Blog Archives

Enrichment Beyond the Classroom

Enrichment is focused on student voice and choice. It is responsive to a student’s individual needs and the availability of services. For GT students, it should increase depth and complexity; include both group and individual options; and advance higher-level thinking. Enrichment is not busy work; more worksheets; extra homework; or games and puzzles unrelated to student interests. It is not unstructured free time; assignments given without instruction or support; or an end in itself disassociated from academic goals.

Enrichment often offers GT students the opportunity to socialize with others. It is important to build social skills while pursuing academic interests with like-minded peers. It is a way to keep GT students engaged in areas of their strengths. For it to succeed, enrichment should be focused and purposeful. It affords GT students ways to boost self-esteem and confidence in their abilities in areas they choose.

Enrichment, whether during the school year or in the summertime, should always take into consideration student choice. It is as simple as asking them how they want to spend their summer. Summer enrichment programs require a commitment on the part of parents as well as their child – both in time and money. Parents need to decide if they can allocate both before making a decision.

Many schools participate in academic competitions, chess clubs, book clubs, and theater productions. STEM activities such as science fairs and robotics competitions can also be incorporated into extracurricular activities.

State gifted organizations often provide a treasure trove of online and local resources to help parents locate enrichment opportunities. Local universities, libraries, and museums can also provide nearby programs to meet the interests of GT students.

Although enrichment may be incorporated into the general curriculum, teachers can also preview and assess opportunities that match student interests outside of chess. Opportunities can include mentoring with scholars and experts online or in the local community, internships at local businesses or universities, and independent studies. 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 1PM NZDT/11 AM AEDT/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.

Resources:

A Meta-Analysis of the Effects of Enrichment Programs on Gifted Students (pdf)

Types of Enrichment Activities for Gifted Children

Developing Talents Among High-Potential Students From Low Income Families in an Out-of-School Enrichment Program (pdf)

What is Enrichment?

Six Strategies for Challenging Gifted Learners

Enrichment (pdf)

Acceleration or Enrichment?

Making the Most of Summer School: A Meta-Analytic and Narrative Review

The Learning Season: The Untapped Power of Summer to Advance Student Achievement (pdf)

Searching for Evidence-Based Practice: A Review of the Research on Educational Interventions for Intellectually Gifted Children in the Early Childhood Years

Evaluating Interventions for Young Gifted Children Using Single-Subject Methodology: A Preliminary Study

Psycho-Pedagogical and Educational Aspects of Gifted Students, Starting from the Preschool Age; How Can Their Needs Be Best Met? (pdf)

Why Getting 100% on Everything is Setting Gifted Students Up to Fail

Enrichment vs Extension in the Regular Classroom

Image courtesy of Pixabay  Pixabay License

Graphic courtesy of Lisa Conrad.

 

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Nurturing Brilliance at School and at Home

Brilliance (to me) is being exceptional at whatever you do. It can pertain to a specific talent or intelligence; highly-abled. It is that ‘spark’ you see in a child when they ‘get it’, but others may not. When we fail to nurture young brilliance, there’s the chance that the spark may dim over time or even fail to ignite at all. Nurturing brilliance can affect the direction a life takes; toward success or mediocrity. It’s important to ignite a child’s passion which is a great motivator. Failing to nurture brilliance unfortunately can lead to problematic behavior which can be a hindrance to success at best or debilitating at worst.

Nurturing brilliance is the essence of good teaching. Students should be encouraged to engage in intellectual risk-taking and to consider learning from mistakes rather than succumbing to failure. It’s important that one never assume a gifted student will ‘make it on their own’. They are in need of as much support and guidance as all students.

Parents and teachers can share strategies through home-school communication which encourage students to try their best and not be deterred by failure. They can identify a student’s strengths and weaknesses and then look for ways to use both to achieve academic goals. Parents and teachers can partner to develop a plan to provide early access to more challenging work and availability of extra support through intellectual peer networks and mentors.

Parents can support their child’s emotional and academic needs while taking into consideration their stress levels by encouraging participation in activities in which they delight; i.e., having fun together! It’s important for parents of gifted children to be reasonable with their expectations of their child’s abilities, not overschedule activities, and not view academic success as a competition with other parents.

Parents can nurture their gifted child at home by building thinking skills through the encouragement of observation, description, sequencing, classification, how things are alike and different, and analogy. Nurturing giftedness at home should encourage metacognition, flexible thinking, persistence, managing impulsivity, and finding ways to spark imagination. Parents should encourage their child to try things at which they aren’t necessarily good, avoid comparing them to siblings and age-peers, and provide the tools needed for success such as mentors and access to academic resources.

