Studying these children will be important for us to put information about students into perspective. While we may easily know a student is bright, we will now be given tools to see what level of needs that brightness presents. The description of Phil Burns on 149 is amazing. He charged 25 cents to let someone OUT of his homemade museum. The "exhibits" created by Phil were so interesting and detailed. If I had a Phil in my classroom, it would be very important for me to learn to gauge his level of interest in various projects, to keep his morale up. I could find educational blogs tailored to his expertise. It would be important to meet his interest in foreign languages, so I might arrange for him to spend time in a bilingual classroom, or visit with an adult or child that could share a language.Studying the children in the book will give us knowledge to refer to when the real live examples happen into our lives.
Studying these children is important because we need to recognize students' differences in order to differentiate our teaching. I am still amazed by Frank Price, the boy who could add all of the numbers 1-100 in his head...at the age of six (92)! Clearly, this student should not sit through the basic addition lessons in his class, but he should be encouraged to learn at his advanced level. Maybe real world experiences? Problem based learning? Unfortunately, "most mathematically brilliant children receive absolutely no advanced or appropriate instruction until they are in fifth or sixth grade or later" (93). I'm sure students who are gifted in other areas are also overlooked as well.
Studying these children is important so that the school districts can provide programs and resources in each and for each grade level to meet these students’ needs. If we don’t recognize this giftedness the children may revert to not performing at their level. The author states on page 127 That she believes that there are more of these (level 4) amazing students…. Some of the students will never be formally identified as gifted because there challenging behaviors in a regular classroom may work against their identification. This is why it is important to study these children so that we can note their behaviors and identify them so that they reach their full potential.
In response to Melanie on February 20th. Studying these children are really putting the levels of giftedness in perspective for me. I like your ideas on meeting the needs for Phil. Projects are great ways in allowing students to expand on their knowledge and they can really go in the direction that interests them. Giving them several products they may choose from and it will allow them a goal with their choice. I would also look into educational camps that would allow him to be with other children like him to have educational conversations. I often wonder how teachers met the needs of these students before technology.
I think it is very important for classroom teachers to be aware of all the traits and characteristics of giftedness so that we can help our students who have already been identified as GT, but to also be aware of a student who may be disruptive or have some other issue that actually results from not being recognized as gifted. I think after reading and studying this book I will be looking at students in a different manner.
Responding to Sasha Luther's comment on February 21st at 1:00 p.m., I wondered how many students I have had in class with "challenging behaviors" who were really unidentified gifted students.Sometimes we have to be an advocate for our students in certain situations and having the notes on the various students in this book will help me remember to look beyond some of the difficult behavior or "lack of advanced writing ability" (95)to see who my students really are.
In response to Melanie's comments on 2/21 at 6:40 P.M., I, too, was amazed at Phil Burns's museum described on pp.149-150. The elaborate detail of his plans and the creative use of the materials on hand amazed me. As a high school teacher I thought her list of possible enrichment activities were excellent and were things that could be done within the average school.
Okay, I read about these children with varying levels of giftedness. While I was doing the reading, I actually drew a timeline and wrote where some of the children that interested me were developmentally over time. Level two (pages 96-99), level three (pages 123-126), and level 4 (pages 158-161).I liked some of these kids. I know that everything now is data driven, but I have a problem looking at people as data. I know it isn't really "people," but I just do not feel good about myself. I guess, I don't like to rate or judge,...
Studying these children is important in order to differentiate instruction for each child’s individual needs. As referenced by the author on page 124, the teacher needs to be aware of the student’s skills and capabilities in order to provide appropriate reading materials, vocabulary/spelling words, math concepts etc. It might also persuade the teacher to allow the student to work on alternate assignments, instead of what the rest of the class is doing.
I think it is important to study these levels of giftedness because in Chapter 5 it said we only really test to level 2, but there are several differences between levels 2, 3, 4, etc...meaning there is quite a spectrum and differences among levels of giftedness and each level requires different things. The more you know and understand them, the better we can become at educating them.
In response to Weedin: I absolutely agree with your comment about differntiated instruction, especially for the child that can do that kind of math in his head!
Studying the children at different developmental levels is important for a number of reasons. One, we can see what to look for when trying to identify the children and meet their needs. It is also important to look at the trends in their development. Where did they start to need more support? When did the school system start to fail them or meet their needs. What worked to keep the kids motivated and exploring/ learning? In addition, building our knowledge about these children can help us communicate with the parents of these children to educate them about their children and help them to advocate for them. Finally, who are the kids in our classroom now or in the past who are like them? This is especially important if you teach elementary school since this really only addresses younger children and their behaviors. It can be used to assess and syntehsize the information being read. One again Jane, I notice that your comments made me think about the kids in my class who have had behavior problems. I have wondred on a few occassions about a child who has really good thinking skills, but struggles academically. Some of these kids do not make it far in our screening process, but have certainly made me think twice about our gifted program. Is it really meeting the needs of all of our gifted children? In those cases, it is our responsibility as the teacher to reach out and offer choice and opportunity for those childrene to discover their true gifts.
Weeden- I too was amazed by the first grader who was able to add allt eh numbers from 1- 100 in his head. The logic process was quite remarkable. 99+1+100, 2+98=100, so teh sum is greater than 200 and so on. Seriously, what a brain for a such a young age. We do have to provide challenging opportunites for learning in our classrooms. I once taught in a district where we enriched, not extended. I can see a need for both. By enriching the curriculum, we give children the opportunity to think and reflect. I think that helps all learners, but especially GT learners who don't always stop and do the reflection that helps them grow as learners.
Recognizing and studying the children's intellectual differences will matter significantly in determining how to best address their needs.
It is amazing to read these stories of gifted children and like the others, I cannot help but marvel at their different logical processes. As a parent, it is encouraging to note that there is a greater push for differentiated learning. Though there may not be a fully developed program at this time to cater to these varying needs, recognition of this need is a step in the right direction.
First, I would just like to state that prior to reading this book I had not realized how unlikely it is that I will ever encounter a child identified Level 2-5 gifted in my classroom. This causes me to rethink/second guess all the time I have spent learning about this population. Also, I get the impression that most identification takes place during the elementary years unless the student is a newcomer. A quote on page 127 gave me reason to continue learning how to best serve the gifted. “…since some of the students will ever be formally identifies as gifted because their challenging behaviors in a regular classroom may work against their identification.” Although I may not ever have an identified Level 2-5 gifted child in my classroom, I or a fellow teacher may have an unidentified one. Knowledge and understanding of the characteristics of the levels of gifted will help the teacher overcome/see past challenging behaviors and meet the student’s social, emotional, and intellectual needs. Also, this knowledge could help teachers communicate more effectively with parents and help with student identification.Page 128 “Schools that draw from impoverished, disadvantaged, or low educational background parents and very rural, isolated schools do not often sustain students who are at Level Four; the parents of such children usually seek other schooling options.” Wondering how many Level 4 students drop out and/or end up incarcerated rather than attending home school, charter school, or private school.Related links:http://school.familyeducation.com/gifted-education/criminology/40932.htmlhttp://www.gifted.uconn.edu/nrcgt/renzpark.html
Studying them is important because one needs to realize how to recognize gifted students and one needs to understand that gifted does not necessarily show across the board. As stated on page 95 - writing is a common problem area. Also, we need to continue to expand and differentiate our instruction in order to meet the needs of gifted children. As stated on page 98 - because instruction is typically aimed at average level students, many level two achieve less than they are capable of. Or on page 93 - their achievement scores are substantially lower in subjects that they must be taught in school - time in school appears to be far less helpful than one would expect. I find these statements disturbing and disappointing.
I think that Lguidry brings up a good point. If we do not have separate GT sections, then being prepared with different, or additional more advanced coursework or assignments is a good way of keeping the student engaged at their level. This is better than having them wait while the rest of the class catches up or while they lose interest (and then become a classroom behavioral problem).
Re: Sasha Luther Interesting question regarding technology. Have found that integrating technology makes differentiation significantly more manageable and visibly equal...at least at the high school level.
Studying these children can keep us from using practices in the classroom that will actively turn them away from learning instead of helping them accomplish more. Over and over again the author warned against needless repetition in math (such as on p. 92. She also talked about how one student didn't read word for word but would paraphrase (p. 118). On the blog for the first question many people were commenting about what causes the discrepancy with writing. By being able to recognize that this may be a product of giftedness instead of disability, we can provide the type of instruction best suited for the student.
In response to Lisa - I love the idea of extending AND enriching. I would love to attend sessions that could give ideas/share ideas to accomplish that in my classroom. The hardest part for me is finding the time necessary to plan for all the levels in my classroom.
In response to Jane Cooper - I agree, it makes me take another look at some of my students and think about the behaviors I'm seeing. This book also reminded me that just because they are gifted doesn't mean they are going to be fantastic at everything they do - they will have their strengths and weakness like all students.
I agree with Jane Cooper. We need to be on the lookout for students who may be disruptive, but are not recognized as being gifted. These students might act out because they are bored or frustrated, but really, they need to be allowed to move forward at their own pace.
In response to S Wagner’s observation about the writing discrepancy, I too think that may be a product of the giftedness: the mind moving faster than the eye-hand coordination will allow the thoughts to come out onto the paper rather than a learning disability. (I personally think that the LD label is overused.) Not all development in one person happens at the same rate, and the thinking brain of these children can certainly develop faster that the musculature, nervous system (think fine motor skills), etc.
Response to Sasha Luther who wrote: I would also look into educational camps that would allow him to be with other children like him to have educational conversations. I often wonder how teachers met the needs of these students before technology.It reminds me of the camps offered by the Houston Museum of Natural Science, and the Health Museum, and of the many bright, creative adults offering private and orginal camps around Houston. Houston is a great place to be for GT kids with motivated adults to help.The technology part is a great comment. I recently watched how solar powered small computers are brought to the children in Africa and India. What a boon to their existence!
response to Jane Cooper: I'm wondering if it is more or less difficult to identify very gifted at high school levels than primary grades?2nd grade just took (yesterday) the Nagleari (spelling?) which measures one type of intelligence. I'm looking forward to the results! We usually find some students that have been hiding.
A good reason to learn about Level 2-4 gifted children is due to the basic insights, characteristics and behaviors they exhibit. If we can learn what basic things to look for than we can begin to train our minds of where to start, particularly at Level 2, where they may be more common in private schools and school districts of educated families (page 73) we can build a foundation. This is also good to study because once we have a framework to start with, we can build lessons that are challenging for a larger group of gifted children. Since this group can be extremely varied, building activities/lessons based on this group can be more on target for meeting the needs of gifted children.
Sasha Luther makes a good point that these students are at that line where they may not be identified correctly, if at all. It's sad to think that a child with such potential could be ignored services simply due to the fact that we, as educators, are unable to notice basic characteristics of these levels of gifted kids.