Monday, September 29, 2008

GT Book Study Question 3

This book is designed to share practical information and stories from those who have lived and or worked with profoundly gifted children. Which story, section, or piece of practical information did you like best or left an impression with you…and why? Don't forget to give page numbers.

27 comments:

solanaw said...

High I.Q. pages101 -114. Too Smart for School? by Marilyn Walker. It reminded me of how my own kids had alot of trouble at school years ago because of their giftedness and the teachers always tried to find tests, programs to try and fit them somewhere. Teachers really didn't know what to do with them. So I was constantly changing them from class to class and from school to school. My kids would complain that they were bored to death and they needed challenges. I understood the situation and I still do today. My children today change from one job to another looking for challenges in their jobs. My son is looking for a more challenging job in technology and my daughter left many jobs and I think she found what she was looking for last week, she just quit a job last week and was hired by a company that builds airports. She does the architecture for creating airports. She's the only young girl there in the company. Gifted children like this have a hard time in life. We really need to help them and challenge them the best way we can. To help them strive!

jenniferk said...

"Normal Kids Don't Quack" pages 15-19 by Cathy Marciniak

I found this story of a mother's struggle to raise gifted kids pretty humorous. It reminded me of growing up when my brother at the young age of 6 had to negotiate a contract with my mother and her "job description." He has since become a lawyer skilled in negotiating and has a five year old son who is turning out the same. The stories of my nephew negotiating his chores is similar to the story the author writes about on page 18. This story also reminded me to be a little more sympathetic to the sometimes overbearing parents of GT students, as they are used to having to advocate for their children to receive the appropriate level of services.

Patricia Kassir said...

I found the essay titled: "Young Gifted Children as Natural Philosophers" on pgs. 20-37 to be quite entertaining and thought-provoking. Since I work with gifted 5th graders every day, I often have the opportunity to listen to gifted students' view on life, on issues and on the "big questions" as the book mentions. I sometimes hear questions and stories related to war, life and death, sickness and happiness and sadness. Classroom discussions are some of my favorite times, and I usually present a question, often by introducing an Engines of Our Ingenuity episode, and then I love to step aside and let the discussion begin. Some kids are very fiery in their beliefs and in defending them. I think the kids learn so much from each other and we always end up the discussion time with more questions. The essay presented something quite interesting...that TV time and computer and video game time rob gifted kids of free thinking because it sets them on a path of receiving predefined answers. I found this interesting considering that we live in the age of technology.

solanaw said...

My question is, Does Technology really rob kids time and their free thinking? I think that gifted kids see it and use it differently. Some people are observers when they see kids watching TV, on the computer or playing video games. But do those observers really see what going on? When I see kids watching TV, on the computer or watching video games, they are actually learning strategies and learning decision-making skills, which are important skills to have in today's competitive world. It's the challenge of finding the right strategies that make those video games appealing. But I know, video games test kids abilities and raises their awareness levels. They are in control and they have to think. Have you played a video game? Try it. I have played many times and believe me, it does all of the above that I mentioned. I see it as an advantage to the kids when they use it the right way.

Naletta Galbraith said...

In response to solanaw, I have played video games and I do see that there are some skills required and some choices must be made. However, I have also seen plenty of children and adults who get so wrapped up in the video game that they lose a sense of what's real. The outside world no longer seems to matter and what matters is getting to the next level. Despite the options involved in many games, they still limit you. I am reminded of a game my godson who is 7 was playing. It was basically Jenga on the computer. For each tower or blocks you had a certain objective to knock down this or that part. You could turn the stack anyway and "see" what it looked like. What you couldn't do was touch the blocks and see the reaction to your actual movements. You had a computer simulation but does that really equate to reality? I'm not opposed to video games, but I am opposed to how often technology is used without remembering that there are other options.

Naletta Galbraith said...

The chapter entitled "An Anomaly" p. 75-80 was interesting to me. How frustrating it must be when a child is both brilliant and has a learning disability. Frustrating in that, like Filly, it is hard to find the reality of the child. Is she just above average or is there more being masked by the learning disability.
It makes me sad to think that our public system can dimish the advanced abilities of girls. However, it isn't unbelievable. Many times I've looked at our curriculum wondering if it is right for everyone, knowing that the answer is really no. I am fortunate to have a small class and still I know that the differentiation I offer isn't always enough. Worse, I may or may not be able to tell when this is the case. Too often we are pushed to keep going, to stay on track with the curriculum. It leaves little time for exploration. Filly's story made me realize the sacrifice that some parents must make in order to find their children the best possible place.

oliverl said...

The story I was most impressed with was the "Normal Kids Don't Quack". It was funny but I think it put raising an exceptionally gifted students into perspective. These parents don't have the same experiences most of us did. The section about making threats and promises was a hoot. It must seem odd to parents of normal children when gifted parents try to relate what it is like having an adult conversation with a per-schooler. If we can understand what these parents are going through it might make providing services easier and more relevant for their students.

sandra hardie said...

I found the Bambi story - chapter 4 made an impression on me. The fact that the parents worked so hard with their child and the education community could not accomodate her was very disconcerting. Even though they tested Bambi and had the information to back up her abilities, schools would not even look at her application until a certain age. This not only leaves the parents in a tight spot of homeschooling but could force the child to suffer through a curriculum if homeschooling was not an option for her parents. (income)

Patricia Kassir said...

I, too, have played a variety of video games and have found some enjoyable, and ohters, quite scary, in the amount of violence they use. I do think that regardless of how we feel about video games, they are a reality, and we would do better to encourage kids to play them with moderation, and to play the games that benefit them and enhance their lives. The percentage of people that become addicted to video games is quite small, and I think that it's easier to blame the video game companies than it is to acknowledge bad parenting, or a lack of parenting.

Judy Canon said...

I loved the story by Cathy Maraciniak where she told about her son, Adam, pp. 15-19. She has found the best way to deal with a son who is unpredictable and different from other children. On p. 19, she writes, "I wouldn't get to witness or feel the passion and rages and joys that these children, these particular people with their own oddities and peculiar needs, inspire on such a regular basis". I feel the same about the students who pass through my SPIRAL classroom. It is energy and creativity that I don't want to miss. I think she has a great attitude for a mother of one of these unique people.

Judy Canon said...

Sandra Hardie, the Bambie story also impressed me. I thought it was touching. The parents really did understand their child and were working so hard to find the right educational path for her. They seemed to take it all in stride. I was frustrated for them. It puts another meaning to the word "choice".

Patricia Kassir said...

Judy,
I love your comment about not missing the energy and creativity of our gifted kids. It's really something that permeates the room. When we have our SPIRAL students in our classroom, I LOVE the energy that arises when a bunch of gifted kids are put together in one room. Although it can be exhausting, it brings me great joy in guiding our kids to explore and develop their talents. I'm also glad that we get to do this together, my friend!

Kathy M said...

Reply to Question 3:

Bambi's story, p.40 and Filly's story, p. 75, made a large impression on me. The diligence of the parents to make sure that their children had the very best education to realize their full potential should be a lesson to us all.

For the parents with children who are twice exceptional, my teacher hat is off to you. And my parent hat!

While these stories express the need for these children to be challenged, it also challenges teachers to always be aware of the hidden genius that can be in all our students.

Kathy M said...

Reply to judy canon--I, too, hear the struggle of the parents when trying to find appropriate schooling for Bambi. I admire their unwavering resolve to find what was best for Bambi and their patience during the process.

patricet said...

I liked Twice Exceptionality, pp. 71-74. As a former special ed teacher, I know how hard it can be for kids to function in schools on any given day. For the highly gifted special ed student, it must be three times as hard! We need to get to know and be able to help our exceptional students succeed in as many facets of life as we can.

patricet said...

Patricia, I also liked the 'Young Philosophers' piece. Discussion time has always been my favorite part of the day. How can we teach the kids effectively if we don't listen to them and get to know them?
Solana, your entry here at the top reminds me of the struggle my mom went through trying to find a suitable placement for my brother when we were growing up in Cy Fair. She went through countless battles in both elementary and junior high. The teachers just wanted to put him somewhere and let it go, but Mom wasn't having it. They both survived, but Patrick has blocked a lot of his childhood out, I think.

cjstrickland said...

The last two stories "Twice Exceptionality" and "An Anomaly" do not exactly mirror my experience but reminded me that gifted children do not always behave as we would like. My son was told in elementary school in SBISD that he did not behave well enough to be in the GT program. I was not a certified teacher at that time but knew enough about my son to know that he would behave better if the work were more challenging. Thankfully he was placed in the GT program in 6th grade and was very successful in the program through high school. There was also a comment in the assessment section about gifted children who may have ADHD or are "behaviorally disordered" (pg 62).

S. Acevedo said...

Chapter 7 Twice Exceptionality was eye opening. I have attend several GT prof. dev. sessions and have taken notes on asynchrony, but I did not truly understand its complexity until I read this parent’s and her child’s experience. My first reaction was “huh? I need to read that again. I must have missed something or read something incorrectly.” After rereading the top of page 72 I had a physical reaction. I felt nervous and very unsure of myself as an educator. I am not sure that I have exhibited the level of patience, sensitivity, and concern necessary to serve a child such as Mrs. Singer’s son. I know that I would not have communicated my thoughts, but I feel that my mental judgment about a child like this (because of his high abilities in some areas) would have been that he/she is choosing not to read. Or that he/she wants to do only what they want to do, and that they are choosing to underachieve in areas of disinterest. This chapter was a welcomed slap in the face!

barbarac said...

There were several sections that left an impression on me while reading. As mentioned in question one, the story of Filly, (page 76) was haunting. Parenting children who are twice-exceptional can have challenges of its own, not to mention the challenges in an educational environment. The picture of separation that came to mind while seeing Filly sitting in her classroom doing more advanced math problems by herself with headphones on as the class continued on its merry way left a bitter taste in my mouth. How often have I heard the words, ‘differentiate instruction’ and still believe that there are classroom teachers who do not understand the process.
On a lighter note…another section that left an impression on me was early on in the reading. Even the title of the section was delightful, “Normal Kids Don’t Quack”, (pages 15-19). The author reminded me of the humor of Phyllis D., Erma B. and a few other hilarious women. Humor is a delightful way to get the point across…and Cathy Marciniak, the author, did just that…get the point across. She is one woman I would enjoy chatting with or better yet, read more of her written works. As educator, I believe our humor will play an important role in the classroom as well. Simply said, I guess the word “quack”; will not mean the same for me from this reading on out…it just brings a smile to my face at the very hearing of the word.

barbarac said...

Naletta Galbraith, I totally agree with your statement regarding being opposed to how often technology is used without remembering that there are other options. Numerous times I have seen adults use the use of television and technology as a “babysitter” for children. I think TV, video games, and the web have earned their way into the educational word for children, but not at the cost of other activities. I think the short of what I wish to say is…Hurricane IKE brought home the idea what it is like to communicate, play, and create with our children…without electricity. Please hear me loud and clear…I am NOT advocating returning to the dark ages again…just awareness of how technology is used and when.

melissa a said...

pp.20-26

In the chapter on gifted children as philosophers, I was reminded of my gifted niece. When she was three or four years old, she and my sister were in the car driving along talking about the death of my mom's dog and she was telling my sister that the dog was in heaven with God because that was what her mommy said. A minute or two went by and my sister could tell she was puzzling something out. Suddenly she said, "Did God die?" My sister was confused at first why she was asking and then she realized that she had figured... if you had to die to get to heaven then it would make sense that God probably had died, too. We were all blown away by the reasoning she had demonstrated at such an early age.

solanaw said...

I understand what you say Naletta about video games, I agree. And as always, video games should be monitored as you would monitor TV. A gifted child sees video games as a challenge. Games that take you to the next level, is the challenge, but also after the video game they go to the reality of it when they play chess or checkers, and usually what most kids do on video games transfers into reality games when it raises their awareness level. That's how I see it. I see it as an advantage of enhancing a child's motor coordination and ability to think quickly and analyze a situation. My question would be: How do video games interact with reality, either to build or detract from social, emotional and intellectual development?

solanaw said...

To CJStrickland. Your comment about your son's behavior in the gifted program was very interesting to me, because I had a problem like that last year with one of my G.T.students. I think that some teachers are at a loss when they don't know how to go about helping these kids. I usually change the content for these kids, in order to teach what they are missing. Also, I try to teach to their learning style strengths, and I adjust the ways they can express what they have learned. I try to find topics that interest them to learn some of the standards through their areas of interest. I also change the peer interactions they have with their classmates, taking special care to pair them with students who can understand and help them. I also seek out their parents, with conferences, and former teachers to get information that might empower me to help them learn more successfully. So these things I mentioned, kind of helps me in the classroom with my gifted kids. At least they are not bored. We do alot of projects too. They love that, and are not bored. My student didn't even want to go back to her program. I motivated her to go back to her program, by telling her that we would do fun projects when she got back with the things she learned that day at her gifted program. So that helped alot.

solanaw said...

Sandra, the Bambi story also caught my attention, I read it over and over. Parents are excellent identifiers of giftedness in their children. I've been told that 84% of 1,000 children whose parents felt that they exhibited 3/4 of the traits in the
Characteristics Of Giftedness Scale, test in the superior or gifted range. People who are drawn to elementary teaching are helpers and nurturers. They are driven by desire to make a difference, to reach and raise up those who are least able. They tend to be deeply egalitarian. As a result, a child who is already a precocious reader, an articulate speaker with advanced vocabulary is not going to get a lot of sympathy or support. Especially of the child who is active, highly creative, asks a lot of questions, and is not always compliant, as are many highly gifted kids. The truth is, highly gifted kids can be a bother. That child already is where the teacher expects to take all the other children and therefore, the fact that the gifted child already is there, isn't quite that impressive. If anything, it enables the teacher to spend more time with those children who "really need it". And I'm talking from experience. My kids fell into that situation.

solanaw said...

Melissa, your story of your niece impressed me. With all due respect for your niece, that's what they call Intellectual Complexity - the ability to perceive multitudinous relationships in all things in life. For gifted children, nothing is as simple as it seems. They see clearly that the answer depends on the context. Intellectual complexity results in curiosity and a demand for accuracy, exactness, precision of thought and expression. Sometimes this can lead gifted children to be argumentative, which is a social liability. But your niece was exploring the issue in depth. Therefore, she understands the concept.
Very intelligent your niece. :)

solanaw said...

Patricia, I understand completely! I can understand the battles your Mom went through. I was going "nuts" then. I got to the point where I was just about to put on my punching gloves, at the time. So imagine my frustration!

Debra P said...

Like Patricia K and paticet I really enjoyed Young Gifted Children as Philosophers. AS I reflect on the early development of moral depth in gifted children and the sphere of their concerns, it is easy to see how their thinking can be dismissed. Some very profound questions can be labeled as troubling or heretical in the wrong situations. Several years ago when the news came out on the demise of the polar bears and global warming, one very bright boy in my class covered his ears when it was mentioned again and said, "I just can't think about this anymore." I knew he was seeing a much bigger picture than the rest. It takes a lot of support for these children and many different opportunities to thrive.