Collaboration and CoTeaching in Gifted Education

This week, we welcomed Dr. Emily Mofield and Dr. Vicki Phelps as our guests. Dr. Mofield is an assistant professor of education at Lipscomb University in Nashville, TN, with 15 years of experience teaching and leading gifted services. Dr. Phelps is the Lead Consulting Teacher for Gifted Education in Sumner County, TN, with 20 years of experience teaching and leading gifted services.

Collaboration in education, specifically gifted education, involves forming positive collaborative relationships between classroom teachers, GT teachers, professional staff, advocacy groups and parents in ‘communities of practice’. It should consider the interpersonal dynamics of teachers and be aware of threats to collaboration such as feelings of autonomy, fairness, and teacher status.  Collaboration involves sharing curricular resources, discussing co-teaching models, and brainstorming ways to co-teach. It should be considered as a way to build capacity in professionals outside gifted education, shared responsibility for gifted learner outcomes, and to reflect on and create new knowledge.

Regardless of when or where a GT student is instructed, they are always a GT student 24/7 with needs beyond those addressed in a regular classroom; adequate differentiation having its limitations. Collaborative teaching is a means of addressing the stress placed on regular education classroom teachers who are responsible for differentiating instruction for a vast array of student abilities. Utilizing a collaborative model between classroom and GT teachers can in effect redefine interactions between teachers, support staff, indirect services and specialized programs.

Collaboration, coteaching and coaching can benefit both teachers and students by acknowledging the roles all teachers play in educating GT students and their shared strengths in addressing the needs of these students. Collaboration and coteaching supplements other types of gifted services, builds capacity for teachers, facilitates cooperation between educators, staff and parents. In our current reality of predominately distance learning during the pandemic, collaboration can provide services when gifted students’ needs exceed what’s available through online coursework.

In contrast to collaboration in education generally where inclusion is sought for special education students, in gifted education the goal is accelerating, extending, enriching the curriculum to develop strengths. Within the field of gifted education, educators seek to provide mastery-based education facilitated wherever the student is being educated; whether in the regular classroom, pull-out program or self-contained classroom. Collaboration of educators serving gifted students strives for continual learning, talent development, and equitable identification.

Collaboration between teachers, staff, and educational professionals is based on interactions which empower them to better serve GT students and to build their own capacity as educators. It may include consultation between those who educate gifted students by working together and learning from each other to improve services for these students. It can involve coplanning which develops differentiated instruction, tiered assignments, flexible ability grouping, adapting curriculum, or modifying assessments. Collaboration can extend to coteaching in a shared classroom which involves meaningful and simultaneous learning experiences or coaching students through guided reflection of these experiences.

Collaborative strategies can be developed within action plans that support students’ academic and social-emotional goals. They can include creative thinking strategies applied to content, elements of reasoning, introducing the reflection process, utilizing stretch or carousel teaching, or using Kaplan’s depth and complexity tools.

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 2PM NZDT/Noon AEDT/Midnight 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.

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:

Collaboration, Coteaching, and Coaching in Gifted Education: Sharing Strategies to Support Gifted Learners | Prufrock Press

Collaboration, Coteaching, and Coaching in Gifted Education in School and Online/Blended Learning (Vimeo 56:06) | Prufrock Press

Collaboration, Coteaching, and Coaching in Gifted Education: Sharing Strategies to Support Gifted Learners (pdf) | Prufrock Press

Collaboration, Coteaching, and Coaching in Gifted Education: Author Q&A | Prufrock Press

Lessons from Another Field: Applying Coteaching Strategies to Gifted Education | Gifted Child Quarterly

Teaching in Circles: Learning to Harmonize as a Co-Teacher of Gifted Education (pdf)

A Lack of Awareness and Emphasis in Preservice Teacher Training | Gifted Child Today

Making the “Marriage” Work –Co-Teaching for the Gifted Teacher | Education World

Co-teaching in a Differentiated Classroom: The Impacts on Third Grade Gifted and Talented Math Students | The National Research Center on the Gifted and Talented UCONN

