Blog Archives

Resources for GT Kids

gtchat 08302018 Kids Resources

Many websites, blog posts and conference presentations offer resources for parents or educators, but this week at #gtchat we focused on resources for the gifted child. When discussing books, it was noted that often books for parents are accompanied by books for children as well. This presents parents with the opportunity of talking with and interacting with their child on a particular subject.

Many gifted organizations (national and state) include information specifically for kids. It’s a good place to start. Other resources include Gifted Homeschoolers Forum, Mensa for Kids (last week’s guest), Byrdseed, and Hoagies Gifted.

Classroom resources which are uniquely suited for GT kids can be used in a standalone class or used in conjunction with a differentiated curriculum. It’s important to have a certified GT teacher who can help select appropriate classroom resources.

There are so many excellent available competitions. Most involve teamwork, but there are also those who have an individual opportunity for kids. It is important to match a kid’s interests to the competition. This isn’t always possible, but should be considered.

Online classes may be used to complete specific required coursework and should be taught by certified teachers. However, many GT kids like to take classes for fun where a certified teacher is not needed. MOOC’s are also a good way to provide acceleration opportunities for GT kids. Many now include credit granting options.

When planning for college, GT students may have unique challenges regarding situations involving acceleration, early (early) entrance, college credits earned in high school, and financing their education. College may not be the first option for all GT students; many may opt for a gap year or may not need college to utilize their talents. Career planning is important at this point. 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.

Head Shot 2014-07-14  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:

100 Resources for Gifted Kids

Byrdseed’s Puzzlements (weekly email)

Mensa for Kids

Johns Hopkins Center for Talented Youth – A CTY Reading List: Good Books for Bright Kids

Guide to Scholarships & Competitions for Gifted Youth

Gifted Study: Resources for Students

Academic Programs and Competitions

Enrichment Program Listing

NSGT: Educational Resources for Gifted and Talented Children

Exquisite Minds: Best Sites for Kids

Youth Code Jam (SATX): Online Resources – Learn to Code

GHF Online

QuestBridge

Gifted and Talented Students in Australia – Resources and Services

Davidson Institute

Nothing You Can’t Do (Prufrock Press)

The Gifted Kids Workbook: Mindfulness Skills to Help Children Reduce Stress, Balance Emotions, and Build Confidence (bn)

VA Association for the Gifted: Resources

Tom Clynes: Resources for the Gifted

Wonderopolis

Hoagies Gifted: Reading Lists for Your Gifted Child

Peter Reynolds: Creatrilogy (bn)

Royal Fireworks Press: Novels about Gifted and Talented Children

The Little Prince

Desmos (math site)

GeoGebra Math Apps

Wolfram Alpha Computational Intelligence

Kenken Puzzles

Code.org

The Kid Should See This

National Archives

Scratch

3Doodler

LEGO Education

TED Talks

Cybraryman’s Educators Page

Stories with Holes

Mathcounts

Destination Imagination

Science Olympiad

Future Problem Solving Program International

The Stock Market Game

First LEGO League

Odyssey of the Mind

Speak Up! Speak Out!

AUS: Aussie Educator Student Competitions

Solar Car Challenge

MaPP Challenge

Explore UT (TX)

Photo and graphic courtesy of Lisa Conrad.

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Improving GT Parent-Teacher Communications

gtchat 08022018 Communications

Unique challenges exist in relationships between GT parents and teachers, and this week on #gtchat we discussed ways to improve how parents and teachers of gifted students communicate with each other. In many situations, gifted-identified students have an education plan which places certain requirements and responsibilities on all parties involved in the agreement. GT students often receive accommodations or interventions which place additional stressors and constraints on the teacher/student/parent relationship.

In a perfect world, good parent-teacher relations most often benefit the student. Depending on their age, a student can explore their potential with the help of a supportive teacher/mentor. Good parent-teacher relationships don’t just happen. They need to be cultivated and maintained in the spirit of mutual respect. A good start is to make sure all stakeholders have a firm grasp of the need for gifted education.

Today there exists a wide range of tech tools and apps to facilitate open communication between parents and teachers. Schools have long acknowledged that open lines of communication can avoid misunderstandings between parents and teachers. Educators and schools, however, must be cognizant of a family’s ability to access technology and take steps to provide access when it doesn’t exist or provide other means of communication.

Face-to-face activities can improve parent-teacher relations. This relationship can be enhanced through participation in extracurricular activities, breakfast/coffee with a teacher/admin opportunity, and even pre-scheduled after school meetings.

What best practices can parents use to improve their child’s education? Parents need to learn the ‘lingo’ used by educators; they will earn the respect of those who are  responsible for making decisions affecting their child. Best practices for parents advocating for their gifted child include researching state and local education laws and diligent planning concerning their child’s educational needs prior to meeting with school personnel.

Parents and teachers many never see eye-to-eye regarding a child’s education plan, but remaining calm, professional and open-minded will serve everyone’s best interests.  When researching a child’s particular school, always be aware of the ‘chain of command’ and follow it precisely. Know who the teacher reports to, but start with the teacher first. Most schools recognize this chain of comment: teacher >>> administrator >>> principal >>> superintendent >>> school board. To learn more about improving parent-teacher communications, you can check out the resources below and read a copy of the transcript from this chat 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.

Head Shot 2014-07-14  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:

Starting the School Year on a Positive Note: Five Key Suggestions for Parents

Tips for Talking with Your Gifted Child’s Teacher

Communicating Effectively with Your Gifted Child’s School

Dear Teacher, My Gifted Child is in Your Class

How Do I Work with My Child’s School? (pdf)

Tips for Your Gifted Kid’s Parent-Teacher Conference

Parent-Teacher Conferences

Communicate with Teachers about Meeting Your Gifted Child’s Needs

Six Tips for Communicating with Your Gifted Child’s Teacher

50 Tips, Tricks and Ideas for Teaching Gifted Students

What Parents Should Expect for the Gifted Child: How to Make It Happen

Why School’s Not Fair to Gifted Kids

Sprite’s Site: The Meeting

Sprite’s Site: Advocacy

Cybraryman’s Parent Teacher Conferences and Communication Page

Cybraryman’s Parents and Teachers Page

Cybraryman’s Parents and Teachers Event Open House and Orientation Page 

Photo by rawpixel on Unsplash

Graphic courtesy of Lisa Conrad.

Taking a Closer Look at Mentorships

gtchat 07262018 Mentorships

 

Mentorships are an important part of gifted education for many gifted and talented students. They differ from internships or apprenticeships as these are vehicles that allow students to learn new skills and to investigate careers. Mentorships are relationships based on shared passions and values that are passed on to the student. It is more than a casual relationship.

Mentorships provide a student with someone who can encourage, inspire, and give insights by sharing time, talents and specific skills. Mentors, when properly matched, serve as role models. They can stimulate intellectual discovery, bring excitement to the learning process, and provide understanding of the student’s passions.

Intellectually and artistically gifted students can benefit when paired with masters in their fields such as artists, musicians, scientists, business professionals and scholars.  Multipotentiates specifically benefit from mentorships by honing in on a vision of their future self that is guided by a mentor with similar lived experiences in their areas of passion.  Well done mentorships provide depth and challenge to educational experiences for gifted students.

As with participation in any academic intervention, the gifted student should be an integral part in deciding if they want to have a mentor and will be a willing participant. Then, needs should be discussed. Special consideration should be given to availability, enthusiasm to mentor, expertise, and personal compatibility with the student when choosing a mentor. Mentorships should be monitored over time to ensure that the student is benefitting from the relationship and progress is being made towards initial expectations.

Resources available to locate mentors can be found in surprisingly simple places … local parent groups and schools or universities, local businesses, institutions supporting the arts, and  professional organizations. Locating mentors for gifted students can tap opportunities available within existing gifted programming such as educators and professionals in magnet schools, AP/IB programs, or governors’ schools.

Mentoring relationships can be differentiated by considering the specific needs of a student, where parties to the mentorship are located, expectations regarding ultimate goals to be achieved by mentoring, and time constraints. Mentorships can be classified as one-on-one relationships that revolve around in-person communication, online mentoring via electronic communication, or group mentoring that involve a mentor and multiple mentees.

If you are interested in learning more about mentorships, check out the resources below. 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.

Head Shot 2014-07-14  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:

Mentor Relationships and Gifted Learners (1990)

Mentor Relationships How They Aid Creative Achievement (Torrance – Amazon 1984)

What is Mentoring?

How to Find a Mentor

Mentoring and Your Child: Developing a Successful Relationship (pdf)

Davidson Institute: Mentoring Guidebook (pdf; updated 2018)

Mentor: The National Mentoring Partnership

iMentor

The Mentor Group Inc.

Gifted Children and the Role of Mentors Blog Hop

Developing Mentorship Programs for Gifted Students (Practical Strategies Series in Gifted Education) (Amazon)

Finding Mentorship: Gifted Students Need Guidance, Too

Mentoring Gifted Children: It Takes a Village

Cybraryman’s Tutoring and Mentoring Page

Hoagies Gifted: Mentors for Gifted Students

NAGC: Peer Tutoring and Gifted Learners – Applying a Critical Thinking Lens

Sprite’s Site: Asking for Help – A Guest Expert Panel Q&A Session

Sprite’s Site: Purple Riding Boots

TX: Connecting Classrooms and Experts in New Braunfels and Comal County through our Guest Speaker Portal

Texas STEM Connections

Civil Air Patrol

Photo by NeONBRAND on Unsplash

Graphic courtesy of Lisa Conrad.

Developing Teamwork Challenges for GT Students

gtchat 05172018 Adventures

This week, we welcomed Greg Laufer of Adventures in Learning located in El Paso, TX as our guest to chat about developing team work challenges for gifted and talented students.  Adventures in Learning provides services to both educators and gifted students with professional development, academic competitions and summer camps. Every year they host an academic competition called Team Quest – The Ultimate Academic Challenge.

Grouping strategies are most often used in full inclusion classrooms. For in class grouping, peer-grouping greatly benefits gifted students. Another popular strategy is flexible-grouping which may yield benefits by reducing misconceptions of elitism. Gifted and talented students report overwhelmingly preference for work with other intellectual peers for numerous reasons. They get frustrated when group members expect them to do a majority of the work.

“I have seen how grouping helps students learn, become better listeners, learn life skills, and understand their classmates and themselves. Grouping by ability and interest are important, BUT we all know life is not always so neat and tidy. Students will face MANY situations in life when they will not get to work with someone like them. They also need to see the value in how others think and do things.” ~ Greg Laufer

What are the benefits of fostering team building through group work for gifted students? They need to experience working on a team early on to understand how to interact with others and prepare for later academic challenges. Gifted students can benefit from the experience of working with multiple ability peers that mirror the society in which they will one day work and live.

“Probably the biggest benefit (of grouping) is helping GT students to see they do not have to deal with everything on their own. It is common for GT students to take on too much and place pressure on themselves. Grouping helps them to see it’s OK to reach out and ask for help. Differing perspectives is another reason we at Adventures in Learning love grouping students. Inside our academic competition (Team Quest) we see this every day.” ~ Greg Laufer

We can encourage gifted students to see the value of group work with respect to successful participation in the workforce. Parents can communicate their own participation in working in groups to their children and how it has made a difference in their work experience. Teachers and schools can provide opportunities for job-shadowing and career day programs during the school year.

“With a global economy that we see today, being able to communicate and work with others is more important than ever before. The days of sitting in a cubical for 8 hours and never talking to anyone are not as prevalent as they once were. Students must be TAUGHT teamwork. Companies today are learning that being a team player and someone having still to collaborate is SOOOOOO important! After if a job candidate can demonstrate the ability to work together, they have a better chance at getting the job over a more “qualified” person.” ~ Greg Laufer

One of the best ways to impress upon children the importance of anything is to model the behavior you want to see in them. Participating in community service and including them whenever possible sends a powerful message. Parents can provide opportunities for their children to be on a team during after-school and summer recess.

Our final question of the chat was for our guest Greg Laufer: How did Adventures in Learning begin conducting Academic Competitions? Greg started Adventures in Learning over 20 years ago. His longevity in the business speaks to its benefits for the gifted community.

“I started out 22 years ago when I was asked to assist a friend to present the “paper/pencil” portion of an academic competition. It was such a fun experience that I have turned it into my life’s work. Over the years I have worked with nearly 60,000 GT students in our program TEAM QUEST. The Team Quest Theme for next school year will be “Secrets of the Sea” We will be posting about our new program throughout the summer.” ~ Greg Laufer

A transcript may be find 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.

Head Shot 2014-07-14  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

Links:

Adventures in Learning (El Paso)

Adventures in Learning: About Us

Team Quest The Ultimate Academic Challenge

Adventures in Learning University Workshops

Adventures in Learning Professional Development & Trainings

10 Team-Building Games That Promote Critical Thinking

Developing Critical Thinking and Creativity through Team Building in the Classroom

Elementary Matters: Team Building Activities

Gifted and Talented Center: LEGO Science and Engineering

Developing Leadership Skills in Young Gifted Students (pdf)

AUS: Tournament of Minds – Inquiry into the Education of Gifted and Talented Students (pdf)

12 Ways to Promote Teamwork, Creativity & Problem-Solving During the Summer (pdf)

Ability Grouping and Self-Esteem of Gifted Students

Adventures in Learning’s Summer Reading Program!

Team Quest: The Ultimate Academic Challenge

What Educators Need to Know About Gifted Students and Cooperative Learning (pdf)

Gifted Education and Cooperative Learning: A Miss or a Match? (pdf)

Gifted Students’ Perceptions of the Academic and Social/Emotional Effects of Homogeneous and Heterogeneous Grouping (Abstract)

Cybraryman’s Collaboration Page

Cybraryman’s Connectivity Page

Guiding Gifted Collaboration

Image courtesy of Adventures in Learning.

Graphic courtesy of Lisa Conrad.

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