The first few years of parenting a gifted child can often be both awesome and overwhelming at the same time. By the time they are ready to enter school, the educational system can seem daunting to even the well-informed parent. While every school system may be different, they will share many of the same personnel. It’s important to learn who should be contacted in certain situations whether it is testing and identification, additional services, or the special needs of twice-exceptional students.
Who should be the first person contacted in a school when considering gifted education for a child? School psychologists are usually tasked with testing and identification of gifted students. Gifted coordinators should be contacted if there isn’t a school psychologist. Some schools may require that only the principal be contacted directly by parents. In any case, try to determine who your first contact should be prior to taking action.
Deciding whether additional services are necessary is usually a decision made by a team of professionals who may include the parent, classroom teacher, GT teacher, school psychologist, guidance counselor and/or parent. Several states use Gifted Individualized Education Plans in which specific services can be stipulated. In the case of twice-exceptional students in the U.S., parents may consider pursuing a 504 Plan. (See links below for more information.) A full transcript can be found here.
Global #gtchat Powered by the Texas Association for the Gifted and Talented is a weekly chat on Twitter. Join us Fridays at 7/6 C & 4 PT in the U.S., midnight in the UK and Saturdays 1 PM NZ/11 AM AEDT 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 Pageprovides information on the chat and news & information regarding the gifted community.
Photo courtesy of MorgueFile.
This chat was spirited from the very beginning. The first question asked participants to define the term ‘rigor’ and many different perspectives were expressed. In terms of this topic, most could agree that rigor was academic challenge that needed to be tailored to the individual student. All were in agreement that more rigor was needed at the secondary level. According to Kingore, we need rigor to reverse learned ‘habits of mind’ from ‘the least I can do’ to higher-level thinking.
Instructional strategies mentioned included differentiation, Socratic learning and Problem/Project-based Learning. Students need to have increased opportunities to apply learning to real-life situations making learning relevant to their lives. Schools need to provide equitable access to many possibilities including additional rigorous courses for advanced learners. Educators need time to collaborate to ensure the organization and sequencing of curriculum.
It was noted that sometimes increasing rigor can unintentionally promote failure and frustration when it is perceived as more work, more difficult work and too fast-paced instruction. Well planned implementation was seen as key.
Although it was suggested that an increase of rigor and subsequent instructional strategies would be good for all students, it was noted that gifted students still need greater depth and complexity in their studies. A full transcript can be found on this blog.
High School Reform and Gifted Students from @DukeTIP
“Introducing Depth and Complexity” from @ByrdseedGifted
“Go Deeper! Get More Complex” from @ByrdseedGifted
“Transforming Textbook Questions” from @ByrdseedGifted
A lively discussion was engaged in during this week’s chat. I’m hopeful that new light was shed on unschooling and the philosophy behind it. Participants included people from 16 states and 7 countries proving that this was a topic with global appeal. Although we chatted about unschooling in general, we also discussed why unschooling and homeschooling are so attractive to parents of gifted children. Mika Gustavson of Gifted Matters described unschooling as “Child-led learning; life-relevant learning; relevant-to-the-child learning.” A full transcript of the chat may be found here.
Two announcements were made during gtchat this past week. First, the Texas Association for the Gifted and Talented will be powering our chat for the upcoming year. Many thanks to the folks at Texas Gifted, the Board of Directors and to J.J. Colburn, Executive Director for all they do and for their contribution to continuing the conversation within the global gifted community. Second, on June 7th at 7PM ET, #gtchat is pleased to welcome our first teen guest, Ms. Calista Frederick-Jaskiewicz, CEO of @OrigamiSalami1. We will spotlight Calista in an upcoming blog post!
Once again, #gtchat became a trending topic on Twitter. Our thanks to all the great contributors who attend chat each week and provide such a strong presence on Twitter. We couldn’t do it without you!
Gifted Homeschooler Forum’s Unschooling Blog Hop