Category Archives: creativity

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.

 

 

Building a Successful Gifted Program

Gifted programs should ensure a continuum of services throughout a GT student’s entire K-12 school career. They should include opportunities for all forms of acceleration, differentiation in the regular classroom, and alternative learning environments. All gifted programs need a social-emotional component to fully meet the needs of gifted students.

Best practices in gifted identification require a multifaceted approach. Reliance on only one measurement, such as IQ tests, will result in many students being missed. Out-of-level testing are essential to avoid inaccurate measurements. Because the best programs are tailored to student needs and not vice versa; universal testing as well as parent and teacher recommendations, should be utilized. Gifted identification should be culturally sensitive, linguistically appropriate, and take into account low-SES environmental factors such as lack of access to technology.

The best gifted programs provide challenge to all GT students include PG, twice-exceptional, and ELL. Curriculum should promote authentic experiential learning experiences and be conducive to exploration of student interests. A gifted curriculum should be more complex, provide in-depth study of key-concepts; and stress higher-level thinking, creativity, and problem solving. It can include enrichment and compacting as needed. Services may include standalone gifted classrooms; full-grade or subject acceleration; full or part day pull-out; independent study; early entrance/early out; dual enrollment in college classes; and counseling services.

Parents should be included in district planning and evaluation of gifted programs. Programs serve students and parents are often good judges of their child’s need. Their involvement can be a conduit for advocacy of gifted programs. As programs develop, parents need to be informed of identification criteria and procedures; and have access to application forms. Utilizing classroom tech, social media, and newsletters are all ways to stay connected. Forming a Parent Support or Advocacy group is a great way to build support for a school’s gifted programs. Parents can be invited to special information sessions at Parent Night events or engaged at regular monthly meetings.

Professional development is essential in a high quality gifted program. Few teachers receive any coursework in gifted education during their undergraduate years. PD should be often and on-going to be effective. Gifted endorsement is highly recommended. Most endorsements are attainable online. Many states require teachers of gifted students to receive continuing education credits in gifted education.

What criteria should be used for evaluating effectiveness of program options & design? Criteria for student products should high-level and exemplary. Student products should be comparable to those of professionals in the field, challenge existing ideas, and produce new ones. Criteria for evaluating a program’s success and effectiveness should rely on standardized, achievement, and performance-based assessments as well as program feedback from all stakeholders – students, teachers and parents. All students, including GT students, should demonstrate academic growth with special care identify areas of strength and weakness in order to modify existing programs to better meet students’ needs.

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 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:

Gifted Program Development

Building an Exemplary Gifted Program

Elements of a Good School Gifted Program

South Carolina – Gifted and Talented Best Practices Guidelines: Identification (pdf)

Gifted Education in America is Finally Moving Past its Legacy of Inequality

Why School Districts Are Rethinking Gifted & Talented Programs

Why Grouping Kids Based on Ability Works

Duke TIP Study Finds Using Local Criteria Identifies More Students as ‘Gifted’

Featured California Schools for Gifted Learners

Top Four Things to Look for in Your Gifted Program

The Best Kind of Schools for Gifted Kids

TAGT: Program Evaluation

Program Evaluation in Gifted Education (Book)

Gifted Education Strategies

Developing Exemplary Gifted Developing Exemplary Gifted Programs: Programs: What does the research say? What does the research say? (pdf)

High-Potential Students Thrive when School Districts Develop Sustainable Gifted Services

Texas State Plan for the Education of Gifted/Talented Students 2019 Final (pdf)

UK: What Works in Gifted Education? A Literature Review (pdf)

Is Gifted Education a Bright Idea? Assessing the Impact of Gifted and Talented Programs on Achievement and Behavior (pdf)

What Works in Gifted Education: Documenting the Effects of an Integrated Curricular/Instructional Model for Gifted Students

Gifted Education in China

State of the Nation in Gifted Education 2012 – 2013 (pdf)

Photo courtesy of Pixabay  CC0 Public Domain

Graphic courtesy of Lisa Conrad.

Nurturing Brilliance at School and at Home

Brilliance (to me) is being exceptional at whatever you do. It can pertain to a specific talent or intelligence; highly-abled. It is that ‘spark’ you see in a child when they ‘get it’, but others may not. When we fail to nurture young brilliance, there’s the chance that the spark may dim over time or even fail to ignite at all. Nurturing brilliance can affect the direction a life takes; toward success or mediocrity. It’s important to ignite a child’s passion which is a great motivator. Failing to nurture brilliance unfortunately can lead to problematic behavior which can be a hindrance to success at best or debilitating at worst.

Nurturing brilliance is the essence of good teaching. Students should be encouraged to engage in intellectual risk-taking and to consider learning from mistakes rather than succumbing to failure. It’s important that one never assume a gifted student will ‘make it on their own’. They are in need of as much support and guidance as all students.

Parents and teachers can share strategies through home-school communication which encourage students to try their best and not be deterred by failure. They can identify a student’s strengths and weaknesses and then look for ways to use both to achieve academic goals. Parents and teachers can partner to develop a plan to provide early access to more challenging work and availability of extra support through intellectual peer networks and mentors.

Parents can support their child’s emotional and academic needs while taking into consideration their stress levels by encouraging participation in activities in which they delight; i.e., having fun together! It’s important for parents of gifted children to be reasonable with their expectations of their child’s abilities, not overschedule activities, and not view academic success as a competition with other parents.

Parents can nurture their gifted child at home by building thinking skills through the encouragement of observation, description, sequencing, classification, how things are alike and different, and analogy. Nurturing giftedness at home should encourage metacognition, flexible thinking, persistence, managing impulsivity, and finding ways to spark imagination. Parents should encourage their child to try things at which they aren’t necessarily good, avoid comparing them to siblings and age-peers, and provide the tools needed for success such as mentors and access to academic resources.

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/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:

Nurturing Brilliance: Discovering and Developing Your Child’s Gifts (book)

Nurturing Brilliance: Discovering and Developing Gifts of Every Child (webinar)

8 Ways to Support Your Gifted Child

How to Nurture Your Gifted Child

The Self-Driven Child: The Science and Sense of Giving Your Kids More Control Over Their Lives (book)

Want Your Child to Be a High Achiever? This 47-Year Study Reveals 7 Things You Can Do

The Joys and Challenges of Raising a Gifted Child

For gifted kids, better to be hands-on or -off?

Off the Charts: The Hidden Lives and Lessons of American Child Prodigies (book)

School Counselors and Gifted Kids: Respecting Both Cognitive and Affective

Counseling for Gifted Students: Implication for a Differentiated Approach

Shame and the Gifted: The Squandering of Potential

How do You Raise a Genius? Researchers Say They’ve Found the Secret to Successful Parenting

Gifted Children: Nurturing Genius

Nurturing Genius

Training Teachers to Nurture Gifted Students

Identification and Nurturing the Gifted from an International Perspective

APA: Opening New Vistas for Talented Kids – Psychologists are Working to Nurture Gifted and Talented Children

Nurturing Giftedness Among Highly Gifted Youth (pdf)

Nurturing Social Emotional Development of Gifted Children (Webb)

Image courtesy of Pixabay Pixabay License

Graphic courtesy of Lisa Conrad.

Characteristics of Gifted Children

 

Characteristics need to go beyond simple checklists to determine the extent of a child’s giftedness. Observation is often the first step in deciding whether or not to begin the identification process. It’s important to know what you are looking for and why. Checklists aside, characteristics may include mastery of a particular discipline that begins much younger than in age-peers, more easily, and much faster. Gifted children may display ‘near obsessive’ interests which go well beyond those of age-mates. They may be drawn to others with similar approaches/interests.

