Category Archives: gifted and talented

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.

 

Teaching Life Skills to Gifted Children at School and at Home

Life skills are those skills which enable us to deal effectively with the challenges faced every day and are needed to succeed in life. They involve the ability to be flexible when problem solving, display imitative, interact positively with others, be productive, and to be a leader. Qualities associated with successful life skills include self-awareness, empathy, effective communication, strong interpersonal skills, critical thinking, and self-control.

Why is it important to teach GT students life skills? The stakes are so high. Many GT students represent our future leaders and life skills are essential for great leaders. Success in life is not dependent alone on how intelligent a person is or becomes. Personal satisfaction with accomplishments plays an overall role in happiness; both personally and socially.

How is society inhibiting the acquisition of necessary life skills? Students have fewer face-to-face interactions with peers and instructors reducing their ability to acquire and hone life skills they need to meet the challenges of life. More often, students interact via social media, video conferencing, and text messages rather than in real life situations.

Twice-exceptional children who deal with executive function deficits can benefit from skills-based education from the earliest years as soon as it’s diagnosed. Many of them struggle with social interactions that impeded their academic success. Skills-based education can close this gap. Learning life-skills can help twice-exceptional children handle stressful situations, feel more confident, and learn how to cope with challenges in a more positive way.

What are best practices for educators to embed life skills education in their curriculum? Time management skills education can begin in early elementary by reviewing daily schedules, using a student planner, and discussing with students ways to complete unfinished assignments in a timely manner. Creating opportunities for collaboration on assignments and providing students with leadership strategies that pre-empt one student from doing all the work can be invaluable for gifted students. Occasionally, teachers can switch-up or change the schedule so that students need to learn the importance of being flexible … a much sought after skill by employers. Suggest coping strategies for students to meet the challenge. Teachers can provide opportunities for students to engage in conversations with classmates and then in active and reflexive listening in the classroom. They can promote student choice and voice to allow them control over their learning which provides a gateway to self-motivation; a skill that will benefit them throughout their lives.

How can parents help their gifted children gain the necessary life skills to be successful? Parents must first ensure they possess the life skills necessary for living a successful and rewarding life; even if they must seek out training. They can help their gifted children by modeling necessary life skills in their everyday life. Parents cannot assume that life skills will be taught at school or by associating with successful peers. By observing their child’s behavior, they can determine which skills their child needs. 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:

The 7 Essential Life Skills

Life Skills and Soft Skills Make You Smart Life

What are Life Skills?

5 Important Types of Life Skills All Adults Need

Life Skills vs. Soft Skills vs. Career Skills vs. Employability Skills — What Are the Differences?

3 Important Life Skills Nobody Ever Taught You

Life Skills for Gifted Students

Someone Taught Steve Jobs How to Use a Hammer

Smart but Scattered: The Revolutionary “Executive Skills” Approach to Helping Kids Reach Their Potential (book)

Smart but Scattered Kids (website)

Helping Kids Who Are “Late, Lost, and Unprepared”

That Crumpled Paper Was Due Last Week

11 Life Skills You Should Teach Your Kids

The Practical Life Skills Kids Should Learn at Every Age

Social Life Skills – Characteristics of the Gifted Child (YouTube 4:23)

Teaching Strategies for Important Life Skills

Cybraryman’s Soft Skills Page

Cybraryman’s Financial Education Page

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.

 

 

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