Thursday, June 27, 2013

Understanding Gifted/Talented Children Series - Pt III - Social/Emotional Issues

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First of all, let's get one thing straight. The needs of a gifted child is the same as those of other children. They go through the same developmental stages, just usually at an earlier age.

There are some unique social and emotional issues that gifted children face. It is important to recognize these issues and help our children deal with any problems they may face as a result of their giftedness.

Generally, gifted children seem to be better adjusted than most children their age, are very independent, and usually know exactly what they want.

However, gifted children are usually very aware of their differences as related to their age-mates, and for some finding real friends can sometimes be a difficult and disappointing task because of the differences.

Gifted children are sometimes introverted and like to spend time alone, but at the same time they are eager to have contact with friends their own age. Becoming active in social interests such as sports, music, art lessons, or some other interest activity outside of school will help the gifted child develop relationships with other children who share their interests and talents.

It is not uncommon for gifted students to relate their self-worth to their success in school. Because of their tendency toward perfectionism, this can result in a feeling of low self-worth. If this should happen, we need to help them set reasonable goals for themselves and create opportunities for them to feel more positive about themselves and their talents.

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Children often experience and internal "tug-of-war" between themselves and being what they think everyone wants them to be.

To help your gifted child be sure to:

  • nurture and encourage your child's unique talents
  • help your child set reasonable goals
  • encourage friendships with other children who have common interests and abilities
  • accept your child as an individual and openly express that acceptance
  • be flexible without being too permissive
  • if you notice problems....communicate them with the school/teacher and let's solve the problem together!
You can access the previous posts in this series below:

Understanding Gifted/Talented Children series - Part I - Characteristics of Gifted Children

 Understanding Gifted/Talented Children series - Part II - Encouraging Creativity


Monday, June 24, 2013

Monday Made It - sort of...and the Winners from Last Week is the problem. My dear, sweet hubby hasn't been feeling well the past week so I didn't get my Monday Made It finished. However, I am linking up with Tara at Fourth Grade Frolics because I also has a giveaway going in conjunction with my Monday Made It post from last week.

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So...after you check out this post...hop on over to Fourth Grade Frolics and check out all the Monday Made It posts that have linked up with Tara.

OK...I am working on something...but it isn't even close enough to being finished for me to give you a sneak peak. But...I will tell you that it is a companion piece to the item I showcased last week. That is right...I am working on the Sub Binder Organizational pack and really hope to have it finished by next Monday along with another project that is floating around in my head.

 photo 68283716-e217-448b-856d-dba4a840eaa1.jpg let's get on with the winners of the Teacher Binder Organizational pack from last week. I promised to give away 2 of the packs.....and the winners are....................

Cheri on the lookout....this will be showing up in your email very soon. I hope you enjoy the pack and it helps you stay organized throughout the next school year!

Thanks to everyone that commented and played my little game to try to win the pack.


Thursday, June 20, 2013

Understanding Gifted/Talented Children Series - Pt II - Encouraging Creativity

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It is time for my second post in the Understanding Gifted/Talented Children series. Today will be all about encouraging creativity in our children. While I am focusing on the Gifted/Talented children, of course, this really goes for all of the children in our lives.

A lot of this post will be focusing more on ways parents can help to encourage their children's creativity. However, much of the information overlaps and is also pertinent to the classroom teacher as well.

Creativity is defined as "the ability to make something new" - this is a characteristic that is often found in the gifted child. As parents, we often see these characteristics long before our children enter school. Some children may exhibit some behaviors at a very early age that indicate they are a highly creative child. The following list is by no means a complete list but rather a sample of behaviors parents might observe.
  • adventurous
  • attracted to the unknown
  • curious
  • spontaneous
  • open to new ideas
  • attention to detail
  • rich fantasies/good imagination/daydreams
  • loves storytelling
What can a parent or teacher do to encourage and help further develop creativity in a child? There are many things that can be done. Check out this list. Again, this list is not complete, but it is a good start!
  • value and encourage expressions of creativity
  • stress openness
  • share your enthusiasm for life
  • be playful and imaginative with the child
  • allow relaxation time (Don't have every minute of everyday scheduled with activities.)
  • encourage your child's interests
  • have a sense of humor
  • respect your child's ideas and interests
  • have some "family fun"
  • put emphasis on achievement, not grades (I know we have to have the grades..don't emphasize all the time.)
Specific Ideas for Encouraging Creativity

