Helping GT Students Cope with Failure

What does failure look like for gifted children? Gifted children often do not experience failure as early as age-peers setting them up to lack skills to deal with failure when it eventually occurs. Failure for gifted children goes beyond failing grades. It can look like less than perfect academic performance, experiencing disappointment shown by parents and teachers, and mistakes in class. It can manifest as frustration, self-doubt, underachievement, avoidance behavior, or diminished classroom participation.

Early on, many GT students are successful in almost everything they try because they are underchallenged and thus become failure-avoidant (NAGC). When they reach middle/high school, they may not have learned how to study or complete assignments at home leading them to doubt their abilities. Asynchrony and poor Executive Function skills may cause them to become overwhelmed and confused regarding their path forward.

How can perfectionism lead to failure? When a gifted student seeks perfection, they may avoid challenges and risk-taking in order to avoid perceived failure. Perfectionism can lead these students to become introverts or experience poor social interactions with peers. When gifted students experience the negative aspects of perfectionism, anxiety, procrastination, and dissatisfaction with their work can all lead to failure.

What strategies can help students rebound from failure? GT students need to be taught the need for and value of hard work and persistence. This requires these students to be presented with challenging work. Learning how to problem solve through open-ended and challenging material can help students cope with frustration, ask for help, evaluate ideas, and move on after failure. Strategies to help rebound from failure include modeling coping strategies, building skill sets, dissecting challenging assignments, and tempering expectations.

What lessons can gifted children learn from failure? Longtime #gtchat participant, Jerry Blumengarten, often tweets: FAIL = First Attempt in Learning. This is certainly true for GT learners. When failure happens, gifted children can learn the value of their mistakes and how to separate failure from their own identity. Resilience in an important lesson to be learned from failure – how to absorb disappointment, gain confidence in one’s decision-making ability, and accept responsibility (NAGC).

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 1AM GMT  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.

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:

Teaching Your Child to Fail | NAGC

Why Do Gifted Students Often Struggle in School?

Underachievement in Gifted Students | Davidson Academy

Tips for Parents: Doing Poorly on Purpose: Underachievement and the Quest for Dignity | Davidson Institute

Doing Poorly on Purpose: Strategies to Reverse Underachievement and Respect Student Dignity (book)

A Life Lesson for Gifted Children: Failure | Dr. Gail Post

Fear Of Failure: The Paranoia Of Academically Gifted Students (pdf)

Why Gifted Children Fail and How to Prevent It

When the ‘gifted’ kids aren’t all right

Gifted and Talented Students at Risk

The Stress of Being Gifted and Talented

6 Ways to Help Your Child Overcome the Fear of Failure

Why Getting 100% On Everything Is Setting Gifted Students Up To Fail

5 Common Problems Experienced By Gifted Children & Adolescents

Failure, I Name You, Friend

Cybraryman’s Learning from Mistakes Page

How to help my gifted child who has to be perfect (YouTube 4:32)

Graphic courtesy of Lisa Conrad.

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Tech Tools for the 2023 Classroom

Disclaimer regarding this week’s chat: All resources listed during this blog post are for informational purposes only and are not intended as endorsements or recommendations.

Strategies for integrating tech to increase student engagement are numerous including submitting writing assignments as blogs with a comment section, as well as podcasts or videos. Integrating tech can also include using Skype and Zoom to connect with peers via distant classrooms, hosting guest lecturers, and virtual field trips. Additional strategies to increase student engagement are using gamification with awards and badges, infographics, attendance via interactive whiteboards, and virtual reality tools.

Integrating technology can strengthen social-emotional learning skills which can lead to improved relevant skills such as persistence, practicing, empathy, problem-solving, and overcoming failure. Tech use in the classroom can result in more authentic learning where students are empowered to express themselves in new and meaningful ways leading to increased emotional intelligence. Some tools which can be used to integrate SEL include Microsoft Teams for reflection or Canva for Education with built-in customizable templates for SEL activities.

What are some benefits of digital sketchnoting? Digital sketchnoting merges sketchnoting skills with digital note-taking and boosts student comprehension and retention. Engaging in visual note-taking, students visually capture ideas, are prompted to organize thoughts visually, and develop creative digital literacy knowledge. Digital sketchnoting “allows students to respond to complex new ideas by engaging multiple parts of the brain simultaneously to deepen learning and retention (Gohir, 2021)”.

Knowledge construction is crucial to successful learning and student engagement is increased when students use digital tools to create and share what they learn. Tech tools can be used to make instruction conducive to knowledge construction using metacognitive strategies. Some popular tech tools include Flip (formerly, Flipgrid), MindMaps (app), Threadit, LucidChart, IdeaBoardz, and Circly (app).

What are some of your favorite tech tools? Google tools include Arts & Culture, Tours, Practice Sets, Applied Digital Skills, Voyager, and Experiments. Google Sheets can now be used to create interactive timelines for use across the curriculum. Tech tools for creating digital content include Loom, WeVideo, Canva, Creator Studio, and Adobe Express which offers templates as well as image and video editing. Other tech tools include Classroom Screen, Scribe, One Tab, Screen Pal, Nearpod, Peardeck, and Wakelet.

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 1AM GMT  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.

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:

How to Increase Student Engagement With Technology

How Education Technology In The Classroom Can Impact Student Learning

Digital Experiential Learning: 7 Steps to Transform Ordinary Classroom Activities

Consider These Technology Resources for Social-Emotional Learning

EdTech and Social-Emotional Learning | Eduporium

Best Free Social-Emotional Learning Sites and Apps

Get Students Creating with Digital Sketchnoting | ISTE

Digital Sketchnotes 101 (SlideShare)

An Introduction to Sketchnoting with Jen Giffen | The Noun Project

21 Free Tech Tools for Knowledge Construction

21 Ways to Construct Knowledge

What is Knowledge Construction

Top 19 New Technology Trends for 2022 – 2023

Top 10 Tech Tools for 2023

12 Ideas to Try in 2023 | Getting Smart

How—and Why—to Introduce Visual Note-Taking to Your Students | Edutopia

The Four-Component Instructional Design Model (pdf)

7 Emerging Technologies That Will Reshape Education in 2022

Top 8 digital transformation trends in education

Examples Of New Technology In Education

Cybraryman’s Technology Page

Graphic courtesy of Lisa Conrad

Nurturing Metacognition in High-Ability Readers

Metacognition is usually defined as thinking about thinking. However, it’s also knowing about thinking. Studies have shown a relationship between metacognitive ability & high intelligence, but it’s not absolute. Metacognition in reading relates to consideration of one’s own learning, thinking critically about it, and finally regulating it. The reader is tasked with understanding how they read. Metacognition is the final step in reading proficiency. It involves knowing about cognition and they regulating cognition to maximize learning.

How does metacognition help high-ability readers? It influences high-ability readers (although, not in all cases) to put forth more effort when unsure of task competence; making these readers more likely to persist in many instances. Improved metacognition significantly increases overall scholastic achievement for high-ability readers. Metacognition increases the likelihood of high-ability readers to find reading intrinsically rewarding, to have improved fluency & comprehension, to think critically, and to experience greater creativity.

How does metacognition relate to ‘deep understanding’ and why is this important? Deep understanding of what is being read is a key aspect of reading comprehension and increased academic success. It requires students to possess metacognition. When one has a deep understanding of what they’re reading, they can put information in context, connect to prior knowledge, be able to interpret & analyze what’s read, and then revise prior understanding. Deep understanding reflects metacognitive skills and is seen as foundational to career and life skills. It helps students in being able to make improvements in their life and to change course when necessary.

Teaching students metacognitive reading skills can improve their chances of success in school and life. They should be encouraged to manage their own learning beginning with thinking aloud, reflection, and inner monologue. Students can improve their skills by asking questions throughout the reading process – ‘Do I understand what I’m reading?’ and ‘What is the main point I need to know?’. Specific strategies include activating prior knowledge, explicitly teaching active reading strategies (connecting, inference, prediction), guided and independent practice, and structured reflection.

How can pairing picture books & text sets challenge the metacognition of young high-ability readers? Pairing picture books & text was discussed in a presentation at last year’s NAGC conference. This strategy can extend strategic reasoning and expand creative thinking (Beltchenko, 2022). This strategy exposes students to advanced inferential connections within and between texts, develops literary analysis and comprehension, and increases depth of knowledge. By pairing text and picture books, this challenges convergent and divergent thinking skills through a book’s physicality, illustrative style, and narrative text (Beltchenko, 2022).

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 1AM GMT  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.

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:

Metacognitive Monitoring and Metacognitive Strategies of Gifted and Average Children on Dealing with Deductive Reasoning Task

Teaching Students to Read Metacognitively | Edutopia https://edut.to/3jInGeU

How Metacognition Boosts Learning | Edutopia

The Relations Among General Intelligence, Metacognition and Text Learning Performance (pdf)

Influence of Fluid Intelligence on Accuracy of Metacognitive Monitoring in Preschool Children Fades with the Calibration Feedback (pdf)

Development of Metacognitive Skills in Young Adolescents (pdf)

Building Metacognition in Gifted Students for Future Success | GHF Learners

Metacognition and High Potential Learners | Potential Plus UK

A Metacognitive Portrait of Gifted Learners

Effect of Teaching Metacognitive Reading Strategies on Reading Comprehension of Engineering Students

Effects of Cognitive & Metacognitive Strategy for Developing Reading Comprehension Capacity (pdf)

A Deeper Understanding of Metacomprehension in Reading: Development of a New Multidimensional Tool

UK: Metacognition for Higher-Attaining Learners: “The Debrief” | NACE

Investigating the Use of Metacognitive Reading Strategies Using Think Aloud Protocol (pdf)

Metacognition in Education

Graphic courtesy of Lisa Conrad.

 

Friendships and Peer Networks

Developing friendships can be difficult for any child. GT kids often face compatibility issues such as shared interests or lack of interest in being a part of the ‘in’ crowd. Their strong sense of social justice & fairness occurs at much younger ages. According to Cross & Cross (W&M), high-ability students must also deal with the stigma of giftedness and negative social comparisons. Gifted children who fail to develop peer networks may withdraw from social interactions (isolation), exhibit poor self-esteem, try to hide their giftedness, forgo academic opportunities, and even perform poorly in school.

It is important for teachers to be aware of the for friendships for their gifted students. An effort should be made to have more than one GT identified student in a classroom to prevent a student be at the top of the class with little to no effort. Teachers should understand that solitary play does not portend social maladjustment. Pairing students with shared interests and intellectual ability can facilitate healthy formation of friendships. It’s also important to realize that when intellectual needs are being met in a classroom, friendships with age-peers are made easier. These friendships, in turn, can reduce the incidence of a gifted child being bullied.

Play preferences can play a pivotal role in the formation of friendships and are strongly influenced by a child’s stage of cognitive development. Many gifted children exhibit preferences more aligned with older children or even adults. In contrast to age-peers, GT students may prefer games of strategy, games involving complex ideas, and those with clearly defined rules. At younger ages, gifted students often  prefer to play alone or in virtual environments avoiding engaging in play with classmates. This can make forming friendships more difficult in the long run.

The role of humor in friendship development for gifted students is often overlooked by adults. Young gifted children often exhibit a highly developed sense of humor which sets them apart from age-peers. Young GT kids have an affinity for incongruity leading to a shared sense of humor with older kids and adults. They appreciate physical humor (slapstick, clowns), verbal humor (puns, jokes), or ideas (i.e., a Monty Python skit). Finding friends who share their understanding of humor gives a gifted child someone with whom to laugh, have fun, and enjoy.

What challenges/benefits do accelerated students face in developing friendships? Too often, academic acceleration is stymied by well-meaning adults who see only perceived harm to the social-emotional development of a GT student being advanced to higher grades when this is rarely the case. Challenges to forming friendships for students who are accelerated are often the result of poor planning & a failure to appreciate the value of kids being able to spend time with peers who share their interests and abilities. To maximize the potential of quality friendships for GT students, guidelines should be established regarding appropriate entertainment and curfews. Expectations should be discussed about drugs, alcohols, and interpersonal relationships from the beginning.

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 1AM GMT  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.

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:

Tips for Parents: Gifted Children’s Friendships

Making Friends Can Be Intense for a Gifted Child

Friendship 101 | American Mensa

How to Find Friends | American Mensa

Making Friends (pdf) | NAGC

5 Tips for Helping Gifted Children Make Friends

Friendships of Gifted Children and Youth- Updated Insights and Understanding

Friend, Foe, or Frenemy? : The Complexity of Gifted Friendships (pdf)

Friendship and the Gifted Child

Social Adjustment and Peer Pressures for Gifted Children

An Examination of Gifted Students’ Perceptions of Their Social-Emotional Skills and Peer Relationships

Stop neglecting gifted students’ social and emotional needs

School life satisfaction and peer connectedness of intellectually gifted adolescents in France: Is there a labeling effect? (pdf)

Skipping a grade in elementary school is just fine for kids, new study finds

Whole grade acceleration success stories | Davidson Gifted

Graphic courtesy of Lisa Conrad.