An Evaluation of the Catalyst Program: Consultation and Collaboration in Gifted Education (pdf) | Gifted Child Quarterly

Collaboration for Effective Differentiation: Classroom Teacher, Resource Teacher for Gifted, Student (pdf) | Abington Public Schools Gifted Services

Collaborative Teaching Practices for Exceptional Children Question and Answer Document (pdf) | Kentucky Department of Education Division of Learning Services

Not Just Gifted on Thursdays: Increasing Differentiation through Collaborative Co-Teaching (SlideShare)

Co-Teaching 101 (YouTube 1:46)

Collaborative Partnerships among Teachers of 2e Students

Wake County Shifting to Push-in Model for Teaching Academically Gifted Students

Collaboration between Gifted and General Education Programs (pdf) | Indiana Association for the Gifted

Resource Consultation Model in Gifted Education to Support Talent Development in Today’s Inclusive Schools | Gifted Child Quarterly

Collaboration among All Educators to Meet the Needs of Gifted Learners (pdf) | NAGC

Interface between Gifted Education and General Education: Toward Communication, Cooperation and Collaboration | Gifted Child Quarterly

Photos courtesy of Dr. Emily Mofield and Dr. Vicki Phelps

Graphic courtesy of Lisa Conrad

Nurturing Artistically Gifted Students

Artistic giftedness covers wide-ranging areas such as visual arts; performance arts (music, dance, theater); and creative writing. Students gifted in the arts often show evidence of high achievement capability. Artistic giftedness expressed by students needs services not ordinarily a part of the general school curriculum and as such, constitute an underserved population.

Artistically gifted students may display a fluent imagination and expression in their area of interest. These students are intensely motivated and may master norms at a very early age; showing early evidence of talent. Artistic behavioral traits include rapid development of talent, self-directed, risk takers, and a high degree of task commitment. Artistic thinking skills encompass fine-tuned sensory awareness, artistic intelligence or knowing, and highly refined creative interpretation. Students gifted in the performance arts may exhibit a highly developed sense of movement, space, or rhythm.

All students benefit from arts education, but artistically gifted students derive specific benefits when integrated across the curriculum. They need additional opportunities for talent development. (NAGC Position Statement) Early identification, advance opportunities, and an integrative approached can aid artistically gifted children who are also academically gifted. Artistic giftedness is a conduit to creative and critical thinking  which leads to deeper understanding of concepts across many disciplines; including, science, technology, and mathematics.

Early identification is critical and all students should be given opportunities which allow educators to begin the process when students first enter school. Schools can provide access to music, drama, visual arts at the elementary level to ascertain whether or not students possess talent in these areas. Teachers can assess students’ abilities with additional support through mentoring, production opportunities, and observation of fine/gross motor skills and cultural appreciation.  

Teachers can support artistically gifted students by appreciating their talent, providing access to  accomplished artists in their chosen field, and access to artistically talented peers. They can help students to find programs that support their talent outside of school such as after-school programs, community arts programs, and summer camps/programs. They can assist their student in curating/archiving their work, charting progress, and encouraging the student use journaling to record their personal journey. Teachers can advocate within their schools for students who show exemplary talent in the arts and help them locate mentors.

Parents can support their artistically gifted child acknowledging their talent, displaying their work when possible, and providing them with suitable work areas and materials. They should remember to emphasize the importance of process over product. They should teach their children to appreciate and respect the work of others. Parents should expose their children to the arts via trips to museums, music concerts, art exhibitions, and festivals celebrating the arts.

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 2PM NZDT/Noon AEDT/Midnight 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.

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:

Supporting Artistically Gifted Students | The Kennedy Center

Artistic Giftedness (pdf)

The Artistically Gifted Child: A Different Way of Seeing

Who Will Become a ‘Super Artist’? (pdf)

Supporting Your Artistically Gifted and Talented Student (pdf)

Education of Artistically Talented Students from Selected Socio-Economic and Culturally Diverse Backgrounds (pdf)

Gifted Children and Arts Education

Position Statement: Arts Education and Gifted and Talented Students (pdf) | NAGC

Identifying and Nurturing Talent in the Visual Arts | Davidson Gifted

Educator Perceptions of Artistically Gifted Children: Degree of Alignment between Beliefs of Music Specialists, Art Specialists, and Administrators | Educational Research Quarterly

Identifying Artistically Talented Students in Four Rural Communities in the United States | Gifted Child Quarterly

I Decided that I Really Wanted to Make a Difference in this World: Introduction to Articles about Artistically and Musically Talented Students

Artistically and Musically Talented Students (book)

Parenting an Artistically Talented Child

Kindling the Spark: Recognizing and Developing Musical Talent (book)

The Pleasures and Perils of Raising Young Musicians: A Guide for Parents (book)

Keeping Your Kids Out Front Without Kicking Them From Behind: How to Nurture High-Achieving Athletes, Scholars, and Performing Artists (book)

Artistically Talented, but Unmotivated

Resources for Educating Artistically Talented Students (book)

Identifying Artistically Gifted Children | Artistic Network

Perfectionist Attitudes of Artistically Talented Students in the Art Classroom | Procedia – Social and Behavioral Sciences

Artistically Talented Students’ Perceptions of What It Means to Be “Smart”: An Analysis of Intelligence and Talent in Secondary Art Education (Thesis)

Valorizations of Theoretical Models of Giftedness and Talent in Defining of Artistic Talent | Review of Artistic Education

5 Ways to Nurture Gifted Art Students | School Specialty

Strategic Practice (It’s not how much, but how)

Cybraryman’s Arts Education Page

Image courtesy of Pixabay Pixabay License

Graphic courtesy of Lisa Conrad

Parenting Twice-Exceptional Kids

Twice-exceptional (2E) children are considered gifted with learning differences which need support. While differences may be subtle; remarkable strengths can mask significant weaknesses and lead to misdiagnosis. These students may require aggressive IEPs/GEIPs which address both academic interventions with modifications to ensure intellectually stimulating curriculum & instruction as well as social-emotional needs. Twice-exceptional students can have a wide discrepancy between verbal and written work. They may have strong academic skills, but lack executive function skills. These students can understand social cues and context, but often lack skills to engage with age-peers. This can lead to frustration and emotional setbacks. They may exhibit rigid thinking, extraordinary task commitment to things that interest them, while also lacking resiliency and belief in their own abilities.

One of the biggest misconceptions is that 2E kids are simply lazy, stubborn and don’t want to learn, or can’t learn. This generally stems from a lack of information about twice-exceptionality. Too many educational professionals believe that a student can’t be intellectually gifted and have learning deficits; that it’s an oxymoron. There is a perception in education that deficits should be considered before strengths when in fact, they need to be addressed simultaneously.

What does the research say about neurodiversity? Neurodiversity, once only thought of as Autism Spectrum Disorder, now includes ADHD, dyslexia, dyspraxia, dyscalculia, dysgraphia, Asperger’s Syndrome, tics, and ASD. Neurodiversity, as a concept, views individuals with differences in brain functioning and behavioral traits as part of the normal population. (Stanford Neurodiversity Project) The Neurodiversity Movement is based on the idea that every brain is different and is dedicated to eliminating stigmas regarding neurological differences.

Identification by professionals with experience and training in twice-exceptionality can lay the foundation for supporting 2E learners in the classroom and providing effective models of service. Twice-exceptional students need intellectually challenging curriculum while scaffolding for weaknesses and respecting their sensitivities. Strategies can include using verbal vs written work and allowing movement in the classroom. It may be necessary to rethink differentiation as covered in teacher prep courses from one of correcting weaknesses to how do we support strengths? All strategies should be evidence-based, research-based, and strength based while being respectful of the student.

