Category Archives: Creative Thinking

Emotional Intelligence

gtchat 08022016 Emotional Intelligence

 

Emotional Intelligence can be defined as “the capacity to reason about emotions and emotional information, and of emotions to enhance thought.” (See here.) Emotional Intelligence is understanding emotions … both your own and others; and ultimately how to manipulate emotions. It is not simply being happy, optimistic, agreeable or even motivated … the fodder of self-help gurus. Being able to control emotions can aid in critical thinking and problem-solving under critical circumstances.

 

Linda Lantieri: Excerpt from the 2013 Bridging Hearts & Minds of Youth conference (YouTube 8:37)

Since being introduced in the early 1990s, the idea of teaching emotional intelligence has been debated in much the same way the existence of ‘gifted’ has been questioned. Is it nature or nurtured? Most would agree that it can be taught to some extent and any attempt to do so may produce modest, but appreciable benefits.

“Emotional Intelligence is discerning which emotions and actions are deemed appropriate for any given situation.” ~ Kristine Reese, ELP Coordinator

Emotional Intelligence is good for all students, but how important is it for gifted children? Emotional Intelligence is often equated with success that may elude gifted students without it. Raising emotional intelligence, even slightly, can sometimes counter the effects of being highly sensitive.

What differences can be seen between people with low and high Emotional Intelligence? People with low Emotional Intelligence characteristically are demanding, confrontational, egotistical, and stubborn. It is seen in people who are resistant to change, critical of others, and unreasonable. High Emotional Intelligence appears as someone who is ambitious, persuasive, and consistent. It is characterized as being enthusiastic, decisive and willing to listen to others.

“As teachers, we can help students develop Emotional Intelligence by modeling and giving opportunities to practice.” ~ Terri Eichholz, TX teacher of K-5 gifted students

To develop a basic Emotional Intelligence, a person must be willing to take the time to reflect on their own emotions. Developing Emotional Intelligence involves recognizing periods of extreme emotions and learning how to deal with them.

Finally, is there a downside to encouraging emotional intelligence in adults?  People who have a greater control of their own emotions can disguise their emotions better. Being able to read others’ emotions allows one to also manipulate, even against best interests, other people.

Emotional Intelligence is associated with success and most often, well-being. It is important for children to be able to assess their emotions and understand how to best develop them to meet their own goals. Adults can assist is nurturing it through role-modeling and talking to children honestly about it. 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:

What is Emotional Intelligence (EQ)?

Emotional Intelligence: New Ability or Eclectic Traits? (pdf 2008)

What Emotional Intelligence Is and Is Not

Tachykinesics—Those Fleeting Behaviors That Say So Much

3 Mistakes That Can Keep You from Living an Authentic Life

3 Ways Emotional Intelligence Can Save Your Relationship

The Socially Savvy: Can the clueless boost their emotional IQ?

How Focus Changed My Thinking about Emotional Intelligence

EQ (Emotional Intelligence)

Emotional Intelligence: Why It Can Matter More Than IQ (Amazon)

10 Qualities of People with High Emotional Intelligence

Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence

Emotions Matter Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence (pdf)

The Dark Side of Emotional Intelligence

Mindful Kids

How to Teach Your Kids about the Brain

Cybraryman’s EQ – Emotional Intelligence Page

Links with historical context:

Perceiving Affective Content in Ambiguous Visual Stimuli: A Component of Emotional Intelligence (pdf 1990)

Emotional Intelligence: Imagination, Cognition & Personality Salovey/Mayer (pdf 1990)

Emotional Intelligence & the Construction and Regulation of Feelings (pdf 1995)

Emotional Intelligence Meets Traditional Standards for an Intelligence (pdf 1999)

 

Photo courtesy of Pixabay   CC0 Public Domain 

Graphic courtesy of Lisa Conrad.

Design Thinking with Guest, Krissy Venosdale

gtchat 06142016 Design Thinking

 

Our guest today was Krissy Venosdale, Innovation Coordinator at The Kinkaid School in Houston, TX. You can learn more about Krissy at her website.

For this week’s chat, the second chat in our #gtchat Professional Development Summer Series, we wanted to look at design thinking, makerspaces and deep learning as they relate to gifted education. Design Thinking can be thought of as a process; a ‘way of thinking’. It enables you to face and answer challenges. The steps to be followed are Empathize, Define, Ideate, Prototype, and Test. As Krissy explained, Design Thinking “originated from the idea that we must know our users when we create for them – an excellent way to get kids thinking about others!” Michael Buist, a 5th grade teacher at the Knox Gifted Academy reminded us, “many GT/2E kids see the world in more intricate ways than most of us ever will.” A great reason why Design Thinking resonates with many of them.

When it come to resources, Krissy told us that, “You can find them free online. Think of the steps as a structure and make it work for your classroom.” When considering professional development, Krissy said, “form a group of teachers to try it with; share ideas; support each other. Read a guide together.” Although resources are important, design thinking is more a mindset to re-imagine how we view education.

The discussion then turned to Design Thinking challenges which are an open-ended format that works well for events and  competitions. Krissy explained, “Design Challenges can be as quick as, design a boat with a piece of paper that will hold as many paperclip passengers as possible or as complex as, design and build an invention to improve the campus recycling issue. [And] the beauty? No limits in Design Thinking; it’s open ended and INVITES kids to imagine, create, and explore. Things deep-thinkers LOVE!”

“Just don’t think of Design Thinking as “one more thing to do. It’s an oven to bake the learning in. Tastes better than a microwave!” ~ Krissy Venosdale

Can Design Thinking be integrated with gifted education models? As a pedagogy directed at creating innovation, it can be integrated into pull-outs, stand-alones as well as independent studies. Design Thinking gives gifted students the opportunity to explore passions and decide on priorities. DT challenges speak to the academic mindset and can be initiated in multi-age, cross curricular environments. According to Krissy, “Design Thinking is a totally natural fit in gifted education. Process is emphasized, along with creativity; and thinking outside the box. It breaks down the walls of perfectionism. You aren’t worried about being right if iteration is encouraged.”

At this point in the chat, many participants were already hinting at the synergy between Design Thinking and ‘making’. Design Thinking serves as a catalyst to making; a framework to understanding the process of making. Krissy excitedly pointed out, “Design Thinking is all about the process, iterating, prototyping… maker mindset galore! Joy and play belong, too! Maker mindset BELONGS in gifted programs. GT programs need to be the MOST INNOVATIVE places on campus.”

“Too many kids are starving for creativity like little birds with their mouths open.. waiting. It’s time to FEED them. All of these new ideas, can give gifted education a much needed refresh and update! “ ~ Krissy Venosdale

How does design thinking affect deeper learning; a much desired requisite for gifted education?Deeper Learning is a mix of knowledge; critical thinking, problem solving, and communication skills. It facilitates learning how to learn; an intricate part of deeper learning. 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:

Launch: Using Design Thinking to Boost Creativity & Bring Out the Maker in Every Student (Amazon)

Design Thinking in Education: Empathy, Challenge, Discovery & Sharing

An Educator’s Guide to Design Thinking (pdf)

Design Thinking in Schools

Designers: Think Big! (TED Talk 16:50)

45 Design Thinking Resources for Educators

How the Maker Movement Is Moving Into Classrooms

The Design Thinking Toolkit for Educators (Email req’d for download)

Design Thinking in the Primary & Elementary Grades via @krissyvenosdale

5-Minute Film Festival: Design Thinking in Schools 

Design Thinking in Schools: An Emerging Movement Building Creative Confidence in our Youth

Design Thinking Projects and Challenges

Culture by Design

Embracing Failure as a Necessary Part of Deeper Learning

The Deeper Learning Network (pdf)

Teaching Kids Design Thinking, So They Can Solve the World’s Biggest Problems

How to Apply Design Thinking, HCD, UX or Any Creative Process from Scratch

Krissy Venosdale’s Blog

Makerology at KrissyVenosdale.com

Stanford Webinar – Design Thinking = Method, Not Magic (YouTube 49:31)

Design Challenge Learning

Design Thinking in Action

What Kind of Challenges Can be Addressed Using Design Thinking?

How is Design Thinking Being Implemented in the Business World?

The Virtual Crash Course in Design Thinking

Cybraryman’s Design Thinking Page

Cybraryman’s Empathy Page

Bootcamp Bootleg (pdf)

Montclair State University Gifted and Talented

Graphic courtesy of Lisa Conrad.

Inspiring Gifted Kids through Emerging Technologies

gtchat 05032016 Emerging Tech

 

 

The emergence of new technologies has historically been a source of inspiration for generations of high-ability and gifted students. Today, however, it’s important to realize that development of these technologies is on an exponential trajectory; years, not decades. The need for highly qualified candidates in STEM fields can often make for an excellent career choice for students interested in areas such as AI, cyber security, biotech, big data, space exploration, and synthetic engineering or even cutting-edge technologies like quantum computing, digital telepathy, and algorithmic personality detection. The opportunities are mind-boggling.

Classroom technologies on the horizon will also help to inspire gifted kids. Augmented reality, virtual field trips, 3D printing, cloud computing, digital libraries; all are poised to disrupt how they learn. Traditional education is set to be revolutionized as teachers become facilitators; not simply lecturers. New methods such as game-based learning will not only aid in how students learn, but provide opportunity for our brightest students to create and design the games. Biometrics will allow teachers to track student comprehension; and provide evidence for the need to differentiate instruction on an individual basis. Online education utilizing technologies like Second Life are already being implemented to create global classrooms.

“According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, tech jobs related to environmental innovation are the fastest growing.” ~ Dr. Cait Fuentes King

Recent research has shown how important it is to expose young children to technology. The top 10 career choices (2-12 y.o.) are positions highly visible in their everyday lives and in the media. As they get older, we know that passion follows exposure. Kids should experience the possibilities of tech careers through engaging field trips to high-tech companies, attending summer camps, mentoring and internships. Early introduction to STEM careers allows the creation of skill sets over a longer period of time and inspires kids before the ‘nerd’ factor sets in.

How can science and education collaborate to promote STEM in schools? Scientists working as local school advisors and serving as mentors to students is a good first step. Tech companies can provide funding and resources for STEM education; aiding in the development of career pipelines.

Parents, too, can encourage their kids to explore STEM careers. They can talk to their kids about following their passions; dreaming big! Parents should seek out opportunities such as after-school programs, competitions (chess, robotics, etc.), online classes, and classes at local libraries, museums, and universities.

A transcript of this chat can 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

Disclaimer: Inclusion of links in this chat does not imply an endorsement for any company or group.

Links:

Exponential Technologies | Peter H. Diamandis (YouTube 19:48)

10 Breakthrough Technologies 2016

8 Tech Trends to Watch in 2016

Four Big Technology Trends For 2016

Scientists Inspiring Kids: Students Visit our National Labs

Showing, Not Telling to Engage Students in STEM

8 Technologies That Will Shape Future Classrooms

7th Annual Kids-at-Play Awards for Innovation in Children’s Media

Inspiring the Next Tech Gurus of Generation Z

Robots, Drones & Wearables for Kids at CES 2016 – Tech Age Kids Roundup

Institute for Meaningful Instruction

Rainbow Loom

Cybraryman’s Virtual Reality Page

Cybraryman’s Robotics Page

Cybraryman’s Virtual Field Trips Page

Cybraryman’s 3D Printers Page 

Cybraryman’s Augmented Reality Page

Cybraryman’s Project-Based Learning Page

Cybraryman’s STEM/STEAM Page

Cybraryman’s Careers Page

Cybraryman’s Multiple Literacies Page

Cybraryman’s Women’s History Page

Top 10 Emerging Technologies of 2015

Tech Titans STEMfire

Thrively

First LEGO League

The Only Girl at Her Science Camp

Can Teaching Spatial Skills Help Bridge the STEM Gender Gap?

Why the Maker Movement Is Important to America’s Future

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

Strategies for Teaching Critical Thinking

gtchat 04052016 Critical Thinking

 

“Critical thinking is not to be devoured in a single sitting nor yet at two or three workshops. It is a powerful concept to be savored and reflected upon. It is an idea to live and grow with. It focuses upon that part of our minds that enables us to think things through, to learn from experience, to acquire and retain knowledge.” ~ Paul Hurd, State of Critical Thinking Today

Research indicates that having a standard definition of critical thinking can enhance its teaching. (Choy/Cheah 2009) According to Hurd (2004), “Critical thinking is the art of thinking about thinking with a view to improving it. Critical thinkers seek to improve thinking, in three interrelated phases. They analyze thinking. They assess thinking. And they up-grade thinking (as a result).”

