Category Archives: curriculum

Beyond Self: Engaging in Community Service

 

Community-service learning is the first step in service learning which is followed by community exploration and action. It is the phase where students begin to be involved; generally by volunteering. When students engage in community-service learning, they begin by perceiving issues and then taking the first steps to become involved in mitigating these issues. It is generally tied to the overall school curriculum and produces a high level of service. Increased learning comes as students further explore the issues and take action.

Community service is an excellent fit for GT students who often question the validity and importance of what they are being taught. It can increase personal responsibility, self-awareness, and empathy. It is authentic learning based on real-life experiences that students care about. It can provide a challenging curriculum to reinvigorate students who felt they weren’t learning anything new in school. Community service provides GT students the opportunity to engage in independent work, work at a much faster rate than regular classroom activities, and be exposed to more in-depth content. It exposes students to professionals in the field, research practice, and application of strategies to solve real world problems; often for the first time.

When should community-service learning be introduced to students? Even very young GT students can become involved in and benefit from community-service learning. They need opportunity to investigate interests and act creativity in response to those interests. Community-service learning is a way to introduce basic academic skills to students as early as kindergarten and to develop higher-level thinking as well as working in cooperation with other students. It is a vehicle to develop and exercise leadership skills and self-management skills involving social, moral, and ethical issues for K-12 GT students.

What strategies can be used to incorporate community-service learning in the curriculum? All aspects of community-service learning should include the student – from initial brainstorming of topics, to planning projects, and finally implementing eventual activities. It is a good idea to require some form of community service; either through curriculum modifications or in gifted student’s IEPs. Be cognizant of the need that experiences be authentic and grant credit. Interdisciplinary courses involving community service as well as unique service courses involving student government, leadership, and conflict management are all ways to incorporate this type of learning.

How should community service be assessed? Students should demonstrate how they utilized their time and produce evidence of learning when being assessed for community-service learning. They can present problems addressed, research conducted, and solutions found while participating in community-service learning. Students may also be required to show how they participated through engagement vehicles (contacts made, speeches, videos, etc.), journals, awards received, or mentor evaluations.

Parents can have a profound effect on a child’s willingness or even eagerness to participate in community-service learning as role models and by providing opportunities to explore special interests. They can support programs that encourage community service in their child’s school. Parents can serve as partners in participation by supporting their child’s efforts to engage in community service and as facilitators for class-wide projects.

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:

Community Activism as Curriculum: How to Meet Gifted Students’ Needs While Creating Change

Serving Others Hooks Gifted Students on Learning

Service Learning and Gifted Students

Service Learning: A Win-Win for Your Students and the Local Community (pdf)

Student Voices, Global Echoes: Service-Learning and the Gifted (pdf)

“That’s Empowering!”: The Influence of Community Activism Curriculum on Gifted Adolescents’ Self-Concepts (pdf)

Vision With Action: Developing Sensitivity to Societal Concerns in Gifted Youth

Learning In Deed: The Power of Service-Learning for American Schools (Full Report)

A Case Study of Community Action Service Learning on Young, Gifted Adolescents and Their Community (pdf)

Cybraryman’s Community-Based Service Learning Page

Tips for Combining Project-Based and Service Learning

Service Learning: A Guide to Planning, Implementing, and Assessing Student Projects (book)

The Complete Guide to Service Learning: Proven, Practical Ways to Engage Students in Civic Responsibility, Academic Curriculum, & Social Action (book)

The Good Character Service Learning Primer

Learning to Give (website)

Anchor Collaboratives: Building Bridges With Place-Based Partnerships and Anchor Institutions

National Service-Learning Clearinghouse (website)

Be a Changemaker: How to Start Something That Matters (book)

Cybraryman’s School Business Partnerships Page

The Teacher’s Guide to Service Learning

Photo 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.

 

 

Instructional Strategies to Support Gifted ELLs

This week, we welcomed the TAGT Equity Resource Committee to #gtchat – Tish Cawley, Matthew Fugate, and Javetta Roberson – to chat about instructional strategies to support gifted English Language Learners (ELLs).

Gifted ELLs have similar characteristics to other gifted students, but may exhibit them differently. Characteristics of gifted ELLs may be observed in the context of acquisition of a new language – the rate at which proficiency occurs, switching between languages, and accuracy of translation. Academic characteristics to look for in gifted ELL students include advanced reading, creativity, and problem solving abilities as well as above grade level math skills. Behavioral characteristics to look for in gifted ELL students include respect for their culture, social maturity, and an ability to display appropriate behaviors in both cultures.

What are some barriers to identifying English Learners & how can we overcome them? An initial barrier to identification of gifted ELLs is the observer’s inability to communicate with the student in their native language. Educator bias – consideration for gifted programs based on conventional markers and academic achievement only – can be countered by using an inclusive framework that goes beyond standardized tests & anti-bias training.

Once you identify English Learners, what does a culturally responsive GT curriculum look like? A culturally responsive GT curriculum addresses the need for a student’s culture to be recognized and valued. Multicultural literature and classroom discussions about a student’s culture are an effective way of responding to the needs of gifted ELL students. Maintaining a culturally responsive classroom after students are identified is an important role of teachers in supporting gifted ELLs.

How will a Talent Development model benefit English Learners? It will take into consideration a student’s interests and build on individual strengths. Talent Development models have used in Europe and have been very successful in meeting the needs of many diverse cultures.

Gifted ELLs should be supported through the use of linguistic accommodations and scaffolding in both English and their native language. They need to be provided opportunities to speak and interact with other students both in structured and informal conversation.

What are some resources for parents to help support English Learners at home? School can provide learning opportunities for parents on how to support their child at home to learn how to advocate for their child and how to form support groups. Parents should regularly be updated about resources, programs, and academic opportunities available to students related to their child’s interests and abilities.

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.

Resources:

How Do We Identify Gifted English Learners?

Recognizing the Gift: Identifying Gifted English Learners

FL: Assessing Limited English Proficient (LEP) Students for Eligibility for Gifted Programs (pdf)

Baltimore Students Learning English Say They Still Don’t Have a Fair Shot at the City’s Top Schools

Identifying Gifted and Talented English Language Learners: A Case Study (pdf) (Plucker, Rapp, Martinez)

Identifying and Serving Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Gifted Students

Teaching Culturally Diverse Gifted Students

Working With Gifted English Language Learners

Special Populations in Gifted Education: Understanding Our Most Able Students From Diverse Backgrounds

Effective Curriculum for Underserved Gifted Students

Identifying and Serving Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Gifted Students (pdf)

Identifying Gifted Children from Diverse Populations

Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Gifted Students: Do They Fall through the Cracks (PPT)

Curriculum Approaches that Overcome Learning Gaps and Language Barriers for Diverse Gifted Students

Edutopia: Identifying and Supporting Gifted ELLs

Identifying Gifted and Talented English Language Learners Grades K-12 (pdf)

Gifted, But Still Learning English, Many Bright Students Get Overlooked

Identifying and Assessing Gifted and Talented Bilingual Hispanic Students

Start Seeing and Serving Underserved Gifted Students 50 Strategies for Equity and Excellence

Disclaimer: Some resources contain 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.

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