptive to the needs of GT students and envisioning the many possibilities available to meet those needs. As schools begin to adapt to a new reality, previous prejudices and ill-informed ways of educating students must be corrected and improved. New approaches must include how we identify and who is included in GT programs.

GT students are often the source of innovation and creativity when confronted with untenable constraints on their own progress. Their voice needs to heeded and respected in these unprecedented times. Through the application of self-reflection and critical thinking, these students have the ability to bring considerations to the table that benefit both themselves and education in general.

A transcript can be found at Wakelet.

Global #gtchat Powered by the Texas Association for the Gifted and Talented  is a weekly chat on Twitter. Join us Thursdays at 8E/7C/6M/5P in the U.S. and Fridays at Noon NZST/10 AM AEST/1 AM UK  to discuss current topics in the gifted community and meet experts in the field. Transcripts of our weekly chats can be found at Wakelet. Our Facebook Page provides information on the chat and news and information regarding the gifted community. Also, checkout our Pinterest Page and Playlist on YouTube.

Lisa Conrad About the authorLisa Conrad is the Moderator of Global #gtchat Powered by TAGT and Social Media Manager of the Global #gtchat Community. She is a longtime  advocate for gifted children and also blogs at  Gifted Parenting Support. Lisa can be contacted at: gtchatmod@gmail.com

Resources:

Disclaimer: Some resources include affiliate links.

But how will we serve them now? | Meredith Austin

Hope and Creative Self-Efficacy as Sequential Mediators in the Relationship between Family Socioeconomic Status and Creativity

Enriching Students Pays Off: Evidence from an Individualized Gifted and Talented Program in Secondary Education (pdf)

What if Some Kids Are Better Off at Home? | NYT Opinion

The Contradiction at the Heart of Public Education | The Atlantic

Closing America’s High-achievement Gap: A Wise Giver’s Guide to Helping Our Most Talented Students Reach Their Full Potential (book)

Equity Does Not Mean Everyone Gets Nothing

Gifted Education in America is Finally Moving Past Its Legacy of Inequality

Report Chides Schools for Failing Gifted Students

Assouline Joins Five-Year National Center for Research on Gifted Education

The Future of Education is Unstructured Learning, and Here’s Why

The Handbook of Secondary Gifted Education (2nd ed.) | Prufrock Press (Aff. Link)

Educating Gifted Students in Middle School: A Practical Guide (2nd ed.) | Prufrock Press (Aff. Link)

20 Ideas for Teaching Gifted Kids in the Middle School and High School | Prufrock Press (Aff. Link)

Cybraryman’s Videoconferencing Page

Image courtesy of Pixabay Pixabay License

Graphic courtesy of Lisa Conrad

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