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Why I Teach Gifted Kids
Ruby Slippers on the other Feet
To change, or not to change.
High-risk Kids

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High-risk Kids
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Why I Teach Gifted Kids

Teaching gifted students is the place where I can "sparkle" as a facilitator! My philosophy in education is: When given enough choices, every student can find motivation.  With that in mind, I initially plan my lessons around concepts, which must be addressed to meet and enhance core standards, as well as provide enrichment to stimulate the gifted mind. To that end, I begin with mini-lessons on a concept using multiple avenues to guide learners toward understanding.  For example, a gifted math student may, also, be a struggling reader. He or she may actually be willing to read a shortened passage with simplified vocabulary from the same text as the advanced reader.  The concepts and knowledge gained are the same, just presented in an achievable format.  I regularly use technology, which helps me “fix” reading passages in this way.  Similarly, the student identified as gifted in reading may dislike math; thus, I have mini-lessons prepared to integrate mathematical concepts within the larger picture of project-based activities.  For example: In a project about saving our sea turtles, I have an activity to calculate the rate of decline in female nesting turtles on the Island of Palau; or, I may ask students to research the origin of the concept of zero (0) and the historical origin of the number "one" (1). Relying on my many years’ experience to guide me, I am able to identify gifted students’ needs readily and develop activities or assignments to reach every youngster and help each one "sparkle"!

Ruby Slippers on the other Feet

In North Carolina, a dedicated group of my colleagues and I are determined to find new and improved ways to meet the challenges placed before us by local, state, and federal goals in education. Evidence of student GROWTH is the goal at every grade level. Often, funding is attached to the numbers, so let's get those numbers UP, UP, UP where they should be. But, HOW?
 
How do we as educators make measurable increases in student growth when measurements are already at the top of the scale?

To change, or not to change.

At a recent conference, my colleagues and I were told that we must prepare our students for jobs no one had yet invented. I believe it! The changes I have seen in my own lifetime are more and more mind boggling. Some things, however will never change...human nature, for example, as well as interests in astronomy, biology, economics, mathematics, medicine, sports, and zoology, to name just a few.

High-risk Kids

In preparing highly functioning students in grades K -13+ to meet twenty-first century challenges, educators are asked to do more and more specialized training and professional development. We are required to serve any and all students at every level.
Some people believe -- mistakenly so, I might add-- that gifted kids can maintain academic success in any environment. (Young Abe reading by firelight, and so forth.) Measurably, the opposite is true. Gifted kids are high-risk individuals and are more emotionally fragile than formerly thought.
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