Category Archives: Psychology

Creating Learning Environments that Invite Play

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Play-based learning is how children learn about the world and develop life skills through play and gifted children are no different in their need for play. Children develop cognitive and social skills by playing with other children; both age-mates and intellectual peers. Play helps children mature emotionally and gain the self-confidence to try new experiences. Gifted children may experience asynchronous development and productive play can help ease transitions in many cases.

Play is essential to developing imagination, creativity, dexterity, and physical strength. It is important for healthy brain and neurological development and  allows children to express feelings about their life. Play during early childhood engages a child to interact with their environment. Adults who interact with gifted children know how important play is to their development.

Not all play is created equal; children can play alone, play along-side others without interaction, or play by imitating another playmate. As children begin to play with others, they start to engage and learn cooperation and collaboration. Gifted children should be given the freedom to choose which type of play they are most comfortable with; even when it may be to have alone time.

A rich play environment for children will incorporate choices; what, when and where to play. It will provide opportunities for kids to invent and extend their own play. Rich play environments incorporates varied places to play; inside or outside, local or away. The experiences do not need to be costly choices. Many times a trip to a park or hiking trail will provide an enriching experience for a curious mind.

Teachers can direct play be providing resources for play; such as art materials, legos, or ipads. Elementary teachers often create various ‘stations’ from which children can choose activities; like Daily 5. Teachers can offer students mentoring opportunities when appropriate to the activity.

Can the idea of ‘play’ have relevance at the secondary level? Although it may not be thought of as ‘play’ per se; secondary students need time to follow their passions. They often complain about the strict regimen of high school; they need to experience periods of choice. Adulthood is about choices; high school students need to experience how to make and accept consequences of their choices.

Gifted children thrive when allowed to create their own learning experiences and these often begin as play. Many of our greatest success stories begin through the simple act of playing. The transcript of this chat may be found at Storify.

 

Global #gtchat Powered by the Texas Association for the Gifted and Talented  is a weekly chat on Twitter. Join us Tuesdays at 8E/7C/6M/5P in the U.S. and Wednesdays 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 Storify. Our Facebook Page provides information on the chat and news & information regarding the gifted community. Also, checkout our Pinterest Page and Playlist on YouTube.

Head Shot 2014-07-14  About the author: Lisa 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

Links:

Play Hints at Who We Are

Play and Children’s Learning in the Classroom

The Role of Play in Learning

What is the Teacher’s Role in Supporting Play in Early Childhood Classrooms?

Learning and Developing through Play (pdf)

The Cognitive Benefits of Play: Effects on the Learning Brain

Einstein Never Used Flashcards How Children Learn & Why They Need to Play More/ Memorize Less (Amazon)

Play in Education: The Role and Importance of Creative Learning 

Learning through Play

Balancing Child-Directed and Teacher-Directed Approaches

Why Kids Need to Play J

Different Types of Play

The Importance of Play in Promoting Healthy Child Development

How to Enhance Intuitive Science Knowledge in Infants and Toddlers (Amazon)

AUS: Play Based Learning (pdf)

Sprite’s Site: Gifted @ Play: Calculate Your Leisure Profile

Jake Labazzi Playing Anthropology (YouTube 4:35)

How to Recognize, Support and Teach Musically Gifted Kids

Joey Alexander – Giant Steps (In-Studio Performance) (YouTube 10:36)

Batik’s Brain Pickings: Why I am Using PBL to Design Professional Development (Knows and Need to Knows List)

LEGO® and the Gifted Visual-Spatial Child

Learning to Play at Nerd Camp

Ditch the Worksheets, Become a Picasso, a Kindergartener, and a Gifted@play! 

Gifted Children Need the Gift of Play

Learning through Play

The Games Our Children Play

Photo courtesy of Pixabay  CC0 Public Domain

Graphic courtesy of Lisa Conrad

Boredom Busters for Gifted Students

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Why should teachers be concerned that gifted students are bored at all? At the very heart of teaching – of becoming a teacher – is the belief that all students in their care are learning. Boredom for any student often leads to classroom management issues and gifted students can pose significant disruptions to learning. It is in everyone’s best interest to keep students engaged.

