This is a professional development blog. We'll be discussing books we read as a group. Our discussions will be focused on gifted children.
In chapter 8 there are three "Notes to Teachers". Which one "spoke" to you and why? the notes on pages 106 and 107 really struck home with me..I have to remember some kids are introverts and others are extroverts. I always will have one or 2 students who when i assign groups for science labs will come and ask me "is it okay if i work by myself"..In the future, i need to remember that they may learn best this way. But at the same time, i feel like i not allowing them to develop the skills of working cooperatively with others and sharing responsibility..I guess this year I will allow students who ask to work alone and see how this goes, i just have to remember to have extra supplies on hand for the additional groups that now form in my room
Maybe you could let them work alone every other lab so they can get both experiences.
In chapter 8, page 94 and 95 the Notes to Teachers discuss the differences between students learning (Extroversion and Introversion) and how important it is to first off know which one your GT student is. Providing various ways of learning even though you may not agree with it. Planning lessons that cover a broad range in order to teach ALL of your students and to be flexible.Keeping in mind that all GT students are overt.
I agree with Tatro on July 2nd's comment because it about knowing your students to provide that rich meaningful learning from your planning.
I agree with Tatro from July 2nd, as well. We must get to know our students so we can better meet their needs, which seems pretty obvious.. However, when you think about the extroverted GT students' needs to have social interactions, or the introverted GT students' needs to decompress alone, you realize that we must have flexible grouping and a broad range of lessons to meet the needs of all GT kids. It is these reasons that the first "notes to teacher" that dealt with introversion/extroversion spoke to me the most.
In response to Tatro, I agree it is essential to plan lessons that cover a broad range in order to teach all students, but I disagree with doing things you disagree with.
The Notes to the Teacher on pp. 94-95 spoke to me the most. We do need to get to know our students well so that we are able to better meet their needs in the classroom. So that more children are given the opportunity to have more meaningful learning in our classrooms, flexible grouping is great. I think flexible grouping is not only good for G/T children, but the regular students in the classroom as well. It does take more thought and planning on the teacher's part, but in the end, it will be well worth it. I agree that knowing our students is definitely the key to providing more meaningful learning as well as achieving a balance in the classroom.
Right now we have been busy learning each child in our classroom....it's amazing to see all the differences. I have already set some learning groups up with kids that are similar in their learning style...its so fun to watch how they interact with the same likes.
I agree with Mrs. Rincon. We are very busy learning all their personalities - there are so many differences in each and every child. So happy the district gives us the choice of flexible grouping - we all learn from each other.
I found that the "Notes to Teacher" on pg.106-107 spoke to me the most because this not only applies to gifted students, but to other students as well. Many teaching strategies I use in the classroom focuses on hands-on learning, collaborating with others in small groups or at least with a partner, yet this is the exact opposite of an introvert's approach to learning. "Knowing your students is the key to achieving a balance between the various types of learners in your classroom." In the past, I have given my students an interest inventory the first week of school so I can get to know what types of learners they are and what they like to read. I am going to take my Google Form and tweak some of my questions. For example, do you like to work be yourself? with a partner? in a small group? While I think it is important & beneficial for students to work with others I do give my students choices - you can work by yourself or with a partner. Interestingly, most of the gifted students I have had always prefer to work by themselves. In the future I am going to continue to offer choices of whether or not they choose to work with a partner, but also make sure I am not doing too many group or partner projects and assignments.
In response to JChoy, July 2nd, I like the Interest Inventory you take. To be able to start or get an idea about a student after the first day is a great way to learn about what kinds of learners you have. Also, the interests some of the students may have in common. At this point, grouping a GT student with another student with the same interests may ease anxiety of partner work.
Woohoo for you Ms. Choy! I think it is fantastic that you do an interest inventory with all of your students. I think educators work so very hard to meet the needs to our students that sometimes we forget that our students have insight as to how best they learn. Whether g/t or not, I applaud you doing an interest inventory about learning styles. Hurray for you!
jchoyJuly 2, 2014 at 1:55 PM, i like doing the interest inventory. this allows me to get to know my students and who can paired with each other and what group pairings might not work. I never thought of using the google docs form to do the survey..This would make it a lot easier.. can't wait to try it in the fall
I personally struggle with the child who wants to work alone. As a mother, I would want my child to learn to work with others cooperatively, but I also want to respect their need to sometimes work alone. As a teacher, I want my students to learn to work with others, but to be able to do whatever they need to do to enhance their learning the most. There is a steadfast rule to apply in this case. I think you really just need to know your students.
In chapter 8, Notes to the Teacher, the notes about flexible grouping really spoke to me. ( page 107). This spoke to me because as an educator, you try to maximize the most out of your time that you have with the students. A lot of times, I'm set a certain way that it becomes difficult for me to change causing missed opportunities " for meaningful experience in your classroom." It does require more creative thinking on my part, but I do believe after reading this that it will provide " growth and development for all learners."
The Notes to the Teacher about flexible grouping spoke to me because I sometimes I have a problem with this (p. 107). A GT student craves to be around other GT students to validate their thinking and feel risk-free to share their out-of-the-box ideas. These ideas can be exponentially increase in complexity by sharing it with other brilliant minds. I have seen GT "deflate" when I flexibly group the students. Shield (2002) found that "despite arguments advocating mainstreaming and heterogeneous grouping as the best option for most, if not all students, the findings of this study suggest that homogeneous classes may serve the needs of academically talented and gifted students without detrimental effects to other students served in heterogeneous classrooms."(p.115) I feel that there needs to be a good mix of homogeneous and flexible grouping. Let's support those great mind, not underachieve them. Shields, C. M. (2002). A comparison study of student attitudes and perceptions in homogeneous and heterogeneous classrooms. Roeper Review, 24(3), 115-119.
In response to A Mitch (July 3, 2014) I definitely agree that GT students benefit from being around other GT students to validate their thinking and feel risk-free to share their ideas. I think knowing your students it key to deciding whether or not homogeneous or flexible grouping will work for your class on a particular assignment or project. Sometimes my GT students would be asked to not be grouped with other GT students on projects. I honored their request because I understand they need a break from each other since GT students are always grouped in the same classrooms and go to Spiral together. One of my GT students this year told me she needed a break from another GT student because they lived on the same street, have been in the same classes since 1st grade, sit next to each other at lunch, on the bus,etc. I totally understood her needing a break from working with the other student..
I agree JChoy. You should really know your students and know your class. Great point!
In response to A Mitch 7/3. I feel very much intimidated when it comes to flexible grouping within my g/t class because I am so concerned about how that get along. I really need to explore the dynamics and management of having several flexible groups. I am concerned about the different emotional intensities and the frustration they may cause for the students.
In response to A Mitch, July 3rd, Great point! I have to agree. When a GT students is around other GT students there may be less pressure, anxiety and emotions may not be as intense.
Thank you CTatro. I feel you may be right by helping GT lower pressure and anxiety by grouping them together. I believe part of the SBISD policy is to group them together when making classes.
I would also have to say that page 107 on flexible grouping got my attention. I am on the fence with Fonseca's ideas about flexible grouping. Just like all students, each g/t student is different. I have seen some g/t students who love to help other students and others who have no patience for those who do not learn concepts quickly. We also know that being able to work in a group is almost a requirement for success in school. So, how do you make flexible grouping work for g/t students? I think you treat a g/t student just as you do other students. There are days when flexible grouping works, and days when some students need to work alone. I think you also make sure there are opportunities for g/t students work together with enrichment activities, etc. Our district PGP is a wonderful way to allow g/t students time to work together as a group each week but also provides opportunity for flexible grouping in the classroom.
Notes on pg 97 relates to me. I have had several GT students who are dually exceptional. It is a difficult task for a teacher/parent to focus on the whole child and not focus on the area the child struggles.Kudos to JChoy for the Interest Inventory - excellent idea. This would be perfect for the beginning of the school year.Placing GT students together is essential.They need to be with others that think out of the box. But we as parents and teachers need to also keep in mind that GT students might have difficulties learning.
Page 89 - Notes to the Teacher (Debriefing)This spoke most to me. Debriefing is something I value in behavior management and in the writing process. I work to make time to debrief with my students not only to support their learning, but it also grows the relationship between me and my students. I will make an effort to debrief more regularly with those struggling with emotional control. It, sadly, is what gets blown off during the day when schedules are too tight. I think it is vital to behavior management to allow time to talk with children about their choices and how they play out for their successes and/or learning opportunities.
The notes to teacher page 110, made me think of several students who have had dual diagnosis or mental health issues. It has been my experience that these students gifted ness or screening process for gifted is often put aside while other emotional, behavioral, and/or academic needs are addressed. Fonseca states that these students Need a " highly specialized educational plan" . She also states that it is "vital that we factor in gifted ness." This is something I will keep in mind as we see many young children with gifted tendencies who also have mental illness.
The notes to teacher section and the quick reference guide on pages 110- 112 spoke to me. I really like how easy the book is organized...makes for an easy read! Flexibility is key for these kiddos and the willingness to make changes that accomodate the learner not the teacher are important. Sometimes I feel like teachers forget it is about the student and not about their wonderful lesson. We are there to stretch the student and nudge them along in their learning in a way that meets that child.I really like the checklist on Unique Personailty issues as well. Extoverts and Introverts fill our classrooms every day and finding a common language and learninig style that benefits both is what we want. The sad thing is that this is a common problem among all classrooms and not all teachers take the time to help nuture the delicate situation.
In response to Mrs. Rincon: I agree that common language presented on pages 110-112 is critical to teach children that their choices (good or bad) come with consequences. Success rate in school can only increase if we take the time to teach children to calibrate their behavior and effort in learning.
The notes on page 94-95 regarding extroversion and introversion really spoke to me because I think it affects everyone, not just gifted students. Some activities still make my skin crawl during professional developments, or even grad school classes, so it was a good reminder that our students feel the same way.
Yes. This idea has been central to me throughout this book. I struggle with students not wanting to participate in group work and I try to keep it tame and engaging. This definitely extends beyond the gifted kids. I find myself in the same place in learning environments. I try to keep this in mind when designing lessons.
Response to Katie Kavanagh: Every time I do group work I'm faced with productivity being victimized by who wants to work with who, and whether group members like each other enough to even dignify each other's presence. I never considered that introversion/extroversion could be part of the issue.
The notes on page 106-107 spoke loudest to me. Balancing the experiences for extroverts and introverts is very important! I have had much more experience with introverted GT kids who prefer to work alone or only with other GT kids.
I agree with jb. These notes were beneficial. I have had more experience with extroverts than introverts. Ha!
For the dually exceptional child (pg. 109), I love that it says to consider the giftedness when addressing the other exceptionality. This is so true! If students are being pulled out of class for dyslexia or meeting in small groups for supplemental help, the emotional side of all students needs to be considered, but the GT kid needs to be focused on more closely.
I completely agree. So often our first inclination is to address the primary exceptionality that we don't take the second into great consideration. As you said, all sides of the student's needs need to be focused on more closely.
I was particularly struck by page 107 regarding flexible regrouping. I usually flex group to keep my low learner a together. Although my GT students wind up together, they aren't usually the reason that regroup. Going forward, I will make sure to group them together so that they make be in a position to exchange ideas freely. Although based on what I read earlier, I will need to make sure that expectations are clear and the parameters are set.
The Notes to the Teacher on p. 94 spoke to me. My students work in groups as a daily part of the class. I often struggle with accommodating the introverts and the extroverts. I am often urged to provide opportunity for students to verbalize so they can internalize- thus the groups. I wrote about this in an earlier blog. Fonseca stresses the importance of knowing your students in order to achieve balance. I agree with this and even still resolving this issue is an ongoing work in progress for me.
The Bullying scenario in teacher notes on pages 139-142 will be extremely beneficial. When this happens at school, and it will, the dialogue presented in the book will be the best way to handle to the situation. In addition to this note, I believe that the discussion on pages 159-165 about the middle school student not turning in his work is just as beneficial. All that being said, it takes a lot of thinking on the teachers part to get the dialogue straight—the first few times. Once this type of discussion becomes natural, many other issues can be de-escalated without even thinking about it. “ It’s just what you do” in your classroom to handle problems.
The scenario on page 150 regarding underperformance is most beneficial to me as a secondary teacher. Among other things, in a GL classroom, much of the problem can be not turning in work. When you present the scenario in a logical way to a kid, sometimes that can make a bigger impact on that kid or any other than taking a punitive tone. And if you want to avoid a GT kid's outburst, the best way to present something is logically.
This scenario was remarkably helpful to me, as well because I would argue that failure to complete the work accounts for the largest percentage of student failures in my classroom. The question becomes, "why didn't you do your work?" Allowing students a chance to reflect on this issue and find the proof behind their decision to avoid the assignment may actually enable them to pinpoint ways to make it more approachable.
As far as grade level classes, this is the biggest reason for student underperformance. Students accumulate zeros and that makes it almost impossible to pass the class, even if the student is otherwise capable. As a parent I struggle with this issue with my middle child. Often, he will make similar excuses to the children in the example. It is important to remember not to get emotional and approach the situation with a "let's fix this" attitude, rather than jumping into punishments.
The notes to the teacher on p.89 would be something I would use most in the classroom. I believe that debriefing postexplosion in the classroom is key to preventing something from happening again, and to helping the student understand the consequences for their actions. Students need to understand that their actions to have consequences. It's also nice to work together to make clear the preferred behavior and consequences. The student needs to understand what is acceptable and preferred, and the parents, teacher, and support staff can help come up with a plan to help the student move in the correct direction from the non-preferred behavior to the preferred one.
The notes to the teacher section on p.94 spoke to me as I think it will/would apply to moreof my gifted students. Dually exceptional children and gifted children with mental problems would probably comprise a smaller percentage of my gifted students.When I read this section it brought to mind a GT student I had last year who was sociallyquiet and fairly introverted. She had a close group of friends and worked willingly with all otherstudents, but was a “quiet leader” and a very deep thinker. When she would approach me aboutan idea or a concern during independent work time or small group time, she usually brought afriend along with her. It took a little longer to get to know her, but when she did speak to meI “listened actively” since I knew she was very globally aware, and her thoughts were usually of a profound/deep level. She also could be anxious about things that might surprise one if youdidn’t know her.
Notes to Teacher on pg 138 (ebook), that deals with the extrovert and introvert student. I never associated g/t students with really being introvert because the ones I have all seem to have outgoing personalities and participate in various activities. I will make sure that I am more observant to my students style (extrovert or introvert) and make sure I am providing opportunities for them both flourish in the classroom without feeling they are being forced to be someone they aren't.
The extrovert and introvert notes on 49% really spoke to me because I often assume that all students love hands-on, interactive assignments. I feel like this was the way the educational pendulum was shifting when I took my teaching courses 8-9 years ago: students struggle to sit still and absorb knowledge. The problem is, not ALL students feel that way. Some students enjoy independent activities and direct teaching/lectures. In fact, I've known a few that crave it. I suppose, like nearly everything in the classroom, differentiation is the key and it's imperative that I find ways to meet the needs of all students.
Agreed. I think there has been a focus on group-centered classroom activities in recent years. This is GREAT for some, but not all. And it is definitely important to remember that not all learning activities are BEST done in groups either.
I don't have a page # because I am reading the Kindle version. However, the section on meeting the needs of dually exceptional children (50%) spoke to me the most. As a mother of a child with ADHD, I understand that a child's strengths can often be camouflaged by a learning disability. This has happened to my son, who is extremely bright but underperforms at school. He has had teachers who "get" that he is bright & often bored, and becomes inattentive as a result of his ADHD, and I have had others who do not see his intelligence because he can often come across as lazy and unorganized. In dealing with both students in the classroom and children of our own, it is so important to address their other exceptionality in the context of their giftedness in order to truly be able to understand the unique challenges they face.
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