This is a professional development blog for Nottingham Elementary. We'll be discussing books we have read as a group. Our discussions will be focused on gifted children.
A new thought that came into my mind from reading the Introduction and Chapter 2 was on page 17. It made me think about the culturally diverse students from this past year and how I could help transfer high- level thinking skills from a familiar to unfamiliar context for math. Quite a lot of questions that get asked on tests differ from the way the teacher presents it, yet it questions the same skills and students don't answer them correctly. That really got me to ponder.
Hi Sarah - I agree that we may need to reexamine the way we assess CDL students (and possibly all students). In the section "Sociocultural Framework" on page 12, I found the example with the Yale sophomores and the rice farmers very compelling...how can we be sure that we are measuring CDL students' underlying competencies appropriately and reliably?
I agree with Sarah. Chapter 2 on page 17 touches on culturally diverse students. I really see how I need to transfer higher level thinking with all my students and how I can better do this from familiar to unfamiliar context in all subjects. This is something I need to work on.
Right off the bat, my new idea came from page 2. I paused when I read that poverty knows no boundaries. I was reflective when I read that there are more Caucasian poor children than all minority groups combined. The statistic further states that half of all African American and Hispanics live in poverty. I am began to question to what extent are gifted children of poverty underrepresented, not only in general but district wide. This beginning of the book has started to lift blinders I had about potential gifted students I may have overlooked and/or underestimated. I think this book study is will be eye-opening.
I agree with Annie. I have found it interesting that we have so few GT students at our school, yet I have a friend who teaches in Pearland and they have up to 20 kids PER grade level that are identified as GT. Why is there such a discrepancy? As teachers, are we overlooking some of our students?
Annie and Jeanette, I wonder if schools with so many more GT students are accepting lower qualifications for GT? I noticed that we will be talking in Chap 8 about students who scored high in a nonverbal test, and they were placed in a highly verbal GT curriculum and struggled with it. Those students might not pass the qualifications in SBISD.
I agree with Annie from June 4th's comment about overlooking and or underestimating potential gifted students because we don't have many students identified as GT. Teachers and parents should nominate students for GT programs if you see potential in the students, that might lessen the gap.
I feel it is getting harder and harder to qualify in Spring Branch as gifted. We are recommending students every year and they are just not making the cut. I feel there should be a generic GT test the state of Texas uses as a whole. The qualifications shouldn't be different based on the district. If one district says the student is GT then they should be identified throughout their schooling. I had a student who was from Cy-Fair and she was GT. She had to get retested through our district and lost a whole year at Bendwood waiting for the results (she did in fact qualify). I had another student who did not qualify yet his mom did testing on her own and he qualified and had a GT IQ. Something definitely needs to be done about the way we test these students.
Melanie and Mrs. B. have both made good points regarding qualifications. The state of Texas has not mandated a standard gifted testing system. Hence, choice of tests varies across districts. Also, there are a number of different gifted tests. Some measure IQ while others ability. Some are verbal, non-verbal or both. For example, the Stanford Binet is a verbal and non-verbal test while the Naglieri is nonverbal. So, if a student moves from a Naglieri district to a Stanford Binet district they might not gain admission via retesting.
I agree with Annie while looking at page 2. I feel that we are overlooking students at our school and maybe the district. We seem to have such few students in the GT program. I really wonder how many are being overlooked.
I found table 2.1 on page 22 eye opening and interesting. It seems like everything we do in a school culture is opposite of a home/community culture. The home/community culture prefers a natural pacing while at school we have a strict schedule to keep...we can't just take however long we want to complete assignments or you end up behind.I found eye contact to be especially interesting since we teach students as a social skill-make eye contact with the person you are speaking to. I found the suggestions (pg.23) helpful to teachers-- encouraging journaling, then allowing students to read aloud from their journals.
Hi Jeanette - I agree that Table 2.1 on page 22 magnifies the sometimes polar differences between home and school cultures. It is a challenge for each teacher to learn and understand students' various cultures and then apply this information in daily planning and teaching! The second paragraph on page 21 offers resources for gaining knowledge on specific groups, and it's a lot. How could we tackle this efficiently but effectively?
I don't know what this means on page 3:His central thesis is that AA students disproportionately experience psychosocial stressors that interfere with academic achievement due to several factors that include oppositional defiant behaviors born of being involuntary minorities in America, misconceptions of ability as innate, and fear of letting down one's race.I guess I don't understand "involuntary minorities" or how that leads to oppositional defiance.
I had wondered what that meant as well. I found this: students can be classified into minority groups into autonomous, voluntary (immigrant),and involuntary (nonimmigrant) minorities. The different categories callattention to different histories of the people who make up the largercategory referred to as minorities.
Since AA came to America as slaves, they are not considered immigrants. Hence, the academic term used is involuntary minority. I understood oppositional defiant to mean an unwillingness to participate in some of societies programs, such as the gifted, because as the author has mentioned they are typically predominantly Caucasian. If there are negativie issues regarding race in a gifted AA students community, then there might be some opposition to participating in a smaller subset, such as a gifted program.
I found it unusual on page 23 that 5 students chose categories based on functional relationships to people, and just the fifth student used categories based on typology. I would never have placed the car and apt together because they are both used by people. It makes me want to do more grouping experiences in the classroom so I can see student thinking and originality.
Melanie,I agree about that pg.23 example. It is interesting on G/T students act when given the opportunity to go out of the box. I am excited to read more of this book to see other exercises that encourage this.
As I reflect on what I read in the introduction and Ch. 2, I ponder on one interesting fact. The point being that as educators we are to support the CLD students' achievements by engaging the students in higher level thinking, challenging the they are being taught and helping them expand their ranges of approaching learning. This is all wonderful sounding, but with large class sizes, classroom distractions and normal day to day responsibilities how can we as educators can make this happen?
I love the section on pages 19-21 where it talks about recognizing differences in values, beliefs and behaviors among our students. We have a diverse campus and things that we consider the norm other students and cultures might not agree with or allow their children to do. Some cultures do not believe in speaking up or contradicting what somebody else, especially an adult, says. When we are in small groups, guided reading or even whole group we are looking for that interactive conversations and some students just won't participate. We need to look for them to have other options of participating. I found it interesting how the Navajo family got offended because the teacher put up a picture of their child recognizing them and their accomplishments. The parents saw it as making their child stand out and was offended.
The idea that really stood out for me that is threaded throughout these two chapters is that what teachers believe, say and do every day in the classroom is the key to enabling the successes of CLD students. On page 15, I put a star next to the statement that purports the successful transferrance of students' cognitive competence from home to school contexts "begins with teachers ASSUMING (caps added) that their students possess high performance capability." Further on the page it is reported that while teachers self-report having high expectations for all students, cultural biases remain an issue. How do we close this gap between teachers' perceptions and reality?The power and influence that teachers have over CLD students' success must be recognized and cultivated. The examples and resources offered thus far in the text provide a good starting place for raising educators' self-awareness, improving our understanding of cultural diversity, and providing focal areas and strategies for planning and instruction - see pages 21, 22, 28.
AnonymousJuly 18, 2015 at 10:01 AMI can't say that I had stopped before to think about poverty and giftedness until I read the introduction of the book and the statement that "poverty is an overarching variable that leads to underrepresentation in gifted programs, and on page 2 where it talks about poverty knowing no boundaries and Caucasian children are more poor than all the other minorities combined even though...!." Wow! That hit me like a ton of bricks. When you stop and think of all the single parent families we have today, it makes sense, sadly. And Like Annie, I immediately thought of our student population and wondered just how many of our students may be underrepresented. I also concur with Sarah about how I could help transfer high- level thinking skills from a familiar to unfamiliar context for my two subjects, LA & SS. It definitely gets you thinking about our kids and how we can be more proactive in identifying them and helping them.
I found Chapter 2, p.17, transferring high-level thinking skills from a familiar to unfamiliar context interesting. I am referring to the example given regarding "signifying, playing the dozen and yo momma" jokes. The kids are using analogies. They are comparing two like things comically, accurately and quickly. Analogies require higher level thinking skills. To get into most reputable graduate schools, you have to take the GRE or MAT- Millers Analogy Test. While the former includes analogies, the latter is nothing but analogies. The MAT is the most the difficult to pass. When kids are playing the dozen, their answers have to be immediate and correct. Unlike MAT or GRE, these kids do not get 60 minutes or almost 4 hours to respond. Yo Momma jokes definitely show intelligence. As a matter of fact, MTV has a show call "Yo Momma." Being one of the best, is dependent on correctness, quickness and “out-of-the- box” thinking. While I would not use yo momma jokes in the classroom, I would use something from the curriculum. When teaching kids about biographies, students might play a similar game. For example, “Abraham Lincoln was so tall that…” The winner’s comparison has to be immediate, correct and out-of-the-box.
The introduction was a shocker. I really never thought of the majority of poor children are Caucasian children (p2). I think about all our students that come to our school. How many are from single family houses or children who come to school while dad or mom have lost their jobs. There is a lot of stress at home that can also spill into the classroom. I do think that Chapter 2 hits hard on higher level thinking. We need to do that no matter they are classified as gifted or not. Chapter 2 page 16 talked about urban schools and expectations. I taught at an inner-city school for 9 great years. I learned so much from the teachers, children and parents. No matter where we teach, we must have high expectations. I fall short of this sometimes. I think we all do. These 2 chapters are great reminders on what we should keep in mind.