Category Archives: Homeschooling

Perspectives on Giftedness

For decades, educators, academics, professionals in the field, parents and even those identified as gifted have tried to define the term ‘gifted’ with few reaching consensus. Today’s chat will explore different perspectives about giftedness. The terms educationally and psychologically gifted are terms used by some to distinguish between individuals with different needs in school. Other terms frequently used include high achievers or profoundly gifted. 2Es or twice exceptional students are labeled ‘gifted’, but also experience learning challenges. It’s important to consider a student’s strengths and address those before deficits.

What does it mean to be ‘more’ regarding gifted children and why does it matter? When the idea of ‘more’ is introduced in discussing gifted children, concerns about behavior are generally the issue. The source or reason for intense behaviors is debatable in academic circles, but rarely for parents. It is important to recognize and address out of the ordinary behaviors of a child who is identified as gifted to ensure their well-being as well as their ability to achieve academically and gain important social skills to be successful in life. In recent years, the importance of SEL or social-emotional learning has gained recognition among educators and parents. For GT kids, the assumption was that they would be fine on their own. This is no longer the case.

What challenges do twice-exceptional students face at school and in life? Initially, recognition of the existence of twice-exceptional students is paramount to providing appropriate educational opportunities. Failure to do so can result in students receiving only remedial services. Twice-exceptional students are often misunderstood both in school and by society at large. Challenging behaviors or academic deficits can result in students being misplaced in special education rather than placement in gifted programs. Inappropriate placement in school can lead to life-long consequences for twice-exceptional students whose most urgent needs are never met. It can have disastrous effects on life and career outcomes.

Pathologizing a gifted child’s behavior – labeling normal behavior as abnormal – is like trying to fix a problem which does not exist. Interventions, inappropriate treatments and even drug therapy can do more harm than good. For parents, in particular, it is extremely important to engage with professionals who have qualified experience working with gifted children. Pathologizing gifted behaviors may result in misdiagnosis which can lead to unmet needs or even more serious problems for their child.

Parents may wonder if they should tell their child they have been identified as gifted. However, its important to explain giftedness before they learn about it from unqualified sources or form their own opinions based on misinformation. Gifted children need to understand that they are more than a label assigned to them in order to receive services at school. That understanding involves realizing they are not better than, but rather better at. Understanding the nature of giftedness will help a gifted child to realize it’s okay to make mistakes or even fail at times; it’s not an excuse for poor behavior; and they may view the world around them differently than their age peers.

What does giftedness look like in adulthood? Gifted adults may or may not recognize their own giftedness based on their individual life experiences. Unfortunately, there is a tendency to only view eminent or high achieving adults as ever being gifted. Psychologists’ offices are filled with gifted adults experiencing anxiety, intense emotions, perfectionism, an acute sense of loneliness due to an inability to connect with others, existential depression, and so much ‘more’.

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/10AM AEST/1AM 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.

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 Columbus Group Conference | Gifted Parenting Support

Gifted Myths: An Easy-to-Read Guide to Myths on the Gifted and Twice-Exceptional (book)

Educating Your Gifted Child: How One Public School Teacher Embraced Homeschooling

If This is a Gift, Can I Send it Back?: Surviving in the Land of the Gifted and Twice Exceptional

Your Rainforest Mind: A Guide to the Well-Being of Gifted Adults and Youth

Behavioral Profiles of Clinically Referred Children with Intellectual Giftedness | BioMed Research International

Homeschooling Gifted Students: Considerations for Research and Practice (pdf) | IGI Global

Dwelling on the Right Side of the Curve: An Exploration of the Psychological Wellbeing of Parents of Gifted Children (pdf)

New Brain Mapping Technique Highlights Relationship Between Connectivity and IQ | Neuroscience News

“Choosing our Histories” by Kevin Gover, Baccalaureate Address 2016 | Brown University

The Boy Who Played with Fusion: Extreme Science, Extreme Parenting, and How to Make a Star (book)

Bright Adults: Uniqueness and Belonging across the Lifespan (book)

Comparison of Cognitive, Psychosocial, and Adaptive Behavior Profiles among Gifted Children with and without Autism Spectrum Disorder

Gifted … You Know What That Means, Right?

When Gifted Kids Don’t Have All the Answers: How to Meet Their Social and Emotional Needs (book)

Serving Highly & Profoundly Gifted Learners (pdf)

Study of Mathematically Precocious Youth | Vanderbilt University

Behavioral Profiles of Clinically Referred Children with Intellectual Giftedness | Biomed Research International

Images courtesy of GHF Learners, Celi Trepanier, Dr. Gail Post, Stacie Brown McCullough, and Paula Prober.

Graphic courtesy of Lisa Conrad.

Challenging GT High School Students

What does ‘challenge’ look like in a high school classroom for GT students? Challenge takes on a new role at the high school level for GT students depending on levels of challenge offered in earlier years for the student and availability of services at the secondary level. Foundational skills – organizational skills, study skills, etc. – are a pre-requisite to meeting necessary challenges to insure forward and upward progress. Individualized academic plans beyond participation in AP/IB are a must. Challenge in high school is manifested in a student through the ability to face failure, learn from it and move on; a healthy amount of struggle; an insatiable appetite to learn more and go far beyond what’s required.

Secondary advanced classrooms are those with a higher concentration of G.T students than found in a regular general ed classroom, i.e., AP or IB classes in most high schools. This situation requires a high degree of differentiation. Strategies may include pre-assessment throughout the course with tailored instruction based on data derived from those assessments as new concepts/content are introduced or timed, performance-based tasks with options for immediate feedback (Brown, THP, August 2021) Further strategies include specific, individual feedback to encourage improvement; targeted, intentional homework with difficult concepts confronted in class; and extensive review and test practice near the end of the course (Brown, THP, August 2021).

Curiosity and creativity should be a primary goal of secondary gifted education. It can begin with providing opportunities for exploration; a four-year plan which integrates scope and sequence; and motivational strategies that inspire further exploration. Nurturing curiosity and creativity involves providing outlets for student to investigate their own creative thoughts which may begin with Socratic seminars or personal time to pursue individual interests. They can be enhanced through long-term (year-long or even multi-year) projects based on student choice. These can encourage students to ask inspiring questions; not just seek answers.

What strategies can teachers use to inspire confidence and independence in GT students? Inspiring confidence and independence in our GT students is a lofty goal for educators. It starts with passionate and compassionate teaching, high expectations, and explicit teaching of self-advocacy. Teachers can be instrumental in developing confidence and independence in GT students by relinquishing an authoritarian mindset and encouraging student voice and choice. Engaging stu dents in independent study is a great place to start. Specific strategies include instructional grouping with intellectual peers and modified grading which emphasizes self-evaluation and reflection.

How can schools implement a 4-year scaffolded experience for GT students? A vertically-aligned 4-year scaffolded program resembles those used at the college level. The first year strives to build basic skills upon which to build the remaining 3 years emphasis on executive functioning and addressing social-emotional learning. During the next 2 years, students engage with mentors and advisors, explore interests and passions, begin consideration of areas of research, and continue social-emotional learning. Finally, in their senior year, GT students create a capstone project involving research, production of a final product, and presentation of findings. (McClintock, 2021)

By the time students reach high school, parents often have the unenviable decision of how best to educate their child. Unfortunately, their choice may be dictated by financial considerations or simple geography. Parents today do have a myriad of choices: public charter, magnet, or residential schools; micro-schools; homeschooling or unschooling; cyber/online learning; dual-enrollment or early college; or private schools.

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/10AM AEST/1AM 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.

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:

Nurturing Excellence: A Case Study of High School Learning Environments for the Gifted

Nurturing Excellence: Maximizing the Agency, Curiosity, and Confidence of Gifted Secondary Learners (pdf) | McClintock WCGTC World Conference 2021  

What Works With Secondary Gifted Learners: A Qualitative Case Study of the Curriculum and Instructional Approaches of the North Carolina Governor’s School (pdf)

The Future of Secondary Gifted Education

Enriching Students Pays Off: Evidence from an Individualized Gifted and Talented Program in Secondary Education (pdf)

The Handbook of Secondary Gifted Education

A 21st-Century Model for Identifying Students for Gifted and Talented Programs in Light of National Conditions (pdf) | Gifted Child Today

Designing Services and Programs for High-Ability Learners: A Guidebook for Gifted Education (book)

Gifted Secondary School Students: The Perceived Relationship Between Enrichment and Achievement Orientation (pdf)

Modern Curriculum for Gifted and Advanced Academic Students 1st Edition (book)

Fundamentals of Gifted Education: Considering Multiple Perspectives 2nd Edition (book)

“Just Challenge Those High-Ability Learners and They’ll Be All Right!”. The Impact of Social Context and Challenging Instruction on the Affective Development of High-Ability Students | Journal of Advanced Academics

In Search of Deeper Learning: The Quest to Remake the American High School (book)

Gifted Students’ Adjustment and Underachievement in University: An Exploration from the Self-determination Theory Perspective (pdf) | Gifted Child Quarterly

Paradigms of Gifted Education: A Guide for Theory-Based, Practice-Focused Research 1st Edition (book)

Honors Students’ Perceptions of Their High School Experiences: The Influence of Teachers on Student Motivation

How Students Conceptualize Grade-Based Acceleration in Inclusive Settings

A Study of Gifted High, Moderate, and Low Achievers in their Personal Characteristics and Attitudes toward School and Teachers

High Abilities/Giftedness: Social Skills Intervention with Students, Parents/Guardians and Teachers

Gifted Classroom Environments and the Creative Process: A Systematic Review | Journal for the Education of the Gifted

Content-Based Curriculum for High-Ability Learners 3rd Edition (book)

Advanced Placement Programs and Gifted Students (book)

Serving Gifted Students in General Ed Classrooms | Edutopia

ASCD: Six Strategies for Challenging Gifted Learners

Challenging Your Gifted Student

Photo courtesy of Pixabay Pixabay License

Graphic courtesy of Lisa Conrad

Resources for Teaching GT Kids at Home

Traditional classrooms rarely meet the full needs of GT students. Parents may be surprised at how many hours their children spent in the back of the room reading during periods of remediation for others. Rather than try to recreate ‘school at home’, parents should strive to provide their children with a broad range of learning options beyond worksheets, book reports, and standardized tests. Parents should not shy away from considering opportunities for acceleration such as curriculum compacting (finishing work at their own pace), above grade-level work, and dual enrollment where available.

Virtual learning can be an excellent conduit for connecting students with intellectual peers and mentors via online opportunities. Parents can reach out to authors, scientists, and professionals in their child’s area of interest. Enrichment activities such as book clubs with other GT students, virtual field trips, and connecting globally with peers online will increase student engagement. Parents should seek their child’s input and encourage them to be self-directed/autonomous learners. Parents and mentors act as facilitators.

There is a certain amount of choice surrounding home learning that can be beneficial for GT students. When they’re able to complete assignments on their own schedule, it’s a great time to allow them to immerse themselves in their passions. When parents and/or mentors are available, GT students should be encouraged to ask questions (lots of questions!) and guided to resources that may answer them. Undertaking a collegiate approach to learning which encompasses the liberal arts is a way to help students gain additional benefits from their time out of the classroom.

Many of the tools used traditionally by schools can also be used at home. Cost may become an issue and should be factored into the decision about which tools to use. There are many free tech tools available to facilitate home learning such as Khan Academy, Google Meet, Zoom, and Microsoft Teams. Tech tools/websites that parents can use at home for their GT kids include Think Math, Wonderopolis, KenKen Puzzles, Brains On! (podcast), Scholastic Learning from Home, Smithsonian Learning Lab, and PBS LearningMedia.

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:

G/T Resources for School Closures | TAGT

Teaching Gifted Students at Home | WVU Today

Virtual Instruction for Gifted Students | NAGC

Profoundly Gifted Students’ Perceptions of Virtual Classrooms | Gifted Child Quarterly

The Impact of COVID-19, School Closure, and Social Isolation on Gifted Students’ Wellbeing and Attitudes toward Remote (Online) Learning

2020 AIG Remote Learning Resources | NC Department of Public Education

PreK-12 Enrichment & Educational Resources | NAGC

EU: Talent Point in Action: “Wind at the Back” (pdf) | European Talent Support Network

The Impact of Unplanned School Closure on Children’s Social Contact: Rapid Evidence Review

Online Learning – Supporting Gifted Children at Home | Arlington Public Schools

Support for Gifted Learners at Home during COVID-19 | Colorado Department of Education

Coping With the Stress of COVID-19: Tips for Families with Gifted Children (YouTube 9:13) | Dr. Ed Amend

At-home Learning Resources for Kids | MENSA for Kids

Five Essential Guidelines for Helping your Child during This Global Crisis (blog)| Gifted Challenges

Resources for Educators & Parents during COVID-19 | NAGC

3 Top Strategies for Helping Your Child Cope with Anxiety During Challenging Times (YouTube 20:09) | Michele Kane

COVID-19 and Anxiety in Gifted Children | NAGC

Teach from Anywhere – Families

Learning at Home Resources: Ideas for Teachers and Parents

Online G3

GHF Learners

Stanford Online Classes

Medieval Helpdesk with English Subtitles (YouTube 2:44)

OpenStax

UT- Austin: Annette Strauss Institute for Civic Life Moody College of Communication Speak Up Speak Out

MIT Open Courseware

MIT Open Courseware: OCW Educator Portal

National Archives: Educator Resources

United States Census Bureau: Statistics in School

PHET | University of Colorado – Boulder

Vizit Solutions: Gauss’s Law Concepts

Vizit Solutions: Visualization Catalog

Vizit Solutions: A Particle in a Box

Image courtesy of Pixabay Pixabay License

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.

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