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Meeting the Needs of GT Students at the Secondary Level

gtchat 07182017 Secondary

In many school districts, the end of elementary school also signals the end of gifted programming as well. However, giftedness has been documented as existing across the lifespan. Mistakenly, too many in education have been slow to realize the significance of this or ignore it altogether.

What are the main obstacles to continuing GT programming at the secondary level? Most secondary GT programs are fed through existing primary programs; poor identification and lack of options weaken viability. GT programming must be supported by strong advocacy from faculty and administrators; sadly, something too often missing. Secondary scheduling, too, can be difficult for any student when so many factors are involved – available classes, faculty and facilities.

There are some innovative ways to include gifted classes in middle and high schools. Innovation needs to be based on acceptance that gifted classes should be demonstrably different from general education. Middle and high school GT classes reap the greatest benefit in standalone programming; both academically and social-emotionally.

How do you approach middle/high school students who weren’t challenged at elementary level? Teachers and parents shouldn’t shy away from providing remedial   or special skills classes to catch up GT students in specific areas. Professional development should be offered to teachers on identifying underachievers and/or 2E students.

What gets included in a GT student’s schedule should balance academics with passions; including the Arts. Students, parents and school personnel can make the best decisions when lines of communication are fully open.

Academic competitions can supplement a GT student’s schedule, but shouldn’t be considered a replacement. Many GT students love and thrive in academic competitions with intellectual peers; but it isn’t GT programming. For some of these students who lack a competitive spirit, it isn’t an answer at all.

Mentorships, internships and research projects can enhance GT programming, but not sufficient as standalone options. GT HS students should be engaged in college-level pursuits with adequate supports to ensure success. A transcript of the chat 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 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 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 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:


Uppervention: Meeting the Needs of Gifted & Talented Students

Meeting Needs of G&T Students: Case Study of Virtual Learning Lab in Rural Middle School (pdf)

Services for Secondary Students Who are Gifted Questions & Answers (pdf)

Tips for Teachers: Successful Strategies for Teaching Gifted Learners

Mentorship & Gifted Youth

The Myth of Gifted Curriculum: Rethinking Bloom’s Taxonomy (p. 6, pdf)

UK: Policy for Meeting the Needs of the Most Able, Gifted & Talented Boys (pdf)

Meeting the Needs of Gifted & Talented Students (Book Depository)

Attitudes of AP Teachers Meeting 21st Century Critical Thinking Needs of GT Secondary Students (pdf)

AP & IB Programs: A “Fit” for Gifted Learners?

2 Wrongs Don’t Make a Right: Sacrificing Needs of GT Ss Doesn’t Solve Society’s Unsolved Problems (pdf)

Educating Gifted Students in Middle School: A Practical Guide

How Are Districts Meeting the Needs of Gifted Students?

TX: GT Teacher Toolkit II Resources for teachers of G/T, AP and Pre-AP Classes

Placement in Talent Development (2000)

UT High School Professional Development

Cybraryman’s Multiple Intelligences and Multipotentiality Page

Cybraryman’s Growth Mindset Page

Do you have a Book to Share?

Photo courtesy of Pixabay    CC0 Public Domain

Graphic courtesy of Lisa Conrad.

Teaching Strategies for Underachievers

Special thanks to Dr. Linda Silverman and the Gifted Development Center @GiftedDevCenter for sharing the article, “Strategies for Teaching Underachievers” (pdf) which I drew from for the chat! A full transcript may be found here.

In answer to our first question, “What characterizes an underachiever?”; replies included that “underachievers tend to have underdeveloped sequencing skills & high spatial abilities”, their “obstinance often masks their inability to do the work rather than unwillingness”, those with “high spatial strengths have a sophisticated sense of humor & understand complex relations & systems” and they “can become a problem in mainstream classes. More likely to be referred for behaviour/LD”.

The discussion then turned to “Why do students underachieve?” Krissy Venosdale @venspired said that, ” Work presented to them is often not “deep” enough; shallow work becomes mundane; kids check out.” Susanne @Susannewith5 added, “boredom, perfectionism scaring them from WANTING to perform, a lack of work ethic, LD’s, disaffectedness” also are contributing factors.

For teaching strategies, please see the links below. Thank you to Leslie Graves for the Livebinder links.


Underachieving Gifted Students” Prezi by Rebecca Christensen

Assisting Underachieving Gifted Learners” (pdf)

How Can You Help Gifted Underachievers?” Victoria Butler

Using Peer Coaches to Explain and Tackle the Underachievement of Gifted Students

Why Class Size Matters

Tips for Teachers: Volume 1 Classroom Arrangement and Class Discussion” (YouTube)

Strategies for Students Gifted in ICT

Underachievement” from Duke TIP

Gifted Underachievement: The Who’s, What’s, Why’s and How You Can Help” Livebinder

Culturally Diverse Gifted Students” Livebinder

Family Dynamics Related to Underachievement” Livebinder

Social Emotional Needs of Gifted and Talented Students” Livebinder

Web Resources for Underachievement” Livebinder

Global #gtchat ~ The Year Ahead

On Friday, January 4th, #gtchat had their first chat of 2013. The purpose of this chat was to crowd-source ideas for what people wanted to talk about in the new year. A transcript of the chat can be found here.

Questions posed during the chat included whether or not chat participants utilized the weekly poll on possible topics. The results were mixed with most people stating that they generally liked all the topics which made it difficult to vote. Additional questions asked what people want to chat about, who they would like to see as guests and did they think ‘adult giftedness’ was an appropriate subject for discussion. There appeared to be strong support for this last question.

A sampling of requested topics:

Twice-exceptional (2e) issues, book lists for gifted learners, emotional intensity, support for parents, curriculum and teaching strategies, building a gifted PLN, work/family/ personal balance, creativity, how to support gt in regular classroom, parents connecting, gifted marriage, neuroscience in education, asynchronous development, preteen/teens, homeschooling, misdiagnosis, global approaches to gifted education, gifted kids and dating, and relationships between gifted and non-gifted.

A sampling of requested guests:

Dr. Linda Silverman, Patty Gatto-Walden, Dan Peters, Susan Daniels, Lisa Van Gemert, Lisa Erickson, Joyce Juntune, Arne Duncan, Mika Gustavson, Pamela Price, Joy Davis, Rosina Gallagher, Jonathan L Wai, Scott Barry Kaufman, Carolyn Kottmeyer of Hoagies Gifted, Marcia Gentry and Edith Johnston.

It was announced that upcoming guests include Rebecca McMillan, Director of Online Education for Gifted Homeschoolers Forum; Ben Curran and Neil Wetherbee, authors of the upcoming book, Learning in the 21st Century: How to Connect, Collaborate, and Create (GHF Press); Dr. Joy Lawson Davis, author of Bright, Talented & Black ; and Dr. George Betts, developer of the Autonomous Learners Model.

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