Category Archives: Critical Thinking

Exploring Passion-Based Learning

 

Passion-Based Learning builds on students’ passion to assist in learning. It facilitates learning focusing on current passions and stimulating new interests. It begins at a position of strength motivating students to want to learn and take the initiative to solve problems important to them. It provides the opportunity to develop critical thinking skills, how to work and communicate with others, and seek creative solutions to problems.

Why is Passion-Based Learning a good option for GT students? Passion-Based Learning invokes intrinsic motivation. Through interested inquiry, GT students are lead to deeper learning, are better able to retain new learning, and develop stronger relationships with their teachers and peers. It enables students to think creatively, increases student engagement, and motivates students to take the lead in their own learning. Passion-Based Learning makes learning personal and relevant to students’ lives; prepares them for careers that involve their passions. It empowers GT students and encourages them to seek unique solutions to real world problems.

How can teachers get started with Passion-Based Learning in their classrooms? Passion-Based Learning builds on students’ previous experiences at the same time using materials and information that increases their knowledge and learning about the topic being studied. The very process of Passion-Based Learning enables students to not only consume content but to learn how to plan and design a project using research methods curated content. Teachers can facilitate it by allowing students time to connect emotionally with their passions and time to collaborate with like-minded peers via classroom interactions or online. Teachers can foster a learning environment which encourages creativity, imagination, curiosity, discovery, and risk-taking.

Technology in Passion-Based Learning can open doors to global collaboration with mentors as well as experts in the student’s field of study. It provides students the opportunity to conduct research and gain technical expertise in their final product design. Technology can also provide students with an authentic audience to review their products and solutions.

Parents can play a vital role in Passion-Based Learning outside of school by supporting classroom activities such as encouraging imaginative play, facilitating face-to-face collaboration with peers, and providing necessary resources. They can look for opportunities to inspire their children’s passions and then time to explore those passions.

Where can you find resources for Passion-Based Learning? Edutopia is a great resource for Passion-Based Learning. Resources for Passion-Based Learning can also be found by searching for Project-Based Learning, Genius Hour, Design Thinking. All the resources shared during chat can be found below.

A transcript of this chat may be found on our Wakelet page.

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:

How to Ignite Passion in Your Students: 8 Ways Educators Can Foster Passion-based Learning

The 4 Essential Elements of Passion-based Learning

Edutopia: Passion-Based Learning

Passion-Based Learning

Guidelines of Passion-Based Learning

A New Culture of Learning: Cultivating the Imagination for a World of Constant Change (book)

Passion-Based Learning A Practical Way for Educators to Empower Learners

Passion that Chooses Us

25 Ways To Promote Passion-Based Learning In Your Classroom

Passion-Based Projects in Education

How I Used Personal Passion Projects In My Classroom

Teaching Strategies to Help Students Find Their Passion

Teaching Strategies to Promote Passion, Empower Students

Passion-Driven Research Projects

Catch a Fire: Fuelling Inquiry and Passion Through Project-Based Learning (book)

The Power of Passion Projects For Kids

Passion-Driven Classroom, The: A Framework for Teaching and Learning (book)

10 Ways to Encourage Passion-based Learning

Sprite’s Site: Grey Sneakers

Sprite’s Site: Brown Brogues

Andi McNair: Genius Hour (website)

Cybraryman’s Self-Determined Learning Page

Cybraryman’s Passion-Based Learning Page

Thinking Like a Lawyer: A Framework for Teaching Critical Thinking to All Students (book)

Gifts for Learning (website)

Photo courtesy of Pixabay Pixabay License

Graphic courtesy of Lisa Conrad.

 

High-Level Questioning to Deepen Learning

Higher level thinking questions are questions that can’t be answered simply by recalling information or reading the answer from the text. They demand that students display advanced cognitive skills and be able to think beyond what is being asked literally and expect that students will apply, analyze, synthesize and evaluate information pertinent to the question. Students must think critically. Higher order questioning comes with the expectation that students go deeper and reflect on all possible answers.

Higher level thinking skills go beyond mere observation. Students cannot rely on rote memorization to answer questions. They involve forming concepts and making connections. Students demonstrate they get the ‘big picture’. Higher level thinking includes critical or analytical thinking, creative thinking, being able to generate own questions and ideas, and being able to solve problems.

Why should educators use high-level questioning with their GT students? High-level questioning results in high-level thinking which, when developed, produces students who not only understand what’s needed to solve problems, but are able to make decisions and take action. It can increase “the rigor and sophistication of a classroom learning experience.” (MacFarlane PHP 2018) GT students benefit from the increased intellectual rigor that comes from high-level questioning; are able to engage in deeper classroom discussions; and gain a deeper understanding of the content being covered.

Teachers creating higher-level questions need an “in-depth knowledge and understanding of the academic content, effective instructional use of questioning, and evaluation/assessment of student responses”. (MacFarlane PHP 2018) They can use Bloom’s Taxonomy to create higher-level questions. Questions should promote new and different perspectives which require students to defend their answers. Instructional techniques such as SCAMPER and Creative Problem Solving can be used to create higher-level questions. (MacFarlane PHP 2018)

Increasing the complexity of questions throughout the curriculum can be incorporated into daily instruction. Demonstrating how to create and answer questions with multiple answers is a way to foster student participation as well as motivating students to ask themselves questions while exploring the subject matter.

Why is it important to teach students how to ask questions as well as to respond to them? Student generated questions deepen their knowledge of the material being covered, stimulate cognitive processing, and add complexity. Encouraging student inquiry can lead to the exploration of social and emotional aspects contained in the topics being discussed. By having students form their own questions, they learn how to form high quality questions which lead to higher intellectual stimulation and more informative discussions.

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 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:

6 Scaffolds That Deepen Independent Learning

High Level Questioning and Cognition in Advanced Curriculum

Questioning Strategies for Teaching the Gifted (book) (aff. link)

Critical Thinking: Frameworks and Models for Teaching

Deeper Learning through Questioning (pdf)

Enhancing Peer Interaction and Learning in the Classroom Through Reciprocal Questioning (pdf)

From Sage on the Stage to Guide on the Side (pdf)

The Effects of Question-Generation Training on Metacognitive Knowledge, Self-Regulation and Learning Approaches in Science (pdf)

Principles of Instruction Research-Based Strategies That All Teachers Should Know (pdf)

Best Practice Strategies for Effective Use of Questions as a Teaching Tool

Higher-order Questions

Seven Strategies That Encourage Neural Branching

Higher-Order Questioning Inspires Higher-Level Thinking

Framework for Thinking Through Quality Questioning (pdf)

The Importance of Questioning in Developing Critical Thinking Skills (pdf)

Promoting Student Engagement Through a Critical Thinking Framework in the Elementary Classroom (pdf)

Skilful Questioning: The Bearing Heart of Good Pedagogy

Establishing a Culture of Questioning

InQuiring Minds: Reaching Deeper Learning Through Questions

Generating Effective Questions

5 Questions to Tackle in Using Questioning and Discussion Techniques

Teaching Tips for High-Level Questioning

Art and Science of Teaching/Asking Questions – At Four Different Levels

Depth of Knowledge Question Stems

Today’s Disruptors Can Be Tomorrow’s Innovators

Sprite’s Site: New Shoes

Rodriguez Resources GT (Google Drive)

Think Like a Lawyer (YouTube 3:59)

Cybraryman’s Questioning Techniques Page

Cybraryman’s Gifted and Talented Page

Disclaimer: Some resources include affiliate links.

Image courtesy of Pixabay Pixabay License

Graphic courtesy of Lisa Conrad.

 

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.

%d bloggers like this: