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Gifted Education Essentials: Your Toolkit for Delivering Successful Programs and Services

Wednesday, November 2
10:00 am - 6:00 pm
Separate Registration Required | $129 (includes lunch)


NAGC has assembled great minds to share their knowledge for a full day of learning the day before the NAGC Convention kicks off. Whether you’re new to your position in gifted education or a regular classroom teacher, counselor, or administrator, you’ll find what you’re looking for in this information-packed program!

The day is designed to provide a practical overview of what constitutes quality programs and services for gifted students within the framework of the revised Pre-K-12 Gifted Programming Standards from NAGC.

The morning general session will give you an overview of the standards and their role in developing gifted programming. In the afternoon, be ready to dig deeper by choosing from a full range of essential topics from leading experts.

Special Note: To help build YOUR toolkit, NAGC will provide a copy of the new standards and other “how to’s” all included in the registration fee!

10:00 am – 11:30 am
Essentials of Gifted Education: Designing and Delivering Excellent Programs for High-Ability Learners
Susan Johnsen, NAGC Professional Standards Committee
Baylor University, Waco, TX

  • What are the key components of an exemplary gifted program?
  • How do the NAGC Pre-K-12 Gifted Education Programming Standards fit into the bigger policy and service picture?
  • How are standards currently being used to support and deliver successful programs in classrooms and districts?

This session will provide a combination of big picture and practical application. The K-12 standards should be the primary tool in every gifted toolkit!

11:30 am – 12:45 pm
Networking/Table Topic Luncheon

1:00 pm – 4:00 pm
Essential Topics (choose one/see descriptions below)

4:15 pm – 6:00 pm
Leadership and Life Lessons from the Field

Joyce VanTassel-Baska, College of William & Mary, Williamsburg, VA; Karen Rogers, St. Thomas University, Minneapolis, MN; Julia Link Roberts, Western Kentucky University, Bowling Green, KY; Tom Hébert, University of Georgia, Athens, GA; George Betts, University of Northern Colorado, Greeley, CO

Moderator: Del Siegle, University of Connecticut, Storrs, CT

You won't want to miss a rare opportunity to get "up close and personal" with some of gifted education's most well-known leaders in this refreshingly candid session.  In a "fireside chat" format, you'll hear reflections and lessons learned:  from what they wish they had known when they first started to where the future of the field is headed.  Ask questions of your own during this lively discussion that will keep you engaged and entertained. 

1:00 pm - 4:00 pm | Essential Topics (when registering, choose one)

W1. Program Models and Program Design in Gifted Education
Karen Rogers, St. Thomas University, Minneapolis, MN

New to the field of gifted education or wanting to learn more about possible program types for your gifted students? Choose this session if you want to review research-based program models for gifted learners. Models include various accelerative options such as whole-grade acceleration and subject-area acceleration, rapid progress models, partial-day and send-out models, after-school or extra-curricular program models, grouping models, and more. This session is designed to help teachers and coordinators learn about the various ways in which schools and districts can deliver an appropriate education to our gifted children.

W6. Instructional Strategies for Differentiation within the Classroom
Julia Link Roberts, Western Kentucky University, Bowling Green, KY

Making sure that gifted students are challenged in heterogeneous classrooms requires thoughtful consideration of student differences and related needs. This session will focus on the practice of differentiating curriculum and instruction within the regular classroom. What are some practical ways you can identify which best practices will meet the needs of particular gifted learners? Some of the strategies covered in this session include tiered assignments, differentiated products, differentiated cluster grouping, and pre assessments. You’ll learn to employ strategies that improve engagement and optimize classroom resources to maximize learning and help students achieve their full potential.

W2. Designing and Choosing Effective Curriculum for Gifted Learners: Key Considerations
Joyce VanTassel-Baska, College of William & Mary, Williamsburg, VA

What are the characteristics of quality curriculum for gifted students and what criteria should be used to choose curricular materials for them? What features are critical to consider in designing curriculum units for gifted learners? This session focuses on the design specifications for rich, complex, and challenging curriculum including attention to over-arching themes and concepts, inclusion of authentic activities and assessments, infusion of inquiry and problem-based learning activities, a focus on developing metacognition and habits of mind, and making interdisciplinary connections. Examples of curricula that meet these criteria are shared. This session is designed for teachers who are interested in learning how to provide rigorous, content-based curriculum to their gifted students.

W7. Implications and Uses of the Pre-K-12 Gifted Education Programming Standards to Identify Gifted Students from Special Populations
Jaime Castellano, Ganado Unified School District, Ganado, AZ; Beverly Trail, Regis University, Henderson, CO

Identifying gifted students from special populations continues to be problematic for many schools and school districts. This session will provide participants with the information needed to develop comprehensive, cohesive, and ongoing procedures for identifying gifted students from special populations. Participants will learn the uses and limitations of qualitative and quantitative information and be able to develop non-biased and equitable identification strategies. Finally, participants will learn how to use this information to create appropriate programming options to enhance performance of special populations of gifted students.

W3. Creating Classroom Environments to Foster Social and Emotional Development
Tom Hébert, University of Georgia, Athens, GA

This session provides a wide variety of activities to assist educators in creating classroom environments where gifted students feel welcome and respected. This interactive session will also focus on how to guide young people to self-understanding and achievement. Teachers and counselors will appreciate learning how to facilitate nonthreatening and enjoyable activities to create a climate of positive support and enhance self-awareness and achievement in gifted students.

W8. Understanding and Addressing the Needs of Young Gifted Children
Richard Cash, Bloomington Public Schools, Bloomington, MN

What do we do when we encounter a student in the primary classroom reading and performing math far above grade level? Teachers of primary students may not have the resources or expertise to address the young gifted learners’ academic or social/emotional complexities. Addressing these needs is critical to their future academic and social success. This session will describe and discuss the characteristics of young gifted learners and share strategies and techniques to advance curriculum in the early years, develop talent, enhance social maturity, and recognize and nurture emergent potential in low-income young children.

W4. Best Practices in Identification and Assessment
Susan Johnsen, Baylor University, Waco, TX

What are the components of a comprehensive, cohesive identification system that allows all students to demonstrate their diverse characteristics and behaviors? This session begins by exploring the issues related to identification and how educators might establish challenging learning environments so that students may express their gifts and talents. This introduction will be followed by a review of alternative and traditional assessment procedures that are non-biased and technically adequate. The session concludes by sharing ways of organizing and interpreting assessment information. Participants will have opportunities to discuss various identification procedures and examine case study information. 

W9. Developing a Philosophy of Gifted Education for the 21st Century
Elizabeth Fogarty, East Carolina University, Greenville, NC; Connie Phelps, Emporia State University, Emporia, KS

What are the conceptual foundations of gifted education? How can Pre-K-12 gifted education facilitators develop mission statements that become the backbone of gifted programs responding directly to the needs of high-ability learners? During this session participants view film clips from the NAGC Legacy Series to evaluate the degree to which the conceptual foundations of the field mirror their own and district beliefs about giftedness and gifted students and develop or strengthen an effective mission statement for gifted programs. In the second breakout session, attendees embed principles of creative thinking into their mission statement and program goals that prepare gifted learners for the 21st century .

W5. Middle Grades Essentials for the 21st Century
Susan Rakow, Cleveland State University, Cleveland, OH

Middle schools continue to be a “turning point” in a student’s education, yet too few middle schools provide substantive gifted education programs. This session offers new insights in understanding gifted adolescents and improving their middle school experiences. Specific instructional strategies for gifted and advanced learners will be presented and resources and co-curricular programs specific to the needs of gifted students will be shared. Connections are made to “This We Believe,” an idealistic philosophy guiding middle schools on how they should function. Participants will receive Educating Gifted Students in Middle School: A Practical Guide (2nd ed.).


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