Peer relationships naturally change over the course of childhood, especially as children enter their middle school years. For gifted children, the process of change can be even more difficult, as the move toward fitting in with their typical peers takes on a life of its own. P. 20I would like to find a book or case studies that are from gifted children who share how they coped and made their way into dealing with fitting in with their peers. Maybe someone has interviewed gifted children and a book exists that shares the thoughts of these children and it could help other gifted children who struggle a lot with this issue. It would also be beneficial to teachers as well to be able to learn from them too.
To AmyL’s post on June 6th, I think you would enjoy the book When Gifted Kids Don’t Have All the Answers: How to Meet their Social and Emotional Needs by Jim Delisle and Judy Galbraith. This is terrific resource for teachers and parents of gifted kids. It has writings by gifted students about their experiences of being gifted and going through school. It also gives ideas for teachers and even reproducibles to use in the classroom to address the socio-emotional development of gifted kids. My favorites are the discussion questions that are great launching points for discussion in the classroom. I participated in a book study with this book, and it is a gem. I have recommended to my students’ parents as well. By the way, Jim Delisle was in Spring Branch ISD recently, and I had the opportunity to watch him in action with a group of SBISD gifted kids and he is a pretty neat guy. The students really related to him. Here is a link to his book, in case you are interested:http://www.amazon.com/When-Gifted-Kids-Dont-Answers/dp/1575421070
In response to AmyL & PKassir:AmyL - I picked that same idea from the book b/c it sounds so interesting!Pkassir - It is such a great idea to hear from these GT students and see how they would cope with certain situations. By reading about other students like this, we can try and further understand the situations happening in our classroom.
Dabrowski's Overexcitabilities Section pages 43-44.The description given about areas that are characteristics of G/T students, are remarkably similar to Asperger's Syndrome children. I am wondering about the connection and overlap of the two. How often are the two linked? Interestingly enough our district has a program that would benefit a G/T student who shows characteristics of Asperger's yet nothing to help the 'g/t' only students. I need to get on the internet to read about these characteristics. The recent blossoming of 'spectrum' children could be explained if we also looked at IQs, perhaps. I would love feedback!
In response to skippyjohn Jones:I recently heard about an article that linked highly GT people, Asberger's Syndrome/Autism, and top CEOs/highly ranked men and women in big companies. I think more research can be done using this parameter. This information could also be a great learning tool for our GT students!
The book states on page 30 that GT students may be perfectionists, which could lead them to not take risks in school. I would like to explore ways to help students learn to take risks with their learning and understand that it is okay if they are not successful. I would also like to learn ways to help GT students not be so critical of their selves.
In reply to KMuske’s post on June 8th, perfectionism is a huge issue in the gifted classroom. When I have a gifted student do poorly on a very challenging assignment, it is a great opportunity to discuss the fact that eventually a gifted student will do poorly or fail an assignment or test. For some kids, it does not happen until middle school or high school, or sometimes even until college, and if they do not have the coping skills to deal with failures, it can really hinder them in moving forward. I teach gifted 5th graders and for some kids, it is a huge step to fail and see that the world did not come to an end, and that difficulties are part of school and life. I always tell my gifted students that there will be obstacles in life, large and small, and how we get up and move forward from those stumbles helps us to prepare for bigger obstacles in life. Plus, this is a great way to build character. I also discuss perfectionism in great detail at Open House at the beginning of the year so that parents and I can work together to use their child’s perfectionism as a positive aspect in their child’s education. Many parents are happy to see that this is an issue that is addressed in the classroom.
In reply to KMuske and PKassir on June8 and 10 respectively, I too would love to explore the perfectionistic qualities of GT students. As a 2nd grade teacher, I feel compelled to do a better job of assignments so children see learning as a process not a product, and to help them to understand stretching themselves and getting some wrong is also part of this process. The reality is sometimes this type of teaching does not occur and so these students can only focus on being perfect because the assignment are dull.
In reply to PKassir on June 10 I would also like to better understand the perfectionistic qualities of GT. My GT children are often harder on themselves that I am and I would like to teach them strategies on not focusing on being perfect.
I am interested in exploring the section about gifted children and their peers which begins on page 19. I am especially interested in the following: “In general, gifted students have a tendency to appear arrogant and unconnected to their peers, often finding interest in things other than the typical interests of their peers.…Instead, these children would prefer to focus on larger world problems, or things that are abstract and complex, which is not appealing to typical nongifted peers.” I am interested in learning more about how to help the gifted kids to not appear arrogant or aloof, and even more importantly, how to help them to work with others and be able to listen to others’ ideas. In a world where collaborative work is becoming ever increasingly important, I would like to explore strategies that can help my gifted students truly collaborate with others in a respectful and productive manner and in a way that also benefits them.
In response to PKassir posted on June 10, 2012, 7:13 AM: You bring up a very important point about the need for gifted students to learn to work cooperatively in a group setting with the many group projects/products assigned to students in all grade levels. Practicing the give and take of cooperative learning, recognizing good communication skills, and problem-solving disputes in a PGP or SPIRAL classroom environment, where students are with like-minded and more accepting peers, might be the first step.
In reponse to PKassirs comment on June 10th- I agree that many gifted students are perfectionists and sometimes they feel all areas of learning should come easy. It is hard when they have to apply themselves in some of their academic areas. Being gifted does not mean that all academic areas will come easy for them, and that is hard for them to grasp emotionally. It is a great opportunity to guide them through and show them how to work through these steps in a positive way.
On p.44, the author explains that *redirecting* the student when he/she is emotionally overcharged helps him/her recognize “that the reaction - not the emotion – often is the cause of the problem.” I like the idea of having a skill set for effectively handling various emotionally charged situations rather than mechanically disciplining the child for the behavior and discounting the emotion behind it.
There is no doubt that you should be prepared to re-direct the "over-exuberant" gifted student! The aggressive GT student is sometimes so excited about an activity that yes, it could be observed as bad behavior but it's not! It is enthusiam and who doesn't want to see that in the classroom? Keep that excited behavior going in an acceptable form as long as it's not disruptive to the rest of the class.
pg. 39 Emotional Intensity and School. It is interesting for me to learn that gifted students usually have a difficult time doing the mundane "rote" things in class. The example of sitting quietly and waiting your turn to talk. In my class their is a very structured way i want the students to enter the class, get supplies etc. and start on the warm up. I see my gifted students not having their supplies and not being interested in the warm up. Since my pre/ap and gifted are in the same class it is easy for me to ignore the gifted students during the beginning of class so that i can have discussion and questions form my other students. I see them as being lazy or uninterested. I need to step back and assess how i will reach these students. I hope to learn new ways to excite my gifted students when they walk into my class.
I would like to learn more about gender differences as they relate to giftedness. I didn't know that gifted girls faced more emotional difficulties than their male counterparts. I expect I will learn more as I move forward in the book.
There are couple of books that deal specifically with boys and girls. Here a couple of links to good books about these differences.http://www.amazon.com/The-Minds-Boys-Saving-Falling/dp/0787977616http://www.amazon.com/Smart-Girls-Psychology-Giftedness-Revised/dp/091070726X/ref=cm_lmf_tit_8
"Gifted introverts learn differently, often needing to observe the world in order to gain meaning from it." - page 66(ebook).We often overlook the needs of the introverted gifted students because they need solitude and quiet and rarely do they have that in a classroom setting. The introverted students often like to work alone and we see that as depression or low self esteem when in fact it is neither.
In reponse to NDeans- I agree with you regarding the introverted students and how they appear. I had a child in my class this year that fit that very discription. If I asked her if she was ok or what she was feeling- she was always happy and really willing to discuss what she was working on. My first instinct was that she was depressed or something was wrong, but in reality she just worked better this way.
I agree with NDeans, June 11, 8:32 that the introverted gifted student's needs are often overlooked. Trying to find a way to give my GT students solitude and quiet within the classroom setting will be a challenge and I look for more information from this book to provide strategies.
I would like to learn more about the fact that " 5% of gifted children fail or drop out of school"-page 18(ebook). I never thought about gifted kids dropping out of school because they become disinterested in school.They are asked to do "routine and repetetive" tasks and often start to fail academically. I think as the students move up in grade level we need continue to differentiate their learning so that we give all of the gifted students a positive educational experience.
I completely agree, I'm not sure how the middle school and high school do this. I wonder how it works when and if the GT are mixed together with high achieving students.
From the section you just read what idea would you like to explore more and why? Give reference to the page number.On page 26, the statistic that says 5% of gifted students fail or drop out of school..I would really like to explore ways of differentiating the curriculum to really engage these students and make the more interested in staying in school..For example, in 7th grade our g/t students are grouped together with the Pre-Ap students and i feel that there is really no differentiation in the science curriculum for these students..In 6th grade, the g/t students are in a separate class and I do different activities with them so i feel they get more differentiation there but not in 7th and 8th grade.
To Helen Roberts June 12, 2012 I think we all wish there was an easy way to solve the drop out problem. That 5% really surprised me! I teach at the elementary level and admire middle and high school teachers for the challenges you face. Hopefully, the knowledge we will gain from this book study will help us find a way to improve the gifted population's failure and drop out rate.
in response to Laura BoydJune 10, 2012 9:05 PM.I agree with you..it is easy to ignore the g/t students when they are in a class with pre-ap students because the g/t students are usuallly the ones who don't want to do the "mundane" assignments and it is much easier for me to just simply ignore them..I need to reasses my method of introducing a topic and get the g/t much more involved..Ignoring them is NOT the answer!
Gender differences and giftedness is a topic I would like to explore more because I have noticed that I am more likely to recognize giftedness in boys than in girls. Sadly, this holds true even when I know a female student has been identified GT. This is troubling to state the least! On page 52 the author states that, for gifted girls, failing can be an “indicator of who she is, not what she did.” I would like to learn ways in which I can help gifted girls overcome struggles with self concept and self worth.
I also chose "Peer relationships naturally change over the course of childhood, especially as children enter their middle school years. For gifted children, the process of change can be even more difficult, as they move toward fitting in with their typical peers takes on a life of its own." P. 20I was in GT growing up and I know for a fact that we had a specific Academic Group where we felt comfortable b/c everybody else was like us. I also know that kids in my classroom love coming to GT classes b/c everybody knows how they think and how they feel.
I also had specific GT classes in school but found frustration with the range of personalities since it seemed like the students that were the most vocal got most of the attention and the class was geared to them. The more introverted students tended to be left alone to their own devices since they weren't clamoring for attention. It also I think, gave some students a false sense of security since they weren't seeing different learning styles. All core classes for the 7 years of middle/high school were geared specifically to the GT student, which was nice for us but not so nice for our teachers, since we were always together.
I agree with bchristopherson. The peers I associated with were in my GT group. We went from elementary through high school in the same classes together. There was a sense of comradery and security. We were aloud to learn at our own pace, most of us took the info and ran with it - same learning style.
I can also agree with with what Sara Russo says about it being difficult for the teachers, and I also agree with what she says about students in GT classes not seeing other learning styles and thus not being as tolerant with peers in the real world who may need to ask multiple questions or see multiple examples.
To chime in on this thread and Bchristopherson's thoughts, I can see both sides of the coin. While I enjoyed my segregated classes in elementary and junior high school, it was time to move out of them by the time I reached high school. As a teacher, I think both can be valuable--I think some of the more eccentric GT students do feel significantly more comfortable with their peers, but I also think that some of the GT students profit from having some of the high achiever-AP students in class--it is a bit of an ego thing for some, but they will work harder to "prove" that they're "smarter" and will be more motivated to do work with those students in the class.
Introverted gifted students are addressed on page 66 and how they see their environment, their world differently. I have had many quiet, subdued students who rarely would speak up or share their ideas with the class. One on one, you need to direct questions to them which can help open the communication. It will help you to better understand their outlook and their needs and interests. I have had students who insisted that they work alone. You are not helping them adapt to society if it is allowed. Depending on the task, it can be allowed, but in time, eventually, the adaptation and interaction can be accomplished. Some of my most gifted students were not the loudest and most aggressive…but the quiet, withdrawn ones that showed incredible talent. Through their writing or other endeavors, acknowledge their giftedness and build their self-esteem. Hopefully, you can make them understand that their peers could benefit so much from the knowledge they have if shared. Give them opportunities to open up and be heard!
To T Healey June 13, 2012 I loved reading your post! It's true that the students who make the most noise (so to speak) sometimes overshadow the shy, quiet ones. I speak from experience because I was very shy as a student. I was happiest in the background, hoping never to be called on in class and sharing only when made to. I always wanted to work alone...never in a group. Luckily, I had a wonderful 6th grade teacher who believed in me and brought me out of my shell.
T Healey, I agree--some of my loveliest writers were loathe to have any attention placed on them. That's why I loved some of the partner and group work I did in class--their partner or group would toot their horn and while they may get red in the face, the other kids would give credit for their great work, which at times, allowed them to open up and contribute more.
I am most interested in looking at the idea of emotional intensity and self-concept (p. 42). Some gifted students will try to fit a mold and not be considered overly dramatic, while others seem to embrace the intensity. I would be curious to see which type of student tends to be more successful and how to help students on both sides respond better to the stimuli that is the stressor. I also think it would be interesting to look at how students react and their image of themselves. There are plenty of students like Emily that tend to hide their emotions, so it would be valuable to have tools to allow these students to feel like they are in a "safe place" even within the classroom.
I would like to learn more about the hidden messages in classroom and school settings (pg. 54). We focus a lot on the students who are struggling and have interventions in place to foster success. Do we have a place for gifted students? Do we focus too much on success and make gifted students feel bad if they are struggling? What other hidden messages could be found? So far, this book has really made me think about the emotionally intense gifted student and I look forward to learning more!
On page thirty, Fonseca wrote, "Another aspect of emotional intensity lies in a strong affective memory. This refers to a memory of not just the EVENTS of a situation, but the FEELINGS associated with the event as well." I'm curious about how we teachers can harness these emotional memories as tools in the classroom.
Denise, in thinking about your post, I know that I associate events and feelings with music. For example, just the other day I was at the vet with the dog and a song came on where I immediately made an audible sound to which my father inquired what that was about. I told him that that was a song that I roller skated to at the local rink some 20 years ago. When I did New Jersey writing years back, my piece opened with lyrics from a song, and ended with lyrics from another. I can see how all of this can be used in writing, in what other academic areas could this be used? Maybe a soundtrack of songs to match with a character from a novel being studied? :). There is an assignment I would have liked!
I was reminded of an extremely Gt individual in my class last year as I read pages 39-40. He simply could not progress in learning his multiplication facts. Both the timed aspect and the drill of memorization simply blocked him. Finally I realized we would have to approach this differently, more as a puzzle then rote drill was he able to make progress. The book is helpful so far in pointing out some of the traits common to many gifted individuals. Hopefully next time I will respond more quickly when I see these symptoms.
On page 37 Two sides of the same coin- Intensity or overexcitability as an inborn sensitivity or awareness to life. It says that it affects one of the five major areas. It can be psychomotor, intellectual, sensual, imaginational or emotional. I found it interesting that the author said gifted individuals view the world through a highly unique lens in dealing with these areas. I liked the analogy of the coin- one side being their intellectual aspects of personality and the other making them different.
From what I have read, I would like to know more about how to help the gifted child deal with the existential distress discussed on page 58 (e-reader page #). I can understand how they would feel powerless when contemplating these issues. Now, this comes to mind, and I am really just thinking out loud here, but if we know that the gifted child will suffer with these worldly issues, and knowing that they are emotionally not ready to deal with these topics, why would we (parents/teachers) expose them to such issues? Again, personal reference, but here is where my thinking comes from...same friend, other child... the child announces the other day that he is a polydiest. Now, the older sibling is big into mythology right now and talks about it incessantly. Could the exposure to such a topic be causing this crisis?
Having read Chapter 4, specifically pages 46-52, I am really interested in this concept of Extroversion and Introversion as well as Gender and Giftedness. My reason is that I have seen these children pass through my class, but I just saw it as one of their quirks. What I would like to explore now is ways of making informed decisions with regard to grouping and designing lessons that will meet their needs, rather than just being a hit and miss.
On page 35, there is mention about perfectionism and refusl to take academic risks. "when teachers assign tasks that appear too open-ended or flexible to the gifted child, she may shut down completely, frustrated that she can't figure out precisely what the teacher is asking for in the assignment.". This is an interesting idea to make me think about some of the questions these students ask after a project is assigned. It isn't that they are asking because they don't know how to problem solve, they just want to ensure that they are doing the work correctly. I need to rethink how I approach answering them when they ask questions.
On page 17 she discusses the strong influence peer relationship have on Gifted kids. This can have a great impact on the success and/or failure of any kid. I have seen many minority students intentionally fail because they wanted to be with their non-gifted friends. I feel powerless when dealing with this situation, and would like strategies on how to change their thinking.
I really liked her definition of extrovert and introvert on pages 46-49. I've never seen it described in terms of how one needs to renew but it makes perfect sense and really brought to mind not only my own needs and personality but that of other people I know. I consider myself an extrovert but definitely renew at the end of the day through solitude (and that was before I had small children! :) ). I think this is a valuable insight into helping parents and teachers deal with not only gifted students, but teenagers in general--decompression is important at this age and can lead to arguments if parents don't recognize it as such.
I would like to explore more about the different ways extroverts and introverts relate to our world and their different needs in the classroom. Since "introverts require solitude to rejuvenate", I need to look at that and provide that critical time for my students that are introverts. We all need time to re energize, and it is important for us to understand we don't all do that in the same way. I should understand this as I crave some quiet alone time. I am a better person when I have it, so why would I not give that to my students?