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 News from NAGC

From Where I Sit
NAGC Leaders Advance Ideas at the Board Retreat

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My husband is a gifted musician but knows little, and cares even less, about the trappings of strategic planning or managing membership organizations. While he keeps a safe distance, each year in September, he asks me, "Why is it called a 'retreat' and not an 'advance?'" Of course he is referring to the NAGC Board Retreat, which typically happens around the start of new Board and Committee terms each fall. For the first time this year, President Paula Olszewski-Kubilius brought together representatives from the Council of State Directors of Programs for the Gifted, key leaders in NAGC's advocacy and professional development efforts, as well as the Board of Directors. The inclusive nature of the day-long event reinforced the importance of various groups representing common interests working in concert, and as we so often urge, "Speaking with One Voice" about the needs of gifted learners. More

NAGC Committee News
From the Graduate Student Committee

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The NAGC Graduate Student Committee has been hard at work! Here is what to look forward to in the coming months:

At the 59th Annual NAGC Convention and Exhibition in Denver:
  • Meet n' Greet: Friday Nov. 16 from 4:00 pm-5:00 pm in the Hyatt Regency Centennial A Graduate students are invited to network and ask questions with several prominent researchers in the field of gifted education. Light refreshments will be served. All are welcome!
  • Mixer: Friday Nov. 16 from 5:00 pm-6:00 pm in the Hyatt Regency Centennial A Graduate students are invited to network with other graduate students in the field in an informal, relaxed setting. Light refreshments will be served.
  • Watch for NAGC graduate student committee members at the "Base Camp" roundtables in the Exhibit Hall
We're also preparing an upcoming NAGC Webinar on Wednesday (WOW). "Starting, Surviving, and Thriving in Graduate School in Gifted Education," that will include how to choose a graduate schools, publishing research, and career planning, and we're developing an article for Teaching for High Potential that will detail various aspects of graduate school, targeting those who are considering pursuing graduate studies in gifted education, as well as those at the beginning stages of graduate school.

Our committee continues to work hard to improve communication among graduate students in the NAGC community:
  • Visit the Graduate Student page on the NAGC website
  • Check out our Wiki, where fellow graduate students can share resources or other information on our online forum.
  • Contact members of the Graduate Student Committee directly via email.

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Teacher Corner
Life is a Journey...

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As the days get shorter and the leaves fall from the trees here in the Northeast, students have begun to settle down. I have done my best at getting to know each of them, and I look forward to evaluating their work and seeing what they can accomplish.

In addition to the regular curriculum, my colleagues and I assign a long-term project called an exhibition, where a variety of skills are evaluated through products and presentations. You mike like to use this idea, either as a class or as an independent project for an individual student. There are two forms that the students complete before working on the assignments.

Our exhibition, entitled "Who am I now and how did I get to be who I am now?" begins by asking students to reflect upon certain aspects of their life. They complete a chart that is intended to initiate reflective thoughts on their lives, and will utilize it later on when the official assignment is given. Click here for the complete chart of questions.

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Voices and Viewpoints
Ann Robinson, Immediate Past President

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"Voices and Viewpoints" features NAGC members telling us a little about their "day job" while sharing how their work with an NAGC committee or network relates to the field. As Nancy Green highlighted the retreat held in Denver in September, it is appropriate to feature NAGC Past President Ann Robinson and recognize her continuing contributions to advance NAGC.

What is your connection to gifted children/education?
  • Coordinator of Graduate Programs in Gifted Education
  • Writer of three successfully funded Jacob K.Javits research and demonstration projects
  • Former Editor of the Gifted Child Quarterly
How long have you been an NAGC member?
I grew up in NAGC!

The Learning Curve
"Flip" this Lesson

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"At the beginning of the school year teachers are establishing the classroom structure and teaching to their experiences," explained Jann Leppien, Associate Professor of Education at the University of Great Falls in Montana, during her webinar on curriculum strategies. Her truthful statement that "curriculum is about teaching life ... we are always seeking meaning ... but, about what? ... about a concept," sums up the essence of the Back to School WOW series now accessible on the NAGC Live Learning Center.

The expert presenters provided teachers and parents with ample resources and a wide variety of ideas to support their efforts. In the final webinar, Brian Housand, assistant professor, East Carolina University and Jennifer Beasley, assistant professor, University of Arkansas, challenged teachers to explore even further — "to embrace technology as a great resource" — and go online for curriculum enhancement and innovative lessons to easily implement and adapt. They provided lists of books to read for professional development and links to some of the countless ways to revive, refresh and renew, to "flip," the traditional classroom. Visit Ted ED to view thousands of "flips," or exceptional, user-created lessons. Brian created a site to provide an example of Live Binders, a virtual 3-ring binder of content rich websites for a changing curriculum: wow-revive. Other suggested sites to visit for inspiration are: Edutopia, ISTE and Learnzillion.

Be Part of the Action
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You won't want to miss THE event in gifted and talented education for 2012, the NAGC 59th Annual Convention and Exhibition. If you've been to an NAGC Convention in the past, rest assured you will find the same top-notch level of educational sessions and exceptional networking opportunities you value.

We hope you can arrive early and attend the Wednesday Essentials that focus on the Common Core State Standards; many of you are already registered for an Action Lab. Before the opening General Session with Chester E. Finn on Thursday afternoon, you can register to attend the Thursday sessions that are part of the NCSSSMST Conference. Or, register for the Gifted Education Applications for a deeper dive into critical aspects of gifted programming.

And don't wait much longer to book your hotel room in the NAGC "room block." Staying in one of the official 2012 convention hotels allows NAGC to keep convention costs down. Plus, the lobbies and restaurants in those hotels will be teeming with activity and opportunities to chat with your fellow Convention attendees.

Now for 2012, the NAGC 2012 Convention App! You can have the latest news and information in the palm of your hand!

Follow along with all the latest news on the NAGC Convention homepage, or the Facebook page.

See you in Denver! To find out more about the Mile-High City, check out our Denver page!

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 From the Headlines

Glitch in Teacher Training for Gifted and Talented Learners
Dr. Suz Speaks    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Dr. Suzy Carroll, a college professor, a life coach for gifted and/or creative teenagers and adults, and a Christ-based Counselor in Cedar Park, Texas, writes: "I could feel my blood pressure rise as I read an article this morning from Gifted Child Quarterly about the preconceived beliefs that teachers have toward gifted and talented children. This article was published in January of this year (2012) and clearly statistically demonstrates the need for ALL teachers to be trained in their collegiate educational programs the nature & needs of the gifted and talented child in and out of the classroom. Likewise, these teachers need to have a deeper understanding of the social and emotional needs of their children." More

Standardization — The Implications for Gifted Children
Gifted Parenting Support    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
L J Conrad, a gifted education consultant to parents of newly-identified gifted children, writes: "Every time I hear the word 'standardization', I {{shiver}}. And I shiver a lot these days! When I consider the implications for gifted children, I visualize a roll of duct tape about to be applied to the 'box'. I fail to see how the road we’re headed on leads to anything but a dead end. Standardization has been twisted and turned into a grand scheme of seeming equity, but in truth — it is the stifling of innovation and creativity. It sounds like a nice idea, but it is not." More

Big Change in Gifted and Talented Testing
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A new test for admission into New York City's gifted and talented program will account for the bulk of a student's score, upending a testing regime that a growing number of children had appeared to master. In a broader overhaul than previously announced, the Naglieri Nonverbal Ability Test, also known as the NNAT, will count for two-thirds of a student's score, said city officials, who signed a three-year, $5.5 million contract with the testing company Pearson earlier this year. The Otis-Lennon School Ability Test, or OLSAT, which increasing numbers of children had prepared for intensely, will drop to a third of the total from 75 percent. More

Developing Talent — What Should Society Expect From Brilliance?
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Stacia Taylor, a traveler, a crusader, an advocate, a mom, a wife and a seeker, writes: "I often find myself listening to conversations about talent development for gifted children. Now, I actually believe altruistic talent development is a great thing for kids: take their areas of strength and help them grow. What's not to love, right? As with any altruistic notion, implementation and the need to pay for said altruism often takes away from the vision. What troubles me most is a sense of entitlement society seems to feel toward a child's brilliance and how this entitlement infects the idea of talent development and twists it. I don't mean holding high expectations of meeting your potential." More

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Accurate Assessment? Asperger's Disorder, and Other Common Misdiagnoses and Dual Diagnoses of Gifted Children (an Hour-Long Video)
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Many gifted children are incorrectly diagnosed as having emotional disorders. Other diagnoses are actually more common among gifted children, but are often overlooked. Because few psychologists, pediatricians or other health care professionals receive training about gifted children, this session offers information about characteristics of gifted children, frequent issues that arise, and guidelines to distinguish whether a childis simply showing gifted behaviors or suffers from disorders such as ADHD or Asperger's Disorder. Because some disorders are more frequently found in gifted children, additional focus is given to these dual diagnoses of gifted children. More

Testing Prep and Gifted Education
Gifted Exchange    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
It's a common problem, particularly in the primary grades. A school would like to offer an advanced math option for kids at that level of preparation, but there aren't quite enough kids to justify a class. That handful of children can't just go to the next grade's math class, because it isn't being taught at the same time. What to do? More

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What It Really Boils Down To
Education Week    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Tamara Fisher, a K-12 gifted education specialist for a school district located on an Indian reservation in northwestern Montana and President of the Montana Association of Gifted and Talented Education, writes: "School should be about LEARNING. It's really that "simple" to me. Yes, our schools fulfill other purposes, too. I certainly don't deny or disagree with (much of) that. But if a child is mostly being "taught" what he or she has already mastered, I don't think we can say that child is getting an education. At school, of all places. Ironically, it is our gifted youth who are often learning the least. For one example, see the Fordham report, High-Achieving Students in the Era of NCLB, which shows stagnation, not growth, for the top 10 percent of our learners." More

Can You Become Smarter? Students Who Say Yes Act More Intelligently
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Do you believe intelligence can be changed? Decades of research conducted by Carol Dweck and colleagues indicate that people's approaches and responses to learning are rooted in their implicit beliefs of intelligence; beliefs that can be identified by simply asking people questions similar to the one above. More

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