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From Where I Sit
Lessons about Talent Development from George Rodrigue

Paula Olszewski-Kubilius, NAGC President    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Two months have passed since the 58th NAGC Convention, yet my memories of George and Wendy Rodrigue's presentation on Sunday morning are still vivid. After numerous presentations on many important topics related to developing and educating gifted learners, George Rodrique's life story was a compelling illustration of the long and multi-faceted process of talent development within the visual arts.

For those of you who missed their talk, George began a painting of his famous Blue Dog on stage while Wendy recounted her husband's journey from a childhood interest in art to a successful career as an artist. George Rodrigue's story exemplifies many important aspects of how potential is molded into adult creative talent. Here are some of the highlights:
  • The early interests of young children need to be nurtured; early exposure to different talent areas at home and in school is important for all children. George was encouraged and supported to produce art by his mother when he was 8 years old and confined to home while recovering from polio. This was the start of his lifelong engagement in art. Enrichment programs that stimulate and enhance interests and provide opportunities to observe budding talent need to begin in preschool and continue throughout K-12 schooling to capture emerging talent at all ages and stages of development.

NAGC News to Note
Administrator Task Force Update

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In November, NAGC convened the first meeting of the NAGC Administrator Task Force. This group, half of whom are principals or superintendents and the other half G/T administrators/leaders, has been hard at work to review available materials, identify specific content needs, and identify resources targeted to meet the specific needs of building principals and district superintendents. More

Looking for Leaders
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Volunteers contribute at so many levels to NAGC. If you have served in a committee leadership position or chaired an NAGC Network, it may be time to think about contributing at the highest level – the NAGC Board of Directors.

NAGC is now accepting nominations for the following Board of Directors positions:
  • At-large Members: three-year term (two positions available)
  • Governance Secretary: two-Year Term (officer position: requires prior NAGC Board of Directors service)
  • Parent Representative: three-year term
  • State Representative: three-year term
  • Treasurer: two-Year Term (officer position: requires prior NAGC Board of Directors service)
Details regarding how to apply and position descriptions are available on the NAGC website.

Planning for Summer Camps and Programs
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It's never too early to plan for enriching activities for your child or recommend to your students' families. Before you know it, summer will be in full swing. Since many summer programs have March application deadlines, it's time to start researching the fabulous summer opportunities that await your child. NAGC has two resources to help get you started. Summer Opportunities for Gifted Kids helps you organize your thinking about the activities that will suit your son or daughter (or students) as well as provide guidance on choosing a quality program. Once you have determined what sorts of activities best meet their needs, search the Resource Directory for myriad summer camps, programs, and other offerings.

Could Your New Year use Some WOW?
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What better way to ring in the New Year than with a FREE Webinar on Wednesday?

Join us on Wednesday, Jan. 18, at 7 p.m. Eastern, for State of the Nation: Effective Advocacy Resources in a Challenging Climate with NAGC President Paula Olszewski-Kubilius, Northwestern University, Evanston, Ill., and NAGC Executive Director Nancy Green.

This WOW event will give you a look at how national trends and issues in education, such as the Common Core State Standards and the ESEA Reauthorization, will impact gifted and talented education. You'll discover how data from the 2010-2011 State of the States in Gifted Education report produced in concert with the Council of State Directors of Programs for the Gifted, can be used at the local level to enact policy changes that can repair our nation's infrastructure before it is too late.

The Red Carpet Awaits!
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In the weeks ahead, stars of stage and screen will be sauntering down the red carpet. Leaders in gifted and talented education will do the same this fall, with a little help from you! It's up to you to submit nominations for the 2012 Awards Program. Whether it's in the area leadership, community service, or scholarship, it's time to nominate the best and brightest in our field. Winners will be recognized at the NAGC Annual Convention in Denver, Nov. 15-18. Review the nominations criteria here. The applications deadline is April 16.

Call for Proposals for the 2012 NAGC Convention
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In November, NAGC brings to the Mile-High City, the largest annual convention devoted to gifted and talented learners! You are invited to share your knowledge and present at the NAGC 59th Annual Convention, Nov. 15-18. Classroom teachers, gifted/talented coordinators, school administrators, researchers, parents, college and university faculty, and more, will head to Denver, Nov. 15-18 for the NAGC Convention & Exhibition. Centered around the theme "Educating with Altitude: Reaching Beyond the Summit," the pre-convention events, concurrent sessions, poster sessions, exhibit hall, general sessions, and networking events (both formal and informal!) will harness the power of diverse viewpoints — from the field and from the classroom. Elevate learning, and ensure that our nation’s brightest learners are challenged as they reach their personal best in the classroom and beyond. Visit the online proposal submission page, or the NAGC website.

