Monthly Archives: August 2018

The Purple Goldfish Theory: What Your Child Already Knows about Being Gifted

gtchat 08232018 Goldfish

Jamie Uphold, Gifted Youth Programs Manager for American Mensa, joined us at Global #gtchat Powered by TAGT to chat about her “The Purple Goldfish Theory: What Your Child Already Knows about Being Gifted.” She described her role at American Mensa, “I’m a (recovering) educator with a passion for gifted youth. Now, I create programs, curate resources, and perform outreach for gifted youth.”

Jamie wrote an excellent follow-up blog post describing the theory on Mensa’s blog. In the post, Jaime writes, “Gifted kids are like purple goldfish. They spend all day swimming along in school with all the other goldfish. But unlike the other fish, they are purple — and they swim backward! They know they’re different from the other kids. No one has to tell them; they realize it on their own. And while purple goldfish know they are different, they don’t necessarily know they are gifted.”

Gifted children learn what it means to be gifted in many different ways. Many do not question the concept until they are identified at school and enter their school’s gifted program. They know they are different from other students around them. How knowledgeable their parent is about what it means to be ‘gifted’ and how they share what they know can have a powerful impact on their child.

Parents sometimes wonder if they should even tell their child they are gifted. Dr. Gail Post, Clinical Psychologist, stated emphatically, “Yes – it validates, provides clarity and perspective on what they already suspect and don’t understand. [Parents] need to explain it carefully, ensuring they [the child] don’t assume they are better than others, or take on undue burdens.” Jamie explained, “The value is in understanding how their brain is wired differently; not in an assessment received from a test. Information, for them, is received and perceived differently than their peers.” Telling a child they are gifted and/or talented should be accompanied by the ‘perspective’ as related by Dr. Jim Delisle that they at ‘better at’ rather than ‘better than’ their age-peers . Jamie believes that “early and honest communication about giftedness can mean the difference between arrogance and understanding.”

How should information about a child’s giftedness be shared with their educational team? If a gifted IEP is mandated, a formal process for sharing information through formal regular meetings with the team and a general understanding of who to contact will already be in place. The sharing of information is highly dependent on the personnel with whom you were sharing the information. Some teachers are more receptive and knowledgeable; making the whole process smoother. Jamie implored parents, “Don’t assume that teachers know what your child needs. They often don’t get the information necessary to make those assessments until later in the year. Simple outreach sparks dialogue.There’s no one-size-fits all approach. Every gifted child is different and has different needs. Giftedness doesn’t fit into neat check-boxes.”

What are the challenges of being ‘purple’ (gifted)? Jamie stated, “It’s hard to be the smartest kid in the room. Kids want to fit in, and GT kids often don’t — they think deeper, react stronger, and don’t transition as quickly. None of these traits are preferable in traditional school settings.” Being gifted is too often about simply being viewed as ‘smart’ when it’s usually much more complicated;  it’s a ‘marching to the beat of a different drummer’ scenario. GT kids can be teased and bullied by other kids and adults to the point of wanting to hide their abilities or ignore them. This can lead to emotional challenges as they get older.

Justine Hughes, educator in Auckland, New Zealand,  warned, “the quote that “All kids are gifted they just unwrap their gifts at different times” has become a dangerous mantra leading to needs not being met. Jamie added, “How many of those kids would return that gift if they could, just to be ‘normal’?”

There are many resources to help children learn about being gifted and for parents on raising a gifted child. Great organizations include American Mensa, Mensa for Kids, Texas Association for the Gifted and Talented (TAGT), NAGC, SENG, Davidson Gifted, Hoagies Gifted, Gifted Homeschoolers Forum, the Institute for Educational Advancement, the Belin-Blank Center for Gifted Education, and WCGTC.

Gifted children need to associate with intellectual peers whether at school or socially regardless of what anyone else says. This doesn’t mean exclusively; but it must be a major consideration. They need to be challenged in the early years academically. Without it; they will have difficulty later on and it can result in innumerable problems.

“Purple goldfish have extra challenges. Often people assume that a gifted kid, and by extension their parents, have it easy when it’s often the exact opposite. Gifted children can struggle with social norming and are sometimes in stages of development and emotional maturity that make it harder to bond with their peers. Statistically, gifted individuals are 1 out of 100; this means that 99 percent of their peers are different from them. And this is before we add any additional diagnoses. It’s hard to be a purple goldfish! And these kids nevertheless want to find other purple goldfish – their people.” ~ Jamie Uphold, American Mensa 

Check out the transcript of this chat at Wakelet to see what else chat participants said parents need to remember most about having a purple goldfish. Then, refer to the resources below which were shared during the chat!

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 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 Wakelet. 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

Resources:

Mensa for Kids (website)

American Mensa (website)

Inspiring Self-Efficacy in Gifted Kids

Coloring Outside the Lines – Growing Up Gifted

Jim Delisle Presentation – Parenting Gifted Kids: Tips for Raising Happy and Successful Children

Identity Development in Intellectually Gifted Students

How to Create a Gifted Individualized Education Plan

Gifted Advocacy: What’s the Point?

Improving GT Parent-Teacher Communications

Unexpected Challenges of Being a Gifted Kid

Social Emotional Needs of Gifted Students

Growing Resilient Gifted Kids

Cybraryman’s Growth Mindset Page

Should we tell them they’re gifted? Should we tell them how gifted?

Resources from Jamie’s blog post:

Pros and Cons of Telling Children They Are Gifted

Is My Child Gifted?

What to say to your gifted child…about being gifted 

Is your kid really gifted? Probably not

Should we tell them they’re gifted? Should we tell them how gifted?

Talking about Giftedness: The Elephant in the Room

Your Kids Are Gifted. Should You Tell Them?

Image and graphics courtesy of American Mensa.

Advertisements

Twitter Tips for GT Teachers

gtchat 08162018 Tips

Twitter chats are a great way for GT teachers to grow their Personal Learning Network and avail themselves of free professional development on a weekly basis. It’s advisable to follow along with a chat you’d like to join for a few weeks before tweeting. This way you can learn how a particular chat progresses; such as how many and when questions are asked. Do not set your Twitter account to ‘private’ if you want to join a Twitter chat. Only your followers will see your tweets. If you’re a teacher concerned about privacy, set up a separate account for chats.

It’s easier than you think to participate in a Twitter chat. During your first chat, consider simply introducing yourself. AND don’t forget to add the hashtag is you aren’t using a platform that adds it for you!

Virtually all gifted organizations now have a presence on Twitter. The easiest way to find them is to simply do a search on Twitter. Types of organizations include national and state organizations, homeschool organizations, specialized schools and programs, and those providing social emotional support.

We asked participants what was one thing they know now that they wish they had known when they started on Twitter: ” Don’t follow every account that follows you just to increase your number of followers. Follow back accounts that tweet about your interests. You’ll be happy in the future as the numbers grow.” “Twitter is an excellent place to network and to connect with experts. Participating in chats can put you in touch with like-minded colleagues; something often missing in real life situations.”

It’s important to understand the importance of the hashtag, its purpose and how to use it. Look for existing hashtags; they are how Twitter is indexed. Don’t make up hashtags just to emphasize a topic or idea. CAPS work for that.

How can GT teachers use #gtchat to their advantage beyond simply chatting? Many teachers don’t initially realize that #gtchat is available 24/7 to connect with others in gifted education and the gifted community in general … Connect with teachers, academics, psychologists, organizations and authors. #gtchat provides a transcript on @Wakelet, a weekly blog post with a summary of the chat and resources, FB and Pinterest page, and YouTube channel. You can follow @gtchatmod for the latest news and info on the chat.

GT teachers can also utilize Twitter in the classroom. For example, they can connect classrooms online via Twitter to practice Twitter etiquette, share information, and to learn about other cultures in the global community. It’s also a great way to practice a foreign language and to conduct research. Teachers and students can engage with other classrooms to work collaboratively on projects, have a book study, host an author, connect with experts, host a Twitter chat, or seek out feedback on written assignments.

A transcript of this chat can be found at Wakelet. After checking out the transcript, you can see more resources from the chat below.

