NAGC Compass Points
Aug. 23, 2012

From Where I Sit
Back to School and Back to Learning ... for All of Us

Tracy L. Cross, NAGC Convention Program Chair and NAGC President-Elect
The 24/7 news cycle turns toward educational stories at this time of year. Concerned educators and parents are troubled when hearing that services to our most promising students may be severely reduced, or in some cases, eliminated entirely. How do we prepare, in our professional development and roles as parent advocates, to face the naysayers and conquer common myths of gifted education? Well, you have taken two important steps already! You are a member of the national organization dedicated to supporting the needs of high-potential learners, and you are keeping up to date by reading NAGC's members-only, twice-monthly e-newsletter! Now take the third and show the naysayers that engaging and nurturing gifted and talented students is crucial to the school’s performance and our nation.More

NAGC News to Note
Call for Gifted Child Quarterly Articles

Gifted Child Quarterly is planning a special issue on twice-exceptionality for the fall 2013 issue and is seeking proposals for manuscripts. For the special issue, we will define twice-exceptional as possessing high levels of talent in one or more domains as well as a mental, emotional, or physical disability. We are most interested in empirical articles but will also consider review and theoretical papers. The deadline for proposal submissions is Sept. 1. Prospective authors can find more information here.More

Capital Update
Race to the Top District Competition: Grant Applications Now Available

The U.S. Department of Education invites local school districts to apply for a grant under the $400 million Race to the Top District competition, designed to help individual school districts and groups of districts implement bold local reforms to improve learning and teaching.

Applicants must meet several requirements related to the students that would be served under the grant (see the competition executive summary) and must document a commitment to all four of the Race to the Top core reform areas (college- and career-ready standards and assessments, robust data systems, effective educators, and school turnaround). Applicants must secure sign-offs on their plans from the district superintendent, local school board president, and local teacher union or association president. The application deadline is Oct. 30.

The department expects to grant 15 to 25 four-year awards ranging from $5 million to $40 million, depending on the population of students served.More

The Learning Curve
Learning Differently

Did you know that Barbara Streisand as a child could hear sounds that no other child in her classroom could? It wasn’t until she was an adult that she learned her hearing was exceptional. These and other stories about the stars in your classroom were shared online by Tamara Fisher, K-12 Gifted Education Specialist, during the first Back to School WOW this Wednesday. Fisher addressed gifted characteristics in depth and provided illustrative examples of each from her many years of teaching. She stressed to new teachers and parents that although each child is special, gifted children are outliers in terms of their learning differences. They can be "many ages at once" she explained. For example an 8 year old may play with dolls one minute and then be able to switch to a discussion of ornithology with an adult the next. Another example of advanced learning had to do with a student who would jump quickly from topic to topic and while she was studying a topic would dive into it so fully, that it included wearing costumes that expressed her ideas. Fisher warned teachers that due to their asynchronous development and other characteristics such as sensitivity and attention to detail, gifted children are often misdiagnosed. As one gifted individual told her, "It's both a blessing and a curse."

You may still register for the series and tune in to the next live session on Aug. 29 and have full access to the archives.More

Parent Connection
What's Your Game Plan?

Mariam Willis, NAGC Parent Outreach Specialist
Join us for pregame and post-game parties for our Back to School Webinars on Wednesday. This year the game plan is your hands, and we can't wait to hear you say WOW!

Join us for pregame at our NAGC Facebook group for questions and conversation from parents, teachers and clinicians about each week's topic. For instance, prior to last night's WOW, presenter Tamara Fisher posted a list a quality questions to get us thinking before the webinar.

During the webinar series we will be including parent commentary for the first time to assist in driving home the essential questions and unique perspectives that parents bring to the table.

Post-game, check our Parenting for High Potential blog each week to vote for our Thursday evening twitter chat topic, where you have the opportunity to extend the conversation, share resources, and explore questions.

This Back to School/Back to Gifted WOW series just turned into mid-week opportunities to sharpen your skills and expand your personal learning network. Get your game face on! More

Creativity Thinking and Creativity

There are a lot of wonderful aspects to creativity. Fostering open-mindedness, independence, wonderment, perseverance, humor, and fluency of thought are great ways to support innovation and experimentation. In this issue of Connecting for High Potential, teachers and parents learn strategies to work together to develop and nurture creativity.

Connecting for High Potential is designed to provide practical advice to parents, teachers, and community members as they work together to support high-ability learners in educational settings. NAGC members have exclusive access to this new issue of CHP, as well as all past issues here.More

Being a Minority at America's Best High School
The Washington Post
Yes, Virginia, Thomas Jefferson High School For Science and Technology Had a Hispanic Student Body President With a Learning Disability. If you Google "Anita Kinney," you'll find a prolific cancer researcher at a Utah university. That Anita Kinney is a genius.More

Educating With Altitude: Reaching Beyond the Summit
Education Week Teacher
Perhaps you have heard of Temple Grandin, professor and doctor of animal science, author, animal behavior consultant with the livestock industry, subject of the Emmy-winning film in her name, and advocate for those with autism. Temple is twice exceptional, a gifted individual with high-functioning autism. This year she will be one of the featured keynotes at the National Association for Gifted Children convention, Nov. 14-18, in Denver.More

App-titude For Learning
The Denver Post
The iPad has been around for only two years, but the tablet computer and its many competitors are already starting to change the way both parents and teachers approach education. Though experts remain divided on the benefits of exposing children — particularly very young ones — to tablets, smartphones and even computers, applications that aim to teach children have proliferated. The Apple App Store, for example, has more than 65,000 active education apps available to students, teachers, and parents getting ready for back to school. App metric website says educational apps trail only games in total numbers. More

'Highly Gifted' 4-Year-Olds Allowed to Go to School
If you have a youngster at home under the age of 5, you'll want to read this. They could now be starting school as young as 4-years old. The Rochester School Board in New York voted to allow some 4-year olds to jump start their education as kindergartners. The most important part of this story is to realize only "some" 4-years old, recognized as "highly gifted" will be allowed into classes early. More

Industry, Educators Build In-roads to STEM Success
U.S. News and World Report
America has a crisis. First, of the 3.2 million students who earned high school diplomas this year, at least one third of those who attend college from this group will require remediation. Second, while the news is better for students earning diplomas, over 1 million students who should have graduated in 2012 did not. These underprepared and disengaged graduates and dropouts are part of a crisis in the United States. If our nation is to maintain or regain its economic and leadership status in the world, it must address the threat of poorly educated and underskilled young people.More

The Joys and Challenges of Raising a Gifted Child
Chandra Moseley is a working, single mom. A resident of Denver, she makes sure to expose her daughter to small-town living through weekly trips to the Rocky Mountains.More