Category Archives: Acceleration

Acceleration: Its Time Has Come

In ‘A Nation Empowered’, there are 20 different types of academic acceleration identified. Most have been available for decades, but may prove beneficial today more than ever. Implementing acceleration now is good policy. Academic acceleration encompasses early in and out approaches to education; grade or subject skipping; mastery-based learning; independent study (self-paced education); and dual enrollment. Additional types of academic acceleration include multi-age classes; curriculum compacting; telescoping curriculum; and credit by exam.

In a field that places so much importance on research-based evidence, it is difficult to understand the skepticism that surrounds academic acceleration. Isolated instances of poorly planned acceleration too often make the headlines … in sharp contrast to the enormous amount evidence to the contrary. In fact, not accelerating a student whose situation indicates a need and willingness to do so has more negative repercussions than any perceived issues with acceleration. These students face disengagement due to boredom and higher drop-out rates.

When schools begin to re-open, budgets are going to be stretched to the brink. We’ve already begun to see gifted education programs being slashed from school budgets. These students’ needs aren’t going anywhere. The effects of being out of school for so many months have been devastating for a majority of students. The perceived need for extensive remediation will exacerbate the GT students’ need for greater depth and complexity. At all grade levels, K-College, it makes sense to allow students to progress through the system at their own speed with any means at their disposal … early entrance & graduation, distance learning, self-pacing, etc.

Best practices in academic acceleration starts with planning, planning, planning … what’s available, student buy-in, a strong commitment to the end-game, & the need to address the consequences of not making it available. Questions to ask before beginning acceleration – does the school have an adequate K12 infrastructure in place to support acceleration, how will acceleration benefit the student, & is there an exit-strategy if it isn’t working. Best practices include choosing appropriate assessments, a written acceleration plan with decisive objectives/goals, addressing academic gaps, and periodic follow-up.

Parents are often the first to assess their child’s potential. To facilitate the process of requesting consideration for acceleration, it is imperative that parents document early abilities, task and work completion, and outside test results. The first point of contact with the school should be the classroom teacher. Parents can request test data or appropriate testing, what resources are available, and to have the formation of a formal assessment team. Parents should document all communication with the school, take notes at all meetings, and be prepared to advocate with research-based evidence for all necessary services for their child.

Gifted education has long been cited for glaring inequities in how students are placed in gifted programs. In light of issues highlighted by the sudden onset of the coronavirus, it would seem a good time to reevaluate the process. Likewise, there has never been a problem with accelerating exceptional talent when it comes to sports. Perhaps it’s time to take a page out of the athletic playbook? Recent state programs that automatically enroll qualified students in advanced coursework have met with high levels of success and are far more reflective of the racial and socioeconomic makeup of their schools.

A transcript of this 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 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:

Why is Academic Acceleration (Still) So Controversial?

Early to the Starting Line: Acceleration Begins at Kindergarten (Podcast 31:27)

Academic Acceleration (YouTube 5:35)

College at 13: Young, Gifted, and Purposeful (book)

Acceleration: Topical Research Series #1

Academic Acceleration for Advanced Learners

Academic Acceleration Can Help Students Whose Needs Are Not Being Met (pdf)

NAGC: Parent TIP Sheet – Acceleration (pdf 2017)

Essential Elements: Acceleration & Differentiation for Gifted K-12 Students with Dr. Broderick (YouTube 20:28)

Belin Blank: Gifted Education 101: The Basics

Developing Academic Acceleration Policies: Whole Grade, Early Entrance & Single Subject

Belin Blank Chautauqua Classes Summer 2020 via ZOOM

Belin Blank FLOW Webinars

Guidebooks for Parents and Educators

Why am I an Advocate for Academic Acceleration?

20 Types of Acceleration

Advocating for Acceleration: Suggestions for Parents

Acceleration for Gifted Students

How to Advocate for Acceleration at Your School

Must Run in the Family: PEG Program Gets Its First Legacy Student

Academic Acceleration: Is It Right for My Child?

AUS: Acceleration of Gifted Students Procedure

Laddering Up: Academic Acceleration

Learning Acceleration Guide Planning for Acceleration in the 2020- 2021 School Year (pdf)

Social-emotional Characteristics of Gifted Accelerated and Non-accelerated Students in the Netherlands

BISD: Advanced Academics Acceleration

Pros and Cons of Skipping a Grade

Sprite’s Site: Columbus Cheetah, Myth Buster – Myth 6

NAGC PHP: Advocating for Grade-Based Acceleration (pdf)

Image courtesy of Pixabay Pixabay License

Graphic courtesy of Lisa Conrad

GT Education Post COVID19

 

Teachers are reporting both in the US and Australia that shy, hyperactive, and highly creative kids are thriving out of the classroom. These were kids they were concerned about while school was still in session. GT students are expressing relief at being at home in an environment where they can self-pace, be able to independently structure their day, have fewer distractions, and have time to work on passion projects. Older GT students feel less pressure due to less standardized testing, fewer extracurricular activities required to bolster college admissions, and freedom from social peer pressures.

What unique challenges have existed for our twice-exceptional students during quarantine? Our 2E kids often have additional needs for one-on-one support which may not be possible in the home setting. Without a more formal schedule for task completion, some struggle with getting school work done. Many twice-exceptional students have multiple services in school such as OT, PT, Speech and SEL counseling. Most parents cannot provide all these supports at home.

Inequities in education that existed before the pandemic are being highlighted now such as the digital divide: access to technology and Internet access. GT students in low income areas are experiencing food insecurity, have parents & family members who must work outside the home & aren’t available to monitor school work, or lack access to mentoring/enrichment activities. Education is highly influenced by negative factors – test anxiety, bullying, income disparity, inflexible rules, passive learning vs. engaged learning, and failure to take into account student voice.

What positive effects of e-learning can we use to inform the future of education? One of the most profound effects e-learning has revealed is the antiquated approach to educating students. Time in seat does not equal learning. Much of a student’s time in school is wasted time. The future of education must realize that test scores on standardized tests does not indicate what a student has ‘learned’. It indicates how well a student tests. Unstructured time can be used for creative expression, contemplating possibilities, pursuit of passions, collaborative projects, and the potential for much needed rest.

As budgets tighten for school districts, how can they avoid eliminating gifted education? Gifted education never needed to be expensive; it needed to overcome false narratives created as excuses for not providing an appropriate education for GT students. Gifted education advocates need to do more than raise their voices; they need to offer solutions to providing equitable education to all students rather than as an alternative program, but also one which meets GT students’ needs. School districts and administrators must acknowledge the existence of GT and Twice-exceptional students who have educational and social-emotional needs. FAPE applies to ALL students.

Quarantine/Time-at-Home during this global crisis has been revelatory and should be seen as an opportunity to transform educational practices; especially regarding gifted education. Advocates for gifted education have been advocating competency-based learning, acceleration, and personalized learning. We must reimagine  education based on a student’s needs and creative abilities rather than a return to the status quo based on a system organized for the benefit of adults.

A transcript of this 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 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:

AUS: The Students Who are in the Zone Studying at Home

Why Are Some Kids Thriving During Remote Learning?

Gifted Development Center: My Future…What Now? Teens talk about moving forward in our challenging times with Dr. Jim Delisle (YouTube 1:04)

Meeting the Needs of Gifted Learners at a Distance – A Focus on Grades 4-8

Cultivating Calm Amidst a Storm

Parenting for High Potential: Management of Anxiety Begins at Home (pdf)

Coping With the Stress of COVID-19: Tips for Families with Gifted Children (YouTube 9:13)

Resources for Providing Young Children Academic Support During the Quarantine

COVID-19 and Anxiety in Gifted Children

IAGC: 3 Top Strategies for Helping Your Child Cope with Anxiety during Challenging Times (YouTube 20:09)

What if We… Don’t Return to School as Usual (Medium)

The Invisible Blizzard and the Importance of E-learning

Unpacking Adult Mindsets (pdf 2002)

Mind Matters Podcast: Preparing for Post Pandemic Recovery (Audio 36:16)

Transitioning Gifted Education Online: A World of Possibilities

NAGC: Supporting Advanced Learners: New Roles for Parent Advocates during Times of Remote Learning

Fort Bend ISD: Covid-19 Gifted and Talented Resources

Special Solocast: Thoughts on Parenting Differently Wired Kids through a Pandemic (Audio 14:15)

Short Story Exploration (pdf)

6 Ways to Transition IEP Goals to Remote Learning

Parent Involvement Has Always Mattered. Will The COVID-19 Pandemic Finally Make This The New Normal In K-12 Education?

