Monthly Archives: October 2020

Teachers’ Impact on GT Students’ Academic Success

How do teachers’ perceptions about intelligence and giftedness affect how they identify and teach diverse gifted students? Attitudes and perceptions can have a profound effect when deciding who and how to educate gifted students. With recent awareness being raised around the lack of diversity in gifted programs, it’s critical teachers understand the intricacies of intelligence and its relationship to learning as well as how giftedness is defined. How teachers perceive intelligence and giftedness affect their relationship with students and their parents.

Does exposure to undergraduate courses in gifted education or certification make an appreciable difference in how teachers approach gifted education? It seems so obvious – exposure to knowledge about gifted education whether as an undergrad or in PD can influence how it’s approached in the classroom. Without a solid foundation in gifted education, the influence of colleagues or even preconceived notions can negatively influence interactions with students. Some studies show that nothing can overcome entrenched personal beliefs. (E.M. Miller 2009) Certification can be an important way to foster a greater understanding of how to meet the needs of gifted children. For example, how to differentiate for gifted learners.

Are positive teacher-gifted student relationships predictive of higher levels of academic success? When teachers are secure in their belief in their own ability to teach gifted students, GT students are more motivated and enthusiastic about learning. Positive relationships between teachers and gifted students can lead to higher quality learning environments, This can increase the probability of higher levels of academic engagement and success. (Kenter et al,, 2008) Teachers can exert important influence on academic success of gifted students when they have a deep understanding of gifted students’ characteristics.

When schools do not have provisions for gifted education interventions such as ability grouping or acceleration, it may negatively impact teachers’ views of how to educate GT students. (Lassig, 2009) Lack of PD in gifted education can place teachers at a disadvantage in meeting academic and social-emotional needs of GT students. When administrators do not value gifted education, teachers may fail to gain expertise in identifying students as gifted or in differentiating instruction.

GT students may not exhibit any more or less signs of stress that age-peers, but this does not negate its existence in these students. Lack of motivation, underachievement, and habitual truancy are all red flags. Asynchronous development plays an important role in why it’s important to identify social-emotional stress in GT students. Too often, adult incorrectly assume that intellect is on par with social-emotional development. GT students can struggle with unrealistic expectations placed on them; both externally and internally. This can lead to academic failure and low self-esteem.

What strategies can teachers implement to mitigate perfectionism/underachievement and have a greater impact on GT students’ academic success? Acknowledging and taking seriously perfectionism and underachievement is a positive first step in developing strategies to mitigate these issues in GT students. Developing positive personal relationships with students, providing appropriate challenging materials, addressing social-emotional needs, allowing time to work with intellectual peers and differentiating instruction can all impact academic success.

A transcript of this chat 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 1PM NZDT/11 AM AEDT/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.

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:

Threat or Challenge? Teacher Beliefs about Gifted Students and their Relationship to Teacher Motivation | Gifted and Talented International Journal    

What it Means to Teach Gifted Learners Well | NAGC GIFTED

Factors That Promote/Inhibit Teaching Gifted Students in a Regular Class: Results from a Professional Development Program for Chemistry Teachers | Education Research International

The Effect of Training in Gifted Education on Elementary Classroom Teachers’ Theory Based Reasoning about the Concept of Giftedness (pdf) | Journal for the Education of the Gifted    

Teachers’ Perceptions of Supporting Gifted Learners in General Education Classes (pdf) Dissertation | Doctor of Education | Jennifer S. Williams | May 2019 (Carson-Newman University)

A Sample of Gifted and Talented Educators’ Attitudes About Academic Acceleration (pdf) | Journal of Advanced Academics

Teachers Say the Darndest Things (About Intelligence)

High School Teachers’ Perceptions of Giftedness, Gifted Education, and Talent Development | UNT Digital Library

Teacher Expectations and Self-Fulfilling Prophesies: Knowns and Unknowns, Resolved and Unresolved Controversies | Personality and Social Psychology Review