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 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 Wakelet. 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

Resources:

100 Twitter Tips for Teachers (2016)

25 Twitter Bio Tips for Teachers (2017)

Twitter for Educators (Dec 2017)

Facilitating a Class Twitter Chat

It’s All about the Hashtag! 50+ Popular Hashtags for Educators

TeachersFirst’s Twitter for Teachers Resources

All about Hashtags and Twitter Chats

Twitter Teacher Tips (with Handout)

Cheat Sheet: Twitter for Teachers (updated August 2017)

Cybraryman’s Twitter Resource Pages

10 Ways to Use Twitter in the Classroom

Free Twitter Tips for Teachers

Cybraryman’s Twitter Chats Pages

Sprite’s Site: The Twitter Stream

On an e-Journey with Generation Y: Twitter

Image courtesy of Pixabay CC0 Creative Commons

Graphic courtesy of Lisa Conrad.

Growing Resilient Gifted Kids

gtchat 08092018 Resilience

How do you define ‘resilience’? This week at #gtchat we discussed what resilience means for gifted children. It refers to protective factors which buffer a person’s response to stressful situations or significant life events. Resilience isn’t fixed. It changes due to circumstances over one’s lifespan. It involves optimism (believing in yourself), persistence (in the face of potential failure), and becoming a good problem solver.

Characteristics often common to gifted children and those children considered resilient include task commitment, a desire to learn, and reflectiveness as well as the ability to dream. Common characteristics of gifted children and resilient children may also include self-control, self-awareness or even risk-taking. In recent years, research has shown that high intelligence contributes to greater resilience. (Bonanno 2004)

Resilience plays a role in the life of 2E students. Twice-exceptional students must deal with others’ perceptions of how ability should influence achievement. Failure to meet those expectations can negatively affect 2E students. These students who may be at higher risk not to develop resilience and be successful could counter risk factors with a network of support from caring and nurturing adults.

Teachers can nurture academic resilience in the classroom by providing an environment where students feel safe and respected. They can act as role models for students by keeping emotions in check around students and encouraging positive interpersonal relationships. Teachers can encourage students to read books about courage in the face of adversity.

Parents can build resilience at home by expressing positive attitudes in difficult situations; displaying emotions such as love, gratitude, and hope; and providing a long-term caring relationship with their child. When young children face an untenable situation, parents can brainstorm with them to understand what is happening and how they might develop a plan to overcome the problem. Parents also need to realize the importance of relinquishing control over their child’s life and allow the child to experience ‘agency’ – being able to solve problems on their own; to take control of their own life’s narrative.

How can we integrate mindfulness, gratitude, and empathy into children’s busy lives? Mindfulness, gratitude and empathy are powerful factors in developing resilience in children and adults need to provide the necessary time to allow them to be integrated into their child’s life. Encourage children to express gratitude when good things happen in their lives and empathy for others who may be having experiences which they haven’t had. Resilience trumps failure and adults can serve as role models who exhibit mindfulness, gratitude and empathy in everyday tasks and when responding to the needs of their children.

We encourage you to view the transcript of this chat which can be found at Wakelet. Then, check out the resources below for more information.

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 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 Wakelet. 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

Resources:

Sprite’s Site: Revitalization and Resilience

Sprite’s Site: Best Australian Blogs 2012 Part 6

Sprite’s Site: Surviving the Christmas Season

Teaching Tenacity, Resilience, and a Drive for Excellence: Lessons for Social-Emotional Learning for Grades 4-8 (Prufrock Press November 2018)

Developing Resilience in Gifted Students

“Gifted, Bullied, Resilient: A Brief Guide for Smart Families” with author, Pamela Price

An Overview of Resilience in Gifted Children

How Can I Improve My Gifted Child’s Resilience?

Resilience and Gifted Children

Coping 101: Building Persistence and Resilience in Gifted Children

The Implications of Risk and Resilience Literature for Gifted Students with Learning Disabilities

Enhancing Resilience of Gifted Students (pdf)

AUS: The Social Emotional Well-Being of the Gifted Child and Perceptions of Parent and Teacher Social Support (pdf 2018)

UK: Approaches to Measuring Academic Resilience: A Systematic Review (pdf)

Transforming Outstanding Potential in Outstanding Skills by Using Storytelling to Develop Intellectual Abilities of Gifted Students at Risk

Using Mindfulness-Based Strengths Practices with Gifted Populations (pdf)

Management of Anxiety Begins at Home

Building Resilience

Cybraryman’s Critical Thinking Page

Cybraryman’s Learning from Mistakes Page

Cybraryman’s Coping Strategies Page

Cybraryman’s Social and Emotional Learning Page

Cybraryman’s Risk Taking and Innovation Page

Wikipedia: Four Stages of Competence

AUS: Building Resilience in Children

Nurturing Gratitude in Kids 365 Days a Year

Photo by sydney Rae on Unsplash

Graphic courtesy of Lisa Conrad

Improving GT Parent-Teacher Communications

gtchat 08022018 Communications

Unique challenges exist in relationships between GT parents and teachers, and this week on #gtchat we discussed ways to improve how parents and teachers of gifted students communicate with each other. In many situations, gifted-identified students have an education plan which places certain requirements and responsibilities on all parties involved in the agreement. GT students often receive accommodations or interventions which place additional stressors and constraints on the teacher/student/parent relationship.

In a perfect world, good parent-teacher relations most often benefit the student. Depending on their age, a student can explore their potential with the help of a supportive teacher/mentor. Good parent-teacher relationships don’t just happen. They need to be cultivated and maintained in the spirit of mutual respect. A good start is to make sure all stakeholders have a firm grasp of the need for gifted education.

Today there exists a wide range of tech tools and apps to facilitate open communication between parents and teachers. Schools have long acknowledged that open lines of communication can avoid misunderstandings between parents and teachers. Educators and schools, however, must be cognizant of a family’s ability to access technology and take steps to provide access when it doesn’t exist or provide other means of communication.

Face-to-face activities can improve parent-teacher relations. This relationship can be enhanced through participation in extracurricular activities, breakfast/coffee with a teacher/admin opportunity, and even pre-scheduled after school meetings.

What best practices can parents use to improve their child’s education? Parents need to learn the ‘lingo’ used by educators; they will earn the respect of those who are  responsible for making decisions affecting their child. Best practices for parents advocating for their gifted child include researching state and local education laws and diligent planning concerning their child’s educational needs prior to meeting with school personnel.

Parents and teachers many never see eye-to-eye regarding a child’s education plan, but remaining calm, professional and open-minded will serve everyone’s best interests.  When researching a child’s particular school, always be aware of the ‘chain of command’ and follow it precisely. Know who the teacher reports to, but start with the teacher first. Most schools recognize this chain of comment: teacher >>> administrator >>> principal >>> superintendent >>> school board. To learn more about improving parent-teacher communications, you can check out the resources below and read a copy of the transcript from this chat at Wakelet.

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 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 Wakelet. 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

Resources:

Starting the School Year on a Positive Note: Five Key Suggestions for Parents

Tips for Talking with Your Gifted Child’s Teacher

Communicating Effectively with Your Gifted Child’s School

Dear Teacher, My Gifted Child is in Your Class

How Do I Work with My Child’s School? (pdf)

Tips for Your Gifted Kid’s Parent-Teacher Conference

Parent-Teacher Conferences

Communicate with Teachers about Meeting Your Gifted Child’s Needs

Six Tips for Communicating with Your Gifted Child’s Teacher

50 Tips, Tricks and Ideas for Teaching Gifted Students

What Parents Should Expect for the Gifted Child: How to Make It Happen

Why School’s Not Fair to Gifted Kids

Sprite’s Site: The Meeting

Sprite’s Site: Advocacy

Cybraryman’s Parent Teacher Conferences and Communication Page

Cybraryman’s Parents and Teachers Page

Cybraryman’s Parents and Teachers Event Open House and Orientation Page 

Photo by rawpixel on Unsplash

Graphic courtesy of Lisa Conrad.

%d bloggers like this: