This is a professional development blog. We'll be discussing books we read as a group. Our discussions will be focused on gifted children.
I would like to learn more about Personality Traits and Giftedness on page 45 because I think it's important as a teacher to be educated in helping them and guiding them when they come across these " learning barriers in our classrooms. " I'm intrigued when the book discusses how an introvert learn differently by " often needing to observe the world in order to gain meaning from it " rather than like an extrovert. Lots of our teachings are about hands on and making the students become an active participate. I would like to learn more about how they approach it differently.
In response to Sarah Chu, June 30th, I agree, our teaching style is very hands on for elementary but not only do GT students learn in various ways, non GT students do as well. We have to take in consideration these GT students will react to their emotions differently. Therefore, always giving them the option of something other than what they are used to is just that 'an option" but not forcing them to learn a way that intensifies their emotions.
I would like to learn more about the assumption Fonseca mentions on page 25 regarding accelerating gifted students. Fonseca's idea is that acceleration is not always damaging to students. I agree with Fonseca and appreciate that in the last few years SBISD has provided options for our accelerated g/t students. It's great that we are willing to let a 2nd grade student who needs 5th grade math or 4th grade language arts receive instruction at the appropriate grade level. It's also wonderful that when accelerated plans are made for our students, we also discuss what is best for the student emotionally as well. Much appreciation to Lynette Breedlove for her insight and willingness to do what is best for our g/t students.
Agreed Judy B! It is great that we have the flexibility to meet the needs of the gifted students in Spring Branch instead of fitting them into what exists in the traditional classroom!
I agree 100%. SBISD has really changed our way of thinking about this. Taking into consideration all areas of development has lead us to accelerating these kids sometime. On a case by case basis, it can really meet their needs.
Well saidJudy, Becky, and Mrs. D. Flexibility in our teaching is needed and we have a district that supports this.In SBISD we want to meet the needs of all our children. Thanks to the leadership in the admin bldg we are able to do this.
I would like to learn more about gender and giftedness, pg. 53. I know boys & girls learn differently, but I found it very interesting that boys & girls differ in their attitudes about giftedness as they get older. It will be interesting to read how Fonseca discusses this issue further in the book.
I agree with Jchoy, June 30th, as I mentioned below in my comment, I have only dealt with GT boys and am curious to how girls deal with their intense emotions. Regardless of gender teaching them how to react to these emotions will benefit them throughout life.
I would also like to learn more about gender and giftedness. When I think of emotional intensity in gifted students for some reason, gifted boys pop into my brain. I can think of a few times that very emotional reactions from a few g/t boys caught surprised me.
I'm commenting on Jean Choy's response from June 30th. I agree and like your idea. I think it's interesting anf fascinating to learn more about the gender and its giftedness to that. Being wired differently...hum. Thanks for the idea!
I paused when I read that Fonseca (2010) claimed that "gifted students typically have a broad range of interests and are intrinsically motivated to learn." p. 28. I was under the impression that gifted students have a strong passion in a specific topic and wide range of knowledge that covers a vast amount of topics. I would like to know more on how to continue to foster that passion that support their high complex problem solving and intellectually perception of the world.
In response to A Mitch, June 30th, I have to agree with you. I assumed GT kids were very interested in a particular topic or had a very specific interest in something. Is there some common interest of GT students?
I personally see a variance among boys and girls but a common theme I see is an international interest. It seems to me they have a deeper emotional drive when it comes to injustice of others such as famine or childhood hungry in third world countries. They just seem to have a wealth of globally knowledge as well as what is directly happening in their community.
in response to A Mitch on June 30th, i had to shake my head and re-read the statement also. I always have had gifted students who were interested in one specific topic..i agree with you. i want to find out ways to broaden their interests and passion. What can i do in class to encourage them to learn about other topics/areas instead of the one they are focused on.
Several years ago, I read a book by Blue Balliett's Chasing Vermeer where the students were attending a school on the campus of John Dewey University. The philosophy of the school was driven by each kid. If one student loved elephants, then every "TEKS" whether it was science, math, or language arts was surrounded around elephants for that particular kid. The curriculum was driven by the interest of the kid. I do a PROBE project that I learned from a TAGT training once a year where I do this. I model my PROBE project with Garage Pail Kids. The kids feel the freedom and excitement to become self-determined learners. How can you use this John Dewey philosophy of teaching with your GT students?
It is interesting that in the past my GT students have mainly focused on one subject area and that was all he/she cared to learn about. Broadening their interests and passion (Helen Roberts) can be complicated at times. The "no risk" element really throws a curve in the plan. If the child thinks negatively about learning other things, then it's very challenging to guide that process. But then you have the other end of the spectrum with students who are really good at learning all subjects and love it!! I mean LOVE IT!! I am thinking of one friend as I write this. More to come on my next post.
Until now, I never considered the differences between GT boys and girls. The GT students I have had have been boys. I would like to see more statistics on the genders as far as what girls intense emotions are vs. boys or how many more boys are GT versus girls. As mentioned on page 41, how they struggle with being GT in different ways. It is important for me not only to understand their emotion intensities but also their emotion intensities from a boy stand point and girl.
i shook my head when i read"gifted students typically have a broad range of interests and are intrinsically motivated to learn."on page 28. Usually my gifted students are focused on one area and they want to spend their time trying to learn more about their one interest. If this statement is true, i would like to find out how to motivate these students to expand their interests.
In response to Helen Roberts: I did the same head shaking when I read that part as well. I find that my gifted students create an internal rubric in their head of assignments, finish what is asked, and don't put much effort toward giving more than 'just enough'. Motivating to learn is not the problem in my classroom, but it is more motivating them to give more than the minimal effort required to make a particular grade. I'd like to learn how to intensify the effort rather than focusing on the grades.
I thought the same thing! In fact, in later pages, the author stated that gifted students would fixate on one subject over another. In fact, they tend to question why they need to learn other subjects. I don't understand how to rectify these two thoughts. They are counteracting each other.
On page 50, the author writes about gender differences of gifted and states that it is generally easier for males than females to grow up gifted, especially if the boy is also athletic and attractive. She states the intelligence is seen as a positive attribute in boys. She does mention that this May vary at different developmental stages. If it is a true statement, I wonder what we educators can do to help parents, peers, the community and especially the female gifted child to see her intelligence as a asset to be developed and not to hide or be ashamed of. She does mention that teachers can help by being aware of gender differences and social stigmas, particularly around adolescence,in the classroom. But, is there more that needs to be done to meet the emotional needs and intellectual development of the female gifted child?
I would like to learn more about the gender differences (p.38) with being gifted. This section was intriguing to me, and I would like to see more info and statistics regarding how the different genders deal with giftedness as they go through school.
In response to Lucy Davis, I agree with you. I wonder what the difference is between natural gender differences vs. gifted gender differences.
I would like to better understand how to help my GT students take risks with open ended tasks. P. 397 of my kindle, which is almost the last page of chapter 2, states that when GT kids don't know exactly what the teacher is asking for, they get frustrated and shut down completely. I would like to know more about how to encourage GT kids to be more flexible and take academic risks.
This has also been my experience that some Gt students have more difficulty starting open ended tasks. After reading the book, I suppose that using coaching strategies might help the child understand his behavior and may help the teacher and student find creative solutions to completing these types of tasks.
I agree with Mrs. Timmreck. How can we as educators encourage our GT students to be flexible and take risks - We offer tasks for them yet they want to do what the "other" students are doing instead of the special tasks that are we use with GT students. Reading over the above blogs, I also agree with C Tatro - I didn't think about the GT gender differences - esp with the little ones. I would love to read more about this.
I find it very interesting that on page 28 and 29 it discuss the need that these type of students have for being ALWAYS RIGHT. They refuse to challenge themselves or take any risks for fear of failing or fear of poor academic performance. I think that it is so sad that GT kiddos often choose NOT to take classes in areas that they are unsure of just merely for the fear that they will score poorly! Personality traits as explained in this chapter have me intrigued and looking for more answers.I also totally could relate to the student, Andrew...I have a nephew that is exactly like Andrew and his parents have had some real struggles with him academically due to his drive in school. My sister in law as well has tried several token economy rewards only to find they the fix is temporary. He is entering the 7th grade and continues to show all the same symptoms as Andrew.
I also agree with Helen Roberts...I too find that these type of students are focused on one area of learning and have a lot of difficulty changing topics of interests.
I would like to explore the area of "a token economy," as mentioned on page 31 (12% on my Kindle). How can you take a token system and equate that to something relevant in a child's future? Obviously this is a great system for motivation and reward for some kids, but not all. My struggle with it is how to help these kids so that they reap the intrinsic motivation so that they might function more productively in their future. I'm not just trying to help these kids get through my class, but further down their growth path. Those students that are obviously struggling to turn in their homework or assignments because they are bored, overwhelmed, etc., are likely not to benefit from a token economy. By differentiating our instruction, we can often better meet the needs of these kids academically. Once these kids are out of school, they can use their gifts and no longer have to struggle to fit the mold of the classroom. What then motivates them to pay their bills or get to work on time? Gifted kids that are not motivated by a token economy need a different system that will help carry forward with their intellectual, emotional, and social growth. They are not typically high achievers that will be motivated by good grades or reward systems. I am hoping this book further addresses this.
As I read about Emily on page 31 I realized I have never fully understood the connection of emotional outbursts to the intensity of gifted students and their personal expectations. I'd like to know more about the misunderstandings that occur in a classroom with teachers, students, and parents.
Yes! This is something we know well as educators, but the science of thought behind this connection would be interesting to learn. Understanding it more could help more educators properly embrace a gifted child's emotional intensity and find ways to redirect that sometimes difficult intensity into something productive.
I would like to explore more regarding the characteristics and emotions of giftedness. On page 21, it says "Gifted children begin to deal with difficult world problems at a very early age without the emotional maturity to process such concerns appropriately, leaving them with feelings of frustration and powerlessness." Something I have always worked hard on is getting my students to feel empowered, so this was eye opening.
Page 43, I would like to learn more about how to determine that emotional intensity is giftedness and not ADHD or some other diagnosis. It seems we are so quick to put a label on students, and I find that sad. However, I do like the idea of knowing "why."
Yes- I would like to know that too! I have often wondered if some of the ADHD behaviors we see in some kids are really just GT intensities.
In response to Anne Smalling July 13-I would like to explore whether there is a connection between students being diagnosed with ADHD and g/t students. It seems as though kids have been quickly diagnosed with ADHD or some other label and we should be exploring their giftedness.
In chapter 5 the author address the mental health issues associated with children identified as being gifted. I would like learn more about the connection between the two areas and/or the propensity of gifted children to have one or more learning disabilities. By learning how to identify children exhibiting these symptoms, we might be able to address their needs more effectively and help them control their responses to such volatile situations (pg. 28-29).
Page 32 talks about how GT students can have a rigid sense of right and wrong. I would love to know more about this! I come up against this know it all attitude at home EVERYDAY! It is so frustrating! I watch this happen with not only at home but in social settings also and his friends get tired of it and move on!
The idea I would like to explore is that gifted children are often more resilient than their gifted counterparts. This idea intrigues me and was a new perspective that I think bears observation andmore research.
I agree with Becky Stephenson who posted on July 2....we do need to convey the message to the gifted students and the high achievers that it is okay to show their intelligence.Peer pressure contributes a lot to this hidden intelligence so that he/she can be accepted.
I am most intrigued by Fonseca's consideration of how personality traits, specifically introversion and extroversion, can affect the success of a gifted student (p. 34-35). In the Notes to the Teacher section on p. 37, she mentions that "the teacher can make more informed decisions" possibly allowing a student to work alone. I would like to explore this idea more in order to reconcile it with the idea that students need to verbalize in order to internalize. I would like to explore tangible ways to differentiate but also to ensure that all students are getting what they need not just what they want.
I found the topics on Extroversion and Introversion (pg. 34-35) to be interesting and how those 2 factors make a difference in how the child engages with others. In addition, I found Meredith's case study of her extroversion insightful as well. I've seen this same problem as Meredith pointed out in her case study. "The problem is that neither her mom nor Meredith has recognized this aspect of their personalities. Meredith lacks the tools needed to appropriately read the social situation....." This is so true in a school setting as well. You have these GT students who are so extroverted but are lacking the social skills to maintain friendships. These students are just hard to enjoy all day long---they keep going and going; as the book says, "draining." Then the goal of building and maintaining friendship is "out the window" because no one can take it anymore. I know you know what I am talking about---we've all been there, either in a school setting or with our personal children's friends. Once we understand these differences and figure out the learning styles of such kids, we can make the learning environment successful on so many levels
It had never occurred to me, as was mentioned on page 41 that GT kids who are boys and GT kids who are girls respond to challenges differently, and that gender is a factor. I'd love to know more about that.
I'd love to know more it as well. Especially how to work with those student who enter the classroom and are already shut down.
I was just reading an article about women in the work force and how they don't take risks and go for promotions because they tend to view themselves as less qualified, and they tend to really personalize failures. By contrast, than their male counterparts, who oftentimes overestimate their abilities, will go for the promotion because they do not tend to personalize failure in the same way. The section about G/T girls personalizing academic failure and feeling like a "fraud" if they have to study or prepare goes right along with these findings from women in the work force.
On page 21, it was eye opening to me that "Gifted children begin to deal with difficult world problems at a very early age without the emotional maturity to process such concerns appropriately, leaving them with feelings of frustration and powerlessness". On pg. 23 it talks about how G/T children tend to shut down and become very frustrated with open-ended tasks. I would like to learn more on how I could "coach"/encourage these children to not be so uptight in these situations and enjoy the new learning along the way.
I would like to know more on how to engage a GT student depending on gender. What kind of activities interest GT boys with intrinsic or extrinsic behavior? Also, how to design lessons that will target a variety of GT personalities with emotional intensity.
As a mother to a gifted child and a young son with Down syndrome, I would definitely like to learn more about the myth that a student with special needs cannot be gifted (5%, last page of Ch. 1). I firmly believe in the value of different modes of intelligence, and giftedness occurs not only in academics, but also in art, athletics, and social interaction. I would like to learn more about how to better embrace these modes of intelligence not only for my own children, but also for my students.
I think you are right to question the assumption that a special needs child cannot be gifted. So often a "gifted" label gets put on children who do well on tests and in school (grades), but this isn't necessarily ALWAYS the best way to identify them.
I would like to explore gender and giftedness, specifically how girls and boys attitudes differ (pg. 65) about their giftedness as you they get older. I will be more observant and create a nurturing environment (pg. 66) so that when i start to recognize the g/t student become less concerned with academics and more concerned with being social or fitting in I will address the issue and explore ways to resolve the conflict by meeting with the student, parents and counselor.
I am most interested in the introvert/extrovert personality type and how that plays into a G/T student's interactions in the classroom and with peers. Additionally, the section on ADHD and identifying giftedness is of particular interest to me as a parent of an ADHD child who displays many emotional and intellectual similarities to gifted children.