Monthly Archives: July 2021

Post COVID19: Emotional Well-Being for GT Students

Transitioning back into the classroom from remote learning after an extensive absence under normal circumstances would be cause for anxiety. Going back in the midst of uncertainty about the future of the pandemic is worse. All children have been affected in ways we might not yet realize, and anxiety may manifest in unrecognizable ways. The age of our students may have a more pronounced effect regarding anxiety and depression. Behavior out of the ordinary can be hard to detect and reestablishing classroom relationships may be difficult. Utilizing school support staff, counselors, and social workers will take on new importance.

Many gifted students have thrived during remote learning. For years, advocates have reported concerns about these students being bored in classrooms. The past year and a half provided new opportunities. Far too often prior to #COVID19 and periods of quarantine,  gifted students reported being bullied to the point of affecting school attendance. The pandemic offered these students a sense of relief. Advocacy may look very different post-pandemic. How and where they learn could be anywhere and advocates need to take this into consideration. Novel approaches could expand the nature of education for GT students.

How can we meet the needs of GT students when emphasis is being placed on age-peers who have fallen behind? It has already become apparent that learning loss is a priority for the majority of schools; and should be, but students who were already ahead of the curve may not need any remediation. With greater acceptance of allowing students to repeat courses or even entire years, and extension of education for special education students; it may be an opportunity to push for acceleration of those students who would benefit from it. It has long been argued that acceleration can reduce the financial strain of K12 budgets. For many school districts, it may now be advantageous to allow students the freedom to consider early exit.

Should GT students who thrived during distance learning be allowed to continue learning virtually? In strictly terms of what may be best for a GT student, the short answer should be a resounding ‘yes’! Students should be able to choose to continue remote learning. Continuing remote learning for those who prefer to do so should be an easy choice for schools; but may not be. Although teachers mastered the technology out of necessity, the strain of teaching in hybrid classrooms cannot be ignored. The technological infrastructure was built much sooner than conceivable without the pandemic; but not everywhere. Access to the Internet and availability of tech going forward will challenge the ideal of equity.

Reflection can be an important tool for teachers to use to assist students returning to the classroom. It begins with creating a safe space in which students feel comfortable sharing their feelings. GT students may approach the idea of ‘reflection’ on a deeper level than age-peers. It may take the form of metacognition, such as, “how have I evolved over the course of the pandemic”? Consideration can be given to lessons learned, what worked best or could have been done differently, and how has the pandemic changed future endeavors.

What strategies can parents use to help their gifted child transition back to in-person learning? Parents know their child best and that each child is different. Take it slow and make mental health a priority. Be alert to signs of anxiety and depression. Parents should keep the lines of communications wide open; especially for teens who may have a difficult reentry to social interactions. Finding or starting a parent ‘support’ group can benefit all GT students.

A transcript of this chat can be found at our Wakelet page.

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/10AM AEST/1AM 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:

Gifted Children & the Pandemic: Protecting Emotional Health

How to Navigate a Complicated Post-Pandemic World

Teen Brains Are Less Equipped to Resist COVID-Related Depression and Anxiety

How a Student Who Learns Differently is Impacted by the Pandemic

Young Scholars Academy: 5 Tips for Reentry (YouTube 2:12)

How Different Personality Types May Adapt to Life after COVID-19

Why Our Mental Health Won’t Just Go Back to Normal When the Pandemic Is Over

A Verywell Report: Parents Have Increasing Concerns about Kids’ Mental Health

As We Accelerate Learning Recovery, Don’t Forget about Gifted Students

Promises and Perils of Virtual Education in a Post-pandemic World

Post–Pandemic Mindset I: Loneliness and Digital Distractions

Lessons Learned from the COVID-19 Pandemic

Six Ways Schools Can Serve Gifted Students after the Pandemic

Some Texas Students with Disabilities Thrived on Remote Learning, but have Few Options this Fall

When Gifted Children Return to School

The Best of Two Learning Worlds: Hybrid Education

The Impact of COVID-19, School Closure, and Social Isolation on Gifted Students’ Wellbeing and Attitudes toward Remote (online) Learning

Student and Staff Well-Being Toolkit

Education in a Pandemic: The Disparate Impacts of COVID-19 on America’s Students (pdf)

Talk Data to Me: Supporting the Health Needs of Students and Staff

Capturing Covid Learning Through Poetry: Things I Learned This Year | Edutopia

Cybraryman’s Anxiety Page

Cybraryman’s SEL Page

Cybraryman’s Body Language Page

Image courtesy of Pixabay Pixabay License

Graphic courtesy of Lisa Conrad.

Supporting Special Populations in Gifted Education

Special populations in gifted education are students who are historically underrepresented in programs for GT students, overlooked due to twice exceptionalities, or whose needs are ignored and undervalued due to myths and misinformation. These students come from diverse backgrounds – culturally, linguistically, and ethnically. Designated special populations in gifted education include ethnic minorities (African American, Native American, Asia American, Hispanic/Latino), 2Es, ELLS, LGBTQ, PG/Hg, Low SES, and rural GT students.

Educators can design and write differentiated learning plans; develop scope and sequence for individual GT students; select cultural and linguistic specific curriculum; and incorporate advanced challenging and complex content. Administrators can choose culturally sensitive identification products, provide continuing PD for teachers, and ensure students access to high quality curriculum early and continuously throughout their school years. Schools can support GT students by making psychological and counseling services available as well as establishing effective home-school connections.

What specific needs of our gifted 2E kids could be met by schools that aren’t done now? Schools need to recognize twice-exceptionality, accord these students the same protections given LD students under IDEA, and seek to support their intellectual abilities appropriately. They should use identification methods that take into account the potential interaction of a 2E student’s exceptionalities and then offer advanced educational opportunities while accommodating weakness to ensure to success. Further steps toward educational equity for twice exceptional students  should recognize the need for supplemental services such as counseling, specialized instruction, and therapeutic interventions when needed. (THP Fall 2014)

How can teachers support gifted kids who identify as LGBTQ? For students who identify as a member of the LGBTQ community, teachers should first extend compassion while seeking to understand an individual student’s level of comfort with being out and proud. Identifying as both LGBTQ and gifted can exacerbate feelings experienced by both communities such as feeling different, misunderstood, and socially isolated from age-peers. Teachers can create a safe space for these students  based on understanding, empathy, and provision of interventions  if necessary. It’s important to recognize the signs of social withdrawal or hostile classroom indications.

What strategies work best in the classroom for gifted ELLs? As school gifted programs begin to reverse decades of underrepresentation of culturally & linguistically diverse students, it’s imperative these programs revise strategies and curriculum to meet the needs these students. Strategies that promote advanced, high quality curriculum which addresses the student’s linguistic ability to respond and demonstrate their intellectual abilities while being culturally sensitive is essential. Schools can provide cohort grouping, culture specific mentoring, and small group in-school counseling; all of which can support gifted ELLs. (NAGC)

What would be most beneficial for low-SES and rural gifted students? Low income and rural gifted students may have fewer opportunities to gain academic background knowledge and may manifest their abilities differently due to poverty and cultural differences. (NAGC) Low income and rural gifted students benefit from school cultures that value & reward intellectualism; challenging preparatory programs; highly trained teachers and staff; a curriculum which connects to their everyday lives; and strong parent programs.

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 Noon NZST/10AM AEST/1AM 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:

Even when They include them, Gifted Programs aren’t serving Black or Low-Income Kids

Special Populations in Gifted Education: Understanding Our Most Able Students from Diverse Backgrounds (book)

NAGC Networks – Special Populations

Gifted and LGBTQ+ in Education: When Worlds Collide

Twice Exceptional or Just Exceptional? Let’s Find Out

Parenting a Gifted Child Questioning Sexual and Gender Identity | Grayson School  

Gifted LGBTQ Toolbox for Teachers (pdf) | NAGC

Gifted Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender Annotated Bibliography: A Resource for Educators of Gifted Secondary GLBT Students (pdf) | The Journal of Secondary Gifted Education

Special Populations of Gifted Students (pdf)

Giftedness as it Relates to Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Students

Educating Special Populations of Gifted Students (Course Description – pdf) | Miami Dade College

Black and Gifted in Rural America:  Barriers and Facilitators to Accessing Gifted  and Talented Education Programs (pdf)

Unlocking Emergent Talent: Supporting High Achievement of Low-Income, High-Ability Students | The JKCF

Identifying Gifted Students: Addressing the Lack of Diversity in Gifted Education | American University

Identifying and Serving Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Gifted Students (pdf) | NAGC

Identifying and Serving Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Gifted Students (book)

Bright, Talented, & Black: A Guide for Families of African American Gifted Learners (book)

Overlooked Gems: A National Perspective on Low-Income Promising Learners (pdf) | NAGC

Expanding the View of Giftedness

Culturally Responsive Teaching in Gifted Education: Building Cultural Competence and Serving Diverse Student Populations

Cybraryman’s LGBTQ Students Page

Cybraryman’s Twice-Exceptional Children Page

Cybraryman’s ELL/Bilingual Ed Page

Cybraryman’s Learning Page

Identifying and Supporting Gifted ELLs | Edutopia

Creativity in Gifted Identification: Increasing Accuracy and Diversity (Abstract)

Image courtesy of Pixabay Pixabay License

Graphic courtesy of Lisa Conrad.

Critical Thinking in a Digital World

Critical thinking, as a concept, can be defined in terms of knowledge, analysis, comprehension, application, synthesis, and evaluation. It involves conceptualizing vast amounts of information, analyzing that information objectively, and applying our findings to solve problems. In today’s world, critical thinking requires us to possess time management skills, to be able to prioritize tasks, and to recognize disinformation.

In the past, emphasis was placed on learning content, memorizing content and presenting content. The need to do this no longer exists when content is at our fingertips and one search away. When considering the vast amount of content and data available, critical thinking is a must for today’s students. It is, for the time being, what separates us from machines. Much of the information available today can be classified as disinformation and propaganda. As such, critical thinking is a way to guard against being manipulated by those who disseminate it.

Due to the enormous amount of information available through technology (the Internet), a student’s ability to take in and assess that information to form their own opinion is much more important. The intrusion of technology into our social lives increases the need for critical thinking in ways that were not even conceived of in the past. Today, critical thinking must include not only the information we receive, but also its delivery method and source.

How do we build skills to support students’ quest for credible, relevant and useful information? Initially it was thought that simply teaching students the basics of information literacy would suffice. It has not. As access to information has increased, so has the need for guard rails and greater attention to critical thinking. Students need to recognize not only when information may seem fake; but understand the nature of ‘deep’ fakes (manipulation of audio and video) and realize that authenticating sources needs more than a quick background check. A complex skillset that includes a deep understanding of what is involved in critical thinking can ensure that the information they find is viable and trustworthy.

“Teaching students (and let’s be honest, the adults) how to recognize ads, bias in sources, reliability of the source, etc. is so important. With my undergrads, we talk about whether or not something passes the CRAAP test.” ~ Jennifer Marten, Ph.D. NBCT

How can educators teach critical thinking and information literacy that students find accessible and engaging? First, educators need to cultivate critical thinking for themselves and feel confident teaching it as well as information literacy. As students begin to research topics, explain the need to be cautious about the information they encounter and encourage them to be skeptical about the possibility the information may be fake. When students begin to exercise critical thinking, they should be reminded to consider there may be more than one answer to their question, that diligence will be rewarded, and flexibility may be needed.

How and why should teachers help students recognize misinformation and question their own beliefs? Social media has become an integral part of students’ lives. Social media companies rely on targeted content to enhance their business models creating information silos which divide society and isolate individuals. Students can be taught to question their own beliefs by reflecting on the information they receive, questioning it and considering alternatives; all by enhancing their critical thinking skills.

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 Noon NZST/10AM AEST/1AM 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:

Thinking Like a Lawyer: A Framework for Teaching Critical Thinking to All Students | Colin E Seale

An Evaluation of Gifted Students Perceptions on Critical Thinking Skills | Journal for the Education of Gifted Young Scientist

TEMPO: Critical and Creative Thinking (pdf)

An Analysis of Critical Thinking Skills with Gifted and General Education Students: Relationships between Cognitive, Achievement, and Demographic Variables (pdf) | Todd Kettler

The Assessment of Critical Thinking Skills of Gifted Children Before and After Taking a Critical Thinking Development Course (Abstract Only) | Thinking Skills & Creativity

Utilizing Critical Thinking in the Digital Information Age?

1.2 The Skills Needed in a Digital Age

Top 5 Skills You Need to Survive the Digital Age

Developing Critical Thinking Skills for Success in the Digital Age

Critical Thinking: A Necessity of the Digital Age

The Importance of Critical Thinking in the Digital Age

Cultivating Critical Thinking in the Information Age

Critical Thinking in a Digital Age: Professor Renee Hobbs on Contemporary Propaganda

Mind Over Media: Propaganda Education for a Digital Age (book)

Digital Literacies and the Skills of the Digital Age

Digitization Critical Thinking

10 Tips for Teaching Critical Thinking + Information Literacy

To Navigate All the Junk on the Internet, You Need Powers of Critical Thinking — but also Critical Ignoring

Critical Thinking: A Model of Intelligence for Solving Real-World Problems

Critical Thinking in Curriculum Design A Differentiated Approach to Critical Thinking in Curriculum Design | Todd Kettler

Critical Thinking Skills Profile of Elementary Students in Learning Mathematics | Test Engineering and Management

An Enrichment Workshop using Argumentation-Based Forensic Chemistry Activities to Improve the Critical Thinking of Gifted Students | Journal of Science Learning

Cybraryman’s Critical Thinking Page

What is Critical Thinking | Gifted Today

3 Steps to Civil Discourse in the Classroom (pdf)

AllSides

Image courtesy of Pixabay Pixabay License

Graphic courtesy of Lisa Conrad

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