Fourth-Grade Teachers’ Perceptions of Giftedness: Implications for Identifying and Serving Diverse Gifted Students (pdf) | Journal for the Education of the Gifted

Perceptions of Preservice Teacher Candidates towards Gifted Education Training and Obtaining the Gifted Education Endorsement Certificate in Florida (pdf thesis)

Teacher Bias in Identifying Gifted and Talented Students (2000) | The National Research Center on the Gifted and Talented

Teachers’ Negative Affect Toward Academically Gifted Students (Download) | Gifted Child Quarterly

Teacher Perspective on Differentiation for Gifted Students in the General Education Classroom (pdf thesis)

The Importance of Teachers | NAGC GIFTED

Knowledge and Skill Standards in Gifted Education for All Teachers | NAGC GIFTED

Gifted Children’s Relationships with Teachers (pdf) | International Education Journal

Impact of Gifted Programs From the Students’ Perspectives (pdf) | Gifted Child Quarterly

What do the Teachers Think about Gifted Students? (download) |Procedia – Social and Behavioral Sciences

How to Identify, Understand and Teach Gifted Children

Serving Gifted Students in General Ed Classrooms | Edutopia

How and Why Teachers Need to Support Gifted Students

Gifted Second-Graders’ Perceptions of Teachers’ Expectations (pdf)

Cybraryman’s Know Your Students Page

Discretion and Disproportionality: Explaining the Underrepresentation of High-Achieving Students of Color in Gifted Programs | American Educational Research Association

Perfectionism | NAGC

Image courtesy of Pixabay Pixabay License

Graphic courtesy of Lisa Conrad

Brain-Based Learning for Gifted Students

Our guest this week was Kathryn Fishman-Weaver, Ph.D., educator, author, and advocate for student leadership. Dr. Fishman-Weaver has used these lessons to teach special education, gifted education, English language arts, and teacher preparation. Currently, she serves as the Interim Executive Director for Mizzou Academy. She writes and presents frequently on student support, teacher leadership, and differentiated approaches to learning. Her latest book is Brain-Based Learning With Gifted Students (Grades 3-6): Lessons From Neuroscience on Cultivating Curiosity, Metacognition, Empathy, and Brain Plasticity and is available now.

Neuroscience today can inform best practices in brain-based teaching. It has recently revealed inadequacies and biases in identifying students for gifted programs and spotlighted the role of environmental factors – access to healthcare, good nutrition, availability of resources – on academic advancement. The most important, but most difficult aspect of informing best practices is bridging the philosophical & theoretical divide between research and classroom strategy. This implies the need for a rich understanding of the research.

Recent studies have confirmed what many teachers observe in the classroom that many gifted students learn at different rates that age-mates. Brain development is highly individualized and dependent on internal and external factors. (Tetreault, 2019) In areas of high ability, gifted individuals may display a high level of neural efficiency. (Dunst et al, 2014)

Why is it important to teach students how to practice metacognition? Metacognition in education goes beyond the simple definition of thinking about how we think. It involves having the will to think effectively, the skills to be able to do so, & goal of improving one’s learning. (ASCD) When students practice metacognition, they can become self-directed learners. It’s imperative they begin to be taught at an early age about metacognition and apply it across the curriculum. Practicing metacognition increases cognitive flexibility; the ability to objectively assess learning challenges & recognize when to adjust one’s thinking and actions. (ASCD) This ability helps students to learn from experience.

Neuroplasticity is the brain’s ability to rewire and revamp itself throughout one’s lifetime. It is driven by environmental and gene interaction. Schools can profoundly affect that interaction. “Teaching students about neuroplasticity and the brain’s potential can have a positive effect on their self-perceptions and expectations for success in school.” (Wilson & Conyers, 2018 |Edutopia ) When students realize that they are responsible for their own brain’s growth, it increases accountability, realization of intrinsic value of education, and a greater sense of optimism about the future.

