The Stern Files: some insightful pieces on gifted and talented education

Some of you may be taking a look at Gifted Matters for the very first time. Before I began writing for ChicagoNow, my blog was featured on Wordpress. You may want to review some of the earlier blogs as they are highly relevant to gifted and talented education:

Shaping your child’s education in elementary school. This entry emphasizes the importance of contacting teachers before school starts to advise them of your child’s needs and interests and to submit any relevant documentation. Parents are encouraged to maintain an ongoing dialogue with school staff.

Experts weigh in on Exceptional Curriculum for the 21rst Century. Or, as I viewed this seminar: Meet the rock stars of gifted education: Joyce VanTassel-Baska and Joseph Renzulli. This entry reflects some of VanTassel-Baska and Renzulli’s advice on developing “meaty” curriculum, engaging students, and fostering inquiry. And some Stern ideas, too.

To spark critical thinking, introduce students to Bloom’s Taxonomy. Teachers need to model critical thinking for their students. Of the various thinking models, my favorite is Bloom’s Taxonomy. In this piece, teachers will learn some ideas on how to introduce Bloom’s to gifted and talented students. As a staff member at the Latin School observed, “teaching isn’t all about the content anymore, it’s about building skills…critical thinking is the key to making sense of a rapidly changing society.”

Is my child gifted? I rely on the identification tools developed by leading authority Dr. Linda Silverman. Silverman has done extensive research on intellectual and personality characteristics of gifted and talented children. Don’t be surprised if you see some of those traits in yourself, too; once gifted, always gifted.

There’s no place for “one size fits all” in education. The notion of “one size fits all” in education makes me cringe. Please differentiate. Since 2000, I have learned so much about differentiation from gifted experts Carol Ann Tomlinson and Susan Winebrenner. Read my blog for ideas or better yet, read their books.

Falling through the cracks: the Twice-Exceptional child. There’s nothing sadder to me than seeing a child who is not engaged in school. Sadly, many 2e children experience frustration with school because teachers pay attention to the student’s deficits, but not his assets or learning strengths. This situation can be avoided by working with the school to develop a curriculum that is directed to the 2e student’s learning strength.

Of course, there are other topics with valuable information. You can find these and more at www.giftedmatters.wordpress.com. Thanks for reading! Comments welcome.

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