Monthly Archives: January 2018

Authentic Learning in Gifted Education

gtchat 01252018 Authentic

Authentic learning occurs when a student confronts real-world problems and explores ways to solve them. It can only truly happen when the student feels the project or problem is relevant to them. Authentic learning engages students through opportunities to create meaningful outcomes by doing real-life tasks.

Why is authentic learning important for gifted students? It requires higher-order questioning and thinking; as well as an ability to express conclusions in writing. This leads to intellectual development and career success. Authentic learning is achieved through academic discourse and argument which is the essence of intellectual maturity and a way to nourish critical thinking capacity; all factors important to gifted students.

Authentic learning activities must include real-life tasks that make a difference to both the student and their immediate environment. They can be viewed through the lens of student passions; ideas and concepts achieved through deeper-learning. These activities need to encourage students to think critically; then organize and evaluate their findings.

An authentic learning environment must provide a way for meaningful exploration and discussion of real-world concerns; not simply predetermined projects. They extend beyond the boundaries of the traditional classroom and must be a place where ideas are tested and meaningful concepts actually used to solve problems. Authentic learning environments can include simulation-based learning, student media creation, inquiry-based learning, peer-based evaluation, working with research data or working with remote instruments.

Authentic learning helps students develop skills to be able to verify the reliability of newly learned information; the ability to complete complex problems; and to recognize relative patterns in new contexts. It encourages them to engage in cross-curricular activities; seeing value in this process. It also creates curiosity to work across cultural boundaries and find creative solutions to problems on which they’re working.

How should authentic learning be assessed? Authentic assessment measures significant and meaningful accomplishment which reflects student choice and investment in the outcomes. It may be produced by a teacher and is in stark contrast to standardized testing. Presentation before an authentic audience can enhance the product for students.

In the final analysis, authentic learning is something that should be considered essential for gifted students at every level of their education. It plays a vital role in their academic careers and is a solid predictor of enhancing future opportunities for success. 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 Thursdays at 8E/7C/6M/5P in the U.S. and Fridays at 2 PM NZST/Noon 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 and information regarding the gifted community. Also, checkout our Pinterest Page and Playlist on YouTube.

Head Shot 2014-07-14  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

Links:

How to Develop an Authentic Enrichment Cluster

The PBL Classroom of Twists and Turns

The Four Characteristics of ‘Authentic Learning’

Authentic Learning Environments

What is Authentic Pedagogy?

What Is Authentic Assessment?

Authentic Literacy and Intellectual Development

27 Characteristics of Authentic Assessment

Authentic Learning: It’s Elementary!

Authentic Learning: A Practical Introduction and Guide for Implementation

Authentic Assessment Toolbox

Bringing Authenticity to the Classroom

Examples of Authentic Culminating Products (pdf)

Top 12 Ways to Bring the Real World into Your Classroom

Authentic Task- Based Materials: Bringing the Real World into the Classroom (pdf)

Linguistics Course for Language Loving Kids

Hacking Assessment: 10 Ways to Go Gradeless in a Traditional Grades School (Hack Learning Series) (Volume 3) (Amazon)

Pic courtesy of Pixabay  CC0 Public Domain

Graphic courtesy of Lisa Conrad

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Creating a Culture of Kindness for Gifted Kids

gtchat 01182018 Kindness

Kindness is treating others as you would like to be treated; making someone else want to associate with you because they feel better about themselves when they are around you. It is taking into consideration everything you say and do as to bring out the best in others; always asking yourself how will your actions affect other people’s feelings.

It is important to promote kindness in the lives of gifted kids. Gifted children do not always experience kindness in their lives; it can be a forgotten soft-skill deemed unimportant in their striving for academic success. They too often experience bullying or thoughtless comments about the expectations of the gifted label. They may ignore this at first, but eventually respond in negative or unkind ways.

What strategies can teachers use to encourage students to demonstrate kindness? Being kind – modeling kindness in the classroom – considering it before speaking or taking action in any situation is a good way to encourage students to be kind to fellow classmates. Creating opportunities for students to be kind to others is an important strategy all teachers can use in their classrooms.

We can prevent negative behaviors such as peer cruelty in schools and classrooms.  Classroom teachers can create a culture within their classrooms which is responsive to student voice; having students be responsible for setting personal goals and plans to follow through to meet those goals. Teaching empathy and using character-based discipline will go a long way to creating an atmosphere in which peer cruelty is not acceptable.

There are some characteristics of gifted kids which affect their ability to display kindness in all situations. They are no different than other kids in that they each have unique personalities; some may embrace expressing kindness in their interactions with age mates/peers and others may not. Gifted children who are twice-exceptional can sometimes struggle with understanding what kindness is or how to express it. It is important to recognize this and take steps to teach/model kindness in their daily lives.

