Gifted Children A Special Variety

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A Special Variety

       Created By:
       Julie Williams
Edited for Middle School and
        Presented By:
      Teresa Barnickel
                           Here's to the crazy ones.
                                  The misfits.
                                  The rebels.
                              The troublemakers.
                      The round pegs in the square holes.
                     The ones who see things differently.
                           They're not fond of rules.
                And they have no respect for the status quo.
           You can praise them, disagree with them, quote them,
                    disbelieve them, glorify or vilify them.
              About the only thing you can't do is ignore them!
                         Because they change things.
                                  They invent.
                                 They imagine.
                                   They heal.
                                 They explore.
                                 They create.
                                 They inspire.
                      They push the human race forward.
                        Maybe they have to be crazy.
     How else can you stare at an empty canvas and see a work of art?
        Or sit in silence and hear a song that's never been written?
          Or gaze at a red planet and see a laboratory on wheels?
                  We make tools for these kinds of people.
          While some see them as the crazy ones, we see genius.
Because the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world,
                             are the ones who do.
    Who is Gifted and Talented?
• Someone who shows, or has the potential for showing, an
  exceptional level of performance in one or more areas of
           •Intellectual Ability
           •Specific Academic Aptitude
           •Leadership Ability
           •Performing/Visual Arts

• About 2.5% of the student population

• Gifted children are born, not made.

• However, “No matter how gifted, children do not develop their
  gifts without a parent or supporter behind them encouraging,
  stimulating, and pushing” (Winner, 1996).
Gone are the days…
          Why Do We Need
          Gifted Education?
• Gifted learners must be given stimulating
  educational experiences appropriate to level
  of ability.

• Only 1/2 of gifted learners receive education
  appropriate to their needs.

• Gifted education programs fulfill both
  individual and societal needs.
How are they

  1. Referral

2. Screening

   3. Eligibility
         How else?
                                              Student Ability Index

                                      Achievement/ Ability Comparisons

• SAT   10 scores are available for
    6th, 7th, and 8th graders                                    to
  MYTH: All gifted children are early readers.

             “Early readers are most often gifted;
           not all gifted children learn to read early.”

• Mathematically gifted children
• those with ADD/ADHD
• those with learning disabilities
• culturally diverse children
• under-achievers are often visual-spatial
 learners as opposed to auditory-sequential learners.
  MYTH: Gifted students score well on
   tests of educational achievement!
•Many think abstractly and with such
complexity that they need help with
concrete study and test taking skills.

•They may not be able to select one right
answer because they can see how all the
answers might be correct.

•They can be “mappers” or “leapers”
        MYTH: Gifted children excel in
            all academic areas.
“ ‚Gifted” is generally gifted in language and mathematics,
  but gifts tend to be domain specific.

•    Academically gifted can be very different than
    creatively gifted.

• Children can be gifted in one area, not another.

• They can also be “twice exceptional,”
   gifted with learning disabilities.
  More Common Myths…
• Gifted students do not need
  help. If they are really gifted,
  they can manage on their own.

• The social and emotional
  development of the gifted
  student is at the same level as
  his/her intellectual
• Gifted students need to serve as
  examples to others, and they should
  always assume extra responsibility.

 • Gifted students are naturally creative
      and do not need encouragement.

• The primary value of a gifted student
  lies in his/her brain power.
                  ‚Can I come to ‘PASTE’?‛
      Unfortunately it appears to be a place only for the “lucky” or
     “smart” ones. Try to explain that it’s for children that think in
            a different way…not just the smartest or best.

“I want to sign my child up for
PACE.” SECME or Boyhear about thespecial education programa
   Many well-meaning parents
   program like              Scouts. It’s a
                                            program and assume it’s

     for which a child must be evaluated and qualify…it’s not a “club.”

  “Well, all the kids in my neighborhood
 are in PACE, and my child is as smart or
          smarter than they are!”
                          Comparisons are dangerous.
             Common Characteristics of
            Gifted and Talented Students
  • Learn quickly and easily                       “ Dislike repetition

  • Able to use abstract                        • Receive negative adult
    thought and critical                         attitudes to smartness
                                                   • Become bored and
“ Exhibit verbal
                               “ Dominate discussions
                           • Difficulty with listening skills

                                                     “ Become frustrated
 • Have a high energy level                           with inactivity and
                                                       lack of challenge
  •   Be extremely persistent                       “ Resist interruptions or
  •   Concentrate on tasks of                       schedules
      high interest for extended                    • Disrupt class routine
      periods of time                               • Perceived as stubborn or

“ Exhibit unusual emotional
   depth and intensity                  “ Be unusually vulnerable
• Be highly sensitive                   • Perceived as immature
• Be acutely perceptive                 • Be confused if thoughts and
                                        feelings not taken seriously

                                                          “ Fear failure
                              • Aim at perfection
                                                          • Feel frustrated
“ Exhibit independence               •Challenge and question indiscreetly
   and nonconformity                 •Exhibit rebellious behavior

     “ Heightened self-awareness                “ Social isolation
     • Relate more to older                     • Low self-esteem due to seeing
       children and adults                      differences from peers as bad
                                                • Seen as a “show off”

                                          “ Use humor inappropriately
 “ Keen sense of humor
                                            or to attack others
                                          • Frustration when humor
                                            not understood

         “ Possess unusual imagination
                                                        • Seen as “weird”
 What “CAUSES” Giftedness?
              • Experience?
          • Biological Factors?
            • Social Factors?
No single factor that “causes” giftedness!

  Nature?                         Nurture?
“All of us do not have
 equal talent, but all of
us should have an equal
opportunity to develop
      our talent.”
           - President John F. Kennedy
• Jones, Geoffrey (1990). Personal Computers Help Gifted Students
  Work Smart. ERIC EC Digest, E483, 1990. 15 May 2004.

• National Association for Gifted Children (2004). NAGC Parent
  Information. 20 May 2004.

• Network for Instructional TV, inc. (2001). Meeting the Need of Gifted
  Students in the Regular Classroom. 15 May 2004.

• Province of British Columbia (2001). Gifted Education – A Resource
  Guide for Teachers. 15 May 2004.

• Winebrenner, Susan, & Berger, Sandra (1994). Providing Curriculum Alternatives
  to Motivate Gifted Students. ERIC Digest, E524, Jun 1994. 15 May
                    Sources continued…
“   Azpeitia, Lynne, M.A. And Mary Rocamora, M.A. ‚Misdiagnosis of the Gifted.” Rocamora School
    Inc. Originally published in the MENSA Bulletin, November 1994.
    Accessed 5/24/04 from

•   “Characteristics of Gifted Children and Talented Children and Possible
    Associated Problems.” Queensland Association for Gifted and Talented
    Children, Inc. Accessed 5/24/04 from

•   Coleman, Mary Ruth. “The Identification of Students Who Are Gifted.”
    ERIC Clearninghouse on Disabilities and Gifted Education. Accessed
    5/24/04 from <>.

•   Osborne, Julia. “Assessing Gifted Children.” Orig. Published in
    Understanding Our Gifted. Accessed 5/24/04 from

•   Silverman, Linda Kreger, Ph.D. “What is Giftedness.” Gifted
    Development Center. Accessed 5/24/04 from
 For More Information…
          •Guiding the Gifted Child: A
          Practical Source for Parents
          and Teachers
          (James T. Webb, Elizabeth A.
          Meckstroth, Stephanie S. Tolan)

•Raisin’ Brains: Surviving My
Smart Family
(Karen L. J. Isaacson)
                •Smart Girls: A New Psychology of Girls,
                          Women and Giftedness
                               (Barbara Kerr)

•Hoagie's Gifted Education Page

•Great Potential Press Website

•Institute for Educational Advancement Website

•Questia Online Library (links to many resources)

•National Foundation for Gifted and Creative Children Website

•National Association for Gifted Children Web site