Distance Learning During The Coronavirus Pandemic: Equity And Access Questions For School Leaders

Image courtesy of Pixabay  Pixabay License

Graphic courtesy of Lisa Conrad

Innovative Curriculum in the Gifted Classroom

 

An innovative curriculum for GT students offers a high degree of flexibility; scaffolding which is layered with options for students to choose from that may or may not need extra support. It combines tiered options, curriculum compacting, menus, and a myriad of differentiation tools. It will include pre-assessments, student voice and choice, provide multiple ways to demonstrate mastery and cross-curricular activities, and resources beyond the standard textbooks. An innovative curriculum involves complexity, acceleration, Socratic learning, research opportunities, a technology enhanced curriculum, problem-based learning, and concept development.

How do Gifted Curriculum Models differ from curriculum in the General Ed classroom? Differences between gifted curriculum and general ed curriculum involve challenge vs repetition and remediation. While general ed classrooms are often about managing behaviors, GT classrooms are facilitating growth. Gifted curriculum will favor intrinsic vs extrinsic reward programs.

Why don’t more schools offer advanced curriculum in reading & math for GT students? The lack of advance curriculum in reading and math for GT students begins with misperceptions about GT students and their education. Lack of funding and policies about gifted education that lack mandates often limit the amount of resources available for advanced curriculum. Lack of teacher training can also limit availability of advanced reading and math curriculum for GT students.

Failure to offer and innovative gifted curriculum can lead to lack of growth which is evident on many standardized tests scores for the highest performing students year over year. When GT students are not challenged by their curriculum they can become disengaged, have behavioral issues, and ultimately become underachievers.

What strategies can teachers use to match curriculum to a student’s interest and ability? Student-centered curriculum that takes into account students’ interests and educational needs can engage students and allow them to take responsibility for their own learning. Independent study is another way to harness student interests and match those interests to the curriculum. Differentiating the curriculum to address a student’s rate, pace and depth of learning is a good way to match the curriculum to the student. An accelerated curriculum which encourages students to work towards a level of learning at which they are challenged fosters a sense of learning for its own sake.

Many resources can be found via state education online sites. Most state gifted organizations as well as national ones provide curriculum resources for a gifted curriculum. Universities which offer gifted resources or have dedicated gifted centers also are good sources of information on gifted curriculum.

A transcript of the 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 2PM NZDT/Noon 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.

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:

Focus of the Gifted Curriculum (chart)

4 Ways Schools Help or Hinder Gifted Students

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

Practical Recommendations and Interventions: Gifted Students (pdf)

ASCD: Six Strategies for Challenging Gifted Learners via

Inspiring Gifted and Creative Students

Developing Creativity in the Classroom: Learning and Innovation for 21st-Century Schools (aff. link)

Educating for Creativity and Innovation: A Comprehensive Guide for Research-Based Practice (aff. link)

Creativity and Innovation: Theory, Research, and Practice (aff. link)

Gifted Resources: Curriculum

Curriculum for High Ability Learners: Issues, Trends and Practices (book)

NAGC: 2019 PreK – Grade 12 Gifted Programming Standards (pdf)

Applied Practice for Educators of Gifted and Able Learners

Creating Strong Kids Through Writing: 30-Minute Lessons That Build Empathy, Self-Awareness, and Social-Emotional Understanding in Grades 4-8 (aff. link)

Curriculum Enrichment Resources

Curriculum for Gifted and Talented Students (book)

Quality Curriculum and Instruction for Highly Able Students

Making Number Talks Matter: Developing Mathematical Practices and Deepening Understanding, Grades 3-10 (book)

Center for Gifted Education at the College of William and Mary’s English Language Arts Curriculum

Resource List from A Nation Empowered: Resources for Parents and Educators (pdf)

“A Nation Empowered” with guest, Dr. Ann Shoplik

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!

