1-2-3: Nurturing Creative Abilities in Young Children
In this climate of “no child left behind,” we find little
attention given to promoting creative thinking especially in the
primary grades. Creativity is an essential skill in the development
of students’ gifts and talents. In this fun and interactive
session, we will explore a variety of instructional strategies, which
require students to be creative. In addition we will explore ways
to integrate creativity into the required curriculum, making it challenging,
motivating and engaging.
Connecting Parents, Teachers, and Students
How can we more systematically discover and use student information as a solid
rationale for differentiation and enrichment? How can we meet expanded NCLB policies
concerning parent participation in school? This workshop will present information
from a pilot research project with the National PTA that provides a shared focus
and vocabulary for the support of strength-based learning using the “LearningPrint,” which
provides a framework for recording information about a child’s learning
preferences, strong interests, demonstrated abilities, and family experiences.
This information not only helps educators justify programming modifications for
individual students, but it is also effective in building positive conversations
between students, teachers, and parents. Participants will learn how to collect,
analyze, and apply LearningPrint information.
and Bolts of Designing Enrichment Programs and Services
Master the basics of designing an enrichment program to meet students’ needs.
Learn how to create a defensible identification system and develop
a continuum of learning opportunities to challenge students’ academic
Messages They Receive: Influences on the Lives of Gifted Young
Gifted young men often receive
mixed messages from important people in their lives that influence
the development of their talents and gifts. Such influential messages
also have an impact on their
social and emotional development. An examination of these issues
is presented through research and vignettes of gifted males experiencing
these mixed messages. Recommendations are offered for
teachers and school counselors regarding ways to assist gifted young
men in successfully interpreting the messages they receive.
to Tell:Telling Stories Through Comic Strip Cartooning
This workshop offers educators the opportunity to explore connections
between Language Arts and the visual art form of comic strip cartooning.
Participants will learn step-by-step methods to lead students in
the creation of their own narrative comic strip.
This session will include an overview of the children’s book
world including information on current trends in children’s
publishing and how an idea becomes a book. In addition to the dozens
of books and book list sources that will be highlighted, specific
focus on how to use books to meet the needs of gifted students will
be emphasized. Featured books will include recently published fiction
and non-fiction books that stimulate engagement and lead to critical
and creative thinking experiences. Discussion and activities will
focus on resources for locating and evaluating children’s books,
strategies for sharing books with gifted students, and ways for students
to engage with books. A medley of books from various genres will
be used to illustrate how to facilitate interest exploration.
Learning System (Keynote Follow-Up Session)
In this session, participants will have the opportunity to experiment
with the Renzulli Learning System, a web-based search engine that
allows students to complete an on-line assessment of their abilities,
interests, learning styles and preferred modes of expression. The
results of the assessment are then used to develop an individual
student profile and to identify a broad range of personalized resources
available over the internet. Resources range from creative and critical
thinking activities in students’ areas of interest to virtual
field trips, contests, competitions, advanced level training opportunities
and research skills that guide students in original and creative
projects. Students’ work is compiled in their own personalized
Total Talent Portfolio to be accessed by teachers and parents to
monitor and guide student activities.
S. Renzulli, The Neag Center for Gifted Education and Talent Development,
University of Connecticut
Collaboration of Teachers and Parents in Gifted Education
Parents of gifted children are often confused by how different states
and districts identify and serve gifted students. This lack of understanding
can not only affect parents’ perception and participation
in program offerings, but can hinder their contributions to the talent
development of their child, particularly in areas with diverse populations.
Topics for this session were selected through the
teaching of an online course for a graduate-level gifted education
class with a focus on helping parents and teachers grapple with giftedness,
learn about GT policies, and address the basic issues that impact
the education of high potential students.
