Category Archives: Education

Gifted Children’s Rights & Responsibilities

gtchat 05162017 Rights

The idea of a Bill of Rights for Gifted Children is nothing new. As early as 2000, various versions of such a statement have been around. But why do they need one? The general perception that gifted kids have it all … they don’t. Ask any parent; any gifted adult … they need a bill of rights. Without national policies regarding gifted education, gifted students must be protected from myths and misperceptions. A bill of rights is for some the only way they can have a basis for advocacy; both at school & in society at large.

There are consequences for not having a bill of rights for gifted kids. Gifted children continually face misinformation about what it means to be gifted; consequences can be devastating. Lacking a bill of rights, gifted kids have little support to grow and experience success.

What rights should gifted children be accorded? Gifted children have a right to learn something new every day and at the same time to be able to fail without fear of repercussions. Gifted children have a right to chart their own course based on their passions; not the a path planned by someone else. Gifted children have a right to be respected for their abilities; not ridiculed.

Gifted students’ rights can be intentionally or unintentionally violated. Gifted students’ rights are frequently violated by being required to do extra work rather than differentiated assignments. Their rights can be minimized by comments beginning with “if you’re so smart, why can’t you …”. Twice exceptional students’ rights are ignored when disabilities are addressed, but abilities neglected. Teachers must be vigilant in recognizing when gifted students are mistreated and/or bullied by age peers and intervene.

Should children identified as gifted be expected to have a greater sense of social responsibility? A level of social responsibility should be cultivated in all children; but expectations for gifted children must be individualized based on the child. Placing extraordinary expectations can backfire when gifted kids are made to feel overly responsible for curing the world’s ills. Take a moment and check out the links below to several versions of a bill of rights for these kids. A transcript may 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 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:

Gifted Kids’ Bill of Rights (Lingen 2000)

The Gifted Students’ Bill of Rights (Shaine 2014)

We Need a Bill of Rights for Gifted Kids

Gifted Children’s Bill of Rights (Siegel 2007)

A Bill of Rights for Teachers of Gifted Students

Turn the Myths Around: A Gifted Child’s Bill of Rights (pdf Duncan and Haase 2013)

State Laws for Gifted Education: An Overview of the Legislation and Regulations (pdf)

Gifted Education and the Law (pdf)

Are Gifted Children Getting Lost in the Shuffle?

Know Your Legal Rights in Gifted Education (1997) (pdf)

The Law on Gifted Education (2005) (pdf)

Superstar CISD (Coppell) Teachers Share Insider GT Information

Cybraryman’s Gifted Bill of Rights

Sprite’s Site: De Bono’s 6 Action Shoes 9: One Size Shoe Cover System

Image courtesy of Pixabay   CC0 Public Domain

Graphic courtesy of Lisa Conrad.

Creating Learning Environments that Invite Play

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Play-based learning is how children learn about the world and develop life skills through play and gifted children are no different in their need for play. Children develop cognitive and social skills by playing with other children; both age-mates and intellectual peers. Play helps children mature emotionally and gain the self-confidence to try new experiences. Gifted children may experience asynchronous development and productive play can help ease transitions in many cases.

Play is essential to developing imagination, creativity, dexterity, and physical strength. It is important for healthy brain and neurological development and  allows children to express feelings about their life. Play during early childhood engages a child to interact with their environment. Adults who interact with gifted children know how important play is to their development.

Not all play is created equal; children can play alone, play along-side others without interaction, or play by imitating another playmate. As children begin to play with others, they start to engage and learn cooperation and collaboration. Gifted children should be given the freedom to choose which type of play they are most comfortable with; even when it may be to have alone time.

A rich play environment for children will incorporate choices; what, when and where to play. It will provide opportunities for kids to invent and extend their own play. Rich play environments incorporates varied places to play; inside or outside, local or away. The experiences do not need to be costly choices. Many times a trip to a park or hiking trail will provide an enriching experience for a curious mind.

Teachers can direct play be providing resources for play; such as art materials, legos, or ipads. Elementary teachers often create various ‘stations’ from which children can choose activities; like Daily 5. Teachers can offer students mentoring opportunities when appropriate to the activity.

