Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Session 1 - Question 3

Why do you think it is important to understand levels of giftedness in children? Give examples and page numbers from the book to support your opinion.

24 comments:

  1. I think it is important to understand levels of giftedness in children so that we can best meet the needs of these children based on where they are on the continuum of giftedness. Children at different levels have different educational needs. For example, a child with an IQ of 115-120 would need 3-4 repetitions to learn new material where a child of an IQ of 130-135 would only require 1-2 repetitions (chapter 3, page 35).

    Standard deviations of just 15 points would affect how accelerated a child's intellectual capacity would be to grasp a concept and roll with it. It would stand to reason then that this child's educational program would need to be differentiated from another gifted child's as much as from the child of average intelligence (chapter 3, page 35).

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  2. It is important to understand the levels of giftedness to see the whole picture of the child. I love when the father said, page 45: The biggest thing is that my focus is not on his profound giftedness as much as is it on his character. I want him to use his intelligence to do good things in his life. And the father on page 41: I was fascinated by the possibility that if Samantha had been born three weeks earlier..she wouldn't have been tested for early entrance to K, and an awareness of the official term gifted or profoundly gifted would not have been introduced into the family's vocabulary. These are examples of more calm parents.

    I need to understand the levels for both the child and the family. I need to also understand the goals of the family for that child, the goals of the child, and not just make my own goals or use those of the school's.

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  3. I feel it is extremely important in understanding the level of giftedness because just like finding the right level of book to read and comprehend we need to find the right level of instruction for each of our students---differentiated instruction!! I found it very interesting that in Chapter 3 under the section The Intelligence Continuum and Education it shares the absorption rate of content depending on your IQ level. We need to meet our students IQ needs to help them grow educationally!

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  4. It is important because as stated on page 36 some recognize gifted children only if the child “develop into a laudable, recognized high achiever, or the individual somehow has the spotlight turned on her”. Otherwise, they go unnoticed. It is also important in the teaching process since, as stated on p36 “schools are not usually set up to give them opportunities to learn at a level and pace appropriate for them but different from their classmates.” Additionally, in assessing giftedness, as stated on p 35 “a gifted cut-off score used by schools for program eligibility is confusing if it leads people to think that a child is either gifted or not gifted. There is a continuum of intellectual giftedness, and children at different points along that continuum differ considerably in their learning abilities and their educational needs.”

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  6. This book so far has prompted me to look at the gifted kids in my own classroom more closely. Where are they on the spectrum? I think we use this information to see how they are performing in the classroom. If there is an area in which he/ she is clearly superior or even able and not performing, we need to look at what we are doing and make adjustments to the teaching.

    When I look that the child who was in a low performing school, but only scoring in the 50th percentile in math, and she moved, and within months she was scoring in the 99th percentile, that tells me that we most certainly have a lot to do with the success/ achievement of our GT kids. We have a responsibilty to make sure that we match their potential/ ability to achievement. We can better do that through differentiated instruction and monitoring of their achievements.

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  7. I think it is important to understand levels of giftedness so that I can attempt to provide flexibility and creativity in classroom work and projects to challenge students whether a level 1 or a level 5.

    I found p. 70 very helpful in seeing a summary of the level one traits after having read the specific notes on each child.

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  8. “Intelligence exists on a continuum; people cannot simply be grouped as slow, average, or bright with clear and distinct lines between each group. Each person is unique.” (top of page 35)

    I think (myself included) the many of us unknowingly/unintentionally lump gifted into a single category of learner and assume that general strategies and skills learned in GT trainings apply to and will be effective with all gifted students. I recognize that the gifted share some common characteristics, but the more I learn about them and encounter them in the school setting, the more I realize they are very unique from one level to another, and that there is a real need for differentiation amongst them. However, in order differentiate effectively we have to have a strong understanding of each level of giftedness so that our differentiation decisions are intentional and appropriate rather than just different for the sake of being different.

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  9. I think it is important in order to serve children better. I teach a high level course and I want to take the students as far as they can go. If I know the extent of their abilities, I can better be able to do this.
    On p. 36, the author asks how a six year old math whiz can reveal his aptitude in a mixed ability classroom when all the other children are learning to count and do simple arithmetic. This extends to other levels as well. If I know the extent of a child's giftedness, I can ask that child questions in greater depth than the rest of the class, even if not formally on an assignment.

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  10. As I said in my first post, I did know know obout levels of giftedness, only areas of giftedness. I was curious about my "odd" newphew and called my sister-in-law. It turn out he's either a level 5 or level 5 (p.51). His last IQ score (which is definitely not the only indicator) was 156, he's in the top 99%, he does something with Bellin Blank (sp?) from the University of Ohio, takes math classes from Duke, and attends "Summer Institutes for the Gifted."
    I know my nephew is very smart, both of his parents are very smart, he goes to a good school, but is not from a metropolitan area. He lives in Melbourne, Florida. Most people that they know work in areas related to Areospace.
    I know it is imortant to serve these populations (however small) but, these kids are smarter than I am. It would be a challenge to work with them in the classroom, especially in middle school where they have fewer opportunities than high school.
    These students pose real challenges to educators and parents alike.

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  11. It is important to understand the differences between the levels of giftednesss so we can better meet the needs of our students. Though the gifted share some common characteristics, as stated in p. 53, Chapter 4, the different levels of giftedness have some variability within them and that their position on the continuum of levels can change when certain aspects of their environment change. This highlights the uniqueness of each child and the need for differentiated instruction.

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  12. It is important to understand the levels of giftedness in children so that we recognize the different qualities in our students. We must consider the spectrum in order to meet the needs of individual students. Clearly, there is a big difference between students who are known as "moderately gifted," those in the 97th and 98th percentiles, and students who are "profoundly gifted," children who have Stanford-Binet IQs that range from 195 to 230. By recognizing these differences, we can better serve our students and help them to reach their full potential. The list of

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  13. In response to lguidry, I agree that it is so important to "take students as far as they can go." It's too common that teachers have one lesson that is expected to meet the needs of all students. However, it is possible that not all students will be challenged by that lesson. Teachers should either have those students delve more deeply or have an alternative assignment. School is not for busy-work. Rather, all students should move forward at their own level.

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  14. It's important to understand the levels of giftedness in children because as educators, we need to meet these gifted children where they are and bring balance to their intelligence and the emotional stability. This is signified by the mother of Rebecca Resnick (p 43) when she speaks to the knowledge of truly understanding where her daughter lined up and how she could assist in balancing her daughter's emotional needs as well as her educational needs.

    There are constant reminders from classroom observations that give support the notion of highly gifted children stepping up to the challenging presented to them on an educational level, but becoming more isolated emotionally & socially while doing so. I know this statement may bring some criticism, but it seems that there is a history of giftedness as being such an "individual" tag versus a grouping of giftedness.

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  15. I have to agree with what most everyone else has posted, we need to not focus on the highest levels, and forget that there are four additional levels.

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  16. In response to elizabeth h, I believe that the interaction with students who are well beyond are capabilities gives both the teacher and the student the opportunity to grow. And the only way I think that can be achieved is by having a classroom environment that is maybe project based - where the teacher sets guidelines for the task, but the student is free to develop it as much as they can. This gives room for the student to learn and allows the teacher to act as a guide or mentor while also learning at the same time. I see it as equivalent to that moment in class when the student asks you something you don't know and you then respond by saying - why don't you look it up and report to us about it next time.

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  17. I think it's important to understand levels of giftedness in children because it changes the way you teach. Depending on how gifted they are, it can change how many repetions they need or how much exposure to concepts they may need. It can also help you understand what other children may need. (pg. 33-35)

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  18. In response to Elizabethh, I agree that gifted students can pose a challenge for teachers--that is why I try to do all these studies and learn as much as I can so I can service them the best way possible. It is hard to know the "right" way to educate them, especially when so much focus is on the average to low kid.

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  19. I think it is important to understand the different levels of giftedness to be able to identify the student and thereby provide the educational support they need. "The difference in ability between someone at the 99th percentile and someone at the 99.4 percentile may be as large as the difference in ability between someone at the 50th and someone at the 75th percentile." p. 32

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  20. In response to Weedin: I agree with the fact that one lesson will not meet the needs of the students. We have many resources for meeting the needs of the other spectrum of students. I would LOVE more resources, ideas, (let's face it - lesson plans)for meeting the needs of the gifted students in my classroom.

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  21. In response to many educators' postings: I agree for the need for differentiated classrooms. But all this makes me wonder if one heterogenous classroom is really the best grouping for students - gifted or otherwise? "An approach like this gives each teacher one or two of the brightest students, but it also creates the widest possible range of learners for each class and makes it difficult for teachers to address the needs of all students within a single grade level." pg. 32 "This practice also means that the gifted children are often alone; no one else in their classroom learns as quickly as they, which can often make then feel odd, different, and unsure of themselves." p. 33

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  22. In response to SWagner on February 2nd at 10:38PM. Your post makes me really think about the situation as in which classrooms we place children…we try to make well rounded classrooms for engaging all students. For many years we have been trying not to ability group, but maybe we should have a classroom just for the gifted students of all levels. I know SBISD has tried to meet their needs by the SPIRAL program, but one day may not meet them.

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  23. In response to B. Stevenson, it is so important to meet the children where they are and to bring balance to their intellectual/emotional/psychological/social development. If you know the different levels and can recognize them, you can allow for different behaviors in class. You will also have different expectations for different students and will assess them differently.
    It is very gratifying to foster a child’s acceptance during the course of the school year and see him go from being “different”, “weird”, “nerd” to an accepted, respected and well liked class leader who can fulfill responsibilities and obligations to the class group even if only for your specific class.

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  24. In response to Lisa on 2.01.11

    Yes, I agree with you that we have a responsibility to make sure we match potential and ability to achieve. It is a juggling act but we should be able to accomplish it through differentiated instruction and small group.

    In response to j cooper on 2.01.11

    I agree with you that we need to provide flexibility and creativity to challenge students. Being flexible and creative would benefit all students as well!

    In response to S Wagner...

    I remember way back when (early 80's) mixed ability classes were supposed to encourage the low kids to learn from the high. Of course now we know these gifted kids not only do not get their needs met but it is harmful to them as well. The low kids need scaffolded instruction from the teacher, not learning by osmosis from the gt!

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