Learning Quests for Gifted Students

Here is a link to the books I have written for teachers to use within their regular classrooms, to help broaden inquiry learning topics for their gifted students. See them at the Essential Resources website, or at your local teacher resource centre.

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  Each book (9 in total) has between six and twelve units that address specific aspects of giftedness or topics that interest gifted students. The Teacher Notes page addresses some of the issues gifted students encounter in the classroom, and give you ideas on how to deal with them.

Questioning … the art of encouraging thinking

Often teachers feel overwhelmed at the thought of trying to meet the needs of all the different students in their classroom. They think they have to have 26 different plans – one for each child in the class. I don’t think even our super-human teachers could carry that on for too long.

The ministry wants us to personalise the learning for each of the students. Continue reading “Questioning … the art of encouraging thinking”

One step at a time

There is no way you will be able to meet the needs of all new students in your classroom in the first few weeks of school. But, what you can do, to gain the confidence of the gifted child and their caregivers, is to be open to ‘listening’ to their experiences of school, and hopes and desires for their child. After all, schools see these children for sometimes the most stressful six hours of their day, but parents and siblings live with them for the remaining 18 hours. Continue reading “One step at a time”

Feelings and Emotional Intensity

Gifted children often need help in learning how to handle their feelings. If they have high levels of emotional intelligence they may have difficulty managing the intensity and complexity of their feelings.

Lisa Rivero wrote a really great post on her blog “Everyday Intensity” that helps us to understand the emotional intensity surrounding some gifted children. Read it now … and especially through to the end where she quotes Sidney M. Moon, professor of Gifted Education and director of the Gifted Education Resource Institute at Purdue University. Moon describes emotional intelligence as the “set of skills involved in perceiving, understanding, and regulating emotions” and explains that having both low and high levels of emotional intelligence can pose challenges.

Just a short post today … please read Lisa’s short and compelling blogpost on “Everyday Intensity”

Life at the Edge

Many gifted students live life right at the edge – pushing the limits in all directions. This is the type of personality that pushes through to achieve great things, but sometimes also experiences great resistance.

If you are the out-going, talkative, questioning, and creatively-productive type, your effervescence will probably alienate you as a demanding individual. If you are the serious thinker, poor writer, and deeply absorbed type, you could possibly be considered disinterested or distant (or even lazy!) Continue reading “Life at the Edge”

Many, varied and unique …

How well do you cope with changing circumstances? If you find it hard – if you like a comfortable routine with all things in their place, and everything defined just so – then teaching the gifted could be a challenge. Sally Reis described them as “Many, varied, and unique”, and fitting into a regular square box is not one of their fortes.

With each gifted child comes a challenge and a sense of wonder as to how they think. Take this challenge as a chance to get to know them better. Be open towards them and you may be privileged enough to build a real connection with them. Listen to the heart of the parent, behind the concern for how their child is coping at school. They have already lived a ‘lifetime’ with these children before they even start school.

There isn’t much more that one can say, except – give them a chance to show you their world, before you label them according to your own view of the world.

Kicked while they are down!

For a parent watching a young gifted child come home each day, after their first term at school, unhappy, uninterested, lacking the vitality they had in their pre-school years, is a devastating blow. Then, it is often made worse, when they try to air their concerns with the school. How many times have we heard from parents of some of these children – the school just didn’t want to know – usually, expecting them to be content with “He’ll settle into school eventually” … “Give him time” … “You worry about him too much” … “His behaviour problems need to be dealt with first!!!!” (And I have used the ‘male’ pronouns here on purpose). Continue reading “Kicked while they are down!”

Just when you think you know …

Have you ever been caught off guard? You know, the times when you think you have finally nailed a good response for your child, to encourage a more harmonious atmosphere, and they catch you out – yet again!

Don’t be surprised – and don’t be too hard on yourself either. We react – it’s an inbuilt life-sustaining function to react, especially when we are threatened. We shouldn’t try for a lack of reaction, we should aim for a positive reaction, no matter what the circumstances. Continue reading “Just when you think you know …”