Other Gifted Blogs
is growing by leaps and bounds. What started out as personal journaling on the Internet has evolved and continues to morph into different uses and forms. You will find blogs that cover the news, promote discussions at universities, debate politics, sell products, provide information within corporations, discuss law, etc., etc. Blogging is also growing in popularity within the education community. Since you are currently reading this blog on gifted education, you may be interested in knowing about other blogs on this subject or related subjects. Here are a few of which I am aware. Please let me know if you find others.
- Applied Imagination—Explores ideas about creativity, creative thinking, creative problem solving, innovation, applied imagination, creative studies and more.
- Eide Neurolearning—Articles related to brain-based learning and learning styles, problem-solving and creativity, gifted and visual learners, dyslexia, attention deficit disorders, autism, and more.
- Gifted Exchange—Gifted children, schooling, parenting, education news, and changing American education for the better.
- Gifted Gear Reviews—An insightful view into the world of a gifted child written by a gifted and talented 10-year-old who has a mild form of autism called Asperger's syndrome.
- Intelligent Insights on Intelligence Theories and Tests (aka IQ's Corner)—Shares contemporary research findings, insights, musings, and discussions regarding theories and applied measures of human intelligence.
- Overexcitable—Attempts to reduce prejudice against gifted/high IQ people.
- Prufrock's Gifted Education Blog—Prufrock publisher’s perspective of gifted children.
Free Online Newsletter for Parents of Gifted
Wow, have I got a great new resource for you! Duke University’s Talent Identification Program (Duke TIP
) just announced that it is now offering the Duke Gifted Letter online and free of charge
. The newsletter is filled with articles on educational and social-emotional issues relevant to the gifted population. TIP is not only offering the quarterly newsletter without a subscription, but is also including archives of all back issues at its Web site, along with a searchable database. In addition, users can comment on articles and engage in dialogue with other readers and the editors. When you click on an article title, not only does that article show up on the main page, but also links to other related articles and suggestions for further reading in books. If you click on the Subscribe icon near the top of the newsletter page, you can receive the quarterly newsletter via e-mail. This is a wonderful resource. Check it out
Educator Savings Week at Borders and Waldenbooks
For those of you looking to save a bit on your book purchases, stop by your local Borders or Waldenbooks stores during "Educator Savings Week."
According to an e-mail I received from a marketing manager at Borders, during the week of October 12-17, 2006:
Current and retired educators save 25% on most purchases for personal and classroom use. Just bring proof of educator status. Some restrictions apply to discount, see stores for details.
If you live near a Borders superstore, you can receive some additional benefits:
Special Cafe Reception at Borders superstores on Friday, October 13, from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. Food, fun, and prizes! Educators should stop by our Welcome table when visiting the store during Educator Savings Week, check out our selection of giveaways, and register to win a $500 Borders gift card! Contact your local Borders superstore for scheduled events and other details.
Changes in Teaching Math—Implications for Gifted?
This week the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM)
announced a major shift in recommendations for teaching math. If its new recommendations have anywhere near the impact that the council’s 1989 report had, the teaching of math in American schools could witness a profound change. Although most states presently call for dozens of math topics to be addressed in each grade, the new NCTM report “Curriculum Focal Points”
sets forth just three basic skills for each level. While the 1989 report downplayed memorization and emphasized children finding their own approaches to problems and writing about their reasoning, Dr. Chester E. Finn Jr., a Department of Education official in the Reagan administration, says the new report recommends a back-to-basics victory
Math curricula in the United States today are often described as "a mile wide and an inch deep."
We cover many topics, but we don’t study them in depth. Parents without a strong understanding of math often feel that children who understand how to add, subtract, multiply, and divide at an early age are extremely advanced in the subject and should be accelerated. This is actually what might be called “superficial math.” These children can often rattle off math facts or do problems quickly, but they do not have a deep understanding of mathematics. There is so much more to learn.
Because “Curriculum Focal Points” was just released, I have not yet seen any discussion of possible implications for students who are gifted in mathematics. We will all need to pay attention to how this will play out.
Testing for Inclusion in a Gifted Program
I have a son who is being tested for the gifted program at his school. He was given the ITBS and scored 95-99% on the academics portion. Now they want to give him a “full cognitive assessment.” Can you tell me what this is? I am concerned that he is being made to jump through too many hoops.
Your concerns are not uncommon. Parents often wonder, “Why so many tests?” “What do they all mean?” “Is the school just trying to make it difficult for my child to get into the program?”
The ITBS (Iowa Test of Basic Skills
) is an achievement test and is often given to all students at certain grade levels in a school. An achievement test gives an indication of what a student has already learned, which is different from testing one’s ability or potential for learning. Achievement tests typically assess material taught at the student’s grade level, so a score of 95% indicates that the student has a very good understanding of the material that is taught at that grade level. It does not
test how much a student might already know beyond that grade level. When school personnel give a full cognitive assessment, it usually means they want to learn what the student a) already knows
beyond his grade level and/or b) what his potential
is for learning beyond his grade level. Assessments used may include an IQ test, an interest inventory, tests of visual-spatial strengths, or any one of a number of other categories of tests.
Do not be concerned that your student is being asked to jump through too many hoops. By giving him a full cognitive assessment, educators will learn more information about his abilities and form a more detailed picture of how to address his academic needs. After the full assessment, someone should sit down with you and interpret your child’s strengths and needs. If this isn’t done automatically, request this service. The ITBS was probably used as an initial screening device and the school now needs more information to determine if their gifted program will be a good match for your child. Some parents pay a great deal of money to have their kids assessed privately. I assume your child’s school is doing this for free, so this is a good thing.
A reader, Danielle, posted the question below as a comment to a post I wrote a few weeks ago. Because I felt the question was an especially important one, I've moved it here and tried to offer a brief answer that I hope will be enough to point Danielle in the right direction. Please feel free to post other ideas, suggestions, and resources if you have some knowledge of this topic.
I am new to the world of gifted children. I work at a center for children with autism but came head on to a child with severe behavioral problems none of which are related to autism.
This child speaks as an adult and is very inquisitive and knowledgeable about concepts I find hard to grasp. He is also is very defiant, runs away, and always knows just the right thing to do wrong (if that makes sense). I have a feeling this child is very intuitive because he sees whole concepts without needing to see the sequence of events. Also, he is very inquisitive and always wants to know how things work.
He is five years old and on the verge of getting kicked out of school. The only power I have is to talk with his teachers on how to promote good behaviors and challenge him.
What should I say? What difference can I make when the parents would laugh at me if I even brought up the fact that he was possibly gifted.
Thanks for reading and I would appreciate any input you could give me.
Hi Danielle. It sounds like you have your hands full. I want to commend you for taking such a caring interest in the child you write about. It does sound like this child has some special needs.
I am not qualified to diagnose a disorder and I'm drawing my conclusions from the small amount of information about the child included in your post, so I could be a bit off base with the following suggestions. However, let me suggest that you gather some information about a form of Autism called Asperger's syndrome. Wikipedia offers a concise introduction to Asperger's syndrome that you may find of value.
I've excerpted the following information from Wikipedia; however, you will find much more on the subject on the Wikipedia Web site:
Asperger syndrome — also referred to as Asperger's syndrome, Asperger's, or just AS — is one of five neurobiological pervasive developmental disorders (PDD) that is characterized by deficiencies in social and communication skills. It is differentiated from other PDD's in that a person with AS also has normal to above normal intelligence, . . . and standard language development compared with classical autism. The diagnosis of AS is complicated by the lack of a standard diagnostic screen, and the use of several different screening instruments and sets of diagnostic criteria. The exact cause of AS is unknown and the prevalence is not firmly established, due partly to the use of differing sets of diagnostic criteria.
I would explore the the Wikipedia page and scroll down to the page's "External Links" section. You will find several recommended external links there.
Also, please visit the Autism Society of America's Web resources devoted Asperger's syndrome. This organization offers a really reliable and informative introduction to the topic.
Certainly, there may be more going on with this child than Asperger's would explain, but this information may offer a start. Armed with a bit of information about Asperger's syndrome, you may be better able to talk to the child's parents and other teachers about this child's special needs and some interventions that might help him.
We have a book coming out in May 2007 titled, School Success for Kids With Asperger’s Syndrome by Stephan Silverman, Ph.D., and Richard Weinfied. So, keep an eye out for that book's release next spring. I'll be posting more about the book and the topic as we get nearer to it's release date.