Blog Archives

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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Entrepreneurship for Gifted Kids and Their Parents

gtchat 03012018 Entrepreneur

Why and when should gifted children be exposed to entrepreneurship? Some children display an entrepreneurial spirit at a very young age and may seek out resources to nurture their innate talents. Some of the world’s most successful entrepreneurs showed signs of interest when they were considered too young, but through early failures and successes were able to not only reach but exceed what others thought was their full potential.

There are skills associated with entrepreneurship that may benefit gifted kids. These skills may be some they already possess, but not appreciated; such as following the path less traveled, acceptance of risk, and thinking outside the box. Beneficial skills associated with entrepreneurship include leadership skills, people skills, problem-solving skills, creativity, etc.

There are questions which can be asked to foster entrepreneurship. The age old question, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” can be enhanced by asking, “What are your goals? What do you hope to accomplish? What do you imagine your life will be like in 5, 10 years?” Fostering entrepreneurship can be as simple as asking kids “what are your dreams?”, “what do you aspire to?”, “what would your ideal world look like?” We must also ask gifted youth what they feel they need to reach their goals; training, resources, mentors?

How do we teach kids entrepreneurship? What’s involved? Entrepreneurship involves many core skills such as ideation, cross-cultural competencies, and design thinking. It must be coupled with a deep understanding of economics, an openness to collaboration (virtual and in real life), and an innovative mindset.

Entrepreneurship education must incorporate a basic understanding of social responsibility early in the process; learning and understanding what real consequences of one’s actions can have on society. By creating authentic learning environments, students can realize how their actions can affect the world around them; that they can make a difference in the world for good.

Parents can have a profound effect on their child’s entrepreneurial spirit by responding to failure in a positive manner and encouraging resilience/determination to overcome adversity by trying again. They can support their child’s interests by seeking out mentors for them, exposing them to new experiences that match their interests, guiding their children toward resources that can inspire them to be successful.

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 Thursdays at 8E/7C/6M/5P in the U.S. and Fridays at 2 PM NZST/Noon 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 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:

The 5 Core Components of K-12 Entrepreneurship Education

Cultivating an Entrepreneurship Mind: Teach Kids to Problem-Solve

Left to Chance: Early Identification and Development of Gifted Entrepreneurs

A Better Way to Teach the Gifted—and Everyone Else

The ONE Question to Start with When Creating Independent Learners

Why Kids Should Be Taught Entrepreneurship Early On

Let’s Raise Kids to be Entrepreneurs (YouTube 2:15)

These Nine Organizations Are Turning Kids into Entrepreneurs

Taking the Entrepreneurship Challenge

The Benefits of Teaching Entrepreneurship to Kids

Teaching Next Gen Entrepreneurs

Entrepreneurship 101

How Universities are Fostering Innovation, Entrepreneurship

How to Foster the New Generation of Entrepreneurs, Through Nonprofit Partnerships

Cybraryman’s Entrepreneurship Page

8 Entrepreneurial Skills You Should Teach Your Kids

Kidpreneur

So What is Design Thinking?

Teaching Empathy through Design Thinking

Image courtesy of Pixabay    CC0 Public Domain

Graphic courtesy of Lisa Conrad

Using Constraints to Boost Creativity

gtchat 02222018 Constraint

Constraints come in many forms including time, money, and the availability of appropriate resources. Less obvious constraints can include the accessibility to comprehension of suitable outcomes, talent and the intellect necessary for task completion.

No matter the project, a change in your perspective will enhance creativity. Daily routines though comforting, don’t provide stimulation or novel thinking. Changing things up can give you that creative spark you seek. Changes in when you wake up, the route you take to work, work location, how you approach colleagues; increasing novel experiences can increase creativity simply by rethinking your restrictions, limitations, interactions,  or your comfort zone.

Constraints exist in virtually all real-life problems that need solving. Overcoming constraints requires creative solutions. Without time constraints, there would be little incentive to find a solution that would be worthwhile to benefactors. Our brains are constantly in efficient mode, constraints force us to think. They can inspire us to use our minds to be more resourceful; responding to challenge. This is a major reason we want our children to face challenge early on in school.

How can we inspire students to persist through constraints, complete tasks & be more creative? Teachers should consider the scope and breadth of assigned projects and even tasks. It’s important to consider time constraints will reach across all areas of your students’ lives. By cutting down the number of choices, projects are more manageable.  Most students will be able to respond better to smaller projects with tighter schedules rather than semester long projects. Even with increased workloads, creativity can increase in these situations. Students who encounter constraints tend to think more deeply about options. They were also more motivated. They explore less familiar paths, to diverge in previously unknown directions (Haught-Tromp.)

How do we overcome the Goldilocks effect; to find the right balance to spur creativity?  The severity of limited resources leads one to contemplate where to draw the line. Creativity can be squashed if the limitations are simply too great. Finding balance to spur and optimize creativity requires us to prioritize necessary resources, innovate and be thoughtful of how we approach each project.

There are some examples of famous projects that took advantage of constraints. Monty Python & the Holy Grail – a low-budget movie where the actors decided to pound two coconuts together to imitate the sounds of horses was incredibly creative while adding hilarity to the film. A famous use of constraints was Hemingway’s response to a proposal to write a memoir in 6 words: “For sale: baby shoes, never worn.” Tragic, thought-provoking, and genius. 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 Thursdays at 8E/7C/6M/5P in the U.S. and Fridays at 2 PM NZST/Noon 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 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:

Why Imposing Restrictions Can Actually Boost Creativity

Moderate Constraints Actually Boost Creativity. Here’s Why

Theory of Constraints 3 Bottle Demo to improve Flow (YouTube 6:01)

The Power of Doing More With Less Using Constraints to Enhance Creative Problem Solving

Boosting Creativity through Constraints

How Constraints Force Your Brain to Be More Creative

The Love Affair between Creativity and Constraint (TEDx 11:32)

The Power of Constraints (TEDx 11:47)

Creativity from Constraints: The Psychology of Breakthrough (Amazon)

Stretch: Unlock the Power of Less and Achieve More Than You Ever Imagined (Amazon)

Wired to Create: Unraveling the Mysteries of the Creative Mind (Amazon)

Constraints: The Mother of Creativity

Creative Constraint: Why Tighter Boundaries Propel Greater Results

The Cambridge Handbook of Creativity (Amazon)

How to Use Constraints of Time Money and People for Better Innovations

David Kwong: Finding Creativity within Constraints

Creativity: How Constraints Drive Genius

Image courtesy of Pixabay  CC0 Public Domain

Graphic courtesy of Lisa Conrad.

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