Parents of young #2ekids must realize they are facing challenges other parents are not. It’s important they become educated about twice-exceptionality and connect with other parents of 2Es. When necessary, parents should seek professionals who have experience with twice-exceptional kids. While sometimes difficult, work to develop a strong home to school support system. Advocacy usually falls to parents. Document strengths as well as discrepancies of work and play both at home and school in writing. Record or take minutes at all school meetings.  

How has the Pandemic affected parenting 2E kids? The challenges facing parents of #2ekids cannot be minimized. Helping their children comprehend & process the effects of the Pandemic, deal with lack of access to educational accommodations, and address social-emotional needs; all take a toll. Parents need to remember self-care first. They are their child’s best, and sometimes only role-model.

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 2PM NZDT/Noon AEDT/Midnight 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.

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:

Neurodiversity: Yes, Advocate…But Also, Celebrate! | Stanford Medicine Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences

Neurodiversity, Giftedness, and Aesthetic Perceptual Judgment of Music in Children with Autism

Neurodiversity in the Classroom: Strength-Based Strategies to Help Students with Special Needs Succeed in School and Life (book)

Understanding Twice-Exceptional Learners: Connecting Research to Practice (book)

2e 101: A Parents’ Guide to Understanding and Supporting Twice-Exceptional Children (Webinar: Email Required) | ADDitude Magazine

If This is a Gift, Can I Send it Back?: Surviving in the Land of the Gifted and Twice Exceptional (book)

Boost: 12 Effective Ways to Lift Up Our Twice-Exceptional Children (book)

Understanding Twice Exceptional Kids

When Bright Kids Struggle: The World of the Twice Exceptional Child

Twice-Exceptional Children: Why Making Friends Is Hard and How to Support Them

Twice-Exceptional Gifted Students: Needs, Challenges, and Questions to Ponder | ResearchGate

Twice Exceptional: Supporting and Educating Bright and Creative Students with Learning Difficulties (book)

Twice-Exceptionality: Parents’ Perspectives on 2e Identification | Roeper Review

Equity for Twice-Exceptional Students | Psychology Today

The Extraordinary, Personal Journey of a Twice-Exceptional Child | GHF Learners

Self-Perceptions of Twice-Exceptional Students: The Influence of Labels and Educational Placement on Self-Concept for G/LD Post-Secondary Students (Thesis – pdf)

We Tried Normal – 2e Family Stories: Chapter 4

Resources for 2e Families & Teachers During Pandemic

Additional Resources:

Twice-Exceptional Smart Kids with Learning Differences

Joys and Challenges of Twice-Exceptional Kids

Twice-Exceptional Kids with Guests from the Bright Not Broken Lorna Wing Institute

What is Twice Exceptional?

Boost: 12 Effective Ways to Lift Up Twice-Exceptional Children

Neurodiversity: The Movement | Psychology Today

Neurotribes: The Legacy of Autism and the Future of Neurodiversity (book)

Neurodiversity: Neurodiversity | East Carolina University Libraries

Neurodiversity Studies A New Critical Paradigm (book) | Routledge

Celebrating Neurodiversity in the Classroom | The Atlantic

The Inconvenient Student: Critical Issues in the Identification and Education of Twice-Exceptional Students (book)

Finding the Right School Fit for Your 2e Child | Summit Center

Twice-Exceptionality: Teachers’ Awareness and Training and Their Effects on the Academic, Social and Emotional Outcomes of Students (Thesis)

Boost the Potential of Twice-Exceptional Learners in the Classroom

Cultivating Calm Amidst a Storm

Cybraryman’s Twice Exceptional Children Page

Davidson Institute: Stealth Dyslexia

Image courtesy of Pixabay Pixabay License

Graphic courtesy of Lisa Conrad.

Coping with Isolation and Social Distancing

What unique social-emotional challenges are GT students facing during the pandemic? Many GT students are extremely cognizant of and understand the consequences of the pandemic; even at a very young age. Adults need to recognize that they may respond with high levels of anxiety. GT students often have parents and family members who are frontline workers … doctors, teachers, medical professionals … and will be very aware of how COVID19 can affect their health and family finances. Their concerns will include worries about availability of AP/IB classes online, getting into college, attending classes remotely away from friends and intellectual peers, and catching the virus themselves.  

There are strategies which can lessen the effects of remote learning for 2E (twice exceptional) students. Parents of twice-exceptional kids may feel their children are especially affected by the inherent challenges associated with remote learning and need to work closely with teachers to ensure their academic needs are being met. When working with twice-exceptional students remotely, provide them with a visual schedule and be aware of those activities they may already find challenging. Teachers should be sure to follow applicable IEP modifications. Teachers and parents can work together to facilitate learning; such as, using two separate browsers for school and for personal use. Teachers can also provide visual cues while engaging in verbal online instruction.

Maintaining a relationship with colleagues is essential in providing quality education to their students. Planning sessions that were ongoing prior to the pandemic should continue online.  It’s important to maintain a sense of community through daily check-ins, informal sharing sessions, validating concerns, and making a plan on dealing with those concerns.  Teachers can connect in-person with proper social distancing, wearing masks, health checks, and health screenings if necessary. They can also make phone calls, email, and hold virtual meetings via online platforms like Zoom.

During remote learning, schools can partner with families to raise awareness about good mental health. Taking care of physical needs such as food, housing, internet and personal device availability, and access to counseling; serve as a starting point. It is important to recognize when a child expresses feelings of fear of catching the virus, being anxious about the health of a loved one, or sadness from missing friends and family members. Schools can offer online counseling via school personnel, promote social connectedness, encourage parents to seek help if needed and where to find it, and support students in identifying and managing emotions.  

Parents can help their children cope with the uncertainty of the pandemic by being honest about coronavirus, validating fears and offering ways to cope with them, and providing opportunities for children to connect with friends and family online.  They can engage in creative play and activities to address concerns about day to day life; such as, drawing pictures about ways to be safe via masking, hand washing and social distancing. Parents can focus on the positive. Celebrate the time they have been given to spend with their children that might not have occurred before the pandemic.

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 1PM NZDT/11 AM AEDT/Midnight 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.

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:

Using Video to Maintain the Human Connection during the COVID-19 School Closures

Staying Away: The Psychological Impact of Social Distancing

Parenting in a Pandemic: Tips to Keep the Calm at Home | American Academy of Pediatrics

Beyond Reopening Schools: How Education can Emerge Stronger than before COVID-19

Take this Pandemic Moment to Improve Education | EdSource

The Impact of COVID-19 on Education: Insights from Education at a Glance 2020 (pdf) | OECD  

A Paradox of Social Distancing for SARS-CoV-2: Loneliness and Heightened Immunological Risk | Molecular Psychiatry

The Coronavirus Pandemic is Creating 2 Major Problems in Education, but There aren’t as Many Downsides as Upsides | Business Insider

TX: Northwest ISD – Health and Safety Protocols

TX: Gifted/Talented Education Guidance for 2020 – 2021 School Year (pdf) | TEA

Arts and Crafts as an Educational Strategy and Coping Mechanism for Republic of Korea and United States Parents during the COVID-19 Pandemic | International Review of Education

Pandemics Can be Stressful | CDC (US)

Parenting in the Age of COVID-19: Coping with Six Common Challenges | Boston’s Children’s Hospital

The Pandemic Is a Family Emergency | The New Republic

COVID-19 & Parenting Challenges | Psychology Today

Children’s Socio-emotional Skills and the Home Environment during the COVID-19 Crisis

Bored, Scared and Confused: A New Poll Shows How COVID-19 Is Affecting Children’s Mental Health, but the News Isn’t All Bad

Coping in Isolation: Predictors of Individual and Household Risks and Resilience Against the COVID-19 Pandemic (Download) | Social Sciences and Humanities Open

A Smile Can Lift the Veil of Social Isolation

The Anxiety Pandemic

Cybraryman’s Mental and Emotional Health Page

Cybraryman’s SEL Page

Image courtesy of Pixabay Pixabay License

Graphic courtesy of Lisa Conrad

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