Blog Archives

GT Education Post COVID19

 

Teachers are reporting both in the US and Australia that shy, hyperactive, and highly creative kids are thriving out of the classroom. These were kids they were concerned about while school was still in session. GT students are expressing relief at being at home in an environment where they can self-pace, be able to independently structure their day, have fewer distractions, and have time to work on passion projects. Older GT students feel less pressure due to less standardized testing, fewer extracurricular activities required to bolster college admissions, and freedom from social peer pressures.

What unique challenges have existed for our twice-exceptional students during quarantine? Our 2E kids often have additional needs for one-on-one support which may not be possible in the home setting. Without a more formal schedule for task completion, some struggle with getting school work done. Many twice-exceptional students have multiple services in school such as OT, PT, Speech and SEL counseling. Most parents cannot provide all these supports at home.

Inequities in education that existed before the pandemic are being highlighted now such as the digital divide: access to technology and Internet access. GT students in low income areas are experiencing food insecurity, have parents & family members who must work outside the home & aren’t available to monitor school work, or lack access to mentoring/enrichment activities. Education is highly influenced by negative factors – test anxiety, bullying, income disparity, inflexible rules, passive learning vs. engaged learning, and failure to take into account student voice.

What positive effects of e-learning can we use to inform the future of education? One of the most profound effects e-learning has revealed is the antiquated approach to educating students. Time in seat does not equal learning. Much of a student’s time in school is wasted time. The future of education must realize that test scores on standardized tests does not indicate what a student has ‘learned’. It indicates how well a student tests. Unstructured time can be used for creative expression, contemplating possibilities, pursuit of passions, collaborative projects, and the potential for much needed rest.

As budgets tighten for school districts, how can they avoid eliminating gifted education? Gifted education never needed to be expensive; it needed to overcome false narratives created as excuses for not providing an appropriate education for GT students. Gifted education advocates need to do more than raise their voices; they need to offer solutions to providing equitable education to all students rather than as an alternative program, but also one which meets GT students’ needs. School districts and administrators must acknowledge the existence of GT and Twice-exceptional students who have educational and social-emotional needs. FAPE applies to ALL students.

Quarantine/Time-at-Home during this global crisis has been revelatory and should be seen as an opportunity to transform educational practices; especially regarding gifted education. Advocates for gifted education have been advocating competency-based learning, acceleration, and personalized learning. We must reimagine  education based on a student’s needs and creative abilities rather than a return to the status quo based on a system organized for the benefit of adults.

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:

AUS: The Students Who are in the Zone Studying at Home

Why Are Some Kids Thriving During Remote Learning?

Gifted Development Center: My Future…What Now? Teens talk about moving forward in our challenging times with Dr. Jim Delisle (YouTube 1:04)

Meeting the Needs of Gifted Learners at a Distance – A Focus on Grades 4-8

Cultivating Calm Amidst a Storm

Parenting for High Potential: Management of Anxiety Begins at Home (pdf)

Coping With the Stress of COVID-19: Tips for Families with Gifted Children (YouTube 9:13)

Resources for Providing Young Children Academic Support During the Quarantine

COVID-19 and Anxiety in Gifted Children

IAGC: 3 Top Strategies for Helping Your Child Cope with Anxiety during Challenging Times (YouTube 20:09)

What if We… Don’t Return to School as Usual (Medium)

The Invisible Blizzard and the Importance of E-learning

Unpacking Adult Mindsets (pdf 2002)

Mind Matters Podcast: Preparing for Post Pandemic Recovery (Audio 36:16)

Transitioning Gifted Education Online: A World of Possibilities

NAGC: Supporting Advanced Learners: New Roles for Parent Advocates during Times of Remote Learning

Fort Bend ISD: Covid-19 Gifted and Talented Resources

Special Solocast: Thoughts on Parenting Differently Wired Kids through a Pandemic (Audio 14:15)

Short Story Exploration (pdf)

6 Ways to Transition IEP Goals to Remote Learning

Parent Involvement Has Always Mattered. Will The COVID-19 Pandemic Finally Make This The New Normal In K-12 Education?

Distance Learning During The Coronavirus Pandemic: Equity And Access Questions For School Leaders

Image courtesy of Pixabay  Pixabay License

Graphic courtesy of Lisa Conrad

The Future of Education after the Pandemic

 

This week at #gtchat, we were joined by guests, Jessica Torres and Andi McNair to discuss the future of education after COVID19. No one knows exactly when schools will reopen, but most are working on plans to do so safely and as soon as possible.

Public health including physical and mental health issues will need to be addressed if school reopenings are to be successful. Parents, students, teachers & staff need to feel school environments are safe to reenter. Consideration of health & hygiene measures must include widespread testing, vigilance regarding student and staff health (stay home when sick), wearing masks, frequent hand washing/sanitization, and physical distancing. Mental health considerations must be taken seriously upon reopening. Students and teachers experienced the trauma of sudden closings, lack of closure of previous school year, and some may have faced personal loss due to COVID19.

Returning to school will be traumatic for most students. Apprehension of socializing with friends & teachers, worry about coronavirus, and uncertainty about the future will all play a role in how they adjust to a new normal. School counselors and teachers may have to deal with students returning to school from home environments that were less than ideal. Open and frank conversations will need to take place with students. School activities will necessarily change in the near term and it will be a difficult transition for many students – limited or no sports, band, dances, performances, field trips, recess, PE classes, or being to interact with friends.

Instructional concerns will be tantamount to summer slide on steroids for many students who normally need extra supports, lacked access to tech to continue learning outside school, or who were personally affected by COVID19. All students will need a modicum of grace. It will take time to assess where a student is at academically, the need for remediation or grade acceleration, and to plan for inevitable return to social isolation due to virus resurges. Teachers will need to pre-assess, vertically align standards between grades, compact the curriculum, consider using IEPs for all students, and utilize differentiation. Schools may need to add after school programs for remediation.

We will address specific goals for gifted education next week, but we all need to consider this crisis as an opportunity to rethink the possibilities of improving education rather than just returning to the status quo. In recent years, ideas such as Andi’s genius hour, flipped classrooms, global classroom virtual connections, PBL, and competency-based learning have all been on the front-burners for educators. It is inevitable that blended learning will need to be increasingly used to meet the needs of all learners; especially during the next few years until a resolution is found to disruption of education due to coronavirus.

How can schools work to more powerfully engage their parents in the educational process? Parents are now co-teachers in the era of #COVID19. Communication is more important than ever. Schools need to educate parents on how to educate their children during school outages. Parents should be considered team members. They will need to be assured that their children are safe on school campuses, educational goals are in place for their child to be successful & be made aware of contingency plans for reoccurring school-at-home situations.

What will be the most significant change to K-12 schools in the next year? K-12 schools will need to rely on robust data and learning management systems to improve educational continuity. Secure & reliable video-conferencing systems will be essential. (Getting Smart) Schools will be re-imagined through collaboration with students (student voice), flexibility of hybrid learning, innovation in information sharing, and re-configuring class size as well as classroom logistics.

A transcript of the 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:

A New Normal in Education Instructional Implications after #COVID19 (Webinar 57:45)

Forging a Path Forward How to Design a Responsive Return Plan (pdf)

School Leaders Debate Solutions for an Uncertain 2020-21

American Academy of Pediatrics: COVID-19 Planning Considerations: Return to In-person Education in Schools

AAP Guidance on School Reopening Addresses Physical and Mental Health, Instructional Time

9 Ways Schools Will Look Different When (And If) They Reopen

How to Reopen Schools: A 10-Point Plan Putting Equity at the Center

What Comes Next for Public Schooling

A Few Schools Reopen, But Remote Learning Could Go on for Years in U.S.

AFT Launches Landmark Plan to Safely Reopen America’s Schools and Communities

A Blueprint for Back to School

Searching for the Other Side of the Tunnel: Leading through #COVID-19

Survey: Teachers Favor Moving on to Next Year’s Content in the Fall

It’s Time to Accept that the Point of School Has Changed

Teaching and Learning after COVID-19

What Lessons from the Coronavirus Pandemic will Shape the Future of Education?

The COVID-19 Pandemic has Changed Education Forever – This is How

Ed Week: COVID-19: Report Offers ‘Blueprint’ for Reopening Schools and Beyond

S.C. Educators Considers Safest Way for Kids to Return to School in Summer, Fall

After The Crisis Half-Time High School May Be Just What Students Need (subscription req’d)

Cybraryman’s The New Normal Pages

There’s Always Next Year: 3 Ideas to Recover Lost Educational Opportunities Post-Coronavirus Epidemic

The Coming Mental-Health Crisis

A Perfect Time to End Our STEM Obsession: 3 Ideas for Teaching Critical Thinking At Home during (And After) The Coronavirus Pandemic

The Case for Critical Thinking: The COVID-19 Pandemic And an Urgent Call To Close The Critical Thinking Gap In Education

Virtual Reality Classrooms (YouTube 1:54)

Image courtesy of Pixabay Pixabay License

Photos courtesy of Jessica Torres and Andi McNair.

Graphic courtesy of Lisa Conrad.

Trauma Informed Approaches to Educating GT Students

This week, #gtchat welcomed Alessa Giampaolo Keener as our guest to chat about Trauma Informed Approaches to educating GT Students in the era of COVID19 and the effects of physical distancing when quarantined. Alessa holds a Masters in Education from Johns Hopkins University; a Bachelors degree in Psychology from Lehigh University, and a Certificate in Special Education Advocacy from the William & Mary Law School. She homeschooled her two children from Kindergarten into college. Throughout her years of homeschooling, she embraced a child-led learning approach, with an emphasis on social-emotional development and community-based learning.

Responses to the pandemic by GT students are as unique as the students themselves. They may share the experiences of other students, but many will do so on a deeper level. Parents and teachers of GT students have reported challenging behaviors based on students’ depth and breadth of knowledge about #COVID19. Many parents are now seeing behaviors first hand – boredom with busy work; and prior because of mastery of material being assigned by schools, refusal to complete assignments.

What is a Trauma Informed Approach for crisis ‘at-home’ schooling? The idea of a Trauma Informed Approach to crisis has been used in the past, but for many different reasons. In general, a Trauma Informed Approach takes into consideration safety; trustworthiness & transparency; peer support; collaboration & mutuality; empowerment & choice; and cultural, historical and gender issues. (CDC)

A GT child’s intensity can be overwhelming under normal circumstances; both at home and in the classroom. When you combine these two environments, it is imperative to set healthy boundaries. Parents and GT teachers want to provide the best education they can for these kids. It’s important for kids to feel safe; first & foremost.

What strategies can be used to help twice-exceptional kids succeed with online classes? Twice-exceptional students need to be recognized and understood that accommodations must go well beyond the traditional classroom walls. If IEPs or 504 plans are in place, they should be followed even now. Parents should seek advice from available school staff if they are having difficulty at home. It is a stressful time for everyone and not a time to shy away from asking for help when needed.

It is important to watch for signs of trauma now and in the days ahead. It should be expected that we are in for a long disruption of our children’s education. Parents need to be vigilant in monitoring their children’s mental health. The signs of trauma may manifest in different ways as we all adjust to life in these extraordinary times. Children may display aggressive behavior or be verbally abusive toward adults and authority figures. Parents should watch for physical ailments, sleeping difficulty, or even nightmares.

The message can be straight forward for younger students, but more nuanced for older ones. Different ages will respond in different ways and this is especially true when taking asynchronous development into account. It’s important to reinforce the message that a person can grow from struggle and it need not result in lower expectations. There are assets to be gained when overcoming adversity. In the era of COVID19, we should embrace a mindset of promoting resiliency and the value of beating the odds. Lessons learned today will be invaluable throughout the remainder of our children’s lives. 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 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:

DIY Ways to Meet a Child’s Sensory Needs at Home

SENGinar: Gifted School-At-Home During COVID19 – Using a Trauma Informed Approach to Support the Social-Emotional Needs of Your Children

NAGC TIP Sheet: Supporting Your Gifted Child During COVID-19 (pdf)

Center for Healthy Minds: COVID-19 Well-Being Toolkit and Resources

NAGC: COVID-19 & Anxiety in Gifted Children

Healing the Heart: Helping Children Manage Toxic Stress and Trauma (Vimeo)

Cultivating Calm Amidst a Storm

Childhood Trauma, Psychotherapy, Courage, and Your Gifted Self

The Trauma of the Gifted Child (Dissertation)

Understanding Children’s Reactions to Trauma (2002)

Resilience and Gifted Children (Kerr)

Loss, Trauma, and Human Resilience: Have We Underestimated the Human Capacity to Thrive After Extremely Aversive Events? (2004)

Trauma: A Call for Collaboration (Bachtel)

Helping Your Child Manage Stress through Mindfulness (pdf Kane)

Infographic: 6 Guiding Principles to a Trauma-Informed Approach

Hand in Hand Homeschool: #COVID19 Resources

Texas Gifted Education Family Network: GT in the Time of #COVID19

Mind Matters Podcast: The Stresses of Sheltering in Place (Audio 34:20)

Fringy Bit: Trauma Interventions

The 10 Best Apps to Help You Focus and Block Distractions

Sprite’s Site: Traditions Old and New

Cybraryman’s SEL Pages

Image courtesy of Pixabay  Pixabay License

Photo courtesy of Alessa Giampaolo Keener.

