Blog Archives

Staying Socially Connected while Physically Distancing with Guest, Heather Vaughn, EdS

The terms social and physical distancing as well as social connecting have become a part of daily conversation as we all are learning to cope with the consequences of our current situation. It is not too soon, however, to consider the long-term consequences physical distancing. It will affect personal (one-to-one) relationships, families, and businesses. It will fundamentally change the meaning of ‘society’. Physical distancing will realign interpersonal priorities and how we engage with each other. It’s vital to frame these changes in a positive light. It should be viewed as an opportunity to improve our lives. An inability to cope with physical distancing can lead to profound loneliness, neglecting daily self-care, increased substance abuse, and attention issues.

What are the risks to our mental health from social isolation? Social isolation can pose a major risk to our mental health leading to increased anxiety and depression. The very thought of not knowing when it will end, increases these risks. It can affect different age groups differently. Parents need to watch for warning signs in their children as well as themselves (and their own parents). Social isolation can increase the rate of cognitive decline in the elderly; including those in the gifted community. No one is immune.

Staying connected is necessary for the continuance of society. Few have lived experiences to understand the scope of this crisis. Empathetic leadership is crucial. Connecting by personally checking on friends and family, leveraging technology to connect, and making time for informal connections are all important. Practical steps to staying in touch can include a simple phone call to a friend or family member, video chatting, engaging in activities together yet remotely.

What strategies can teachers use to help students stay socially connected? Teachers can encourage and facilitate virtual performances by their GT students as well as provide authentic audiences when it is time to perform and assess. They can serve as virtual mentors and share time with students to practice their skills. Teachers who are working from home can offer resources to students and their families that ensure a continuity of learning such as virtual experiences (field trips/explorations), book clubs, tutorials, or online study groups.

How can parents facilitate social connections for their kids? Parents are among the greatest facilitators in this time of crisis. Children are more vulnerable now to the effects of misinformation, neglect, and isolation from their friends and family. They can seek to connect their children through technology being mindful that interpersonal relationships within the family are paramount. Finding a balance between tech and time together is the goal.

It may be hard to realize at the moment, but benefits can be realized from our current situation. Most people are coming to the realization just how important the work of teachers, medical professionals, and service workers are to the continuity of society. It’s an important lesson learned that can’t be forgotten. Everyone can seek to use this time to do those activities that they seemed to never have time to do in the past. View webinars for personal and professional development, take online classes, and of course – join in Twitter chats!

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:

Social Revisioning at a Distance

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

How to Talk to Teens & Young Adults about Social Distancing

Sprite’s Site: Social Distancing

We’re All In This Together How to Engage in Social Connection While Socially Distancing

MIT: In a Time of Physical Distancing, Connecting Socially across Generations is More Important than Ever

How to Stay Socially Connected while Social Distancing

How to Stay Socially Connected while Physically Apart

Why You Need to Stay Connected While Social Distancing

CAN: Staying Connected while Practicing Social and Physical Distancing

CAN: Immersive technologies to address social isolation: Is a technological solution feasible and desirable?

AUS: Staying Connected while Being Physically Apart: Wellbeing in the Time of Social Distancing

5 Ways to Use Social Media for Connection During Times of Social Distancing

Forget ‘Social Distancing.’ The WHO Prefers We call it ‘Physical Distancing’ because Social Connections are More Important than Ever

Univ. of Chicago: How to Connect with Others in the Age of Social Distancing

Physical vs. Social Distancing: Ways to Make Social Contact

Stay Connected in Your Communities

Allen, TX HS Students Create Group to Help People’s Physical and Mental Health During Coronavirus Pandemic

Duke: How to be Productive under Quarantine

How Duke Students are Staying Connected during Quarantine

How to Maintain Social Distancing during the Coronavirus Pandemic without Feeling Depressed

Social Distancing while Staying Connected for Better Mental Health

APA: Keeping Your Distance to Stay Safe

Psych Central: The Importance of Staying Connected While Practicing Social Distancing

Harvard Medical: Apps to Keep Us Connected in a Time of Social Distancing

Cybraryman’s Coping Strategies Pages

Cybraryman’s Zoom Pages

Cybraryman’s Google Meet Pages

Cybraryman’s Skype Pages

Civic Action Opportunities: Community Resource Guide (Google Doc)

Connectivity for Gifted Students in the Age of Social Distancing

Image courtesy of Heather Vaughn and Pixabay CC0 Public Domain

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.

Resources You Can Use Now for Educating a GT Child at Home

 

This week we thanked the Texas Association for the Gifted and Talented (TAGT) for their 8 years of support!

 

It has been a stressful time to be alive as we learn to live in a new reality in a world responding to a global Pandemic. #gtchat is a free resource provided by TAGT for the entire gifted community. This week we have attempted to bring together and provide resources for parents and teachers who have suddenly faced educating their children and students at home.

What are some non-tech resources for educators suddenly contemplating teaching online? Non-tech resources are those dealing with content and curriculum rather than simply delivery systems. Many schools were closed suddenly with little or no advanced warning. This has complicated the process of switching to teaching online for many of the world’s teachers.

