Academically / Intellectually Gifted Program Winston-Salem / Forsyth County Schools Bud Harrelson, AIG Program Manager
What are some characteristics of giftedness? • Many gifted children learn to read early, with better comprehension of the nuances of language. As much as half the gifted and talented population has learned to read before entering school. • Gifted children often read widely, quickly, and intensely and have large vocabularies.
What are some characteristics of giftedness? • Gifted children commonly learn basic skills better, more quickly, and with less practice. • They are better able to construct and handle abstractions. • They often pick up and interpret nonverbal cues and can draw inferences that other children need to have spelled out for them.
What are some characteristics of giftedness? • They take less for granted, seeking the "hows" and "whys." • They can work independently at an earlier age and can concentrate for longer periods. • Their interests are both wildly eclectic and intensely focused.
What are some characteristics of giftedness? • They often have seemingly boundless energy, which sometimes leads to a misdiagnosis of hyperactivity. • They usually respond and relate well to parents, teachers, and other adults. They may prefer the company of older children and adults to that of their peers.
What are some characteristics of giftedness? • They like to learn new things, are willing to examine the unusual, and are highly inquisitive. • They tackle tasks and problems in a well-organized, goal-directed, and efficient manner.
What are some characteristics of giftedness? • They exhibit an intrinsic motivation to learn, find out, or explore and are often very persistent. "I'd rather do it myself" is a common attitude.
Who are the gifted? Children and youth with outstanding talent perform or show the potential for performing at remarkably high levels of accomplishment when compared with others of their age, experience, or environment.
Who are the gifted? These children and youth exhibit high performance capability in intellectual, creative, and/or artistic areas, possess and unusual leadership capacity, or excel in specific academic fields. They require services or activities not ordinarily provided by the schools.
Who are the gifted? Outstanding talents are present in children and youth from all cultural groups, across all economic strata, and in all areas of human endeavor. Office of Educational Research and Improvement in the US Department of Education (1993)
What is a gifted child’s development like? • Asynchronous development • More advanced mentally than others their chronological age • Disparities between their intellectual abilities (mental age) and their physical abilities (chronological age)
Giftedness as described through asynchronous development “…a greater awareness, a greater sensitivity, and a greater ability to understand and to transform perceptions into intellectual and emotional experiences.” (Roper, 1982, p. 21)
Giftedness as described through asynchronous development • “…advanced cognitive abilities and heightened intensity combine to create inner experiences and awareness that are qualitatively different from the norm.” (Columbus Group, 1991)
Giftedness as described through asynchronous development …highlights the complexity of the individual’s thought process, the intensity of sensation, emotion, and imagination, and the extraordinary awareness that results from this fusion. (Neihart, 2002)
What is a gifted child’s development like? • Feeling out of step with societal norms • Results in cognitive (academic) needs • Results in social / emotional (affective) needs
What are the theories regarding intelligence? • Entity theory (Dweck, 1975, 2000) maintains that intelligence is a fixed trait of which we each have an allotted share and that there is little we can do to change it.
What characterizes an entity paradigm of intelligence? • Important to appear smart • Need to excel over others • Seek safe, low-effort successes in order to achieve performance goals such as good grades or praise • Will only try something new if they are assured of appearing to be an expert instantly • Highly vulnerable to minor setback • Defensive
What are the theories regarding intelligence? • Incremental theory (Stipek & Mac Iver, 1989) states that, even though we differ in ability, intelligence is malleable and can be cultivated and increased through effort.
What characterizes an incremental paradigm of intelligence? • Focus on the challenge • Engagement in learning at a risk of appearing less smart • Sticking with tasks until reaching mastery • Persisent / resilience • Focus on using rather than demonstrating their new knowledge
Who perpetuates the entity paradigm? • Schools • Rarely encounter a task in school that they can not master the first time • Parents • Well meaning praise from adults on how smart the kid is instead of praising the child for hard work, trying new challenges, persistent efforts, and hardiness in the face of difficulties.
What all does this mean for my child? • Unique academic needs • Unique social needs
What does this mean academically? • A gifted child has an advanced mental age when compared to her age-mates • The curriculum and expectations of their regular grade level are not aligned with their academic potential
What model does WSFCS use to meet the academic needs of gifted students? • Acceleration • Gifted students receive daily instruction in reading and mathematics that is beyond their current grade level
WSFCS Program Description • We offer different levels of advanced instruction to meet the academic needs of students. • Academically Gifted – AG • Highly Academically Gifted - HAG
Elementary Program – AGThird through Fifth Grade • Minimally, AG students receive… • 1.5 hours of AG instruction daily • in a separate classroom • Reading and mathematics • AIG licensed teacher • Content is one or more years above grade level
Elementary Program – AGThird through Fifth Grade English / Language Arts • Strengthen their knowledge of concepts covered in the grade level curriculum with the regular education teacher • Rapid, sophisticated, abstract • More challenging reading • Sophisticated writing
Elementary Program – AGThird through Fifth Grade Schools have flexibility in program delivery • Homogeneous grouping of AG students • Resource model as described • Regular educational classroom
Elementary Program – HAGThird through Fifth Grade HAG students receive… • All-day program • Self-contained classroom • Accelerated instruction in • Reading, Math, Science, Social Studies • Generally two years above grade level • Student product expectations are much higher than their age-mates • Offered at Brunson
Middle Program – AGSixth through Eighth Grade • Continue to receive gifted instruction in language arts and math • Team approach • Match continues to be one grade level ahead, but students can choose not to be accelerated
Middle Program – HAGSixth through Eighth Grade HAG students receive… • Gifted instruction in Language Arts, Math, Social Studies, and Science • Complete two high school math courses • Complete on high school science course – Environmental Science • Self-contained classes • Electives – Spanish, Latin, French • Project Lead the Way – Engineering Magnet • Offered only at Hanes
WSFCS Program Description • Start in elementary school and continue through high school • We emphasize academic achievement and higher-level thinking and reasoning skills
WSFCS Program Description • Curriculum guidelines are pulled from the NC Standard Course of Study • Locally developed units enrich and accelerate the state curriculum • Schools have the flexibility to design services to meet students’ needs
WSFCS Program Description • To emphasize quality of work, to encourage creativity, problem solving, extensive reading, and peer interaction • To nurture students by combining academic rigor with encouragement and flexibility
Elementary Services – AGKindergarten – Second Grade • Services for students in kindergarten through second grade are provided on a consultative basis • AG resource teacher consults with regular education classroom to differentiate curriculum, process, and products
High SchoolNinth through Twelfth Grade • Honors Courses • Advanced Placement (AP) • International Baccalaureate • Early College at Forsyth Tech • Early Graduate
What does all of this mean socially? • Remember that one of the greatest needs of youth as they mature is to be accepted by their peers • We ALL want friends
What does all of this mean socially? • Perfectionism • Underachievement • Positive friendship attributes
What does all of this mean socially? • Perfectionism • Normal • Derive a very real sense of pleasure form the labors of a painstaking effort and who feel free to be less precise as the situation permits • Neurotic • Are unable to feel satisfaction because in their own eyes they never see to do things good enough to warrant that feeling
What does all of this mean socially? • Underachievement • Discrepancies between ability and achievement over a substantial period of time • Caused by • Unchallenging classroom • Peer pressure to conform – be like everyone else • Isolation from classmates • Family dynamics
What does this look like socially? • To date, most interventions to reverse underachievement have met with limited success
What does all of this mean socially? • Aggravated by being part of another minority group…ethnic minority, child of poverty, female, learning disabled, limited English proficient, gay
What does this look like socially? • Positive friendship attributes • Competition
Academically Gifted (AG) Program Group or Individual IQ/Aptitude Score is 95thpercentile The sum of Achievement and Aptitude percentile scores is 180 or more 93rd* Percentile in Aptitude or Achievement with K-2 Assessment one year or more above grade level or End of Grade at the 92nd percentile in Reading & Math Highly Academically Gifted (HAG) Program IQ/Aptitude score is 99thpercentile with minimum 95thpercentile in Achievement The sum of Achievement and Aptitude percentile scores is 195*or more 99th percentile in Aptitude or Achievement with K-2 Assessment two years or more above grade level or End of Grade at the 99th percentile in Reading & Math Procedures for Identification
AG At least one score of an 85 HAG At least one score of a 99 and one score of 94 Retest Options – Second Grade • Retests are administered at the school level • Parent(s) choose which test students will retake
Retest Options • Students are given one retest option • If additional retesting is desired, parents pursue testing at their own expense with a private psychologist • Submit – AIG-2 Form: Prior Notice of Independent Evaluation Form
Further testing – Fifth Grade • AG / HAG services for middle school • Students who have a 93rd %ile on Reading or Math 4th EOG • Tested regardless of AG status
Quarterly Testing Opportunities • New Students • Private School Students • Home Schooled Students • May test at any of our 4 quarterly testing sessions • Join the test roster by contacting their residential public school