Category Archives: gifted and talented

The Future of Education after the Pandemic

 

This week at #gtchat, we were joined by guests, Jessica Torres and Andi McNair to discuss the future of education after COVID19. No one knows exactly when schools will reopen, but most are working on plans to do so safely and as soon as possible.

Public health including physical and mental health issues will need to be addressed if school reopenings are to be successful. Parents, students, teachers & staff need to feel school environments are safe to reenter. Consideration of health & hygiene measures must include widespread testing, vigilance regarding student and staff health (stay home when sick), wearing masks, frequent hand washing/sanitization, and physical distancing. Mental health considerations must be taken seriously upon reopening. Students and teachers experienced the trauma of sudden closings, lack of closure of previous school year, and some may have faced personal loss due to COVID19.

Returning to school will be traumatic for most students. Apprehension of socializing with friends & teachers, worry about coronavirus, and uncertainty about the future will all play a role in how they adjust to a new normal. School counselors and teachers may have to deal with students returning to school from home environments that were less than ideal. Open and frank conversations will need to take place with students. School activities will necessarily change in the near term and it will be a difficult transition for many students – limited or no sports, band, dances, performances, field trips, recess, PE classes, or being to interact with friends.

Instructional concerns will be tantamount to summer slide on steroids for many students who normally need extra supports, lacked access to tech to continue learning outside school, or who were personally affected by COVID19. All students will need a modicum of grace. It will take time to assess where a student is at academically, the need for remediation or grade acceleration, and to plan for inevitable return to social isolation due to virus resurges. Teachers will need to pre-assess, vertically align standards between grades, compact the curriculum, consider using IEPs for all students, and utilize differentiation. Schools may need to add after school programs for remediation.

We will address specific goals for gifted education next week, but we all need to consider this crisis as an opportunity to rethink the possibilities of improving education rather than just returning to the status quo. In recent years, ideas such as Andi’s genius hour, flipped classrooms, global classroom virtual connections, PBL, and competency-based learning have all been on the front-burners for educators. It is inevitable that blended learning will need to be increasingly used to meet the needs of all learners; especially during the next few years until a resolution is found to disruption of education due to coronavirus.

How can schools work to more powerfully engage their parents in the educational process? Parents are now co-teachers in the era of #COVID19. Communication is more important than ever. Schools need to educate parents on how to educate their children during school outages. Parents should be considered team members. They will need to be assured that their children are safe on school campuses, educational goals are in place for their child to be successful & be made aware of contingency plans for reoccurring school-at-home situations.

What will be the most significant change to K-12 schools in the next year? K-12 schools will need to rely on robust data and learning management systems to improve educational continuity. Secure & reliable video-conferencing systems will be essential. (Getting Smart) Schools will be re-imagined through collaboration with students (student voice), flexibility of hybrid learning, innovation in information sharing, and re-configuring class size as well as classroom logistics.

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 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.

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:

A New Normal in Education Instructional Implications after #COVID19 (Webinar 57:45)

Forging a Path Forward How to Design a Responsive Return Plan (pdf)

School Leaders Debate Solutions for an Uncertain 2020-21

American Academy of Pediatrics: COVID-19 Planning Considerations: Return to In-person Education in Schools

AAP Guidance on School Reopening Addresses Physical and Mental Health, Instructional Time

9 Ways Schools Will Look Different When (And If) They Reopen

How to Reopen Schools: A 10-Point Plan Putting Equity at the Center

What Comes Next for Public Schooling

A Few Schools Reopen, But Remote Learning Could Go on for Years in U.S.

AFT Launches Landmark Plan to Safely Reopen America’s Schools and Communities

A Blueprint for Back to School

Searching for the Other Side of the Tunnel: Leading through #COVID-19

Survey: Teachers Favor Moving on to Next Year’s Content in the Fall

It’s Time to Accept that the Point of School Has Changed

Teaching and Learning after COVID-19

What Lessons from the Coronavirus Pandemic will Shape the Future of Education?

The COVID-19 Pandemic has Changed Education Forever – This is How

Ed Week: COVID-19: Report Offers ‘Blueprint’ for Reopening Schools and Beyond

S.C. Educators Considers Safest Way for Kids to Return to School in Summer, Fall

After The Crisis Half-Time High School May Be Just What Students Need (subscription req’d)

Cybraryman’s The New Normal Pages

There’s Always Next Year: 3 Ideas to Recover Lost Educational Opportunities Post-Coronavirus Epidemic

The Coming Mental-Health Crisis

A Perfect Time to End Our STEM Obsession: 3 Ideas for Teaching Critical Thinking At Home during (And After) The Coronavirus Pandemic

The Case for Critical Thinking: The COVID-19 Pandemic And an Urgent Call To Close The Critical Thinking Gap In Education

Virtual Reality Classrooms (YouTube 1:54)

Image courtesy of Pixabay Pixabay License

Photos courtesy of Jessica Torres and Andi McNair.

