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


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



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.


Concept Attainment — from byrdseed.com by Ian Byrd


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


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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5 ideas for responding to what kids want the nation to know about educationfrom The Innovative Educator by Lisa Nielsen


In the session the focus was clear. Educators and the former principal (YAY for administrators) who attended wanted to know how we can hear the children and show them they matter, we love them, and we want to honor their unique passions, talents, interests, and abilities.  We discussed a lot of great ideas.  Here are five ways we discussed addressing what students want from education:

  1. Rather than bubbletests, measure student progress with personal success plans.
  2. Rather than report cards and transcripts allow students to showcase their learning with an authentic ePortfolio.
  3. Rather than work that only has the teacher as the audience, empower students to do real work that matters to them and has a real audience.
  4. Rather than telling students how to meet learning goals, empower them to drive their own learning as participant Deven Black explained he does (visit this link to see how).
  5. Have conversations with students about what their talents are.  You can use the videos in this article that feature students sharing stories about their talents.

First day of school: Anastasis Academy #standagain — from iLearnTechnology.com


Today was one for the books.  We did it! We opened a school with a radical new vision for what a school should look like in light of learning.  It was a truly great day!

[Anastasis Academy’s mission] is to apprentice children in the art of learning through inquiry, creativity, critical thinking, discernment and wisdom.  We strive to provide an educational model that honors and supports children as the unique and creative individuals that God created them to be.  We work to shape the development of the whole-child by engaging the mind, body and spirit while inspiring each to personal excellence.

Also see:

Look where you want to go and steer in that direction: How a blog started a school — from Dreams of Education (6/24/11)


From DSC:
24 “The LORD bless you and keep you; 25 the LORD make his face shine on you  and be gracious to you;  26 the LORD turn his face toward you and give you peace.” (Numbers 6:24-26) May He bless your efforts as you seek to not only impact the minds of — but also the hearts of — your students.


We really need to impact both in order for our future students to make significant, positive impacts around the globe. Way to go Kelly!


Top ten things I wish all teachers knew about giftedness –– from Creating Curriculum Blog by Guest Blogger Mona Chicks (on Mary St. George’s blog)

Teaching with literature in the primary grades — from byrdsee.com by Katie Haydon


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Gifted resources for primary classrooms — from byrdseed.com (Australia)


Also see:


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John Hunter on the World Peace Game — TED March 2011 — my thanks to Mr. Joseph and Mrs. Kate Byerwalter for this great presentation


TED Talks -- John Hunter presents the World Peace Game -- March 2011

About this talk
John Hunter puts all the problems of the world on a 4’x5′ plywood board — and lets his 4th-graders solve them. At TED2011, he explains how his World Peace Game engages schoolkids, and why the complex lessons it teaches — spontaneous, and always surprising — go further than classroom lectures can.

About John Hunter
Teacher and musician John Hunter is the inventor of the World Peace Game (and the star of the new doc “World Peace and Other 4th-Grade Achievements”).



For AP students, a new classroom is online — from the Wall Street Journal by Sue Shellenbarger


When budget cuts wiped out honors French classes at her Uxbridge, Mass., high school, 18-year-old Katie Larrivee turned to the Internet.

Advanced-placement classes have been booming amid efforts by high-school students and parents to trim college tuition costs and gain an edge in the college-admissions race. A record 1.99 million high-school students are expected to take AP exams next month, up 159% from 2000, says Trevor Packer, vice president, advanced placement, for the College Board, New York, the nonprofit that oversees AP courses and testing. About 90% of U.S. colleges and universities award college credit to high-school students who pass the program’s rigorous subject-matter tests.

“They get as much school work done in 3½ hours as it takes eight to do” in a traditional school day, Mr. Kirkpatrick says. Kayla Kirkpatrick says she likes moving through the material at her own pace, in contrast with a traditional classroom where “sometimes I’m really bored, and other times it is moving way too fast for me.”

One potential drawback for socially connected teens: taking an advanced placement course online seems to require advanced placement time-management skills. Being online with access to Facebook or Twitter, can be “a bit of a distraction,” Kayla Kirkpatrick says.




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Excerpt from “Challenging the Gifted”

Excerpt from “Challenging the Gifted” — from EducationNext.org by June Kronholz

I asked Davidson teachers and staffers what lessons public schools could take away from the academy. Their answers struck me a lot like the idea of getting rid of seat-time laws: logical, good for kids, and political showstoppers.

  • Allow youngsters to accelerate by subject. Colleen Harsin, the academy’s longtime director, proposed that a school group its core classes—hold all math classes during 2nd period, say; all English during 3rd—so students can move up or down according to their ability.
  • Promote dual enrollment so youngsters can take classes in both elementary and middle school, middle and high school, high school and college. That may strain transportation budgets, but students will graduate sooner, offsetting the costs.
  • Individualize learning. Davidson students each have a learning plan that’s refined during weekly meetings with their advisors, semester meetings with Garcia, and yearly what’s-next meetings with Harsin. That might strain a school of 2,000, but so do discipline problems caused by bored or out-of-their depth youngsters.
  • Group students by ability, not age. “You can’t teach to the middle,” Ripley said. “To say we’re all at an Algebra 2 level just isn’t accurate.”

That’s Bob Davidson’s mantra: Ability grouping “may fly in the face of closing the achievement gap,” but neglecting the country’s brightest kids flies in the face of logic. “Don’t stop them,” he says.

Also see:

An episode of ABC’s Nightline from 2007 takes a look at the Davidson Academy, a public school for profoundly gifted students in Reno, Nev.  June Kronholz writes about the Davidson Academy in “Challenging the Gifted,” which appears in the Spring 2011 issue of Ed Next.  A promotional video produced by the school appears here.

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The Magic of the Music — from Mobile Learning Services; original posting from Katherine Burdick’s Mobile iEducator blog

Magic of the Music


  • Audio and video features bring a deeper level of understanding to the text.
  • Fun, interactive geography lesson encourages readers to use maps and scale of miles to calculate distance.
  • Motivating math activities give the opportunity for participation by individuals or pairs.
  • User is able to personalize the story by uploading personal photos and drawings.
  • Recording feature lets readers record themselves singing or retelling a favorite tale.
  • Links to the company website allow parents or teachers to download additional support materials to keep the learning growing outside the book.
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