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.

 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:

Nurturing Brilliance: Discovering and Developing Your Child’s Gifts (book)

Nurturing Brilliance: Discovering and Developing Gifts of Every Child (webinar)

8 Ways to Support Your Gifted Child

How to Nurture Your Gifted Child

The Self-Driven Child: The Science and Sense of Giving Your Kids More Control Over Their Lives (book)

Want Your Child to Be a High Achiever? This 47-Year Study Reveals 7 Things You Can Do

The Joys and Challenges of Raising a Gifted Child

For gifted kids, better to be hands-on or -off?

Off the Charts: The Hidden Lives and Lessons of American Child Prodigies (book)

School Counselors and Gifted Kids: Respecting Both Cognitive and Affective

Counseling for Gifted Students: Implication for a Differentiated Approach

Shame and the Gifted: The Squandering of Potential

How do You Raise a Genius? Researchers Say They’ve Found the Secret to Successful Parenting

Gifted Children: Nurturing Genius

Nurturing Genius

Training Teachers to Nurture Gifted Students

Identification and Nurturing the Gifted from an International Perspective

APA: Opening New Vistas for Talented Kids – Psychologists are Working to Nurture Gifted and Talented Children

Nurturing Giftedness Among Highly Gifted Youth (pdf)

Nurturing Social Emotional Development of Gifted Children (Webb)

Image courtesy of Pixabay Pixabay License

Graphic courtesy of Lisa Conrad.

Mindfulness

 

Mindfulness can mean different things to different people. It means being aware of the here and now; knowing and accepting your own abilities; and being able to respond to stress in a calm and reasoned manner. It is a willingness to be open, to consider the possibilities, and to engage in curiosity without judging (Kabat-Zinn, 2003). Two components of mindfulness are the ability to regulate your attention and to be open, accepting, and curious (Bishop et al., 2004).

How can GT students use mindfulness to cope with stress and anxiety? Mindfulness is the basis for many ancient practices … meditation, prayer … known to reduce stress and anxiety. In the classroom, it can help GT students become more self-aware, attentive, increase a sense of well-being; all things that can aid in reducing stress and anxiety.

Mindfulness can benefit teachers in developing caring and responsive classrooms. The same benefits gained by students can also be beneficial for teachers by alleviating daily stress. Mindfulness helps teachers be more attuned to the needs of students which can result in a more caring and responsive classroom.

What are some strategies for introducing mindfulness in the classroom? An emphasis on social-emotional learning (SEL) is one way to introduce mindfulness into the classroom environment. Classroom sessions dedicated to identifying stressors and ways to counter them can be a way to introduce mindfulness as well. Teachers can incorporate principles of mindfulness by cultivating inter-connectedness within the classroom, introducing movement and breathing techniques, and an appreciation for gratitude on all levels.

Teachers and parents can work together by sharing strategies to be implemented both at school and at home. This collaboration in itself will benefit GT kids. Parents of GT kids, as with all parenting strategies, must remain vigilant and be willing to consider developing sustainable ways to promote mindfulness at home.

Where can one find resources about mindfulness practices? There is an extraordinary number of resources both in print and online regarding mindfulness practices. We have included numerous resources here in this blog post. 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:

Cybraryman’s Mindfulness Page

The Calm Schools Initiative (free app)

ClassDojo – Mindfulness

Listening, Thinking, Being Toward an Ethics of Attunement (Book)

Compassionate Critical Thinking: How Mindfulness, Creativity, Empathy and Socratic Questioning Can Transform Teaching (book)

5 Tips for Successfully Implementing a Mindfulness Program at Your School

Teachers: Use Mindfulness to Help Students’ Academics

Creating a Mindful Classroom Environment

Getting Started with Mindfulness

Using Mindfulness-Based Strengths Practices with Gifted Populations (pdf)

On the Social and Emotional Lives of Gifted Children (book – aff link)

Mind Matters Podcast: Episode 13 – Regulating Emotions Through Mindfulness

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

Mindfulness on the Path of Gifted Development

Gifted Education Communicator: Implementing Mindfulness in the Classroom (Sisk)

ASCD: Mindfulness Resources

Gifted Mindfulness (website)

Planting the Seeds of Mindfulness: Creating the Conditions to Help Gifted Kids (book)

The Role of Mindful Parenting in Individual and Social Decision-Making in Children

What Gifted Kids Want Their Parents to Know

Mindfulness in the Classroom: Mindful Principles for Social and Emotional Learning (book: aff link)

Metacognition, Mindfulness, and Spiritual Well-being in Gifted High School Students (pdf)

MYmind: a Concurrent Group-Based Mindfulness Intervention for Youth with Autism and Their Parents

25 Fun Mindfulness Activities for Children and Teens (+Tips!)

Growing Up Mindful: Essential Practices to Help Children, Teens, and Families Find Balance, Calm, and Resilience (book)

Ohio Dept. of Education: Social and Emotional Learning Standards

APA: Mindfulness Resources

Photo courtesy of Pixabay  Pixabay License

Graphic courtesy of Lisa Conrad.

Disclaimer: This post includes affiliate links.

Cluster Grouping: Finding the Right Fit for GT Students

 

Cluster Grouping is used in mixed-ability classrooms. GT students are ‘clustered’ together. This facilitates differentiated instruction enabling teachers to better meet the needs of ALL students.

Isn’t Cluster Grouping the same as tracking? ‘Tracking’ is an approach historically fraught with negative connotations. Students placed on a track remained there throughout their education K-12. Cluster Grouping is not ‘tracking’. It is flexible, addresses specific needs, and can be realigned when necessary. It avoids putting ALL students into permanent tracks while allowing all students to explore their personal academic potential.

Teachers using Cluster Grouping reported increased identification, awareness, and understanding of students’ needs. They felt instructional strategies were more effective. GT students are more at ease learning with intellectual peers and able to explore content more deeply. Inappropriate behaviors are curtailed. Cluster Grouping provides GT students with gifted education opportunities that are cost-effective for school districts experiencing budgetary constraints.

It’s essential that Cluster Teachers have specialized training in teaching GT students. They should know how to recognize and nurture GT, and allow them to demonstrate mastery. Cluster Teachers should be able to provide accelerated pacing, allow for independent study, and facilitate sophisticated research opportunities. (Winebrenner)

Won’t the presence of GT Cluster Groups inhibit the performance of other students? Over 30 years of research (Feldhusen ’89, Rogers ’93, Gentry ’99, Brulles ’05, Plucker ’10, Pierce ’11) says otherwise. GT Cluster Groups don’t inhibit other students. Size matters. Keeping groups to a manageable size has shown to improve achievement for all students (Winebrenner).

Schools need to be realistic about their access to and ability to provide necessary resources required to implement Cluster Grouping. Professional development in GT must be required for all teachers, admins, and staff involved in developing and instituting Cluster Grouping, AND be ongoing. Expectations and well-established norms must precede establishment of Cluster Grouping in a school district to ensure the success of students and the program. Successful Cluster Grouping involves embedded PD, advisors and mentors for teachers, expertise in advance scheduling, and parent and community involvement. 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.

 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:

Cluster Grouping: Finding the Fit (pdf)

A Menu of Options for Grouping Gifted Students

Emphasize Flexibility and Adaptability When Grouping Students

The Cluster Grouping Handbook (pdf preview)

Cluster Grouping of Gifted Students FAQs (pdf)

NZ: Cluster Grouping for the Gifted and Talented: It Works! (pdf)

Fort Bend ISD: Gifted and Talented Services 2018 – 2019 Handbook (P. 12) (pdf)

The Schoolwide Cluster Grouping Model (pdf)

Teaching in the Schoolwide Cluster Grouping Model (pdf)

Advanced Learner: Multi-Tiered System of Support Guide (pdf)

Gifted Resources for School Teachers, Counselors and Administrators

Cluster Grouping Fact Sheet: How to Provide Full-Time Services for Gifted Students on Existing Budgets

Grouping

Why Cluster Grouping Benefits Gifted Children

What is Cluster Grouping? (pdf)

CTD Hosts Conference on Cluster Grouping ( October 2018)

Todd Talks – Cluster Grouping (YouTube 13:14)

Improving Performance for Gifted Students in a Cluster Grouping Model

Grouping Gifted Students

Cybraryman’s Learning Page

AUS: Revisiting Gifted Education

What do gifted students need? (pdf)

Meta-analytic Findings on Grouping Programs (Abstract Only)

Image courtesy of Pixabay Pixabay License

Graphic courtesy of Lisa Conrad.

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