Category Archives: Advocacy

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.

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Early Learning Interventions for Gifted Kids

gtchat 04192018 Early Interventions

Is it possible to provide early intervention for gifted children without formal identification? Very young children have difficulty paying attention during testing and easily distracted. A young gifted child’s performance on tests can be highly variable and thus deemed not as reliable as for older children. That said, not only is it possible to provide early intervention without formal identification; it is often necessary.

There is strong support for early intervention for gifted children based on developmentally appropriate practice; taking both age and individual appropriateness into account (Bredekamp,1987; Bredekamp & Rosegrant, 1992). Informal identification should be based on teacher and caregivers’ observation across domains – cognitive, aesthetic, social-emotional, motor, language – taking into consideration expected behaviors for the age of the child.

“Early intervention is critical to support students’ cognitive and affective growth. Enriched and engaging environments during early childhood years can lead to enhanced educational success. Early enrichment as a form of intervention is even more critical for bright learners who come from poverty or traditionally underrepresented populations.” (Keri M. Guilbault, Ed.D.) “Early educational experiences of many young gifted children provide limited challenge and hinder their cognitive growth rather than exposing learners to an expansive, engaging learning environment.” (NAGC)

Characteristics ‘usually’ associated with early giftedness include excellent memory beyond expectation for a specific age; mature thinking on complicated tasks; or precocious development of a specific skill. Early giftedness may be expressed by self-management of personal learning; seeking new and novel experiences; early reading; delight in problem solving. Young gifted children may seek older playmates; engage in imaginative play; display an advanced vocabulary; demonstrate asynchronous development.

Special activities and/or accommodations provided in the early childhood classroom or child care environment  may include providing opportunities to interact with mental peers; opportunities to think both divergently and convergently – experiences with more than on answer. Very young gifted children need exposure to social situations which respect the contributions of less-able children and foster recognition of the worth of all abilities. Young gifted children are individuals with different needs. They shouldn’t be expected to take on additional tasks or those beyond development capabilities. Consider exposure to a variety of experiences.

What can parents do to make sure their child receives needed interventions during early childhood? They can create a portfolio of their child’s work to serve as a basis for consideration in later identification. They can keep a diary of milestones and skills attainment. Parents should take care not to place unnecessary expectations on their child. They can provide opportunities for exploration of interests with trips to the library, visits to museums and cultural events, and nature experiences. A transcript 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.

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

Links:

Gifted Children Have Special Needs, Too

AUS: Identify Gifted Children

AUS: Gifted and Talented Education – Identification (pdf)

The Gifted and Talented Child: Best Practices for Identifying Gifted Students (pdf)

NZ: E-Portfolios as a Tool for Supporting Gifted Children in New Zealand Early Childhood Education Centres A Critical Appraisal

Early Enrichment for Young Gifted Children

Psycho-Pedagogical and Educational Aspects of Gifted Students, Starting from the Preschool Age; How Can Their Needs Be Best Met?

Small Poppies: Highly Gifted Children in the Early Years

Practical Recommendations and Interventions: Gifted Students (pdf)

A Different Perspective to the Early Intervention Applications during Preschool Period: Early Enrichment for Gifted Children

Serving Twice-Exceptional Preschoolers: Blending Gifted Education and Early Childhood Special Education Practices in Assessment and Program Planning (pdf)

Appropriate Practices for Screening, Identifying and Serving Potentially Gifted Preschoolers (pdf)

Growing Up Gifted: Developing the Potential of Children at School and at Home (8th Edition) (Amazon)

Developmentally Appropriate Curriculum: Best Practices in Early Childhood Education (Amazon)

Cybraryman’s Early Intervention Page

Image courtesy of Pixabay CC0 Public Domain

Graphic courtesy of Lisa Conrad

Boost: 12 Effective Ways to Lift Up Twice-Exceptional Children

gtchat 02152018 Boost GHF

The term ‘twice-exceptional children’ covers a group of gifted children with high intellectual ability, but also with learning differences; differences which may confound both teachers and parents at first. They often require a more aggressive educational plan to provide supports beyond strictly academic interventions. This week #gtchat welcomed Kelly Hirt, author of Boost: 12 Effective Ways to Lift Up Twice-Exceptional Children from GHF Press.

“While both groups (gifted and twice-exceptional) have high IQs, 2e learners possess unevenly dispersed strengths. Their giftedness can mask their disabilities or the opposite when their disabilities prevent them from reaching their potential. ~ Kelly Hirt

Kelly Hirt is a public school teacher with a MA in Curriculum Development, homeschooling parent, blogger, and writer of both fiction and nonfiction works. She has taught elementary school for twenty-five years in Washington State. During that time she served as a student teacher mentor, district level trainer and an active member during leadership teams and curriculum adoption reviews.

‘Intensities’ and ‘asynchronous development’ are both possible attributions of gifted and twice-exceptional but not necessarily. In fact, intensities as described by Dabrowski were not intended to be attributable to ‘gifted’ only. Dabrowski’s categorized intensities involved heightened sensitivities in areas such as intellect, emotions, imagination; among others. Asynchronous development, first described by the Columbus Group, involved being ‘many ages at once’.

“2e children are often impacted by more than one OE (overexcitabilities). Often the higher IQ, there is a greater asynchronous development and a greater impact from their intensities.” ~ Kelly Hirt

Within the general education community, there is little awareness about what exactly twice-exceptionality is and how to intervene on behalf of these children. Advocacy most often falls to parents. As with gifted education, little to no coursework is required of education majors at the undergraduate level. Because both conditions may mask each other, it is important to understand twice-exceptionality at a very deep level. It’s important to advocate for twice-exceptional children because too few responsible adults do. And let’s not forget we are talking about exceptional kids who can profoundly benefit from caring and appropriate accommodations.

“2e children are complex and many educators still do not understand them. When 2e kids are unseen and underserved, behaviors, frustration, and self-esteem issues can often follow.” ~ Kelly Hirt

What steps can parents take once they learn their child is identified as twice-exceptional? Take time to experience relief; to acknowledge that you do, in fact, know your child best. Understand that you have faced challenges as a parent that other parents may not comprehend. Once identified, educate yourself about twice-exceptionality. Find other parents or organizations which can support you and your child.

What is ‘Boost’ and how can educators implement it in schools and homeschooling? As Kelly’s title tells us, Boost presents 12 ways to effectively lift up twice-exceptional children with dignity and compassion. Boost encompasses strategies respectful of the twice-exceptional child and recognizes the need to have multiple approaches/tools in the parents’ and teachers’ toolboxes.

Educators should have access to professional development which provides information about twice-exceptionality and strategies to engage these students both academically and emotionally. Educators and parent-educators would benefit from learning about best practices in both special education and gifted education. A transcript of this chat may be found at Storify.

We also encourage you to Check out TAGT’s Gifted Plus Equity Conference in June which includes 2E sessions.

Boost TAGT Gifted Plus Conference

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 2 PM 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 Storify. 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

Links:

Boost: 12 Effective Ways to Lift Up Our Twice-Exceptional Children (Amazon)

Boost: 12 Effective Ways to Lift Up Our Twice-Exceptional Children (Gifted Homeschoolers Forum)

My Twice Baked Potato (Blog)

My Twice Baked Potato: About Kelly

Writing Your Own Script: A Parent’s Role in the Gifted Child’s Social Development (GHF Press) (Amazon)

Bright Not Broken: Gifted Kids, ADHD, and Autism (Amazon)

Different Minds: Gifted Children with AD/HD, Asperger Syndrome, and Other Learning Deficits (Amazon)

Living With Intensity: Understanding the Sensitivity, Excitability, and the Emotional Development of Gifted Children, Adolescents, and Adults (Amazon)

Genius Denied: How to Stop Wasting Our Brightest Young Minds (Amazon)

Smart Kids with Learning Difficulties: Overcoming Obstacles and Realizing Potential (Amazon)

Educating Your Gifted Child: How One Public School Teacher Embraced Homeschooling  (GHF Press) (Amazon) https://goo.gl/uIfTyI

GHF: Gifted Homeschoolers Forum

2e Twice-Exceptional Newsletter

Are gifted children getting lost in the shuffle?

The Twice-Exceptional Dilemma (pdf)

GHF: Resources: Twice-Exceptional (2e)

Cybraryman’s Twice-Exceptional Page

GHF: Twice Exceptional (2e) Issues

GHF Bloghop: Gifted 2E Kids: What Makes Them Twice-Exceptional

Sprite’s Site: 2E Is

GHF: Living with Gifted Children

Sprite’s Site: What Makes Them 2E?

Hoagies’ Bloghop : 2e Kids

GHF Online

If This is a Gift, Can I Send It Back?: Surviving in the Land of the Gifted and Twice Exceptional

Graphic courtesy of Lisa Conrad.

When Gifted Students Own Their Learning

gtchat 01042018 Own Learning

Student ownership of learning is when a student becomes invested in his own learning; the realization that learning is of personal value to oneself. A student’s active involvement in their own education resulting from a desire to learn connotes student ownership of learning. At the beginning of the new year, #gtchat began the discussion of what it looks like for gifted students to own their learning.

Gifted students may or may not be motivated to take ownership of their own learning contrary to popular belief. If their strengths are not academic, they may have little interest in school. Motivation to take ownership of their learning may require educators to allow #stuvoice and choice; Socratic instruction; self-reflection; less dependence on planned lessons; less testing, more requests for feedback.

One of the best examples of students owning their learning can be found in Project-based Learning – learning proposed, directed and executed by the student. A personalized approach to PBL is especially appealing to gifted students. Another example of student owned learning is the creation of digital portfolios which can showcase their work. Portfolios may take the form of blogs, videos, or displaying art/music projects. Students can take ownership of their learning by building presentation skills either something as simple as PP to participating in a performance-based environment such as a recital.

How does technology impact student ownership of learning? Technology must enhance authentic learning; not just replication of learning. Gifted students may find building a computer or robot much more valuable than simply sitting and staring at a computer screen. It can play a vital role in the ownership of learning when used as a problem-solving tool rather than ‘the’ answer. Objectives and goals need to be personalized via technology. It enhances how students collect and share information. Technology can provide a sense of community with like-minded, intellectual peers who can work together; an oft-missed opportunity for gifted students in the past.

Virtually all work does not become valuable until it is presented/showcased. Students need to learn how to best present their ideas and projects in a meaningful way. This is a precursor for professional success in life as an adult. By learning presentation skills, it takes their learning to another level – kicks it up a notch! It also hopefully provides an authentic audience for their work. This in turn amplifies their motivation factor.

Changes need to be made to curriculum and instruction to ensure students have the skills to succeed. Instruction needs to evolve into facilitation. Meaningful learning and ownership of that learning will be enhanced by teacher led deep-level, thought provoking questioning and then thoughtful listening to provide feedback. Students should be provided with an environment that encourages imagination, student choice, freedom and time to explore interests, and finally a way to showcase their learning. A transcript of this chat can be found at Storify.

As we enter the 7th year of #gtchat, we would like to acknowledge those people behind the scene who make it all possible!

Thank you to the TAGT staff ~

Budget TAGT Staff

And to our Advisory Board ~

Own Learning Advisory Board

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 2 PM 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 Storify. 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

Links:

Can Students Learn Entirely on their Own?

New Experiments in Self-Teaching (TEDTalks 17:25)

School in the Cloud

The 5 Core Components of K-12 Entrepreneurship Education

World Peace Game Foundation

The Digital Transformation of Learning: Social, Informal, Self-Service, and Enjoyable

What Is Self-Directed Education?

10 Ways to Motivate Students to Take Responsibility for Their Learning

50 Ways to Empower Students in a Connected World

Getting Students to Take Responsibility for Learning

Creating Pupils Who take Responsibility for their Own Learning

5 Ways to Increase Student Ownership in Your Classroom

When Students Drive Learning, They Can Do So Much More

Cybraryman’s Student-Centered Classrooms Page

Self-Directed Learning: Documentation and Life Stories (GHF Press)

What Makes an ‘Extreme Learner’?

Cybraryman’s Presentation Tools Page

Cybraryman’s Games in Education Page

Genius Hour: Passion Projects that Ignite Innovation and Student Inquiry (Amazon)

Meet the #SinglePointRubric

New Tech Network’s Revised Oral Communication and Collaboration Rubrics

Ginger Lewman’s LifePractice PBL

Genius Hour/20% Time Livebinder

Resonate: Present Visual Stories that Transform Audiences (Amazon)

Stop Telling your Kids that School Will Prepare them for Life

Photo courtesy of Pixabay   CC0 Public Domain

Graphic courtesy of Lisa Conrad

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