The Learning Curve
Featured Content on the NAGC Live Learning Center

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On every visit to the NAGC Live Learning Center, begin your visit by checking out the middle of the home page. That's where you'll discover a selection of complimentary featured sessions that you can access for a limited time. Those will change frequently, so visit the section often. Currently, the top 10 convention sessions are listed. In the weeks ahead, sessions will be offered that follow a theme. Next up with be advocating for g/t education.

Teachers' Corner
Lessons from the Lunchroom

Jeff Danielian, NAGC Teacher Resource Specialist    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
I suspect that many of you feel as I do about lunchtime. On most days, the 15 or 20 minutes spent refueling may be the only time when student voices are absent. It is a calm, relaxing time, that provides an opportunity to converse with other faculty about items not related to school. I certainly find comfort and relief in the short time spent with colleagues, and it is clear that my students share enjoyment with their friends as well.

Although students may not realize it, the lunchroom is the place to observe the overall social dynamic of a population of students. Other than self-selected grouping in the classroom or the occasional recess games, lunchtime is the only regularly scheduled time when students have free reign of who they interact with. I recently had the opportunity to witness the lunchtime activity of my students and I'd like to report on some of my observations from the shadows. I could certainly spend the rest of this column on healthy food choices, or for that matter unhealthy ones, but that is a topic for another day!

Our Community
Spotlight on Synergy

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Synergy Challenge is an opportunity for kids in grades K-12 to become inventors, writers, designers, and creators and to transform their own ideas into reality. With a new challenge each season, the ultimate goal is encouraging today's youth to become tomorrow's leaders. The first Synergy Challenge, Comic Animator, attracted 1000 fans worldwide, with 75 entries from around the United States representing all grade levels, with a total of six winners. In Game Maker, the new Winter Challenge, your students will design and produce their own game. Visit Synergy's Facebook page.

Become a great teacher with MAT@USC

To learn more about the MAT@USC visit us online. The MAT@USC is the top online Master's of Arts in Teaching degree in the country.
Green River Preserve

A summer camp designed for bright, curious, and creative children, GRP fosters creativity, independence, and self-confidence.
"Campers are their best me at GRP."

 From the Headlines

Who is currently identified as gifted in the United States?
The Huffington Post    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Today, lots of different definitions of giftedness exist. This wasn't always the case. Prior to 1972, practically every school used one criterion and one criterion only to identify giftedness: an IQ cut-off of 130. This criterion was heavily influenced by the pioneering work of Lewis Terman, who equated high IQ with genius. More

A Window to My Classrooms
Education Week    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Tamara Fisher is a K-12 gifted education specialist for a school district located on an Indian reservation in northwestern Montana and past president of the Montana Association of Gifted and Talented Education. In this blog, Fisher discusses her efforts to teach electromagnetism, among other things, to her students in her Advanced Studies (independent project) class. More

New Details Surface About Common Assessments
Education Week    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
With one set of academic standards now serving as the educational guideposts in nearly every state, questions are hovering about what the tests for those standards will look like. But gradually, details are emerging that show plans that could fundamentally change the U.S. testing landscape. More

Dinah Zike
Zike is known for designing hands-on manipulatives that are used nationally and internationally by teachers, parents, and educational publishing companies. MORE
Advanced Academy of Georgia

Be a fulltime college student in the 11th grade! The Academy is a residential early entrance to college program at the University of West Georgia for gifted students. For more information, visit our website...

Big Study Links Good Teachers to Lasting Gain
The New York Times    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Elementary- and middle-school teachers who help raise their students' standardized-test scores seem to have a wide-ranging, lasting positive effect on those students' lives beyond academics, including lower teenage-pregnancy rates and greater college matriculation and adult earnings, according to a new study that tracked 2.5 million students over 20 years. More

New Director Has Big Plans at Hopkins Center for Talented Youth
in Baltimore

The Baltimore Sun    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Elaine Tuttle Hansen will never forget stepping into her first college class after years of feeling out of place as a smart kid in her small Massachusetts hometown. "It was like, 'Oh my God, there are people out there like me,'" she says. It's a sentiment often expressed by students who arrive at the Johns Hopkins Center for Talented Youth in Baltimore, where Hansen recently took over as executive director. After years of feeling misunderstood or unchallenged at their regular schools, these precocious elementary and middle schoolers say they finally feel "at home." More

Gifted Students 'Adopt' One Another to Demonstrate Their Support and Remain Connected
The Columbus Dispatch    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
In many schools, educators have created programs that encourage older students to mentor their younger peers. Experts say those relationships help students acclimate to a new setting and give them a sense of belonging. But Reynoldsburg's Gateway Academy students in this Ohio school district's gifted program created their adoption tradition years ago. Students today say they're not sure how it started, but they've latched onto the practice because it gives them a way to connect with new students. More

Compass Points
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