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Giftedness ‘In Focus’ at TAGT

TAGT 2014 New Logo

New TAGT Logo 2014

The week we look forward to each year … our LIVE chat from the Annual Conference of the Texas Association for the Gifted and Talented … is history now, but oh what a week it was!

TAGT 2014 The Plaza Ft Worth

The Plaza in Fort Worth

TAGT 2014 Fort Worth Water Gardens

Fort Worth Water Gardens

Fort Worth provided a beautiful setting and gorgeous weather! Attendees were treated to two exceptional keynotes and extraordinary professional development sessions. Tweets were flowing at more than at any other gifted conference.

TAGT 2014 Patty G-W1

Dr. Patricia Gatto-Walden at the Parent Conference

TAGT 2014 Ian Byrd

Ian Byrd of Byrdseed Gifted speaking at the Conference

TAGT 2014 Ginger Lewman

Ginger Lewman speaking to educators at the Conference

TAGT took the opportunity to roll out their new logo (above) and new brand message (see video below). As impressive as it is technologically savvy … the underlying message is TAGT’s  commitment to support gifted children and adults in Texas and around the world via their extensive resources for educators and parents (see links below); support of Global #gtchat on Twitter; and conferences throughout the year, both statewide and regionally.

Wednesday was slated for Pre-Conference Institutes that included full morning and afternoon sessions for teachers to delve deeper into topics in gifted education. A Welcome Reception afforded attendees the opportunity to renew old friendships and network with leaders in the gifted community from across the country.

Thursday morning was highlighted by a keynote from Nikhil Goyal, a recent guest on #gtchat. This was followed by a full day of presentations and capped off with an Award Ceremony to celebrate the contributions of the 2014 State Administrator, Teacher, Rising Star Teacher, Parent and Advocate of the Year and winners of the Annual Legacy Book Awards.

TAGT 2014 Nikhil

Nikhil Goyal

Eagerly anticipated, Scott Barry Kaufman’s keynote on Friday morning was a highlight of the conference. Frequently interrupted by applause and nodding approval, the audience of teachers, parents and professionals from the gifted community showed their appreciation of his message with a standing ovation at the end of his remarks. Intelligent, witty and inspiring, Dr. Kaufman spoke of his early life misplaced in special education and his journey into the gifted program in his final year of high school through self-advocacy and the encouragement of a single teacher who recognized his abilities and saw his potential.


Dr. Scott Barry Kaufman

Immediately after the keynote, Global #gtchat got underway. It was an exhilarating experience to be able to do a LIVE chat with participants tweeting together and many others ‘stopping by’ to offer support. This year’s chat shared the possibilities of what state gifted organizations can do by showcasing TAGT’s efforts in Texas. Please check out the links at the end of this post. A full transcript of the chat can be found on our Storify page.

We would like to thank Mrs. Tami Terry for her assistance in planning our TweetUp in Fort Worth at the Plaza. Thanks also goes to Mrs. Angie French, a member of the #gtchat Advisory Board, for her technical assistance at #gtchat on Friday morning. This was her third consecutive year for helping us out!

Our LIVE chat and presence at the conference was made possible by the great Team at TAGT: JJ Colburn, CAE, Executive Director; Tracy Weinberg, Associate Director; Lisa Varner, CMP, Executive Assistant and Meetings Manager; Rose Sero, Marketing and Communications Manager; Justin Abels-Hensel, Member Services Coordinator; and Adam McKeivier, Development Manager.

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.

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:

Photos: Courtesy of TAGT and Lisa Conrad.


TAGT Website

TAGT 2014 Annual Conference

TAGT 2014 Annual Parent Conference

TAGT Scholarship Fund

TAGT Summer Scholarships

TAGT Legacy Book Awards

TAGT On Demand

TAGT Online Training for Gifted and Talented Teachers (Video 2:31)

Gifted and Talented Online Staff Development by (Video 2:38)

TAGT Annual Awards 2014

TAGT Membership Levels and Benefits

TAGT Publications: Pulse and TEMPO

TAGT 2015 Leadership Conference

2015 TAGT Parent Conference/Summer Program Expo at Klein ISD 1/24/15

2015 TAGT Parent Conference/Summer Program Expo at Round Rock ISD 2/21/15

TAGT Parent Conference 2014 Parent Promo (Video 1:04)

TAGT Annual Conference 2014 Administrator Promo (Video 1:11)

TAGT Parent Support Group Information

TAGT List of Helpful Education Apps

TAGT Suggested Readings for Educators

TAGT Suggested Readings for Parents

TAGT List of K-12 Summer Programs

Meet the TAGT Staff

Meet the TAGT Board of Directors

TAGT on Effective Advocacy

#gtchat Page on TAGT Website

#gtchat Page at Storify

Unexpected Challenges of Being a Gifted Kid with Guest Ian Byrd

Unexpected Challenge copy

Photo Courtesy of morgueFile

Our guest this week was Ian Byrd of Byrdseed Gifted. Ian is a much sought after presenter at gifted conferences and a well-respected educator within the gifted community. His website, Byrdseed Gifted, and latest venture, (subscription-based), are excellent resources for all classroom teachers. During this chat, we explored the challenges of being a gifted kid based on one of Ian’s presentations that he’ll be giving at this year’s TAGT Parent Conference in Fort Worth, TX in December.

Ian Byrd 2014

Ian Byrd

Contrary to society’s perception of gifted children, the challenges they face are numerous. As participants in the chat pointed out from personal experience, life can be lonely and full of anxiety for a gifted kid. Feelings of not fitting in with age peers, unrealistic expectations by teachers and adults in their lives, obsessive behaviors that are often misunderstood, and relentless boredom in school has a profound impact on their lives. Ian shared, “As I grew up, I became increasingly self-critical, felt that I wasn’t as great as people said, and  grew afraid of taking risks.”

According to Ian, “It’s easy to assume that giftedness will make problems simpler to solve or that being “smart” should make life easier. Giftedness can create over-thinking,perfectionism, and an overly-critical point of view. Simple problems become overly complex!” As the moderator pointed out, “Gifted kids are rarely told what to expect. Adults need to do a better job at facilitating the conversation – what is giftedness?” Often a gifted child is confused about why they feel so different from their peers which leads to further problems. Discussing giftedness in a positive manner can help a child’s self awareness. A full transcript may be found here.

As mentioned earlier, Ian will be presenting at the TAGT Annual Conference on December 4th and December 5th and at the Parent Conference on the 5th  as well. You can register for the Annual Conference or the Parent Conference at these links.

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.

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:



Who is Ian Byrd? Ian’s Bio

“Self Control is a Limited Resource” by Ian Byrd at Byrdseed Gifted

Switch: How to Change Things When Change Is Hard (Amazon)

“Why Change is So Hard: Self-Control is Exhaustible”

“10 Social and Emotional Needs of the Gifted” by Ian Byrd at Byrdseed Gifted

“Make Your Class Cozy for Gifted Introverts” by Ian Byrd at Byrdseed Gifted

“Sensitivity in Gifted Kids” by Ian Byrd at Byrdseed Gifted

“Personality Development and the Gifted” (pdf) by Linda Silverman

“Moral Sensitivity of Gifted Children & Evolution of Society” by Linda Silverman via SENG Gifted

“High Anxiety” by Ian Byrd at Byrdseed Gifted

Make Your Worrier a Warrior: A Guide to Conquering Your Child’s Fears (Amazon) by Dr. Dan Peters

“Understanding the High Energy of Gifted Kids” by Ian Byrd at Byrdseed Gifted

Living with Intensity (Amazon)

Intensities at Byrdseed Gifted

Experience and Processing The Funnel and Cylinder Analogy of Giftedness

Future U.S. Manufacturing Jobs Will Require More Brain Than Brawn

“Asynchrony and X-Men” by Ian Byrd at Byrdseed Gifted

Feeling Isolated by Choice

“Dino Obsession: Intellectual Overexcitabilities in Action” by Ian Byrd at Byrdseed Gifted

The Gifted Kids’ Survival Guide: For Ages 10 & Under (Amazon)

The Value of Twitter Chats

This chat celebrated the 1 year anniversary of #gtchat being powered by the Texas Association for the Gifted and Talented. The moderator and participants expressed their thanks to Executive Director, JJ Colburn; Past-President, Dr. Lynette Breedlove; Mrs. Deborah Mersino, Founder and First Moderator of gtchat; Assistant Executive Director, Tracy Weinberg and the fabulous staff at TAGT. Nearly 60 active participants tweeted more than 500 tweets during the hour and came from 4 countries and 20 states. The week leading up to chat included over 1,000 tweets from over 200 contributors reaching over 220,000 follows with 1.86 million timeline deliveries!

The occasion was marked by the introduction of TAGT’s #gtchat Advisory Board who provide support and advice to the moderator on a weekly basis. They are Mrs. Angie French (@teachagiftedkid), GT specialist at Tomball ISD near Houston, TX; Mrs. Stacia Taylor (@TXProfoundlyPG), founder of Texas Parents for the Profoundly Gifted, member of the Board of Directors at Rainard School, and member of the NAGC’s Parent Committee; Mrs. Nicole Shannon (@LonghornNic), coordinator of Gifted & Advanced Academic Services at Round Rock ISD; Mr. Ian Byrd (@ByrdseedGifted), gifted education writer and founder of Byrdseed Gifted; and Dr. Brian Housand (@brianbousand), Assistant Professor at East Carolina University and member of the Board of Directors at the NAGC. Special thanks also to past advisors, Mrs. Tracy Fisher, Mrs. Michelle Swain and Dr. Jan Fall.

Questions during the chat revolved around the importance of Twitter chats and how they can make a difference in the lives of both parents and educators of the gifted. Near the end, participants offered suggestions about the format and future of the chat which provided much needed insight to the moderator. A full transcript of the chat may be found here.

It was announced that #gtchat will be having a LIVE chat from the 2013 Pennsylvania Association for Gifted Education’s Annual Conference on Friday, April 19th at a special time 3PM EDT. Moderator, Lisa Conrad, will be available during Thursday night sessions and during the day on Friday to assist attendees in signing up for Twitter. Lisa will also be tweeting live from the conference.


#gtchat Page on #TAGT Website 

#gtchat’s Facebook Page 

Cybraryman’s Educational Chats on Twitter

Using TweetChat to Follow Educational Twitter Chats

Twitter Chats for Personal PD 

Twitter Chats: How to Survive & Thrive in a Twitter Chat… Hockey Style Eh? 

Twitter for Educators: A Tutorial for Beginners 

How Does a Twitter Chat Work?

4 Simple Ways to Get Started Teaching With Twitter

What You Should Know About Twitter Chats

6 Best Twitter Tips Every Teacher Should Know About

Social Networking – Impacting the World of Gifted Education 

A Parent’s Guide to Twitter and Education

Should I Participate in Twitter Chats?

Hoagies’ Gifted Website

Hoagies’ Facebook Page   

Teach a Gifted Kid Blog from Angie French

The Power of Twitter Chats (YouTube 31:44)

Venspired from Krissy Venosdale 

Cybraryman’s Livebinders page

Twitter Resources, Apps & Tools (Pinterest)

Texas Parents of the Profoundly Gifted

Brian Housand, PhD (website)

Byrdseed Gifted

2013 PAGE Annual Conference (Facebook)

2013 PAGE Annual Conference (website)

#gtchat : Curriculum Differentiation



Our chat on ‘Curriculum Differentiation’ began by discussing what differentiation was and noted that differentiation can be based on students, curriculum, instruction or learning environment. (Kaplan) You can differentiate where, content, resources and product. (Byrdseed Gifted) The transcript may be found here.

Special thanks goes to Leslie Graves for her substantial contribution of pertinent links to this chat to add to those provided by the moderator. Teachers will find these links a great resource in learning about differentiation for gifted students.


Differentiation of Instruction From @HoagiesGifted 

The Concept of Differentiation (Tempo – TAGT)

Four Ways to Differentiate Objectives From @Byrdseed Gifted 

The Differentiator From @Byrdseed Gifted 

Strategies for Differentiating Instruction: Best Practices for the Classroom  (Amazon)

Teaching Gifted Kids in Today’s Classroom: Strategies and Techniques Every Teacher Can Use  (Amazon)

Twice Exceptional/Twice Successful: Back to School Strategies that Work  (SENG)

Developing Mathematical Talent: They Don’t Have to Be Bored to Tears Ann Lupkowski-Shoplik (pdf -CMU)

How The Gifted Brain Learns (Sousa)  (Amazon)

Tips for Parents: The Gifted Brain & Learning: At Home and at School

Differentiation of Curriculum and Instruction 

Practical Strategies For the Classroom Part I: Pre-assessment (pdf)

Teachers: Practical Strategies for the Classroom, Part 2: Content, Process, Product (pdf)

Dare to Differentiate

Gifted & Talented and Differentiated Instruction

Differentiation for High Ability Learners

Group Work

Differentiated Instruction from @cybraryman1

Differentiating Instruction to Promote Rigor and Engagement for Advanced and Gifted Students (Kingore)

Differentiating Instruction For Advanced Learners In the Mixed-Ability Middle School Classroom

Helping Gifted Kids Soar (pdf)

Differentiated Instruction Activities

Books by Laurie Westphal

Implementing Curriculum Compacting and Type III Studies to Reverse Underachievement

Universal Themes and Generalizations


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