Understanding what to look for when identifying a gifted child has implications for both teachers and parents. Teachers need to know how to modify learning environment and curriculum based on unique characteristics of their students. Parents need to understand characteristics of gifted children to inform parenting decisions that go beyond consideration of academic performance and also considers the importance of their child’s all around environment. They should understand that gifted children need to be nurtured with attention paid to their child’s gifted characteristics.

Incorrect diagnosis is often the result of professionals lacking information and experience about what it means to be gifted. It’s important for professionals to have foundational knowledge of gifted characteristics and parents should question anyone dealing with their child beforehand to determine if they are qualified to assess the child. Different abilities may mask each other making a diagnosis or determination more difficult; especially when identifying gifted children with learning differences.

How do Dąbrowski’s Overexcitabilities relate to characteristics of gifted children? Dąbrowski’s work did not originate in the area of giftedness, but has been subsequently recognized and applied to the study of gifted individuals. Although not originally posited for gifted individuals only, Dąbrowski’s Overexcitabilities were adopted by gifted advocates and academics as a way to explain many of the behaviors they saw in the gifted. Dąbrowski’s Overexcitabilities included Psychomotor, Sensual, Intellectual, Imaginational, and Emotional. Creative and gifted individuals appear to express OEs to a greater degree through increased intensity, awareness and sensitivity.

As a field, gifted education is often criticized for its lack of diversity in gifted programs; especially in public schools. What characteristics of GT children should we look for in underrepresented populations? Intelligence tests are notoriously biased both in fairness to diverse populations and the scope of which they test; in areas, such as, math or verbal reasoning. Skills and characteristics that can be overlooked in diverse populations (ethnicity, low SES) include a child’s ability to make intellectual connections far beyond age-peers or possessing a voracious curiosity.

Defining what it means to be gifted has evolved over the past few decades. Has this been reflected in what we look for as being gifted in the 21st century? Do preferred educational outcomes influence what is thought to be gifted characteristics? What one looks for influences the questions asked; take into consideration how assessments have changed to look beyond how quickly content/knowledge is acquired or remembered. In-demand skills such as the ability to think critically, creativity, collaboration, learning from failure, problem solve … these require rethinking how we see who is gifted. High achievers do not always meet the definition of gifted individuals. Today we look for a child who is able to assess their own strengths and weakness, determine their own learning goals, create learning objectives, and communicate what they know in novel ways.

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:

What is Gifted and Talented?

Closing the Gifted Gap: Recognizing Characteristics of Giftedness in Underrepresented Populations (Vimeo 45:44)

Gifted Children: What to Look For? Why You Should Know? (YouTube 16:11)

Cognitive Characteristics of the Gifted – Reconceptualized in the Context of Inquiry Learning and Teaching

What is “Gifted” or “High Ability?”

Characteristics of High Ability Learners

Characteristics of Gifted Students: Age and Gender. Findings from Three Decades

The Curse of Genius

Giftedness 101 (Silverman)

Common Traits and Characteristics of Gifted Children

Common Characteristics of Gifted Individuals

50 Common Characteristics of Gifted Children (Slideshare)

Characteristics and Signs of Giftedness

Recognizing Gifted Students: A Practical Guide for Teachers (pdf)

New Zealand: Characteristics of the gifted – Ngā pūmanawa kia manawa tītī

Characteristics of Giftedness

How to Spot a Gifted Student

Giftedness and the Gifted: What’s It All About?

Kazimierz Dąbrowski Interview 5 – University of Alberta (YouTube 1:00)

Dąbrowski’s Overexcitabilities

Mind Matters Podcast Episode 30: Beneath the Surface of Giftedness

A New Window for Looking at Gifted Children (pdf)

Cybraryman’s Gifted Identification Page

Mind Matters Podcast Episode 21: Opening Doors To Diversity In Gifted Education

Graphic courtesy of Lisa Conrad

 

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