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.
In Chapter One, I found the subheading "Identifying Gift Students from Diverse Populations" on page 23 very interesting. I love how they use different assessment formats to identify students in order to find more diverse populations. The most interesting program was South Florida's T.E.A.M, Teaching Enrichment Activities for Minorities.
I agree with your interest on "Identifying Gifted Students from Diverse Populations." Its important to use diverse assessment formats to identify them because most standardized tests are culturally biased and use unfamiliar formats for the students.
@Annie and Sarah, I found it interesting that Texas was mentioned on page 24 for our use of academic portfolios.The T.E.A.M. program emphasizes retention of minorities, which is historically a challenge.
I agree with with Annie Mitchell's comment On June 3 about finding different ways of assessing gifted students from diverse populations. For the most part, their experiences have been different from the mainstream. Also, I believe special funding should be made available for these students to go on field trips. They have also not had the exposure that mainstream students have been afforded.
In chapter 1,the sub-chapter on "Perfectionism" on page 13 as insightful. I found it intriguing that "parents and teachers sometimes unwittingly contribute to the need of the students to be perfect" a lot of times. To read more carefully, to make less thoughtless mistakes, and so on. I also found that "praisng a child too much can contribute to perfectionism," interesting. We as educators encourage students for the amount of effort a student puts forth. I also enjoyed the "learning should be a struggle." Students sometimes come into the math class thinking this unit is a cinch, but once the tears come rolling down, that's when they really understand the concept.
I agree with Sarah Chu on June 3 about how the author talks about praising a child too much that can lead to perfectionism or what Alfie Kohn calls "creating praise junkies." Kohn says that sometimes when we compliment kids too often, the praise may increase kids’ dependence on us. He even further says he “more kids come to rely on our evaluations, our decisions about what’s good and bad, rather than learning to form their own judgments. “ Alfie Kohn always has good food for thought. Five Reasons to Stop Saying "Good Job!" http://www.alfiekohn.org/article/five-reasons-stop-saying-good-job/
I agree with Sarah Chu on June 3. It is very easy for me to get into the mindset that everything must be perfect. Growing up, I was always that way and continue to have perfectionism issues today as an adult. This gets me wondering if the students I teach catch on to my behaviors and in turn leads them to perfectionism behaviors!
Sara I enjoyed reading that learning should be a struggle as well. I like the part on page 13 when she discusses how teachers can support risk taking behavior by refraining from always expecting perfect work and grades from gifted students and by encouraging them to try tasks that are truly difficult." I like the quote "True intelligence is reflected in my willingness to stay with a frustrating and difficult task until mastery is achieved"
Chapter 1 was eye-opening to me because of all the characteristics discussed. The "Creative Thinkers" subheading (pg,17) and ways to nurture creative thinking is very useful. Providing opportunities for natural curiosities made me think of website http://wonderopolis.org/ which allows students to find answers to things they are wondering.
I agree with Jchoy on June 6. We should look for opportunities for creative thinkers to flourish and learn to advocate for themselves. These students, because of their unconventional ways of thinking, are sometimes seen as a nuisance by other students. If we cannot find a place for them in classroom maybe we can find safe places for them to learn and share online.
I liked the advice about Twice-Exceptional children on page 21: Twice-Exceptional children cannot improve simply by "trying harder." They must be taught specific compensation strategies. I am finding many behavior issues are a result of a bright child with an unknown learning difficulty that we need to address.
I agree with Melanie Marshall on June 18 about how many behavior issues with GT students may be contributed with an unknown learning difficulty that has not been addressed.
I agree with Melanie Marshall and her comment on June 18th. I agree that I tend to have behavior problems with GT students when they struggle with something that doesn't come naturally to them. A lot of times the student doesn't want to admit they are struggling so they act out.
I really like how they talked about GT kids learning something at a quicker pace then another student, but they don't necessarily learn everything at a higher pace or level. (example pg. 10-learned to read at a young age, but can't tie their shoes) I think a lot of times GT students are expected to get everything easily and quickly. We tend to over look them because we think they get it. I have noticed a lot of GT students excel in one area particularly, but might need a little more effort when it comes to another subject.
I enjoyed reading the section "Underachievers" on page 22. It is easy to call those who do not do their work underachievers. However, that is not true. It's not that these students are underachievers, it's that the work is not meaningful to them. I have found that when students are given work that is meaningful to themselves and their own lives, that their level of engagement increases. However, it can be hard to make all their work meaningful, but finding those opportunities where their work is meaningful is very important in their learning and success.
I agree with Rebekah Dayries and her comment on July 11th. I think that the first chapter of the book calls educators to question how they are identifying students in their classrooms. Instead of only looking at the students behavior, teachers can also self reflect on the school-related factors that can hinder a child's success.
I was surprised to learn that many GT students are perfectionists and will spend a lot of time on assignments in order to make sure they are perfect or avoid assignments all together thinking that if they can’t do it perfectly then they will not do it at all. I was very intrigued that “parents and teachers unwittingly contribute to the need of these students to be perfect at all times” (p13) When adults make a fuss over the child when they exhibit precocious behaviors. “They grow up with the mistaken perception that they are valued for what they can do rather than who they are.”
The "underachiever" statement on page 22 really caught my attention. Winebrenner mentions the well-know complaint by teachers that some gifted students do not want to do "their" work. She clarifies this by saying that students do not want to do the "teacher's" work because it is not meaningful for them. We know that teachers are compelled to teach what is required. This against students complaining they already know the material, has not solve the problem. So, I guess we should now consider or be required to determine what students know via assessment and then proceed. It seems like this would be the real win-win.
When reading this chapter, I was struck by the scenario with the student named Elizabeth under the twice exceptional sub-heading on page 18 and 19. After Winebrenner had assessed the student on her knowledge of maps, she was faced with a dilemma on to allow the student the opportunity of working on a differentiated task or using that time to assist the student in areas of weaker academics. Time is a force to reckon with in the classroom, and I appreciated the included thought that we give gifted students the opportunity to further their interests as with any other child in the classroom, instead of using that same time to try and "catch them up" in other areas. I see this really coming into play in a self contained classroom, where there is more flexibility with student work. As an educator I need to remember that all students need time to explore things that excite them, and that time is just as important as learning where abilities are lower.