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2010 NAGC Expert Perspectives

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Expert Perspectives

Inspiring Leaders.

Thursday, November 11
8:30am - 3:15pm

Separate registration required

Take this opportunity to learn from the leaders in our field about issues that they have identified as timely and essential. When you register for the Thursday Expert Perspectives program, you will select one session in the morning and one in the afternoon. Lunch and materials are included in your registration fee. These sessions are popular, so register early to confirm your seat and indicate an alternate choice.

Morning Sessions - 8:30 - 11:15am

A. Unleashing Your Own Leadership Style for NAGC
Scott Hunsaker, Utah State University, Logan, UT; George Betts, University of Northern Colorado, Greeley, CO; NAGC Leadership Development Committee members

Target audience: All

This session, offered by the NAGC Leadership Development Committee, is designed for those in leadership positions, and for those who aspire to lead. Gain a basic understanding of the skills and concepts of leadership, and then take those concepts to help you craft yours own leadership skills inventory. In addition to discussing informal and formal approaches for leadership, presenters will suggest ways in which you may become more involved in NAGC, both as a leader and as a valued member of NAGC. This session is a “must attend” for anyone who desires to be a leader within NAGC and the entire field of gifted education.

B. Digital Storytelling: Narratives for the 21st Century
Kristen R. Stephens and Susan Wynn, Duke University, Durham, NC

Target: upper elementary, middle, and high school teachers; university faculty

Today’s students have grown up in the digital age. They are accustomed to creating, consuming, and sharing information using an array of technologies. Digital storytelling can be used in the classroom to blend writing, technology, and emotion – addressing both the cognitive and affective domains. Digital stories involve joining personal narratives with images, video, voiceover, soundtrack, and effects; they demonstrate what learning should look like in the 21st century. This session focuses on the steps in the digital storytelling process, the technologies that support the practice, and ideas for how digital storytelling can be incorporated in the classroom.

C. Challenging Talented Readers
Sally Reis, University of Connecticut, Storrs, CT

Target audience: upper elementary, secondary, and gifted classroom teachers
 
Little research has been conducted on talented readers, who are seldom challenged in their classrooms. The special needs of this group are discussed as well as the specific differentiated strategies necessary to enable them to continue to progress in reading. The Schoolwide Enrichment Model in Reading, a research-based approach that challenges talented readers, while also ensuring challenge and differentiated instruction, is introduced in this session.

D. Taking the 1st Step:  Designing PCM Units of Instruction
Jann H. Leppien, University of Great Falls, Great Falls, MT; Marcia Imbeau, University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, AR

Target audience: ALL

So how can you use the Parallel Curriculum Model to reshape some of your existing units of instruction? The Parallel Curriculum Model incorporates four approaches (or parallels) for designing teaching and learning experiences.  This session is for participants who are new to the model or for those who want to consider how the parallels can shape opportunities for students to experience and develop multiple ways of making sense of disciplinary content.  Participants will learn how to use the purposes of each parallel and the key questions to jump-start curricular planning.

E. Invest in America’s Future: Maximize the Challenge for STEM Students 
Offered by the NAGC STEM SIG
Cheryll Adams, Ball State University, Muncie, IN; Heather Gramberg Carmody, Park Tudor Middle School, Beech Grove, IN; Scott Chamberlin, University of Wyoming, Laramie, WY; Daphne Duncan, Eric Mann, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN; Kimberley Chandler, Joyce VanTassel-Baska, College of  William & Mary, Williamsburg, VA;  M. Katherine Gavin, University of Connecticut, Storrs, CT; Chris Schultz, Iowa State University, Ames, IA; Linda Jensen Sheffield, Northern Kentucky University, Highland Heights, KY

Target audience: K-12 teachers, administrators, GT supervisors, NCTM, NSTA and other math, science and engineering groups

Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) are critical to our economy, national security, and global leadership in innovation and research. In this session, participants will have an opportunity to explore global research-based strategies, curriculum and resources for identifying, developing, supporting, and assessing promising STEM students. Participants may choose from roundtable groups as they actively investigate these techniques and resources for supporting and developing PreK-16 STEM students from all backgrounds and discuss current issues, research, and implications of recent national initiatives with STEM experts. Participants will receive a copy of the new NAGC/NCTM book, The Peak in the Middle.

