Blog Archives

Characteristics of Young Gifted Children

Simply recognizing gifted characteristics in young children is not a substitute for identification but can be a strong and important addition to the process. One of the most obvious indicators is nuanced understanding and use of language, and early reading ability. Young gifted children use advanced vocabulary and reasoning, possess insatiable curiosity, think critically and abstractly, display intense passions for things of interest, acutely self-aware, and quick to assume leadership roles. Gifted preschoolers display exceptional verbal ability, are developmentally far ahead of age-peers, have high levels of accumulated knowledge, are uncomfortable with ambiguity, show signs of math precocity, and have a keen sense of humor.

Early identification is important when considering interventions and accommodations for young, gifted children. Without it, potential skills may deteriorate; and students eventually become resentful of the slow pace of instruction or lack of enrichment. Early identification can thwart boredom and inappropriate self-concepts of superiority; promote enthusiasm for learning. It can help develop self-confidence and result in greater academic achievement.

How do you identify potential giftedness in our youngest learners? Multiple forms of assessment are necessary at younger ages. Information from families and performance in a variety of contexts should be considered. Assessments should take into consideration linguistic and cultural background, and the potential need for above-grade level testing. They may include formal intelligence tests, checklists, or developmental scales. Interviews, observations, portfolios, and notations of strengths such as task persistence, level of questioning, making connections, self-evaluation, sensibility, and creativity are all important in the identification process.

There are both benefits and challenges to gifted behaviors in young learners and it’s important to recognize both. No two children will exhibit potential giftedness the same way and too much shouldn’t be read into behavior at this age. Children who are good at abstract reasoning can focus on the big picture as well as the details but overwhelm classroom decorum with incessant questioning. Children with an excellent sense of humor understand jokes but exploit sarcasm with age-peers. Children with excellent memories may possess a wide breadth of information but become frustrated in a regular classroom dominated by repetition. Kids who experience intense concentration will explore passions but, find transitions difficult. (Clark, 2012)

Young, bright children need opportunities to discover new passions and possibilities in order to foster their creativity. It’s essential that these needs be met both in the classroom and supplemented at home. Creativity is often a response to fresh challenges each day. This can increase a young child’s joy and excitement for learning. School becomes a place for academic discovery. Teachers and schools can provide extensive libraries with above-level reading materials, sensory materials and manipulatives, and access to technology. Exposure to experts in passion areas and mentors can also foster creativity.

Why is it important to establish and maintain reciprocal relationships between teachers and families? Parents should be recognized as partners in identifying and nurturing young, gifted students. They can provide insights into abilities which made not be seen in the classroom. At the beginning of the school year, pictures, relevant information, and examples of products should be requested from parents or primary caregivers to begin the assessment procedure.

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 1PM NZDT/11AM AEDT/1AM 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.

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:

Teaching Gifted Children in Today’s Preschool and Primary Classrooms (pdf book preview) | Free Spirit Books

The Young Gifted Child: A Guide for Families (download) | Ohio Department of Education

Early Access for Highly Advanced Gifted Children under Age Six (pdf) | Colorado Office of Education

Young Gifted Children | The National Research Center on the Gifted and Talented

Perspectives in Gifted Education: Young Gifted Children (pdf) | University of Denver

Early Childhood Education Resources for Gifted Learners | University of Melbourne

Young Bright Children | NAGC

Early Childhood: Creating Contexts for Individualized Learning in Early Childhood Education (Position Statement – pdf) | NAGC

Early Childhood Gifted Education: Fostering Talent Development (book)

Recognizing Gifted Students: A Practical Guide for Parents (pdf) | Kappa Delta Pi Record

Characteristics and Signs of Giftedness | Paradise Valley Schools

Characteristics of Young Gifted Children

Characteristics of Young Gifted Children | The Queensland Association for Gifted and Talented Children (AU)

Common Traits in Young Gifted Children (pdf)

Teaching Young Gifted Children in the Regular Classroom: Identifying, Nurturing, and Challenging Ages 4-9 (book)

Identifying Young Gifted Children and Cultivating Problem Solving Abilities and Multiple Intelligences | Learning and Individual Differences

Frequently Asked Questions About Extreme Intelligence in Very Young Children | Davidson Gifted

Evaluating Interventions for Young Gifted Children Using Single-Subject Methodology A Preliminary Study | Gifted Child Quarterly

Is Your Kid Gifted? Here are the Signs, Says Performance Expert—and How Parents can Raise Exceptionally Smart Kids | CNBC

Meeting the Needs of a Gifted Preschooler | The Grayson School

Five Needs for Young Self-connection

Cybraryman’s Gifted Identification Page

Gifted, Creative and Highly Sensitive Children (TEDx 15:38)

Image courtesy of Pixabay Pixabay License

Graphic courtesy of Lisa Conrad.

