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Presentation on theme: "ELEMENTARY GIFTED STUDENT HANDBOOK"— Presentation transcript:

2/2/2012 ELEMENTARY GIFTED STUDENT HANDBOOK Gifted and Advanced Student Services 1

2 TABLE OF CONTENTS Definition Characteristics
2/2/2012 TABLE OF CONTENTS Definition Characteristics Asynchronous Development Overexcitabilities Perfectionism Underachievement Teasing & Bullying ALP (Advanced Learning Plan) Advocacy Programming 1

3 2/2/2012 DEFINITION You can be identified as gifted in a number of different ways. Identification is based on test scores, teacher observations, and performance like a book of poems you’ve written or first place in an art competition. Identification in any of the following areas tells you, your parents and teachers that you have what it takes to do very well in school. Whether you do is up to you. INTELLECTUAL ABILITY/ACADEMIC APTITUDE This is most often measured with a pencil and paper test or on a computer like MAP and Colorado Measures of Academic Success (CMAS). These tests measure how well you are doing in school. Other tests, like the Cognitive Abilities Test (CogAT), predict how well you could do in school. Your scores may be different for math and language arts because not all gifted students are good at everything. Many gifted students do, however, often score at least two years beyond what kids their age normally do.   CREATIVE/PRODUCTIVE/DIVERGENT THINKING This is not measured by the normal tests you take in school. Tests of creativity often look at your ability to think of lots of original, detailed ideas. Examples of creative work or observations of your problem solving abilities help to identify you as creatively gifted. LEADERSHIP ABILITIES There are certain characteristics of people who are leaders. If you are a student who is responsible, communicates well with others, can organize things and people and cooperates well with others, more so that most of your classmates, you might be identified as having leadership potential. This is done through checklists of characteristics, interviews and looking at the leadership roles you have had in school such as student council, club president or volunteer and service work. VISUAL / PERFORMING ARTS Students identified as gifted in the arts have advanced skills in creating unique products or performances in visual arts, music or drama. These are often evaluated by specials teachers using rubrics that measure advanced skills. To be identified as gifted in any of the areas above, lots of information is collected like test scores, behavior checklists, and portfolios of work that show advanced abilities. Sometimes your scores are not quite high enough. But don’t worry, with hard work over time, many scores improve. When they do, you can ask to be considered for identification again. 1

2/2/2012 CHARACTERISTICS Do you sometimes feel very different from your classmates? If you do, that’s okay. Gifted students can have a variety of characteristics and issues that present challenges. That’s not good or bad, just different. Your parents, teachers and school gifted coordinator are there to help you work through any questions you might have about those differences. Sometimes gifted students experience issues that are challenging for them, and require extra help to understand. Click into any of the words for more information on these topics. Some are: Asynchronous development (You are advanced in reading, but still at grade level when it comes to sports.) Overexcitabilities (You may have strong emotions or be very sensitive to things that touch your skin or sounds that interfere with your thinking or ability to get things done. Perfectionism (Thinking that what you do and create should be perfect can lead some people to never start or finish a task or never try to do anything new because they might not do it well.) Underachievement (A student is not working and succeeding at the level of his or her ability.) Teasing & Bullying (Sometimes gifted students are teased and bullied by others.) I am gifted Watch this video to see if you recognize any of these characteristics in you. MORE CHARACTERISTICS OF GIFTED Does this sound like you? Know a lot about a lot of things Curious Can’t learn enough about an area of interest Get lost in your thoughts and may forget what your are supposed to be doing Like a challenge Usually like to hang out with older friends Have a good sense of humor 1

2/2/2012 ADVANCED LEARNING PLANS (ALP) School won’t be cool unless you do your part to make it that way. Galbraith As a student you must learn to advocate (support, promote, campaign, fight) for yourself. To learn more about how to advocate click HERE. The Advanced Learning Plan (ALP) is a record of your school and personal goals for the year. Your teacher and parents will help you set goals that challenge you to grow in your area of giftedness throughout the year. You can also work with your teacher to set goals that include your interests and goals that help you: deal with a gifted characteristic that is difficult for you, improve upon a characteristic such as leadership qualities, or plan for your future in college or a career. The ALP helps your teachers from one year to the next communicate with one another and keep giving you opportunities to work at your own level and speed. SMART Goal Examples: I will improve my reading comprehension skills by participating in the advanced reading group, reading above grade level books, participating in group discussions and scoring 95% or higher on the unit tests. I will get my assignments in on time by wearing headphones during work time so I am not distracted by outside noise. I will make a weekly graph that shows how many assignments I turn in on time each day until I reach 100%. GOALS SHOULD BE SMART Setting Goals 1

2/2/2012 PROGRAMMING There are a lot of different ways teachers provide advanced learning opportunities for their students. Some options depend on the school you attend and the grade your are in. Check out the list below for examples of the types of activities that can accelerate, extend and enrich your learning. ELEMENTARY Working on advanced work in place of regular classwork. This might be as big as an independent study project or just a different practice sheet that requires you to think harder and use more advanced resources. Accelerate for a particular subject. This could be an advanced reading or math group within your regular classroom or you might go to another grade level for that subject. Work with tutors or mentors on an advanced topic. This might be arranged with the help or your parents. After school you could work with an expert in a topic of interest to you for a project or get tutoring on advanced skills that your teachers at school are unable to teach. Competitions and clubs such as Destination Imagination, Robotics and chess club are enrichment activities that extend your thinking skills outside of the classroom. 1 Some of the options above may not be available at all Adams 12 schools.

2/2/2012 to Characteristics ASYNCHRONOUS DEVELOPMENT It can be very frustrating to be able to read two grade levels above your classmates but not be able to play sports or watch the same movies as your above grade level classmates. This is what we call asynchronous development—when what you can do in your area of giftedness is way beyond your social, emotional or physical development. You might be gifted in language arts, but still need to work at grade level in math and science. This kind of uneven development calls for some strategies to help you, your parents and teachers better understand and deal with the situation. Don’t be surprised if sometimes you need to talk with a counselor about how to keep the gift of being gifted in balance. TIPS FOR BALANCING ASYNCHRONOUS DEVELOPMENT You might have to remind yourself and others that you are still a kid first and gifted second. Just because you can work at an advanced level, and like to work with students and adults older than yourself doesn’t mean you are an adult. Understand that you may have different needs from your classmates on or above grade level. Don’t be afraid or ashamed to ask an adult for some help. Remind your parents and teachers that you need time to be with other gifted kids. You might even want some time to speak with adults who are experts in a topic you are interested in. Don’t be concerned that you are not gifted in everything. Some people are good at sports, but can’t sing or dance. Some people can heal the sick and others faint at the sight of blood. Gifted doesn’t mean you have to or even can be good at everything. 1

2/2/2012 to Characteristics OVEREXCITABILITIES People experience life in different ways. Sometimes gifted people experience life very strongly in one way or another to the point that it becomes uncomfortable or interferes with what they want to accomplish. Below are descriptions of overexcitabilities. If any of the descriptions sound like you, take a look at some of the suggestions at the bottom of the page. Psychomotor—you need to move and can’t concentrate when sitting too long Sensual – you get strong reactions from sight, smell, taste, touch and hearing Intellectual – you are curious, ask a lot of questions & seek answers Imaginational – you have a wild imagination and like to day dream Emotional – you have strong feelings, concerns and emotions STRATEGIES FOR DEALING WITH OVEREXCITABILITIES Be sure to communicate your needs to your parents and teachers so they can help you with these strategies. PSYCHOMOTOR: Ask your teacher to give you permission to get up and move throughout the day. Take notes to the office, walk to the bathroom, etc. SENSUAL: Create a calm place to work. Wear headphones to drown out noise or put up a cardboard privacy wall on top of your desk to keep you from seeing others. INTELLECTUAL: Read biographies about gifted people and how they overcame challenges to make a difference in the world. IMAGINATIONAL: Create your own way to stay organized and keep on task. Write down or draw factual information you learn before going on to imagine new and creative ways to use or add to the facts. EMOTIONAL: Use the HALT method to help you identify and deal with your emotions. H Are you Hungry? Eat something. A Are you Angry? Talk to a teacher or counselor, take some deep breaths, read a funny book L Are you Lonely? Ask to talk with your teacher or work with a group T Are you Tired? It’s hard to sleep in school. Try getting to bed earlier or asking to rest at your desk during recess. 1

2/2/2012 to Characteristics PERFECTIONISM It’s easy to see why many gifted kids think they need to do everything perfect. Parents, teachers and even classmates sometimes think that because you’re gifted you should be able to get A’s and first place in everything. When you start believing this myth too, you begin to think and act like a perfectionist: Feeling like you’re just not that good Believing nothing you do is good enough Doing things to please others not because you want to Stop trying new things because you are afraid you won’t be able to do them perfectly THREE GREAT TRUTHS ABOUT PERFECTIONISM  (The Gifted Kids Survival Guide; Judy Galbraith, M.A,) Nobody’s perfect, and no one is good at everything. It’s perfectly okay to be perfectly imperfect! (We learn best from our mistakes.) Dong things perfectly doesn’t make you a more successful person. Other things count, too. Failure 1

10 2/2/2012 to Characteristics UNDERACHIEVEMENT Lots of students, not just gifted students, do not get the best possible grades they can. Adults call this underachievement or working below a level that is expected. The bad news is that underachievement is a behavior you learn. The good news is you can learn how to change it. If you have ever been told you are an underachiever or think you might be one, answer the following questions to help you better understand where your underachievement might be coming from. Are you successful and perform at high levels in activities outside of school? Don’t overlook all the things you do well. If you are not doing well in a particular subject in school keep in mind that school should be challenging. It takes work to learn and there is nothing wrong with asking for extra help so you can do your best. How important are grades? Some students aren’t satisfied unless they get A’s. Other students don’t think anything above an F is a failure. What are your feelings about grades? How about your parents? Do you welcome or fear mistakes? Do you see yourself as a failure? Do you think any successes you have are because of luck or something someone else did? Are you afraid to make mistakes? Are you bored? Do you already know most of what you are learning in class? Is the work too easy or does the class go too slow? If you answered yes to any of these questions you or others might think of you as an underachiever. In that case, talk to your parents, a teacher or counselor about your behaviors and how they might be able to help you better understand everyone’s responsibilities for your success. When Gifted Kids Don’t Have All the Answers; Jim Delisle, Ph.D., & Judy Galbraith, M.A. 1

11 TEASING & BULLYING Stop Bullying
2/2/2012 to Characteristics TEASING & BULLYING Many students are teased and bullied by others. That includes gifted students. There are many reasons why kids tease each other, but no matter the reasons you have control over whether you decide to let the teasing bug you or not. The Gifted Kids Survival Guide suggests you ask yourself three questions the next time someone teases you for being smart. Then see if you don’t feel better about the situation. Who’s doing the teasing? Is that person’s opinion important to you? Why are they teasing me? Are they doing it for fun, because they’re jealous or do they really not like you? Do I accept the teasing? Do you let them hurt your feelings or ignore them and walk away? Bullying is far more serious than teasing. If you are being bullied, try one of the following suggestions: Look at the kid bullying you and tell him or her to stop in a calm, clear voice. You can also try to laugh it off. This works best if joking is easy for you. It could catch the kid bullying you off guard. If speaking up seems too hard or not safe, walk away and stay away. Don’t fight back. Find an adult to stop the bullying on the spot. Stop Bullying Do the following to stay as safe as you can from bullying: Talk to an adult you trust. Don’t keep your feelings inside. They can help you make a plan to stop the bullying. Stay away from places where bullying happens. Stay near adults and other kids. Most bullying happens when adults aren’t around. Find an adult, like the teacher in the video, who can help you with any bullying problems you might have. See if your teacher will let you pair up with someone you feel comfortable with and is mostly likely not to bully or tease you. 1

12 2/2/2012 to Characteristics ADVOCACY Advocacy is all about knowing what you want and need out of school, and being able to plan ways to get it. This takes a lot of preparation on your part to understand how you learn best, make a realistic plan for your learning, and then politely convince your teacher to help you do it. Here are some ways to learn that you might want to ask your teacher to let you try. See if you can take a test to show what you already know. From those test scores the teacher could let you skip over that work and use the time to do a challenging project or independent study of interest to you or maybe go so far as to let you move to the next grade for that subject. Ask to show what you learn in new and unusual ways like designing a Web page, writing a play, making a video. Get an “any-time-of-the-day” library pass so you can learn on your own. Sometimes when you advocate the answer is no. You need to take chances and keep trying even when things don’t work out the way you want them to. Remember: You won’t know if you don’t ask. Follow these Ten Tips for Talking with Teachers when advocating Make an appointment. If there are other students with the same needs, go in and speak as a group. Be prepared and think what you want to say before you meet with the teacher. Be positive and choose your words carefully. Come with ideas. Don’t expect the teacher to do all the work and have all the answers. Be respectful. Talk about what you need, not what the teacher is doing wrong. Be sure to listen at least as much as you talk. (You have two ears and only one mouth.) Bring your sense of humor so you don’t take things too seriously, and can laugh at your own misunderstandings and mistakes. If the meeting isn’t successful, get help from another adult. When Gifted Kids Don’t Have All the Answers; Jim Delisle, Ph.D., & Judy Galbraith, M.A. 1


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