F. Making Sense of Underachievement:  A Counselor’s Perspective 
Jean Sunde Peterson, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN
 
Target audience: teachers at all levels; parents; coordinators; university faculty; counselors; psychologists  

Educators and parents often view the complex phenomenon of underachievement narrowly and as something to “fix”—as soon as possible and with some sort of intervention.  In general, adults may be so preoccupied with academic non-performance that they miss a low-performer’s strengths, learning differences, creativity, developmental struggles, school-systemic and family-systemic issues, and personal crises, for instance. This session will look at underachievement holistically, through a developmental lens, with attention also to various systems underachievers are part of. With a new perspective, based on the presenter’s extensive research and clinical experience, adults may be able to interact with underachievers more effectively. 

G. Developing Leaders for Today’s World: Service Learning for Gifted Students
Paula Olszewski-Kubilius, Katrina Weimholt, Lindsay Wall, Kelly Weily, Northwestern University, Evanston, IL

Target audience: teachers middle and high school, counselors, school administrators, psychologists, parents

Our nation faces countless social challenges, such as hunger, homelessness, and poverty. Why do these problems exist, and what can we do about them? Service learning integrates academic study with meaningful service and hands-on experience to train and inspire promising young people to become more active, engaged citizens. This session will explore service learning pedagogy, introduce program models, discuss ways service learning provides an optimal match for gifted learners, and review salient research. Presenters will also share best practices for structuring and facilitating high quality service learning projects. Attendees will leave the session with concrete tools and strategies they can implement in their own schools.

H. Technology: Gifted Learners and 21st Century Skills
Cindy Sheets, Shawnee Mission School District, Lees Summit, MO

Target audience: technology teachers, classroom teachers, coordinators, gifted educators
 
The world we live in is vastly different than even ten years ago. How do we make sure that students are ready to thrive in a knowledge-based, global society? How do we provide leadership to our students and enable them to use their experience with technology in sophisticated, responsible ways?  This session will look at technology, including software, Internet, and Web 2.0 productivity tools. From PowerPoint to Wikis, blogs and podcasting, explore examples of individual and group learning activities that promote active student engagement, higher-level thinking, and sharing with an authentic audience.

I. Critical Conversations About Gifted Education in America: From the Voices of African-American, Hispanic, Asian, Gay, and Native-American Leaders in the Field
Donna Ford, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, TN; Joy Davis, University of Louisiana at Lafayette, Lafayette, LA; Rosina Gallagher, Chicago, IL; Ernesto Bernal, San Antonio, TX; Richard Cash, Bloomington Public Schools, Bloomington, MN; Kyung Hee Kim, College of William & Mary, Williamsburg, VA; Jaime A. Castellano, Ganado Unified School District, Ganado, AZ (moderator)

Target audience: All

This session promises to be riveting, engaging, and honest. No topic is off limits. Nationally recognized leaders and experts, often outspoken, who are African-American, Hispanic, Asian, Gay, and Native-American will offer their heart-felt perspectives on what is right and wrong with gifted education in America. Personal insights and professional perspectives will frame this moderated panel discussion. Never before has a renowned group of diverse scholars and practitioners come together on a national stage to initiate a critical conversation and voice what is right and wrong with programs designed to serve our nation’s most able students, many from historically underrepresented populations. Audience participants will also have an opportunity to join this critical conversation.