Differentiated Curriculum Through Tiered Instruction and Assignments
This session will introduce “tiering” as a strategy to
meet the needs of varying ability groups within the classroom. Tiering
is used when the teaching activity involves the whole class with
the focus on one skill or concept. The learning activities, however,
are tiered so that all students can master the learning goal at some
level. Participants will design activities that can be adapted to
a multiple academic levels. Examples in math and language arts will
Participants will learn to utilize the powerful format of iMovie
to bring to life one of the traditional stories of South Louisiana.
Using digital imagery, participants will create a Quick Time movie
and will gain the skills necessary to empower students as they create
stories that expand social studies themes and place-based learning
in the classroom.
Classroom Climates to Support Social and Emotional Development
This session presents a smorgasbord of activities that will assist
teachers in creating the kind of classroom where bright, creative
students feel welcome and valued. This session will be filled with
exercises, strategies, and techniques designed to enhance self-concept
in young people. Sensitive and empathic teachers will enjoy learning
how to facilitate simple, non-threatening, and enjoyable activities
to create a climate of positive support and enhance self-awareness
in talented youngsters.
High ability students often have special problems in college planning.
They need an action plan and a college planning timeline such as
those shared in this session. Also included in the workshop are scholarship
search strategies, characteristics of colleges (what to look for),
suggestions for making the right match, and financial considerations.
In short, this session addresses all you ever need to know in order
to attend the college of your dreams...or your child’s dreams...without
a Family Feud!
for Talent Development: What do parents of gifted children want
This session offers an opportunity to informally discuss issues
facing parents of high potential children. Beginning with a summary
of the 2700 + inquiry email received by the NAGC Parent Specialist
service during the past 3 years, you will learn what general and
specific topic areas have received the most frequent inquiries,
as hear about a variety of resources to address each subject.
also be looking at what the research says (and doesn’t
say) about the kind of upbringing that provides children with a firm
foundation for success as adults.
Parent Resource Specialist, National Association for Gifted Children
Double Trouble: Gifted Students with Learning and Attention Challenges
Many of our gifted and talented students have learning or attention
challenges that must be addressed for them to be successful. In this
interactive strand, we will discuss who these students are, how to
identify them, and how to best meet their needs. Participants are
encouraged to bring information about a student whom they feel may
be twice exceptional and use the strand to develop a specialized
plan for the student.
Primary Sources: Springboards to Historical Research
We teach a subject not to produce little living libraries on that
subject, but rather to get a student to…consider matters as
an historian does, to take part in the process of knowledge-getting.
Knowing is a process, not a product.” Jerome Bruner, 1966.
Primary sources provide high-interest springboards into student-generated
historical research. When engaged in the interpretation of primary
source materials, students’ curiosity takes over, and the natural
result is questions that excite the students who ask them. Participants
in this hands-on, minds-on session will engage in historical thinking
while exploring a variety of primary sources, including Civil War
letters, antebellum plantation records, artifacts, photographs, tombstone
rubbings, magazines, oral histories, and family stories…what
better place to begin? The NCSS History Standards support every aspect
of historical detection, including the field trips to an old cemetery.
($5.00 materials fee for optional tombstone rubbings, weather permitting)
Talented Reader: Strategies for Reading Instruction
This session will focus on strategies to meet the needs of talented
readers. The session will begin with a summary of the research on
talented readers–who are they and the recommended practices
that help them continue to grow as readers. Some of the issues addressed
include: differentiation and modification of reading instruction;
the role of interest assessment; evaluating curricular materials
and books; and creating engaging reading experiences for talented
readers. Handouts will include information on talented readers, teaching
suggestions, and sources for materials to use with talented readers.
Wetlands are Louisiana’s most valuable and vulnerable resource.
What makes these mysterious places filled with strange creatures
so special? Participants will find out first-hand through direct
observations of a wetland ecosystem and designing one for the classroom.
They will investigate the microscopic and macroscopic life in a swamp
and conduct their own wetland investigation. The program will conclude
with www.wetlands.com, an exploration of wetland resources on the
World Wide Web.
