Blog Archives

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.

Self-Care in the Era of Covid19

This week, Global #gtchat Powered by TAGT welcomed Jen Merrill and Kate Arms to discuss the need to remember the importance of self-care during the current coronavirus Pandemic. It was a much need topic for all those who participated.

Our first question dealt with how we can handle isolation well. First and foremost, we need to remember that we are all in this together; albeit, not necessarily in the same boat, but in the same ocean. Even the introverts among us have rarely experienced this level of isolation. Isolating oneself in an attempt to be alone is quite different from self-preservation and survival. In the past, isolation was an individual coping mechanism. Today, its significance is much more communal. It is important to remember that our current situation is indeed temporary and necessary. We must depend on others’ behavior and good judgement. In lieu of that, we must take our isolation seriously.

What should you say to kids about #COVID19/pandemics/social isolation? Parents and teachers of gifted children should be cognizant of a few things that may not apply to all children. As in any situation, each child may display a ‘unique’ response to our new reality. Special consideration should be given to asynchronous development. Chronological age may or may not be a factor in understanding daily events. Do not suppose that intellectual maturity is in sync with their emotional state. Adults should temper their language when discussing #COVID19 with children, but not condescend to them. These kids may well know more than you about the virus, but still need your emotional support.

First step in teaching the importance of self-care to children is to model the behavior you wish to see in your children. Look forward, not backward; you can’t change the past. Self-care is a journey. Take time to learn about self-care and understand what it means for your child’s future. When you realize its importance, it can become a part of your life-style and children become the beneficiaries. As parents and teachers, we know that you must first ‘learn the lesson’ before you can teach it. Be diligent in the learning process.

What can parents/teachers do to begin self-care? Reach for the proverbial ‘oxygen mask’ first before attending to those around you. You are the starting point. You will inevitably be called to be a care-giver at some point. Self-care begins with self-assessment. What do you already do to take care of yourself, what needs to change, and how do you get to the point where you need to be? Honesty and objectivity are key.

We are living in unprecedented times. Few of us ever conceived of needing to plan our lives to respond to a pandemic of this magnitude. In designing a plan to balance work, home and school, we’ll need to be creative. Life plans do not need to be perfect all at once. It is a balancing act. Effective plans evolve over time. Be kind to yourself. The old adage, ‘if at first you don’t succeed’ comes to mind.

Are there special considerations for GT/2E kids that parents should know? Parents can realize the need to be especially attentive to their child’s emotional state at any given time and consider how to respond to their needs in advance. Kindness, compassion, empathy, self-control … are all important. We are living in a new reality. Physical distancing doesn’t need to be social distancing. Be prepared for the ‘highs and lows’ of emotions. And as Jen Merrill often reminds us, ‘Don’t forget to laugh’! It may be difficult at times, but we are all in this together. Stay safe, stay home, and stay healthy.

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.

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:

Self-Care for Parents of GT/2E Kids

R10 Counselor Conversations: Self Care

How Do You Laugh at This Magnitude of Chaos?

It’s Not Just in Your Head: Self-Care for Moms of Gifted Children

Your Rainforest Mind: A Guide to the Well-Being of Gifted Adults and Youth (book)

Searching for Meaning: Idealism, Bright Minds, Disillusionment, and Hope (book)

Gifted Adult Self-Care Strategies

Cultivating Calm Amidst a Storm

Chicago Gifted Community Center: Parental Self-Care

Hoagies’ Blog Hop November 2014: Gifted Self-Care

Finding Structure in Times of Chaos

Stress Management Toolbox: Nine Tips for Parents of Gifted Children

If I’m So Smart, Why Am I So Stressed Out?

Mindful Self-Care

Self-care and YOU

The Life Organizer and Self-Care

Kate’s Nuggets: How to Feel a Sense of Control when the World Feels Chaotic (Audio 16:33)

2e Tuesday: Six Steps to Parental Self-Care

Social Revisioning at a Distance

It’s Possible to Find Happiness in Times of Social Isolation

Reassuring Children during the COVID-19 Pandemic

Breathe for Change: Resources (free – sign up required)

Cybraryman’s Nutrition Pages

Cybraryman’s Exercise/Fitness Pages

Cybraryman’s Yoga Pages

Cybraryman’s The Brain and Brain Games Pages

Cultivez Votre Bouffe (Farm Your Food)

Kate’s Nuggets: Self-Care: It’s Not What You Think it Is (Audio 18:00)

Sprite’s Site: Social Distancing

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

Photos courtesy of Jen Merrill and Kate Arms.

Graphic courtesy of Lisa Conrad.

Tech Addiction – Regulating Screen Time

Tech addiction or digital addiction actually covers three broad areas involving social media addiction, video game addiction, and Internet addiction. According to Shaw & Black at the University of Iowa, tech or digital addiction is distinguished by impairment or distress resulting from “urges or behaviors regarding computer use and Internet access.” Children addicted to tech often express feeling profound loneliness, lack social skills, display executive functioning disorder, and have trouble regulating their emotions.

Should GT students excelling in tech have their screen time limited at all? Students who excel at tech may actually be even more at risk of addiction than other students. It becomes a matter of balance; balancing necessary time using tech and avoiding addiction. GT students may be tech savvy at younger ages than their age-peers. Screen time can intrude on much need social interactions and ultimately affect social growth.

How does unlimited screen time affect twice-exceptional and are there potential benefits to screen time? It depends on the nature of their twice-exceptionality. Some twice-exceptional kids are highly susceptible to types of tech that are repetitive in nature. They may not understand why adults are limiting access. Tech affords opportunities for GT and #2ekids to express their creativity and to explore their passions. It gives them access to more challenging content and coursework.

