Archive for category Parents

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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Not All Gifted Children Test Well

The beginning of the  school year is always busy for me. This is the time of year many parents contact me to test their child to see if they qualify for gifted services. Many parents tell me their child is gifted, but tests don’t always show it. I always try to reassure parents that I try to create a peaceful and stress free environment. After testing and scoring, I come to the same result as the parent. The child didn’t test well. So I have to use more than just one instrument to see if a child is gifted or not.

But, how can a child who is gifted not test well? There are several ideas as to why a child doesn’t test well. Parents and teachers know some students don’t test well, but know they are smarter than the test results.

If you know a child is gifted, and isn’t a great test taker here are some ideas as to why they may not test well.

  1. Motivation. Some students have motivation and some don’t. If a student has a lack of motivation then doing well on a test is the last thing the child will do well on.
  2. Intra-Stress. Sometimes a student will not test well, because inside they are too stressed out. It doesn’t matter that the environment is peaceful and stress-free, some students will still battle their own stress.
  3. Perfectionism. Some students feel they need to be perfect in everything. This particularly comes out during timed testing. Children who suffer from perfectionism want to answer every question correctly sometimes will not test well. They get stuck on a question and can’t move on.
  4. Over-thinking. Gifted children are smart, but sometimes they overthink things. Students who overthink on tests don’t do well on multiple choice tests (which most gifted tests are). Gifted children make connections differently. When they can’t use their thinking skills to create something unique, they struggle.

 

To help children overcome these aspects teachers and parents need to help them overcome these shortfalls. When dealing with motivation or lack thereof, try to spark intrinsic motivation. Use their hobbies and passions to your advantage. Use the idea that doing well now will help them in the future to get into a college or university they are interested in going to.

To help a student who has stress issues teach them techniques that will help them center themselves. Help them to recognize when the internal stress is creeping up, and how to control it.

A student who has an issue with perfectionism needs to understand that making mistakes isn’t a big of deal they perceived it to be. To help them understand this place the student in simulations that they will make mistakes or fail. They will see and feel that they survived. This idea isn’t just with tests. This is an aspect of life. Children who suffer with perfectionism need to know at some point they will make mistakes in life. It matters how they handle the mistake and move on.

For students who  just overthink things on tests help them understand they don’t have to fish for an answer. Most multiple choice tests are straightforward. Just as in life, somethings are just that…straightforward. Once the test is over students will look back, and realize not fishing for a unique answer was the best decision.

As the school year goes on, and you begin to see some of the aspects listed above I hope that you can give these children, and parents some help.

What are some other aspects do you find in students who don’t test well.

For this post, I used the awesome resource Parenting Gifted Children by Jennifer L. Jolly, Ph.D., Donald J. Treffinger, Ph.D., Tracy Ford Inman, and Joan Franklin Smutny, Ph.D. 

Posted originally on Ramblings of A Gifted Teacher.

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Allen County Student Chess League

Are you interested in Chess? If so this is for you.

The league will meet on the third Saturdays of each month, with the exception of this month to begin:  October 22nd.  We will be meeting at the Lima Public Library in Meeting Room 2.  We are excited to be able to offer this enrichment experience for the children of Allen County and beyond.

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2016 OAGC Parent Day

Microsoft Word - OAGC Parent Day2016 Registration.docxDear Families and Educators:
I hope everyone’s school year is off to a great start! I wanted to reach out and personally invite you to our OAGC Parent Day on Sunday, October 16.  This day is always a great jam-packed day and it only costs $5!!! 

* Jonathan Plucker, professor from John Hopkins  Center for Talented Youth will present a keynote on: Success in College and Life:  A Professor’s Perspective

* We will then have fabulous breakout sessions from some of the best speakers in the field on topics including:

  • Great Books for Great Young Minds
  • Top 10 Things Gifted Parents Need To Know Before HS
  • Beyond Instant Information: Engaging Generation Z Gifted Students
  • Safe Havens: Providing Support for Stressed-Out Gifted Children

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.

Thanks for your help in promoting Parent Day. Attached is a flier to email around and also attached is a photo you can use to post on social media. You also can get these attachments online:
http://www.oagc.com/files/OAGC%20Parent%20Day2016%20Registration.6.22.16.pdf

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Science Series highlights Nobel prize winning efforts of Lima native William Fowler

Ohio State Lima, Lima City Schools and City of Lima work together to promote power of education
Lima is the hometown of one of the world’s most famous astrophysicists. William A. Fowler won the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1983 for his efforts to show how all the natural elements in the Periodic Table are forged under extreme conditions across the course of a star’s lifetime.
Stardust: The William Fowler Science Series, is planned to honor Fowler’s achievements. Stardust is a collaboration between the City of Lima, the Lima City Schools and The Ohio State University at Lima.
“It is a wonderful fact that Dr. Fowler grew up in Lima, was educated in the Lima City Schools and at the Ohio State University,” said Lima Mayor David Berger. ”And working together — OSU, the Lima City Schools and the City — we have decided to showcase that fact in order to emphasize the incredible, literally mind-blowing, opportunities created by education.”
Fowler grew up in Lima and attended Horace Mann Grade School and Lima Central High School. He went on to graduate from The Ohio State University before moving to the California Institute of Technology to continue his groundbreaking work in the new field of astrophysics. His theory of the formation of the chemical elements in the universe forms the basis of our knowledge in this field, according to the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences in the original announcement of Fowler’s Nobel Prize.
Students in the Lima City Schools have been working on concepts and projects based on Fowler’s work throughout the fall term. Their projects will be on display for the culminating public event at 7 p.m., Thur., Nov. 19, 2015, in the Martha W. Farmer Theatre for Performing Arts at The Ohio State University at Lima. Physicist and podcaster Paul Sutter will discuss how we know what we know about Fowler’s work.
“Fowler’s work is important because it puts us in the proper context of the universe. It shows how life on Earth is a part of a larger story, a grand story encompassing the entire cosmos,” Sutter said. “And it shows how we’re connected: we don’t usually think of the distant stars as having anything to do with us, but his work showed that us and those stars were born from the same things.”
Sutter is the man behind the podcast “Ask a Spaceman” and an honest-to-goodness astrophysicist who is currently a National Institute of Nuclear Physics (INFN) Postdoctoral Fellow in Theoretical Physics at the INAF Astronomical Observatory of Trieste and a visiting scholar at the Center for Cosmology and Astro-Particle Physics at The Ohio State University. The INFN is the Italian organization devoted to the study of the fundamental constituents of matter, and carries out experimental and theoretical research in the fields of subnuclear, nuclear, and astroparticle physics.
During his podcasts, Sutter likes to answer questions that bring us all closer to having complete knowledge of time and space, like What would happen if you fell into a black hole? How big is the universe? Just what the heck is a quasar, anyway?
Sutter will be working with the students prior to his visit to campus. Students at Lima Senior will interview Sutter to incorporate his experiences into career exploration projects they are developing looking at astrophysics and other sciences. Students from the South Science and Technology Magnet will interpret the scientific principles they are studying through artwork. 12-15 pieces will be on display in Reed Hall on Nov. 19.
Sutter will record two podcasts while in Lima, one at the public event and a second for a presentation to the Lima City school students at noon, Thur., Nov. 19, 2015. Students from the physics, physical science and biology classes at Lima Senior and eighth graders from the Science and Technology Magnet, West and Liberty will spend the day on campus learning how they, too, can begin to pursue careers in science, technology and the arts in Lima.

# # #
Editors’ Note: The tentative schedule for the day follows. A follow-up release with more information about the day will come out closer to the event.
10:00-11:15 a.m. Lima City middle school students tour Ohio State
11:30 a.m.-noon Lunch
11:45 a.m. Media time with Paul Sutter
noon-1 p.m. Paul Sutter presentation and podcast #1
1:15-2:30 p.m. Lima City high school students tour Ohio State
6:30 p.m. Doors open in the Martha W. Farmer Theatre for the Performing Arts
7 p.m. Paul Sutter presentation and podcast #2. Free and open to the public.

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OAGC Members can now Access NAGC Webinars

Parents I hope that you will join OAGC and take advantage of the benefits.

As a new OAGC membership benefit, all OAGC members have free access to the NAGC Webinars on Wednesdays!  To obtain the access code, simply log in to the OAGC website, click on the general membership area and the NAGC WOW access code will be posted. Use this unique code to register for the NAGC webinars. The first webinar begins on June 10th, 2015.

If you do not know your OAGC membership log in, please contact Kay Tarbutton at sktarbutton@sbcglobal.net .

Note: If you cannot watch a webinar live, you can sign up for it and watch it later when you can.

Upcoming webinars:

Wednesday, Sept. 16
Acceleration: Making Informed Decisions
Ann Lupkowski Shoplik, Administrator, Acceleration Institute, Belin-Blank Center for Gifted Education and Talent Development, University of Iowa, Iowa City, Iowa

Thursday, Sept. 24
Creative Underachievers and the Fashion of Passion
Sylvia Rimm, Director, Family Achievement Clinic, Cleveland, Ohio

Wednesday, Sept. 30
Scientifically Speaking: Best Practices For Science Education with High-Ability Children
Steve Coxon, Associate Professor and Director of Programs in Gifted Education, Maryville University, St. Louis, Missouri

Wednesday, Oct. 7
Friendship, Character, Spirituality, and Integrity: Paths to Overall Well-being
Janette Boazman, Chair, Education Department, Assistant Professor of Education, University of Dallas, Irving, Texas

Wednesday, Oct. 14
How to Start Homeschooling Your Gifted Child
Suki Wessling, Writer, San Francisco, California

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The New 2015-16 Bus Schedule

Here is the 2015-16 bus schedule for all Enrichment Students.

ENRICHMENT SCHEDULE2015 2016   Google Sheets

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PACES Next Meeting: April 7

PACES is the Parents of Allen County Exceptional Students  Parent Support Group. This group meets once a month with various topics.

To keep up with updates from PACES check out their new Facebook!

April 7th PACES Meeting: Allen County Parents of Exceptional Students Presents: David Elam and Brian Conatser David and Brian will speak on the topic of productive struggle and what it means for our children in school today.

The meeting will be at the Met at 7pm. I hope to see you there.

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Some Gifted Characteristics

giftedbook

I started reading a really great book called Designing Defensible Classroom Programs for Gifted Secondary School Learners. As I started really reading this book, I saw some charts that I think every teacher and parent should see. 

These charts have descriptors on them that describe Cognitive, Creative, and Social-Emotional Characteristics of gifted children. It also has an area on the chart that describes the type of learning environment that is best suited for that learner. 

Here are the 3 Different Gifted Characteristics charts. I hope that you can check them out and recognize which learning style is best for your students and/or your own child.

 

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Susan Winebrenner is Coming to Findlay

Susan Winnerbrenner Flyer

 

 

On Febuary 16th Susan Winebrenner will be at Glenwood Middle School. She is speaking to teachers and parents. She is the author of many books such as Teaching Gifted Kids in the Regular Classroom

Here is a printable Susan Winebrenner Flyer.

 

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