Blog Archives

Acceleration for Gifted Students

gtchat 06202017 Acceleration

Many people mistakenly think of acceleration as only skipping a grade; but it’s so much more. Acceleration can take place at all levels of education from early primary to college. Parents can check to see if their child’s school allows for early admission to kindergarten/1st grade/high school or college. Other types of acceleration include mastery-based learning, independent study, and single-subject acceleration. Classroom modifications can include curriculum compacting, curriculum telescoping, and multi-age classrooms. Honors classes, AP, IB and dual-enrollment are also considered types of acceleration.

There are some considerations to take into account when deciding on acceleration. Parents should evaluate school policy to determine if there’s sufficient support for acceleration K-12. All stakeholders should determine the ‘end-game’ before accelerating a student and what benefits will accrue for the student. Consideration must be given to whether or not the child wants to be accelerated; without ‘buy-in’, it will fail. Risks of not accelerating an academically advanced student are increased dropout rates, underachievement, and disengagement.

So, why are so many school administrators and teachers resistant to acceleration? Ignorance of the benefits of acceleration for academically gifted students is the primary reason. A simple solution is to educate them! Most of them receive little to no professional development concerning the many potential types of acceleration available. Few have experience with acceleration or have access to current research concerning its benefits. Finally, personal prejudice against advanced students can cloud judgement when considering acceleration.

Here are some tips to make an accelerated transition go more smoothly. Parents should provide strong evidence that their child is ready for acceleration – testing, grades, student desire. Prepare everyone on what to expect – the student, parents, classmates and teachers; informed transitions are more successful! Early admission and acceleration in the primary years can mitigate age differences and increase time spent with intellectual peers.

What options exist if acceleration does not work out? This is a rare occurrence and one which is better avoided by good preparation rather than correcting later. Consideration should be given to fixing what isn’t working rather than exiting the program. If the student decides to suspend acceleration, it’s easier done at the secondary level where multi-grade classes are generally more available.

Parents are usually the initial advocates for acceleration. Many school administrators feign opposition to acceleration out of ‘concern’ for student. Be sure to point out the financial benefits to the school district. Advocating for any school policy begins at the state level; know your state’s laws concerning acceleration. Parents should find or start a Parent Advocacy Group; strength in numbers!

It is important to keep in mind why you are considering acceleration and reasons it will benefit a particular student. No plan will work if the child is not a willing participant. Acceleration is a cost effective means to providing an excellent educational opportunity for an academically gifted students. A 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:

Acceleration Institute

Iowa Acceleration Scale 3rd Edition, Complete Kit

Guidelines for Developing an Academic Acceleration Policy

Slay the Stay-Put Beast: Thoughts on Acceleration

Why Am I an Advocate for Academic Acceleration?

What Is Curriculum Compacting?

Why is Academic Acceleration (Still) So Controversial?

Academic Acceleration (YouTube 5:35)

What is so threatening about academic acceleration?

Acceleration Considerations

Should My Gifted Child Skip a Grade? 

A Time to Accelerate, A Time to Brake

Accelerating to What?

Good Things about Grade Acceleration

Successfully Advocating for Your Child’s Grade Skip

Academic Acceleration

Acceleration Options in the FBISD: Preparing the Gifted Child for Their Future (pdf)

Keller ISD Advanced Academics – Parent Resource Portal

Cybraryman’s Gifted and Talented Advocacy Page

#gtchat Blog: How to Advocate for Acceleration at Your School

Types of Acceleration and their Effectiveness

UT Austin High School: Early Graduation

Sprite’s Site: Columbus Cheetah, Myth Buster – Myth 6

Texas Statutory Authority on Acceleration

Photo courtesy of Hein Waschefort (Own work) via Wikimedia Commons  CC BY-SA 3.0

Graphic courtesy of Lisa Conrad

Online Programs for Gifted Students

gtchat 06062017 Online Programs

Global #gtchat Powered by TAGT is excited to begin its annual Summer Series; this year covering educational options for gifted students. Our first chat discussed Online Options and we were happy to welcome representatives from some of the premier providers in gifted education.

First, we discussed how online programs benefit gifted students  in terms of time, financial considerations, and enrichment possibilities. Online learning can greatly benefit gifted students because it can cater to a student’s ability rather than age. These programs provide the enrichment and challenge of a private school without the necessity of moving or high tuition costs. Students who go unchallenged in the regular classroom for years can suffer intellectual decline as a result and online programming has also been successfully used to supplement their education.

Recently, schools addressing the needs of twice-exceptional students have come into existence to meet this all too often neglected population. We’ve been excited to see the development of schools like FlexSchool in Connecticut and New Jersey which is expanding their brick ‘n mortar schools to offer a cloud solution for students wherever they reside. Expanding gifted programming to the cloud can ameliorate many social-emotional issues 2E kids have in regular classrooms.

Many public schools have begun to use online programs to enhance blended learning for gifted students. Online programs help students by offering more challenging, accelerated coursework while still being able to socialize in their local schools. Integrating online classes can supplement, though not entirely replace, gifted programs at traditional schools. They can provide advanced courses unavailable at many schools allowing students to hone skills and avoid gaps in learning.

Online programs and classes are also a good choice for homeschoolers. They can ease the burden on parents looking for a challenging curriculum as well as provide opportunity for students to collaborate with intellectual peers.

How can students’ social-emotional needs be met who participate in online programs?Many online programs provide opportunities for students to meet and socialize in real life on campuses or with local groups. Social-emotional needs can also be met in out-of-school opportunities at the local level.

Parents can learn more about online schools at the links provided below. Many gifted organizations provide information on their websites for parents concerning online programs and classes. Parents can also go to university websites to search for information on online classes for gifted students. With so much excellent information shared, we urge you to check out the transcript of this chat 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:

FlexSchool Cloud Classroom (Vimeo 1:18)

FlexSchool (website)

For Frustrated Gifted Kids, A World of Online Opportunities

Stanford Online High School

GiftedandTalented.com (formerly EPGY Stanford)

SIG Online Learning

Johns Hopkins CTY Online Programs

Northwestern CTD Gifted Learning Links Online 

Art of Problem Solving (AoPS) Online School

Davidson Academy Online High School

Online Learning for Gifted Students: An Idea Whose Time Has Come

Duke TIP Courses for Summer Studies

Online G3

Educational Options: Online High Schools

Mr Gelston’s One Room Schoolhouse

Gifted Homeschoolers Forum Online Class Schedule Fall 2017

Classes from the folks who run Beyond IQ

Cybraryman’s Blended Learning Page

MIT Open Courseware

10 Ways World-schooling has Ruined My Childhood

SENG’s 34th Annual Conference 

Prepare for the Future with UT High School (YouTube 1:00)

Online Language Arts Program Comparison

Online Math Program Comparison

Virtual Worlds for People with Autism Spectrum Disorder: A Case Study in Second Life 

Using Playlists to Differentiate Instruction

Photo Courtesy of Pixabay    CC0 Public Domain

Graphic courtesy of Lisa Conrad.

Gifted Children’s Rights & Responsibilities

gtchat 05162017 Rights

The idea of a Bill of Rights for Gifted Children is nothing new. As early as 2000, various versions of such a statement have been around. But why do they need one? The general perception that gifted kids have it all … they don’t. Ask any parent; any gifted adult … they need a bill of rights. Without national policies regarding gifted education, gifted students must be protected from myths and misperceptions. A bill of rights is for some the only way they can have a basis for advocacy; both at school & in society at large.

There are consequences for not having a bill of rights for gifted kids. Gifted children continually face misinformation about what it means to be gifted; consequences can be devastating. Lacking a bill of rights, gifted kids have little support to grow and experience success.

What rights should gifted children be accorded? Gifted children have a right to learn something new every day and at the same time to be able to fail without fear of repercussions. Gifted children have a right to chart their own course based on their passions; not the a path planned by someone else. Gifted children have a right to be respected for their abilities; not ridiculed.

Gifted students’ rights can be intentionally or unintentionally violated. Gifted students’ rights are frequently violated by being required to do extra work rather than differentiated assignments. Their rights can be minimized by comments beginning with “if you’re so smart, why can’t you …”. Twice exceptional students’ rights are ignored when disabilities are addressed, but abilities neglected. Teachers must be vigilant in recognizing when gifted students are mistreated and/or bullied by age peers and intervene.

Should children identified as gifted be expected to have a greater sense of social responsibility? A level of social responsibility should be cultivated in all children; but expectations for gifted children must be individualized based on the child. Placing extraordinary expectations can backfire when gifted kids are made to feel overly responsible for curing the world’s ills. Take a moment and check out the links below to several versions of a bill of rights for these kids. 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 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:

Gifted Kids’ Bill of Rights (Lingen 2000)

The Gifted Students’ Bill of Rights (Shaine 2014)

We Need a Bill of Rights for Gifted Kids

Gifted Children’s Bill of Rights (Siegel 2007)

A Bill of Rights for Teachers of Gifted Students

Turn the Myths Around: A Gifted Child’s Bill of Rights (pdf Duncan and Haase 2013)

State Laws for Gifted Education: An Overview of the Legislation and Regulations (pdf)

Gifted Education and the Law (pdf)

Are Gifted Children Getting Lost in the Shuffle?

Know Your Legal Rights in Gifted Education (1997) (pdf)

The Law on Gifted Education (2005) (pdf)

Superstar CISD (Coppell) Teachers Share Insider GT Information

Cybraryman’s Gifted Bill of Rights

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

Image courtesy of Pixabay   CC0 Public Domain

Graphic courtesy of Lisa Conrad.

Curbing the Homework Battles with High Ability Kids

gtchat 03282017 Homework

 

It’s no secret to parents of gifted kids that they often do not like or even feel the need to do homework and what may start as a simple assignment can quickly escalate to a full blown battle. Assessing the value of homework represents a great divide in education; expectations are rarely met. The purpose of homework is usually to reinforce lessons learned in class, but is this necessary for high-ability kids?

The effects of homework for our youngest students are unproven. Many believe time could be better spent in play and socialization activities. Homework may be more valuable at the secondary level for students considering higher education or to learn better work habits.

Socio-economic status can have a profound effect on the benefits of homework; many students must work and not all families have access to resources, such as Internet access at home, necessary to complete homework assignments.

Many believe that homework aids in student achievement. There are, however, many factors involved in  realizing value from homework ~ i.e., subject matter, student ability. The quality of the homework assigned and an individual student’s needs affect the beneficial aspects of homework.

Should high ability students be required to do homework? Redundant, busy work provides few benefits to these students. They tend to work well independently in areas of interest. Meaningful, challenging work would provide greater benefits. High-ability students are often overloaded with homework; and experience high levels of stress, anxiety, health problems, and feelings of alienation.

Teachers can offer alternatives to homework. Younger students need to be actively engaged in ‘play’ time. Older students should be allowed to pursue passions so that they will be motivated to work outside classroom.

Homework is probably here to stay for the immediate future but educators are definitely taking a second look at when and what type of homework to give. A transcript of this chat may be found on our Storify page.

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 13.00 NZDT/11.00 AEDT/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:

Homework or Play?

Homework: is it worth the hassle?

The question of homework: Should our kids have it at all?

31 Things Your Kids Should Be Doing Instead of Homework

The Power of Play: How Spontaneous, Imaginative Activities Lead to Happier, Healthier Children (pdf)

What Research Says about the Value of Homework: Research Review

When Homework Is Useless

Down with Homework: Teacher’s Viral Note Tells Of Growing Attitude

Homework Hardships

Parents in Spain go on Homework Strike

3 Scary Ways Homework Is Harming Your Family’s Health

Are Young Kids Doing Too Much Homework?

The Value of Homework

The Homework Gap: The ‘Cruelest Part of the Digital Divide’

Millions of Children Can’t Do Their Homework because They Don’t have Access to Broadband Internet

A New Program and a New Approach to Homework

Sprite’s Site: Sprite on the Subject of Homework!

Cybraryman’s The Homework Debate Page

You Probably Believe Some Learning Myths: Take Our Quiz to Find Out C BY-NC-SA 2.0

Graphic courtesy of Lisa Conrad.

%d bloggers like this: