Creativity; High-Ability & Gifted Learners

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Teaching High-Ability Kids in Today’s Mixed-Ability Classrooms

1 hour, half-day, full-day

Audience: K12 teachers, gifted facilitators, school psychologists, administrators

Participants will learn about some of the unique characteristics and needs of high-ability students and how we, as busy teachers, can maximize their creative and cognitive potential for full engagement in our multi-leveled classrooms. Practical suggestions for grouping, independent projects, as well as compelling strategies involving technology, entrepreneurship, and service learning.

PBL for Cognitively-Diverse Students

1 hour, half-day, full-day

Audience: administrators, K12 teachers, curriculum coaches

One of the questions I get frequently is, “how does PBL work for my ____ students. If I’m in a gifted ed crowd, they wonder if PBL is academically rigorous and flexible enough at the same time to meet their students’ unique asynchronous needs. If I’m in a group of regular education teachers, they often assume PBL is for the gifted learner and that students with learning disabilities won’t benefit. This session will dispel both of these myths (and more), as we dive deep into how well-planned PBL structures help all students build academics, interpersonal skills, and resiliency in a trauma-responsive classroom.

This session is great for teachers, administrators, and parents!

Customizing Learning for Student Strengths: lessons learned from gifted education

1 hour, half-day, full-day

Audience: administrators, K12 teachers, curriculum coaches

We know we want learning to be reorganized around the student and not the system. This workshop is specifically geared toward exploring gathering students’ strengths and interests and leveraging those to create individual plans of study beyond the required coursework.

Bulletproofing Gifted Kids:
7 Strategies that Every Teacher, Counselor, and Parent Needs to Know

As parents, it’s our job to protect our children as they enter this world of danger and risk, isn’t it? We are given this miracle bundle, helpless and completely dependent upon our protection and nurturing for survival. Our hearts burst with joy from the very first cries in the delivery room to their first wobbly steps, past their first loves (and heartbreaks), through graduations, and on to achieving the (impossibly) perfect lives of their own. Our imaginations skyrocket as we dream of who they will be, where they will go in life, and how they will worry and terrify us during their adolescence. We walk every step alongside them, always guiding, loving and protecting them, striving to make them bulletproof.

As educators, we clearly recognize the trust that parents have handed to us. And as educators who recognize that not all students are the same; that some have cognitive abilities beyond that of the average student. With those cognitive differences come a host of other unique social and emotional needs as well.

Educators and parents are on the same team. We both dream of our kids’ futures based on who they are today. We recognize the potential and will do our very best to provide the “roots and wings” that each needs. However, that’s much easier said than done.

The reality is, we can’t bulletproof our kids.

While we yearn for our babies to grow into grounded independent thinkers and doers, to become people who are smart and strong enough to weather the harsh realities of life today and still thrive, we recognize that’s a pretty tall order.

So while these may not make them bulletproof, here are 7 basic strategies we can keep in mind as we move toward a more realistic end goal.

Strategies for Implementing HOTS into the Secondary / Elementary Classroom

half-day, full-day

Audience: elementary/secondary educators, administrators

Higher Order Thinking Skills (HOTS) are not just for the gifted classroom anymore! In this session, participants will explore levels of thinking, and practice various strategies for implementation into their content areas. Strategies for managing a differentiated classroom environment are detailed and teachers leave with a plan in hand for starting tomorrow!

Engaging the Power of Social Media in Social Emotional Development of Gifted Learners

1 hour, half-day

Audience: administrators, K12 teachers, community, students

Today, children have powerful computers in their pockets, ready to quickly post pictures, comments, and videos. What are all these selfies, comments, and jokes leading to? Are we there with our children as attendants on their digital playgrounds or are they left to their own devices, like a modern-day Lord of the Flies?

But there’s another side to technology. Amazing things can happen with empathy, service, and heart-to-heart connections between kids. Social Media has the power to connect bright Millennials to opportunities never fathomed. Let’s leverage this newfound power for Good on behalf of gifted kids and the world.

The Arts as a Hub of Engaged Learning in a High-Stakes World

1 hour, half-day, full-day

Audience: K12 teachers, administrators

Creativity can no longer take a backseat the the world of learning. Let’s engage our kids by inviting the arts to the front seat of the school bus. Participants will discover ways to re-integrate the arts into the general education curriculum without losing any academic rigor and gaining the hearts and minds of our students. Reengaging the gears of creativity is a must-have for today’s world.

Growing Roots and Wings with the Creativity of Learning by Doing

1 hour, half-day, full-day

Audience: K12 teachers, administrators, students

Help our students grow the roots and wings needed for life with Project Based Learning! Learn the concepts of Project Based Learning through to Passion Based Learning at the K-12 level. We’ll explore examples and play with the technology that enables students to become highly-engaged independent learners. Our kids will thank us for helping them develop a solid educational foundation while still inspiring them to grow wings to soar.

For full-day sessions, a separation of K-6 and 7-12 teachers is recommended.

Doodlers Rise! Visual Notetaking to Support Creative Thinking

1 hour, half-day, full-day

Audience: K12 teachers, administrators, students

Raise your hand if you were a doodler who frequently was told to stop drawing silly pictures in class and focus! Maybe you’re someone who feels that doodling might be fun and a useful way to differently engage your learning brain, if only you were more artistic. Well, gone are the days of the strictly text-based, outline-structured, note-taking format. Research is showing that engaging visual stimulus while organizing new information helps to solidify learning. Come learn visual notetaking strategies and tools for even the least artistic among us! Your students will never hear a lecture the same way again!

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