Monthly Archives: January 2019

Appropriate Reading Instruction for Gifted Students

Gifted readers are those kids who read much earlier than expected and quickly progress to advanced reading levels. They enjoy reading, make good book selections, and display enthusiasm about reading. (S. Reis) Gifted readers read independently, read often, and are identified as having advanced language skills. (S. Reis)

Gifted readers possess unique reading needs. It is important to note first what they don’t need: drills on basic word and comprehension skills. Gifted readers need challenging material to remain engaged in the reading curriculum; easily turned off by too easy reading programs. They need level of difficulty to ‘match’ their ability based on their interests.

Learning experiences for gifted learners should encompass experiences that are meaningful and relevant to the student. (T. Johnson) All teachers involved in advanced reading programs should be well informed on best practices in gifted education and give serious consideration to all stakeholders’ concerns regarding the program including students. Student demographics including cultural diversity and generational characteristics must be incorporated into curriculum decisions.

Factors that should be considered in designing reading instruction for gifted learners are grounded in gifted programming standards. Gifted readers will not benefit from simple differentiation of existing reading programs. A wide spectrum of abilities exists in any regular education classroom. They will need a unique approach appropriate to their individual strengths. Reading programs may benefit from being included with cross-curriculum gifted options that are meant to increase depth and complexity, heighten anticipation and stimulate interest. (Reis/Renzulli)

What instructional strategies can be used to develop and enhance advanced reading skills?  Reading books or readers commonly used in the classroom should be supplemented with literature or completely eliminated for advanced readers. Discussion groups can be formed that take a closer look – a deeper dive – into books and novels being used as part of the reading curriculum employing discussion guides and Socratic questioning. Teachers can introduce the study of literature at an early age (provided they how a strong background in literature) by teaching elements of literature and discussing how to analyze what is read.

When setting goals for an advanced reading program, every single student should be expected to become a skilled, passionate, habitual and critical reader. (B. Seney) When considering reading comprehension as a goal of an advanced reading program, the only delivery system to attain the best results is actually reading. Reading motivation should be an integral part of any advanced reading program and can include providing an extensive class library, in-class reading time, respecting student choice of reading materials, and suggested literature. A transcript may be found at Wakelet.

On a personal note … this week, marked the 9th year for #gtchat on Twitter!

 

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 2PM 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 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.

 Lisa Conrad 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:

Reading and the Gifted: Developing a Program of Reading With a Global Perspective

Reading Instruction with Gifted and Talented Readers: A Series of Unfortunate Events or a Sequence of Auspicious Results? (pdf)

Reading Instruction for Talented Readers: Case Studies Documenting Few Opportunities for Continuous Progress (pdf)

Research-Based Practices for Talented Readers (pdf)

The Neglected Readers: Differentiating Instruction for Academically Gifted and Talented Learners (pdf)

Literacy Strategies for Gifted Learners (pdf)

Engaging Gifted Boys in New Literacies (pdf)

Gifted Readers: What do we know and what should we be doing (pdf)

Literacy Strategies to Challenge Advanced Readers (pdf)

Fostering Critical Thinking Skills: Strategies for Use with Intermediate Gifted Readers (pdf)

Meeting the Educational Needs of Young Gifted Readers in the Regular Classroom (pdf)

The Gifted, Reading, and the Importance of a Differentiated Reading Program (pdf)

Language Arts Needs of Gifted Learners

Guiding the Gifted Reader

You Get to Choose! Motivating Students to Read through Differentiated Instruction (pdf)

A Pentagonal Pyramid Model for Differentiation in Literacy Instruction across the Disciplines

Selecting Instructional Strategies for Gifted Learners

Individual Instruction Plan Menu for the Gifted Child (pdf)

 

Image courtesy of Pixabay  Pixabay License

Graphic courtesy of Lisa Conrad.

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Engaging Gifted Students with Depth and Complexity

Update: Since our #gtchat, it has been brought to my attention that the developers of Depth and Complexity (J. Taylor Education) were not specifically mentioned during the chat and I regret this omission. A link to a presentation ‘Depth and Complexity – Understanding the Pieces (pdf)’ (See below) was included.