All of the following ideas are great for parents to use in the home and some of these carry over to inside the classroom. So teachers, you aren't being "let off the hook" so to speak!
  • give your child a place at home where they can have works "in progress"
  • provide materials for making things (this can be as simple as tape, scissors, aluminum foil, empty boxes, recyclable materials, etc.)
  • provide opportunities for lessons in music, art, drama, dance, etc. - BUT - make sure this is something that your child WANTS to pursue - not you
  • take trips to museums, concerts, shows - arrange for your child to meet the artist/performer
  • display your child's work proudly
  • look for after-school and summer programs
  • model and teach that hard work, practice, and perseverance are all part of being creatively successful - BUT please be careful NOT to pressure
  • model your problem-solving (think aloud)
  • praise your child's creativeness in a genuine manner
  • allow your child to have "quiet time" for when he/she needs time to think, write, read, draw, practice, etc.
Again - I know some of these suggestions seem more geared toward parents. But, TEACHERS - you can certainly turn some of these suggestions around and make them work inside the classroom setting as well. Lets be sure to encourage the creativity of our children.

If you would like more information on encouraging creativity:  Growing Up Creative: Nurturing a Lifetime of Creativity by Teresa Amabile.  

You can find the first post in this series located HERE.

Please share your ideas and suggestions about how to encourage creativity in children in the comments section. I am always looking for new ways to help my students.


Monday, June 17, 2013

Monday Made It and a Giveaway!

Woo Hoo!! I am so excited to be linking up with Tara at Fourth Grade Frolics for her Monday Made It this week.

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It seems like summer just began and it will soon be over for least the being off work. The heat won't be going anywhere for quite some time.

I have been working on a project for a while now and thought I would use it as my Monday Made It since I just finished it this past weekend.

I am a HUGE organization NUT! No Seriously....I go NUTS if things aren't organized. So...I decided that I needed to create an Ultimate Teacher Binder pack that will serve my purpose....and maybe help someone else as well.  Now...I admit that I purchased one last year and tried to use it. However, it just didn't work for my purposes. That is how this creation got started.

Take a look at the photos. Everything in the pack is not shown in the previews.

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I am so excited about this new organizational pack, I have decided to give away TWO of them. All you have to do is just comment on this blog post (be sure to include your email so I will have a contact for you.). This giveaway will run until June 23. On Monday, June 24, I will post the winners of the organizational pack with my next week, Monday Made It.

Good Luck!!


Saturday, June 15, 2013

Typical Characteristics of Gifted Children

As a teacher of Gifted/Talented students, I get questions pertaining to giftedness often. One of the questions I hear most often, from parents and other teachers is, how do I know my child/student is gifted?

Today's post will begin a new series on Gifted/Talented children. The purpose of these posts is to help parents and teachers of gifted/talented children assist these children in reaching their fullest potential.

Understand, there is no one test that can determine the giftedness of an individual. As educators, we use a multitude of information to determine a child's giftedness.

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Characteristics of Gifted Children

Keep in mind, you most likely will not see all of these characteristics in any child.  These are the typical characteristics that may be seen:
  • high level of language/verbal development
  • high level of curiosity
  • very sensitive
  • creative
  • often intensely motivated/persistent/ goal-oriented
  • many times will resist direction or interruption
  • often critical toward others
  • dislikes routine and drill work
  • prefers individualized work/needs freedom of movement and action
  • has difficulty with criticism and is vulnerable to peer rejection
  • can see diverse and unusual relationships
  • unrealistic self-expectations/ often a perfectionist
  • able to generate original and ideas and solutions
  • has a keen sense of humor
  • displays an increase sense of justice
  • shows leadership ability
  • has inconsistencies between intellectual maturity and social, emotional, and physical development
  • sometimes may show poor test performance and achievement in basic skills areas
  • daily work may frequently be incomplete or poorly done
  • may have low self-esteem
  • inability to focus attention and concentrate efforts on tasks
  • difficulty making and keeping friends
Some of these characteristics seem to contradict one another, however, these are typical behaviors of gifted children. Your child or student may exhibit some but not all of these characteristics at one time or another.

Do you have a child or student that exhibits some of these characteristics?

Check back for the next installment in this gifted information series. I will be talking next on Encouraging Creativity.


Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Summer is Here!! Now the work begins!

Hi All!! I know I haven't been here as much as I should. But hopefully that is changing. Summer officially started for me on May 28th...but due to all the goings on...daughters wedding and other things...I am claiming today as my official beginning of summer!

I am currently working on a new item item that is turning out to be HUGE for my TpT store. I am really into organization. It just makes my life easier and last school year, I put together a binder to try and keep myself organized. It worked pretty well. But after having used it, I decided it needed some tweeking. So that is what I'm doing now...that and making it all beautiful! Once it is finished I will do a reveal post.

I have a lot of plans for new product that will be going into my store in the next few weeks. on the lookout!