Category Archives: Advocacy

Meeting the Needs of GT Students at the Secondary Level

gtchat 07182017 Secondary

In many school districts, the end of elementary school also signals the end of gifted programming as well. However, giftedness has been documented as existing across the lifespan. Mistakenly, too many in education have been slow to realize the significance of this or ignore it altogether.

What are the main obstacles to continuing GT programming at the secondary level? Most secondary GT programs are fed through existing primary programs; poor identification and lack of options weaken viability. GT programming must be supported by strong advocacy from faculty and administrators; sadly, something too often missing. Secondary scheduling, too, can be difficult for any student when so many factors are involved – available classes, faculty and facilities.

There are some innovative ways to include gifted classes in middle and high schools. Innovation needs to be based on acceptance that gifted classes should be demonstrably different from general education. Middle and high school GT classes reap the greatest benefit in standalone programming; both academically and social-emotionally.

How do you approach middle/high school students who weren’t challenged at elementary level? Teachers and parents shouldn’t shy away from providing remedial   or special skills classes to catch up GT students in specific areas. Professional development should be offered to teachers on identifying underachievers and/or 2E students.

What gets included in a GT student’s schedule should balance academics with passions; including the Arts. Students, parents and school personnel can make the best decisions when lines of communication are fully open.

Academic competitions can supplement a GT student’s schedule, but shouldn’t be considered a replacement. Many GT students love and thrive in academic competitions with intellectual peers; but it isn’t GT programming. For some of these students who lack a competitive spirit, it isn’t an answer at all.

Mentorships, internships and research projects can enhance GT programming, but not sufficient as standalone options. GT HS students should be engaged in college-level pursuits with adequate supports to ensure success. A transcript of the chat may be found at Storify.

Global #gtchat Powered by the Texas Association for the Gifted and Talented  is a weekly chat on Twitter. Join us Tuesdays at 8E/7C/6M/5P in the U.S. and Wednesdays 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 Storify. Our Facebook Page provides information on the chat and news & 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:

Uppervention: Meeting the Needs of Gifted & Talented Students

Meeting Needs of G&T Students: Case Study of Virtual Learning Lab in Rural Middle School (pdf)

Services for Secondary Students Who are Gifted Questions & Answers (pdf)

Tips for Teachers: Successful Strategies for Teaching Gifted Learners

Mentorship & Gifted Youth

The Myth of Gifted Curriculum: Rethinking Bloom’s Taxonomy (p. 6, pdf)

UK: Policy for Meeting the Needs of the Most Able, Gifted & Talented Boys (pdf)

Meeting the Needs of Gifted & Talented Students (Book Depository)

Attitudes of AP Teachers Meeting 21st Century Critical Thinking Needs of GT Secondary Students (pdf)

AP & IB Programs: A “Fit” for Gifted Learners?

2 Wrongs Don’t Make a Right: Sacrificing Needs of GT Ss Doesn’t Solve Society’s Unsolved Problems (pdf)

Educating Gifted Students in Middle School: A Practical Guide

How Are Districts Meeting the Needs of Gifted Students?

TX: GT Teacher Toolkit II Resources for teachers of G/T, AP and Pre-AP Classes

Placement in Talent Development (2000)

UT High School Professional Development

Cybraryman’s Multiple Intelligences and Multipotentiality Page

Cybraryman’s Growth Mindset Page

Do you have a Book to Share?

Photo courtesy of Pixabay    CC0 Public Domain

Graphic courtesy of Lisa Conrad.

Connecting the Gifted Community

gtchat 03212017 Connecting

For the past 5 years, Global #gtchat Powered by TAGT has had the support of the Texas Association for the Gifted and Talented. This has enabled #gtchat to grow and flourish not only on Twitter,  but to encompass an expanded web presence on Storify, Facebook, Pinterest, YouTube and a weekly post on the blog.

Connecting TAGT Staff2

With the Internet now an integral part of our lives, the choices to connect with like-minded people are ever-increasing. Many teachers have gravitated toward Twitter due to the expansive number of available educational chats (300+), ease of use, brevity of interactions, development of PLNs and the information about opportunities to connect offline at conferences and edCamps. A simple 30 minute daily commitment can provide a wealth of resources and contacts.

Connecting 2013 2016 Adv Board

A unique opportunity also exists for parents as participants in #gtchat as it is one of a very few Twitter chats that addresses the needs of both parents and teachers. Topics covered each week include a wide array of interests concerning the gifted community. Guests includes academics, psychologists, authors and leaders in the community. Twitter also provides a way for parents to connect both online and offline. Global #gtchat has arranged TweetUps at the international, national, and state level.

It was exciting to introduce our new #gtchat Advisory Board! You can connect with them on Twitter: Tracy Fisher @antraasa Ginger Lewman @GingerLewman Jeffrey Farley @FarleyJeffrey Jo Freitag @jofrei Heather Vaughn @msheathervaughn and Angie French @teachagiftedkid .

Connecting 2017 Adv Board

Thank you, also, to Mr. Jerry Blumengarten ( @cybraryman1) who was one of the original advisors of #gtchat from the beginning and a frequent contributor to #gtchat.

gtchat 03212017 Connecting Happy Birthday from Jerry

 

On a personal note: As I begin my 6th year as moderator of Global #gtchat Powered by TAGT, I look forward to facilitating the conversation for many more years to come. My contact information is listed below and I welcome your suggestions for topics, guests, and resources. A transcript of this chat can be found on our Storify page.

Global #gtchat Powered by the Texas Association for the Gifted and Talented  is a weekly chat on Twitter. Join us Tuesdays at 8E/7C/6M/5P in the U.S. and Wednesdays at 14.00 NZDT/12.00 AEDT/1.00 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 & information regarding the gifted community. Also, checkout our Pinterest Page and Playlist on YouTube.

Head Shot 2014-07-14  About the author: Lisa 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:

Cybraryman’s Twitter Educational Hashtags Page

Digital Learning Day: Social Media PD Best Practices

7 Tips for Getting the Most out of Twitter Chats

#gtchat on Participate Learn

#gtchat at the TAGT Website

Links for Portland Parents of Talented and Gifted Children

Social Networking – Impacting the World of Gifted Education

Global #gtchat Powered by TAGT Blog: Starting a Gifted Parents’ Group 

Texas Association for the Gifted and Talented (TAGT) Website

Twitter for Teachers – A Practical Guide to Get Started Today

6 Things Teachers Must Try This Summer!

Cybraryman’s Social Media Page

WISGIFT List-Serv (Wisconsin Gifted for advocates, educators, parents, and other supporters of gifted education)

Plymouth Gifted

Minnesota Council for the Gifted and Talented

Plymouth Gifted – 2017 Summer Opportunities

WCGTC 22nd Biennial Conference Registration

Gifted Homeschoolers Forum: Local and Regional Support

Minnesota Dept. of Education: Gifted Education

Hormel Foundation Gifted and Talented Symposium

AUS: Gifted Families Support Group Inc.

Sprite’s Site: The Twitter Stream

Gifted Homeschoolers Forum: Gifted Cubed

AUS: GERRIC at UNSW

Photo courtesy of Pixabay      CC0 Public Domain

Graphic courtesy of Lisa Conrad.

New Year, New Resolve

gtchat-01102017-new-year-new-resolve

 

 

The first chat of 2017 saw many familiar faces from across the U.S. and the globe! It was exciting to see many participants who had not been able to join us in recent months and their presence is always appreciated. All participants shared ways in which they would resolve to serve and advocate for gifted children in the new year. You may review a transcript of the chat at Storify and take a moment to check out the links from the chat below.

Global #gtchat Powered by the Texas Association for the Gifted and Talented  is a weekly chat on Twitter. Join us Tuesdays at 8E/7C/6M/5P in the U.S. and Wednesdays at 14.00 NZST/12.00 AEST/1.00 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 & information regarding the gifted community. Also, checkout our Pinterest Page and Playlist on YouTube.

Head Shot 2014-07-14  About the author: Lisa 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:

New Year’s Resolutions for Parents of Gifted Kids via @Giftedkidsguide

New Year’s Activities for Gifted Kids and Their Families

4 Year Old Explains the Problem with New Year Resolutions (YouTube 1:55)

I Will Treasure You: Resolutions for My Gifted Child

2016 Year in Review and Predictions for 2017

Gifted Advocacy: A Call to Action

How to Make New Year’s Resolutions You’ll Actually Keep

Your New Year’s Resolution: Make a Plan!

7 Smart New Year’s Resolutions for Students

Now That’s a Good Question! How to Promote Cognitive Rigor Through Classroom Questioning

Sprite’s Site: The Dabrowski Dogs Make New Year Resolutions

Plymouth Gifted: Words to Ponder

World Council for Gifted and Talented Children (WCGTC) 22nd Biennial World Conference in Sydney, Australia

Gifted Family Travel

Educators: The Lessons We Learned in 2016

The G Word: A New Documentary about Giftedness

Photo courtesy of PixabayCC0 Public Domain

Graphic courtesy of Lisa Conrad.

What is Twice Exceptional?

gtchat 07192016 Twice Exceptional

 

Twice-exceptional (2E) children are students identified as gifted, but with subtle or pronounced learning disabilities. It is a determination that can lead to frustration and lack of self-confidence. Although often defined as a disability first in most school districts, it is important to consider strengths over deficits when accommodating twice-exceptional students. Their full potential cannot be realized if their potential is never acknowledged. It is incumbent on educators to recognize that the very nature of twice-exceptionality allows for one condition to mask the other and prevent appropriate intervention. How many students are languishing in special education programs while their intellect and talents are ignored?

2E kids can show strength in many areas and yet have difficulty with organizational skills or task completion. Often, there are stark discrepancies between verbal and written work; but extraordinary task commitment when presented with something which interests them. This useful list of characteristics (pdf) provided by Jo Freitag  of Gifted Resources in Australia is long. However, as Tracy Fisher points out that when identifying 2E, “You expect to see ANYTHING and nothing. It’s not as simple as to provide a list of characteristics … GT kids can mask issues.” An interesting point made by Ruth Lyons, Adjunct Professor and Gifted and Talented Coordinator from Maine, is that “2E students test well on aptitude tests but may not perform well on achievement; this discrepancy speaks to unique abilities.”

Educators and administrators of gifted programs need to be educated about twice-exceptionality. As with most aspects of gifted education, this area of study is rarely covered in undergraduate education programs. Parents can present details of work and play habits in and out of school; documenting strengths as well as deficits. They can also share information, articles, and websites that deal with 2E kids with their child’s teacher. Check out the links below!

At this point in our chat, the discussion begged the question ~ Why do most professionals in the field of education prioritize deficits before strengths? Our participants said it best:

“Because we focus on raising the bar instead of raising the tide … ” Ruth Lyons

“Simply many are not trained to look at assets.” Meridian Learning

“Deficits are easier to see and federally mandated with an IEP. We still have this mentality that we can “fix” kids.” Alexandra Clough

It’s easy to see deficits first and federal mandates prioritize assistance in these areas through funding. Education policy is focused on bringing up the bottom; as with gifted, little attention is paid to excellence.

It is important to address exceptionalities together when developing an education plan. Opposing exceptionalities depend on accommodation and challenge to achieve the best possible outcomes. Failure to address both abilities and disabilities simultaneously can lead to frustration and even mental health issues.

Twice-exceptional children face social-emotional challenges. Many can understand social cues and context, but lack skills to engage in relationships with age-peers. Facing emotional setbacks, learning how to be resilient, and believing in their own abilities are all challenges for them. As Cassandra Figueroa, an educator in San Antonio, TX told us, ” With 2E you have complementary and contrary behaviors between the two exceptionalities, so it can be tricky to navigate.”

How can twice-exceptional students best be supported? 2E kids need to feel understood, be provided a caring environment, and encouraged to develop in areas of strength. A strong home-school support system rooted in understanding the basic needs of 2E students will strengthen their resolve. Educators should facilitate each student’s self-awareness and understanding of their own strengths with the introduction of role models and the assistance of mentors. A transcript of this chat may be found at Storify.

gtchat-logo-new bannner

Global #gtchat Powered by the Texas Association for the Gifted and Talented  is a weekly chat on Twitter. Join us Tuesdays at 8E/7C/6M/5P in the U.S. and Wednesdays at Noon (12.00) NZST/10.00 AEST/1.00 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 & information regarding the gifted community. Also, checkout our Pinterest Page and Playlist on YouTube.

Head Shot 2014-07-14  About the author: Lisa 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:

Connecticut Association for the Gifted – Twice Exceptional

Council for Exceptional Children

Gifted But Learning Disabled: A Puzzling Paradox (PDF 1990)

NAGC White Paper: Twice Exceptionality (PDF)

Resources for Gifted Children with Special Needs

The Twice Exceptional Dilemma (PDF)

Top 10 Pieces of Advice for Parents of Uniquely Gifted Children

Twice-Exceptional Students Gifted Students with Disabilities Level 1: An Introductory Resource Book (PDF)

Uniquely Gifted: Identifying and Meeting the Needs of the Twice-Exceptional Student (Amazon)

Wrights Law

Parenting Twice-Exceptional Children through Frustration to Success (pdf)

Improving Outcomes for 2E Children (pdf)

What It Means to Be 2E

The Exceptionality of Being Twice-Exceptional (pdf)

Twice Exceptional (2e) Child (YouTube 14:58)

Focus on Twice Exceptionality from TAGT Gifted Plus Division (pdf)

Sprite’s Site: 2E is

Sprite’s Site: What Make’s Them 2E

gtchat Freitag What Makes Them 2E

Picture Courtesy of Jo Freitag

Sprite’s Site: Pleading the Pink Slipper

Sprite’s Site: Purple Riding Boots

Sprite’s Site: New Shoes

Sprite’s Site: Flocks and Shoes

gtchat Freitag Flocks and Shoes

Picture Courtesy of Jo Freitag

Sprite’s Site: White Poodle, Black Poodle

Sprite’s Site: Stories of the OEs

#gtchat Blog: Mentoring Gifted Learners

To Be Gifted and Learning Disabled: Strategies for Helping Bright Students with LD, ADHD and More (Amazon)

Girl Battling Dyslexia Named National Self-Advocate in Special Education

Twice-Exceptional Newsletter

Hoagies Gifted: Twice-Exceptional = Exceptional Squared!

Gifted Homeschoolers Forum – Resources: Twice-Exceptional (2e)

School for Twice Exceptional Students to Open in CT

Cybraryman’s Twice Exceptional Children Page

Photo courtesy of Pixabay  CC0 Public Domain Graphic courtesy of Lisa Conrad.

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