What technology resources cam be utilized for distance learning and keeping in touch? Technology resources involve delivering instruction online. Many platforms were already in use prior to quarantines. Please see below for possible resources. These resources are informational; not recommendations.

How do we teach our children about coronavirus (COVID19)? It is important to inform students about coronavirus, but it is also vitally important to make sure the information is factual and the latest available. Many GT students may be better informed than their parents and teachers. Listen to them, but push back on misinformation.

The social-emotional implications of long-term quarantining will affect both children and adults. It has long been posited that gifted children have social-emotional needs. Fortunately, this provides many resources already available to parents and educators.

What unique challenges are faced having GT children at home? This is a personal issue for parents. Every child is different and will respond long-term quarantine and time out of school in a variety of way. One unique challenge to be considered is asynchronous development – a child’s reaction to the current situation may not reflect their biological age, i.e., a younger child displaying feelings of invincibility usually seen in teens.

Some school districts have been heroic in their efforts to continue the education of their students while they are at home. Unfortunately, some states have blocked home education initiatives. Parents are having to deal with multiple aspects of a sudden quarantine; kids indoor all the time, working at home or finding childcare, and then the worry of providing their education as well.

We invite you to join us weekly on Twitter. Together we will get through this! 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/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.

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:

Parents:

Duke TIP Resources for Families during Quarantine

Duke TIP Home Alone – Part 2

Learning at Home Resources: Ideas for Teachers and Parents

Education Companies Offering Free Subscriptions due to School Closings (Google Docs)

From Home Education to Higher Education

2,500 Museums You Can Now Visit Virtually

Simple and Fun Non-screen Activities that Children Can do at Home (Medium)

Totally Awesome LEGO Challenge Calendar

Scholastic Learn at Home

Storyline Online

The Best Homeschooling Resources Online

Educators:

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

KAGE: Virtual Gifted and Talented Enrichment Support Materials (pdf)

CMU CS Academy (free hs computer science curriculum)

Mashup Math: Free Printable Math Worksheets

Appropriate Reading Instruction for Gifted Students

Resources for Remote Learning

How Teachers Can Navigate School Closures Due to the Coronavirus

School Closure Planning: Free, Easy Science for Remote Learning

A Healthy Reminder to Educators During School Closures

Teachers and Homeschoolers: Let’s Be Kinder to Parents in this Pandemic

G/T:

TAGT: GT Resources for School Closures

NAGC: Resources for Educators & Parents During COVID-19

MENSA: At-home Learning Resources for Kids

Renzulli Learning Announces Its Collaborative Distance Learning System Now Available Free to Schools Worldwide

Australian Association for Education of the Gifted & Talented – Natural Disasters: Supporting Gifted Children during Difficult Times – A Guide for Parents and Teachers (pdf)

KAGE: Virtual Gifted Resources for Gifted and Talented Enrichment for Everyone Affected by COVID-19

Gifted and Talented Enrichment Support Materials (Google Doc)

#COVID19:

Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security: COVID19

Levine Children’s Hospital in Charlotte – Coronavirus: Everything You Need to Know (all things related to coronavirus and children)

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Research: Free Medical, Social, and Behavioral Science Articles from SAGE Publishing

Fact Sheet: Coronaviruses: SARS, MERS, and 2019-nCoV (pdf)

Origin and Evolution of Pathogenic Coronaviruses

Best Practice – Online Teaching:

COVID-19: Resources for Educators

Edmodo: Distance Learning Toolkit

5 Tips to Prepare for a Remote Classroom Due to Coronavirus

CAN: Ontario Teachers Hosting Virtual Lessons as COVID-19 Keeps Students Out of Class

Social/Emo:

Too Much Worry – How do we help our gifted kids?

Teaching Life Skills to Gifted Children at School and at Home

SIG: Activities for Gifted Students while Practicing Social Distancing

SIG: Connectivity for Gifted Students in the Age of Social Distancing

Resources chat participants:

Overcoming Obstacles – Life Skills Curriculum for Elementary, Middle, and High School — Free Now and Forever

Google: Teach from Home

Getting Through: Supporting Learners as they Transition to School at Home (parents)

On the Move to Online Learning

During Coronavirus, a Teacher Describes the Scramble to Go Digital

Science Tots

Calendar of Virtual Field Trips for Families March/April 2020 (Google Docs)

Making Connections: Genius Hour at Home

Short Story Exploration (pdf)

Kansas Continuous Learning 2020

Davidson Gifted: Is Your Gifted Child Ready for Online Learning?

KidNuz

Prepare for Distance Learning with Newsela

Genius Hour (At Home)

Davidson Academy Online 2020 Open House – Technology

Sprite’s Site: Wrensday

Cybraryman’s Educational Web Sites

BBC: A History of the World

Image courtesy of Pixabay  CC0 Public Domain

Graphics courtesy of Lisa Conrad.

 

Myths about Gifted Kids

 

This week at #gtchat, we welcomed Kathleen Humble, GHF Press author of Gifted Myths: An Easy-to-Read Guide to Myths on the Gifted and Twice-Exceptional. Kathleen is a writer and homeschooling mum with ADHD in Australia to two wonderful twice-exceptional children. Previously, she was also a mathematician, computer programmer, and a children’s entertainer.

The first myth we discussed was – “All children are gifted” – How should we respond? The idea that ‘all children are gifted’ is tantamount to saying ‘everyone is the same’ and that is simply absurd. We wouldn’t say all children are athletic any more than all children are stupid. It’s wrong and consequential. As argued by Michael Clay Thompson, just substitute the word ‘gifted’ with any other descriptor; it becomes nonsensical. ‘All children are [fill in the blank] … No; no they are not. To say ‘all children are gifted’ is an effort to conflate educational and social meanings of the term ‘gifted’. Have a gift – such as being kind – is not the same as being gifted.

“High achievement = being gifted” – Does it? Motivation is a key aspect of achievement. Gifted children may be motivated, but others are not. Non-gifted students may respond to extrinsic motivation; whereas, gifted students may only be intrinsically motivated. High achievers can be identified as gifted and gifted students may not be high achievers. The terms are not synonymous. This poses a significant issue when providing services to those who need them. Underachievement – a discrepancy between ability and academic performance – is, in fact, a significant issue among gifted students which frustrates parents and is perplexing to educators.

“All children should have gifted education” – Should they? When critics of gifted education use this argument, how are they defining ‘gifted’ education? Most times, it is seen as providing ‘extras’ like field trips or extension opportunities not available to all students. This myth concludes that all children can ‘become’ gifted if they work hard enough or are exposed to higher level opportunities. Requiring students to attempt mastery of content they are unable to handle can have the opposite effect; increasing a feeling of failure and highlighting inabilities.

“Gifted education is elitist” – Why should schools be required to provide it? The charge of elitism in gifted education is usually an excuse used to deny services to GT students. It has no basis in reality. Stating that ‘gifted education is elitist’ is more often a response to a situation meant to evoke emotion; to elicit sympathy for all ‘other’ children. It sets up a false equivalence; an ‘us’ versus ‘them’ mindset. Advocates for gifted education seek educational accommodations based on need; not some sense of superiority. Gifted education should be provided to children with demonstrable need just as special education is provided to children based on their individual needs. Without it, these children become disadvantaged.

“Ability grouping hurts some students feelings” – Why is it necessary? “Grouping gifted children is one of the foundations of exemplary gifted education practice.” In educational terms, it is the ‘least restrictive environment’ for GT students (NAGC Position Statement). Ability grouping is essential to meeting the needs of gifted students. It is the basis for successful differentiation of the curriculum. To imply that other children will be academically or emotionally disadvantaged because of ability grouping is simply not supported by research.

“2E students don’t exist” – Who are they and why do they need accommodated? This is a myth that needs to be eliminated now – that a student recognized as gifted cannot also experience learning difficulties. They can and they do. For generations, education systems have failed to understand or identify twice-exceptional students because ability and disabilities often mask each other. Best practice dictates that ability should be accommodated before disability, but usually the opposite occurs. This severely limits these kids from even considering the fact that they have greater potential than is recognized.

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.

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:

Yellow Readis (Kathleen’s website)

Gifted Myths: An Easy-to-Read Guide to Myths on the Gifted and Twice-Exceptional (book)

GHF Press (website)

Twice-Exceptional Kids are Education’s Canary in the Coal Mine (pdf)

Neurocognitive Mechanisms of Mathematical Giftedness: A Literature Review (2016)

Optimized Gamma Synchronization Enhances Functional Binding of Fronto-parietal Cortices in Mathematically Gifted Adolescents during Deductive Reasoning

The Effects of Disability Labels on Special Education and General Education Teachers’ Referrals for Gifted Programs (pdf)

Worth the Effort Finding and Supporting Twice Exceptional Learners in Schools (YouTube 1:06)

Giftedness Is Not an Unwrapped Present

Differences Between Academic High Achievers and Gifted Students

The Truth about ‘Gifted’ Versus High-Achieving Students

Being Gifted is Often NOT the Same as Being High-Achieving

A Response to “Everyone is Gifted in Some Way”

How the Gifted Brain Learns: Chapter 1 – What is a Gifted Brain? (pdf)

NAGC Position Paper: Grouping (pdf)

Michael Clay Thompson: Is Everyone Gifted?

The Concept of Grouping in Gifted Education (Fiedler, Lange, & Winebrenner, 2002) (pdf)

Grouping and Acceleration Practices in Gifted Education (Essential Readings in Gifted Education Series) (book)

Sprite’s Site: Columbus Cheetah, Myth Buster – Myth 2

Sprite’s Site: Columbus Cheetah, Myth Buster – Myth 3

Sprite’s Site: Columbus Cheetah, Myth Buster – Myth 8

Sprite’s Site: Columbus Cheetah, Myth Buster – Myth 9

Sprite’s Site: Gifted Under Achievers

Sprite’s Site: 2E is

Sprite’s Site: What makes them 2E?

Grouping the Gifted and Talented: Questions and Answers

Meet the Female Entrepreneur who became an Artist Overnight after a Brain Injury

Graphic images courtesy of Kathleen Humble and GHF Learners.

Graphic created by Lisa Conrad.

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