How to Design Learning Experiences for Gifted Students

MCPS Gifted Education Resource Collection 2019 – 2020 Materials for High Ability Students (pdf)

Cybraryman’s Genius Hour Page

Cybraryman’s Risk-taking and Innovation Page

Disclaimer: Some resources include affiliate links.

Image courtesy of Pixabay Pixabay License

Graphic courtesy of Lisa Conrad.

 

 

What You Should Know about Talent Searches

The Talent Search model can determine the level of content a student needs to be challenged & pace of instruction – was originated by Dr. Julian Stanley at Johns Hopkins in the 70s. (Corwith, PHP 09/19, NAGC) Talent Search begins with above level testing, assesses abilities as compared to intellectual peers, and finally offers educational opportunities to students beyond what they may have at their local schools. They are research-based assessments that provide an early indication of intellectual ability of students with exceptional mathematical &/or verbal reasoning abilities that can aid in the determination of educational placement.

Talent Search centers are located around the U.S. (as well as in Europe and other countries with slightly different requirements) including Center for Talented Youth (CTY) at Johns Hopkins University, Talent Identification Program (Duke TIP) at Duke University, Center for Talent Development at Northwestern University, Belin-Blank Exceptional Student Talent Search at the University of Iowa, and the Center for Bright Kids, Western Academic Talent Search at the University of Denver. Centers offer above level testing at various times throughout the year for grades 3 to 9 and most offer summer, weekend and online education programs for qualifying students.

Why test above grade-level? Above grade-level assessments compare students with their intellectual peers rather than age or grade peers. Talent Searches are able to provide schools (with permission) and families with information pertinent to individualized education plans. Although different centers use different tests (SAT, ACT, PSAT), the inclusion of sub-tests can help facilitate choosing coursework, college majors, and even career choice.

Talent Searches provide an overall view of a highly-able student’s abilities often missed by standardized testing which can inform educational decisions for both at school and out of school opportunities. Students who qualify are offered placement in prestigious programs offered through the sponsoring universities & gain access to scholarship opportunities. Top scoring participants are invited to regional Recognition Ceremonies. Participating in a Talent Search assessment also provides students the opportunity of experiencing above-level testing.

Talent Search assessments can provide schools (with parental permission) with pertinent data on a student’s abilities that many schools may not be able to obtain due to budgetary restrictions. Schools can determine the need for acceleration, placement in gifted programs, or match students to available programming. Since a Talent Search benchmarks student performance against other high-ability same age/grade peers, schools have context on student learning and growth. (Corwith, PHP 09/19, NAGC)

Each Talent Search center (U.S.) has a website and most cover a specific geographic area. Other universities have Talent Searches which are referenced below. A good source for information on Talent Searches is NAGC or your state gifted organization. In Europe, parents can find information on the European Talent Support Network  In Ireland, parents can go to CTY Ireland . 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 2PM NZDT/Noon 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.

Resources:

Talent Search Opportunities

Future Career Path of Gifted Youth Can Be Predicted by Age 13

One Parent’s Journey through Talent Search

Johns Hopkins Center for Talented Youth (CTY): Talent Search

What We Know about Academically Talented Students (pdf)

Northwestern University’s Midwest Academic Talent Search (NUMATS)

Belin-Blank Exceptional Student Talent Search (BESTS)

Talent Search: A Driving Force in Gifted Education

What Is The Duke TIP 7th Grade Talent Search, and Why Do It?

Talent Search Programs at Universities

The Talent Search Model: Past, Present, and Future (pdf)

Opening New Doors for Your Top Students (pdf)

How to Keep Kids Excited about Learning: A Guide for Adults

Above-Level Testing

Talent Search (pdf)

Alternative Assessments with Gifted and Talented Students (affiliate link) via @prufrockpress

Handbook for Counselors Serving Students with Gifts and Talents: Development, Relationships, School Issues, and Counseling Needs/Interventions (affiliate link)

Center for Bright Kids Academic Talent Development

Disclaimer: Some resources contain affiliate links.

Images courtesy of Pixabay and Pixabay   Pixabay License

Graphic courtesy of Lisa Conrad.

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