Blog Archives

Teaching GT Elementary Students

When and how should the gifted identification process begin in elementary schools? Many schools delay gifted and talented identification until the second grade and then conduct a schoolwide assessment. Unfortunately, this may be late for some students who need accommodations prior to this time. Early identification is often the responsibility of parents; and only then when they have the resources for assessments and out-of-school testing which can be cost prohibitive for most or not available due to geographic location. It is imperative that assessments be age appropriate and culturally sensitive as this may influence the results. It’s also important that the student knows and is comfortable with the person doing the evaluation.

During the elementary years, the norm is pull-out classes; usually once a week either campus or district wide. These are often multi-age classes as well when resource teachers are limited. However, schools with stand-alone programs have shown excellent results in academic achievement and social-emotional progress. Several school districts in Arizona have excelled with these programs. Full inclusion classes necessitate differentiation of classroom work. Unfortunately, this places a strain on regular classroom teachers who have multiple ability levels in one room and GT students end up in the back of the room reading a book.

How can gifted specialists work with regular ed teachers to best serve twice-exceptional students in the primary grades? The most important factor for twice-exceptional is for all stakeholders to accept they do exist and what it means to be twice-exceptional. Young twice-exceptional students need their strengths addressed before deficits and having gifted specialists work with classroom teachers can be consequential in their ability to be successful in school and life. Gifted specialists are often great resources for information and professional development for their colleagues. Co-teaching and individual instruction can improve academic and social-emotional outcomes for twice-exceptional students.

Effective teaching strategies for elementary gifted students begins with building community and pre-assessment – learning the student’s ability level and then developing differentiated curriculum as well as modes of instruction. Specific strategies may include curriculum compacting, tiered assignments, deep and complex content, and creative problem solving. Further strategies may include various forms of acceleration, independent study, flexible grouping, and integrating technology into the learning process.

One of the biggest obstacles for continued success in school for gifted students is not being challenged during the elementary years. They lose motivation and the ability to persevere when they encounter failure. Lack of challenge for young, gifted students inhibits their development of study and organizational skills. When gifted students are not challenged in the early years, they lose interest in school, and this can be difficult to regain when they go to middle school where peer-pressure and intensities of adolescence takes precedence.

What’s the best way for teachers to approach dealing with parents of newly identified gifted students? Parents should be seen as partners; not adversaries. Strong parent-teacher relationships can have profound effects on student development and achievement. When educators take time to listen to parents and  involve them in their child’s education through informing them of available programs and enrichment opportunities; students greatly benefit from these relationships.

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/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:

Tips for Teaching Gifted Students

Ignite the Fire with Gifted Instruction: 10 Effective Instructional Practices

Tips for Teachers: Successful Strategies for Teaching Gifted Learners | Davidson Gifted

How to Engage Gifted and Talented Students in the Classroom

Marshall County (KY) Gifted and Talented

16 Tips for Teaching Gifted Students

Differentiating Instruction for Gifted Learners (pdf)

Lesson Plans and Resources for Teaching Gifted and Talented Students

GATE Teachers: Curriculum and Instruction | Philadelphia Area School District

Readers’ Best Advice to Gifted Kids, Parents, and Teachers

Brain-Based Learning With Gifted Students Lessons From Neuroscience on Cultivating Curiosity, Metacognition, Empathy, and Brain Plasticity: Grades 3-6 (book)

Gifted Students Need a Personalized Approach to Education

How Schools May Identify a Gifted Student

Gifted Education Structures in Elementary Schools and Their Connections to Program Focus (pdf)

A Field Guide to Gifted Students (book review) | Harvard Ed. Review

Assessment and Identification of Gifted Students | Ohio Department of Education

‘Finally finding our babies’: How Richardson Schools are Making their Gifted Classes more Diverse | Dallas Morning News

Gifted and Talented (G/T) Neighborhood Program | Houston ISD

Collaboration, Coteaching, and Coaching in Gifted Education: Sharing Strategies to Support Gifted Learners (book)

Gifted Education Strategies | NAGC

Photo courtesy of Pixabay Pixabay License

Graphic courtesy of Lisa Conrad.

Looking Ahead: Gifted Education 2030

What have we learned in the past year which can inform the decade ahead? The year 2020 accelerated the use of #edtech and demonstrated that schools can adapt to new technology when necessary. Many GT students reported a preference for remote learning which allowed them to accelerate their learning, avoid downtime ‘in the back of the room’, and not be subjected to bullying. The future of education will be informed by how much we learned as a society regarding social justice, inequitable school funding, reliable and available access to the Internet, and  critical evaluation of truth.

How will students be identified for gifted services in 2030? Multiple paths for identification of GT students will be followed without bias for race, gender, or socio-economic levels. A wider net will be cast when services do not depend on unequal funding sources. Technology will fast-track available services and reduce the importance of geographic boundaries. New identification tools under development will do a better job of identifying more in our #2E community.

We have to question whether traditional GT options can realistically meet all the needs of GT students in the future. Traditional GT options are not meeting all of the needs of students today. Many options are pure fantasy and this realization will push for the creation of new and better options by 2030. Blended learning, flipped learning, remote learning will evolve and improve to the benefit of all students as well as GT students. Some current GT offerings will be seen as a basis for gifted education and the improvement of society such as mentoring, paid internships for students as early as high school, AI tutoring, and fostering global peer relationships.

A long term area of contention, should gifted education be separate from talent development in the future? The schism between what constitutes gifted education and what is talent development has widen in the past decade and will only accelerate in the decade to come. Gifted education and talent development require different approaches and seek divergent goals. Gifted organizations will continue advocate for both, but in increasingly different ways. A4 Societal views along with parental and student advocacy will shape how education responds to both gifted education and talent development.

New technologies will influence how we deliver gifted education. The role of AI has yet to be determined, but it will definitely take center stage in the coming decade. It will alleviate economic disparities as it becomes more prolific in schools around the globe. Access to professionals in any given field, to research, and to intellectual peers will profoundly change how gifted education services are delivered. Evolving technology will continue to improve the quality of educational opportunities. Education can move beyond the 8 to 4 school day. Students will have access to master teachers in their areas of passion.

Gifted education in 2030 will take advantage of lessons learned during the pandemic such as available remote learning on-demand; access to global resources; and realization of the importance of SEL learning for GT students. GT students themselves will play a larger role in their own education by advocating for greater choices in how and when they learn and what constitutes learning.

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 2PM NZDT/Noon AEDT/Midnight 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 Future of Education or Just Hype? The Rise of Minerva, the World’s Most Selective University

Gifted Education 101: The Basics (pdf)

Getting Rid of Gifted Programs: Trying to Teach Students at All Levels Together in One Class

Twice Exceptional, Doubly Disadvantaged? How schools Struggle to Serve Gifted Students with Disabilities

Gifted Classes may not Help Talented Students Move ahead Faster

What Exactly Is Gifted Education? A New Guide Attempts to Explain

Pointillism in 1st Grade? Teachers Use Unfamiliar Lessons to Mine for Giftedness | EdWeek

12 Basic Principles of Gifted Programs

Leading the Way toward the Future: An Interview with Marcia Gentry | Roeper Review

Education Leaders Hope to Pursue Funding for Gifted Students

Identifying and Serving Students Who are Gifted in K-12

Why Are NYC Parents So Upset At The Idea Of Scrapping ‘Gifted And Talented’ Programs?

Virtual Instruction for Gifted Students | UCONN Neag School of Education

COVID-19 FAQ: Gifted/Talented Education Guidance (pdf) | TEA

5 Books Every Educator Should Read Concerning Gifted

Keep Engaging and Challenging Advanced Learners | NAGC

What the Future of Education Looks Like from Here | Harvard Graduate School of Education

Rethinking Education for a Post-Pandemic Future

Access, Equity, and The Future of Education (YouTube 1:54)

How Deeply will Digital Learning Transform K-12 Long Term?

5 Educators Share their Vision for Building a Better World | TEDEd

Education is More Ripe for Disruption than Nearly Any Other Industry

Reimagining the Gifted and Talented Placement Process | New Jersey School Boards Association

4 Ways COVID-19 Could Alter Long-Term Curricular Approaches

Graphic courtesy of Lisa Conrad

Avoiding Digital Burnout

Digital burnout is the consequence of overuse of technology. It is prevalent in our society today as the result of its availability and in pandemic times – a necessity for meeting the challenges of everyday life. Digital burnout results from trying to exist in two different worlds, physical and virtual; but the indicators are similar to old-fashion burnout. Those who face digital burnout experience depleted energy levels, lower productivity, and chronic stress and physical ailments.

The pandemic has increased digital burnout because we now rely on technology for practically every aspect of our lives – work, school, staying in touch with family and friends, entertainment, and making purchases. The uncertainty of how long we will deal with the effects of the pandemic increases the likelihood of digital burnout and only magnifies the symptoms. The pandemic has effectively altered our state of mind and allowed for few alternatives to the digital work for the near future.

All students face the possibility of digital burnout, but all will not seek the same resolutions. Many GT students have reported positive impacts of being online and continuing their education virtually. GT students are not a homogenous group. A segment of the GT student population views digital burnout as a challenge; something to overcome and to find ways to help others do the same. Avoiding digital burnout requires GT students to look to time management skills, self-care, and engaging in digital detox when overwhelmed.

Teachers play a vital role in reducing student digital burnout. They can include online games during the school day and suggest off-line activities such as going outside to explore nature and get needed physical exercise. Teachers can urge their students to use journaling to express their feeling and create to-do lists that includes day-to-day goals. Both activities can be done off-line; physically writing down goals and how they are feeling. Students should be encouraged to consider changing things up; where they attend online classes, improving the esthetics of their surroundings, decluttering study areas, or how they communicate with peers.  

What can teachers do to prevent their own digital burnout? Teachers are facing online class time while providing in-person instruction, maintaining attendance records, keeping in touch with students and parents, providing feedback to students, and attending multiple Zoom sessions. Practical interventions to lessen the potential for digital burnout for teachers include pre-recording lessons, utilizing both recorded and live presentations during class time, and re-using others’ materials and lessons. Unplugging, setting time boundaries with students and colleagues, being sure to taking evenings and weekends off, taking breaks during the day and not skipping meals, and limiting emotional involvement with work.

How can parents intervene in their child’s digital use to minimize burnout? When children are learning from home, parents can attempt to maintain as much structure as possible regarding their daily schedule – rising at the same time, getting dressed, and following a schedule similar to their regular school day. Parents can provide a work space for school separate their child’s play areas and reserve evenings and weekends for family time and time away from technology.

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 1PM NZST/11 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.

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:

Using Online Games to Connect with Students

Remote Learning: Keep It Simple

Teaching in a Hybrid Classroom

How to Avoid Teacher Burnout with Distance Learning

How Parents Can Avoid Burnout when Children are Learning from Home

The 7 Best Ways to Avoid Teacher Burnout in 2020

I’ve Been Teaching Online for Years. Here’s How to Prevent Burnout During a School Closure | EdWeek

Finding Balance: Are We Heading towards Digital Burnout?

Tips for Handling Remote Burnout for Teachers

Avoiding Technology Burnout – A Balancing Act

What are the 5 stages of burnout?

Teacher Burnout & COVID-19: Supporting School Staff

Curbing Teacher Burnout During the Pandemic | Edutopia

3 Ways to Help Students Avoid Virtual Burnout

Coping with stress of coronavirus crisis a challenge for California’s students | EdSource

Digital Burnout: What Can We Do? (YouTube 2:19) | University of Michigan

UK: Digital Burnout and 4 Tips How to Minimise It

Digital Burnout: COVID-19 Lockdown Mediates Excessive Technology Use Stress | World Social Psychiatry Journal

Examining the Relationship Between Student School Burnout and Problematic Internet Use (pdf) | Educational Sciences: Theory and Practice

Cybraryman’s Screen Time Page

Image courtesy of Pixabay Pixabay License

Graphic courtesy of Lisa Conrad

Innovative Teaching Methods in Gifted Education

Often seen as an outlier in education, gifted education frequently produces creative and original methods of teaching that find their way into the mainstream. Teaching methods developed by educators of GT students are the result of attempts to meet the oftentimes unique needs for advanced challenge. Innovative teaching methods inspire students to interact with the content, their peers and their teachers. They result in student engagement, increased knowledge retention, produce critical thinkers and greater curiosity.

How has #COVID19 driven innovation in teaching methods? Innovation in teaching methods during the current pandemic has resulted from the realization of the need for extraordinary problem-solving skills and the opportunity to radically change how we teach. After nearly 100 years of accepting the status quo in education, the institution has been forced to adjust how, when, and where education occurs. Educators were arbitrarily forced to adapt to new ways of teaching with little to no advanced notice. Circumstances rather than a person or institution became the impetus for change.

Innovative teaching methods can benefit GT students. They widely respond to student choice and embrace opportunities to work with intellectual peers both in-person and online. Our new reality has made this possible without the pretense of giving special treatment to them. Innovative teaching cultivates depth and complexity and increases metacognition which raises student awareness about their own learning and leads to higher levels of achievement. Metacognition leads to greater collaboration, deeper thinking, the ability to make inferences, and more connections within the content.

How can we reimagine technology to be cross-curricular, rigorous and authentic? One of the most exciting developments is the leveraging of multiple technologies – AI, data analysis, machine learning – to create highly individualized learning plans. By applying the use of IEPs universally throughout student populations, a learning pathway can be created which culminates in students reaching their full potential. Flexible pathways develop from dynamic assessment tools. Technological innovation incorporates virtual reality games, brainstorming platforms (i.e., Padlet, webcasts, Twitter) and interactive tools widely employed today such as Zoom and MS Teams.

Teachers need support more than ever. Long days navigating in-person and online platforms leave most exhausted. Schools must promote teacher wellness and self-care to avoid teacher burnout and exodus from teaching. Schools can support teachers who want to try new ways of teaching GT students. They need to provide specialized training for teachers, provide additional materials and curriculum enrichment for GT students, and develop efficient techniques to identify GT students. School admins can support teachers by giving them the opportunity to create and use innovative practices which accelerate student learning and achievement.

New teaching methods include layer-scaffolding which allows students to self-pace thru the curriculum, using online reading programs with captions on for very young accelerated readers, and using A.I. in classrooms. Strategies now being increasingly used include PBL, Flipped Classrooms, Genius Hour, Design Thinking, Virtual Reality, gamification, Socratic Seminars, research opportunities for high school students, and online academic competitions.

A transcript of the 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:

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!

Gifted and Talented Education Scope and Sequence 2019-2020 | Edison School of Innovation

How to Design Learning Experiences for Gifted Students

Genius Hour Page | Cybraryman

Talented and Gifted Teaching Methods: Are Teachers Prepared to Teach the Talented and Gifted? (pdf)

Tips for Teachers: Successful Strategies for Teaching Gifted Learners | Davidson Gifted

Six Strategies for Challenging Gifted Learners | ASCD

The Ultimate Plan to Help Gifted Education (and Improve Education for All Kids in the Process) | SENG

Personalizing the Curriculum to Challenge Gifted and Talented Learners | The Edvocate

Revolutionizing Gifted Education through Mastery-Based Instruction | The Edvocate

NZ: An Introduction to Gifted and Talented Education | The Education Hub

Innovative Teaching Strategies that Improve Student Engagement

Innovative Curriculum in the Gifted Classroom

Gifted Education Strategies | NAGC

Exploring Online Learning Through Synchronous and Asynchronous Instructional Methods (book)

5 Ways to Help Gifted Students Flourish in a School Setting

Ignite the Fire with Gifted Instruction: 10 Effective Instructional Practices

Creative Education for Gifted Children | Creative Education

Innovative Teaching Practices to Accelerate Student Learning in the Areas of Literacy and Science

Educational Options: District GT Programs | Davidson Gifted

Cybraryman’s PBL Pages

Robert Duke: Why Students Don’t Learn What We Think We Teach | Cornell University (YouTube 1:19:33)

Carl Wieman: Taking a Scientific Approach to Science Education | Carnegie Mellon University (YouTube 56:50)

Image courtesy of Pixabay Pixabay License

Graphic courtesy of Lisa Conrad

%d bloggers like this: