Lisa HAs a Language Arts teacher, I found chapter 9 to be very helpful in providing a variety of resources for developing reading skills with my gifted students. I plan on using “Goodreads.com” as “Students can find book suggestions, keep track of books read, post reviews, start a virtual book club, etc” (Kindle 4001). I think this would engage my students and provide an avenue for them to converse about books they are reading. I also want to try the Navigators novel study guides from the Center for Gifted Education (Kindle 4100). Lastly, the Titles for Middle School Gifted Students (Kindle 4397) give me some ideas of books that might provide the level of challenge our gifted and advanced students need.
In response to travelingbug on July 17th, Even though I have never taught Language Arts, I can definitely see the benefits of using "goodreads.com" and love the idea of having a virtual book club. I could see many of my own students being very interested and excited about something like that. I think it is great when you can get students to talk to students about what they are reading/learning in class.
In response to Travelingbug on July 7thI really like the idea of an online book forum of some kind. A place where students and teacher can communicate about specific topics or ideas in a chapter seems very useful to me. I don't know if goodreads.com would be an ideal place for a Science classroom forum, but it has spurred my interest and I will look into it and other websites like it. Thanks!Ryan Harvey
Being a math teacher, Chapter 10 was very enlightening to me. I have been in classes and discussions about GT learners, but I always feel like I am reminded of something or a concept or topic is revealed to me in a way I've never thought of it before. One of these such points from this chapter that spoke to me was in the Technology and Engineering section where it talks about the "shift from consumption to creation." (p. 249) I completely agree with that thought and find it so interesting to think about. Our students are constantly consuming, or trying to consume as much as they can, but how often do they really have the chance to create? And isn't that where the best, most original work usually comes from--creations? It is our responsibility to encourage problem solving, innovation, invention, self-reliance, logical thinking, digital literacy, and the ability to bridge and relate STEM subjects in the classroom to the workplace and other areas outside of the classroom. (p. 243)
Being a Science teacher, I generally found the section focused on Science in chapter 10 the most relevant. It brought to light some things that quite a lot of teachers in other contents might not be aware of. It highlighted that because of the lack of our student's scientific knowledge coming into middle school, it is very important for us to not only teach the basic concepts, but then also reach higher levels for our GT students. The section referenced the fact that, like other areas, students who are GT might not be the ones who score the highest on the tests. In actuality, they are the students who share specific qualities that Scientific experts in the "real life" fields exhibit. "Scientific curiosity, leadership in group work, strong spatial reasoning, and visual thinking, as well as advanced cognitive and meta-cognitive abilities, may indicate and contribute to giftedness in Science." (p.244) The chapter went on to talk about ways to reach gifted students in the science classroom. One advantage that we have built into our curriculum is that we do labs frequently. When done correctly, especially utilizing the "Problem-based learning" technique is discussed on page 246, labs can be an incredible learning tool for all levels of students. Ryan Harvey
I can totally agree with and relate to Mr. Harvey's comment from July 22nd. While I teach Language Arts, my primary assignment is Social Studies. Like Science, Social Studies is not as comprehensively covered in the lower grades as Math and LA, etc. His comment gave me another "ah-ha" in that we must cover all the basics for social studies AND raise the rigor and intensity of challenge for our GT students. I also agree that using the Problem-based learning model to be very relevant to the study of History as well as in Science. Tying history to current world events and offering scenarios with real-life outcomes can also raise the level of rigor for the GT learner. I have used the mock trial model to put Samuel Mudd as well as Samuel Adams on trial for their "Crimes" against their respective government. It gives the student a truer understanding what is the "Truth" and the jury system.
I was very impressed with Chapter 9 and was thrilled to see the Classics as well as more current young adult literature endorsed and reviewed. "Classics- in part because they are by established gifted writers and often have gifted characters and in part because of their time-tested universal themes . . ." (Kindle location 4086). I especially enjoyed the section on Reader's Theater and plan on accessing those resources for “one engaging strategy for extending student’s understanding of text. . .”(Kindle location 4008). I have already investigated The Center for Gifted Education at the College of William and Mary’s guides for investigative reading as it has a proven track record. “Students benefited from their exposure to the William and Mary curriculum in language arts and these benefits were documented in terms of learning outcomes of statistical and educational significance on performance-based assessment measures.” (Kindle Location 4099). My ah-ha moment was finding this one chapter with a wealth of resources at my fingertips for my LA-GT class!
L. Howard in response to Eleanor on July 23, 2014I also plan on using Reader's Theater with my students this year. It's a great way to engage our kids in a variety of texts. I used a script that was based on the story of Anne Frank this year, and my kids acted out one of the scenes. They really seemed to enjoy it, and it gave them the opportunity to share some of their theatrical talent. I am really excited about trying out some of these Language Arts resources as well!
In response to Eleanor on July 23rd- I have not used Reader's Theater with my students. It seems like a great way to engage students into a variety of text and some of the classics. I will look forward to getting out of the comfort area and try this with my students.
Eleanor, this was a great section. I know that I have already put two classics in my plans for this year. I have worked with Reader's Theater before, but I like the idea of giving them a chapter from a book and have the kids create the dialogue for it.
In Chapter 9 on page 220 I like the book selection process. The process seems like a good tool for students to follow to insure they choose a wide variety of books along with expectations of student interest. It is easy to choose same type of genre but this chart may help student to address and choose different text.
Being a science teacher, chapter 10, page 249, put an emphasis on creation instead of consumption of scientific inquiry. In class all to often students learn scientific concepts and are expected to regurgitate what they have learned. This does not expand their learning, nor does it enable them to gain intense scientific understanding. I use Web 2.0 in my classroom throughout the year but I see that I need to incorporate it into more lessons. It states that students need to spend more time sifting through information to make sense of what they are learning. Through the use of blogs, wikis, videos etc. students collaborate on scientific theories and are able to display and increase their learning goals. This puts the emphasis on students synthesizing information. It also is a way for students to learn how to sift through data from the internet and allow them to find the right information to prove their theories. This truly puts the learning in the students hands. Teachers need to encourage this type of learning instead of worrying about how long the process may take. On the opposite side...We need to figure out how to continue to incorporate these types of learning tools and also meet the state guidelines for TEKS. This is where we should collaborate with other teachers in the district about best practices for using Web 2.0 tools.
I was interested with Chapter 9 the most with a focus on the Reading Nonfiction section on page 235. I really like and will investigate the Concord Review which publishes history essays by high school students. Therefore, I can not only get topics discussed but possibly model paper writing skills in as well. Nonfiction is the most difficult to find and use in ELA due to the length of many (too long) and even the availability is limiting for many topics/lessons. I also love the section that followed, Movies as Cinematheraphy, I am always trying to find clips and portions of movies to relate to lessons so that many students will look at that genre as not just entertainment but a way to view certain events/decisions. Cause/effect, characterization, plot mapping all can be easily seen in movies, even compare and contrasting that of the original book (read first) to the director’s take of what was read. Discussions then develop on point of view and how that changes the character’s attitude etc.
I really enjoyed the chapter on reading and writing. I feel that we do our GT kids a disservice by not pushing them to read more complex text. So often administrators focus on the the struggling readers (as they should) but forget that the top kids need just as much attention. We need to really look at what interest them. I loved how she included many websites for further investigation, By far, this was my favorite chapter.
I had an Aha moment in reading about developing mathematical talent in adolescents (or younger) especially with the statement on p. 256 that "gifted math students are often careless in computation or perform calculations rapidly in their head, and test scores alone do not identify advanced mathematics potential." Teachers need to recognize the potential in these GT kids, be able to differentiate and nurture their development. (PV)