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What’s Up with Gifted Kids Christy D. McGee Professor Past Chair Parent and Community Network NAGC Bellarmine University.

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Presentation on theme: "What’s Up with Gifted Kids Christy D. McGee Professor Past Chair Parent and Community Network NAGC Bellarmine University."— Presentation transcript:

1 What’s Up with Gifted Kids Christy D. McGee Professor Past Chair Parent and Community Network NAGC Bellarmine University

2 What is Giftedness? Defining “giftedness” is still a hot topic o Leaders in the field vary in their definitions o Some theorist define the gifted population by percentages o Others look at giftedness by traits

3 Legal Definitions What the law says and what we do about it!

4 Jacob K. Javits Gifted and Talented Students Act (1988) Children and youth with outstanding talent perform or show the potential for performing at remarkable high levels of accomplishment when compared with others of their age, experience, or environment. These children and youth exhibit high performance capability in intellectual, creative, and/or artistic areas, possess an unusual leadership capacity, or excel in specific academic fields. They require services or activities not ordinarily provided by the schools. Outstanding talents are present in children and youth from all cultural groups, across all economic strata, and in all areas of human endeavor.

5 State of Kentucky NECESSITY, FUNCTION, AND CONFORMITY: KRS 157.200 Includes within the definition of "exceptional children" a category of "exceptional students" who are identified as possessing demonstrated or potential ability to perform at an exceptionally high level in general intellectual aptitude, specific academic aptitude, creative or divergent thinking, psychosocial or leadership skills, or in the visual or performing arts. KRS 157.224 (1)commits the state to a comprehensive educational program for its exceptional school-aged children. (2)KRS 157.230 requires all school districts to operate programs for resident exceptional children, primary - grade twelve (12). (3)This administrative regulation establishes the requirements for programs for gifted and talented students.

6 Persistent Myths G/T people are mentally unstable Grade skipping hurts kids Parents of G/T kids are conceited Gifted education causes elitism Eminent adults were indifferent scholars as children G/T students feel superior to other students

7 Generalizations Gifted Students tend to have the same social and emotional issues as other students, but for very different reasons. The more different a gifted student is from the norm, the more significant their social and emotional issues become. It is necessary for gifted students to spend a significant amount of time with other gifted students and with persons trained in gifted education.

8 Interplay Between Intellectual and Personality Characteristics Impacted by: Self Home School Community Peers

9 Some Characteristics for Identifying Gifted Students Challenge, (1992) Good Apple, Issue 48 Positive Behaviors“Labels”Negative Behaviors Able to generate many ideas to solutions and problems Fluency Lots of ideas May dominate others May have difficulty bringing closure Has high tolerance for ambiguity Flexibility Variety of ideas May be impatient with details or restrictions Able to express ideas in unique and unusual ways Originality Unique or original ideas May be considered unusual or silly by peers and teachers May refuse to accept authority and be non-conforming

10 Some Characteristics for Identifying Gifted Students Challenge, (1992) Good Apple, Issue 48 Intensely interested in wide variety of thing Asks many questions Curiosity Perceptive, intuitive, asks many questions May interrupt or ignore classroom activities to pursue individual interests Able to add details beyond expectations Elaboration Incorporates description May use descriptive details in excess Uses fun and fantasy to enhance learning and exploration Imagination Uses imagination for pleasure and problem solving May be considered unproductive and silly

11 Some Characteristics for Identifying Gifted Students Challenge, (1992) Good Apple, Issue 48 Has knowledge which is unusually advanced for age Knowledge Wide range or information, high level of conceptualization May be intolerant of others May become inhibited in sharing information Above average Able to progress as a more rapid rate Skills Above average mastery of skills; processes information quickly and easily May dominate others because of abilities May be bored with routine and repetitive tasks Relates positively to peers and adults Social Responsibilities Responds to and relates to others May have difficulty relating to age peers and adults Persistent, self-motivated, and able to stay on task Task Commitment Demonstrates a commitment to a task or a goal May have difficulty bringing a task to closure

12 There was a Little Girl Written by Becky Lewis She is verbally fluent She knows and remembers facts She is curious about many things She has creative, innovative ideas She has a keen sense of humor She has great powers of concentration She reads a lot on her own She shows leadership abilities She is good at critical thinking She is good at solving problems She has many interests She has a high energy level She is goal directed She learns easily She talks too much She is a know-it-all She asks too many questions She has weird, impractical ideas She is the class clown She daydreams She is a bookworm She tries to dominate She is argumentative She looks for the simple solution She is over programmed She is hyperactive She is stubborn She works too quickly

13 Explaining Problem Behaviors Adapted by: Susan Winebrenner BehaviorGeneral PopulationGifted Population CauseRemedyCauseRemedy Talks out of turnLack of self- control Behavior modification Powerful need to share what s/he knows Enrichment program to share with others Does not pay attention; fails to follow directions Learning problem; ADD; ADHD Teach strategies for listening and organization Already knows material; Could learn swiftly; Creating Opportunity to work independently on area of own interest; Compacting Work is sloppy and careless Small motor coordination; Poor study skills Tactile/ Kinesthetic learning experience Already knows material; Could learn swiftly; Creating Opportunity to work independently interest; Compacting

14 Explaining Problem Behaviors Adapted by: Susan Winebrenner BehaviorGeneral PopulationGifted Population CauseRemedyCauseRemedy Clownish- teases, interrupts, jokes constantly Smart aleck? Wise guy? Looking for peer approval Behavior modification Give specific responsibilities; Cooperative learning Seeking peer approval; Mature sense of humor Cooperative learning Challenges teacher’s authority Addicted to power Avoid power struggles; Written contracts; Time out Wants to know the “truth” Leadership opportunities; Social skills instruction

15 Extroverts v. Introverts Get energy from interaction Energized by people Single-layered personality; same in public and private Open and trusting Think out loud Like being the center of attention Learn by doing Comfortable in new situations Have many close friends Distractible Impulsive Are risk-takers in groups Get energy from inside themselves Drained by people Persona and an inner self Show best self in public Need privacy Mentally rehearse before speaking Hate being the center of attention Learn by observing Uncomfortable with changes Loyal to a few friends Capable of intense concentration Reflective Quiet in large groups; fear humiliation

16 Introversion 80% of gifted students 20% of others Alone v. Loneliness One or two good friends at same mental level Positive activities

17 How to Care for Introverts Respect their need for privacy. Don’t try to remake them into extraverts. Never embarrass them in public. Let them observe first in new situations. Give them time to think. Don’t demand instant answers. Don’t interrupt them. Give them advanced notice of expected changes in their lives. Enable them to find one best friend who has similar interests and abilities.

18 Perfectionism Sometimes not a bad thing Often coupled with introversion Sometimes “hides” as lack of organization Imposter Syndrome Teach balance

19 Working with Introverts/Perfectionists Silverman, L. (1995). Perfectionism: The hallmark of giftedness. NAGC presentation Do’s o Acknowledge their feelings of frustration o Help them understand the course of their feelings as good traits- high standards are good to have o Share your past and how you’ve dealt with it o Encourage them not to give up o Give them examples of other people o Ask them if they will accept help o Teach them relaxation techniques and deep breathing o Let the child observe first o Let them learn things in private first

20 Working with Introverts/Perfectionists Silverman, L. (1995). Perfectionism: The hallmark of giftedness. NAGC presentation Don’ts o Don’t try to eradicate perfectionism o Don’t tell the child “Don’t feel that way” o Don’t be highly critical of their efforts o Don’t destroy ideals o Don’t give them the message that perfectionism is a bad quality

21 Working with Introverts/Perfectionists Silverman, L. (1995). Perfectionism: The hallmark of giftedness. NAGC presentation Computers are helpful- they’re perfectionistic, too Distinguish between perfectionism towards self and others Be a model of self-acceptance, willingness to make mistakes Have the whole class and family try new things together Give specific feedback, not global Adopt a philosophy that there are no mistakes, only learning experiences Share your setting of priorities with the child Recognize that there are bad and good things about perfectionism Teach the child to deal with the pain of perfectionism and that they can overcome the pain

22 Profiles of Gifted Students Betts, G. & Niehart, M. (1988). Type IThe Successful Type IIThe Divergently Gifted Type IIIUnderground Type IVDropouts Type VDouble Labeled Type VIAutonomous Learner

23 Children who fall through the cracks Young boys with lots of energy Middle school girls Children with disabilities Minority or bilingual backgrounds Young children Poor children

24 Organization Not terribly “neat” Lack of time consciousness Storage Creative solutions

25 Sensitivities Emotional Intellectual Sensual Physical Imaginational

26 Invisibility Strategies Missing a few answers on a test Ask questions they know the answers to Go on dates with “dumb” kids Make fun of other gifted kids Don’t volunteer answers Don’t tell your age Coleman and Cross, 2001

27 Ten Tip-Offs for Trouble 1.Self-imposed isolation 2.Extreme perfectionism 3.Deep concern with personal powerlessness 4.Unusual fascination with violence 5.Eating disorders

28 TenTip-Offs for Trouble 6.Substance abuse 7.Preoccupation with self 8.Withdrawal into fantasy world 9.Rigid, compulsive behavior 10.Preoccupation with death

29 Eight Great Gripes 1.No one explains what it means to be gifted. 2.School is too easy, too boring. 3.Everyone expects us to be gifted all of the time. 4. Too few friends really understand us. 5. Kids often tease us about being smart. 6. We feel overwhelmed by the number of things we can do in life. 7. We feel different, alienated. 8. We worry about world problems and feel helpless to do anything about them.

30 Robinson’s Challenges of Being Gifted Feelings of isolation Differentness is wrong Being bright means having things come easily Daily irritations Asynchronous development Multipotentiality

31 Common Characteristics of Gifted Children The Comic Strip Version

32 Imaginative

33 Creative

34 Arrogant with Teachers

35 Arrogant with Peers

36 Imaginative

37 Precociousness "i'm georgie, i'm 5. i live with my mom and dad. i have a dog named charlie. he's a bearded collie, he's really big and a lot of fun. my best friend's name is joey. joey's cool, he can burp the alphabet. i blog using voice recognition software and a microphone. it's really fun because i like to talk."

38 Socially Out of Step

39 Ahead of Their Time

40 Unusual Problem Solvers

41 Unsure about being “Gifted”

42 Developmentally Different

43 Not always the child you would expect

44 Teacher Pleasers

45 Aware of being different

46 Don’t always fit in

47 Leadership Potential

48 Don’t always respond to behavior management strategies

49 Aware of pressure of “potential”

50 Often from gifted families


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