Graphic courtesy of Lisa Conrad.

Distance Learning Resources for Educators and Parents

 

One of the biggest challenges of distance learning during the current pandemic has been the ‘overnight’ transition to online instruction; little preparation time; lack of interaction with staff and colleagues; and mostly missing students. Reimagining education (a future #gtchat topic) is beginning to dawn on educators. Is it time to rethink how we educate our students? Do we really need standardized testing, hours ‘in class’, obsolete grading systems? With all the professional and work-related changes, everyone is still reeling from a life in quarantine and the uncertainty of what the future will look like after life resumes in the outside world.

Although e-learning has been around for some time, it was not always a necessary tool in the educator’s toolbox; especially at the elementary level. The switch to distance learning for virtually all students came without warning for most teachers. Professional development in the use of the latest tech tools is necessary for teachers who now must teach remotely. The era of #COVID19 requires a supportive approach for colleagues as they traverse a new technological landscape. Remote learning requires different tech than used in the classroom.

What strategies can be used to keep GT students learning at home? It is a struggle to meet the needs of students from such diverse circumstances and it requires a multi-faceted approach to teaching them where they are both academically and emotionally. It is important that students be allowed to create a flexible learning space that provides both a reflection of their personality as well as structure for learning. Teachers need to check-in with students daily, present clear expectations and directions, and reconnect throughout the day. Parents should remember the importance of daily play and provide their kids with ‘brain breaks’ when possible.

Connections are vital today; not just with students, but with their families. Consider having ‘office hours’ to address the concerns of parents who are struggling with at-home schooling. Depending on available tech, these programs aid in connecting: Slack, Microsoft Teams, Remind, Seesaw, ParentSquare, and Voxer. Chat options for connecting include Backchannelchat, Loop, VO Teach, and Padlet. Resources for making videos include Screencastify, Screen-o-Matic and Loom. Meetings can be conducted via Zoom and Facebook Live. Multimedia resources include Buncee, Flipgrid, Padlet, and Wakelet.

There seems to be endless resources for teachers new to distance learning! It’s more a matter of choice. For STEM: Discovery Education, NatGeo Kids, DK FindOut!, and Cool Math Games. Social studies resources include Brain Pop, Time for Kids, and the Smithsonian. Reading resources include Scholastic Learn-at-Home, Story Pirates, and Harry Potter-at-Home. Movement activities should not be forgotten; especially for times when kids can’t go outside to play. Some online resources include GoNoodle (YouTube) and Cosmic Kids Yoga.

All of the resources used for teachers can also be used by parents when appropriate. Work with your child to see what works best for them and take into account which apps are age-appropriate. Parents can discuss options with their child’s teacher. Options used in the classroom that work well at home include journaling and PBL (project-based learning). Apps like Audible are offering free audio books.

A transcript of this chat with many more resources than I could list 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:

Math, Memes, and Maintaining a Social Distance

Out with the Test, in With PBL: How Project- Based Learning is Transforming Remote Learning

Unicorn Teacher: Free Resources for 7th and 8th Grade (Google Docs)

Keep America’s Students Learning At Home

Consortium for School Networking (website)

Remote Learning Could be a Good Time for a Capstone Project

10 Clever Ways Parents Around the Country Are Keeping Their Kids Active and Entertained

Coppell ISD – CHS Speaks: The Flip Side of Online Learning (YouTube 6:21)

Learning From a Distance? 6 Tips to Do It Well

Use the Data You Have Today to Group Students, Align Remote Resources & Plan for the Future

How Innovative Educators Are Engaging Students Online

10 Tips to Moving Classes Online—Now

5 Home Learning Experiences for the Elementary Grades

7 Guiding Principles for Parents Teaching from Home

Engaging Families in Distance Learning: Supporting from Afar

Fostering Connectedness During Remote Learning

Resources to Supplement and Enhance Distance Learning in the Elementary Grades

Distance Learning: A Gently Curated Collection of Resources for Teachers

Sifting Through the Digital Learning Options: The Most Powerful Personalized Leaning Edtech Tools Curated by LEAP

121 Tools for Distance Learning & Strategies for Student Engagement

Cybraryman’s Remote Learning Pages

Cybraryman’s Video Conferencing Pages

Cybraryman’s Zoom Pages

Cybraryman’s Homeschooling Pages

You Got This! A message of encouragement (YouTube 3:56)

Aurora Remember: Free Self-Regulation Lessons

Sprite’s Site: Looking Forward, Looking Back

Image courtesy of Pixabay Pixabay License

Graphic courtesy of Lisa Conrad.

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