Monday, June 30, 2014

Session I - Question 1

Session I - Question 1:  Why do you believe it is important to understand the characteristics of gifted students?

50 comments:

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  2. I often see GT students who lack 'grit'. This is frustrating for me as a teacher. By understanding the characteristics, I can prevent this from happening in my classroom. It also helps with class management.

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    1. In response to skippy jones, it is frustrating for students who lack "grit." Strategies in the book can help with instruction of all students. With more rigor, there is less opportunity for students (if engaged), to slack off.

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    2. In response to skippyjohn jones, I could not agree more. For many of these children, learning comes easy. They have not had to develop the grit through struggling and overcoming academic obstacles that many of the general ed students do.

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  3. So that gifted students can show growth and make academic progress. So that the students don't feel like they are "wasting their time" in class.

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  4. So that gifted student will show growth/make academic progress. So that the students don't feel like they are wasting their time in class.

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  5. So that gifted student will show growth/make academic progress. So that the students don't feel like they are wasting their time in class.

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  6. Catherine Roth:
    I think it is important to understand the characteristics of gifted students because it is our responsibility to work with and teach all the students who show up in our schools and classrooms. We never know who will walk in the door and we must be equipped to teach everyone. Also, sometimes our system for identifying gifted students misses some students who show signs of giftedness. I found the section ‘Twice-Exceptional’ very interesting as I have taught many students over the years who fit into this category. They truly are gifted but they don’t identify as gifted within our system. We still must meet the needs of these students as well. It is our job and our responsibility. As I read the section ‘Students from Diverse Populations’ I listed several names of students in the margins who fit into this group. A Kindergarten student who can tell you exactly how electricity works-explaining open/closed circuits with accurate vocabulary and with intense enthusiasm-but scores way below expectations on district literacy and math assessments. We must recognize that he is gifted, whether the ‘test’ says so or not, and teach him accordingly. We can only accomplish this task if we, as educators, understand the characteristics of the gifted learner.

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    1. Response to Catherine 7/5... you bring out a good point about the Twice-Exceptional student and the fact that our classrooms are very diverse. Even among students who are gifted, there are so many different ways students can be gifted, as the chapter points out. It makes sense that some students might even be missed as being gifted, because of the combination of attributes the student has. So the more we understand characteristics of giftedness, and the more observant we are of our students, the more likely we can meet their needs in the classroom.

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    2. In response to Catherine on July 5, I agree that we can’t always identify students as gifted based on what tests show. I know of a student who was clearly gifted, but was never identified because she wouldn’t do the tests the way they were written. Obviously, she was gifted and still needed to be challenged in the classroom. This is why I feel it is important to offer options to all students, whether they are identified or not.

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    3. In response to Catherine 7/5... Compacting and small group instruction, will help us to overcome the faults of the identification of gifted students. I feel frustrated that often these characteristics are overlooked in the process of identifying students. With the idea of compacting, we should be able to focus our GT program on the gifted and not the high achievers. It also will allow high achiever's needs to be met.

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    4. To C. Roth; I agree. We have to focus on the students who show up every day in our classrooms. Our quest is for them to grow academically. We need to use whatever tool we have do to so.

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  7. It is important to understand the characteristics of gt students so that we can meet the needs of each gt student, not mention the other students in the class. If we know our gt students then we can individualize their learning in order to help them reach their potential.

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    1. In response to bratliff on July 7th- I agree that understanding the characteristics of g/t and non identified students is important to meet the needs of all the students. Many times a child whom in not identified may have qualities of a g/t student. It's easy to forget the a gifted student may only be gifted in only one area of curriculum and a "high achiever" can really challenge a g/t student.

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  8. It is important to know the characteristics of the gifted child so they cannot be overlooked. Sometimes, the GT student is shy and quiet and not easily identified.

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    1. In response to ashepherd July 8, 2014 at 11:16 AM:

      It's very easy to overlook the shy and quiet ones, which is ironic, since introverts are more likely to be gifted than extroverts. Knowing the characteristics will hopefully avoid overlooking any introverts who are truly gifted.

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    2. In response to both ashepherd and Mrs. M, it is easy to overlook the ones that don't seem to require as much (discipline, assistance,...). These students are entitled to the same educational benefits as all the others in the class.

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    3. It is true that these students can be overlooked because they do not seem to "need" as much. Either in regards to assistance with the content or behavior.

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    4. I agree with you ashepherd. I actually had an unidentified GT student who was very shy this past year. Knowing the characteristics of GT students is important for teaches to know so they help identify these shy kiddos, like mine.

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  9. I think it’s important to understand the characteristics of gifted kids, so that I can better meet them where they are and help them succeed in the classroom. Many times we want our gifted kids to be perfect at everything and that’s not necessarily the case for every gifted child.

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    2. Response to Mrs. M's Kinders Absolutely. Often I have GT kids who appear to be low performing, and it baffles teachers when they see a kid with such incredible brain power who doesn't know how to use it. I think it's important to keep one's expectations of GT kids reasonable, and to know that GT does not necessarily equal high performing, or self-sufficient in a classroom.

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  10. In response to Catherine July 5, 2014 at 10:27 AM:
    I thought the same thing when I read the section on students from diverse populations. It is important to remember that district and state scores don’t always reflect a child’s intellectual ability.

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  11. It's important to understand the characteristics of gifted children; if a student is frustrated, the student will not learn and it will also affect his/her relationship with other students and the teacher. It has the potential to make the time together in class not only unproductive, but miserable for all. The book points out that it is counter productive to punish a student for behaviors that are a result of how she/he is. It is much better for both student and teacher to focus on characteristics and find a way to improve the educational experience for the student. That improves the atmosphere in the class as a whole.

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    1. In response to Vatl HarelsonJuly 8, 2014 at 6:52 PM, you make a very good point. if a student is fustrated, then this leads to more problems in the class room. If we can find a way to reach the fustrated student, it will make our teaching time more productive and we will spend less time on disciplining the student.

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    2. I agree with Val Harelson (July 8) about recognizing frustration and associated behaviors as results of unmet needs in the classroom setting. She is correct that recognizing the characteristics of GT students allows us to manage the classroom better and that benefits all of the students!

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  12. Commenting on Skippy John Jones 7/2... I agree that there are students who lack "grit". Not only GT students, but there are students of all abilities who would benefit from developing more "grit." The idea of finding an aspect of what is being taught and allowing students to become an expert could help develop grit, especially when the students get to help choose what they are delving into.

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  13. Why do you believe it is important to understand the characteristics of gifted students?
    I believe it is important to understand the characteristics of gifted students so i can identify them, if they have been overlooked, and so that i can invidualize my instruction to best meet the needs of each different student. Sometimes g/t students are overlooked and they appear shy but if i can identify that these students are gifted, i can modify my instruction to better meet their needs and help them be successful

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    1. In response to Helen Roberts on July 9, I agree that knowing the characteristics of gifted students helps us identify the gifted students who go unnoticed. Then, we can challenge and motivate them to be successful in the classroom.

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  14. We need to understand the characteristics of gifted students in order to help them be successful, as well as challenge them. Also, it helps us understand why they have certain behaviors. For example, one of the characteristics listed on page 13 is asking a lot of questions. If we have a student that asks a lot of questions, we could use this to help them create an individual study project. Instead of looking at the characteristics as challenges or negative behaviors, we can use it as helpful information. It also helps us know if we are meeting their needs in the classroom. The author states on page 13 that if a student’s needs are not being met, that is when we will notice the “negative” behaviors.

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    1. Response to Kimberly Muske- I completely agree. Also, a kid who asks questions could be any level kid. It's important to note the types of questions asked, as the type of question might specify which needs need meeting. Good points, all, Kimberly.

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    2. Catherine Roth:
      In response to Kimberly Muske: I teach in a school with many discipline problems and I see students who I think are gifted-or at least show signs of giftedness-portraying negative behaviors like you describe. If we, as teachers, can implement some of the techniques from our text, perhaps those students’ negative behaviors can be channelled into positive learning experiences.Sometimes I think we push those kids to the side because the needs of the whole class are greater than the needs of the one individual student. We, as teachers, have to consciously make the choice to challenge those ‘negative behavior’ students too.

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  15. I believe it is important to understand the characteristics of a gifted student because there are so many ways to appear gifted. It is interesting to have discussions with other teachers about potentially gifted students because the different subject matter may bring out an entirely different personality. The highly motivated student you experience may be bored in other classes. Having those discussions could help improve the student's experience in both types of situations.

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  16. margaret goodwin-griffinJuly 14, 2014 at 5:49 PM

    Response to Catherine R (7/5): I couldn't agree more with everything Catherine has noted. I too believe it is our professional obligation to recognize and teach to the many the diverse learners in our classrooms despite how difficult it might be. I too have seen many high school students who are clearly gifted but do not fit the established educational criteria. I have had many students who cannot describe electrical circuits but can make amazing connections and who have amazing imaginations that are simply beyond the "educationally average" student.

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  17. It is very important to understand the characteristics of GT students because many gifted student excel in certain areas but can also barely pass a standardized test. These sometimes do not qualify using standardized GT assessments, but we know that they display characteristics of a gifted kid and we can provide differentiated activities to better meet their needs.

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  18. I agree with scapuchino on July 21, because I had a GT student in class who was brilliant and did not pass the STARR test. He excelled in some areas and not others (obviously) and needed more support with certain subjects.

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  19. I think it is important to understand the characteristics of gifted students so that I can meet their needs. It helps me create a positive experience so that these children can be lifelong learners as the text deems "the most important goal for success in the 21st century, pg. 5." I liked how the book actually gave ideas to use in the classroom. I especially liked how the Name Card Method, pg. 14, incorporated Think, Pair, Share before pulling a name so that everyone gets to participate.

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    1. I agree with moneyj (July21) about the importance of understanding the characteristics so we can create positive experiences. It is our responsibility to offer these students a challenging environment. If we do not identify these students, it's unlikely that we will consistently meet their needs. The last thing we want to do is discourage a student from learning by allowing them to sit in a boring, uninformative classroom. I plan to focus on recognizing these characteristics in my students. Even if our students did not "qualify" for GT, they can still be gifted and should be taught accordingly.

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  21. I believe it is important to understand the characteristics of gifted students to be able to move forward in the students progress at the beginning of each school year and throughout the year to gain his/her achievements in the area of compacting and differentiation.

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    1. In response to Stacey L on July 22-
      I agree that it is very important to understand the characteristics of the GT students in the beginning of the school year. It often takes some time to determine what their unique characteristics are. If a teacher is looking for their characteristics early then differentiation can be implemented earlier in the year which will result in a more positive experience for the student.

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  22. I believe it is important to understand the characteristics of gifted students so that we can make sure they are engaged and thriving in their learning environment. If a student is not learning anything new, he/she will feel like his/her time is being wasted. I reflected on a student in my class this year. His work was usually sloppy, rushed, and it appeared unimportant to him. He frequently got his feelings hurt by seemingly innocent peer comments. His standardized test scores were great and always have been. Instead of thinking he was GT, I thought he had other issues. I could have done a much better job of motivating him to work harder and to give his best effort if I would have viewed him as GT and allowed him to do more of his type of work.

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  23. I believe it is very important to understand the different characteristics of GT students because they do not all fit one model. I like how the book discusses students that are twice exceptional. I have had many students who have learning difficulties in one area but excel in many other ways. Once we are able to properly identify gifted students we can then help to create a learning path that is challenging and meets their needs.

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    1. You are absolutely correct. All students come to us with different needs. Addressing them their needs so they can be successful is paramount.

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  24. It is important to understand the characteristics of gifted students so that each student will have a positive school experience and be successful and not overlooked. Even though they have the ability to to exceed grade level expectations, gifted students are very different from one another so it is important to know the range of characteristics and strategies that can be used to identify and educate them.

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    1. Nadia D...I agree with you about these gifted children needing positive school experiences. I have heard story after story from parents of gifted kids about how their children were labeled everything from underachievers, trouble makers to being too smart for their school. These students need to know they belong and are wanted in our classrooms!

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  25. margaret goodwin-griffinAugust 13, 2014 at 11:15 AM

    Response to skippyjohn jones (7/2): Perhaps students lack of "grit" is in part due to boredom or disengagement due to the lack of differentiated instruction. If we educators can recognize characteristics of gifted students and attend to their needs then perhaps we can begin to teach qualities that create "grit".

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  26. I believe it is important to understand the characteristics of gifted students so we as teachers can create a creative and productive classroom environment for them to reach their full potential. I had 2 highly gifted students last year and it was a huge learning curve for me. One was reluctant to participate and the other had several learning and emotional issues…both had difficulties thriving in a regular classroom. As I learned more about how they function, I was able to create more and more curriculum to challenge them. I also have a highly gifted child of my own and another gifted in the Language Arts areas. The more I learn and understand the different characteristics of gifted kids…the better parent I become.

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  27. If we don't understand the characteristics of our GT population, we can not help them reach their full potential.

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  28. Michele Rennick
    Understanding the learning characteristics of gifted learners is no different than understanding the learning disabilities of a special education child, or the emotional issues of an average child. No matter which we are focusing on, understanding them is paramount to engaging them in activities which allow for academic growth.

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