Category Archives: gifted education

Leveling the Playing Field: Parent-Teacher Communication

Parents of gifted children can be intense when it comes to their child. These parents have great expectations of the schools and teachers who educate them. Teachers are too often expected to be all things to all children. This can be difficult when they receive so little exposure to gifted education in their undergraduate coursework and PD opportunities.

Gifted education begins at the local level. Parents should know and understand school policies and state guidelines before meeting their child’s teacher. They should be prepared to share insights concerning their child’s documented abilities, perceived needs and specific interests.

How can IEP/504 plans guide the parent-teacher relationship involving GT/2E students? G/IEPs and 504 plans can provide a framework for a productive parent-teacher conference and the basis for an individualized and meaningful education going forward. A well thought out plan can enhance the parent-teacher relationship and ensure the student’s needs are being met when followed. 504 plans can also provide a legal basis for ensuring that the needs of twice-exceptional students are being met. Templates for GIEP and 504 plans are available online if your school/state doesn’t currently use them.

What strategies can teachers use to increase positive engagement with parents? Teachers can take the time to seek professional development concerning gifted education and endorsements when working in a full-time gifted classroom. Positive engagement begins with good communication efforts. It’s important to take the time to get to know the student and appreciate their unique situation.

Parents of elementary students are generally seen as the most intense. Parents and teachers can see this as a learning experience; how to best meet the needs of the child. Although the ability to self-advocate is highly regarded in the gifted community, parents need to continue to nurture positive relationships with their child’s teachers even at the secondary level.

Keeping an open line of communication is the best defense against a contentious relationship. This can involve electronic communications (email, apps) as well as a simple written note or phone call. Without positive communication, it is the student who will suffer. It takes time and determination to build an effective relationship between parents and teachers.

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:

2019 – 2nd Annual Survey of US Primary School Teachers & Parents The State of Parent Engagement Because When Parents are Partners, Kids Do Better, Parents are Happier, & Teachers’ Job Is Easier

Report: Teachers Have Difficulty Engaging Families

Questions to Ask at Parent Teacher Conferences

Tips for Your Gifted Kid’s Parent-Teacher Conference

Talking With Your Gifted Child’s Teacher

15 Tips for Leading Productive Parent-Teacher Conferences

Communicating Effectively with Your Gifted Child’s School

Improving GT Parent-Teacher Communications

Effect of Students’ Behavioral Characteristics on Teachers’ Referral Decisions in Gifted Education (pdf)

Parents and Teachers: Finding Common Ground

The Teacher-Parent Connection: Tips for Working with the Parents of a Gifted Student

Six tips for communicating with your gifted child’s teacher

8 Sentence Starters to Use When Talking to Teachers

Tips for Parents: Forging Partnerships with Teachers, and Why They Often Don’t Work!

A Gifted Ed teacher’s Secrets to Success

Gifted Parenting Support: Teachers Partnering with Parents

Working with Parents to Improve High Ability Students’ Education

Why Don’t Teachers and Parents See Eye to Eye about Gifted Children?

The Survival Guide for Teachers of Gifted Kids (Amazon)

Parents of the Gifted Guide to Teachers/Teacher’s Guide to Parents of the Gifted (RFWP)

How to make parent-teacher conferences worthwhile and productive

The Positive Potential of Parent-Teacher Conferences

Sprite’s Site: Columbus Cheetah Mythbuster

How to Talk to Your Child’s Teacher (or Coach, or Mentor) without Setting the School on Fire (Advice for Parents of Gifted Kids)

NAGC: Classroom Advocacy (pdf)

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

Photo courtesy of Pixabay Pixabay License

Graphic courtesy of Lisa Conrad.

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Role of Technology in Gifted Education

Last week during chat, we discussed cluster grouping of gifted students. Although a strategy to be considered, technology can be a better option for GT students to explore passions and work at their own pace. It is a natural fit for GT students working in STEM areas who are conducting research or working with mentors at an early age. Emerging technologies such as VR, Augmented Reality, and AI are all appealing to GT students and they are capable of utilizing the tech to their advantage.

Tech can be used to connect GT students on social networks such as Twitter to give and receive authentic feedback to their work. It expands their audience to a global level in many cases. GT students can use online resources for independent, self-directed learning; research; and access to highered online courses.

Special populations within the gifted community often struggle to form and maintain relationships with age-peers. Online opportunities can put them in contact with intellectual peers. Technology resources, especially for low-SES and rural students, need to be available not only during school hours; but, also after-school and during school breaks as well.

Asynchronous development can be a factor for younger GT students who may be drawn into groups of older students who may be intellectual peers, but much more mature. Parental and teacher guidance should be utilized. Memory construction (and recall) and sustaining attentive focus is a concern for some twice-exceptional students. Adult supervision may be required by parents, teachers or support staff to ensure optimal learning occurs. In recent years, online bullying of GT students has steadily increased. Before beginning networking, students should understand the importance of reporting of any incidences to an adult.

Accommodating a wide range of abilities in a single classroom can be nearly impossible for any teacher. Technology can be a great asset in differentiating curriculum, tiering assignments, and scaffolding learning. It can enhance learning experiences by providing educators with high quality, ongoing professional development; something that was nonexistent just a few years ago. It’s important to remember that technology is a tool and not be considered a learning outcome. It should raise awareness; provide answers to questions; and avenues to finding new questions to ask.

Is online learning a viable alternative to traditional classrooms for GT students? Yes and no. There are certainly excellent online learning experiences available. Many resources have been the result of meeting the demands of gifted homeschoolers and GT students isolated in rural school districts. Although many GT students excel in online environments, others report preferring to interact with peers and teachers face-to-face in the classroom whenever possible.

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:

Challenging Gifted Students in the General Education Classroom (pdf)

How to Put the Six Blended Learning Models into Action

Differentiating Technology for Gifted Learners

Technology in Gifted Education: A Review of Best Practices and Empirical Research (pdf)

Using Technology in Gifted and Talented Education Classrooms: The Teachers’ Perspective (pdf)

Computer Technology for the Gifted and Talented Child! (pdf)

Technology in Gifted Education: Annotated Bibliography

The Role of Technology in Gifted and Talented Education

6 Must Have Apps, Tools, and Resources for Gifted Children (2017)

Effects of Technology on Gifted Children

Using Technology with Gifted Students

3 Ways Technology Can Help You Support Gifted Students

How to Identify, Understand and Teach Gifted Children

Teaching Strategies for Gifted Students

Students that Are Gifted Need to Be Challenged

For Frustrated Gifted Students, Distance Learning Offers a World of Opportunities

5 Activities to Try in Your Gifted and Talented Classroom

The Neglected Readers: Differentiating Instruction for Academically Gifted and Talented Learners (pdf)

Factors That Promote/Inhibit Teaching Gifted Students in a Regular Class: Results from a Professional Development Program for Chemistry Teachers

Simple Truth: Technology Changes. The Skills We Believe in Don’t.

In Celebration of Teaching Geeks!

Cybraryman’s Technology Page

Cybraryman’s Technology Integration Page

The Impact of Student-Created Apps

Leveraging Technology to Empower Student Voice, Ease Anxiety, and Create Compassionate Classrooms (Book)

Skype in the Classroom

ePals

Cybraryman’s Connected Educators/Students Page

Technology and the Gifted Child

Storybird

Assistive Technology for the 2e Learner

Meeting the Needs of Gifted and Talented Students through Technology Supported Distance Teaching

2e Students: Who They Are and What They Need

Medieval Helpdesk (with English subtitles) (YouTube 2:44)

Image courtesy of Pixabay Pixabay License

Graphic courtesy of Lisa Conrad.

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.

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

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