These past few months, many people avoided the insanity of the election, its news coverage, and the puerility on social media, but you may have also missed some great articles on giftedness! Here are a few hand-curated selections for you!
You can find additional interesting articles on the Rochester SAGE and Michigan Association for Gifted Children Facebook pages.
“After looking carefully at 100 years of research, it became clear that acceleration and most forms of ability grouping can be powerfully effective interventions,” said study co-author Matt Makel, research director at Duke TIP. “They help increase academic achievement for both lower- and higher-achieving students.
“Moreover, these practices can yield significant academic benefits without being expensive and can even save schools money.”
One day, a philanthropist asked one of Makel’s colleagues, Jonathan Plucker at Johns Hopkins’ Center for Talented Youth, what should have been a simple question, “How many students score above grade level on standardized tests each year?”
Makel and his co-authors found that, on the NWEA, 35 percent of beginning fifth-graders were already scoring at levels you might only expect by the end of the year. And, on the NAEP, the top 25 percent of fourth-graders outscored the bottom 25 percent of eighth-graders every year but one — for 26 years straight.
Dual enrollment has benefited thousands of Michigan students by giving them an early taste of college and, in many cases, allowed them to earn credits without paying tuition. But frustrations remain for students and families, who often find out later that the credits either aren’t accepted at the university they enroll in, or are counted only as general credits rather than applying toward a major.
Avondale School District is getting ready to open the first gifted learning classroom in Oakland County next school year at Woodland Elementary in Troy.
The classroom will serve both third and fourth graders who are nominated and chosen for the program, with the nominations for Avondale students already closed. Between 25 and 28 students will be enrolled in the first year, working with their instructor and curriculum at their own pace and depth.
I delight in the fact that the writers will introduce Randall as a gifted child in an upcoming episode. When I heard Randall cry, “I don’t want to be different,” my heart sank because he, at that moment, became every child I have ever taught as a gifted education teacher.
The need for gifted education programs in our public schools for children like Randall far surpasses the need for our gifted children to just be challenged academically.
“I want to do harder math,” she told us, and she didn’t want it delivered online. She asked to participate in small math groups with friends. But that alone wasn’t why my husband, Matt, and I chose to accelerate her. We also wanted to give her the gift of believing in herself.
No one ever promised fun and games, but the amount of time spent waiting, daydreaming, and battling boredom is even greater for gifted children. In the recesses of their memory, most gifted children recall the joy of learning, their innate curiosity, the spark of discovery when learning was neither slow nor tedious. But that experience may seem far removed from life in mixed ability classrooms tailored to the needs of the average or at-risk student.
Thank you for reading Rochester SAGE! Together we can make a difference for gifted children!