What role can parents play in creating a culture of kindness? Parents are a child’s first and foremost role model. Gifted children can be difficult to parent. Patience and kindness should be exhibited from the very beginning. Just like teachers, parents can create opportunities for gifted kids to express kindness to others at home starting with family members and even family pets. By extension, encourage them to show kindness to their friends as 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 Thursdays at 8E/7C/6M/5P in the U.S. and Fridays at 2 PM NZST/Noon 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 and information regarding the gifted community. Also, checkout our Pinterest Page and Playlist on YouTube.

Head Shot 2014-07-14  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

Links:

Cybraryman’s Character Education Random Acts of Kindness Page

Cybraryman’s Gratitude Page

Cybraryman’s Empathy Page

4 Ways to Nurture Kindness

Preventing Peer Cruelty and Promoting Kindness (pdf)

An Ethic of Excellence: Building a Culture of Craftsmanship with Students (Amazon)

Coping Skills for Anxious Times

UnSelfie: Why Empathetic Kids Succeed in Our All-About-Me World (Amazon)

100 Fun Ways to Help Kids Practice Kindness

Helping Strangers Tied to Higher Self-Esteem in Teens

Empathy: How Families Lead with Gratitude and Kindness

Teaching Guides for Good Character

Empathy’s Importance in the Curriculum (pdf – pg. 13)

How a Bad Mood Affects Empathy in Your Brain

Cybraryman’s Kindness Page

How to Raise a Sweet Son in an Era of Angry Men

How this Mom Turned her Late Husband’s Birthday into her Favorite Day of the Year

Photo courtesy of Pixabay  CC0 Public Domain

Graphic courtesy of Lisa Conrad.

Gifted Education on a Budget

gtchat 01112018 Budget

In the current state of educational funding, gifted programs are often the first to be cut or at least curtailed. With that in mind, this week’s chat considered ways to continue programs using creative sources of funding. It was reasoned that if schools were providing funds for other programs such as special education and sports, gifted education should be supported as well.

In the U.S., gifted education does not benefit from a national policy that includes funding but must rely on state governments to mandate and or fund programs for gifted students. Few states both mandate and fund programs while others designate unfunded mandates placing funding decisions on local school districts.

Chat participants were asked if  gifted students should  have to pay for extra activities such as academic competitions, field trips, etc. It was believed that when activities are substituted – designated – for gifted programming; ie, using Odyssey of the Mind as their gifted program (a regular in-school class); gifted students absolutely should not have to pay for these activities. When activities provided to all students in a school by an outside organization such as the PTA funding field trips, gifted students should not be required to pay for these activities.

The role of gifted organizations in influencing state budgets was then discussed. Their role is often caught in a ‘catch 22’ situation. States that fund gifted education have stronger state gifted organizations which in turn can have greater influence over state budgets. Most state organizations serve as advocates for funding. Larger organizations may have paid liaisons who work with state officials to secure funding.

What programming strategies are most cost-effective in gifted education? By far, acceleration leads in providing appropriate challenge and enrichment for the least cost to school districts. Early in and  early out strategies which are types of acceleration are extremely cost-efficient.

Technology use can certainly help gifted education budgets, but tech cannot replace gifted programming as the sole source of education for gifted students. Even with gifted students, good tech is enhanced with qualified facilitators.  Technology can fill both a personnel need and provide cost-effective measures in rural school districts that may not be able to afford highly-qualified educators for smaller populations of gifted students. Moreover, it can help gifted students to connect and collaborate with intellectual-peers in far-ranging geographical locations.

There are economic benefits to schools if they address the needs of gifted students. It was pointed out to the moderator years ago by a school board member that the less time a student spends in school (K-12) the more the district saves in educating that individual. Empowering students to achieve academic and personal goals will reap economic benefits to the local community when they become productive contributors and taxpayers to the local region. 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 Thursdays at 8E/7C/6M/5P in the U.S. and Fridays at 2 PM NZST/Noon 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 and information regarding the gifted community. Also, checkout our Pinterest Page and Playlist on YouTube.

Head Shot 2014-07-14  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

Links:

Massachusetts’ State Gifted Board Member Speaks before Governor’s Budget Committee

Cluster Grouping of Gifted Students: How to Provide Full-Time Services on a Part-Time Budget

Possible Economic Benefits of Full-grade Acceleration https://goo.gl/Aad4y9

AUS: Meeting the Needs of Gifted Students through the Use of Subject Acceleration (pdf)

Gifted and Talented Education: A Review of Relevant Literature (pdf)

Committee for Education Funding: Analysis of Education Budget Fiscal Year 2018

NZ: Restored Funding and Hope for Gifted Education

Jacob K. Javits Gifted and Talented Students Education Program Funding Status

Kentucky Department of Education Gifted and Talented Coordinator Manual 2017 – 2018 (pdf)

TAGT: From a Nation Deceived to a Nation Empowered A Never-Ending Story (pdf – p. 6)

The Forgotten Rural Gifted Child

Rural Gifted Education and the Effect of Proximity (Abstract only)

What to Look for in a Good Gifted Program

Cybraryman’s Free or Inexpensive Supplies/Equipment for Your Classroom

Photo courtesy of Pixabay CC0 Public Domain

Graphic courtesy of Lisa Conrad.

When Gifted Students Own Their Learning

gtchat 01042018 Own Learning

Student ownership of learning is when a student becomes invested in his own learning; the realization that learning is of personal value to oneself. A student’s active involvement in their own education resulting from a desire to learn connotes student ownership of learning. At the beginning of the new year, #gtchat began the discussion of what it looks like for gifted students to own their learning.

Gifted students may or may not be motivated to take ownership of their own learning contrary to popular belief. If their strengths are not academic, they may have little interest in school. Motivation to take ownership of their learning may require educators to allow #stuvoice and choice; Socratic instruction; self-reflection; less dependence on planned lessons; less testing, more requests for feedback.

One of the best examples of students owning their learning can be found in Project-based Learning – learning proposed, directed and executed by the student. A personalized approach to PBL is especially appealing to gifted students. Another example of student owned learning is the creation of digital portfolios which can showcase their work. Portfolios may take the form of blogs, videos, or displaying art/music projects. Students can take ownership of their learning by building presentation skills either something as simple as PP to participating in a performance-based environment such as a recital.

How does technology impact student ownership of learning? Technology must enhance authentic learning; not just replication of learning. Gifted students may find building a computer or robot much more valuable than simply sitting and staring at a computer screen. It can play a vital role in the ownership of learning when used as a problem-solving tool rather than ‘the’ answer. Objectives and goals need to be personalized via technology. It enhances how students collect and share information. Technology can provide a sense of community with like-minded, intellectual peers who can work together; an oft-missed opportunity for gifted students in the past.

Virtually all work does not become valuable until it is presented/showcased. Students need to learn how to best present their ideas and projects in a meaningful way. This is a precursor for professional success in life as an adult. By learning presentation skills, it takes their learning to another level – kicks it up a notch! It also hopefully provides an authentic audience for their work. This in turn amplifies their motivation factor.

Changes need to be made to curriculum and instruction to ensure students have the skills to succeed. Instruction needs to evolve into facilitation. Meaningful learning and ownership of that learning will be enhanced by teacher led deep-level, thought provoking questioning and then thoughtful listening to provide feedback. Students should be provided with an environment that encourages imagination, student choice, freedom and time to explore interests, and finally a way to showcase their learning. A transcript of this chat can be found at Storify.

As we enter the 7th year of #gtchat, we would like to acknowledge those people behind the scene who make it all possible!

Thank you to the TAGT staff ~

Budget TAGT Staff

And to our Advisory Board ~

Own Learning Advisory Board

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 2 PM NZST/Noon 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 and information regarding the gifted community. Also, checkout our Pinterest Page and Playlist on YouTube.

Head Shot 2014-07-14  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

Links:

Can Students Learn Entirely on their Own?

New Experiments in Self-Teaching (TEDTalks 17:25)

School in the Cloud

The 5 Core Components of K-12 Entrepreneurship Education

World Peace Game Foundation

The Digital Transformation of Learning: Social, Informal, Self-Service, and Enjoyable

What Is Self-Directed Education?

10 Ways to Motivate Students to Take Responsibility for Their Learning

50 Ways to Empower Students in a Connected World

Getting Students to Take Responsibility for Learning

Creating Pupils Who take Responsibility for their Own Learning

5 Ways to Increase Student Ownership in Your Classroom

When Students Drive Learning, They Can Do So Much More

Cybraryman’s Student-Centered Classrooms Page

Self-Directed Learning: Documentation and Life Stories (GHF Press)

What Makes an ‘Extreme Learner’?

Cybraryman’s Presentation Tools Page

Cybraryman’s Games in Education Page

Genius Hour: Passion Projects that Ignite Innovation and Student Inquiry (Amazon)

Meet the #SinglePointRubric

New Tech Network’s Revised Oral Communication and Collaboration Rubrics

Ginger Lewman’s LifePractice PBL

Genius Hour/20% Time Livebinder

Resonate: Present Visual Stories that Transform Audiences (Amazon)

Stop Telling your Kids that School Will Prepare them for Life

Photo courtesy of Pixabay   CC0 Public Domain

Graphic courtesy of Lisa Conrad

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