J. Differentiation through the Development and Assessment of Products
Julia Roberts, Tracy Inman, Western Kentucky University, Bowling Green, KY

Target audience: K-12 teachers, administrators, GT supervisors

Accurately assessing student learning is the key to providing learning experiences that allow for continuous progress. The use of consistent indicators guides the student in developing the product as well as guides the educator in assessing the product. Moreover, each product assessment tool has three levels that vary in sophistication. Differentiation of assessment occurs when the appropriate level is matched to the student. This session will examine criteria (content, presentation, creativity, and reflection) to consistently guide the development and assessment of products from levels below proficiency to expert. A range of products will be examined, and participants will have opportunities to apply the criteria as they evaluate products.

Afternoon Sessions - 12:30 - 3:15pm

K. Leadership in Gifted Education: How to Remain at the Table and Stay Off the Menu
Lauri Kirsch, Hillsborough County Public Schools, Tampa, FL; Elizabeth Shaunessy, University of South Florida, Tampa, FL

Target audience: Coordinators, Affiliate Leaders, Administrators

In an ideal world, those with the power and resources would jump at the opportunity to create programs to empower our brightest students to attain their potential. In our real world of conflicting priorities where scarce resources are the norm, it takes more than a good idea to address the needs of gifted students...it takes leadership. Join the conversation to examine the role of leadership in creating a mindset for appropriate gifted education services.

L. The Pressures Gifted Children Feel: Why Some Underachieve plus Practical Strategies For Reversing Underachievement
Del Siegle, D. Betsy McCoach, University of Connecticut, Storrs, CT; Sylvia Rimm, Family Achievement Clinic, Cleveland, OH

Target audience: parents, teachers, counselors, and psychologists

The early environments that foster giftedness in children also make them vulnerable to feeling extreme pressures.  The pressures they internalize can lead to motivation or can cause them to learn defensive avoidance patterns.  Parents and teachers may overlook or misinterpret the symptoms and may be manipulated by children in ways that unintentionally sustain the problems.  Educators that provide for the needs of gifted children can encourage them to become re-engaged in their education.  This presentation will focus on ways that parents, teachers, counselors, and psychologists can help children to prevent and reverse underachievement.  The TRIFOCAL Model and practical researched strategies will be presented.

M. Gifted Education: A Sherpa for Guiding Everyone to New Heights
Sally Krisel, Hall County Schools, Gainesville, GA

Target audience: All

Educators in Hall County Schools (Gainesville, GA) are demonstrating that a rising tide indeed lifts all ships.  They have refused to take a deficiency view of children and focus on “adequacy.” Instead they have chosen a “pull from the top” approach to school improvement.  By implementing equitable identification practices and challenging programs that allow teachers to recognize and develop talent in diverse populations, Hall County educators have turned around the entire system.  Come learn about their approach and work with team members to develop a plan for your school or school system.

N. The Road Less Traveled: Combining Creative Thinking and Differentiation
Carol L. Tieso, College of William &  Mary, Williamsburg, VA; Patti Wood, Samford University, Birmingham, AL

Target audience: upper elementary, secondary, and gifted classroom teachers

We don’t need to choose between challenging, differentiated curricula and engaging creative-thinking activities. In this interactive session, you’ll learn new ways to infuse creative-thinking skills and habits of mind into your curricula while still differentiating for diverse learners. We will highlight several creative-thinking skills approaches that may be infused into your differentiated curricula. Further, we will engage in creative practicing, explore differentiated lesson plans, and share successes and challenges along the way. Please join us in exploring the road less traveled by taking a risk that you’ll challenge yourself and have some fun at the same time!

O. Response to Intervention: A Problem-Solving Approach for Gifted and Twice-Exceptional Students
Stuart Omdal, University of Northern Colorado, Greeley, CO; Daphne Pereles, Colorado Department of Education, Denver, CO; Lois Baldwin, Tarrytown, NY

Target audience: Classroom teachers, School Psychologists, Special and Gifted Educators, Administrators

The Response to Intervention (RtI) model of service delivery was developed for struggling learners. This model has great potential as a means of addressing the needs of advanced learners or twice-exceptional learners who may have both remedial and advanced needs. This workshop will address why the RtI model with a problem solving/consultation process is a promising fit for these students.  The presenters will describe the theoretical and practical implications for these special students and then take the participants through each element of the problem-solving/consultation process by discussing a case study of a gifted student with both learning and behavioral challenges.

P. Thinking Tools for 21st Century Gifted Students 
Offered by the NAGC Middle Grades Network
Richard Cash, Bloomington Public Schools, Bloomington, MN

Target audience: classroom teachers, GT teachers/administrators, school leaders, principals, curriculum instruction/assessment directors, professional development trainers

For gifted students to be well-prepared for life, they must have the tools and resources for 21st century ways of thinking and learning. Today’s classroom must be designed not to “fill up” students with existing knowledge, but rather to increase their ability to learn independently and to produce new knowledge. This requires teachers to possess substantial skills in differentiating curriculum and instruction to get students to “think to learn” and “learn to think.” This session will introduce 21st century skills essential for the future success of gifted learners and provide ready-to-use techniques for developing student thinking and learning.

Q. Addressing and Meeting the Needs of Young Gifted Learners Utilizing Project-Based Learning Offered by the NAGC Early Childhood Network
Ellen Honeck, Shannon Jones, Ricks Center for Gifted Children, Denver, CO

Target audience: Early childhood educators for pre-K to grade 3

The Project Approach allows teachers to develop a conceptual framework around a topic that will inspire and meld with children’s passions and theories. More structured than a typical emergent curriculum, it allows for the investigation of higher level concepts and ideas through an exploratory and continually developing approach.  The holistic nature of the study supports the young gifted children who seek to make meaningful connections among their new discoveries as well as supporting real world explorations and applications.  The Project Approach will be examined as used in gifted classrooms with discussions of a Bridge project and Opera project among others.

R. Professional Development 2.0
Offered by the NAGC Professional Development Network in collaboration with the Computers and Technology Network
Elizabeth Fogarty, East Carolina University, Greenville, NC

Target audience Superintendents, Principals, Coordinators, Teachers, Consultants, Professional Developers

“One-shot” professional development in isolation has become as antiquated as overhead transparencies. This session will focus on moving presenters, trainers, and consultants beyond the use of PowerPoint and paper handouts and into the interactive digital world of professional development of the 21st century. Participants will learn about and experience the use of free technology tools that can be utilized to deliver high quality and interactive training. Methods for incorporating the principles of the National Staff Development Council Standards for Staff Development will be provided. Together we will establish a virtual learning community for gifted education professional developers.

S. Plugging into Creative Outlets
Offered by the NAGC Computers and Technology Network
Brian Housand, East Carolina University, Greenville, NC

Target Audience: Teachers, Coordinators, Parents

Today’s young people have unprecedented access to powerful tools designed for creative production. However, many schools are asking our digital natives to unplug when they enter the classroom. While the focus of the education system has switched to remediation, teaching creativity in the 21st century has become as important as teaching literacy. This session will present a variety of student produced digital products and specific strategies for integrating ISTE’s Educational Technology Standards for Students and Teachers into a gifted curriculum. Come explore a virtual playground designed to get teachers plugged into new outlets for promoting creative productive giftedness.


T. Program Evaluation and Your Gifted Services: Resources, Strategies and Tools You Can Use
Ann Robinson, Alicia Cotabish, University of Arkansas at Little Rock, Little Rock, AR

Target audience: gifted coordinators, gifted and talented teachers, administrators

Program evaluation is one way to bulletproof your services for high-ability learners. This hands-on session shares practical strategies for documenting what you do for gifted students. In lean economic times, you need good information gathered efficiently from your stakeholders to share with advocates and decision makers. In addition to the session hand-outs, participants will receive a compact disc of evaluation resources for developing a “do-able in-house” evaluation and tools for collecting the right data to suit your school context.