Over half of the parishes in Louisiana are out of OCR compliance
for their lack of representation of diverse students in gifted program
offerings. With the state’s testing requirements, how
might this disparity improve? This session will discuss how programs
across the U.S. are working to increase the representation of diversity
in their programs. During this session participants will review differentiation
techniques and examine how they may be used to encourage and improve
access of diverse students in high academic offerings.
Participants will learn how programs from across the U.S. use alternative
assessments and multiple criteria for formal identification
and talent pool and select instructional options to encourage gifted
behaviors in all students. Participants will have
the opportunity to discuss ideas and examine instructional strategies
that encourage higher levels of student performance.
Mathematical Minds: Teaching Math to Talented Elementary Students
Mentoring Mathematical Minds: Teaching Math to Talented Elementary
Students M. Katherine Gavin, University of Connecticut. In this strand,
teachers participate in hands-on investigations from new innovative
curriculum units to meet the needs of talented math students at the
elementary level developed by Project M3: Mentoring Mathematical
Minds, a Javits research grant at UConn.
Many underachieving GT/LD and ADHD students learn best kinesthetically.
Many students are creatively kinesthetic. Some can create physical
mnemonics for learning, characters for stories, and movement pieces
to describe processes in math and science. Some just love to move,
mime, and dance. This workshop will provide participants with examples,
resources, and ideas for getting started. This is a chance to spice
up the curriculum AND address standards. Think of learning parts
of speech through chants and acting, adverbs through mime, addition
or fractions through dancing and stories, geometry vocabulary through
a story, scientific processes through drawing and movement, architecture
through the rondo form and tableau, and art appreciation through
movement. In addition, think of reviewing social studies and geographic
content through theatre games.
Would you like to spend a
year describing, analyzing and reflecting on how your teaching
makes a difference in your students' learning? If so, this session
is for you. It will provide you with an overview of the general
requirements, intrinsic motivation and extrinsic rewards of pursuing
the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards (NBPTS)
process. Being recognized as one of the our nation's best teachers
could be in your future.
and Planning for Gifted/Talented Adolescents
Gifted and talented teenagers typically receive
little help with planning for careers. This session will provide
parents with an understanding of some of the major career issues
facing these adolescents, according to a life/career development
approach. Career-related issues to be discussed include societal
expectations, personality traits, perfectionism, multipotentiality,
and the challenges facing special populations.
Annapolis Valley Regional School Board, Nova Scotia, Canada
with a Beat!
Immerse yourself in music and story! We will explore stories that
contain music or are suited to adding either songs or musical sound
effects (for actions, objects, and mood) with percussion world instruments.
We will explore the rhythm and musical elements in narrative poems
and create new song-stories in ballad form using vocal and musical
sound effects with folk instruments from around the world. Enrichment
teachers, classroom teachers, and of course music teachers will enjoy
this session. You do not have to play an instrument (we will have
plenty), but if you have one, bring it! Handouts include sample lessons
and a list of wonderful children’s literature suitable for
storytelling with a beat. You really need nothing but your clapping
hands, your talking or singing voice, and your creativity.
All origami begins with putting the hands in motion. Understanding
something intellectually and knowing the same thing tactilely are
very different experiences. To learn origami, you must fold it. In
this workshop the participants will build math models through the
use of unit/modular origami. Inherent in all the folding is the wonderful
world of transformational geometry. The participants will learn about
the Platonic and Archimedean solids along with their duals and stellations
and will leave the session with several models in hand. For those
who have origami experience, not to worry, differentiation is alive
and well. Bring patience, perseverance and a sense of humor to this
workshop. A $6.00 fee is needed for a packet of origami paper.
Get wet and wild with resources and project ideas about the wetlands.
Learn how to combine music, art, drama, social studies and science
to teach an integrated wetlands unit with hands-on activities and
varied resources. Presenters will share a successful grant funded
project for a regular class with gifted inclusion to perform the
play at other schools and record wetlands music in a real recording
studio. Participants will receive copies of the class play, prop
and costume ideas, and song lyrics for music with the content and
vocabulary of the wetlands. Learn how this project and others can
challenge students of all ability levels and evolve into activities
like quilt designs, information exchanges with other classes, and
real world projects.
for Creative Learning and Problem Solving
In this workshop, you will learn several practical tools for generating
ideas (creative thinking) and for focusing ideas (critical thinking).
Individuals and groups of all ages can apply these tools in any content
area. The workshop will also provide an introduction to Creative
Problem Solving (CPS), building on our most recent research and development
work in CPS and its practical applications for children, adolescents
Assessment: Providing for “Full-Service” Differentiation
Given the present climate of including all children with exceptionalities
in general education classrooms, the need for providing “full-service” differentiation
is imperative for student success. This workshop will focus on authentic
assessment strategies that will fully evaluate student work according
to levels of readiness, cognitive preference and learning style.
Session objectives include identifying the characteristics of authentic
assessment, listing various forms of authentic assessment, and constructing
rubrics to evaluate student products.
Box City is an opportunity to learn about the historical, social,
and civic factors manifested in a city and its buildings. Participants
in this session will be exposed to the processes that have shaped
the built-environment and discoveries about what a community is and
how it works. A one-hour historical walking tour of downtown Lafayette
will emphasize the narratives behind the buildings that make up this
city. Then to build the “Box City” itself, each participant
is assigned a building type and a location for it. They simultaneously
create fictitious biographies of the structure’s past and present
inhabitants. Cumulative stories are told by the “builders”.
Thus, a kind of town history is constructed. The last segment is
dedicated to reflecting on how to adapt the workshop to each participant’s
needs, (i.e., grade level, subject, space and time limitations, etc.).
In addition to learning how communities create the places they need,
want, and deserve, “Box City” develops skills (i.e.,
abstract thinking, observation, patterning, creativity, storytelling,
measuring, mapping, designing, teamwork, sense of place) and connects
What are enrichment clusters (ECs)? How do they fit into
the Schoolwide Enrichment Model? How do they fit into traditional
school settings? How are topics decided? (HINT: Teachers’interests
count, too!) How long do clusters last? What about products? These
questions and others will be answered. For answers to these questions
and examples of successful ECs, join the faculty of a “from
the ground up” Schoolwide Enrichment Model school that has
just completed its first round of ECs. Session will include “lessons
learned” by this fun team of teachers. If you have wondered
about how enrichment clusters might fit into your day and your school,
this is the session for you!
Counseling Techniques for Teachers
Do gifted kids regularly seek you out as an advocate, ally, or advisor?
Even though many gifted educators are armed with many curricular
options and a keen awareness of social and emotional issues for gifted
youth, they are seldom trained in the counseling techniques or the
self-care needed to deal with these issues in the classroom. In this
session, participants will explore the role of teacher as counselor,
learn practical and simple counseling approaches, and practice basic
skills that can be applied in the classroom to enhance students’ social
and emotional well-being.
Annapolis Valley Regional School Board, Nova Scotia, Canada
Tall Tales and “True” Tall Stories
Storytelling motivates students to read, teaches prediction, and
nurtures strengths that do not rely solely on reading and writing.
We tell our stories to discover what we need to write and what we
forgot to write. Some students want to read and tell traditional
tall tales like Paul Bunyan; others want to create original tall
stories about pets, machines, plants, weather, their towns and townspeople,
etc. This workshop is for people who want to grow 8 feet tall!
Creative and Humorous
Ways to Teach Math Without Worksheets
This workshop is designed to use place value as a tool to understand
the four basic arithmetic operations. Using a monetary approach and
calling numbers by their correct place value names, the participants
will find many creative and humorous ways to teach the basic math
concepts. Developmental theory, multiple intelligences and different
learning styles will be emphasized which should enable teachers help
all students, including those who are dyslexic and math anxious,
to understand math concepts from the concrete stages to the abstract.
The final outcome of the workshop is to understand that arithmetic
is answering the question whereas mathematics is questioning the