Category Archives: gifted education

Cluster Grouping: Finding the Right Fit for GT Students

 

Cluster Grouping is used in mixed-ability classrooms. GT students are ‘clustered’ together. This facilitates differentiated instruction enabling teachers to better meet the needs of ALL students.

Isn’t Cluster Grouping the same as tracking? ‘Tracking’ is an approach historically fraught with negative connotations. Students placed on a track remained there throughout their education K-12. Cluster Grouping is not ‘tracking’. It is flexible, addresses specific needs, and can be realigned when necessary. It avoids putting ALL students into permanent tracks while allowing all students to explore their personal academic potential.

Teachers using Cluster Grouping reported increased identification, awareness, and understanding of students’ needs. They felt instructional strategies were more effective. GT students are more at ease learning with intellectual peers and able to explore content more deeply. Inappropriate behaviors are curtailed. Cluster Grouping provides GT students with gifted education opportunities that are cost-effective for school districts experiencing budgetary constraints.

It’s essential that Cluster Teachers have specialized training in teaching GT students. They should know how to recognize and nurture GT, and allow them to demonstrate mastery. Cluster Teachers should be able to provide accelerated pacing, allow for independent study, and facilitate sophisticated research opportunities. (Winebrenner)

Won’t the presence of GT Cluster Groups inhibit the performance of other students? Over 30 years of research (Feldhusen ’89, Rogers ’93, Gentry ’99, Brulles ’05, Plucker ’10, Pierce ’11) says otherwise. GT Cluster Groups don’t inhibit other students. Size matters. Keeping groups to a manageable size has shown to improve achievement for all students (Winebrenner).

Schools need to be realistic about their access to and ability to provide necessary resources required to implement Cluster Grouping. Professional development in GT must be required for all teachers, admins, and staff involved in developing and instituting Cluster Grouping, AND be ongoing. Expectations and well-established norms must precede establishment of Cluster Grouping in a school district to ensure the success of students and the program. Successful Cluster Grouping involves embedded PD, advisors and mentors for teachers, expertise in advance scheduling, and parent and community involvement. 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.

 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:

Cluster Grouping: Finding the Fit (pdf)

A Menu of Options for Grouping Gifted Students

Emphasize Flexibility and Adaptability When Grouping Students

The Cluster Grouping Handbook (pdf preview)

Cluster Grouping of Gifted Students FAQs (pdf)

NZ: Cluster Grouping for the Gifted and Talented: It Works! (pdf)

Fort Bend ISD: Gifted and Talented Services 2018 – 2019 Handbook (P. 12) (pdf)

The Schoolwide Cluster Grouping Model (pdf)

Teaching in the Schoolwide Cluster Grouping Model (pdf)

Advanced Learner: Multi-Tiered System of Support Guide (pdf)

Gifted Resources for School Teachers, Counselors and Administrators

Cluster Grouping Fact Sheet: How to Provide Full-Time Services for Gifted Students on Existing Budgets

Grouping

Why Cluster Grouping Benefits Gifted Children

What is Cluster Grouping? (pdf)

CTD Hosts Conference on Cluster Grouping ( October 2018)

Todd Talks – Cluster Grouping (YouTube 13:14)

Improving Performance for Gifted Students in a Cluster Grouping Model

Grouping Gifted Students

Cybraryman’s Learning Page

AUS: Revisiting Gifted Education

What do gifted students need? (pdf)

Meta-analytic Findings on Grouping Programs (Abstract Only)

Image courtesy of Pixabay Pixabay License

Graphic courtesy of Lisa Conrad.

Advertisements

Strengths-Based Learning for 2E Students

 

Strengths-based learning curriculum takes into consideration how best a student learns and relies on the student’s individual profile. It focuses on the student’s interests; is modified through ongoing assessment; and recognizes a student’s advanced abilities. Strengths-based learning does not focus on areas of weakness and therefore is not predicated on remediation.

To encourage growth: twice-exceptional (2e) learners need a psychologically safe environment, tolerance for asynchronous behaviors, time, positive relationships; and a strength-based, talent-focused environment. (Baum, Schader, and Owen 2017) Neurodiversity-inspired educators create positive ecosystems within which students with learning differences can learn according to their strengths rather than their weaknesses. (“First Discover Their Strengths” Tomas Armstrong. Educational Leadership October 2012)

Emphasizing 2E students’ strengths provides opportunities for student choice, links new content to previous knowledge, and provides appropriate support from both gifted and learning support teachers and staff. Strengths-based learning includes support for social emotional needs of 2E students through provision of extra time to complete assignments, developing self-advocacy skills, and the teaching of stress management skills.

How does one discover student’ strengths? Students can engage in self-reflection: “What am I already good at?” “What will help me get to my goals?” “How can I use my strengths to achieve my goals?” Profiles can be created based on past performance, current interests, and teacher and parent observations.

Engaging students in strengths-based learning starts by offering an entry point related to an area in which they’ve already shown talent; perhaps in performance arts rather than writing. Students may respond positively to strengths-based learning through using novel introduction of new concepts such as involving guest speakers, experts demonstrating concepts, or field trips.

How can teachers incorporate dual-differentiation effectively in the classroom? Dual-differentiation requires that teachers and staff coordinate efforts and engage in extensive planning before introducing differentiated curriculum. Whenever possible, consider highly personalized curriculum to meet student needs. Ability grouping and flexible grouping can improve the effectiveness of strengths-based learning. Grouping can be predicated on ability, interests, and desired outcomes. 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.

 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:

Strengths-Based Learning: The Key Piece to the Puzzle of Twice-Exceptional (2e) Students (pdf)

To Be Gifted and Learning Disabled: Strength-Based Strategies for Helping Twice-Exceptional Students with LD, ADHD, ASD and More (Prufrock)

Strengths-Based Resources

The Principles of Strengths-Based Education (pdf)

Strength-Based Practice with Children in Trouble (pdf)

Using a Strengths Based Approach to Support Twice-Exceptional Learners in the Classroom (pdf)

Giftedness and ADHD: A Strengths-based Perspective and Approach

What It Means to Teach Gifted Learners Well

Off the Charts! Asynchrony and the Gifted Child (pdf)

Using Strength-Based Pedagogy to Engage and Challenge 2E Students Development (pdf)

Leaving Behind Normalcy: Asynchrony and the Gifted Child

Twice Exceptional: Gifted Students with Learning Disabilities Considerations Packet (pdf)

Start with Student Strengths to Promote Learning

Effective Teaching Strategies for Gifted/Learning-Disabled Students with Spatial Strengths (pdf)

Gifted and Dyslexic: How the Talent-centered Model Works

Strategies for Supporting Students Who Are Twice-Exceptional (pdf)

An Operational Definition of Twice Exceptional Learners: Implications and Applications (pdf)

Twice-Exceptionality: Parents’ Perspectives on 2e Identification

Twice-Exceptional Learners The Journey Toward a Shared Vision (pdf)

Twice-Exceptional: Students with Both Gifts and Challenges or Disabilities (pdf)

Academic Self-Concept in Twice-Exceptional Students: An Exploratory Investigation (pdf)

AUS: Strength-based Approach A guide to Writing Transition Learning and Development Statements (pdf)

The 2e Center Suite of Tools™ with My LearningPrint™

Cybraryman’s Twice-Exceptional Children Page

Cybraryman’s Resolutions and Reflection Page

Cybraryman’s Goals Page

Cybraryman’s Self-Determined Learning Page

Cybraryman’s Know Your Students Page

Identifying and Supporting Gifted ELLs

Sprite’s Site: New Shoes

Sprite’s Site: 2E Is

Sprite’s Site: What Makes Them 2E?

Photo courtesy of Pixabay  Pixabay License

Graphic courtesy of Lisa Conrad

Accelerating GT Students

 

Academic acceleration is a cost-effective way to meet many of the needs of gifted students across the spectrum which is hampered only by myths debunked long ago. It is, however, only as good as its implementation. A well-researched educational plan that is responsive to individual student needs can make all the difference in success or failure for the student.

With all the research in existence, why do some educators/admins still balk at acceleration? It only takes one poorly executed attempt at acceleration for a single student to influence school administrations for decades thereafter in a school district. Unfortunately, too often decision makers do not take the time to review the research involving academic acceleration. Outdated information propagated at the undergraduate level is rarely challenged.

Pertinent information that should be included in consideration of acceleration is test scores, psychological evaluations, and teacher and parent observations. An often forgotten part of acceleration is taking into consideration how the student feels about acceleration and the possible effects on the family. If a child does not want to be accelerated, it probably won’t work.

Every school district should have a policy on acceleration. This will ensure that the process is equally applied to all students; everyone is aware of the option to accelerate; and provides guidelines for the process. Administrators should take a deep dive into all the avenues of acceleration and make the information available to their faculty and parents to aid in the decision-making process and to provide adequate resources.

For most GT students, the earlier the acceleration; the easier it is to minimize knowledge gaps. Most students being considered for acceleration are generally identified as to having above-grade level abilities. For older GT students, knowledge gaps can be addressed by such avenues as summer school, tutoring, online classes, the use of mentors, or independent study.

Parents who want to support the acceleration process need to keep open lines of communication with school administrators and those teachers who will be directly involved with their child’s program. They should take the time to talk to their GT child about all the facets of acceleration as well as other family members who may be affected by the child’s acceleration. It’s always better to work through the issues beforehand. 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.

 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:

Developing Academic Acceleration Policies: Whole Grade, Early Entrance & Single Subject (pdf)

Dual Enrollment: Participation and Characteristics (pdf 2019)

Understanding Acceleration Implementing Research-Based Practices for GATE (pdf)

Life in the Fast Lane: Effects of Early Grade Acceleration on High School and College Outcomes

Subject Acceleration: Who, What, How?

Developing Academic Acceleration Policies: Whole Grade, Early Entrance & Single Subject

Mathematically Gifted Accelerated Students Participating in an Ability Group: A Qualitative Interview Study

Acceleration or Enrichment? Which one is better for gifted kids?

A Nation Empowered Vols. 1 & 2 (Free Download)

What One Hundred Years of Research Says About Ability Grouping and Acceleration for Students K-12

Why is Academic Acceleration (Still) So Controversial?

Why Am I an Advocate for Academic Acceleration?

Possible Economic Benefits of Full-Grade Acceleration

Academic Acceleration: Is It Right for My Child?

NAGC TIP Sheet: Acceleration (pdf)

LesLinks: Acceleration (LiveBinders)

Cybraryman’s Acceleration Page

Sprite’s Site: Columbus Cheetah, Myth Buster – Myth 6

Sprite’s Site: Belonging – A Place of Sanctuary

Acceleration Institute

Hoagies: Academic Acceleration

Duke TIP: Academic Acceleration and Ability Grouping Work

Davidson Young Scholars – How We Can Help

College Versus Kindergarten and Radical Acceleration

Image courtesy of Flickr   CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Graphic courtesy of Lisa Conrad

Board Games, Video Games and Gamification For GT Students

Gamification is the “process of adding game elements or mechanics to an experience” and may include competing groups of students, rewards/points, timed activities or badges. Game-based learning adapts traditional learning experiences with a virtual game framework and provides an authentic real-world context, clear goals, feedback and a high degree of student interaction. (Mindsearch.org) True game-based learning, aside from online quiz games generally thought to be gamed-based learning, is based on a framework which defines a problem and requires a solution.

Game-based learning engages GT students giving them the opportunity to make decisions about their own learning.  It empowers them to take charge and allows them to take risks in a safe environment where failure doesn’t matter.

Any downside to game-based learning rests on the misunderstanding of what it is and/or poor implementation. GT students know when they’re being ‘played’. It’s important they play a role in deciding what constitutes this type of learning. Game-based learning must be intended as a resource that challenges gifted kids; more than as a source for extrinsic rewards. Professional development is essential which clearly delineates what game-based learning is and what gamification of the current curriculum looks like.

Strategies for introducing game-based learning should consider utilizing GT students to choose the games or even design the games to be used. Gamification of the curriculum should be predicated on the belief that it will enhance learning rather than solely seek to increase classroom engagement. Gifted elementary learners can add their voice in deciding how to do this. Game-based learning should be flexible, promote higher level thinking skills, include enrichment activities that are complex, and cover a wide-ranging interdisciplinary curriculum.

Formative assessments conducted during the learning process can modify teaching and learning activities and they are appealing to GT students who often see themselves as partners in the learning process. The games themselves are the assessment and can be used to teach as well as measure 21st century skills. As a complex problem space, the game actually collects the data and shows if the student is progressing.

Although somewhat passé with younger kids since the advent of Fortnite, Minecraft is still a good option. Familiarity with the game and its popularity outside school appeals to kids; it doesn’t seem like traditional learning. Another upcoming game, RoboCo from Filament, is another good example of a game which will appeal to gifted students. It’s a virtual robotics kit aimed at middle school and high school students that simulates building robots in virtual reality. It’s being partially funded by the NSF grants. 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.

 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:

How to Create an Interactive Gifted Program

Effects of Technology on Gifted Children

Game-Based Learning: Resource Roundup

Small, Safe Steps for Introducing Games to the Classroom

Cybraryman’s Games Page

Cybraryman’s Games in Education Page

The Power and Promise of Game-Based Learning

Game-Based Learning Is Changing How We Teach. Here’s Why.

How to use game-based learning in the classroom

Digital game-based learning enhances literacy

AUS: Why Gamification is So Important

Gamification vs Game-based Learning: what’s the difference?

The Effect of Game-Based Learning on Students’ Learning Performance in Science Learning – A Case of “Conveyance Go”

From Users to Designers: Building a Self-Organizing Game-Based Learning Environment (pdf)

NZ: Gamification

E-learning for Kids – Is the Future of Education Already Here?

Implicit modeling of learners’ personalities in a game-based learning environment using their gaming behaviors

What’s In a Game? A game-based approach to exploring 21st-century European identity and values

Educational Practices behind Gamification

Why US Classrooms are Starting to Resemble Arcades

Gamification in the Classroom: Small Changes and Big Results [Infographic]

Exciting new approach to classroom learning! (YouTube 8:35)

Filament Games Turns Robotics into Virtual Reality

The Benefits of Game-Based Learning

The Difference between Gamification and Game-Based Learning

Game-Based Learning + Formative Assessment = A Perfect Pair

Cybraryman’s The Brain and Brain Games Page

Cybraryman’s Games and Puzzles Page

Global Education Conference: Game-Based Learning

Why Games?

Lure of the Labyrinth

Dragon Box

The Oregon Trail

Gertrude’s Secrets (Wikipedia)

Image courtesy of Flickr CC BY-SA 2.0

Graphic courtesy of Lisa Conard

%d bloggers like this: