What_is_LAgniappe Who_should_attend Sample_sessions Keynote_speakers

Creativity 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


Susan Baum, College of New Rochelle


LearningLinks: 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.


E. Jean Gubbins and Robin Schader, University of Connecticut


Nuts 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 abilities.



E. Jean Gubbins, University of Connecticut, Storrs, CT


The Messages They Receive: Influences on the Lives of Gifted Young Men

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.


Tom Hebert


Toons 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.


Carey Hamburg


Books as Hooks for Creating Lifelong Learning

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.


Susannah Richards, College of New Rochelle


Renzulli 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.


Joseph S. Renzulli, The Neag Center for Gifted Education and Talent Development, University of Connecticut


The 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.


Christine Briggs, University of Louisiana at Lafayette and Robin Schader University of Connecticut


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 be provided.


Susan Baum, College of New Rochelle


Digital Storytelling: An Acadian Odyssey

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.


Gail H. Dack and Louise Prejean, University of Louisiana at Lafayette


Creating 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.


Thomas P. Hebert, University of Georgia


Demystifying the College Process

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!


Melinda W. Mangham, Lafayette High School , Louisiana


Parenting for Talent Development: What do parents of gifted children want to know?

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 well as hear about a variety of resources to address each subject. We’ll 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.


Robin Schader, 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.


Susan Baum, College of New Rochelle


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)


Sally M. Dobyns, University of Louisiana at Lafayette


The Learning Print


E. Jean Gubbins and Robin Schader


The Parallel Curriculum Model: Design and Implementation

Sandra Kaplan, Jann Leppien and Jeanne Purcell


The 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.


Susannah Richards, College of New Rochelle, New York


Wetland Ecology

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, an exploration of wetland resources on the World Wide Web.


Jim Whelan, Westdale Middle School, Baton Rouge


Differentiation and Diversity

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.


Christine Briggs, University of Louisiana at Lafayette and Carol Ann Williams, Upper Township Cape May Public Schools, New Jersey


Mentoring 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.


Kathy Gavin


Kinetic Strategies for Underachieving Students

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.


Gail N. Herman, Garrett County Public Schools, Maryland


The Multiple Menu Model: Design and Implementation

Jann Leppien and Tom Hays

National Board Certification for Teachers

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.


Cheryl Friberg, Enrichment Specialist, St. Landry Parish Schools


Career Development and Planning for Gifted/Talented Adolescents

Gifted and talented teenagers typically receive little help with planning for careers. This session will provide teachers and 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.

Meredith Greene, Annapolis Valley Regional School Board, Nova Scotia, Canada
  Storytelling 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.



Gail N. Herman, Garrett County Public Schools, Maryland

  Origami for Fun and Pleasure in the Classroom

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.



Rachel McAnallen, The Math Channel

  You Too Can Be Wet and Wild!

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.



Suzi Thornton, Iberia Parish Schools (retired!) and Cindy Lassalle, Episcopal School of Acadiana Lower School

  Practical Tools 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 and adults.



Don Treffinger

  Authentic 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.



Carol Ann Williams, Upper Township Cape May Public Schools, New Jersey and Christine Briggs, University of Louisiana at Lafayette

  Thinking Outside the Box City

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 varied disciplines.



Hector Lasala, University of Louisiana at Lafayette

  Geocaching: A High-Tech Search for Connections and Understanding

Join the hunt! Armed with Global Positioning System (GPS) receivers, locate and create treasure troves of content that can be applied across the curriculum.



Louise Prejean, Sally Dobyns, University of Louisiana at Lafayette and Andre Prejean, Fugro Intl.

  Enrichment Clusters: Ode to the JOY of Learning

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!


Deb Cochran , Tarrah Davis, Anne Johnson, Cindy Lassalle, Kristy Robin and Sandra Thompson
  Classroom Counselor: 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.



Meredith Greene, Annapolis Valley Regional School Board, Nova Scotia, Canada

  Writing 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!



Gail N. Herman, Garrett County Public Schools, Maryland

  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 answer.



Rachel McAnallen, The Math Channel

© 2005, Center for Gifted Education, College of Education, University of Louisiana at Lafayette
PO Box 43251, Lafayette, LA 70504,, 337-482-1073