When students realize that they are responsible for their own brain’s growth, it increases accountability, realization of intrinsic value of education, and a greater sense of optimism about the future. Social cognition refers to how we process, store and apply information about other people. Developing social cognition helps students to view issues and situations through the eyes of others; to become sensitive to how others feel. It enables students to better respond to the actions of others; to develop empathy and pro-social behavior; and to benefit from cooperation.

Brain-based teaching strategies can deepen student learning for both in-person and remote learning through the use of concept mapping (drawing relationships), elaborating concepts (deep thinking), & remembering already learned concepts. Research suggests using multiple strategies to retrieve & preserve learned material, engage students in activities related to the arts, and teach content in shorter increments based on level of background knowledge.

A transcript of our chat may 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 1PM NZDT/11 AM AEDT/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.

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:

Brain-Based Learning With Gifted Students (Grades 3-6): Lessons From Neuroscience on Cultivating Curiosity, Metacognition, Empathy, and Brain Plasticity

Brain Research and the Gifted and Talented Student (pdf) | PAGE

Brain-Based Education Part I

Brain-Based Education Part II

How Brain-Based Learning Makes a Difference | EdAdvocate

Clues from Brain Research for Challenging Gifted Learners (pdf) | TEMPO Summer 2000 TAGT

Brain-Compatible Classrooms | TAGT On Demand

An Examination of Planning and Implementing Brain-Based Strategies in the Elementary Classroom (pdf)

The Brain and Gifted Learners (pdf) | CAG Gifted Education Communicator

The Global Aspects of Brain-Based Learning | educational HORIZONS (Fall 2009)

Tips for Parents: The Gifted Brain & Learning: At Home and at School | Davidson Gifted

3 Brain-Based Strategies that Encourage Deeper Thinking | Edutopia

Building a Metacognitive Classroom | Edutopia

Teaching Students to Drive Their Brains Study Guide | ASCD

The Gifted Brain Revealed Unraveling the Neuroscience of the Bright Experience | GHF Dialogue

Inside the Network Neuroscience Theory of Human Intelligence | American Mensa

In Search of the Functional Neuroanatomy of Sociality: MRI Subdivisions of Orbital Frontal Cortex and Social Cognition | Oxford University Press

How the Brain Learns (Fifth Edition)

The Basic Principles of Research in Neuroeducation Studies (pdf) | International Journal of Cognitive Research in Science, Engineering and Education

Brain-Based Learning: Teaching the Way Students Really Learn (Third Edition)

Brain-Based Learning: The Neurological Findings About the Human Brain that Every Teacher Should Know to be Effective | Instituto Brasileiro de Mercado de Capitais

The Effects of Brain-Based Learning on the Academic Achievement of Students with Different Learning Styles (pdf)

Bringing Brain-Based Learning Theories into the Classroom | Resilient Educator

The Optimum Context for Learning; Drawing on Neuroscience to Inform Best Practice in the Classroom (pdf) | Educational & Child Psychology

Cybraryman’s The Brain and Brain Games Page

Image courtesy of Pixabay Pixabay License

Photo courtesy of Dr. Kathryn Fishman-Weaver

Graphic courtesy of Lisa Conrad

Avoiding Digital Burnout

Digital burnout is the consequence of overuse of technology. It is prevalent in our society today as the result of its availability and in pandemic times – a necessity for meeting the challenges of everyday life. Digital burnout results from trying to exist in two different worlds, physical and virtual; but the indicators are similar to old-fashion burnout. Those who face digital burnout experience depleted energy levels, lower productivity, and chronic stress and physical ailments.

The pandemic has increased digital burnout because we now rely on technology for practically every aspect of our lives – work, school, staying in touch with family and friends, entertainment, and making purchases. The uncertainty of how long we will deal with the effects of the pandemic increases the likelihood of digital burnout and only magnifies the symptoms. The pandemic has effectively altered our state of mind and allowed for few alternatives to the digital work for the near future.

All students face the possibility of digital burnout, but all will not seek the same resolutions. Many GT students have reported positive impacts of being online and continuing their education virtually. GT students are not a homogenous group. A segment of the GT student population views digital burnout as a challenge; something to overcome and to find ways to help others do the same. Avoiding digital burnout requires GT students to look to time management skills, self-care, and engaging in digital detox when overwhelmed.

Teachers play a vital role in reducing student digital burnout. They can include online games during the school day and suggest off-line activities such as going outside to explore nature and get needed physical exercise. Teachers can urge their students to use journaling to express their feeling and create to-do lists that includes day-to-day goals. Both activities can be done off-line; physically writing down goals and how they are feeling. Students should be encouraged to consider changing things up; where they attend online classes, improving the esthetics of their surroundings, decluttering study areas, or how they communicate with peers.  

What can teachers do to prevent their own digital burnout? Teachers are facing online class time while providing in-person instruction, maintaining attendance records, keeping in touch with students and parents, providing feedback to students, and attending multiple Zoom sessions. Practical interventions to lessen the potential for digital burnout for teachers include pre-recording lessons, utilizing both recorded and live presentations during class time, and re-using others’ materials and lessons. Unplugging, setting time boundaries with students and colleagues, being sure to taking evenings and weekends off, taking breaks during the day and not skipping meals, and limiting emotional involvement with work.

How can parents intervene in their child’s digital use to minimize burnout? When children are learning from home, parents can attempt to maintain as much structure as possible regarding their daily schedule – rising at the same time, getting dressed, and following a schedule similar to their regular school day. Parents can provide a work space for school separate their child’s play areas and reserve evenings and weekends for family time and time away from technology.

A Transcript of this chat 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 1PM NZST/11 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.

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:

Using Online Games to Connect with Students

Remote Learning: Keep It Simple

Teaching in a Hybrid Classroom

How to Avoid Teacher Burnout with Distance Learning

How Parents Can Avoid Burnout when Children are Learning from Home

The 7 Best Ways to Avoid Teacher Burnout in 2020

I’ve Been Teaching Online for Years. Here’s How to Prevent Burnout During a School Closure | EdWeek

Finding Balance: Are We Heading towards Digital Burnout?

Tips for Handling Remote Burnout for Teachers

Avoiding Technology Burnout – A Balancing Act

What are the 5 stages of burnout?

Teacher Burnout & COVID-19: Supporting School Staff

Curbing Teacher Burnout During the Pandemic | Edutopia

3 Ways to Help Students Avoid Virtual Burnout

Coping with stress of coronavirus crisis a challenge for California’s students | EdSource

Digital Burnout: What Can We Do? (YouTube 2:19) | University of Michigan

UK: Digital Burnout and 4 Tips How to Minimise It

Digital Burnout: COVID-19 Lockdown Mediates Excessive Technology Use Stress | World Social Psychiatry Journal

Examining the Relationship Between Student School Burnout and Problematic Internet Use (pdf) | Educational Sciences: Theory and Practice

Cybraryman’s Screen Time Page

Image courtesy of Pixabay Pixabay License

Graphic courtesy of Lisa Conrad

Innovative Teaching Methods in Gifted Education

Often seen as an outlier in education, gifted education frequently produces creative and original methods of teaching that find their way into the mainstream. Teaching methods developed by educators of GT students are the result of attempts to meet the oftentimes unique needs for advanced challenge. Innovative teaching methods inspire students to interact with the content, their peers and their teachers. They result in student engagement, increased knowledge retention, produce critical thinkers and greater curiosity.

How has #COVID19 driven innovation in teaching methods? Innovation in teaching methods during the current pandemic has resulted from the realization of the need for extraordinary problem-solving skills and the opportunity to radically change how we teach. After nearly 100 years of accepting the status quo in education, the institution has been forced to adjust how, when, and where education occurs. Educators were arbitrarily forced to adapt to new ways of teaching with little to no advanced notice. Circumstances rather than a person or institution became the impetus for change.

Innovative teaching methods can benefit GT students. They widely respond to student choice and embrace opportunities to work with intellectual peers both in-person and online. Our new reality has made this possible without the pretense of giving special treatment to them. Innovative teaching cultivates depth and complexity and increases metacognition which raises student awareness about their own learning and leads to higher levels of achievement. Metacognition leads to greater collaboration, deeper thinking, the ability to make inferences, and more connections within the content.

How can we reimagine technology to be cross-curricular, rigorous and authentic? One of the most exciting developments is the leveraging of multiple technologies – AI, data analysis, machine learning – to create highly individualized learning plans. By applying the use of IEPs universally throughout student populations, a learning pathway can be created which culminates in students reaching their full potential. Flexible pathways develop from dynamic assessment tools. Technological innovation incorporates virtual reality games, brainstorming platforms (i.e., Padlet, webcasts, Twitter) and interactive tools widely employed today such as Zoom and MS Teams.

Teachers need support more than ever. Long days navigating in-person and online platforms leave most exhausted. Schools must promote teacher wellness and self-care to avoid teacher burnout and exodus from teaching. Schools can support teachers who want to try new ways of teaching GT students. They need to provide specialized training for teachers, provide additional materials and curriculum enrichment for GT students, and develop efficient techniques to identify GT students. School admins can support teachers by giving them the opportunity to create and use innovative practices which accelerate student learning and achievement.

New teaching methods include layer-scaffolding which allows students to self-pace thru the curriculum, using online reading programs with captions on for very young accelerated readers, and using A.I. in classrooms. Strategies now being increasingly used include PBL, Flipped Classrooms, Genius Hour, Design Thinking, Virtual Reality, gamification, Socratic Seminars, research opportunities for high school students, and online academic competitions.

A transcript of the chat 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 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.

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:

50 Tips, Tricks and Ideas for Teaching Gifted Students

Challenge Your Top Students: 10 Ways to Meet the Needs of Your Advanced Learners and Help the Rest of Your class, Too!

Gifted and Talented Education Scope and Sequence 2019-2020 | Edison School of Innovation

How to Design Learning Experiences for Gifted Students

Genius Hour Page | Cybraryman

Talented and Gifted Teaching Methods: Are Teachers Prepared to Teach the Talented and Gifted? (pdf)

Tips for Teachers: Successful Strategies for Teaching Gifted Learners | Davidson Gifted

Six Strategies for Challenging Gifted Learners | ASCD

The Ultimate Plan to Help Gifted Education (and Improve Education for All Kids in the Process) | SENG

Personalizing the Curriculum to Challenge Gifted and Talented Learners | The Edvocate

Revolutionizing Gifted Education through Mastery-Based Instruction | The Edvocate

NZ: An Introduction to Gifted and Talented Education | The Education Hub

Innovative Teaching Strategies that Improve Student Engagement

Innovative Curriculum in the Gifted Classroom

Gifted Education Strategies | NAGC

Exploring Online Learning Through Synchronous and Asynchronous Instructional Methods (book)

5 Ways to Help Gifted Students Flourish in a School Setting

Ignite the Fire with Gifted Instruction: 10 Effective Instructional Practices

Creative Education for Gifted Children | Creative Education

Innovative Teaching Practices to Accelerate Student Learning in the Areas of Literacy and Science

Educational Options: District GT Programs | Davidson Gifted

Cybraryman’s PBL Pages

Robert Duke: Why Students Don’t Learn What We Think We Teach | Cornell University (YouTube 1:19:33)

Carl Wieman: Taking a Scientific Approach to Science Education | Carnegie Mellon University (YouTube 56:50)

Image courtesy of Pixabay Pixabay License

Graphic courtesy of Lisa Conrad

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