Where Do I Even Start? — from byrdseed.com by Ian Byrd
Three places to begin differentiating for gifted kids

Excerpts:

I get lots of questions from overwhelmed folks who have suddenly landed in a new job in gifted ed and have had little training (heck, sounds a lot like me on my first day!).

“Where do I even start!?” is a very common cry. Here are three places to begin differentiating for gifted kids.

1. Pre-Assess
Pre-assessment is key! Without it, you’re setting out on a journey with no map and no compass. You have to know where your students are at before you differentiate.

2. Accelerate
Once you see where your students are at, the simplest way to differentiate is just to go faster! Acceleration can happen at many levels…

3. Give Complex Work, Not Merely Difficult Work
Many of you have attended my full-day workshop on the difference between difficulty and complexity. I think this difference is key for planning quality differentiated tasks that aren’t just more work.

 

A Curiosity Guide — from byrdseed.com Ian Byrd


Excerpts:

Anticipation and Dopamine: In part one of this curiosity series, we explore the connection between curiosity, anticipation, and dopamine and discover why we remember things better when we are allowed to wonder.

So, to wrap up our first round of exploring curiosity:

  • When we become curious, we are anticipating learning information.
  • Our brain releases dopamine, a pleasurable chemical related to the anticipation of a reward (in this case information).
  • Simply being in this curious state activates the hippocampus, enhancing memory.
  • We remember things better when we are in this state, even things we weren’t actually curious about.

Closing Question:
How many times a day are your students in a curious state, eagerly anticipating information?

 

Confusion and Curiosity: So how do we make kids curious? We’ll cover two aspects: creating information gaps and (yes) purposefully confusing our students.

In the first article, we covered what happenings in our brains when we become curious. We also noted that just being in a state of curiosity can improve memory, even for things you’re not curious about.

Here’s one key: to become curious, you must already know something about the topic. Curiosity only fires up when we discover that some important information is missing or that it contradicts information we already had. George Loewenstein calls this the Information Gap theory of curiosity.

Simply put: we have to give students enough information for them to become curious about the missing information.

To wrap up part two:

  • Curiosity requires us to know something about the topic.
  • We become curious when information doesn’t fit an existing mental model.
  • Confusion is part of curiosity. We enjoy a certain amount of cognitive disequilibrium.
  • But! No one wants to be curious forever. It must be resolved.

 

Curiosity Is Social: When we’re curious, we can enhance that curiosity by discussing it with others. Our mutual confusion takes us deeper into the experience.

So, in classrooms, it’s worth purposefully (but gently) confusing students and then letting them talk to each other. It will build their interest and enhance their curiosity.

 

Creating Cultures of Curiosity: The biggest factor in our students’ curiosity at school is us! Teachers can create (or kill) cultures of curiosity. We’ll look at four qualities and a couple experiments run by Susan Engel.

Teachers have enormous power to encourage or discourage curiosity. Every word and action can either build a culture of curiosity or a culture of compliance.

 

 

 

15 Gifts Any Art Teacher Would Love this Holiday Season  — from theartofed.com by Wynita Harmon

Excerpt:

With the holidays just around the corner, the shopping season is in full swing. But finding gifts for art teachers or other creative individuals can be tricky! After all, there’s not much they can’t make for themselves.

Of course, it’s truly the thought that matters. But, if your family and friends are looking for ideas (or if you’re looking for a way to treat yourself!), you might want to check out the great list below!

 

 

 

Addendum on 12/12/17:

  • A Gaggle of Gift Guides and Places To Give — from byrdseed.com
    Excerpt:
    Looking for gift ideas for your classroom or home? Here are some of my favorite gift guides:

    • One of the internet’s best sites The Kid Should See This publishes an outstanding gift guide with lots of fun toys, books, and games.
    • The fabulous Terri Eichholz at EngageTheirMinds.com puts out a gift guide called Gifts for the Gifted.
    • Geek Dad has an annual guide featuring books, games, and toys.
    • The site Toys and Tools has an annual gift guide with everything from games, to cooking tools, to tech toys (that Lego New York print looks amazing!).
    • I’ve also put together a small gift guide here (which I need to update!).

 

 

 

The 82 Hottest EdTech Tools of 2017 According to Education Experts — from tutora.co.uk by Giorgio Cassella

Excerpt:

If you work in education, you’ll know there’s a HUGE array of applications, services, products and tools created to serve a multitude of functions in education.

Tools for teaching and learning, parent-teacher communication apps, lesson planning software, home-tutoring websites, revision blogs, SEN education information, professional development qualifications and more.

There are so many companies creating new products for education, though, that it can be difficult to keep up – especially with the massive volumes of planning and marking teachers have to do, never mind finding the time to actually teach!

So how do you know which ones are the best?

Well, as a team of people passionate about education and learning, we decided to do a bit of research to help you out.

We’ve asked some of the best and brightest in education for their opinions on the hottest EdTech of 2017. These guys are the real deal – experts in education, teaching and new tech from all over the world from England to India, to New York and San Francisco.

They’ve given us a list of 82 amazing, tried and tested tools…


From DSC:
The ones that I mentioned that Giorgio included in his excellent article were:

  • AdmitHub – Free, Expert College Admissions Advice
  • Labster – Empowering the Next Generation of Scientists to Change the World
  • Unimersiv – Virtual Reality Educational Experiences
  • Lifeliqe – Interactive 3D Models to Augment Classroom Learning

 


 

 

 

 

Now you can build your own Amazon Echo at home—and Amazon couldn’t be happier — from qz.com by Michael Coren

Excerpt:

Amazon’s $180 Echo and the new Google Home (due out later this year) promise voice-activated assistants that order groceries, check calendars and perform sundry tasks of your everyday life. Now, with a little initiative and some online instructions, you can build the devices yourself for a fraction of the cost. And that’s just fine with the tech giants.

At this weekend’s Bay Area Maker Faire, Arduino, an open-source electronics manufacturer, announced new hardware “boards”—bundles of microprocessors, sensors, and ports—that will ship with voice and gesture capabilities, along with wifi and bluetooth connectivity. By plugging them into the free voice-recognition services offered by Google’s Cloud Speech API and Amazon’s Alexa Voice Service, anyone can access world-class natural language processing power, and tap into the benefits those companies are touting. Amazon has even released its own blueprint and code repository to build a $60 version of its Echo using Raspberry Pi, another piece of open-source hardware.

 

From DSC:
Perhaps this type of endeavor could find its way into some project-based learning out there, as well as in:

  • Some Computer Science-related courses
  • Some Engineering-related courses
  • User Experience Design bootcamps
  • Makerspaces
  • Programs targeted at gifted students
  • Other…??

 

 

 

KelvinDoe

From DSC:
Thanks Jennifer for posting the above item! What a wonderful video! I loved watching it. Congratulations and thanks go out to MIT, David Moinina Sengeh (see here and here) and Kelvin Coe for maximizing the gifts that they’ve been given! They are changing the world!

An incredible example of heutagogy at work! In Kelvin’s story, you see passion, self-directed learning, and intrinsic motivation to make a difference — to help his community and to positively change his world.

 

 

KelvinDoe2

 

From the video’s description:

To support Kelvin and young innovators like him, please visit https://www.crowdrise.com/InnovateSalone/fundraiser/gmin

15-Year-Oid Kelvin Doe is an engineering whiz living in Sierra Leone who scours the trash bins for spare parts, which he uses to build batteries, generators and transmitters. Completely self-taught, Kelvin has created his own radio station where he broadcasts news and plays music under the moniker, OJ Focus. Kelvin became the youngest person in history to be invited to the ‘V isiting Practitione(s Program” at MIT. THNKR had exclusive access to Kelvin and his life-changing journey – experiencing the US for the first t ime, exploring incredible opportunities, contending
with homesickness, and mapping out his future.

Here is a link to the Bobby Fala track in the video on SoundCloud:
https://soundcloud.com/karen-kilberg/kpei-ragga

PRODIGIES is a bi-weekly series showcasing the youngest and brightest as they challenge themselves to reach new heights and the stories behind them.

Created and produced by @radical. media, THNKR gives you extraordinary access to the people, stories, places and thinking that will change your mind.

Follow THNKR on Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/thnkr
Like us on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/thnkrtv
Check out our Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/thnkr/
SUBSCRIBE! http://www.youtube.com/subscription_c …

Song featured in that clip:

 

When working with gifted students, build on their strengths with inductive learning -- from Ian Byrd

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Five unexpected traits of gifted students [Byrd]

Five unexpected traits of gifted students — from byrdseed.com by Ian Byrd

Excerpt:

We know gifted students are far more complex than their test scores might suggest. And while we expect certain quirks, others blindside us: a strange reaction to sound, a sudden outburst of tears, or a need to stand up at inopportune times.

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Discuss online reputation using historical figures — from byrdseed.com by Ian Byrd

Excerpt:

Internet

It’s becoming increasingly obvious that students need instruction in online behavior and consequences. Unfortunately, we’re stuck with textbooks that feature “internet” lessons like the one seen above. We have to prepare our students for an online world that our curriculum isn’t even aware of.

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Concept Attainment — from byrdseed.com by Ian Byrd

Excerpt:

Concept Attainment is probably my favorite model of instruction. It takes the opposite road of direct instruction, and forces students to make their own connections. It builds drama, gives students ownership, and is plain old fun.

Here’s a video explaining the steps…

5 ways to identify and support budding mathematicians — from byrdseed.com by Katie Haydon, founder of Ignite Creative Learning Studio

Excerpt:

Attention kindergarten, first, and second grade teachers: You likely have a budding and brilliant mathematician among your classroom ranks! That child may sit quietly while the other students “catch up” and learn basic math concepts covered by early primary curriculum, or he might refuse to do the work and goof off during math time. This behavior may suggest that this child is behind, but the following points will help determine if this is a valid conclusion.

 

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