“All kids need to be engaged at their zone of proximal development. Gifted kids needs freedom to explore.” ~ Barry Gelston, Mr. Gelston’s One Room Schoolhouse

Boredom can create many undesirable consequences in the classroom and can affect gifted students exponentially as they progress through the educational system. The results of boredom in school are felt far beyond the classroom walls; misbehavior doesn’t stop at end of school day.

There are things that shouldn’t be done in response to a gifted student who is truly bored at school. Gifted students shouldn’t be given busy work, ignored, or condescended to when they finish early. They shouldn’t be expected to serve as teacher’s helper simply because it’s a convenient way to occupy their time.  Down time in the classroom should be used to provide meaningful work for gifted students that addresses their specific needs.

No more worksheet packets! End the madness! Appropriate, purposeful instruction based on data driven decisions. ~ Sarah Kessel, Supervisor of Advanced Learning Programs

There are strategies which can be used to alleviate boredom in the regular education classroom. Pre-assessment is the first step to heading off boredom. Realistic expectations of ability are needed. Rigorous, relevant and appropriate differentiation takes time and effort when planning curricular interventions for GT. (See resources below.)

“I also like to have students “choose their own adventure” by finding ways to show concepts with their voice- how can you show this?” ~ Heather Vaughn, M.Ed, UT Austin – Coordinator of Advanced Academics

What should teachers look for to determine if the student is bored or it is something else (perfectionism, 2E, ability)? Teachers need to look for signs of misdiagnosis and missed diagnosis. Then, refer the student to the appropriate staff members for evaluation. Teachers should have any and all relevant evaluations of student’s past performance and possible issues.

Engaging kids in solving authentic problems is 1 of the BEST ways to make their education REAL! ~ Tracy Fisher, School Board Member, Coppell, TX

Parents can do numerous things to combat summertime and holiday boredom when kids aren’t in school. Parenting GT kids is hard work. Adequate planning is essential to head off boredom. They can consult with GT teachers, gifted organizations, and websites about summer opportunities.

It’s also important for parents to recognize need for ‘down’ time as well. Not every minute away from school needs to be planned. Summer and school breaks are a wonderful time for gifted kids to explore their passions – think family vacations; camps; and internships.

Boredom does not need to be a subject to be avoided, but rather seen as an invitation to see how to best meet the needs of the gifted student.  A transcript of the chat may be found at Storify.

Global #gtchat Powered by the Texas Association for the Gifted and Talented  is a weekly chat on Twitter. Join us Tuesdays at 8E/7C/6M/5P in the U.S. and Wednesdays 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 Storify. Our Facebook Page provides information on the chat and news & information regarding the gifted community. Also, checkout our Pinterest Page and Playlist on YouTube.

Head Shot 2014-07-14  About the author: Lisa 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

Links:

Bored Out of Their Minds

15 Tips on How to Differentiate Learning for Gifted Learners

Boredom Busters: Breaking the Bonds of Boredom (PPT)

Gifted and Bored? Maybe Not

Early Finishers: Ideas for Teachers

Early Finishers: 9 Ideas for Students

Smart and Bored

Smart Kids and the Curse of the Kidney Table

Primarily Speaking: Word Work Fun!

I’m Done, Now What?

Daily Practice for the New SAT

TED Connections from MENSA for Kids

Book Review Writing: A Guide for Young Reviewers

Cybraryman’s Geocaching Page

Cybraryman’s Programming – Coding Literacy Page

Cybraryman’s Robotics Page

Genius Hour with Guest, Andi McNair

Steve Spangler: The Science of Connecting People

Coppell Gifted Association: Summer MOSAIC 2017

Photo courtesy of Pixabay  CC0 Public Domain

Graphic courtesy of Lisa Conrad.

Inspiring Self-Efficacy in Gifted Kids

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Self-efficacy is a psychological construct attributed to Dr. Albert Bandura and is considered one of the most important developments in psychology as it encompasses motivation, learning, self-regulation, and human accomplishment. It is broadly defined as one’s internal belief about how their ability impacts events affecting their life.

