Monthly Archives: December 2016

Now That’s a Good Question!” with ASCD author, Erik Francis

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This week, Global #gtchat Powered by TAGT, welcomed ASCD author Erik Francis as our guest to chat about his new book, “Now That’s a Good Question!” It was an especially important topic for teachers of gifted students who often find themselves asking questions to which their students already know ‘the’ answer. Erik’s book is an excellent resource for learning how to ask good questions that engage students,  elicit deep thinking,  and provide a source for assessment.

We learned that there are a few things that a good question does. A good question should cause a student to think deeper, reflect on answers and want to know more. It should be unbiased; should result in discussion, thoughtful answers, and critical thinking; and deepen engagement. Good questions do not rely solely on what the teacher knows. Rather, they should broaden all participants’ knowledge. Erik pointed out that “answers can be correct, incorrect; or defended, justified, and refuted as right.”

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For gifted students, lines of questioning should consider cognitive rigor. Questioning for cognitive rigor is both a process and a product – higher order thinking (HOT) and depth of knowledge (DOK) together. It involves quality and quantity; a result of purposeful questioning. This type of questioning can improve communication skills as well; getting one’s point across. Questioning for cognitive rigor will increase deep thinking which leads to building a knowledge base.

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Good factual questions can set the foundation for deeper learning. They form the basis for learning background knowledge and basic understanding of a subject. Good factual questions will extend vocabulary, deep understanding of terminology & teach research methodology. According to Erik, “Factual questions are good questions. They stimulate thinking. How good they are depend on how students respond. Factual questions are used to guide students in acquiring and gathering background knowledge, and foundational understanding.”

How do hypothetical questions pique curiosity and creativity? Hypothetical questions prompt students to think about potential outcomes; to make predictions. They help students consider additional possibilities beyond initial results or answers. Erik told us, “Hypothetical questions also allow students to think critically and creatively in math, science, history and social studies. These questions prompt and promote creativity as well as creative thinking. What if that happened? What would that look like? I used hypothetical questions to have students create alternative history, historical fiction, and science fiction. They work so well to develop deeper conceptual and procedural understanding in math.”

Teachers can craft good questions by acknowledging student voice – considering student designed questions; what do they want to know. Good questions should include an explanation and evidence about what the question is asking. Teachers can consider questions that will be used to assess student knowledge at end of lesson. They should check to see if answer is ‘google-able’; learning beyond Google breeds authenticity in education. Teachers can also review standards, but restate them as questions. They can look at the text and create open-ended questions.

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Finally, how can a teacher evaluate the effectiveness of their questions? Question effectiveness can be seen in student engagement. Do they want to learn more?  Teachers should see evidence of understanding of subject matter through demonstration if questions were effective. They should check for deep learning by listening to how students answer questions in the final analysis. A transcript of this chat can 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 14.00 NZST/12.00 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:

Now That’s a Good Question! How to Promote Cognitive Rigor Through Classroom Questioning (ASCD)

Now That’s a Good Question! How to Promote Cognitive Rigor Through Classroom Questioning (YouTube)

Interview with Erik M. Francis on Principal Center Radio: Now That’s a Good Question (audio)

Maverick Education (Erik’s website)

Erik Francis’ Bio

#EduGladiators Podcast #3 – Asking Good Questions (Podcast 45:04)

ASCD (Website)

Ed Week: Teaching Questioning Skills to Arm Students for Learning (tiered subscription)

Questions We Should Be Asking Students

5 Question Structures to Improve Higher Order Thinking

Bloom’s Revised Taxonomy and Webb’s Depth of Knowledge for AIG

Cybraryman’s Questioning Techniques Page

Graphics courtesy of Lisa Conrad and Erik M. Francis.

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Teaching Persistence to Gifted Students

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Some may wonder why we would even have to consider teaching persistence to gifted students; but, in fact, many characteristics of gifted children can actually contribute to a lack of persistence. If not challenged early on, gifted students never learn persistence because they don’t have to in the elementary years. When the work does get challenging in later years, they begin to question their own ability.

The role of ‘frustration tolerance’ can come into play for a gifted student. Many gifted students lack the ability to tolerate being frustrated in the face of challenge. they need to learn and understand how to put some space between a challenge and how to respond.

Perfectionism also affects some gifted students who seem to lack persistence. Coping with wanting everything to always be perfect may cause a child to give up if they can’t achieve perfection. The idea of seeing something through that isn’t their ‘best’ may seem impossible; which is where the teacher comes in. As Carol Bainbridge told us, “Fear of imperfection is paralyzing to some gt kids. Better to not try at all than to try and not be perfect.”

Scaffolding can be used to help the student who is struggling with persistence. Simply supporting a child in knowing where ‘to start’ can lead many to succeed. Gifted children are not gifted in all subjects; individual attention to support weaknesses is a good start.

What are some coping skills students need to meet life’s challenges and adversity? Gifted students need to realize the importance of their ability to think; to problem solve; to figure things out. They can use self-talk to remove negative thoughts and begin to believe in themselves and abilities.

Parents and teachers can help gifted students have a realistic understanding of their own abilities.Parents must first have realistic expectations of their child and understand that they may not excel in all areas. Teachers can nurture a child to understand what they are good at and how to develop their talent. 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 14.00 NZST/12.00 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:

Coping 101: Building Persistence & Resilience in Gifted Children

How to Support Gifted Students in Your Classroom

Ed Week: 5 Ways Gifted Students Learn Differently (tiered subscription)

Challenges Faced by “Gifted Learners” in School & Beyond

5 Teaching Strategies for Persistence, Stamina

Engaging Gifted Students in a Heterogeneous Classroom (pdf)

Six Strategies for Challenging Gifted Learners

5 Questions to Ask Yourself About Your Unmotivated Students

Teaching Perseverance = Teaching Success

Motivating the Gifted but Reluctant Learner (pdf)

Gifted and Talented Students: Guidelines for Teachers (Slideshare)

AUS: Teaching Kids Persistence – Skills for Life

KEVA Planks: Build a Mind

Picture Books that Model Perseverance

Photo courtesy of MorgueFile

Graphic courtesy of Lisa Conrad.

Gifted Education: A Continuum of Services

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A continuum of services should look like a strong, uninterrupted commitment to gifted education in K through 12. It should be individualized and administered by qualified teachers in a supportive atmosphere. Continuum of services can include pull-out, enrichment, acceleration, grouping, mentoring, service opportunities and academic competitions.

The need for gifted education does not end at the end of the elementary years. Secondary gifted education should build upon a challenging curriculum introduced in the elementary years. Gifted education should include strong mentoring; sustained enrichment; and opportunities to work with peer networks. During the chat, teachers and parents emphasized the fact that AP classes are not, in fact, gifted programming although they are offered as such in most high schools. Online options are great for supplementing gifted programming, but not solely as an alternative to it.

Most classroom teachers strive to provide exceptional scaffolding; but for others the task is overwhelming. So much is expected of teachers and the achievement gap usually supersedes excellent gaps.

Can mastery-based learning meet the needs of gifted students? Like most new programs, success of mastery-based learning depends upon the preparation of the teacher. Clear expectations of what mastery-based learning entails must be presented to students; not all students will do well. A transcript of this chat can 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 14.00 NZST/12.00 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 a Continuum of Services: Options & Resources for the Ohio Dept. of Ed (pdf)

Looking at Program Options for Gifted Students (pdf)

Aiming for Excellence: Gifted Program Standards (pdf)

Continuum of Services for Gifted and Talented Students (pdf)

High-Potential Students Thrive when Schools Develop Sustainable Gifted Services

Advanced Academic Opportunities for High School Students (pdf)

Building Foundation for a Continuum of Services for Gifted Students (pdf)

2016-2017 Academic Gifted Services K-5 Programming Overview (pdf)

Henrico County Public Schools Local Plan for the Education of the Gifted 2016-2021 (pdf)

Mastery-Based Learning: Is it Good for Gifted Learners? 

Mastery-Based Learning

Creating Meaningful Instruction through Mastery-Based Learning 

Ten Principles of Mastery-Based Learning (pdf)

Ed Week: This is Us … Too: The Need for Gifted Education (tier subscription)

Overview of Best Practices in Gifted Education (pdf)

Serving Gifted Learners Beyond Traditional Classroom: Guide to Alternative Programs and  Services (Amazon)

Connecting Your Students with the World: Tools and Projects to Make Global Collaboration Come Alive, K-8 (Amazon)

Cybraryman’s Community-Based Service Learning Page

Cybraryman’s Field Trips Page

Picture courtesy of Pixabay  CC0 Public Domain

Graphic courtesy of Lisa Conrad.

Emotional Intensity in Gifted Students with Guest, Christine Fonseca

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On the eve of this year’s Texas Association for the Gifted and Talented’s Next Level 2016 Annual Conference, our guest was Christine Fonseca. Christine is the author of Emotional Intensity in Gifted Students; this year’s winner of TAGT’s Legacy Award in the Parent category.

The term ’emotional intensity’ has often been used to describe gifted children. Christine likes Dabrowski’s definition – “an inborn (extreme) sensitivity to life.” It is expressed in the highs and lows of emotional responses  which are ever present in the life of these kids. Emotions can be so intense – even at a young age – that adults may misinterpret the cause and respond inappropriately. Jeffery Farley, a Special Programs Coordinator for Beaumont ISD in Texas explained, “[It is a] passionate reaction to things that others might find mundane.”

Far too often adults attempt to pathologize gifted students’ behaviors. However, Christine told us, “When we pathologize ‘normal’ behavior–and Emotional Intensity is normal in GT children – we convey the message that they are ‘broken’. In truth, GT children are just seeing the world differently. Our definition of “normal” doesn’t apply – it’s inadequate. Once we stop pathologizing, we can focus on the development of coping strategies to manage the unhealthy aspects on EI. I think it is important to support and recognize the GT FIRST and then see if there is something additional to work on.”

How can parents help their gifted children? Christine said, “First, view it as normal. Emphasize the emotional strengths of GT children – high performance standards, empathy, and resiliency. Focus on developing social-emotional learning (SEL) competencies like self awareness and self management. It’s about developing strategies – coping skills – the child can habituate into his or her life. Here’s the thing, many of our GT kids feel BAD for their intensities! We have to help them redefine ‘normal’.” Also, parents should serve as their child’s advocate with the goal of nurturing self-advocacy as they mature.

Teachers, too, can make modifications to enrich classroom experiences for gifted students. When teachers take the time to understand the nature of gifted kids, the child’s experience in the classroom often flourishes. They need to advocate for the necessity of modifications and then consider their ‘student’s voices’ when considering enrichment. Christine suggested teachers, “embed SEL (social-emotional learning) into the curriculum and classroom environment, as well as stress management strategies. Specifically teach ways to manage the unhealthy aspects of perfectionism.” Corin Goodwin, Executive Director of Gifted Homeschoolers Forum added, “Lead by example. Compassion, understanding and treating all kids with respect goes a long way.”

What strategies can be used to deal with explosive feelings of gifted children in their daily life? Be prepared! Parents should consider likely scenarios before they happen and plan what to do before tensions rise. Parents and teachers should talk honestly with the child about known explosive feelings and coping strategies.

“Embrace Emotional Intensity! It is the passion we really need on the planet right now! Honor the many strengths of the social – emotional development of GT kids – empathy, resiliency, self-actualization.” ~ Christine Fonseca

The time may come when parents feel compelled to turn to a mental health professional for help. First and foremost, try to find someone who is experienced in working with gifted individuals. A parent should meet with the MH professional first; they should feel comfortable with them or look elsewhere. For more comments from this chat, a transcript may be found at Storify.

Thank you to Christine for providing a copy of her book for a lucky gtchat participant. Our winner was Corin Goodwin. Congrats to Corin!

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 14.00 NZST/12.00 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:

Emotional Intensity in Gifted Students: Helping Kids Cope with Explosive Feelings (Amazon 2nd ed.)

101 Success Secrets for Gifted Kids (Amazon)

Living With Intensity (Amazon)

Misdiagnosis and Dual Diagnoses of Gifted Children and Adults (Amazon)

Smart Teens’ Guide to Living with Intensity: How to Get More Out of Life & Learning (Amazon)

Calming the Family Storm: Anger Management for Moms, Dads & All the Kids (Amazon)

Intense Gifted Children

The Mislabeled Child: Looking Beyond Behavior (Amazon)

TAGT Legacy Book Awards 2016 

An Intense Life (Christine’s Blog)

Understanding Emotional Complexity of a Gifted Child 

The Strong-Willed Gifted Child

Where’s the Off Switch

Helping Gifted Children Cope with Intense Emotions 

Sprite’s Site: Stories of the OEs 

Why Problem Finders Are More Creative Than Problem Solvers 

Cybraryman’s Social-Emotional Learning Page 

Gifted Homeschoolers Forum: Living with Gifted Children 

Gifted Homeschoolers Forum: Writing Your Own Script: A Parent’s Role in the Gifted Child’s Social Development

Graphic courtesy of Lisa Conrad.

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