Personality Difference in Gifted Children

Research suggests that personality traits are complex and shaped both by inheritance and environmental factors. One model regarding personality lists 5 traits (each representing a continuum): Agreeableness, Conscientiousness, Extroversion, Neuroticism, and Openness. Another view of personality lists self-perception, self-regulation, motivation, attribution, and intrapersonal intelligence.

It’s important to have a systematic understanding of a gifted student’s personality because a these factors affect their well-being and potential to personally thrive. Understanding a gifted student’s personality can help them to maximize their cognitive potential. Previous studies (Winner, 1996 and Goleman, 1995 as citied in Porair, 2013) suggest that personality and associated motivation may be more important than ability in achieving excellence.

Understanding your own personality allows one to be able to make educated adjustments which can lead to a better chance of happiness. (Mayoriva et al, 2018) Individuals who take the time to consider their own personality have the opportunity to improve relationships, career choices, and life goals; all of which can affect happiness. Employers look for certain personality traits combined with intelligence when considering hiring affecting career success. (Kalashi, 2018)

Personality types – such as introversion, extroversion, feeling, judging, perceiving, etc. – help people understand motivations and needs as compared to others. (Ruf, 2008, 2011, 2020) When potentially gifted children are teacher/parent pleasers, even when it contributes to underachievement, the consideration to screen these kids may be missed because they are doing ‘just fine’ in school. Knowing about a gifted child’s personality can alert adults to consider gifted identification and help the child make changes to enhance ability via effort, experience (enrichment) and current conditions (environment). (Ruf)

The dynamic nature of personality implies that the gifted student’s needs will change over time and require adjustments to their educational plan. It’s important for teachers to get to know their students better and allow this knowledge to guide classroom instruction and potential accommodations for GT students. GT students can thrive in classroom environments which take into consideration personality types rather than stereotypes. Some students may need enrichment while others ‘alone time’ to pursue interests.

A parent’s personality can affect their parenting style which, in turn, affects their child; regardless of the child’s personality. When parent and child are laid back, a child may be less likely to feel like a failure. When a parent is a rule follower, school performance may become a measure of self-worth and negatively affect the child.

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/10AM AEST/1AM 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.

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:

Intellectually Gifted Adolescents hold Higher Standards for Themselves but are not Necessarily “Perfectionists” | Journal of Personality

Are Personality Traits Caused by Genes or Environment?

Subtle Nuances in Personality Differences between Gifted Children as Perceived by Parents and Teachers (Abstract Only) | Gifted Education International

Common Traits and Characteristics of Gifted Children

Differences in Personality Characteristics between Gifted and Normal Children (Abstract Only) | Journal of Gifted/Talented Education

Personality and Interests of Gifted Adolescents: Differences by Gender and Domain (pdf) | Iowa State University

Investigating The Personality Traits of Gifted Adolescents

The Gifted Personality: What Are We Searching For and Why? | Talent Development and Excellence

Personality Characteristics of Gifted Students of Creative Specialty (pdf)

High Giftedness and Personality l

Smart Kids, Personality Types and How They Adapt — or Not — to School (Medium) | Deborah Ruf

The Big-Five-Personality and Academic Self-Concept in Gifted and Non-Gifted Students: A Systematic Review of Literature | International Journal of Research in Education and Science

Personality Predictors of Academic Achievement in Gifted Students: Mediation By Socio-Cognitive and Motivational Variables (pdf) | William and Mary W&M Scholar Works

The Elusive Search for the Personality of the Intellectually Gifted Student: Some Cross-Cultural Findings and Conclusions from the Israeli Educational Context (Abstract Only) | Journal of Talent Development and Excellence

Adding Personality to Gifted Identification: Relationships Among Traditional and Personality-Based Constructs | Journal of Advanced Academics

Ordinary Extraordinary: Elusive Group Differences in Personality and Psychological Difficulties between STEM‐gifted Adolescents and their Peers | British Journal of Educational Psychology

Personality Assessment of Intellectually Gifted adults: A Dimensional Trait Approach

Cognitive Ability, Personality, and Privilege: A Trait-Complex Approach to Talent Development

The Five Factor Model of Personality and Intelligence: A Twin Study on the Relationship between the Two Constructs (pdf) | Personality and Individual Differences

Teachers’ Implicit Personality Theories about the Gifted: An Experimental Approach | School Psychology Quarterly

Personality and Intelligence Interact in the Prediction of Academic Achievement | Journal of Intelligence

Personality and Academic Performance | Encyclopedia of Personality and Individual Differences

5 Strategies to Demystify the Learning Process for Struggling Students

Photo courtesy of Pixabay   Pixabay License

Graphic courtesy of Lisa Conrad.

The Gifted Introvert

It’s no surprise that we would chat about introverts at #gtchat! Some characteristics of introverts include preferring to work on their own rather than in large groups; may have limited, but deep interests; and need time alone to recharge. Introverts may exhibit deep concentration and appear absorbed in their thoughts; are reserved, deliberate and prefer one-on-one communication; and can become irritated when they don’t have enough ‘alone time’. Introverts form strong (but few) relationships, are generally self-sufficient, self-actualizing, and high achievers.

There are many misconceptions about those who are introverts; it is a choice, it can be ‘fixed’, it is simply being shy. Introverts may appear bored, but are simply deep in thought. They may seem socially awkward, but are not interested in their surroundings. Others may view introverts as judgmental when they have no opinion about the situation or person.

What is the relationship between giftedness and being introverted? Gifted individuals can be introverts or extroverts. Some research suggests a higher proportion of the gifted population is introverted. (Gallagher, 1990; Hoehn & Birely, 1988)  Being identified as gifted and possibly being introverted is a relationship; the characteristics of thoughtfulness, introspection, deliberateness, reflection, hard work, and confidence compliment gifted individuals. Gifted introverts tend to think before they speak, consider who they are speaking to first, do not crave attention, ‘enjoy’ time alone, prefer quality rather than numerous friendships, and pay attention to others.

Gifted introverts tend to think before they speak, consider who they are speaking to first, do not crave attention, ‘enjoy’ time alone, prefer quality rather than numerous friendships, and pay attention to others. Strategies which support introverted students include allowing thinking time, flexible seating, providing personal space, allow students to work in small groups or pairs, or consider interest-based assignments. Additional strategies can include providing opportunities for self-paced learning, independent study, the option to provide responses in writing, or encourage self-reflection.

What strategies can teachers use for online learning for introverted students? It might seem that online learning would be ideal for introverted students, but this is not always the case. Being on ZOOM or Teams all day long may be just as overwhelming. Zoom fatigue can be a real problem. When introverted students are confronted with technical issues and disruptions in Internet connections can add to their anxiety. Teachers can allow for additional breaks for introverted students, permit students to be on mute during discussions, or allow them to turn off their cameras while online.

Parenting an introvert requires understanding that they aren’t going to change, need their personal space and quiet time (especially after a long day at school), and does not need to have a lot of friends to be happy. An introverted gifted child needs opportunities to extend learning beyond the classroom, work on projects of interest, and to make friends on their own terms.

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 2PM NZDT/Noon AEDT/Midnight 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.

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:

Companion Website to Susan Cain’s Book Quiet

The Quiet Personality Test (Sign-up required)

Introvert, Dear (Online Community of Introverts)  

Go Away; I’m Introverting

Introverts, Extroverts, and Social Distancing

The Anxieties of Introversion

Understanding the Gifted Introvert

Introversion: The Often Forgotten Factor Impacting the Gifted (pdf) | Center for Gifted Education – College of William and Mary

High Ability: The Gifted Introvert

Talent Development Resources: Introversion, Sensitivity, Shyness – Are They the Same?

The Happy Introvert: A Wild and Crazy Guide to Celebrating Your True Self (Kindle)

Make Your Class Cozy for Gifted Introverts

Gifted Introverts and Extroverts

Introvert Social Needs and Preferences

The Overlooked Significant Population – Introverts

Which One Is You?: 4 Types of Introverts and Self-Care Tips to Be Your Own Hero

Living a Quiet Life

Extroverts (and Introverts, too) Face Quarantine Challenges

The Introvert Advantage: How Quiet People Can Thrive in an Extrovert World (book)

Building a Strong Relationship With Your Introverted Child

Here’s What You Need to Know If You’re the Parent of an Introvert

Responding to Introverted and Shy Students: Best Practice Guidelines for Educators and Advisors | Open Journal of Nursing

6 Informal Assessments to Engage Introverted Students: Creating Accessible Classrooms for Introverted Students, Online or In Person

5 Ways Virtual Classrooms Help Introverts

Teaching Introverted Students: A Guide for Educators and Parents

How to Understand and Work with Introverted Students

Introverts Aren’t Actually Better at Social Distancing

Chat: The Introvert’s Secret Remote Weapon – Leading by Typing during the Pandemic

Cybraryman’s Introverted Students Page

Image courtesy of Pixabay Pixabay License

Graphic courtesy of Lisa Conrad

Traveling with GT Kids

Travel can provide one of the most beneficial ways to respond to ‘intellectual curiosity’ about a multitude of topics and concerns of interest to gifted children. It can lead to exploration of the unexpected. While traveling, gifted children have the opportunity to be exposed to new and thought provoking experiences which may lead to important self-discovery or developing new interests. Traveling with family can provide gifted children with important experience in dealing with interpersonal relationships in varied settings; providing life skills not gained elsewhere.

How do you prepare a child for a long car trip? Any travel will greatly benefit from pre-planning; anticipation of special needs; and seeking input from everyone who will be traveling. Travel by car can mean long hours on the road in close quarters. It is important to build in breaks; snack time; time to ‘savor the moment’ when appropriate; and knowing about accommodations on the route and at the destination. Also, parents should have ‘boredom busters’ ready including games, books, tablets, videos, and movies.

How do we turn travel time into experiential time for our 2E kids? Always keep in mind that whether a child is labeled as gifted or 2E, they are still just kids who can learn a great deal from traveling; both as experiencing the actual travel and as visitors to faraway places. Experiential travel begins with consideration of where best a child can learn and where they want to go. It’s best to match travel plans with a child’s interests. This can reduce unnecessary backlash and behavioral issues.

What accommodations are available for children who are anxious or have special challenges? It’s a good idea to check with airlines and destinations to see what is available for children who are anxious about flying, waiting in line, crowds, or preferential seating at restaurants. Some airlines offer cockpit tours and meeting the pilot/attendants or special waiting areas in airports. Major attractions catering to children often provide a way to skip long lines or provide private seating at their restaurants.

Most parents consider travel a time to build memories. But, it’s a good idea to preserve those memories afterwards with a time of reflection. Keeping a journal and taking pictures are good ways of recording family travel so that everyone can reflect on the trip once they are home.

In the end, prepare for the worst and hope for the best. Good planning and anticipating possible scenarios can go a long way in preventing a ruined trip. Remember to consider basic needs – food, rest, and entertainment. It’s helpful to go over the itinerary with your child before leaving so that they know what to expect and what may be expected of them. The fewer the surprises, the smoother things tend to go. A transcript of this chat is available 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 2PM NZDT/Noon 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:

Tips for Traveling With Challenging Children

The Family Gathering: A Survival Guide

Traveling the World with Intense Children – Just Make It Happen

Helpful Tips for Successful Trips with Your Gifted Child

Road Trip!

Traveling with the Quirky

How to Have Your Best Family Vacation Ever

Traveling with Intense Children – It Can Be Done!

The Coming of Age of an Overexcitable Globetrotter

Traveling for Gifted Students

Educational Travel Programs

Homeschooling and Traveling with Gifted and Talented Students

WKU- The Center for Gifted Studies: Travel Abroad: Explore the World with The Center’s Travel/Study Tours

Cybraryman’s Field Trips Page

Sprite’s Site: Travelling with the Dabrowski Dogs

Photo courtesy of Pixabay CC0 Public Domain

Graphic courtesy of Lisa Conrad.

%d bloggers like this: