NAGC Compass Points
Mar. 14, 2013

From Where I Sit
Leading by Example

Paula Olszewski-Kubilius, NAGC President and Nancy Green, NAGC Executive Director
This past weekend was a very important and exciting one for NAGC and for the field of gifted education. The NAGC Board of Directors met, as it always does in March. NAGC also held its annual affiliate conference, which involves hosting leaders of state gifted organizations for a series of educational sessions and making visits to senators and representatives on Capitol Hill to advocate for federal legislation that supports gifted education and gifted learners. The third annual event, during what NAGC staff affectionately calls "Super Weekend," is the meeting of the Convention Program Committee to finalize the presentations for the upcoming Convention in Indianapolis in November.

As we reflect on the events and activities packed into the past four days, it brought to mind this quote by Rosabeth Moss Kantor, "Leaders are more powerful role models when they learn, than when they teach."More

Looking for Leaders

NAGC's annual elections take place in June. Board and Network leaders are just some of the volunteers who contribute at so many levels to NAGC. If you have served on the NAGC Board of Directors in the past, we encourage you to consider submitting your application to run for the President-Elect position.

If you've not yet served on the Board of Directors, but wish to serve your Network, apply to run for the Network Chair-Elect position.More

Teacher's Corner
Sometimes It's All About Discussion

Jeff Danielian, NAGC Teacher Specialist
There is nothing like a great classroom discussion to get everyone in gear. In the 14 years I have been in the profession, I have yet to find one teaching style that I enjoy over the others. In fact, mixing it up regularly ensures that I am catering to the wide variety of learning styles and preferences of my students. For more on student learning styles and intelligences please see the forthcoming issue of Connecting For High Potential, March 2013, which looks at this topic in depth. Susan Dulong Langley and I have greatly enjoyed writing this unique co-authored column. For this installment of The Teacher's Corner though, I'd like to focus on one of many exciting instructional strategies, classroom discussion.

I'm not one to stand at the board and lecture, in monotone type and speech, while the students busily take neat and orderly notes in their notebooks, although I do enjoy it once and a while. Standing in the front of the room posing quiz questions, while the same five students tirelessly raise their hands after each isn't really my cup of tea, but it is effective when preparing for quizzes and tests.More

The Learning Curve
Just Book It!

When is the last time you read a classic work? Or analyzed a nonfiction book? Now is the perfect time to polish your skills. Join us for two opportunities in March.

Join Penny Britton Kolloff, a retired faculty member at Illinois State University and past president of the Illinois Association for Gifted Children, on March 20 for "Selecting Literature for Gifted Learners in Light of the Common Core State Standards" and Kimberley Chandler, NAGC Board Member and Curriculum Director and Clinical Assistant Professor at the Center for Gifted Education at the College of William and Mary, on March 27 for "Educating Primary Gifted Students: Analyzing Nonfiction Books with a Focus on Higher-Level Skill Development." Kolloff will focus on talented learners in the elementary and middle school grades while Chandler will focus on primary gifted students.More

STEM Education Must Start in Early Childhood
Education Week News
According to a 2010 survey by Change the Equation, a nonprofit, nonpartisan corporate initiative to further math and science learning, nearly one-third of Americans would rather clean their bathrooms than do a math problem. In a globally competitive economy, with employers of all shapes and sizes increasingly seeking workers skilled in science, technology, engineering, and math, this is humorous and more than a little troubling. Investing to ensure a pipeline of workers skilled in STEM competencies is a workforce issue, an economic-development issue, and a business imperative. And the best way to ensure return on these investments is to start fostering these skills in young children. More

A Laboratory Grows Young Scientists
The New York Times
During lunch hour, the hallways of Ossining High School in New York have a kind of barely contained chaos. Whistles bleed from the gym, students squeeze every last minute of freedom before they're due back in class. Even the library, where Dan McQuaid sat with two of his science teachers two weeks ago, buzzes and hums. None of this hubbub drew even the tiniest acknowledgment from these three. Instead they were there to talk about Dan's cancer research. More

An Administrator's Toolbox for Gifted Education
Education Week Teacher
As leaders and decision makers in our schools, it is often the administrator whose beliefs, decisions, vision, and guidance help determine the status of services and opportunities for the gifted and advanced learners in their schools. Yet their training to be administrators, just like that for teachers, is often lacking in any real discussion, information, and application of the needs of these students. If you are an administrator who is looking for quality, research-based, quick-access resources about gifted learners, a collection of just that is now available. More

Trenton, NJ. School District Plans to Revive Gifted and Talented Program
The Times of Trenton
The Trenton, N.J. school district plans to revive its gifted and talented program, an idea enthusiastically received by school leaders last night who said the district's gifted students need a program to nurture their talents and inspire them. Superintendent Francisco Duran said the district, in its haste to support struggling students, can’t let its high-achieving students get lost in the shuffle. More

Serving Students with Special Needs and Gifted and Talented
District Administration Magazine
According to Wilton School District Superintendent Gary G. Richards in Connecticut, said most people who move to Wilton do so for its high-quality schools, which has struck a successful balance between educating its most advanced learners and ones who need more help. … And the district meets the needs of all students through its differentiated instruction and developmentally-appropriate instructional strategies for Wilton’s diverse learners, including the 10 percent of students who receive special education services and 8 percent who are considered talented and gifted.More

Who Should Be in the Gifted Program?
The Hechinger Report, via Slate Magazine
In 1975, the school system in Louisville had launched the district-wide “Advance Program,” which offered an enriched curriculum, just as the desegregation plan went into effect. All Louisville schools were required to have a mix of black and white students so that the number of black students never fell below or rose above a certain cutoff. (It varied over the years, but the range was around 20 to 40 percent.) In the Advance Program, however, the rules didn’t apply because classroom assignments within schools were exempt. The percentage of black students in the gifted program was 11 percent. More

Subcommittee Explores STEM Education Initiatives to
Stimulate American Competitiveness

Space Ref
The Subcommittee on Research held a hearing to examine industry and non-profit philanthropic science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education initiatives. Chairman Lamar Smith, R-Texas, said in part: "Since our founding, American innovators have played an important role in our nation's growth and prosperity. Some of the most prominent people in American history were also our nation's greatest inventors. From Benjamin Franklin and Thomas Edison to the Wright brothers and Henry Ford, American inventors have led the world in innovations for centuries." More

North Carolina Magnet Sets Bar High
The Charlotte Observer
Eighth-graders at Piedmont Middle School in Mecklenburg County, N.C., groan when they recall the newspaper project. But the Pigman trial lights them up. The newspaper project is a sixth-grade rite of passage. For three months, language arts teacher Karen Bailey has students scouring the press for articles that relate to their reading, math, social studies and science classes, preferably with an international twist. They must keep a scrapbook and write analyses of each item they find.More

Giftedness and Classroom Boredom: Maybe It's Not All Bad
Psychology Today
I see it as my duty and responsibility to be an advocate for gifted learners, writes Christopher Taibbi, column writer for the Psychology Today's blog Gifted-Ed Guru. This is not always easy. As I educate teachers and parents about the unique and very real needs these student have, I've learned that diplomacy typically gets more results than, say, a collegiate style lecture on the characteristics of gifted learners.More

How to Create a Science Prodigy
The Creativity Post
Dr. Jonathan Wai, a psychologist, writer, and research scientist at the Duke University Talent Identification Program, writes: "In America we enjoy hearing that everyone can do whatever they put their mind to and focus their heart on. And the story of Jack Andraka, the teenage math and science prodigy who recently rocketed to fame due to his win at the 2012 Intel Science Talent Fair, has captured many imaginations. I think the attention Jack is getting is wonderful because we need people like him to serve as role models to show that it's cool to be an scientist, math geek, and inventor. Yet I've noticed that the media has focused on how everyone can be like Jack or how other parents can learn from Jack's parents on how to raise another genius. In this article I present to you the other side of the coin." More

House to Launch Nationwide Contest Encouraging Students
to Develop Mobile 'Apps'

The Hill
The House is expected to pass a resolution establishing a nationwide technology contest for students, which would initially encourage contestants to develop new "apps" for smartphones and tablets. The resolution from Rep. Candice Miller, R-Mich., is scheduled for consideration next week. It would create a contest run by the House of Representatives in which students from every congressional district would compete in the fields of science, technology, engineering and math, the so-called STEM fields.More