Graphic courtesy of Lisa Conrad.

Distance Learning Resources for Educators and Parents

 

One of the biggest challenges of distance learning during the current pandemic has been the ‘overnight’ transition to online instruction; little preparation time; lack of interaction with staff and colleagues; and mostly missing students. Reimagining education (a future #gtchat topic) is beginning to dawn on educators. Is it time to rethink how we educate our students? Do we really need standardized testing, hours ‘in class’, obsolete grading systems? With all the professional and work-related changes, everyone is still reeling from a life in quarantine and the uncertainty of what the future will look like after life resumes in the outside world.

Although e-learning has been around for some time, it was not always a necessary tool in the educator’s toolbox; especially at the elementary level. The switch to distance learning for virtually all students came without warning for most teachers. Professional development in the use of the latest tech tools is necessary for teachers who now must teach remotely. The era of #COVID19 requires a supportive approach for colleagues as they traverse a new technological landscape. Remote learning requires different tech than used in the classroom.

What strategies can be used to keep GT students learning at home? It is a struggle to meet the needs of students from such diverse circumstances and it requires a multi-faceted approach to teaching them where they are both academically and emotionally. It is important that students be allowed to create a flexible learning space that provides both a reflection of their personality as well as structure for learning. Teachers need to check-in with students daily, present clear expectations and directions, and reconnect throughout the day. Parents should remember the importance of daily play and provide their kids with ‘brain breaks’ when possible.

Connections are vital today; not just with students, but with their families. Consider having ‘office hours’ to address the concerns of parents who are struggling with at-home schooling. Depending on available tech, these programs aid in connecting: Slack, Microsoft Teams, Remind, Seesaw, ParentSquare, and Voxer. Chat options for connecting include Backchannelchat, Loop, VO Teach, and Padlet. Resources for making videos include Screencastify, Screen-o-Matic and Loom. Meetings can be conducted via Zoom and Facebook Live. Multimedia resources include Buncee, Flipgrid, Padlet, and Wakelet.

There seems to be endless resources for teachers new to distance learning! It’s more a matter of choice. For STEM: Discovery Education, NatGeo Kids, DK FindOut!, and Cool Math Games. Social studies resources include Brain Pop, Time for Kids, and the Smithsonian. Reading resources include Scholastic Learn-at-Home, Story Pirates, and Harry Potter-at-Home. Movement activities should not be forgotten; especially for times when kids can’t go outside to play. Some online resources include GoNoodle (YouTube) and Cosmic Kids Yoga.

All of the resources used for teachers can also be used by parents when appropriate. Work with your child to see what works best for them and take into account which apps are age-appropriate. Parents can discuss options with their child’s teacher. Options used in the classroom that work well at home include journaling and PBL (project-based learning). Apps like Audible are offering free audio books.

A transcript of this chat with many more resources than I could list 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.

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:

Math, Memes, and Maintaining a Social Distance

Out with the Test, in With PBL: How Project- Based Learning is Transforming Remote Learning

Unicorn Teacher: Free Resources for 7th and 8th Grade (Google Docs)

Keep America’s Students Learning At Home

Consortium for School Networking (website)

Remote Learning Could be a Good Time for a Capstone Project

10 Clever Ways Parents Around the Country Are Keeping Their Kids Active and Entertained

Coppell ISD – CHS Speaks: The Flip Side of Online Learning (YouTube 6:21)

Learning From a Distance? 6 Tips to Do It Well

Use the Data You Have Today to Group Students, Align Remote Resources & Plan for the Future

How Innovative Educators Are Engaging Students Online

10 Tips to Moving Classes Online—Now

5 Home Learning Experiences for the Elementary Grades

7 Guiding Principles for Parents Teaching from Home

Engaging Families in Distance Learning: Supporting from Afar

Fostering Connectedness During Remote Learning

Resources to Supplement and Enhance Distance Learning in the Elementary Grades

Distance Learning: A Gently Curated Collection of Resources for Teachers

Sifting Through the Digital Learning Options: The Most Powerful Personalized Leaning Edtech Tools Curated by LEAP

121 Tools for Distance Learning & Strategies for Student Engagement

Cybraryman’s Remote Learning Pages

Cybraryman’s Video Conferencing Pages

Cybraryman’s Zoom Pages

Cybraryman’s Homeschooling Pages

You Got This! A message of encouragement (YouTube 3:56)

Aurora Remember: Free Self-Regulation Lessons

Sprite’s Site: Looking Forward, Looking Back

Image courtesy of Pixabay Pixabay License

Graphic courtesy of Lisa Conrad.

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.

 

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.

 

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