Monthly Archives: March 2015

6 Key Issues for the Gifted Community

 

gtchat 6 Key Issues 03202015

 

Six key issues for the gifted community were discussed at this week’s #gtchat. Each question referenced an issue. They were:

  • What does it mean to be gifted?
  • What is different about parenting a gifted child?
  • How does the very nature of HG/PG individuals separate them from others?
  • How do we help gifted students learn what they want to do; not just what others think they should do?
  • How do we facilitate social skills and leadership development in gifted students?
  • How can advocates positively affect others’ understanding & acceptance of gifted children’s needs?

Arguably, any one of these could have been the topic of an hour chat. It was soon evident a few of the questions evoked strong opinions from some of the participants, but all voices were heard.

What does it mean to be gifted? The meaning of gifted is one issue that often elicits strong emotions. As pointed out by the moderator, “Gifted means feeling the impact of so many different definitions in every facet of life – school, home and society at large.” The way in which people interpret what gifted means can affect accommodations for gifted students in school, treatment by age-peers, how parents advocate for their child, the types of programs offered by schools, and how society responds to its most highly- abled citizens. For these reasons, many people believed strongly in the need to change the term or eliminate the idea altogether.

What is different about parenting a gifted child? Parenting gifted children is not as easy as some might think. The parents at this chat made it clear that the need for guidance in the early years is so important, yet difficult to find; especially prior to identification. The Internet has certainly made the process easier in recent years, but it’s still difficult to find answers when you’re so involved in raising an intense child. Parents of gifted children often experience isolation from other parents due to others’ lack of understanding, lack of acceptance, and myths.

How do we help gifted students learn what they want to do; not just what others think they should do? It was clear from our discussion that highly and profoundly gifted children experience life in a very different and unique way. “Intensity” was an oft repeated response to this question. These are those with IQs more than 4+ above standard deviations. A major difficulty for these kids is finding peers; especially if they are restricted in age-based education systems. They are often misunderstood by age-peers as well as adults.

It’s imperative to understand that gifted students need supportive services to address complexities and sensitivities. Counselors, therapists, and psychologists who work with gifted students need to be educated in the gifted field to avoid misdiagnosis. It should be recognized that gifted students need resources and guidance in planning for education, career and life choices

How do we facilitate social skills and leadership development in gifted students? Teachers can learn how to help these students to develop social skills and inspire leadership. All adults working with gifted students need to realize that a primary need in life is to belong. Parents, teachers, counselors … need to recognize that values, ethics, integrity are integral part of leadership.

How can advocates positively affect others’ understanding & acceptance of gifted children’s needs? It is essential to keep advocacy on a positive course. Advocates need to be knowledgeable about giftedness and skills needed to be positive influences in gifted children’s lives. They should be able to identify issues, needs, resources, educational laws, and strategies. Advocates must also support the need for gifted students to develop self-advocacy skills.

A full transcript of this chat can be found on Storify.

 Global #gtchat Powered by the Texas Association for the Gifted and Talented is a weekly chat on Twitter. Join us Fridays at 7/6 C & 4 PT in the U.S., midnight in the UK and Saturdays 1 PM NZ/11 AM AEDT 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.

Head Shot 2014-07-14About 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:

“Guidance & Counseling for the Gifted”

When Gifted Kids Don’t Have All the Answers (Amazon)

Competing with Myths about Social & Emotional Development of Gifted Students

What is a Gifted Child?

What is Gifted?

Web Resources for Parents

Suggested Reading for Parents

FAQs about Extreme Intelligence in Very Young Children

The Mysterious Case of Extreme Giftedness

Is It a Cheetah?

All Children are Gifted

A Handbook for Counseling the Gifted & Talented (pdf)

Counseling, Multiple Exceptionality, and Psychological Issues

The Gifted Kids Survival Guide: A Teen Handbook (Amazon)

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

“Play Partner” or “Sure Shelter”: What Gifted Children Look for in Friendship

Developing Leadership Skills in Young Gifted Students (pdf)

Leadership Development and Gifted Students (pdf)

Authentic Character Development – Beyond Nature and Nurture

15 DOs and DON’Ts of Advocacy

Effective Advocacy

Effective Advocates (pdf)

Advocating for Appropriate Education for Your Child (pdf)

Hijacking Your Child’s Education: Jane Andraka at TEDxQUT

 

Graphics courtesy of Lisa Conrad and the Texas Association for the Gifted and Talented

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Global #gtchat Celebrates Its 3rd Anniversary with TAGT

gtchat 3rd Anniversary

Three years ago, the Texas Association for the Gifted and Talented became the sole support of Global #gtchat on Twitter. TAGT provides the moderator, promotional consideration in its publications, a page on their website, an Advisory Board, technical support from their staff, and a live chat at its Annual Conference. Since that time, the chat has grown to include a weekly transcript on Storify, a page on Facebook, a Google+ page, a Pinterest Board, a Playlist on YouTube and this blog (recently re-designed). Our weekly chats regularly draw participants from across the U.S. and the globe.  

Longtime participant, Jo Freitag, of Gifted Resources in Australia was kind enough to create a graphic to commemorate the occasion.

Columbus Cheetah gtchat 3rd Anniversary

It is our hope that this service to the entire gifted community will continue to grow and provide networking opportunities and information for all stakeholders. Thank you, TAGT!

gtchat thumbnail logoGlobal #gtchat Powered by the Texas Association for the Gifted and Talented is a weekly chat on Twitter. Join us Fridays at 7/6 C & 4 PT in the U.S., midnight in the UK and Saturdays 1 PM NZDT/11 AM AEDT 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.

Head Shot 2014-07-14About 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

Graphics courtesy of Lisa Conrad and Jo Freitag.

Homework or Play?

gtchat Homework or Play 03132015

For years teachers and parents have believed that homework was a good way to reinforce lessons learned in class, but there is mounting evidence that this simply is not true; particularly at the elementary level in it’s present form. During the early years, children learn valuable skills through play that serve them throughout their lives.

Shanna Weber, a gifted and talented teacher in New Jersey, pointed out, “Teachers confuse “rigor” with more and harder, and parents apply pressure to stay informed.” Angie French, a gifted resource teacher in Texas, added, “I think it’s associated with teachers being accountable for covering so much to met state expectations.” However, Gina Boyd, a 4th/5th grade teacher of gifted students in Indiana, reminded us that simply not doing homework does not guaranteed quality play time for all children.

Some of the negative effects of homework at the elementary level discussed included that no studies link homework to current or future academic success. Children can develop a very negative attitude toward school and learning at a young age. Jeff Shoemaker, 7/8th grade teacher of gifted students in Ohio, told us that “homework for little ones makes stress for the family and that a lot of it is useless repetition.”

The benefits that come from reducing or eliminating homework for elementary students were many. Lisa Lauffer of Creative Miracles said, “[It gives children] time to pursue what interests them. [The resulting] reduction of stress reduces anxiety and depression.” Carol Bainbridge, expert on gifted kids at About.com, added, “Kids are free to explore topics of interest in depth.” Also, The benefits of ‘down’ time cannot be overlooked. Sometimes gifted kids just need to ‘chill’!

Check out the full transcript at Storify to see some of the alternatives to homework that were proposed. How do you feel about homework? Leave us a comment below!

gtchat thumbnail logoGlobal #gtchat Powered by the Texas Association for the Gifted and Talented is a weekly chat on Twitter. Join us Fridays at 7/6 C & 4 PT in the U.S., midnight in the UK and Saturdays 1 PM NZ/11 AM AEDT 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 Pageprovides information on the chat and news & information regarding the gifted community.

Head Shot 2014-07-14About the author: Lisa Conrad is the Moderator of Global #gtchat Powered byTAGT 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:

Elementary School Dumps Homework and Tells Kids to Play Instead 

No-Homework Policy Improves Home Life for Younger Students at One Chicago Public School 

When the Playful Disappoints. Notes on Primary Socialization of the Young Gifted Child

The End of Homework? Why Some Schools are Banning Homework

What Happens When an Elementary School Abolishes Homework

Why More and More Parents Are Opting Their Kids Out of Homework

Homework: An Unnecessary Evil? Surprising Findings from New Research

When is Homework Worth the Time?: Evaluating Association Between Homework & Achievement in HS Science & Math (Abstract)

Does Homework Improve Academic Achievement? A Synthesis of Research, 1987-2003 (pdf)

The Battle Over Homework: Common Ground for Administrators, Teachers & Parents (Amazon)

Abusing Research: The Study of Homework & Other Examples

The Homework Myth: Why Our Kids Get Too Much of a Bad Thing (Amazon)

My 5 Year Old Grandson Hates Homework & I Don’t Blame Him

Playtime Isn’t Just for Preschoolers—Teenagers Need It, Too

When Schools Cannot Meet gifted Children’s Needs

Homework Guidelines Victoria (AUS) Department of Education and Training

Cybraryman’s Homework Debate Page

Play and Children’s Learning

Heavier Homework Load Linked to Lower Math, Science Performance, Study Says 

This Is Me : Article 31 and a Child’s Right to Play (YouTube)

TED Talk: Play is More Than Just Fun (video)

TED Talk: The Child-Driven Education (video)

 

Flickr: Photo Credit   CC 2.0 (homework)

Pixabay: Photo Credit  CC0 Public Domain (play)

Guest: Celi Trépanier, Author of ‘Educating Your Gifted Child How One PS Teacher Embraced Homeschooling’

Celi-Trepanier-Image-150x120

Celi Trépanier

 

Author, Celi Trépanier, joined us this week to chat about her new book Educating Your Gifted Child How One Public School Teacher Embraced Homeschooling from Gifted Homeschoolers Forum Press. It is part of their Perspectives in Gifted Homeschooling Series. Celi also blogs at Crushing Tall Poppies which chronicles her journey as the parent of three gifted sons and as a new homeschooler.

 

Celi Trepanier Educating Your Gifted Child Book Cover

In her own words, Celi writes, as “a homeschooling mom, and a former public school teacher, I’ve been on both sides of the fence of education, gifted education, homeschooling, and gifted children.” Throughout the chat, it was clear that she is a fierce advocate for the rights of all children to receive an appropriate education that meets their needs and for teachers to be given support to make that happen.

In response to the question – Could traditional schools make any changes to better meet the needs of gifted learners? – Celi said, “Yes. A huge transformation is needed to meet current needs. We need to return education back to our teachers and parents.” Others agreed that much would have to change to address the gifted learner in public schools …

“Yes, but it would require LOTS of training and finding the proper teachers to do so.” ~ @yesteach, an elementary gifted ed teacher and specialist from Texas

“It is time to move out of the industrial age of education.” ~ @MrGelston, math educator from Massachusetts

“Identifying busy work and eliminating it. Making sure what kids do has real meaning.” ~ @Create_Miracles, gifted coach from Colorado

“Take back the classroom. Educate our administrators as well as to needs of gifted learners AND educate our elected officials for the need. Funding is pitiful for the specialist and teacher training.” ~ @teachfine, gifted specialist from Alabama

“I worry that we see education as working for most. I think it works for few. How do we stop conceptualizing reform as for the edges?” ~ @ProfBrandelyn, teacher educator from Ohio

There are signs to look for when traditional school is not working for a gifted children. Among those mentioned included boredom, depression, acting out, fear of failure, refusing to go to school, and unhappiness. Parents should watch for children becoming reticent about sharing news from school and for mood swings.

The decision to homeschool should not be taken lightly. Celi suggested, “Each family likely will have its own unique list of factors to consider like finances, time commitment, state laws, and feasibility.” Mr. Gelston asked, “Can you let go of traditional learning and move to a child centered model based on passion?” Everyone agreed that the child should be a part of the decision with one exception; when a child is in an abusive situation, but too young to know.

GHF 10th Anniversary Logo

Resources for homeschooling today are endless (Celi Trépanier) and can be found practically everywhere. Online, Gifted Homeschoolers Forum has an extensive array on their website. Libraries, museums and science centers all offer classes and chances for homeschoolers to socialize. Many areas have homeschool cooperatives where children can learn subjects from experts. And we appreciated the sentiment shared by GHF Executive Director, Corin Goodwin, ” Actually, I think #gtchat is a pretty darned good resource, too!” A full transcript may be found at Storify. Questions for this chat were posted to our Facebook Page.

Have you decided to homeschool your gifted child? We would love to hear your story and the reasons you made this decision. Please leave a comment below!

gtchat thumbnail logoGlobal #gtchat Powered by the Texas Association for the Gifted and Talented is a weekly chat on Twitter. Join us Fridays at 7/6 C & 4 PT in the U.S., midnight in the UK and Saturdays 1 PM NZ/11 AM AEDT 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 Pageprovides information on the chat and news & information regarding the gifted community.

Head Shot 2014-07-14About 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:

Educating Your Gifted Child: How One Public School Teacher Embraced Homeschooling (Amazon)

Educating Your Gifted Child: How One Public School Teacher Embraced Homeschooling

Celi Trépanier’s Author Page at Gifted Homeschoolers Forum

Crushing Tall Poppies (Celi’s Blog)

Crushing Tall Poppies (YouTube)

Celi Trépanier on Pinterest

Crushing Tall Poppies (Facebook)

Educating Your Gifted Child by Celi Trépanier Preview

My Interview with Celi Trépanier

Book Review: Educating Your Gifted Child: How One Public School Teacher Embraced Homeschooling

I Thought Homeschooling My Kids Would Be Simple. I Was Wrong.

TED Talk: How Schools Kill Creativity

Class Dismissed – The Movie

Report: # & % Children Ages 5-17 Who Were Homeschooled 2011-12

Learnist For Teachers: 5 Homeschool Resources

Cybraryman’s Homeschool Page

A Call For Homeschool 2.0

The Techies Who Are Hacking Education by Homeschooling Their Kids

The “Horse Story” of Gifted Education

{Book Review} “Educating Your Gifted Child” from Pamela Price

 

Photos/graphics courtesy of Gifted Homeschoolers Forum.

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