“Critical thinking is the ability to conceptualise, analyse, synthesize, evaluate information and challenge assumptions.” ~ Jo Freitag, Gifted Resources 

In light of the importance of teaching critical thinking, we turned out attention to discussing whether or not teachers are being prepared at the undergraduate level or subsequently during professional development opportunities to do so. Most were in agreement that not only are teachers not prepared, but their time is preoccupied with test prep. Also, they lack incentive to promote thinking which doesn’t support support standardized testing and is difficult to assess. Only one teacher at this chat reported working in a district that actively supports and expects the teaching of critical thinking.

What strategies work best for teaching critical thinking? Educators need to act as facilitators of discussions that may not result in ‘right’ answers. One strategy involves writing essays based on prompts that adhere to Bloom’s Taxonomy of  Higher Order Thinking. (Smith/Szymanski 2013). Another is to have students create a wiki about subject they’re studying or analyze existing wikis; enhance tech skills. (Snodgrass 2011) Other strategies offered included teaching students questioning techniques, problem-based learning, identify the ‘big’ ideas, and stepping back to listening to student-voice. For more ideas, see links below.

Assessing critical thinking skills can be difficult, but it can be done. Assessment of critical thinking instruction can include course evaluation; analyze students’ understanding of critical thinking Teachers can assess whether students can reason between conflicting viewpoints. Educators should continually provide valuable feedback to students before considering assessment. One school mentioned during chat experimented with newspaper blackout poems, and analyzed each article for bias to practice critical thinking here.

“Critical thinkers know how to ask the RIGHT questions.” ~ Stacy Hughes, a Texas teacher

What are some intellectual traits of a critical thinker? Critical thinkers have ability to realize personal limitations; recognize personal bias; willing to work through complexities. They are willing to change when faced with evidence contrary to their own beliefs.

“Whether enrolled in preschool, elementary, middle, or high school, the integration of critical thinking skills into the daily content and lessons is essential for achieving …(Tomlinson, 2003). This infusion, along with also taking into account student interest, readiness, and learning styles, provides the foundation and walls for raising the ceiling of students’ scholastic growth and intellectual stimulation.” ~ McCollister and Sayler in Lift the Ceiling

The benefits of learning how to think critically can extend throughout a student’s life. During their school years, in-depth focus on enhancing critical thinking increases rigor & standardized test scores (Van- Tassel Baska, et al. 2009). By tracking patterns in information – seeing info as a process; students develop skills of recognition and prediction. Students who can think deeply, make relevant connections and reasoned decisions; value and respect ideas of others. They can think independently; consider multiple perspectives; go beyond surface learning. 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:

Teaching Gifted Kids to Explain Their Thinking 

When Kids Have Structure for Thinking, Better Learning Emerges

Preparing Leaders for Deeper Learning

Assessing Deeper Learning: A Survey of Performance Assessment and Mastery-Tracking Tools (pdf)

6 Entry Points for Deeper Learning

10 Great Critical Thinking Activities That Engage Your Students

Tech That Spurs Critical Thinking l

Applied Disciplines: A Critical Thinking Model for Engineering

The State of Critical Thinking Today: The Need for a Substantive Concept of Critical Thinking (pdf)

Critical Thinking: Tools for Taking Charge of Your Learning and Your Life (Amazon)

The Question Game: A Playful Way To Teach Critical Thinking

6 Rules to Break for Better, Deeper-Learning Outcomes

How Do We Raise Critical Thinkers? (Infographic)

The Importance of Teaching Critical Thinking

Lift the Ceiling: Increase Rigor with Critical Thinking Skills (pdf)

Critical Thinking Concepts and Tools (pdf)

Intellectual Growth, School, and Thriving of the Gifted (pdf) in TEMPO Page 9

Infusing Teaching of Critical & Creative Thinking into Content Instruction for Elem Grades (Amazon)

Teaching Critical Thinking in Age of Digital Credulity 

Critical Thinking Pathways

What It Means To Think Critically

Using a Question Building Chart to Provoke Student Thought

Sprite’s Site: Critical Thinking

Critical Thinking Testing and Assessment

Cybraryman’s Critical Thinking Page

Making Thinking Visible: How to Promote Engagement, Understanding, and Independence for All Learners (Amazon)

Defining Critical Thinking

Orientation Lecture Series: Learning to Learn Developing Critical Thinking Skills (pdf)

How to Foster Critical and Creative Thinking

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

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