Can the idea of ‘play’ have relevance at the secondary level? Although it may not be thought of as ‘play’ per se; secondary students need time to follow their passions. They often complain about the strict regimen of high school; they need to experience periods of choice. Adulthood is about choices; high school students need to experience how to make and accept consequences of their choices.

Gifted children thrive when allowed to create their own learning experiences and these often begin as play. Many of our greatest success stories begin through the simple act of playing. The transcript of this chat may 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 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:

Play Hints at Who We Are

Play and Children’s Learning in the Classroom

The Role of Play in Learning

What is the Teacher’s Role in Supporting Play in Early Childhood Classrooms?

Learning and Developing through Play (pdf)

The Cognitive Benefits of Play: Effects on the Learning Brain

Einstein Never Used Flashcards How Children Learn & Why They Need to Play More/ Memorize Less (Amazon)

Play in Education: The Role and Importance of Creative Learning 

Learning through Play

Balancing Child-Directed and Teacher-Directed Approaches

Why Kids Need to Play J

Different Types of Play

The Importance of Play in Promoting Healthy Child Development

How to Enhance Intuitive Science Knowledge in Infants and Toddlers (Amazon)

AUS: Play Based Learning (pdf)

Sprite’s Site: Gifted @ Play: Calculate Your Leisure Profile

Jake Labazzi Playing Anthropology (YouTube 4:35)

How to Recognize, Support and Teach Musically Gifted Kids

Joey Alexander – Giant Steps (In-Studio Performance) (YouTube 10:36)

Batik’s Brain Pickings: Why I am Using PBL to Design Professional Development (Knows and Need to Knows List)

LEGO® and the Gifted Visual-Spatial Child

Learning to Play at Nerd Camp

Ditch the Worksheets, Become a Picasso, a Kindergartener, and a Gifted@play! 

Gifted Children Need the Gift of Play

Learning through Play

The Games Our Children Play

Photo courtesy of Pixabay  CC0 Public Domain

Graphic courtesy of Lisa Conrad

How Does School Culture Affect Gifted Students?

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A school’s culture – particularly how it views gifted education – can have a profound effect on a gifted student. It is a concern for parents who are looking for an environment where their child will thrive academically as well as socially.

Before choosing a school (if they are fortunate to have a choice), there are a few things parents can do to assess the school’s culture. Of course, they should visit the school to meet with administrators and teachers. They can ask questions about gifted programming K-12 and school policy on identification of gifted students. Parents should try to attend after-school activities, athletic events, and parent group meetings to talk to other parents. Also, don’t forget to visit the school’s website and social media sites.

School culture most often reflects the values and interests of the community in which it is located. Rural, suburban and urban areas may exhibit different cultures while being in the same part of the country. A school’s location may benefit from nearby colleges and universities – opportunities for gifted students.

What affect does teacher’ attitude toward gifted programs have on a school’s culture? Gifted students are often highly perceptive of other’s attitudes – this can affect their self-esteem. An atmosphere where gifted programs aren’t valued can diminish gifted programs.

Conversely, gifted students can have a positive effect on school culture. Gifted students can model excellence in learning; exhibiting the benefits of academic success. They often serve in leadership roles in school groups/clubs/competitive academic challenges.

Socio-economic factors can have a major effect on a school’s culture and how its gifted programs are crafted. The effects of low-ses factors must be recognized and all should strive for equitable identification.

School culture can have a significant impact on a student’s mental health. Parents should be on the lookout if a school’s culture is having a negative impact on their student. Gifted students can slip under the radar; become underachievers;  or even drop out. It is important to be vigilant when considering a school’s culture. A transcript of the chat may 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 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:

Using Student Feedback to Improve School Culture

How A Happy School Can Help Students Succeed

Get the Culture Right: The Most Important New School Factor

What Do Students Say About School Culture

Why Good Schools Are Happy Places

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

Building a School Culture of High Standards

Teacher Perspectives Regarding Gifted Diverse Students (pdf)

AUS: Teachers’ Attitudes towards Gifted: Importance of Professional Development & School Culture (pdf)

CO Dept. of Ed: Gifted Students Implementation Recommendations & Key Messages

Serving Montana’s High Ability/High Potential Students Planning Guide & Strategies (pdf)

Germany: Giving the Gifted a Chance to Flourish

5 Reasons Gifted Students Decide to Leave School

Gifted and talented kids: How do you nurture a curious mind? 

Introverts tend to be better CEOs — and other surprising traits of top-performing executives

Jo Freitag: Personas, Profiles and Portraits The Country Kids

The Search for Shangri-La: Finding the Appropriate Educational Environment for Gifted and Twice-Exceptional Children, A Parent’s Guide by Mike Postma, Executive Director, SENG

Introverts tend to be better CEOs — and other surprising traits of top-performing executives

Gifted and talented kids: How do you nurture a curious mind?

SENG’s 34th Annual Conference

Photo courtesy of Pixabay   CC0 Public Domain

Graphic courtesy of Lisa Conrad

Boredom Busters for Gifted Students

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Why should teachers be concerned that gifted students are bored at all? At the very heart of teaching – of becoming a teacher – is the belief that all students in their care are learning. Boredom for any student often leads to classroom management issues and gifted students can pose significant disruptions to learning. It is in everyone’s best interest to keep students engaged.

“All kids need to be engaged at their zone of proximal development. Gifted kids needs freedom to explore.” ~ Barry Gelston, Mr. Gelston’s One Room Schoolhouse

Boredom can create many undesirable consequences in the classroom and can affect gifted students exponentially as they progress through the educational system. The results of boredom in school are felt far beyond the classroom walls; misbehavior doesn’t stop at end of school day.

There are things that shouldn’t be done in response to a gifted student who is truly bored at school. Gifted students shouldn’t be given busy work, ignored, or condescended to when they finish early. They shouldn’t be expected to serve as teacher’s helper simply because it’s a convenient way to occupy their time.  Down time in the classroom should be used to provide meaningful work for gifted students that addresses their specific needs.

No more worksheet packets! End the madness! Appropriate, purposeful instruction based on data driven decisions. ~ Sarah Kessel, Supervisor of Advanced Learning Programs

There are strategies which can be used to alleviate boredom in the regular education classroom. Pre-assessment is the first step to heading off boredom. Realistic expectations of ability are needed. Rigorous, relevant and appropriate differentiation takes time and effort when planning curricular interventions for GT. (See resources below.)

“I also like to have students “choose their own adventure” by finding ways to show concepts with their voice- how can you show this?” ~ Heather Vaughn, M.Ed, UT Austin – Coordinator of Advanced Academics

What should teachers look for to determine if the student is bored or it is something else (perfectionism, 2E, ability)? Teachers need to look for signs of misdiagnosis and missed diagnosis. Then, refer the student to the appropriate staff members for evaluation. Teachers should have any and all relevant evaluations of student’s past performance and possible issues.

Engaging kids in solving authentic problems is 1 of the BEST ways to make their education REAL! ~ Tracy Fisher, School Board Member, Coppell, TX

Parents can do numerous things to combat summertime and holiday boredom when kids aren’t in school. Parenting GT kids is hard work. Adequate planning is essential to head off boredom. They can consult with GT teachers, gifted organizations, and websites about summer opportunities.

It’s also important for parents to recognize need for ‘down’ time as well. Not every minute away from school needs to be planned. Summer and school breaks are a wonderful time for gifted kids to explore their passions – think family vacations; camps; and internships.

Boredom does not need to be a subject to be avoided, but rather seen as an invitation to see how to best meet the needs of the gifted student.  A transcript of the chat may 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 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:

Bored Out of Their Minds

15 Tips on How to Differentiate Learning for Gifted Learners

Boredom Busters: Breaking the Bonds of Boredom (PPT)

Gifted and Bored? Maybe Not

Early Finishers: Ideas for Teachers

Early Finishers: 9 Ideas for Students

Smart and Bored

Smart Kids and the Curse of the Kidney Table

Primarily Speaking: Word Work Fun!

I’m Done, Now What?

Daily Practice for the New SAT

TED Connections from MENSA for Kids

Book Review Writing: A Guide for Young Reviewers

Cybraryman’s Geocaching Page

Cybraryman’s Programming – Coding Literacy Page

Cybraryman’s Robotics Page

Genius Hour with Guest, Andi McNair

Steve Spangler: The Science of Connecting People

Coppell Gifted Association: Summer MOSAIC 2017

Photo courtesy of Pixabay  CC0 Public Domain

Graphic courtesy of Lisa Conrad.

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