Archive for category Conference

Working with Parents to Support High Ability Learners

middle-school

A version of this was posted originally posted on Ramblings of a Gifted Teacher

This week our school system is having their Annual Spring Parent Teacher Conferences. I feel this Spring Conference is just as important as our Fall Conferences are, but the parent turn out is noticeably lower than in the Fall. I was reminded over the weekend that Parent Teacher Conferences shouldn’t be the only time in which both parties work together to help improve the education of their children, particularly in middle school.

Middle School can be a tough transition for many students. In the elementary classes students are given their foundations, and middle school build on that foundation. In the middle school, students learn some independence and choice. Students can choose from sports, clubs, and after school activities that interest them.

When it comes to high ability learners, we have to be keenly aware that they are in the right classroom level that matches their ability. I found a joint statement that NAGC and NMSA (National Middle School Association) wrote in order to challenge schools, parents, and councilors to make sure they are meeting the needs of these learners.

To ensure that high ability learners are getting their needs met we have to look at creative ways to met them. Here are a couple examples of accommodations:

  • Long Distance Learning: If a high ability learner needs to take high school / college classes in middle school this is a great way to solve that.
  • On-Line Classes: If you high school or district offers online classes for high school credit. High ability learners would benefit from this.
  • Subject / Grade Acceleration: Moving a high ability learner a whole grade or just in a subject.
  • Independent Studies: Allowing a high ability learner to learn a subject on their on at their own pace is a great way to met the need to challenge students. (MOOCs are great for this since they are usually sponsored by a college.)
  • Participating in School and/or community based clubs: Science Olympiad, Quiz Bowl, Chess Clubs, Spelling and Geography Bees, Astronomy Clubs,and such: Allowing high ability learners to take part in programs listed above is a great way to met the needs of high ability learners.

All of the accommodations  listed above that would be effective and successful will only happen when parents, teachers, administrators, and councilors work together to make high ability learners challenged during school and after school. In middle school specifically, several of the accommodations listed above would work much easier the more parents and teachers talk and discuss the needs of their children.

What accommodations do we do as a school district you would like to see more of, or is there an accommodation we haven’t thought of?

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OAGC Parent Day 2015

Parent Day 2015

The OAGC Parent Day 2015 is Oct. 11. I hope that you can make it. Here is a few things about the day.

  • First is the Division meeting–ALL parents welcome!
  • Stephanie Tolan will be the bulk of the afternoon. She will keynote and then we have a Q&A with her. She has been a past Keynote speaker at NAGC.
  • Then a parent/professional panel on how to be an advocate–from classroom level on up. The panel will be comprised of a professor from OU/parent, former Gifted Coordinator, Ann Sheldon (OAGC Director) and a parent or two. Angela Grimm will moderate.
  • The day will also feature one of the authors from the new Fordham book called Failing Our Brightest Kids, a look into how the US is doing too little to educate students to achieve at high levels.
A great jam-packed day and it only costs $5!!!
Parent Day is a great opportunity to network and learn from other families–and often the educational/game vendors have set up early so you can buy from them.

 

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The Annual Ohio Association for Gifted Children

There will be no Enrichment classes on October 13th and 14th due to all three Gifted Intervention Specialists at the Annual conference. Classes will resume on Wednesday October 15.

parent day

If you are interested in coming down to the conference which is held in Columbus, Ohio, the OAGC does have a Parent Day. You can see the information about the day by clicking here. It is only $5 to attend, and it is a great way to meet other parents of gifted children. They usually have very good speakers that speak on topics that will appeal to parents. If you can make it I would highly recommend attending.

If you cannot attend the conference, you can still be connected with the following info:

  • Post/Follow conference updates #oagc2014
  • www.facebook.com/OhioAGC
  • www.twitter.com/OAGCGifted

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