Monthly Archives: April 2017

How Does School Culture Affect Gifted Students?

gtchat 04182017 Culture

A school’s culture – particularly how it views gifted education – can have a profound effect on a gifted student. It is a concern for parents who are looking for an environment where their child will thrive academically as well as socially.

Before choosing a school (if they are fortunate to have a choice), there are a few things parents can do to assess the school’s culture. Of course, they should visit the school to meet with administrators and teachers. They can ask questions about gifted programming K-12 and school policy on identification of gifted students. Parents should try to attend after-school activities, athletic events, and parent group meetings to talk to other parents. Also, don’t forget to visit the school’s website and social media sites.

School culture most often reflects the values and interests of the community in which it is located. Rural, suburban and urban areas may exhibit different cultures while being in the same part of the country. A school’s location may benefit from nearby colleges and universities – opportunities for gifted students.

What affect does teacher’ attitude toward gifted programs have on a school’s culture? Gifted students are often highly perceptive of other’s attitudes – this can affect their self-esteem. An atmosphere where gifted programs aren’t valued can diminish gifted programs.

Conversely, gifted students can have a positive effect on school culture. Gifted students can model excellence in learning; exhibiting the benefits of academic success. They often serve in leadership roles in school groups/clubs/competitive academic challenges.

Socio-economic factors can have a major effect on a school’s culture and how its gifted programs are crafted. The effects of low-ses factors must be recognized and all should strive for equitable identification.

School culture can have a significant impact on a student’s mental health. Parents should be on the lookout if a school’s culture is having a negative impact on their student. Gifted students can slip under the radar; become underachievers;  or even drop out. It is important to be vigilant when considering a school’s culture. A transcript of the 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 Noon NZST/10 AM AEST/1 AM 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:

Using Student Feedback to Improve School Culture

How A Happy School Can Help Students Succeed

Get the Culture Right: The Most Important New School Factor

What Do Students Say About School Culture

Why Good Schools Are Happy Places

High-Potential Students Thrive when School Districts Develop Sustainable Gifted Services

Building a School Culture of High Standards

Teacher Perspectives Regarding Gifted Diverse Students (pdf)

AUS: Teachers’ Attitudes towards Gifted: Importance of Professional Development & School Culture (pdf)

CO Dept. of Ed: Gifted Students Implementation Recommendations & Key Messages

Serving Montana’s High Ability/High Potential Students Planning Guide & Strategies (pdf)

Germany: Giving the Gifted a Chance to Flourish

5 Reasons Gifted Students Decide to Leave School

Gifted and talented kids: How do you nurture a curious mind? 

Introverts tend to be better CEOs — and other surprising traits of top-performing executives

Jo Freitag: Personas, Profiles and Portraits The Country Kids

The Search for Shangri-La: Finding the Appropriate Educational Environment for Gifted and Twice-Exceptional Children, A Parent’s Guide by Mike Postma, Executive Director, SENG

Introverts tend to be better CEOs — and other surprising traits of top-performing executives

Gifted and talented kids: How do you nurture a curious mind?

SENG’s 34th Annual Conference

Photo courtesy of Pixabay   CC0 Public Domain

Graphic courtesy of Lisa Conrad

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Boredom Busters for Gifted Students

gtchat 04112017 Boredom

Why should teachers be concerned that gifted students are bored at all? At the very heart of teaching – of becoming a teacher – is the belief that all students in their care are learning. Boredom for any student often leads to classroom management issues and gifted students can pose significant disruptions to learning. It is in everyone’s best interest to keep students engaged.

“All kids need to be engaged at their zone of proximal development. Gifted kids needs freedom to explore.” ~ Barry Gelston, Mr. Gelston’s One Room Schoolhouse

Boredom can create many undesirable consequences in the classroom and can affect gifted students exponentially as they progress through the educational system. The results of boredom in school are felt far beyond the classroom walls; misbehavior doesn’t stop at end of school day.

There are things that shouldn’t be done in response to a gifted student who is truly bored at school. Gifted students shouldn’t be given busy work, ignored, or condescended to when they finish early. They shouldn’t be expected to serve as teacher’s helper simply because it’s a convenient way to occupy their time.  Down time in the classroom should be used to provide meaningful work for gifted students that addresses their specific needs.

No more worksheet packets! End the madness! Appropriate, purposeful instruction based on data driven decisions. ~ Sarah Kessel, Supervisor of Advanced Learning Programs

There are strategies which can be used to alleviate boredom in the regular education classroom. Pre-assessment is the first step to heading off boredom. Realistic expectations of ability are needed. Rigorous, relevant and appropriate differentiation takes time and effort when planning curricular interventions for GT. (See resources below.)

“I also like to have students “choose their own adventure” by finding ways to show concepts with their voice- how can you show this?” ~ Heather Vaughn, M.Ed, UT Austin – Coordinator of Advanced Academics

What should teachers look for to determine if the student is bored or it is something else (perfectionism, 2E, ability)? Teachers need to look for signs of misdiagnosis and missed diagnosis. Then, refer the student to the appropriate staff members for evaluation. Teachers should have any and all relevant evaluations of student’s past performance and possible issues.

Engaging kids in solving authentic problems is 1 of the BEST ways to make their education REAL! ~ Tracy Fisher, School Board Member, Coppell, TX

Parents can do numerous things to combat summertime and holiday boredom when kids aren’t in school. Parenting GT kids is hard work. Adequate planning is essential to head off boredom. They can consult with GT teachers, gifted organizations, and websites about summer opportunities.

It’s also important for parents to recognize need for ‘down’ time as well. Not every minute away from school needs to be planned. Summer and school breaks are a wonderful time for gifted kids to explore their passions – think family vacations; camps; and internships.

Boredom does not need to be a subject to be avoided, but rather seen as an invitation to see how to best meet the needs of the gifted student.  A transcript of the 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 Noon NZST/10 AM AEST/1 AM 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:

Bored Out of Their Minds

15 Tips on How to Differentiate Learning for Gifted Learners

Boredom Busters: Breaking the Bonds of Boredom (PPT)

Gifted and Bored? Maybe Not

Early Finishers: Ideas for Teachers

Early Finishers: 9 Ideas for Students

Smart and Bored

Smart Kids and the Curse of the Kidney Table

Primarily Speaking: Word Work Fun!

I’m Done, Now What?

Daily Practice for the New SAT

TED Connections from MENSA for Kids

Book Review Writing: A Guide for Young Reviewers

Cybraryman’s Geocaching Page

Cybraryman’s Programming – Coding Literacy Page

Cybraryman’s Robotics Page

Genius Hour with Guest, Andi McNair

Steve Spangler: The Science of Connecting People

Coppell Gifted Association: Summer MOSAIC 2017

Photo courtesy of Pixabay  CC0 Public Domain

Graphic courtesy of Lisa Conrad.

Benefits of Social-Emotional Learning

gtchat 04042017 SEL

 

“We know from human history and the latest learning science that success comes from the combination of academic knowledge and the ability to work with others. We need public education to reflect this.” ~ Walter Isaacson, The Aspen Institute

Social-emotional learning has come to be acknowledged as an intricate part of academic success and personal well-being. It is how we acquire and effectively apply knowledge, attitudes and skills to understand and manage emotions. Social-emotional learning helps us set and achieve positive goals; feel and show empathy; establish and maintain positive relationships; and make responsible decisions.

Gifted students are constantly balancing academic endeavors with intense feelings and  greatly benefit from social-emotional learning. They often feel like they don’t “fit in”; and may be the subject of bullying. Asynchronous development can affect social-emotional aspects of gifted student’s life; they need social-emotional learning for its inherent coping skills.

Goals for social-emotional learning should consider acquiring skills that foster self-control and problem-solving; tools needed for success in life. Many schools acknowledge the benefits of social-emotional learning for academic achievement.

Assessing social-emotional learning can include asking students to identify facial expressions to measure social awareness. Teachers can track how long students will persevere through frustrating tasks as a measure of self-control. However, assessing information on friendships may be different for gifted students; different criteria should be used.

What are some inherent problems with using pre-packaged Social-emotional Learning Programs for gifted students? They include: progress is rigid; students are forced to pair or team with non-intellectual peers; and don’t meet the unique needs of gifted students or their asynchronous development. They accentuate differences felt by gifted kids and force them to comply with rules they may not agree with. (Casper)

Social-emotional learning is not a single program or teaching method. It involves coordinated strategies across classrooms, schools, homes, and communities. It is competencies and contexts for teaching them which should reflect the overall educational environment.

Check out the links below as we have added many additional ones since the chat. A transcript of this chat may be found on our Storify page.

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 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:

Online Tool Attaches Hard Numbers to Social-Emotional Skill-Building

Want Social-Emotional Learning to Work? The Careful Balance of Tech and Relationships

Should Emotions Be Taught in Schools?

Danger in a Can: Why Canned SEL Skill Programs in Schools Can Harm Gifted Ss More Than Help

What Are the 21st-Century Skills Every Student Needs?

Why Social and Emotional Learning Is Essential for Students

How to be More Empathetic (Video)

SEL Part of NYC Charter’s Foundation

Assessing Social Emotional Skills Can Be Fuzzy Work

Chicago School Revamps Model to Focus on Personalized SEL

Building Our Emotional Intelligence Future: How Development of Affective Computing and Artificial EI Transform Relationship with Technology

Gifted children: Emotionally immature or emotionally intense?

Encouraging Emotional Intelligence

Can Emotional Intelligence Be Taught?

Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence

Emotional Intelligence and Gifted Children

Sprite’s Site: Stories of the OEs

Feeling it all: Dabrowski’s Psychomotor Overexcitability

Teach Empathy with Literature

Behavior Expectations and How to Teach Them

Embedding Social Emotional Learning Across the Curriculum

Rethinking How Students Succeed

How 2 Minutes of SEL Can Change the Tone for the Day

Building Habits of Success and Measuring What Matters

National Commission on Social, Emotional, and Academic Development

The Impact of Enhancing Students’ Social and Emotional Learning (pdf)

Social, Emotional, and Academic Development (Infographic)

Summit Olympus is Placing Learning in Students’ Hands (Podcast)

Blended, Project-Based and Social Emotional Learning at Thrive Public Schools

Thrive Public Schools: Social Emotional Learning

12 SEL Organizations Making a Difference

Teaching Children to be Emotionally Intelligent

For Every $1 Spent on SEL, There’s an $11 Return

Social Emotional Learning in Elementary School (pdf)

Principles for Kindness: How to Instill Empathy in the Classroom

Photo courtesy of Pixabay  CC0 Public Domain

Graphic courtesy of Lisa Conrad.

Curbing the Homework Battles with High Ability Kids

gtchat 03282017 Homework

 

It’s no secret to parents of gifted kids that they often do not like or even feel the need to do homework and what may start as a simple assignment can quickly escalate to a full blown battle. Assessing the value of homework represents a great divide in education; expectations are rarely met. The purpose of homework is usually to reinforce lessons learned in class, but is this necessary for high-ability kids?

The effects of homework for our youngest students are unproven. Many believe time could be better spent in play and socialization activities. Homework may be more valuable at the secondary level for students considering higher education or to learn better work habits.

Socio-economic status can have a profound effect on the benefits of homework; many students must work and not all families have access to resources, such as Internet access at home, necessary to complete homework assignments.

Many believe that homework aids in student achievement. There are, however, many factors involved in  realizing value from homework ~ i.e., subject matter, student ability. The quality of the homework assigned and an individual student’s needs affect the beneficial aspects of homework.

Should high ability students be required to do homework? Redundant, busy work provides few benefits to these students. They tend to work well independently in areas of interest. Meaningful, challenging work would provide greater benefits. High-ability students are often overloaded with homework; and experience high levels of stress, anxiety, health problems, and feelings of alienation.

Teachers can offer alternatives to homework. Younger students need to be actively engaged in ‘play’ time. Older students should be allowed to pursue passions so that they will be motivated to work outside classroom.

Homework is probably here to stay for the immediate future but educators are definitely taking a second look at when and what type of homework to give. A transcript of this chat may be found on our Storify page.

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 13.00 NZDT/11.00 AEDT/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:

Homework or Play?

Homework: is it worth the hassle?

The question of homework: Should our kids have it at all?

31 Things Your Kids Should Be Doing Instead of Homework

The Power of Play: How Spontaneous, Imaginative Activities Lead to Happier, Healthier Children (pdf)

What Research Says about the Value of Homework: Research Review

When Homework Is Useless

Down with Homework: Teacher’s Viral Note Tells Of Growing Attitude

Homework Hardships

Parents in Spain go on Homework Strike

3 Scary Ways Homework Is Harming Your Family’s Health

Are Young Kids Doing Too Much Homework?

The Value of Homework

The Homework Gap: The ‘Cruelest Part of the Digital Divide’

Millions of Children Can’t Do Their Homework because They Don’t have Access to Broadband Internet

A New Program and a New Approach to Homework

Sprite’s Site: Sprite on the Subject of Homework!

Cybraryman’s The Homework Debate Page

You Probably Believe Some Learning Myths: Take Our Quiz to Find Out C BY-NC-SA 2.0

Graphic courtesy of Lisa Conrad.

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