NAGC Compass Points
Aug. 13, 2015

From Where I Sit
Being Part of a Legacy

By Carolyn Callahan, NAGC Association Editor
The legacy of any professional organization is manifest in many of its activities. For NAGC a major component of its legacy resides its publications. These publications — be they policy statements, books, or monographs — are permanent and lasting testimony to the impact the organization has on the field. As Association Editor I have come to understand the immense potential of the organization to teach and to influence through the written word. So, during my tenure in this position my goal has been to contribute to the legacy with new publications that would move the field forward while still carrying on the good work of my predecessors.More

Take to the Skies for the NAGC Convention

We hear web shoppers are finding deals on airfare for the fall, so don’t delay in booking your travel now for the NAGC 62nd Annual Convention, November 12-15, in Phoenix. The NAGC Convention kicks off with pre-convention learning opportunities (additional registration required) that include Wednesday morning and afternoon workshops for teachers, and Thursday Offsite Educational Programs, “Identifying and Serving Gifted and Talented Native American Students,” and “Using the Teacher Preparation Standards in Gifted Education: Demonstrating Candidate Mastery.” The opening general session begins at 3:00 PM in the Phoenix Convention Center. To check the full schedule for the Convention, and to begin planning your itinerary, check out the online planner.

It’s also a good time to select your hotel from the several that are offering NAGC members a discounted rate and free in-room WiFi. Hotel reservations are made online through ConferenceDirect.More

New NAGC Network Chairs and Chairs-Elect
The members of the National Association for Gifted Children recently elected Chairs or Chairs-elect for seven NAGC Networks. NAGC thanks all the candidates who ran. The following individuals will begin their service to their Networks on September 1:


Two new NAGC Books for your Bookshelf
Members save on each of these books available now in the NAGC Online Store.

Bridging the gap between rural education and accessible, effective gifted education, Serving Gifted Students in Rural Settings edited by Tamra Stambaugh and Susannah M. Wood, provides administrators and teachers with practical ideas, case study vignettes, and a review of the various philosophies and current status of rural gifted education.

STEM Education for High-Ability Learners: Designing and Implementing Programming edited by Bronwyn MacFarlane provides a cutting-edge discussion by experts in the field of best practices for delivering STEM education. The contributing authors discuss and make recommendations for the learning experiences of gifted students in STEM education programs.More

It Takes a Community
Yes, we have all heard the proverb, “It takes a village...” Did you know that you have a community to rely on for answers, resources, and general advice? The newly-launched NAGC Community is open to all current members. While the groups on Community were created with the NAGC Networks in mind, NAGC members may visit any group to participate in discussions, ask questions, share resources, and more!

Log in to the NAGC website today and view the bottom of “My Account” for a list of the Communities you are subscribed to by your NAGC Network membership. (Remember, you may move around to any other Community group once you are logged in.) Or visit the NAGC website for FAQs and more information.

Here’s a snippet of the conversation on the Professional Development Network Group:


Explore NAGC's Career Center for New Job Possibilities
At the NAGC Career Center, you'll find the following positions:


Teachers' Corner
Conversations, Discussions, and Change

By Jeff Danielian, NAGC Teacher Resource Specialist and editor, Teaching for High Potential
There is no such thing as a typical “day in the life” for an educator of gifted and talented students. While structured schedules and prepared lessons can create the aura of organization, as soon as the bell rings and class begins, it is truly anyone’s guess as to how the class and overall day will proceed. Although this environment makes for exciting teaching moments, autonomous learning, and individualized evaluations of work, it can be exhausting at times. The question is how to squeeze in meaningful conversations with colleagues, administrators, and community members in the hopes of improving understanding of what the field of gifted and talented is all about and how to offer a true continuum of services for all students.More

The Learning Curve
Back to School Webinars for All

NAGC will launch the fall series of the popular Webinars on Wednesday in September. The six webinars are free to NAGC members (nonmembers: $29 each). You can find more information online now and registration is now open for NAGC members.

Each session will air live with audience interaction encouraged. Following the event, those registered will also be available to view slides and listen to audio via the link in the "My Webinars" section of your member record.

Wednesday, Sept. 9
Parent-to-Teacher Communication/Parent Advocacy
Presenter: Kevin Besnoy, Assistant Professor, Gifted and Talented Education, University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa, Alabama

Wednesday, Sept. 16
Acceleration: Making Informed Decisions
Ann Lupkowski Shoplik, Administrator, Acceleration Institute, Belin-Blank Center for Gifted Education and Talent Development, University of Iowa, Iowa City, Iowa

Thursday, Sept. 24 (Note: This Webinar is on Thursday)
Creative Underachievers and the Fashion of Passion
Sylvia Rimm, Director, Family Achievement Clinic, Cleveland, Ohio

Wednesday, Sept. 30
Scientifically Speaking: Best Practices For Science Education with High-Ability Children
Steve Coxon, Associate Professor and Director of Programs in Gifted Education, Maryville University, St. Louis, Missouri

Wednesday, Oct. 7
Friendship, Character, Spirituality, and Integrity: Paths to Overall Well-Being
Janette Boazman, Chair, Education Department, Assistant Professor of Education, University of Dallas, Irving, Texas

Wednesday, Oct. 14
How to Start Homeschooling Your Gifted Child
Susana (Suki) Wessling, Writer, San Francisco, CaliforniaMore

Get Equipped for Fall with NAGC My Learning on September 14
"Differentiating Content and Instruction for High-Ability Learners: Using the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) or Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS)" is a six-week online course on the new NAGC learning portal. The course begins September 14 and is for education professionals interested in developing strategies and providing advanced content to their students. Designed by gifted education professionals, college and university faculty, and online course development experts for all educators, NAGC My Learning is a learning community that extends beyond the six weeks, as participants continue to share resources, information and knowledge in the online portal.More

My View
The Impact of the Javits-Frasier Scholarship Program

By Amber Aaron and Haden Aaron
Editor’s Note: In the last issue of Compass Points we ran an article from Maggie Aldana about her experience as a Javits-Frasier Scholar. Now it’s time to hear from the student and parent she mentioned in that piece. To read Maggie’s first installment, check out the NAGC Blog.

I am so thankful that my son had Ms. Aldana in his life. Not all educators are as caring and thoughtful as she is. She encouraged him to use his skills to figure out how to handle problems, and gave him the tools to creatively use his knowledge in all aspects of life. There was an instant rapport between them and I loved that she was able to really inspire him. I was also impressed that she was able to help Haden cooperate with a group. Due to mild Asperger's syndrome and a mood disorder, Haden sometimes struggles with this. The fact that he was able to work well with others is a huge success for him. There is so much more I could say about the ways Maggie has impacted Haden's life, but I don't want to gush. — Amber AaronMore

Why This 14-Year-Old Kid Built a Nuclear Reactor
National Geographic News
Mark Zuckerberg, Sergey Brin, Steve Jobs, Bill Gates and Lady Gaga all scored in the top one percent on standardized tests when they were about 12 years old. We knew right then that they had these talents. They got help and were given support to develop their talents. As a result, they grew into creative, high-achieving adults. Anecdotes about the kid who overcame everything and became a superstar without any help don’t have a lot of scientific basis. Gifted kids need support. More

Foundation Helps Groom Gifted Student to Succeed
USA Today
Businessmen from China and Sioux Falls are video conferencing, conversing in their native tongues but understanding each other in real time, though neither speaks the other's language. How is this possible? It isn't entirely, not yet — at least up-to-the-moment real time. But when that day comes, a 2015 high school graduate from Sioux Falls likes to think he can play a role in conjuring that technological wizardry.More

Kids Prove Flexible Social Learners
Psych Central
A new study finds that children are amazingly flexible in deciding whether to copy the behavior of others, or to go beyond the behavior of others. Psychologists say this ability shows that children are precocious social learners. “There’s nothing children are more interested in than other people,” said University of Texas at Austin psychologist Dr. Cristine Legare. “Acquiring the skills and practices of their social groups is the fundamental task of childhood.” More

Gifted Education Grows More Than Minds
Argus Leader
Without gifted education, I wouldn’t be where I am. The things I know, the friends I’ve made, and the classes I took. When I went to the first day of middle school, I had zero friends. The next day, a teacher recommended I go to gifted education during lunch. At first, I felt terrible. I knew absolutely no one and usually kept to myself. Then one day, I met a friend. I knew him a little from elementary school. He helped me open up and make lots of friends. Now, I go every day and absolutely love it. More

Young Students and APL find Common Ground in Space
The Baltimore Sun
As most students savor the final weeks of summer vacation, 33 of the state's brightest sixth- and seventh-graders are experiencing a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to talk science with the men and women behind some of the most ambitious endeavors in space exploration. Through the Maryland Summer Centers Program for gifted and talented students, scientifically inclined youngsters have been living a dream come true: For two weeks, continuing through Aug. 14, they are performing experiments, listening to lectures from NASA engineers, and designing their own space exploration mission at the Center for Space Science at the Johns Hopkins University's Applied Physics Laboratory. More