Monthly Archives: June 2016

Where’s the ‘OFF’ Button? Helping Parents of Young Gifted Children

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Parenting young gifted children can be a challenge! This week we looked at the intensities these kids bring into the world around them. It’s often lamented that they do not fit into society’s notion of how children should act or react. Parents describe them as ‘more’ in every aspect of their lives and it can be exhausting for everyone involved. So … where is that ‘off’ button and do you really want to push it?

One of the first telltale signs of giftedness is a child’s extremely early proclivity to ask questions; a lot of questions. And not just simple questions. Oftentimes, asynchronous development leads to highly intuitive and complex questioning of practically everything. Parents quickly realize that the age-old argument of nature vs. nurture is a false dichotomy. The best way to foster their child’s giftedness is to nurture nature and provide them with an exceptional learning environment in which those questions can be answered; no matter how often or how many. As author Christine Fonseca tells us, “we must remind ourselves that they are curious; and that’s a good thing!”

 

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In their book BLOOM, authors Dr. Lynne Kenney and Wendy Young compare intense children to flowers in a garden. Consider the quote below from the introduction when thinking about your gifted child.

 

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The intensity experienced by young gifted children extends beyond their insatiable curiosity and unfortunately can affect their relationships with adults as well as age-peers. The fact that they are labeled as gifted cannot be an excuse for bad behavior. One of the most important lessons we need to teach our children is how to optimize interpersonal relationships in a way that benefits all involved.

To nurture the qualities necessary to succeed in relationships, adults should explore the concepts of empathy, high expectations, emotional intensity and social justice with the child. Discuss emotional intensity in a positive light. Don’t minimize the child’s feelings; respect them.

A characteristic such as bossiness is viewed as highly unfavorable; especially when directed towards teachers or other adults. Young children who are highly intelligent may not yet understand the nuance between being bossy and  qualities associated with leadership.  Gifted children often have a wide breadth of knowledge leading them to be criticized as a ‘know-it-all’. It’s important to guide them to know how to temper their approach to those around them. Gifted kids need to harness their abilities and learn to appreciate others’ viewpoints.

Navigating age-peer relationships with kids who don’t understand their intensity can be a source of angst for a gifted child. To nurture the qualities necessary to succeed in relationships, adults should explore the concepts of empathy, high expectations, emotional intensity and social justice with the child. Discuss emotional intensity in a positive light. Don’t minimize the child’s feelings; respect them.

Sleep is often a major concern for parents of gifted children. Some research suggests that gifted children need less sleep; but they still need sleep and so do their parents! As with most advice on parenting, it rarely works for gifted kids. It is usually a case of trial and error to find what works best for each child. And sometimes; nothing works. If and when it begins to affect everyday life … inability to complete school assignments, being habitually late to school, displaying inappropriate emotional responses … a parent may need to consult a professional who is familiar with giftedness for help. Otherwise, the risk of misdiagnosis can lead to inappropriate interventions.

Talk to your child about giftedness. Explore ways to co-exist in a world that doesn’t always appreciate being gifted. Emphasized to them that being gifted is not being better than someone else; it’s simply about being different.

It’s important to not assume that young gifted children understand the nature of giftedness. It’s more than just being smart. Talk to your child about giftedness. Explore ways to co-exist in a world that doesn’t always appreciate being gifted. Emphasized to them that being gifted is not being better than someone else; it’s simply about being different. It is experiencing life in a way that doesn’t always conform to social norms.

Does it ever get better? Is there light at the end of the tunnel? Gifted kids do grow up. They will probably continue to be intense, but they have the maturity to deal with it. Yes, it does get better. There is hope for a good night’s sleep. You may eventually even miss those early years! A transcript of this chat can be found at Storify.

gtchat-logo-new bannner

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:

Giftedness & Emotional Intensity

Don’t Ride the Wave 

The “Up” Side to Being Intense

The “Up” Side to Being Intense (Part 2)

Tips for Working with Emotional Intensity

Dino Obsession: Intellectual Overexcitability In Action

Channeling Intensity Through Creative Expression

Living With Intensity (Amazon)

Gifted Children: Emotionally Immature or Emotionally Intense?

Emotional Intensity in Gifted Students (Amazon)

101 Success Secrets for Gifted Kids (Amazon)

If This is a Gift, Can I Send it Back? (Amazon)

BLOOM: 50 Things to Say, Think & Do with Anxious, Angry & Over-the-Top Kids

Tips to Help Your Gifted Child Fall Asleep

Sprite’s Site: Memory Elephant in Overdrive

Sprite’s Site: Talkfest

Sprite’s Site: Perchance to Dream

Sprite’s Site: Stories of the OEs

Cybraryman’s Dealing with Children Page

Cybraryman’s Sleep Page

Cybraryman’s Parenting Gifted Children Page

Strategies for Dealing with Overexcitabilities

Young Gifted Children

Laughing at Chaos Blog

Storynory (Free Audio Stories)

Living and Learning with Dabrowski’s Overexcitabilities OR “I Can’t Help It – I’m Overexcitable!” (pdf)

Hoagies’ Gifted Education Page: Young Gifted Children

Davidson Institute: FAQs about Extreme Intelligence in Very Young Children

Picture courtesy of Pixabay  CC0 Public Domain

Graphic courtesy of Lisa Conrad.

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Design Thinking with Guest, Krissy Venosdale

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Our guest today was Krissy Venosdale, Innovation Coordinator at The Kinkaid School in Houston, TX. You can learn more about Krissy at her website.

For this week’s chat, the second chat in our #gtchat Professional Development Summer Series, we wanted to look at design thinking, makerspaces and deep learning as they relate to gifted education. Design Thinking can be thought of as a process; a ‘way of thinking’. It enables you to face and answer challenges. The steps to be followed are Empathize, Define, Ideate, Prototype, and Test. As Krissy explained, Design Thinking “originated from the idea that we must know our users when we create for them – an excellent way to get kids thinking about others!” Michael Buist, a 5th grade teacher at the Knox Gifted Academy reminded us, “many GT/2E kids see the world in more intricate ways than most of us ever will.” A great reason why Design Thinking resonates with many of them.

When it come to resources, Krissy told us that, “You can find them free online. Think of the steps as a structure and make it work for your classroom.” When considering professional development, Krissy said, “form a group of teachers to try it with; share ideas; support each other. Read a guide together.” Although resources are important, design thinking is more a mindset to re-imagine how we view education.

The discussion then turned to Design Thinking challenges which are an open-ended format that works well for events and  competitions. Krissy explained, “Design Challenges can be as quick as, design a boat with a piece of paper that will hold as many paperclip passengers as possible or as complex as, design and build an invention to improve the campus recycling issue. [And] the beauty? No limits in Design Thinking; it’s open ended and INVITES kids to imagine, create, and explore. Things deep-thinkers LOVE!”

“Just don’t think of Design Thinking as “one more thing to do. It’s an oven to bake the learning in. Tastes better than a microwave!” ~ Krissy Venosdale

Can Design Thinking be integrated with gifted education models? As a pedagogy directed at creating innovation, it can be integrated into pull-outs, stand-alones as well as independent studies. Design Thinking gives gifted students the opportunity to explore passions and decide on priorities. DT challenges speak to the academic mindset and can be initiated in multi-age, cross curricular environments. According to Krissy, “Design Thinking is a totally natural fit in gifted education. Process is emphasized, along with creativity; and thinking outside the box. It breaks down the walls of perfectionism. You aren’t worried about being right if iteration is encouraged.”

At this point in the chat, many participants were already hinting at the synergy between Design Thinking and ‘making’. Design Thinking serves as a catalyst to making; a framework to understanding the process of making. Krissy excitedly pointed out, “Design Thinking is all about the process, iterating, prototyping… maker mindset galore! Joy and play belong, too! Maker mindset BELONGS in gifted programs. GT programs need to be the MOST INNOVATIVE places on campus.”

“Too many kids are starving for creativity like little birds with their mouths open.. waiting. It’s time to FEED them. All of these new ideas, can give gifted education a much needed refresh and update! “ ~ Krissy Venosdale

How does design thinking affect deeper learning; a much desired requisite for gifted education?Deeper Learning is a mix of knowledge; critical thinking, problem solving, and communication skills. It facilitates learning how to learn; an intricate part of deeper learning. A transcript of this chat may be found at Storify.

gtchat-logo-new bannner

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:

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

Design Thinking in Education: Empathy, Challenge, Discovery & Sharing

An Educator’s Guide to Design Thinking (pdf)

Design Thinking in Schools

Designers: Think Big! (TED Talk 16:50)

45 Design Thinking Resources for Educators

How the Maker Movement Is Moving Into Classrooms

The Design Thinking Toolkit for Educators (Email req’d for download)

Design Thinking in the Primary & Elementary Grades via @krissyvenosdale

5-Minute Film Festival: Design Thinking in Schools 

Design Thinking in Schools: An Emerging Movement Building Creative Confidence in our Youth

Design Thinking Projects and Challenges

Culture by Design

Embracing Failure as a Necessary Part of Deeper Learning

The Deeper Learning Network (pdf)

Teaching Kids Design Thinking, So They Can Solve the World’s Biggest Problems

How to Apply Design Thinking, HCD, UX or Any Creative Process from Scratch

Krissy Venosdale’s Blog

Makerology at KrissyVenosdale.com

Stanford Webinar – Design Thinking = Method, Not Magic (YouTube 49:31)

Design Challenge Learning

Design Thinking in Action

What Kind of Challenges Can be Addressed Using Design Thinking?

How is Design Thinking Being Implemented in the Business World?

The Virtual Crash Course in Design Thinking

Cybraryman’s Design Thinking Page

Cybraryman’s Empathy Page

Bootcamp Bootleg (pdf)

Montclair State University Gifted and Talented

Graphic courtesy of Lisa Conrad.

Gifted Program Development

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This week we began our #gtchat Professional Development Summer Series with Gifted Program Development. This series will continue throughout the summer months with chat topics to include design thinking, genius hour and making the most of conference attendance.

The starting point for an exemplary program must be the Identification Process. A recent hot topic in gifted education is the need to equitably represent special populations including minority, English language learners and low-income students. Gifted identification must be culturally sensitive; linguistically appropriate; and with regard to low-SES environmental factors.   Best practices in identification of gifted students dictate 3 or more criteria and a variety of assessments at varied times. Gifted identification of gifted students should start in kindergarten (or sooner if indicated) and be ongoing throughout K12. It should be considered for students with disabilities as these may mask intellectual/creative giftedness. Out-of-level testing is crucial for identifying gifted students as low-ceilings produce inaccurate measurements.

Gifted identification must be culturally sensitive; linguistically appropriate; and with regard to low-SES environmental factors.

We then turned our attention to Specially Designed Instruction in gifted programs: curriculum, instruction, process & product. Gifted curriculum should be more complex; an in-depth study of key concepts; and stress higher-level thinking, creativity, and problem solving. Gifted curriculum can be a combination of acceleration, enrichment, and compacting to meet individual needs of the student.

Gifted curriculum should be more complex; an in-depth study of key concepts; and stress higher-level thinking, creativity, and problem solving.

Some key factors in the delivery of services include promoting authentic experiential learning experiences; teachers rethinking their role – being a coach/facilitator rather than instructor in many situations; and classrooms which provide an environment conducive to exploration of student’s interests.

This may lead to differences in expectations regarding student voice and program options. Gifted students often provide a strong voice in the direction of their own education which require providing a variety of options. These options must be high-level, high-quality and relevant to the individual strengths of each student.

What should be expected of student products and how do you assess them? The Connecticut Association for the Gifted recommends that students should be encouraged to challenge existing ideas and produce new ones; products should be comparable to those made by professionals in the field; and criteria for student products should be high-level and exemplary to assess final products.

The importance of ongoing and high-level professional development is essential to producing the ideal gifted program. Few if any courses about gifted education are taught at the undergraduate level; teachers need to have the latest information available. More and more states are acknowledging the importance of a gifted endorsement for teachers of gifted students.

Extensions to gifted programs need to be in place for twice-exceptional learners. Gifted programs need to work in tandem with special education programs to identify gifted learners. Educators need instruction on the existence and possibility that twice-exceptional learners will need multiple accommodations. Some states recognize this fact and allow for both GIEPs and 504 Plans. If not, this should be a focus of advocacy and the education of district administrators.

First and foremost, students should be showing academic growth if a program is to be considered effective.

Finally, what criteria should be used for evaluating the effectiveness of program options and design? First and foremost, students should be showing academic growth if a program is to be considered effective. Evaluators should question whether or not initial goals set forth are being met. Effective programs should ensure that all stakeholders – students, teachers, and parents – are receiving appropriate communications. A transcript of this chat can be found at Storify.

 

gtchat-logo-new bannner

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:

Developing Exemplary Gifted Developing Exemplary Gifted Programs: What does the research say? (pdf)

Key Features of Successful Programs for the Gifted and Talented (pdf)

National Standards in Gifted and Talented Education

Designing Services and Programs for High-Ability Learners (pdf)

Evaluating Gifted Programs

Program & Services for Gifted Secondary Students: A Guide to Recommended Practices (Amazon)

Chief State School Officers Memo: Requirements in Every Student Succeeds Act about Gifted Learners

Center for Gifted Education

Status of Elementary Gifted Programs 2013 (pdf)

U.S. Dept. of Education Jacob K. Javits Gifted & Talented Students Education Program

Achieving Excellence: Educating the Gifted and Talented (Amazon)

Comprehensive Curriculum for Gifted Learners (3rd Ed) (Amazon)

Differentiation for Gifted Learners: Going Beyond the Basics (Amazon)

Teachers as Collaborative Curriculum Designers (pdf)

Literacy Design Collaborative

Applying Depth and Complexity & Content Imperatives

7 Ways to Add Complexity

Differentiating Comprehension Skills: Noting Details

Character Analysis With Depth & Complexity

Six Traits of Quality Pre-Assessments

Long Term Success: Giving Better Feedback to Bright Students

Connecticut Association for the Gifted: Curriculum and Instruction

Cybraryman’s Identification of Gifted Students Page

CAN: Ottawa Identification Criteria and Process

AUS: GERRIC Free Professional Development Package

What to Look for in a Good Gifted Program

Sprite’s Site: Flocks and Shoes – Using De Bono 6 Action Shoes Planning to Cater for 2E Students

 

State & International Links:

AR: Rules Gifted & Talented Program Approval Standards 2009 (pdf)

CA: Laws & Regulations Implementation of GATE Programs

CO: Gifted Identification 2016 (pdf)

FL: Gifted Education

GA: Resource Manual for Gifted Education Services 2015 – 2016 (pdf)

HI: Program Guide for Gifted & Talented 2007 (pdf)

KY: GT Handbook (pdf)

MD: Gifted & Talented Education Program Guidelines 2007 (pdf)

MS: Regulations for Gifted Education Programs 2013 (pdf)

MO: Gifted Education Programs Procedure Manual 2014 (pdf)

NC: Academically or Intellectually Gifted Program Standards 2015 (pdf)

NJ: Student Learning Standards Gifted & Talented Requirements 2015 

PA: Gifted Education Guidelines 2014 (pdf)

TN: State Plan for Education of Intellectually Gifted Students 2010 (pdf)

TX: State Plan for the Education of Gifted/Talented Students 2009 (pdf)

WV: Gifted Education Guidelines

AUS: Guidelines & Procedures Gifted & Talented Education (pdf)

CAN (BC): Special Education Services E-4 2016 (pdf)

Graphic courtesy of Lisa Conrad.

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