Advanced Academics Middle School Training Nature and Needs of Gifted An Overview August 12, 2011
Nature and Needs Purpose: • Provides an overview of gifted education on the national, state, and local level. • Cognitive, social, and emotional characteristics common to individuals who are gifted are identified. • Strategies that can be used to meet the academic needs of different categories of students who are gifted.
What is gifted? • Write a definition of gifted. • Discuss your definition with one other person. • Come to a consensus on a final definition.
“There is no off position for the genius switch.” -David Letterman
Former U. S. Commissioner of Education Sidney P. Marland, Jr., in his August 1971 report to Congress, stated… Children capable of high performance include those with demonstrated achievement and/or potential ability in any of the following areas, singly or in combination: 1. general intellectual ability2. specific academic aptitude3. creative or productive thinking4. leadership ability5. visual or performing arts6. psychomotor ability
Definition of gifted • Dictionary.com • Having great special talent or ability: • the debut of a gifted artist • Having exceptionally high intelligence: • gifted children • Having or showing natural talent or aptitude: • a gifted musician; a gifted performance
Delivery Models Within Schools • How does your school serve the gifted students? Strengths/Weaknesses • HGMS • SMS • APMS • LPMS
Dr. Ruth Heckman • Referral and identification of gifted • Criteria and eligibility • Plan B • Procedural Safeguards
Concentrated interest in specific subjects • Has a long attention span in areas of interest • Learns rapidly, easily and with less repetition in specific areas • Likes or loves one or a few areas of knowledge • Spends time voluntarily beyond ordinary assignments on projects of interest to him or her • Is able to extend learning from these key areas to various situations somewhat unrelated in orientation • Is able to show broad perspective on one or more subject areas • Is able to judge own and others' relative abilities in key areas of interest • Seeks assistance of others beyond his or age peers in extending knowledge in areas of interest Common gifted characteristics
Problems vs. Promise • Read the article Gifted Learners and The Middle School, Problems or Promise. • Divide sections with group members. • Complete Problems vs. Promise chart.
Typical and Atypical Child Development of Advanced Learners The gifted person has an “atypical development throughout the lifespan in terms of awareness, perceptions, emotional responses and life experiences”. That is, the gifted person experiences life events differently to others. They have a different interpretation of life. They are always different in their perceptions and realities. Consequently, they are likely to do things differently as well. And this applies to adults as well as children. Retrieved from http://www.gifted-children.com.au/definition
But there is more to giftedness than increased cognitive ability. There is a general heightening of senses, bringing an acute awareness of touch, hearing, sight, smell and taste making these children particularly sensitive to all forms of stimuli. There is also a complex processing of information. The path from one point to another is never the straightest. All possibilities and ramifications must be considered before action can be taken. And the perfect response is sought – nothing less.
Classroom difficulties • Uneven development • Peer relations • Excessive self-criticism • Perfectionism • Avoidance of risk-taking • Impatient • Resist routine • Strong willed • Disorganized • Frustrated
Possible problems related to characteristics of advanced learners • Divide into groups based on subject area. • In your group, make a list of characteristics that seem specific to your advanced classes. • Identify as positive or negative. • Explain why it is a positive or negative.
Atypical Development http://www.megt.org/MidSchoollearners.pdf
Advanced Academics • Advanced Academics Philosophy To address equity and balance in the Highlands School System, the Advanced Academics Program firmly believes that students with high ability require differentiated learning experiences that will adequately meet their needs. These learning challenges are essential to provide the rigor needed to prepare these students for "life after school" and to enable them to reach their highest potential.
The Advanced Academics Class • Gifted • High IQ’s • Exceptionally High IQ’s • High achievers • bright or talented students • students that almost qualified for gifted • good test takers • superior memory • “driven” students
How do advanced learners cope? • Pretend not to know as much as you do. • Act like a "brain" so peers leave you alone. • Adjust language and behavior to disguise true abilities from your peers. • Avoid programs designed for gifted/talented students. • Be more active in community groups where age is no object.
Develop/excel in talent areas outside school setting. • Achieve in areas at school outside academics. • Build more relationships with adults. • Select programs and classes designed for gifted/talented students. • Make friends with other students with exceptional talents. • Accept and use abilities to help peers do better in classes.
High Achieving is Not Gifted • Traits that COULD be gifted but ARE High Achieving… • Work is turned in on time • Assignments are well developed, neat, organized • High grades • School appropriate behavior • Products surface above the typical student
“There is no way that kid is gifted.” “He may have been gifted in kindergarten, but he is obviously not gifted anymore.” “She is gifted? Then why is she failing my math class?” “If he is gifted, my dog is gifted.” “There are far better students in my class than that gifted one.” “I know a gifted child when I see one, and that is not one.”
Underachieving Gifted http://www.appliedmotivation.com/underachiever_profile.htm
Effective Teachers of Advanced Learners • Lifelong learners • Open to new experiences • Passionate about an area of knowledge • Good thinkers • Manipulate ideas
Effective Teaching Strategies • Strategies for the gifted students are appropriate for advanced learners. • Be especially aware of your gifted students and use proven strategies. • Structure your class using some of these strategies to be effective for all students.
Cluster Grouping • Appropriate provisions can be made since students are with students that are similar • Advanced academics provides: • Differentiation • More in depth work • Advance or accelerated pace • Like minded or like-thinking students
Why group? • Students should spend the majority of their school day with others of similar abilities and interests. • Cluster grouping of a small number of students within an otherwise heterogeneously grouped classroom can be considered. • Students might be offered specific group instruction across grade levels. • Students should be given experiences involving a variety of appropriate acceleration-based options. • Students should be given experiences which involve various forms of enrichment. Retrieved from http://www.gifted.uconn.edu/nrcgt/rogers.html
Outcomes Based Definition: A model of education that rejects the traditional focus on what the school provides to students, in favor of making students demonstrate that they "know and are able to do" whatever the required outcomes are. Retrieved from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Outcome-based_education
Strategies for Success • Pretesting • Enriched curriculum for all students • Flexible scheduling • Appropriate curriculum • Extension of lessons • Working with intellectual peers • Allow progression as needed • Choice
How do you use… Flexible Scheduling Pretesting Enrichment Appropriate Curriculum In depth study Progression As Needed Work with intellectual peers Choice Extension of lessons
Top 10 events That Created Gifted Education • In groups, read a section of the article The Top Ten Event Creating Gifted Education. • Summarize your section. • Report on chart paper the main ideas of the topic.
And finally… • Complete the survey on Beliefs and Attitudes • Complete evaluation • Upcoming dates: • November- Guidance and Counseling • Watch Little Man Tate or Good Will Hunting • February- Creativity