Self-efficacy beliefs form through mastery experience, vicarious experience, verbal persuasions, and physiological cues. The most influential source of self-efficacy is considering one’s own performance. Confidence follows past performance and influences future behavior in developing one’s self-efficacy.

The idea of educating gifted children with academic peers may be one way to develop self-efficacy beliefs. Children are always comparing themselves to other children. Easy comparisons can make for overestimating one’s own ability. Peer comparisons resulting from ability grouping can be detrimental to self-efficacy of less-able age-mates.

Mastery-based learning can have a strong influence in the development self-efficacy as well. Mastery experience is the prime factor in developing self-efficacy and necessary to positive outcomes when viewing ‘self’. Mastery-based learning is how children determine what they’re good at and how they define potential personal success.

Self-efficacy beliefs can have motivational consequences. Belief in what one has accomplished influences future choices and provides inspiration for future success. A sense of competence can motivate a student to attempt more difficult tasks and consider them as challenges. The existence of high self-efficacy is usually accompanied by feelings of calm when faced with tough tasks.

What are the implications for teachers in teaching self-efficacy in schools? Teachers need to take seriously the importance of nurturing self-efficacy and how it can have beneficial or destructive influence in a student’s life. Teachers are often first academic role model for students and can empower self-assurance or diminish a student’s self-efficacy. Young students need guidance on self-appraisal as they rely on adult assessment to create judgement of their own capabilities. Teachers can ensure robust self-efficacy for students by providing appropriately challenging and meaningful work. For more from this chat, a  transcript may be found at Storify.

Global #gtchat Powered by the Texas Association for the Gifted and Talented  is a weekly chat on Twitter. Join us Tuesdays at 8E/7C/6M/5P in the U.S. and Wednesdays at 14.00 NZST/12.00 AEST/1.00 UK  to discuss current topics in the gifted community and meet experts in the field. Transcripts of our weekly chats can be found at Storify. Our Facebook Page provides information on the chat and news & information regarding the gifted community. Also, checkout our Pinterest Page and Playlist on YouTube.

Head Shot 2014-07-14  About the author: Lisa 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

 

Links:

An Introduction to Self-Efficacy

What Influences Self-Efficacy?

Self-Efficacy Theory: Sources of Self-Efficacy Beliefs

Self-Efficacy Beliefs of Adolescents (Adolescence and Education) (Amazon)

Self-efficacy: Toward a Unifying Theory of Behavioral Change (pdf)

4 Ways to Develop Self-Efficacy Beliefs

Self-Efficacy During Childhood & Adolescence: Implications for Teachers & Parents (pdf)

Self-Efficacy Development in Adolescences (pdf)

Sources of Science Self-Efficacy Beliefs of Middle School Students (pdf)

Peer Group as Context for Development of Young Adolescent Motivation & Achievement (pdf)

The Peer Network as a Context for the Socialization of Academic Engagement (pdf)

Using Self-Efficacy Theory as a Guide for Instructional Practice (pdf)

Self-Efficacy: Why Believing in Yourself Matters

Bandura’s Self-Efficacy Theory (YouTube 3:05)

Classroom Strategies to Improve Student Self-efficacy and Learning Outcomes 

Albert Bandura: Self-Efficacy for Agentic Positive Psychology

The Strengths Self-Efficacy Scale: Assessing Strengths in Action

Cybraryman’s You Matter Page

Struggling with a Solution? Make it a Design Challenge

Photo courtesy of Pixabay   CC0 Public Domain

Graphic courtesy of Lisa Conrad

Emotional Intelligence

gtchat 08022016 Emotional Intelligence

 

Emotional Intelligence can be defined as “the capacity to reason about emotions and emotional information, and of emotions to enhance thought.” (See here.) Emotional Intelligence is understanding emotions … both your own and others; and ultimately how to manipulate emotions. It is not simply being happy, optimistic, agreeable or even motivated … the fodder of self-help gurus. Being able to control emotions can aid in critical thinking and problem-solving under critical circumstances.

 

Linda Lantieri: Excerpt from the 2013 Bridging Hearts & Minds of Youth conference (YouTube 8:37)

Since being introduced in the early 1990s, the idea of teaching emotional intelligence has been debated in much the same way the existence of ‘gifted’ has been questioned. Is it nature or nurtured? Most would agree that it can be taught to some extent and any attempt to do so may produce modest, but appreciable benefits.

“Emotional Intelligence is discerning which emotions and actions are deemed appropriate for any given situation.” ~ Kristine Reese, ELP Coordinator

Emotional Intelligence is good for all students, but how important is it for gifted children? Emotional Intelligence is often equated with success that may elude gifted students without it. Raising emotional intelligence, even slightly, can sometimes counter the effects of being highly sensitive.

What differences can be seen between people with low and high Emotional Intelligence? People with low Emotional Intelligence characteristically are demanding, confrontational, egotistical, and stubborn. It is seen in people who are resistant to change, critical of others, and unreasonable. High Emotional Intelligence appears as someone who is ambitious, persuasive, and consistent. It is characterized as being enthusiastic, decisive and willing to listen to others.

“As teachers, we can help students develop Emotional Intelligence by modeling and giving opportunities to practice.” ~ Terri Eichholz, TX teacher of K-5 gifted students

To develop a basic Emotional Intelligence, a person must be willing to take the time to reflect on their own emotions. Developing Emotional Intelligence involves recognizing periods of extreme emotions and learning how to deal with them.

Finally, is there a downside to encouraging emotional intelligence in adults?  People who have a greater control of their own emotions can disguise their emotions better. Being able to read others’ emotions allows one to also manipulate, even against best interests, other people.

Emotional Intelligence is associated with success and most often, well-being. It is important for children to be able to assess their emotions and understand how to best develop them to meet their own goals. Adults can assist is nurturing it through role-modeling and talking to children honestly about it. A transcript of this chat may be found at Storify.

 

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Global #gtchat Powered by the Texas Association for the Gifted and Talented  is a weekly chat on Twitter. Join us Tuesdays at 8E/7C/6M/5P in the U.S. and Wednesdays at Noon (12.00) NZST/10.00 AEST/1.00 UK  to discuss current topics in the gifted community and meet experts in the field. Transcripts of our weekly chats can be found at Storify. Our Facebook Page provides information on the chat and news & information regarding the gifted community. Also, checkout our Pinterest Page and Playlist on YouTube.

Head Shot 2014-07-14  About the author: Lisa 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

 

Links:

What is Emotional Intelligence (EQ)?

Emotional Intelligence: New Ability or Eclectic Traits? (pdf 2008)

What Emotional Intelligence Is and Is Not

Tachykinesics—Those Fleeting Behaviors That Say So Much

3 Mistakes That Can Keep You from Living an Authentic Life

3 Ways Emotional Intelligence Can Save Your Relationship

The Socially Savvy: Can the clueless boost their emotional IQ?

How Focus Changed My Thinking about Emotional Intelligence

EQ (Emotional Intelligence)

Emotional Intelligence: Why It Can Matter More Than IQ (Amazon)

10 Qualities of People with High Emotional Intelligence

Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence

Emotions Matter Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence (pdf)

The Dark Side of Emotional Intelligence

Mindful Kids

How to Teach Your Kids about the Brain

Cybraryman’s EQ – Emotional Intelligence Page

Links with historical context:

Perceiving Affective Content in Ambiguous Visual Stimuli: A Component of Emotional Intelligence (pdf 1990)

Emotional Intelligence: Imagination, Cognition & Personality Salovey/Mayer (pdf 1990)

Emotional Intelligence & the Construction and Regulation of Feelings (pdf 1995)

Emotional Intelligence Meets Traditional Standards for an Intelligence (pdf 1999)

 

Photo courtesy of Pixabay   CC0 Public Domain 

Graphic courtesy of Lisa Conrad.

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