Category Archives: Education

Improving GT Parent-Teacher Communications

gtchat 08022018 Communications

Unique challenges exist in relationships between GT parents and teachers, and this week on #gtchat we discussed ways to improve how parents and teachers of gifted students communicate with each other. In many situations, gifted-identified students have an education plan which places certain requirements and responsibilities on all parties involved in the agreement. GT students often receive accommodations or interventions which place additional stressors and constraints on the teacher/student/parent relationship.

In a perfect world, good parent-teacher relations most often benefit the student. Depending on their age, a student can explore their potential with the help of a supportive teacher/mentor. Good parent-teacher relationships don’t just happen. They need to be cultivated and maintained in the spirit of mutual respect. A good start is to make sure all stakeholders have a firm grasp of the need for gifted education.

Today there exists a wide range of tech tools and apps to facilitate open communication between parents and teachers. Schools have long acknowledged that open lines of communication can avoid misunderstandings between parents and teachers. Educators and schools, however, must be cognizant of a family’s ability to access technology and take steps to provide access when it doesn’t exist or provide other means of communication.

Face-to-face activities can improve parent-teacher relations. This relationship can be enhanced through participation in extracurricular activities, breakfast/coffee with a teacher/admin opportunity, and even pre-scheduled after school meetings.

What best practices can parents use to improve their child’s education? Parents need to learn the ‘lingo’ used by educators; they will earn the respect of those who are  responsible for making decisions affecting their child. Best practices for parents advocating for their gifted child include researching state and local education laws and diligent planning concerning their child’s educational needs prior to meeting with school personnel.

Parents and teachers many never see eye-to-eye regarding a child’s education plan, but remaining calm, professional and open-minded will serve everyone’s best interests.  When researching a child’s particular school, always be aware of the ‘chain of command’ and follow it precisely. Know who the teacher reports to, but start with the teacher first. Most schools recognize this chain of comment: teacher >>> administrator >>> principal >>> superintendent >>> school board. To learn more about improving parent-teacher communications, you can check out the resources below and read a copy of the transcript from this chat 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.

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

Resources:

Starting the School Year on a Positive Note: Five Key Suggestions for Parents

Tips for Talking with Your Gifted Child’s Teacher

Communicating Effectively with Your Gifted Child’s School

Dear Teacher, My Gifted Child is in Your Class

How Do I Work with My Child’s School? (pdf)

Tips for Your Gifted Kid’s Parent-Teacher Conference

Parent-Teacher Conferences

Communicate with Teachers about Meeting Your Gifted Child’s Needs

Six Tips for Communicating with Your Gifted Child’s Teacher

50 Tips, Tricks and Ideas for Teaching Gifted Students

What Parents Should Expect for the Gifted Child: How to Make It Happen

Why School’s Not Fair to Gifted Kids

Sprite’s Site: The Meeting

Sprite’s Site: Advocacy

Cybraryman’s Parent Teacher Conferences and Communication Page

Cybraryman’s Parents and Teachers Page

Cybraryman’s Parents and Teachers Event Open House and Orientation Page 

Photo by rawpixel on Unsplash

Graphic courtesy of Lisa Conrad.

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Taking a Closer Look at Mentorships

gtchat 07262018 Mentorships

 

Mentorships are an important part of gifted education for many gifted and talented students. They differ from internships or apprenticeships as these are vehicles that allow students to learn new skills and to investigate careers. Mentorships are relationships based on shared passions and values that are passed on to the student. It is more than a casual relationship.

Mentorships provide a student with someone who can encourage, inspire, and give insights by sharing time, talents and specific skills. Mentors, when properly matched, serve as role models. They can stimulate intellectual discovery, bring excitement to the learning process, and provide understanding of the student’s passions.

Intellectually and artistically gifted students can benefit when paired with masters in their fields such as artists, musicians, scientists, business professionals and scholars.  Multipotentiates specifically benefit from mentorships by honing in on a vision of their future self that is guided by a mentor with similar lived experiences in their areas of passion.  Well done mentorships provide depth and challenge to educational experiences for gifted students.

As with participation in any academic intervention, the gifted student should be an integral part in deciding if they want to have a mentor and will be a willing participant. Then, needs should be discussed. Special consideration should be given to availability, enthusiasm to mentor, expertise, and personal compatibility with the student when choosing a mentor. Mentorships should be monitored over time to ensure that the student is benefitting from the relationship and progress is being made towards initial expectations.

Resources available to locate mentors can be found in surprisingly simple places … local parent groups and schools or universities, local businesses, institutions supporting the arts, and  professional organizations. Locating mentors for gifted students can tap opportunities available within existing gifted programming such as educators and professionals in magnet schools, AP/IB programs, or governors’ schools.

Mentoring relationships can be differentiated by considering the specific needs of a student, where parties to the mentorship are located, expectations regarding ultimate goals to be achieved by mentoring, and time constraints. Mentorships can be classified as one-on-one relationships that revolve around in-person communication, online mentoring via electronic communication, or group mentoring that involve a mentor and multiple mentees.

If you are interested in learning more about mentorships, check out the resources below. 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.

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

Resources:

Mentor Relationships and Gifted Learners (1990)

Mentor Relationships How They Aid Creative Achievement (Torrance – Amazon 1984)

What is Mentoring?

How to Find a Mentor

Mentoring and Your Child: Developing a Successful Relationship (pdf)

Davidson Institute: Mentoring Guidebook (pdf; updated 2018)

Mentor: The National Mentoring Partnership

iMentor

The Mentor Group Inc.

Gifted Children and the Role of Mentors Blog Hop

Developing Mentorship Programs for Gifted Students (Practical Strategies Series in Gifted Education) (Amazon)

Finding Mentorship: Gifted Students Need Guidance, Too

Mentoring Gifted Children: It Takes a Village

Cybraryman’s Tutoring and Mentoring Page

Hoagies Gifted: Mentors for Gifted Students

NAGC: Peer Tutoring and Gifted Learners – Applying a Critical Thinking Lens

Sprite’s Site: Asking for Help – A Guest Expert Panel Q&A Session

Sprite’s Site: Purple Riding Boots

TX: Connecting Classrooms and Experts in New Braunfels and Comal County through our Guest Speaker Portal

Texas STEM Connections

Civil Air Patrol

Photo by NeONBRAND on Unsplash

Graphic courtesy of Lisa Conrad.

Digital Citizenship for GT Students

gtchat 06282018 Digital

This week at Global #gtchat Powered by TAGT we chatted about the need for gifted students to become not only good digital citizens, but digital leaders as well. We first discussed what digital literacy is and why it’s important.

Digital literacy involves a firm grasp on technology vocabulary, comprehending the impact of online collaboration, understanding the how to use cloud-based storage, and acknowledging the moral consequences of one’s actions. GT students must develop specific skill-sets based on authentic learning opportunities including creation of collaborative engagement involving discussion built on credible arguments, negating others’ opinions & effective presentations (Coiro, 2016.) It’s important to not assume a new generation – digital natives – are automatically highly qualified digital citizens; they require guidance too.

Students are encountering new technologies and choices at breakneck speeds; developing a moral construct is essential to providing them with a safe and responsible online presence. Educating students about the consequences of online behavior must start early. They must learn about the instantaneous nature of their actions; their right to privacy and how to protect it;  and the far reaching effects of cyberbullying.

GT students are poised to use social media to their benefit by exploiting the positive aspects of its use – connecting classrooms, fostering cross-cultural interactions, and choosing it for advocating positive change in the world. They can benefit from social media via online mentorships, connecting with professionals in their chosen fields, and promoting critical thinking among intellectual peers.

Teachers should model digital etiquette from the very beginning of student interaction. Goals vertically aligned across the curriculum involving digital citizenship can increase learning and provide students with an enhanced online presence. Strategies for teaching digital citizenship include a robust curriculum, including student voice in developing acceptable use policies, and impressing on students that what they do and say online is forever. Additional strategies include making sure students know their rights online, providing guidance for online behavior, and including parents in the learning process; especially relating to new technologies.

GT students need to be digital producers; not just consumers. Digital leaders are those who integrate technology to make life better for all through facilitating communication and by being transformative change agents. As digital leaders, GT students are those who value collaboration, understand how to integrate technology into their lives to increase positive outcomes, and embrace change to harness the future. Those who become digital leaders are flexible in their thinking, adept at problem solving, and analytical in their approach to global problems.

Why should schools involve parents in teaching digital citizenship? Digital citizenship goes far beyond the classroom walls. It is an integral part of life and as such must be addressed at home as well as at school. Parents should be encouraged to be a part of the education process. Schools can involve parents in teaching digital citizenship by informing them about new technologies, online trends, and the latest social media. This can be done through parent-teacher communications or even workshops. 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.

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:

Gifted Kids as Digital Citizens

Gifted Kids, Cyberbullying, and Digital Citizenship: Helpful Resources for Parents v

The Perceptions of Digital Citizenship in Middle School Learning 2017 (pdf)

Digital Natives: Citizens of a Changing World Fostering Digital Citizenship in the Classroom

It’s Lit: A Guide to What Teens Think is Cool (pdf)

Pedagogical Digital Competence—Between Values, Knowledge and Skills (pdf)

Reimagining the Role of Technology in Education: 2017 National Education Technology Plan Update (pdf)

ISTE Standards for Educators

Digital Citizenship in Schools 2nd Ed.: The Nine Elements of Digital Citizenship (pdf)

Students Should Be Taught to Be Digital Leaders instead of Digital Citizens

Digital Citizenship in Action Empowering Students to Engage in Online Communities

Technology in the Classroom: Growing Global Digital Citizens

Cybraryman’s Digital Literacy Page

NZ: Digital Technologies and the national curriculum – what’s it all about?

AUS: FUSE

Global Education Conference

Livebinder: Digital Citizenship Resources

Livebinder: Building Blocks for Digital Citizenship

Livebinder: Digital Citizenship

Livebinder: 7 Habits of Digital Citizenship

Livebinder: Digital Citizenship

Digital Citizenship (Google Slides)

On an e-Journey with Generation Y

Edublogs https://goo.gl/FK8Rtj

YouTube: Marshmallow Farming (2:34)

YouTube: BBC: Spaghetti Harvest in Tocino (2:28)

Be Internet Awesome

Commonsense.org: Digital Citizenship

Image courtesy of Pixabay CC0 Creative Commons

Graphic courtesy of Lisa Conrad.

Creating Through Making, Music and Art

gtchat 06212018 Making

The idea of ‘making’ has come full circle recognizing it’s birth in past programs such as auto shop and home economics; yet realizing today it is the basis for full research, development and innovation. ‘Making’ is interwoven into the curriculum of forward thinking schools who are benefiting from student engagement which improves attendance, behavior issues and increases academic gains.

A ‘maker mindset’ values the creative use of available resources with a keen eye to budgetary constraints which allows makerspaces to exist across the economic spectrum of learners. It is inspired by STEM activities with aspirations of making a difference in the future for all students.

What considerations should be taken when initially creating a successful makerspace?  For a successful makerspace, don’t forget to provide adequate space for makers, be aware of the needs of your makers commensurate with age and ability, and work within your budget. Remember to include staff development, student input and have adequate supplies available when planning your makerspace. Successful makerspaces are built on mentoring students by providing a wide-range of diversity in teachers, community leaders and an inclusive community of participants.

Integrating ‘making’ into the curriculum can be as simple as having students share what they learn to re-imagining creative assessments of products. Students can be given opportunities to apply knowledge gained in ‘making’ in pursuit of academic goals. For example; utilizing technology in science classes via 3-D printing or developing virtual reality projects.

How do makerspaces fuel future innovation? Through use of nascent technologies, students can find concrete ways to express their creativity in new and exciting ways. Students who are involved in ‘making’ can affect the future by creating a culture of sharing what they learn with a broader community to work on real world projects.

Makerspaces have expanded beyond the walls of the schoolhouse and are intricate parts of many community centers, university outreach programs and summer programs for students. Parents can find information about making at their local libraries, nearby museums and science centers, and from online sources. For more information, check out our links below. A transcript of this chat may be found at Wakelet.

Links:

Making Culture

The Maker Movement and Gifted Ed: The Perfect Combination! 

Finding Summer Enrichment Opportunities

PBS Kids: What Do You Want to Make

TED: We Are Makers

3 New Series for Makers

Makerspace: The Right Way to Implement It In Media Center and Libraries

The California Community College Makerspace Startup Guide

Vineyard STEM Makerspace Initiative

Ways to Support Making in the Classroom

Create an Amazing Low-tech Library Makerspace with These Easy Ideas

Beyond Rubrics: Assessment in Making

Top Tips for Bringing the Maker Movement to YOUR School

Makers in the Classroom: A How-To Guide (2014)

Invent To Learn: Making, Tinkering, and Engineering in the Classroom (Amazon 2013)

The Kickstart Guide to Making GREAT Makerspaces (Amazon)

Why Your School Needs a Makerspace

The Maker Movement: The People Creating, Not Consuming

The Maker Mindset

A Fuller Framework for Making in Maker Education

Cybraryman’s Makerspaces Page

The Classroom or Library as a Makerspace

Makerspaces Australia

Make your Space a Makerspace: 4 Things to Consider for Gifted Students

John Spencer: The Creative Classroom (YouTube Channel)

Byrdseed: A Week of Curiosities and Puzzlements (free subscription)

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.

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

Image courtesy of Pixabay  CC0 Creative Commons

Graphic courtesy of Lisa Conrad

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