Avoiding Arguments with Gifted Kids

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If you’ve ever parented, taught, or even met a gifted child, there’s a good chance you’ve had a difference of opinion that led to an argument. Although it’s doubtful that all arguments can or even should be avoided, there are ways to subdue the intensity and  produce positive outcomes.

But why do gifted kids argue so much? Most will tell you simply, “because we can!” Beyond ability, gifted children have an extensive knowledge base on which to draw to make their case. As Carolyn K of Hoagies Gifted remarked, “because they see all the details and nuances many adults look right over, and they want to KNOW! And be RIGHT! They got early positive attention for detailed talking at young ages, and arguing is just an extension of that.” Jonathan Bolding, and education coordinator in Nashville, TN, added, “Some want to be viewed as valued thought partners and asynchronous development may cause friction navigating the teacher vs student divide.”

“Gifted kids are often intellectual, pedantic, and have strong opinions and values and therefore feel the need to argue!” ~ Jo Freitag, Gifted Resources, Victoria, Australia

Some gifted kids find it especially difficult to follow the rules and this can become another source of arguments with adults. They may view obedience to rules they deem unjust as rules to be ignored and consequences to be challenged. Ryan O’Donnell, of Co-Founder of the Institute of Meaningful Instruction, stated, “Their ability to relate leads to finding the boundaries of rules much quicker than others often times.” And from an adult perspective, Dr. Peter Flom, author of Screwed Up Somehow but Not Stupid, Life with a Learning Disability, suggests, “Because we can see how dopey the rules are, how to get around them, and why they are wrong.” Dr. Gail Post, Clinical Psychologist, added, “They are too cognitively complex to be rule-followers.”

“Rules feel like a constraint. They are discovering and applying so much information; they need freedom to explore.” ~ Chouinard Jahant, science teacher, Katy, TX

The term “little lawyer” is sometimes applied to gifted kids. They may sound like they’re in court arguing a case. It can be frustrating for parents. The arguing can be almost constant; arguments ensue over homework, bedtimes, chores, video games, curfews – you name it!

So, how do you teach a young child to express their views respectfully? First and foremost, adults need to model the behavior they wish to see in their children. Respectful expression can be taught. As with any expected behavior, setting consistent expectations early in life is necessary. Methods suggested by chat participants included waiting till an atmosphere of ‘calm’ exists, role-playing, and expressing appreciation for each person’s point of view.

Homework is another ‘ignition point’ for arguments with gifted children; especially if they have already mastered the subject matter. Completion of homework is view differently by different stakeholders. For teachers, it may be an expectation of compliance. For gifted students, a task they feel is taking time from more important, ‘relevant to them’ tasks. For parents, a never-ending source of stress.

What can parents do to stop the homework wars? They should be aware of what is expected by their child’s teacher and discuss alternatives early in the school year. When available for gifted students, conversations about homework should begin at the time of the initial education plan after identification. Depending on their age, Jonathan Bolding suggests, “Encourage the teacher to create alternate assignments that encourage deep thinking and extend tasks.”

“Parents need to advocate for meaningful and less homework.” ~ Tracy Fisher, School Board Member, Coppell ISD, TX

It was clear that arguments with gifted children, cannot be avoided altogether. Many times they are justified. It’s important to model respectful behavior and acknowledge the reasons behind the argument. A transcript of this chat may be found at Storify.

Global #gtchat Powered by the Texas Association for the Gifted and Talented  is a weekly chat on Twitter. Join us Tuesdays at 8E/7C/6M/5P in the U.S. and Wednesdays at Noon (12.00) NZST/10.00 AEST/1.00 UK  to discuss current topics in the gifted community and meet experts in the field. Transcripts of our weekly chats can be found at Storify. Our Facebook Page provides information on the chat and news & information regarding the gifted community. Also, checkout our Pinterest Page and Playlist on YouTube.

Head Shot 2014-07-14  About the author: Lisa 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

 

Links:

Disciplining Gifted Children at our blog

The Gifted Child’s Struggle

How (Not) to Argue with Gifted Children

How to Criticize with Kindness: Philosopher Daniel Dennett on the 4 Steps to Arguing Intelligently

Disciplining Gifted Children

10 Helpful Tips for Parents of Gifted Children

Tips for Parents: Positive Discipline for Gifted Children

Discipline and the Argumentative Gifted Child

Surviving the Middle School Years with your Gifted Child

Your Child Argues About Everything? Appeal to the Heart

Cybraryman’s Communicating with Children Page

Sprite’s Site: Sprite on the Subject of Homework!

Sprite’s Site: That’s What It’s All About

Pinpointing a Fundamental Step Towards Achievement

When Homework is Useless

 

Picture courtesy of Pixabay  CC0 Public Domain

Graphic courtesy of Lisa Conrad.

Building an Exemplary Gifted Program

 

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Our guest this week was Dr. Dina Brulles, Director of Gifted Education for Paradise Valley Unified School District in Arizona where she has developed a continuum of gifted education programs, Pre-K to 12. The programs she administers incorporate innovative uses of technology, empower underrepresented populations and provide extensive professional development opportunities.

Dr. Brulles is also the Graduate Gifted Program Coordinator at Arizona State University, a member of the NAGC Board of Directors, a consultant and author. She received the inaugural 2014 NAGC Gifted Coordinator Award and also the first NAGC Professional Development Network Award in 2013. Dina has served as president of the Arizona Association for the Gifted and Talented, vice president of SENG, and on leadership teams of NAGC Networks.

There are program goals that should be considered for all gifted programs striving to be exemplary. Dr. Brulles recommended programs “ensure that all GT students participate in the school’s gifted services; being responsive and modifying services for students’ ever-changing needs. GT should be embedded into school and district initiatives to build sustainable services and allow access to resources. This keeps GT in planning processes; including measures for accountability and teacher support.” Her efforts at Paradise Valley’s Gifted Program can be seen here and their fall professional development offerings here (pdf). Other goals mentioned included teacher certification with gifted endorsement and opportunities for social-emotional learning.

There are specific service options which should be available in gifted programs. According to Dr. Brulles, “Ideally schools provide continuum of services; challenge all gifted students including English Language Learners, twice-exceptional, highly and profoundly gifted, EC, and HS as I do at Paradise Valley Schools. You should use the NAGC Program Standards and identify areas of need as well as help advocate for services. Have your local school board adopt Gifted Programming and Scope and Sequence. Schools are then required to implement services.”

Although not always recognized, parents have an important role is developing gifted programs. Dr. Brulles told us, “Parent collaboration at all levels builds support. Sometimes parents can advocate for GT services better than teachers due to their roles. Development of gifted programs should be a team effort that includes all stakeholders.” In addition, parents should be informed of identification criteria and procedures; have access to application forms; and be included in ongoing district planning and evaluations of gifted programs.

Technology has an important role to play in the gifted classroom. “Tech promotes research, PBL, digital collaboration, creativity, student directed learning, and relevant learning. Students need immediate access to resources when engaged in meaningful study. Our GT students love coding and computational thinking! Even our gifted preschool students learn to code,” said Dr. Brulles. She added, “We support teachers via our Gifted Resource Site with PD, teacher videos, lesson banks, curricula and chat groups. Our gifted teachers also use Twitter in the classroom!”

How can service effectiveness be evaluated? In Paradise Valley, Dr. Brulles documents achievement growth by school, grade level and subject area to plan Curriculum & Instruction and PD. Annual evaluation of student progress can be done with standardized, achievement, and performance-based assessments as necessary.  Individual knowledge-based assessments; data from teachers and parents identifying weaknesses and strengths can also be used to evaluate programs. Dr. Brulles said, “We alternate yearly with program evaluation 1 year and Parent-Teacher-Student surveys the next year; then use results to modify plans and plan support.” Ultimately a measure of success of a gifted program, she added was, “Happy, engaged students excited about what they are learning. Parents thanking us for what we do!” The transcript of this chat may be found at Storify. Check out videos about the Gifted Programs at Paradise Valley Schools on our YouTube channel.

Global #gtchat Powered by the Texas Association for the Gifted and Talented  is a weekly chat on Twitter. Join us Tuesdays at 8E/7C/6M/5P in the U.S. and Wednesdays at Noon (12.00) NZST/10.00 AEST/1.00 UK  to discuss current topics in the gifted community and meet experts in the field. Transcripts of our weekly chats can be found at Storify. Our Facebook Page provides information on the chat and news & information regarding the gifted community. Also, checkout our Pinterest Page and Playlist on YouTube.

Head Shot 2014-07-14  About the author: Lisa 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

Links:

Paradise Valley Unified School District Hosts Several Gifted Seminars

Dr. Dina Brulles Intro: ASU Fall Gifted Course: The Gifted Learner 2012 (YouTube 5:43)

About Dr. Dina Brulles

100 Words of Wisdom: Dina Brulles

The Rare District That Recognizes Gifted Latino Students

Paradise Valley Schools Gifted Programs Highlighted at Conference

Teaching Gifted Kids in Today’s Classroom: Strategies and Techniques Every Teacher Can Use (Amazon)

Teaching Gifted Kids in Today’s Classroom Professional Development Multimedia Package (Amazon)

Program Evaluation from the Texas Association for the Gifted and Talented

Identifying and Serving Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Gifted Students (pdf)

Gifted Program Evaluation: A Handbook for Administrators and Coordinators (Amazon)

Gifted Education Consultants

Maximizing Gifted Students’ Potential in The 21st Century

Creating a High Tech 21st Century Gifted Classroom (Prezi)

Improving Performance for Gifted Students in a Cluster Grouping Model (pdf)

Systems & Models for Developing Programs for the Gifted & Talented (Amazon)

Ability Grouping Is Not Just Tracking Anymore (pdf)

This is What Personalized Learning Looks Like!

Gifted Preschool Accelerates Learning

Implementing & Supporting the Schoolwide Cluster Grouping Model (pdf)

Why You Need to Challenge Gifted Students

Re-Forming Gifted Education: How Parents & Teachers Can Match the Program to the Child (Amazon)

Cluster Grouping of Gifted Students: How to Provide Full-Time Services on a Part-Time Budget

Cybraryman’s Mental and Emotional Health Page

Gifted Testing Information at Paradise Valley Schools

Parent Seminar – When is Acceleration the Best Decision?

Teacher Support is Just a Click Away!

Paradise Valley Schools Digital Learning Center

Cybraryman’s Parenting Gifted Children Page

 

Graphic courtesy of Pixabay   CC0 Public Domain  and Lisa Conrad.

 

Creating Opportunities for Creativity

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This week, #gtchat welcomed Dr. Rick and Patti Shade of Curiosita Teaching in Denver, CO and authors of The Creativity Crusade: Nurturing and Protecting Your Child’s Creativity to chat with us about creativity.

gtchat Creativity Crusade Front Cover

Our first question centered on defining creativity. According to our guests, “Creativity starts with both creative and critical thinking processes and ends with a product. Here’s our formula. Creativity = Creative Thinking + Critical Thinking + Creative Productivity. Products are visual or verbal (written or oral) representations of students’ thinking.” Creativity is using one’s imagination; being inventive, original and innovative.

“Everyone is creative, but often it is silent teachers who need to give it a voice.” ~ Melissa Chouinard, teacher, Katy, TX

Can creativity be taught? Rick and Patti believe that not only can it be taught, but improved with practice. In fact, they stated, “Everyone is born with creative abilities. Some are born with a lot! All of us can learn to be more creative. Just like learning to ride a bike! Not everyone will become a Jordan or Jobs, but practicing increases our creative abilities.”

The Shades told us how  creativity affects a student’s thinking process, “It opens their minds to pondering and possibilities as permissible thinking. Creativity makes their thinking and attitudes more flexible and open to change and new ideas. It makes them see life and learning as a continuous improvement process.”

“Students who say “this is boring” can be taught to connect new learning to background knowledge to creatively extend understanding.” ~ Dylan Smith, educator, Ottawa, Canada

What is required to establish a creative classroom climate? Rick and Patti explained, “Make students aware of the behaviors associated with creative thinking. Design your classroom space for flexible thinking and display representations of creativity. Use the four Rules of Brainstorming as classroom norms – especially deferred judgment. Make your classroom psychologically safe. Encourage intellectual risk-taking, view mistakes as great!”

We were pleased to have Dr. Scott Barry Kaufman join the chat and he suggested that his recent book, Wired to Create: Unraveling the Mysteries of the Creative Mind , offers ways to introduce creativity into the classroom.

gtchat Wired to Create Front Cover

Next we explored how creativity can be assessed in the classroom. We learned from our guests, “Teachers can assess elements: Fluency, Flexibility, Originality and Elaboration in lesson design and students’ work. Products are assessed using rubrics for: presenting skills, product appearance, work effort, and elaboration. Product Assessment must include real world skills students will need in their professional lives. Students must be given time to develop and refine their products (weeks not days) using self, peer and teacher reflection.”

Finally, the chat turned to what  parents can do to nurture their child’s creativity. Rick and Patti suggested, “Teach children the Elements. Practice Fluency and Flexibility daily. Look for and celebrate Originality and Elaboration. Make on-going display of creativity in your life: photos, poems, songs – things that inspire our imaginations. Teach children creative and critical thinking skills/strategies: SCAMPER, Think Tanks, and brainstorming techniques. Use Kreative Kwuestion stem prompts. Eliminate Kreative Killer statements from your vocabulary.”

In closing, the Shades said, “Join the Creativity Crusade for every child, every student . . . Every Day! Live creatively and prosper!” Their weekly updates can be subscribed to here. A transcript of this chat may be found at Storify

Global #gtchat Powered by the Texas Association for the Gifted and Talented  is a weekly chat on Twitter. Join us Tuesdays at 8E/7C/6M/5P in the U.S. and Wednesdays at Noon (12.00) NZST/10.00 AEST/1.00 UK  to discuss current topics in the gifted community and meet experts in the field. Transcripts of our weekly chats can be found at Storify. Our Facebook Page provides information on the chat and news & information regarding the gifted community. Also, checkout our Pinterest Page and Playlist on YouTube.

Head Shot 2014-07-14  About the author: Lisa 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

Links:

Humour in Cognitive & Social Development: Creative Artists & Class Clowns (pdf)

Corner Chat: Rick & Patti Shade “The Creativity Crusade” (video 6:17)

Flow The Psychology of Optimal Experience  (pdf)

Understanding Creativity (Amazon)

Flow, The Secret to Happiness (TED Talk 18:55)

Changing Education Paradigms (TED Talk 11:40)

Creating Creative Children (pdf)

What Is Meant by Academic Creativity?

The Real Neuroscience of Creativity

 

Sir Ken Robinson: How to Create a Culture for Valuable Learning

Jonathan Plucker – What is Creativity? (YouTube 11:04)

James C. Kaufman – Creativity 101 (YouTube 3:54)

Creative Education for Gifted Children (pdf)

Teaching for Creativity (Torrance pdf)

Creativity in Gifted Children

Nature Walks Using Nature to Nurture

Cybraryman’s Creativity Page

gtchat Launch Front Cover

Launch: Using Design Thinking to Boost Creativity and Bring Out the Maker in Every Student (Amazon)

Graphics courtesy of Lisa Conrad.

Life in a Gifted Family

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In years gone by, dinner table conversation was often considered at the heart of the family. Today, that conversation may not take place at home, but it is still revealing about the nature of family life. When family members are gifted, it can be laced with intensity and  passion about a particular topic; disconcerting; hysterical; riddled with questions; opinionated … you know.

“Personally, I find the asynchronous part the most challenging. Reminding myself “he’s only 5.” ~ Michaela Estes, parent

With so many highly sensitive and highly intelligent people in the same household ~ life can be interesting yet exhausting. Often a gifted child requires an extraordinary amount of the parents’ time leaving other family members feeling neglected. It can have a negative effect on marital relationships when there is disagreement about the nature of giftedness. Financial burdens can be significant for outside enrichment, counseling, early arrival of college, or homeschooling.

Life outside the family can be difficult for young gifted children as they begin school and experience social interaction with those who may not understand them. Their new environment may lack intellectual stimulation at the same level found at home on an ongoing basis and intelligence alone cannot guarantee social-emotional stamina before it’s developed in a young child.

Many parents of gifted children face criticism from society – such as being ‘helicopter parents’, ‘pushing their children’, or charges of elitism. What strategies can parents use to mute criticism of perceived faults? Education, information, documentation. Many people have no idea the extent to which giftedness affects a child. Furthermore, choosing words wisely and reading a social situation carefully can reduce criticism from other parents.

Fortunately, there are places where families can find support for the unique challenges they may face. One of the best-known organizations for supporting parents is SENG started by Dr. James Webb.  Parents should look to state gifted organizations who can provide more localized resources for individuals.On the national level, there is NAGC (US), GHF and  Potential Plus UK (UK); and internationally ECHA (EU) and the WCGTC.

Life in a gifted family may present extraordinary challenges for its members, but it can also serve as a refuge as well. A transcript may be found at Storify.

Global #gtchat Powered by the Texas Association for the Gifted and Talented  is a weekly chat on Twitter. Join us Tuesdays at 8E/7C/6M/5P in the U.S. and Wednesdays at Noon (12.00) NZST/10.00 AEST/1.00 UK  to discuss current topics in the gifted community and meet experts in the field. Transcripts of our weekly chats can be found at Storify. Our Facebook Page provides information on the chat and news & information regarding the gifted community. Also, checkout our Pinterest Page and Playlist on YouTube.

Head Shot 2014-07-14  About the author: Lisa 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

Links:

Embracing the Whole Gifted Self (Gatto-Walden)

Embracing the Whole Gifted Self (pdf – 24 page free download sample)

How to Charm Gifted Adults into Admitting Giftedness: Their Own & Somebody Else’s 

Gifted People and their Problems (pdf)

Life in the Asynchronous Family

Managing Life with a Challenging Child: What to Do When Your Gifted but Difficult Child is Driving You Crazy

AUS: Family Life with Gifted & Talented Children

AUS: Gifted and Talented Children: Family Life (Video 5:25) Transcript

AUS: Families with Gifted Children

The Unhappy Intellectually Gifted Child

Infinity and Zebra Stripes: Life with Gifted Children (Amazon)

The Gifted Family – Transforming Chaos into Calm

Coping When Extended Family Doesn’t Get Giftedness

Challenges Faced by “Gifted Learners” in School & Beyond

A Review of Research on Parents & Families of Gifted Children

How Gifted Children Impact the Family

Family Counseling with the Gifted (Silverman) (pdf)

Parenting a Gifted Child: Lessons from the Andrakas (video)

Facing the Challenges of Growing Up Gifted (audio)

Cybraryman’s Parenting Gifted Children Page

 

Photos courtesy of Pixabay here and here.   CC0 Public Domain

Graphic courtesy of Lisa Conrad.

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