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Personal Goal Setting and Self-Regulation for Gifted Children


The first and most important step in setting goals is to identify the goals. Strategies to help gifted students should consider timing, time management, pacing and ways to accomplish their goals. Students can identify personal strengths and weaknesses; begin record keeping of progress or portfolios; and take charge of their own learning goals as they mature.

GT students need to learn the art of forethought – thinking ahead with purpose. They should consider a well thought out plan, a starting point and realistic expectations. Once the process begins, GT students can develop specific strategies to monitor personal progress and be aware of any issues preventing them from accomplishing their goals. They need a basic understanding of what ‘self-reflection’ means and its role in evaluating success or failure.

Good self-regulation involves progress monitoring by keeping good records, looking at one’s own performance, and considering if things could have been done better. GT students who master self-regulation skills are known to have specific learning goals and strategies to achieve them, self-monitor more often, and are good at adapting strategies when necessary.

Self-regulating of motivation, its control, and the changing of attitude about it can impact student achievement.  Students who gain self-regulation of emotions can improve their learning. Controlling cognitive strategies through self-regulation can improve learning and performance.

Effective instructional practices when teaching self-regulation include helping students see new information in a positive light, promote ‘thinking aloud’, and ‘self-talk’. Additional effective self-regulation instructional strategies include helping students identify relevant information and materials, and utilize prior learning to inform experiential learning.

Parents can model persistence in the face of challenge and good learning strategies. They can talk to their children about potential distractions, the best possible environment to accomplish goals, and time management. Parents are their child’s biggest supporter – they can be there when it is time to assess how they did in meeting their goals and what could have been done differently if necessary. 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 2PM 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 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:


SMART Goals for Gifted Students

Self-Regulated Learning and Academically Talented Students

Promoting a Positive Achievement Attitude with Gifted and Talented Students

Using Self-Regulated Learning to Reverse Underachievement in Talented Students

Can Personal Goal Setting Tap the Potential of the Gifted Underachiever?

A Comparison of Gifted and Non-Gifted Students` Self-regulation Skills for Science Learning

Social-Emotional Learning and the Gifted Child

The Role of Self-regulated Learning in Enhancing Learning Performance (pdf)

Assessing Self-Regulation as a Cyclical, Context-Specific Phenomenon: Overview and Analysis of SRL Microanalytic Protocols

On the Social and Emotional Lives of Gifted Children

The Influence of Instrumentality Beliefs on Achievement Motivation: A Study of High Achieving Adolescents (pdf)

Emotional Experience during Participation in a Program of Self-Regulated Learning

Self-Regulation in the Classroom Helping Students Learn How to Learn (book)

The Relation of Self-Efficacy and Grade Goals to Academic Performance

Motivation and Self-Regulated Learning: Theory, Research, and Applications (book)

Cybraryman’s Goals Page

Cybraryman’s Resolutions and Reflection Page

Calming the Emotional Storm: Using Dialectical Behavior Therapy Skills to Manage Your Emotions and Balance Your Life (Amazon)

The Inner Game for Twice-Exceptional Kids (Class)

Image courtesy of Pixabay Pixabay License

Graphic courtesy of Lisa Conrad.


How to Create a Gifted Individualized Education Plan

gtchat GIEP


Creating a Gifted Individualized Education Plan is hard work. It is a formal plan that delineates the accommodations a student will have in place for an academic year. Even if your locality does not recognize GIEPs or IEPs, they can be useful as a framework to advocate for a gifted student. GIEPs need to be prepared and submitted well in advance of the year in which they are expected to be implemented. They should be detailed and specific to ensure academic progress and talent development.

Gifted IEPs are a good idea for gifted students because a written and agreed to plan is easier to implement and monitor over the course of the school year. When written with specific goals and appropriate terminology, they have  a greater success rate than verbal agreements. Beyond academic objectives, Gifted IEPs can address a child’s social adjustment with peers and learning preferences.

Parents, gifted education teachers, regular education teachers, guidance counselors,  and school psychologists can all be involved in the GIEP process. The student should be consulted throughout the process as well. If the gifted student does not ‘buy in’ to the final agreement, the chances of success are slim. Often schools form multidisciplinary teams to review education plans.

What should be included in a GIEP? An excellent example can be found here. Assessment  and testing data will usually be presented in the GIEP. Present Levels of Educational Performance (PLEP) provide a baseline to aid in showing annual growth of a student. Specific goals and expected outcomes related to the student’s strengths and interests; specifically designed instruction to be provided; and support services like transportation needs, teaching strategies, collaborative time for gifted and regular education teachers should be included. Areas of weakness (academic, social, emotional, motivational) to be remediated may also be considered.

Resources for completing a comprehensive Gifted Individualized Education Plan may be found in the links provided at the end of this post. A full transcript can be found on our Storify page.

Thanks to Leslie Graves, Jerry Blumengarten, Jen MerrillAmy Harrington, Jeremy Bond and Rhonda Boyer for additional links included below.


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 11 AM NZST/9 AM AEST 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 new Pinterest Page and Playlist on YouTube.

Head Shot 2014-07-14About 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:



Sample GIEP from PA (pdf)

A Parents’ Guide to Gifted Education in PA (pdf)

How To/Resources for Writing a GIEP

Davidson Institute for Talent Development Database on GIEP Meetings

Kids’ Health Gifted Education: IEP – P. 2

Designing & Developing Programs for Gifted Students (Amazon)

Re-Forming Gifted Education: How Parents & Teachers Can Match the Program to the Child (Amazon)

Tier & Compacting: Differentiating Instruction for Gifted Learners (Slideshare)

The Care & Feeding of Gifted Children

Present Levels of Educational Performance (PLEPs)

Developing an Educational Plan/Curriculum

Instructional Management/Individualization

Instructional Management/Acceleration Subject Acceleration

Instructional Managemnt/Acceleration Grade Acceleration

Instructional Management/Grouping

Gifted Journey: Individualized Education Plans

Cybraryman’s IEP Page

Cybraryman’s Individual Learning Program Page

Cybraryman’s Personalized Learning Page

Motivation, Engagement and Student Voice

IDEA Applies To ‘Twice Exceptional’ Students Too

Twice-Exceptional or Misdiagnosed?

Parent’s Unofficial Guide to Gifted IEPs and Gifted IEP Meetings

Berkeley Parents Network Advice about IEP and 504 Plans

Wrightslaw How Can I Fight for a Gifted Child?

Glenforest Secondary School IEP Gifted Plan

The IEP and the Gifted Learner

Blue Valley Schools Sample IEP File

Advocacy/Special Education: Getting What Your Child Needs from Schools

Tip Sheet for Developing the IEP for Gifted

Your Gifted IEP (YouTube 3:12)


GIEP Resources by State:

Arizona Department of Education Explains Non-use of IEP for Gifted

Connecticut The Student Success Plan

Kansas Gifted File Review Worksheet

Louisiana’s Educational Rights of Gifted/Talented Children in Public Schools

Louisiana’s IEP Handbook for Gifted/Talented Students (2002) (pdf)

Michigan Department of Education Talent Development (Local Initiatives)

Missouri Department of Education Gifted Education Programs Procedure Manual (No IEP)

New Jersey FAQs on Gifted Education

New Mexico IEP Requirements for Gifted – P. 71 (pdf)

Oklahoma Report on Gifted & Talented (pdf)

Pennsylvania Department of Education Gifted Education (Available GIEP – Online)


Graphic courtesy of Lisa Conrad.

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