Category Archives: Critical Thinking

Beyond Honors & AP: How can we best serve secondary G/T students?

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Meeting the needs of gifted and talented students in middle and high school is often a subject approached very differently by those in general education and gifted advocates. This week at #gtchat we discussed how to best meet the needs of these students with Colin E. Seale of thinkLaw. Joining Colin, was Sarah Pfeiler, Curriculum and Training Manager at thinkLaw.

Honors Colin Bio

So many gifted and talented kids breeze through elementary school and lack of challenge leaves them ill-prepared for middle and high school. These identified students face many teachers who lack professional development and knowledge of what the ‘gifted’ label entails, or  have inappropriate expectations. Twice exceptional students may face the biggest challenge when schools see only deficits and fail to support strengths.

Gifted and talented students often struggle when there is no “right” answer. Educators must learn how to channel perfectionism into positive action; involve student voice and choice in relation to passions. They should share with the student what perfectionism is and is not.

Most gifted students are pulling rather than being pushed when it comes to technology in school. Allowing them to create their own tech is a great incentive; for example; learn coding as a second language.

Today’s high students will have careers in fields that do not yet exist. Future prospects should be partnered with passions and mentorships. Gifted students are often the visionaries! They can be supported by providing opportunities to explore personal choices in their education.

Gifted and talented students go to college and are ‘big fish’ in a ‘bigger pond.’ How do you prepare them for the transition out of high school?  GT students who are challenged in high school are better prepared for the transition to higher education. Educators should provide opportunities to begin the transition when ready via Early College, Dual Enrollment, and Early Out.

How do you help gifted and talented students to broaden their perspective of success beyond GPA, SAT, and ACT scores? They know the score. Offer new ways to learn: PBL, Genius Hour, Design Thinking, and mentorships. Expose them to testing early so it becomes routine. Begin thinking about college and beyond earlier than age-peers.

With appropriate professional development and open minds, educators will be prepared to best serve gifted and talented students. A transcript of this chat can 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 1 PM NZST/11 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:

TAGT Summit: Serving Secondary G/T Students

Canon City Schools (CO): Transitions & Portability

Accommodating the Social Emotional Needs of Secondary Gifted/Learning Disabled Students

Perfectionism A Practical Guide to Managing “Never Good Enough”

Helpful Tips for Parents of Perfectionistic Gifted Learners

Using Technology to Engage GT Students

Using Technology in Gifted & Talented Education Classrooms: Teachers’ Perspective pdf)

How Can We Prepare Kids For Jobs That Don’t Exist Yet?

A Field Guide to ‘jobs that don’t exist yet’

11 Really Cool Jobs that Don’t Exist Today but Will Soon

The Efficacy of AP Programs for Gifted Students

5 Summer Activities for Gifted and Talented Students

Ten Essential Tips to Help your Gifted Teen Plan for College

thinkLaw: Sample Lesson Download

thinkLaw: Critical Thinking Webinar

Empathy: Healing the Awkward Heart (video 5:49)

Cybraryman’s Empathy Page

Cybraryman’s Study Skills/Organization Page

Perfectionism and Gifted Students (YouTube 1:04:31)

Failing Fabulously: 3 Ways Re-framing Mistakes Builds Critical Thinking (Video  5:43)

Cybraryman’s Social and Emotional Learning Page

BBC: Make a One Minute Movie

Cybraryman’s Critical Thinking Page

Hoagies’ Gifted: Perfectionism and the Gifted Child

Wonderopolis (YouTube 4:20)

Awkward Silences: 3 Ways Wait Time Enhances Critical Thinking (Video 6:17)

Cybraryman’s The 4 C’s+ Page

Cybraryman’s Soft Skills Page

6 Tips for Helping Your High-Schooler Learn to Self-Advocate

Cool Colleges: For the Hyper-Intelligent, Self-Directed, Late Blooming, and Just Plain Different, 2nd Ed. (Amazon)

James and Susie (YouTube 5:15)

Graphic courtesy of Lisa Conrad.

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Project-Based Learning: Doing It Right!

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This week it was a pleasure to welcome #gtchat Advisor and long-time friend of our chat, Ginger Lewman, to discuss project-based learning. Ginger is a popular keynote and presenter at gifted and education conferences around the world. If you ever get a chance to hear her speak, it will be an experience to remember.

The benefits of project-based learning are extensive and especially good for gifted and talented students. It is a driver for critical thinking, collaboration and innovation. Project-based learning can spark creativity and develop problem solving skills as well as provide deeper, more meaningful learning for students.

“Soft skills and emotional intelligence can be a struggle for some gifted and talented students. Project-based learning helps them grow in a safe environment. Students get to work in areas of strength and interest bringing interests. Good for all students, but essential to untapped potential.”                                                                             ~ Ginger Lewman

Teachers and students are  the primary stakeholders and beneficiaries in the pedagogical shift to project-based learning. Students are now in the driver’s seat and  the teacher is the facilitator.  To make the shift work well, teachers must be open to the democratization of their classrooms; be willing to open up their own thinking to criticism. Students should realize efficacy in their efforts; empowered to lead rather than follow. Parents, too, are stakeholders when they seek to hold the system accountable for authentic learning by becoming involved.

How does an educator design and implement quality project-based learning? They need to understand that it’s a steep learning curve for all involved at the beginning. ‘Planning sessions must focus on long-term sustainability instead of a just one-off workshop.’ (TeachThought)

“Project-based learning can be a gateway-drug for seeing students’ strengths, interests, and talents. AND for recognizing a NEED for something MORE.”                                                                              ~ Ginger Lewman

Teachers must balance project-based learning with testing, accountability, curriculum and pacing. They need to begin to think differently about testing and accountability; learning to think trumps content every time. Today, teaching is going under some fundamental changes requiring a lot of soul searching about outcomes and authenticity.

What does quality feedback look like and how do you assess the success of project-based learning? High quality project-based learning leads to the creation of a product such as a display, performance, or construction. Assessments include peer and self-assessment, are both formative and summative, develop content and success skills,  as well as process and products. (Getting Smart)

You can take project-based learning to the next level with more sophisticated project design and assessment. Self-reflection completes a quality project-based learning  experience through journaling, presentation and/or group discussion. Performance tasks should reflect competency by demonstrating knowledge and skills. The projects will show authentic learning including student choice and voice. A transcript of this chat can 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:

PBL and LifePractice PBL

Ginger Lewman (website)

About Ginger Lewman

STEAMmaker Camps

7 Questions to Guide Your PBL Implementation Plan

4 Things All Project-Based Learning Teachers Should Do

Using Project-Based Learning to Flip Bloom’s Taxonomy for Deeper Learning

Does Your Teaching Have the 4 Categories of High-Quality PBL?

Project-Based Learning Is Here to Stay: Let’s Make Sure It’s High Quality

Preparing Students for a Project-Based World

How I Connect Students Through Project-Based Learning

Don’t just say it. Do it! Motivation & PBL

PBL: Navigating Timelines & Curriculum Maps

So Your Kids’ PBL Work Sucks? 8 Ways to Improve It!

PBL is Here to Stay: Let’s Make Sure It’s High Quality (Part 1)

PBL is Here to Stay: Let’s Make Sure It’s High Quality (Part 2)

Sprite’s Site: Grey Sneakers

Project Based Learning, Preparing Students for the Work Force of the Future

PBL and Special Student Populations

Motivating for Mastery: It Starts with a Simple Question

Essential Components for LifePractice PBL Planning (pdf)

Cybraryman’s Project-Based Learning Page

ESSDACK Education Products

3 Ingredients for Assessing Learning in the PBL Classroom

Your Rubric is a Hot Mess; Here’s How to Fix It

Practicing PBL: Self-Directed Learning for Self-Starters (and finishers) (paid course)

Assessing Learning in the PBL Classroom: A top FAQ

Pondering the Complexity of ‘Mastery’ Learning Assessment

Background photo courtesy of Flickr   CC BY-SA 2.0

Graphic courtesy of Lisa Conard. Photo courtesy of Ginger Lewman.

Educating Gifted Students for Global Competence

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Global competence is not a subject often talked about in gifted circles, but it is widely discussed in the greater education community. Gifted and talented students need to be front and center in understanding the significance of becoming leaders on the global stage.

How exactly do we define global competence? It is the having the capacity and disposition to understand and act on issues of global significance. Global competence is the acknowledgment that the world is qualitatively different from the industrial age and our educational systems must change in response to new challenges.

Many problems in our world today would benefit from having globally competent students. Climate instability is driving migration and immigration necessitating the need for global environmental stewardship. The digital revolution is triggering new concerns about cyber-security which require a new kind of graduate. How global markets operate, transnational production and social interactions demand a new approach to education.

What characteristics of gifted students make them well-suited for success in a global age? They are often deep thinkers who can understand & solve emerging global problems. Many gifted students are empathic to diverse perspectives and act toward the common good. They often have the ability to thoughtfully and respectfully articulate their position.

There are obstacles to changing the focus of instruction in today’s schools. Policymakers are rarely prepared to seriously and effectively think about education for a truly global era. There is a deep distrust of education in many places that attempts to transcend borders. Few people seem prepared to take into consideration cultures, values or priorities of nations different from their own.

What does quality instruction for global competence look like? First, it identifies engaging topics of local and global significance. Quality instruction must use global competence-centered assessments and focus on outcomes.

In the future, globally competent students will be able to use big ideas, tools, methods and languages in any discipline to solve pressing issues. They can recognize multiple perspectives, communicate effectively & take action to improve conditions. A transcript of this week’s chat can be found at 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 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:

Educating for Global Competence: Learning Redefined for an Interconnected World (pdf)

Mastering Global Literacy Contemporary Perspectives on Literacy (Amazon)

Global Competence Aptitude Assessment

Connected Courses Active Co-Learning in Higher Ed

Skype in the Classroom

SENG Connect

Kathy Schrock’s Guide to Everything Twitter for Teachers

The Global Education Toolkit for Elementary Learners (Amazon)

Most Likely to Succeed: Preparing Our Kids for the Innovation Era (Amazon)

An Attainable Global Perspective (pdf 1976)

EU: European Strategy (Maastricht Global Education Declaration) (pdf)

Educating for Global Competence: Preparing Our Youth to Engage the World

Education for Global Leadership (pdf)

How Education Changes: Considerations of History, Science & Values (pdf Gardner)

Education for Citizenship in an Era of Global Connection (pdf)

Five Minds for the Future (Amazon)

Learning in the Global Era (pdf)

Veronica Boix Mansilla – Global Competence (YouTube 12:11)

The Global Classroom Project

Global Education Conference

Cure What Ails You: A Dose of Twitter for Every Day

Connecting Your Students with the World: Tools and Projects to Make Global Collaboration Come Alive, K-8 (Amazon)

Photo courtesy of Pixabay  CC0 Creative Commons

Graphic courtesy of Lisa Conrad.

Making Critical Thinking Matter – Prioritizing Higher Order Instruction in a World of Constraints with Featured Guest, Colin Seale of thinkLaw

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This week on Global #gtchat Powered by TAGT our featured guest was Colin Seale, Esq. Colin is the Founder and CEO of thinkLaw, which helps educators teach critical thinking to all students through an award-winning, standards-aligned supplemental curriculum based on real-life legal cases and powerful & personalized professional development that helps educators apply critical thinking across grade levels and subject areas. thinkLaw partners with over 60 schools in 11 states as part of its revolutionary agenda to create a world where critical thinking is no longer a luxury good.

Colin and his team provided excellent information on the importance of teaching critical thinking in schools. Critical thinking is considered one of the most important 21st century skills. The days of viewing education as an information delivery service are gone. Students need to learn critical thinking as it is viewed as a ‘life skill’ necessary for success today.

“We are preparing students for entire industries that do not exist yet. Critical thinking cannot be a luxury good! It is the precursor to innovation. STEAM means zip if students can’t find, communicate, and solve real problems.”                                                                                                                                 ~ Colin Seale, Esq.

Innovative educators are realizing that learning ‘how to think’ trumps content every time. The world’s best education systems know that engaging students’ passions can tip the scales for learning. Colin explained, “[There has been a] paradigm shift: content vs. depth is a false choice. Start with powerful questions and motivate content acquisition.”

Why is it so hard to get today’s K-12 students to think deeply? K-12 students’ brains have been numbed by endless test prep and testing. Smart educators are just saying ‘NO’! Many students must endure hours, semesters, or even years of sitting in classes being required to relearn what they already know. Students think deeply about what they are passionate about. It’s time to tap into those passions! As Colin told us, “We rarely encourage risk-taking and too often punish mistakes. Freedom to fail = Freedom to think.”

Engineers tend to struggle analyzing poetry. We need to make critical thinking transferable across subject areas. From the earliest years in school, cross-curricular teaching strategies can achieve a valuable liberal arts education. ‘Critical thinking’ should never rely on a single approach or methodology. Creative teaching is essential. Regarding professional development , Colin said, “it must be personalized and practical so teachers can apply it immediately. Otherwise, it’s just eye candy. Creativity, communication and collaboration must be embedded within all critical thinking activities.”

gtchat 08152017 Critical Thinking TL graphic

Content knowledge is much easier to assess than critical thinking skills. Colin suggests, “Just like GT testing, critical thinking assessment is best when it’s authentic and varied. Tie it to meaningful activities!” It should cover problem interpretation, inference, analysis explanation and evaluation skills. Critical thinking assessment tools take time to produce; worksheets and standardized testing need to be replaced.

“The crux of critical thinking assessment is students supporting their thinking with sound reasoning.” ~ Sarah Pfeiler, thinkLaw Team

Finally, we discussed practical methods and tools teachers can use to focus on critical thinking more regularly. Early on, teachers need to impress on students that there can be multiple solutions to problems; seek the best. Even very young students can be taught introspective skills; how does ‘what I know or believe’ affect decisions. Colin added, “Students who care about the problems they solve will persevere through the problem-solving process!” A transcript of this chat may be found at Storify.

gtchat 08152017 Critical Thinking TL graphic 2

 

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:

Free Sample Lesson Download for #gtchat Participants

thinkLaw (Twitter)

The thinkLaw Team

thinkLaw (Facebook)

Silence is Not an Option: The Educators’ Call to Action #Charlottesville

6 Critical Thinking Questions for Any Situation

3 Tips for Helping All Students Become 21st Century Communicators

Critical Thinking Should Not Be a Luxury: 3 Strategies for Unleashing the Potential of Every Student

Three Tools for Teaching Critical Thinking and Problem Solving Skills

5 Questions Principals Should Ask to Assess Critical Thinking Instruction in Teacher Observations

3 Strategies for Increasing Student Voice in Your Classroom

Thinking Like a Lawyer: Powerful Strategies to Teach Critical Thinking to All Students (webinar)

Cybraryman’s Questioning Techniques Page

Cybraryman’s Critical Thinking Page

FlexFridays Take Learning Beyond the Classroom

Photo and logo courtesy of ThinkLaw.

Graphic courtesy of Lisa Conrad.

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