GB Cohort

Lisa Richards' Page

Lower Elementary School Gifted & Talented Program

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Hello all Wiki Viewers:

I am a first grade teacher at Lake Fenton Elementary. I am also the technology coordinator for my pre K -2nd grade building. My topic involves searching for a Gifted and Talented (GT) Program or supplement to an existing program that involves K-2 students. The reason why I chose this topic is because we have no formal GT program and support for exceptional students falls into the hands of the individual teacher and, in this way, is not consistent and even non-existent in some classrooms.

Currently the only thing we offer is Accelerated Reader (AR) and "challenge" work that is a box or other designated area comprised of learning games and worksheets for when the student completes an assigned task earlier than others in the classroom. I personally love AR; can't stand the challenge work areas, but parents are in favor of them because the answer the question (even if temporarily), "what are you doing for my child to challenge him?" I prefer students to self-motivate and push themselves in the task at hand and essentially they are challenging themselves. Once parents see the way a differentiated first grade classroom operates, they will notice there is no need for a "challenge work" basket and have no more questions, but I digress. I want to take some of the brainstorming of how to create a GT program off of the teachers and find one that will work within our elementary school.

Gifted and Talented Resources

Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS) has an Advanced Academic Program with explicit directions on how to enroll your child in the Advanced Program. Here is a link to the Parent Information Packet. Their website states: "Every child has the basic right to an education that promotes the development of his/her potential....FCPS is committed to providing challenging learning experiences for all learners that build on their individual strengths and optimize their abilities....In order to meet their needs and develop their abilities, these highly able learners require a differentiated curriculum that provides advanced learning opportunities." I found this website very informative and a jumping off point to further my research.

This is a video of Dr. Linda Karges-Bone stating the definition of what she thinks a gifted child is. Dr. Karges-Bone has over 30 years of experience as an educator and author. She promotes brain based learning and differentiated instruction. Her website, Education InSite contains more information.





Helpful websites:
NEAG performs studies focusing on meeting the needs of gifted and talented youth.
NEAG performs studies focusing on meeting the needs of gifted and talented youth.

NAGC invests resources to train teachers, encourage parents and educate administrators and policymakers on how to develop and support gifted children.
NAGC invests resources to train teachers, encourage parents and educate administrators and policymakers on how to develop and support gifted children.






GT World is an on-line support community for gifted and talented individuals and those who support and nurture them.
GT World is an on-line support community for gifted and talented individuals and those who support and nurture them.



Articles on Gifted and Talented

external image gifted-child-today.gifResponse To Intervention (RtI) has been the current model to assist struggling students in the classroom. This article describes the various RtI frameworks and describes five states where there is consideration for gifted education in their state's RtI policies or potential for gifted education to play a role.


This Issue Brief summarizes the issues of promising practices for supporting the gifted and talented. It offers a series of questions to ask when planning school-wide improvement efforts that address the needs of gifted and talented students.external image LPA-logo.jpg


This Online article: Who Are the "Gifted" Children --- and How Should Schools Handle Them? is found on Education World, and addresses concern that we need to be in consensus on identifying gifted stuexternal image EducationWorldLogo.jpgdents. The author raises issues regarding the opinion that gifted students have needs similar to special education students. She also poses some questions on how to educate "gifted students". I thought the article raised more questions than provided answers, however presented many links to other sources that are valuable in researching the "gifted child".

Summary

With the mindset that all educators need to create an environment that maximizes the potential in their students, I believe that Gifted and Talented programs have a place in Elementary school. Throughout my research, I've found that there needs to be a consistent, measurable way to determine a GT student and the measures need to come from a variety of sources. Dennis' wiki provides some additional resources to help with identification and grouping students. Once a determining policy is in place, an enriched curriculum needs to be followed to serve as a guide for the student, teacher and parent. I believe that this can be implemented in the classroom through differentiated instruction. To implement a GT program in one's school is a huge undertaking and should be treated as a program much like the Response to Intervention program. When our school first started RtI, we had many speed bumps and even more confusion, but with support from the teachers and especially the administration, the light at the end of the tunnel is emerging. I feel if a GT program is started we should approach it the same way: with a little faith and a lot of support.