Explore these interesting websites for articles, resources, and current developments in gifted education:
Click on the "Parents" bar on the left to find "The ABC's of Gifted", a link to the parent publication they offer and details about becoming a member.
Click on the "Advocacy & Legislation" bar on the left to find the "Advocacy Toolkit" for tips on how to advocate for gifted education both locally and on state and federal levels
The NAGC store shows a number of recommended books on gifted learners.
Our state professional organization has a wonderful site on the state of giftedness in Maine. In the navigation bar along the left-hand side of the site, you'll find links for parents and students.
Take a look at their articles on everything from parenting gifted children to supporting twice exceptional learners
Browse their publications
Visit the Maine Department of Education's GT Site
Preview this helpful book: You Know Your Child is Gifted When
Books worth exploring:
Letting Go of Perfect: Overcoming Perfectionism in Kids and Teens by Jill Adelson Ph.D. and Hope Wilson Ph.D.
Building Resilience in Children and Teens - 2nd edition by Kenneth R. Ginsburg
Mindset by Carol Dweck
Misdiagnosis and Dual Diagnosis of Gifted Children and Adults by Webb, Amend, Webb, Goerss, Beljan, Olenchak
Guiding the Gifted Child by Webb, Meckstroth & Tolan
Inspiring Middle School Minds: Gifted, Creative & Challenging by Judy A.Willis
The Gifted Kids Survival Guide by Judy Galbraith (for kids ages 10 and under)
The Gifted Teen Survival Guide by Judy Galbraith (for pre-teens and teens)
A Love for Learning - Motivation and the Gifted Child by Carol Whitney, Gretchen Hirsch
Living with Intensity ed. by Susan Daniels, Michael Piechowski
And here is a blurb for Searching for Meaning: Idealism, Bright Minds, Disillusionment, and Hope. a new book by James T. Webb:
When intensity and sensitivity are combined with idealism, as so often happens with bright children and adults, good things can happen because they can keenly see how things might be. But this can also lead to frustration, disillusionment, and unhappiness. Sometimes this prompts perfectionism; other times it results in existential depression. Through our relationships, we must provide understanding and nurturance so that they do not feel alone and helpless in a world that seems so paradoxical, arbitrary, and even absurd. We can help nurture their idealism, and indeed we must if the world is to become a better place.
Videos and audio files to get you thinking:
The National Association for Gifted Children has articulated prevailing myths about gifted learners and gifted education in their list of 10 GT Myths. This youtube video made by gifted high schoolers from another district may help to explain the work we've all been doing in Yarmouth to bust these myths. Below the video, you'll see each myth, followed by a description of the state of GT in Yarmouth.
Myth One: Gifted kids are fine on their own. We have been working hard in Yarmouth to bust this myth. We’ve been focusing, as a district, on differentiation, so our kids won’t have to wait until January, or even October, to learn new things. In addition to this, we now have a focus on the CCSS that invite us to increase the rigor for every student.
Myth Two: The teachers challenge every student, so the gifted kids are just fine in every classroom. This is why our program is a combination of pulling out kids in small groups for targeted enrichment and the chance to be with like-minded peers AND supporting teachers and kids in the classroom. We have provided teachers with materials, resources and training in meeting the academic, social & emotional needs of gifted thinkers, so they DO know how to teach GT kids.
Myth Three: We need to keep gifted students in the regular classrooms in order to provide role models and challenges for other students.Teachers are working on grouping kids flexibly so they get to work with a variety of students in the classroom and differentiation means kids who can move faster or further get to learn new things rather than spending all of their learning time teaching others. Pulling GT students out in small groups provides them with that valuable time with like minded peers.
Myth Four: All students are gifted. It’s not fair to label only some students that way. It’s not about the labels, it’s about finding ways to identify kids who have this greater awareness, greater sensitivity and greater ability in order to give them what they need to grow as learners and producers rather than consumers of innovation.
Myth Five: Acceleration can be socially harmful to gifted students. We have completely busted this myth in Yarmouth. We have educated ourselves about the forms of acceleration, the research behind it and when to consider it to meet a students’ needs. We have developed a rigorous set of criteria that is used to determine the best way to meet a student’s need in specific subject areas. There are many ways to differentiate before we even consider acceleration - faster and higher is not always better; deeper and slower is often the key. Important elements in this criteria are conversations with the parents and student to discuss the emotional and social impacts of acceleration.
Myth Six: Gifted Ed programs are elitist. Finding ways to challenge each and every child in our district is the opposite of elitist. It’s fair and equitable. Everyone deserves to learn something new every day. The existence of the enrichment screening process and Talents Program continues to bust this myth.
Myth Seven: Students can’t be gifted if they get poor grades. Gifted kids can suffer from the fear of standing out. Or they may have a different way of approaching learning. Perfectionistic tendencies can also get in the way. If it’s not perfect, why even bother handing it in? The important thing is for students like this to be noticed for who they are, and to be helped figure out how they can be themselves. With the expansion of our screening process, we’ve been able to include a wider span of information to helps us identify gifted kids at all levels of academic achievement.
Myth Eight: Kids with disabilities cannot be gifted. Giftedness can manifest itself in very specific ways. Sometimes, those gifted behaviors are masked by disabilities or are very similar to behaviors of other diagnoses, such as ADHD. Gifted kids with a dual diagnosis are not uncommon - giftedness and ADHD. It’s important that kids get both the remediation AND the challenge they need in school.
Myth Nine: Advanced Placement classes are all we need for Gifted Kids in high school. AP classes can be an important part of the recipe for success. But what if the student has a burning interest? Acknowledging specific passions and providing opportunities is beneficial to the student and to our society. Allowing independent studies and hooking students up with mentors can be critical. Right now, we support acceleration when appropriate at YHS and provide freshmen teachers with information on the academic, social and emotional needs of GT kids entering the high school.
Myth Ten: Gifted Ed requires abundant resources that we cannot afford at this time. Yet we’re doing so much with the relatively modest resources we have now, from weekly pull out groups in grades 3-8, mentorships and independent study projects to drop-in times, clubs, and in-class extensions for all interested students. Just like the kids in the video say: keep the end in mind. JUST BEGIN.