My "Ah-ha" moments were understanding how different the Level 5 children are from Levels 2-4. Page 164: For persons at this level of intelligence, the added factors of personality, opportunity, interests, motivation,and other environmental enhancements make the difference between those who are simply highly intelligent and those who become the true geniuses--those who will become eminent.This states there is a personality component in addition to intellect. I also worried about the lack of federal mandate in the US (page 165) and how states vary considerably. I have never thought that parents of highly gifted children ought to persue education in certain states over others. Which states are most careful in handling of these children?Some of the children astounded me, such as Jon (page 167) who knew the "black side" of state magnets in any orientation! Jon also used the term redundant correctly before he was 2 yrs old. (168) Jon also on page 180, taught himself to transpose music at age 4. I would like to observe Jon.
I can't find the comment that I thought I posted. Here's the abridged version:I was having trouble with the kids used for examples with research for this book. When the author said that between 4 and 10 of every one-million peiple would fall into level five, I didn't think there would be enough people to give an accurate portrayal of these students. In order to find a representative sample of these children, I had to include a broader age span and a broader geographical range" (164), seven kids in this book.I was glad to see the in information from this book "could make schools friendlier and more effective for children in all intellectual levels" (p. 197).While the author was referring to gifted children, it think all children should be given a reason why they are doing something. In order to get a quality product or anything else, all people will do a better job if it is meaninigful. "Once they feel comfortable and secure and understand the reasons for things, they are happy to cooperate" (p. 200). This is kind of universal to me personally.
Like Melanie, I too am concerned about the lack of federal mandate for these students. There are many laws to protect and ensure that students at the other end of the bell curve receive services, but what about these students? I have been approached with questions about special education services for highly gifted students before, and I could not answer them. I still don't know how to ensure that these students receive the services they need to meet their potential.
I didn’t have too many a-ha’s in this section however I did find it interesting when the author writes about the negative effects of the same pace for everyone (page 240) It describes the levels and how many repetitions it will take for a student on that level to understand the material being taught. A level 3 child could easily complete the entire elementary school curriculum in less than two years!! I may not 100% agree with schools allowing faster paced children to move to higher grade levels for a few of their classes due to their maturity level, but we can’t bore them to death! This just made me once again realize how important it is to have rigor in our curriculum so that we can give our students multiple and meaningful and deeper experiences within the curriculum.
I agree with both Melaine and Elizabeth regarding the lack of federal mandates for the gifted. With my 13 years in education I have noticed that due to the lack of mandates school districts have implemented and reevaluated programs to meet the needs of their students. I feel that as a system we work hard on mandating accommodations to have students become successful, but why no mandates to continue the success???
Lisa M says...I cannot figure out this blog sign in . Every time I try, I have to start over. I just spent 25 minutes typing my first entry and I couldn't log in, so I will now post anonymously. So frustrated!
Lisa M says>>>I completely agree with Elizabeth H who commented that all students should feel this way in our classrooms. If not, we are not doing it correctly."Once they feel comfortable and secure and understand the reasons for things, they are happy to cooperate" (p. 200)."
Lisa M says...My aha moment is that we are doing things correctly in SBISD. "When higher ability students can easily deal with higher grade- level instruction, simply piling on more lower level work, is not an approporate accomodation." p.240. As we continue to stress differentiation, I see it working. These kids especially, the high needs kdis on both ends of the IQ spectrum, are able to get accomodations especially in Language arts. Through the CCP writing and the reading responses with balanced literacy, it is possible to meet individually with these students to tailor make their curriculum. In CCP, students study writing of published authors and learn from the authorities in various genres. Students notice the qualities of a good piece of writing and apply it to their own writing. With reading responses, students write about their writing and teachers respond back to students and have a conversation with the child about his writing. This gives teachers a chance to individually conference with students about what they notice in the reading. Math is a bit harder, but in our school, there is a first grade child that I know of who is working in a third grade classroom for Math and Language arts because that's where his needs are. So in this case, we have the flexibility to meet his needs in that way. I disagree with Ruh, when she says that teachers teach to the lower 1/3 of the class. At my school, I think we teach to the upper 1/3 of the students and differentiate to meet the needs of individuals. There are definitely some who could go ahead, but I believe in extending the curriculum to get students to think critically about the math they are doing as well. I do see her point making sure that we do not stifle those who are truly ready to move on to the higher math. I am open to looking for that more after reading this.
Responding to Elizabeth and Sasha: I know I will be on the look-out for newspaper, magazine, and online articles dealing with possible future federal mandates for gt.
My “aha moment” came on p. 228 when the author states that research suggests that as intelligence increases, so does androgyny. This had not occurred to me before, but in retrospect, in can think of several of my students for which this would be true. It also brings to mind the old science fiction movies in which the super-intelligent beings seem to have both feminine and masculine characteristics.Another “aha” came on p. 232 when the author describes the effect that NCLB has had on education: those children in the lower one-third of the class set the pace of learning. I teach only high school and a very specific course of study (chemistry) and almost exclusively PreAP/GT/AP kids and had not realized or thought about this happening in grade school.
On p. 216 where Asynchrony of Development is discussed,the book states, "Asynchrony of development describes the misalingment of intellectual concerns and abailities with maturity-thus, a gifted child is academically or mentally older than he or she is physically, emotionally or experientially." At the bottom of page 216 and continuing on page 217 it describes an incident with Rick Arnesen where he showed worry that he and his brother were not old enough to be flying alone. Rick's comment was "Chuck, we simply won't tell them." Later that week he showed his emotional age when he didn't want to leave an amusement park and fell to the ground kicking and screaming, much to his grandfather's embarrassment.I find it very interesting that this happens. Teachers tend to think of their gifted students as being as emotionally mature as they are intellectually mature.
I agree with Melanie's post on 3/17 at 8:34 A.M. and Elizabeth H's post on 3/19 at 9:09 A.M. in that it surprises me that there is a lack of federal mandates. I'm sure the public schools don't want more federal mandates, but I hate to see our most gifted students overlooked. It seems to me that in a small district where the school buildings were closer together the student being allowed to take different subjects with a variety of grade levels might be more practical. I'm thinking to myself---how would we get these students from an elementary school to a middle school? How would the schedules work, etc? Some of the practical matters might make this a little more challenging. Within an elementary school I could see this happening easily.
I have a question regarding Anonymous/Lisa M's post on 3/21 at 7:21 P.M. What does CCP mean? I'm a high school English teacher and I'm not familiar with that.
Some of my aha moments from chapters 8-10:On page 165 I was surprised that there isn't a federal mandate to provide services for gifted children and that it is left up to the districts. I wonder how budget cuts could affect gifted education.Pages 167-168 about Jon Crockett...his story was amazing to me. Especially his verbal ability by the time he was two!I thought it was interesting in chapter 9 how some kids are stubborn and independent, while others are calm and mellow. Wouldn't this be more a personality than a test of giftedness?I also thought all of chapter 10 was interesting.
In response to Melanie: I agree with the never having thought what state to educate your child in based on giftedness...
My a-ha moment was with reference to the author’s comment on page 175 following the recounting of how one of the children answered what seemed to be a very simple question. The child evaluated the situation on a completely different level, thereby providing an answer that was correct, but that the questioner did not expect. Highly intelligent children will analyze differently and may therefore answer more creatively than teachers or parents expect. As the author notes, this brings up the issue of multiple choice tests, or even testing in general. As a result, “in some instances, it helps to instruct such children to give the most direct answer.”
My a-ha moment jumps off of EVessali's comment. Level Five children "will not always answer questions on multiple choice tests the way the test designers have in mind" (175). While I understand that "it helps to instruct such children to give the most direct answer," this is just another reason that I don't like multiple choice tests. I feel that there are such better ways to assess a student's learning.
AHA moment was on page 235: “…differentiated instruction3 at the classroom level, such adjustments only work best for Level One and sometimes Level Two gifted children.” This statement caused me to feel simultaneously inadequate and afraid for Levels 3-5 students. I am not for certain, but I don’t think I have ever read this in any books on differentiation and it seems that this is invaluable information. This is one more reason supporting the need for intentional/individualized instructional decision making for the gifted.
My aha momement is really a reminder not to jump to conclusions, but to ask a student to explain their thinking. Like Ross in Chapter 8 (pg. 181) choosing not to wear snowpants to "make a pattern" or Jon (pg. 175) circling tables for things that go because, "Well, it could be on a boat, so I'll say, 'Yes'!" show answers and behaviors could be easily misinterpreted, so it is important to talk to the child to understand their reasoning.
In response to Melanie, your comment reminded me of another aha moment: I wonder how many profoundly gifted children never achieve that potential simply because one important factor was missing. It underscores our importance as teachers and how we might be the only one to provide that factor and truly help them reach their full potential.
In response to Iguidry, I also found the information on androgyny interesting and surprising. I wonder at what age levels that becomes apparent (young children often aren't concerned with what is right for a boy or girl until they start some form of schooling and peer pressure comes into play). I also wonder if it is more prevalent than realized because the child has learned what is "appropriate" for a girl or boy and might not have the self confidence to voice the way they really feel.
On page 200 it describes behviors that are exhibited within GT children beginning in infancy & toddler age. This becomes extraordinary to me, not just because I saw some of these behaviors with my daughter (therefore I don't feel crazy), but it illustrates the complexity, yet simple observations that one can pay attention to along the way. It made me look at my children and other children in a whole new light. Simply paying attention to the slightest of things can provide insight into what we present to GT children. Is it really that simple? (I know the answer is no on a larger level, but there is a sense of simplisticness to it...)
P Venegas:I had an A-ha moment as I read on p. 164, “What we see here is likely the upper end of human intellectual capability. For persons at this level of intelligence, the added factors of personality, opportunity, interests, motivation, and other environmental enhancements make the difference between those are simply highly intelligent and those who become the true geniuses – those who will become eminent”. Though the gifted have the natural ability to excel, one’s intrinsic motivation coupled with the opportunities provided and/or that we make available, can make a huge difference in optimizing one’s potential. Another A-ha moment for me was in p.200, “Gifted children are more likely than other children to question why they must do something. Once they feel comfortable and secure and understand the reasons for things, most are happy to cooperate”. Knowing that gifted kids process things differently, things truly have to make sense to them and they need to know that there is a “higher meaning or purpose” to what they are being asked to do instead of it being a mere task. A statement that I found quite amusing, though not necessarily an A-ha moment, was in p. 223. “Highly intelligent children and adults seem to know that strategy and effectively taking advantage of the rules is a big part of what makes competition challenging and fun.”
P Venegas:I agree with Elizabeth H’s statement dated March 17 (7:27pm) about doing a better job if it is meaningful. Whether as children or adults, the things that we do need to have a meaning for us to put effort into it otherwise you end up with a job that’s half-baked at best.
P Venegas:As a parent myself, I concur with B Stevenson’s comment that having the knowledge of the behaviors exhibited by GT children is amazing. Whether or not my kids may be gifted or not, the discussions on differentiated learning have truly been encouraging and insightful.
Melanie may not think that parents should pursue certain states over others in finding resources for gifted children, but is it all that different from parents moving into certain areas within specific school districts so that parents will guarantee a good education for their children (gifted or not). I have seen parents do whatever it takes to get their children into certain schools within SBISD (nothing illegal), including working with a pay cut, so that their children can attend a SBISD school. So I MUST believe that if gifted resources are not mandated to be offered in every state AND at a high level of standard, than I can believe a family moving from state to state, just to meet the needs of their HIGH level gifted child. It's a sacrifice, but may be well worth it.