Dr. Sandra Kaplan and Bette Gould, created and own the rights to the Depth and Complexity Prompts/Icons and the entire Framework. Depth and Complexity was written into the TX G/T Standards in the late 1990s. J Taylor Education (founded in 2006), is the largest sole source publisher of Depth and Complexity products.

Kaplan and Gould intended a different approach to depth and complexity than that proposed by Ian Byrd and cited in the chat. Byrd’s opinion on how to introduce Depth and Complexity with a scope and sequence, was not how the creators rolled out the Framework in thousands of schools from 1994-2005 (during the initial phase) – nor was it the way they intended it to be introduced. The 11 D&C Icons are meant to naturally be used in conjunction to elicit abstract thinking and foster interdisciplinary lessons. Only using 1 or 2 for a set period of times does not allow for this to occur.

Currently Depth and Complexity is used in nearly 80,000 classrooms around the country. It’s one of, if not the most, powerful and unique differentiation tools that exists and it took lots of hard work and dedication to create. Depth and Complexity Icon Cards can be found at J. Taylor Education. An ebook Frames as well as Frames-Maker Software is also available.

Original post (edited): Depth is the “language of the discipline, big ideas, essential details, rules, patterns, trends, unanswered questions, and ethics.” Complexity involves “change over time, multiple points of view, across the disciplines.” Depth and complexity in gifted education should be a natural extension of how teaching is approached; going beyond teaching to the test. It is about teaching how to think rather than what to think.

Some gifted students are under the impression they’re supposed to know everything about the subject they’re studying. Too often they fail to dig deeper because they’ve always been the first to answer the teacher’s questions. Lack of challenge in the early grades gives them a false sense of the breadth of learning that is possible.

It is important to incorporate depth and complexity when teaching gifted students because it increases rigor and engagement. Incorporating depth and complexity in teaching is an easy way to differentiate lessons for gifted students in mixed ability classrooms. GT students need to realize they are just scratching the surface in the elementary and secondary classroom; there are many disciplines where people spend their careers searching for answers to the big questions.

According to Ian Byrd, carefully consideration should be given to scope and sequence; how much time are you willing to commit and what’s the best order for undertaking the new subject. Prompts for introducing depth and complexity into the curriculum can be used as early as kindergarten by simply asking students about what’s the ‘big idea’ or having them identify details in a story. As students progress through the early grades, teachers can increase the use of more complex and deep questioning, modeling how to think about specific topics, and begin to differentiate the curriculum.

What thinking ‘tools’ can teachers use to empower students to demonstrate a deep & complex understanding of content? Thinking tools can encompass determining which details are important, looking for patterns, contemplating what the rules are, and discerning trends. Tools to demonstrate a deep and complex understanding may include knowing the language of the discipline, considering unanswered questions, or looking at problems from multiple perspectives. Additional thinking tools take a look at the ethics involved or look for the ‘big idea’ of a particular subject.

Parents can encourage their child to think with depth and complexity. They should model for their children how to pull out the important details when discussing specific topics and nurture their child’s awareness of trends in everyday life. Parents can help their children identify and analyze ethical issues and not shy away from difficult topics. For more from this chat, a transcript can be found 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 2PM 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 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:

Depth & Complexity Framework – Understanding the Pieces (pdf) J. Taylor Education

Introducing Depth and Complexity

Introducing Depth & Complexity Episode One (YouTube 7:28)

Depth and Complexity: Misconceptions About The Big Idea

Depth, Complexity, and Graphic Organizers

Depth or Complexity Alone Isn’t Deep Enough

Understanding Depth and Complexity

Students Who Are Gifted Need to be Challenged

What is the Depth & Complexity Framework and Why Implement It in the Classroom?

Depth & Complexity Framework 2.0

Depth and Complexity (pdf)

Concept-Based Curriculum and Instruction for the Thinking Classroom (Corwin)

Depth & Complexity Frames

Hong Kong: Altering Depth and Complexity in the Science Curriculum for the Gifted: Results of an Experiment

Reading Depth Complexity Lesson

Strategies for a Gifted Toolkit Using Ohio’s New Learning Standards as a Springboard for Growth (pdf)

2013 NAGC-CEC Teacher Preparation Standards in Gifted Education

Gifted Education Standards to Guide Teaching and Deepen Student Learning

Tips for Parents: Encouraging Your Children to Think with Depth and Complexity

Station Rotations with Depth and Complexity (Padlet)

Image courtesy of Pixabay  CC0 Public Domain

Graphic courtesy of Lisa Conrad

Empowering Student Voice in Gifted Education

 

This week at Global #gtchat Powered by TAGT on Twitter, we chatted about what a choice-driven classroom looks like and why is it important. A truly choice-driven classroom goes far being a choice of menu options – it’s empowering students to control their learning. Full stop. It values a student’s ability to choose while at the same time providing appropriate supports and guidance. Not all students … even GT … will adapt to this new way of learning easily. A choice-driven classroom gives voice to topics explored, grouping, scaffolding, assessment and final product expectations; and, it embodies the ideal that education is preparation for a life well lived and a civil right for all students; including GT.

“A choice driven classroom has students that are engaged because they are empowered to learn about what they like, how they like, and/or their input is valued in how they demonstrate knowledge and mastery.” ~ Amy RogersAdvanced Academics Coordinator for Willis ISD, TX

Gifted students need to be provided tangible ways to express their voice and have those sentiments respected if they are to take ownership of their own learning. They must have a viable option for submitting feedback on a regular basis and have it validated through time response in the classroom. Teachers need to be ready to relinquish control to some extent … motivation for GT students requires independence and developing leadership qualities in students with authenticity being the driver.

How do you incorporate student choice in the classroom? The Choose2Matter movement and Angela Maiers have great suggestions for incorporating student choice: good old-fashioned brainstorming, surveying student interests, debating topics, and voting as final affirmation. Outside the classroom resources can lend direction and authentic responses to student choice via conferences organized and led by students and positive participation on social media platforms. Teachers modeling the ‘process of choice’ can reduce the possibility of risk-aversion by making sure students understand choice works and affects their entire lives.

This topic begs the question, should students choose everything? Students do not control the classroom – they are participants and are subject to the same constraints there that are present in life … civility, available time, prior learning. Adapting to a choice-driven approach to learning still requires educators to provide guidance to their students. The idea of potentially limiting choices in a choice-driven classroom is not the antithesis of such but the validation that it is a ‘process’ and not a ‘result’. Guard rails as guide-rails suddenly makes sense.

How do you assess the learning if students are choosing to do such different things? Assessments must reflect the reality of choice-driven classrooms … students must have responsible influence in how their work is assessed. Authentic assessment includes self-reflection, peer assessment, response to personal inquiry. Choice-driven learning embodies personalized learning and this should include a modest level of one-on-one periodical engagement between teachers and students; again in validation of process. John Spencer suggests that switching to standards-based grading honors a mastery mindset, allows for mistakes and renewal – a good match for choice-driven classrooms.

Far too often, students become accustomed to being told what to do and what is expected of them. Providing choice is a risky undertaking for all stakeholders – gifted students know this and can assess the risk/benefit outcomes. Adults in the room can respect student voice and choice at the same time supporting those choices – ownership of learning increases engagement, critical thinking and ultimately student success. A transcript of this chat can be found at Wakelet.

 

At the beginning of 2019, the team from Global #gtchat Powered by #TAGT welcomes you all to the New Year!

 

 

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 2PM 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 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:

5 Tips for Getting Started with Student Choice

Ten Ways to Leverage Student Choice in Your Classroom

What happens when kids struggle with student choice?

Taking Choice Menus to the Next Level for Student Ownership

Student Voice: Inspiring & Empowering Students to Take Charge of their Education

Motivation, Engagement & Student Voice (pdf)

Activating Student Voice Empowers Learning (pdf)

Eight Ways to Encourage Student Voice

Deepening Student Voice and Empowerment

Guiding Students to Drive Their Curriculum

8 Ways to Empower Student Voice in your Classroom

Listening to Student Voice: Toward a More Holistic Approach to School Leadership

How Student Voice Can Inform Assessment for Learning in Schools

Cybraryman’s Student Voice Page

Cybraryman’s What Students Want Page

Extending Student Voice to Gifted Students

Student Voice: Listening to Gifted Learners

Student Voice Menus

What is an Innovation Class…and Why Do You Need One?

Image courtesy of Unsplash

Graphic courtesy of Lisa Conrad.

 

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