Moderating access to tech almost has to have different approaches at school and at home. So much of differentiation for gifted students involves technology; both in the classroom and for homework assignments. At home use of tech may deal with different forms of tech use; such as, social media and video gaming. As such, it may require criteria that differ significantly from using tech for school work and interaction with peers.

The upside to tech addiction involves consideration of quality time online versus quantity of time. Availability of tech can be motivating. Limiting access to tech can also motivate students to use their time more wisely. Teachers can structure tech time to involve time offline supporting activities initiated online. Students can interact online to discuss assignments, but do the majority of work offline.

In recent years, gifted education in many school districts has come to rely heavily on tech as both a way to differentiate instruction as well as give students time to interact with intellectual peers at off campus locations. Parents need to be diligent in monitoring and regulating screen time. They should give forethought to their discussions about boundaries regarding the use of tech. GT kids will be well prepared with counter arguments. 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/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:

Giftedness and Technology

Gifted and Addicted: Perils of the Cyber World

Technology and the Unseen World of Gifted Students

MRIs Show Screen Time Linked to Lower Brain Development in Preschoolers

Associations between Screen-Based Media Use and Brain White Matter Integrity in Preschool-Aged Children

Media and Young Minds

Create Your Family Media Plan (American Academy of Pediatrics)

Change in the Brain’s White Matter: The role of the brain’s white matter in active learning and memory may be underestimated

What to Do If Your Kid becomes Addicted to Tech

Screen Time and the Gifted Student: Balance and Quality Are Key

What Educators Need to Know about Technology Addiction

Dealing with Digital Distraction in the Classroom

Technology Addiction

Are Gifted Children More Prone to Digital Addictions?

Screen Time = Scream Time

Autism and Screen Time: Special Brains, Special Risks

Balancing Technology and School: Is Technology Addiction a Problem?

Media Use in School-Aged Children and Adolescents

Effects of Technology on Gifted Children

Cybraryman’s Screen Time Page

Is Too Much Screen Time Bad?

Photo courtesy of Pixabay CC0 Public Domain

Graphic courtesy of Lisa Conrad.

Inspiring Self-Efficacy in Gifted Kids

gtchat-01312017-self-efficacy

Self-efficacy is a psychological construct attributed to Dr. Albert Bandura and is considered one of the most important developments in psychology as it encompasses motivation, learning, self-regulation, and human accomplishment. It is broadly defined as one’s internal belief about how their ability impacts events affecting their life.

Self-efficacy beliefs form through mastery experience, vicarious experience, verbal persuasions, and physiological cues. The most influential source of self-efficacy is considering one’s own performance. Confidence follows past performance and influences future behavior in developing one’s self-efficacy.

The idea of educating gifted children with academic peers may be one way to develop self-efficacy beliefs. Children are always comparing themselves to other children. Easy comparisons can make for overestimating one’s own ability. Peer comparisons resulting from ability grouping can be detrimental to self-efficacy of less-able age-mates.

Mastery-based learning can have a strong influence in the development self-efficacy as well. Mastery experience is the prime factor in developing self-efficacy and necessary to positive outcomes when viewing ‘self’. Mastery-based learning is how children determine what they’re good at and how they define potential personal success.

Self-efficacy beliefs can have motivational consequences. Belief in what one has accomplished influences future choices and provides inspiration for future success. A sense of competence can motivate a student to attempt more difficult tasks and consider them as challenges. The existence of high self-efficacy is usually accompanied by feelings of calm when faced with tough tasks.

What are the implications for teachers in teaching self-efficacy in schools? Teachers need to take seriously the importance of nurturing self-efficacy and how it can have beneficial or destructive influence in a student’s life. Teachers are often first academic role model for students and can empower self-assurance or diminish a student’s self-efficacy. Young students need guidance on self-appraisal as they rely on adult assessment to create judgement of their own capabilities. Teachers can ensure robust self-efficacy for students by providing appropriately challenging and meaningful work. For more from this chat, a  transcript may be found at Storify.

Global #gtchat Powered by the Texas Association for the Gifted and Talented  is a weekly chat on Twitter. Join us Tuesdays at 8E/7C/6M/5P in the U.S. and Wednesdays at 14.00 NZST/12.00 AEST/1.00 UK  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 Pinterest Page and Playlist on YouTube.

Head Shot 2014-07-14  About 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: gtchatmod@gmail.com

 

Links:

An Introduction to Self-Efficacy

What Influences Self-Efficacy?

Self-Efficacy Theory: Sources of Self-Efficacy Beliefs

Self-Efficacy Beliefs of Adolescents (Adolescence and Education) (Amazon)

Self-efficacy: Toward a Unifying Theory of Behavioral Change (pdf)

4 Ways to Develop Self-Efficacy Beliefs

Self-Efficacy During Childhood & Adolescence: Implications for Teachers & Parents (pdf)

Self-Efficacy Development in Adolescences (pdf)

Sources of Science Self-Efficacy Beliefs of Middle School Students (pdf)

Peer Group as Context for Development of Young Adolescent Motivation & Achievement (pdf)

The Peer Network as a Context for the Socialization of Academic Engagement (pdf)

Using Self-Efficacy Theory as a Guide for Instructional Practice (pdf)

Self-Efficacy: Why Believing in Yourself Matters

Bandura’s Self-Efficacy Theory (YouTube 3:05)

Classroom Strategies to Improve Student Self-efficacy and Learning Outcomes 

Albert Bandura: Self-Efficacy for Agentic Positive Psychology

The Strengths Self-Efficacy Scale: Assessing Strengths in Action

Cybraryman’s You Matter Page

Struggling with a Solution? Make it a Design Challenge

Photo courtesy of Pixabay   CC0 Public Domain

Graphic courtesy of Lisa Conrad

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