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SPOTLIGHT ON GT LEARNERS

 

 

 

August 2021:  Building Community

Activities and learning for kids and families

Week 1

We are social beings, and we need each other to thrive. A strong, healthy community can bolster us through challenging moments and bring joy to our lives. When we build community, we can build empathy for each other; and building empathy for each other helps us build c

ommunity.

    • What do you know about how and why fish swim in schools?
    • What other species of fish or wildlife do you know about that travel and live in groups?  Why do you think they do so?
Week 2

Ralph Waldo Emerson once said, “The only way to have a friend is to be one.” 

  • What are some ways you can practice being a good friend to people in your family?  In your classroom?  At your school?
  • What types of things do you look for in a friend?  How can you be that kind of friend for someone else?
Check out this list of 100 Acts of Kindness for Kids.  Are there any ideas on this list that you could do?  What could you add to the list?
Week 3

Watch this short video about EMPATHY with Murray & Mark.


• How would you describe what empathy is to someone who doesn’t know?
• If you feel empathy towards someone and want to tell them that you do, what are a couple of ways that you can do that?

Practice some phrases or sentences you can use so you are ready to support others in your community when they need you!


Week 4

One way we can build community is by identifying who we can rely on to support us when we struggle or when we need support. This Constellation of Support learning activity can help you and your family think about your community. Enjoy!

ARCHIVED 2020-21 ITEMS

May 2021

Week 1:  Simply put, responding with wonderment and awe means to find the world awesome, mysterious and exciting and to respond to that by being intrigued with things that we see and experience.

What does the research say? The Colorado Department of Education has defined and identified affective development as an integral component of the education of our gifted students.  Responding with wonderment and awe is one affective behavior that supports students in their academic and social development.

Weeks 2-4:

Week 

Responding with Wonderment and Awe

2

As the weather turns more friendly, spend some time together outdoors.  Consider helping your kids create a Nature Journal or begin to keep a family journal!

3

Learn more about Responding with Wonderment and Awe by listening to the following read-alouds.  Then, use these discussion prompts to talk about the story.

Kinder- Mentor Text Read Aloud

Grades 1-3 - Mentor Text Read Aloud

Grades 4-5 - Mentor Text Read Aloud

Two words I can use to describe the story are __________ and _________.

I am particularly interested in _____________________________________.

One question I still have is ________________________________________.

4

As a family, watch this video and use the prompts below the video to discuss wonderment and awe.  Be open to new and exciting learning!



April 2021

Week 1:  

The National Association for Gifted Children (NAGC) reports that creativity is one of the highest forms of human expression.  Further, parents and teachers can play a significant role in providing opportunities for high ability children to play, develop,  and explore their creativity (NAGC - Nurturing Creativity)

What does the research say?  Gifted expert and advocate, Lisa Van Gemert (aka The Gifted Guru) says that creativity can be taught and our children need it more than ever.  Read more about her research and how to nurture creativity here!

Weeks 2-4:

Week 

Creativity and the Value of Play

2

Take some time during our extra hours of daylight to PLAY!  Here are some classic board games that are fun and build strong vocabulary skills

3

Learn More about nurturing creativity in gifted students through these past articles from Parenting for High Potential (an NAGC publication):

Creativity is Not the Same in Everyone

“Guess What Mom and Dad…I’m Going to be an Inventor!”
More Than Cupcakes: Supporting Your Child’s Creative Potential

Promoting Creativity

Raising the Creative Child

4

Low tech activities for the family can be great ways to nurture creativity and build connections!  Check out some of these great ideas for doing just that...



March 2021

Week 1:  

A perfectionist is a person who refuses to accept any standard short of perfection. In psychology, perfectionism is a personality trait characterized by “a person’s striving for flawlessness and setting excessively high performance standards, accompanied by overly critical self-evaluations and concerns regarding others’ evaluations.”[1] To a perfectionist, anything that’s less than perfect is unacceptable (Celeste Chua, Personal Excellence/Wikipedia)


What does the research say?  The National Association of Gifted Children (NAGC) has some good information for families and students about perfectionism.  Read more here!  Another great source of information on perfectionism in the gifted is The Davidson Institute.  One of the articles found in their library can help you learn more about Helping Gifted Students Cope with Perfectionism.

Weeks 2-4:

Week 

Healthy Mindset

2

What is a growth mindset and how can it help you discover the Secret to Raising Smart Kids?  Stanford Professor of Psychology, Carol Dweck helps us understand growth mindset and fixed mindset.

3

What are some great ways to recognize behavior and effort instead of saying…”You’re so smart!”?  Check these out!

4

Discuss this visual as a family. 

  • What do you notice?
  • What do you wonder?
  • What can we learn from this?
  • What is something YOU can do differently based on this picture


February 2021

Week 1:  

How can deliberate practice setting intentions and reflecting on progress help students develop strong learning behaviors?


What does the research say?  Reflection helps students develop their LEARNING skills and behaviors.  It helps students become stronger at the process of learning so they can better retain and transfer WHAT they are learning.  Read more about why that matters here.

Weeks 2-4:

Week 

Building Self Regulation Skills through Reflection

2

What are some good questions you can use to help students become more reflective?  Try some of these to spark good conversations.

3

What helps students prepare their bodies for learning?  Practice body awareness and reflect on how the body feels with these exercises.

4

Sometimes anxiety and worry can hijack our brains and make learning difficult.  Watch this video and practice identifying the size of the problem so learning becomes possible again!

January 2021

Week 1:  

How can strengthening student’s ability to be compassionate improve their lives?


What is Compassion? Compassion for ourselves, as well as for others, helps us deal with the interpersonal challenges we face on a daily basis.  Explore these ideas with your student.  

Weeks 2-4:

Week 

Practicing Compassion 

2

Compassion Explanation for Students - Cartoon  Video (1:37)

3

Compassion literally means to suffer together Video (1:57)  Discuss any connections that you or your student can make to this video.  Have any of you had this experience?  How does it make you feel?

4


8 Activities for Creating Compassion in the Classroom

December 2020

Week 1:  

How does the practice of gratitude improve the lives of students?


What is Gratitude? Gratitude has been defined a number of ways. Researchers who study the effects of gratitude define it as more than just feeling thankful for something - it is more like a deeper appreciation for someone or something, which produces longer lasting positivity. Practicing gratitude is not necessarily an innate behavior for all people. However, “gratitude seems to work like a muscle” (Owen Griffith, Practicing Gratitude in the Classroom) - the more you utilize it, the more you develop your gratitude muscles. (From Lewis-Palmer HS Gifted and Talented website)

Bringing an Attitude of Gratitude to the Classroom
Ask your student about this activity they completed recently with Ms. Casey

Weeks 2-4:

Week 

Attending to Gratitude

2

Consider the every-day things and simple pleasures that make us smile.  Author Neil Pasricha has written several books on the subject of AWESOMENESS.  Watch this video and then talk as a family about some of the awesome things to love in everyday life.

3

Here are several videos you can watch with your students to learn more about gratitudeTry one of the activities at home!

4

Learn together about the happy chemicals in the brain!


November 2020

Week 1:  

Self Regulation, Strong Learning Behaviors and GT Learners 


Research with students has demonstrated that there is a common set of self-regulation strategies, and an individual set of skills that each child can develop to be successful in school and life. These skills include methods of organization for the time and place in which academic work is completed, the types of regular patterns of homework and test preparation one learns to use, and the way self-control emerges. Research strongly suggests that self-regulation skills can be taught, learned, and controlled.  Learn more about self regulation and how to support your student in developing stronger self regulation skills.

Weeks 2-4:

Week 

Building Self Regulation Skills

2

Managing Impulsivity - A video to watch with your student

3

Mind Yeti- 3-5 minute mindfulness activities geared for kids that the whole family can do together!

4

NAGC Tip Sheet - Self Advocacy for Gifted Learners

October 2020

Week 1:  

Overexcitabilities and Asynchrony 


Gifted students are unique in a variety of ways.  Two of the hallmarks of gifted students are the different ways in which they experience and react to the world around them and their asynchronous development as they grow and mature.  To learn more about two of the superpowers of gifted and talented kids, please read these two articles:

Byrdseed: 5 Unexpected Traits of Gifted Students

 
Psychology Today article:  Many Ages at Once

Weeks 2-4:

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