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Facts and Myths of Gifted Children


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This is the presentation from the April 25th NET meeting.

Published in: Education
  • Thanks! You should be able to download and edit it, but if not, send me a message and I will email it to you.
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  • LOVE, LOVE, LOVE this presentation!! is there any way to fix the quote on the second slide? It looks like it was cut off. Being new to slideshare, I'm not sure if I can fix it before using this or if the person who created it is the only one who can edit it. It's really wonderful.
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  • I created this so long ago, I am not sure the exact sources for each section. Many of the slides have links, but most of the information is common among gifted research. I would suggest that you check out resources from,, James Webb also has 'A Guide to Gifted Children' which is very helpful for parents and others new to the gifted field.
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Facts and Myths of Gifted Children

  1. 1. Dispelling Some Myths About Gifted Students Characteristics of Gifted Children Becky Renegar
  2. 2. An opening thought… <ul><li>The human brain starts working the moment you are born and never stops until you stand up to speak in public. </li></ul><ul><ul><li> </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>George Jessel </li></ul></ul>
  3. 3. Fact or Myth: <ul><li>There are over 180 different definitions of giftedness </li></ul><ul><li>Gifted kids are so smart they do fine with or without special programs </li></ul><ul><li>Gifted students make everyone else in the class smarter by providing a role model or a challenge. </li></ul><ul><li>Parenting young gifted children is labor intensive. </li></ul>
  4. 4. Fact: There are over 180 definitions of giftedness <ul><li>United States Office of Education – gifted students are those &quot;who have outstanding abilities , are capable of high performance and who require differentiated educational programs (beyond those normally provided by regular school programs) in order to realize their contribution to self and society&quot;. </li></ul>
  5. 5. Definitions <ul><li>According to NCLB- The term “gifted and talented”, when used with respect to students, children, or youth, means students, children, or youth who give evidence of high achievement capability in areas such as intellectual, creative, artistic, or leadership capacity, or in specific academic fields, and who need services or activities not ordinarily provided by the school in order to fully develop those capabilities. (Title IX, Part A, Section 9101(22), p. 544) </li></ul>
  6. 6. Definitions <ul><li>According to ODE- &quot;Gifted&quot; means students who perform or show potential for performing at remarkably high levels of accomplishment when compared to others of their age, experience, or environment and who are identified under division (a), (b), (c), or (d) of section 3324.03 of the revised code. </li></ul>
  7. 7. Definitions <ul><li>According to the Columbus Group- &quot;Giftedness is asynchronous development in which advanced cognitive abilities and heightened intensity combine to create inner experiences and awareness that are qualitatively different from the norm . This asynchrony increases with higher intellectual capacity. The uniqueness of the gifted renders them particularly vulnerable and requires modifications in parenting, teaching and counseling in order for them to develop optimally.&quot; The Columbus Group, 1991, cited by Martha Morelock, &quot; Giftedness: The View from Within &quot;, in Understanding Our Gifted , January 1992 </li></ul>
  8. 8. Myth: Gifted kids are so smart they do fine with or without special programs <ul><li>They may appear to do fine on their own. But without proper challenge they can become bored and unruly. As the years go by they may find it harder and harder as work does become more challenging, since they never faced challenge before. </li></ul><ul><li>http:// </li></ul>
  9. 9. Myth: Gifted students make everyone else in the class smarter by providing a role model or a challenge. <ul><li>Actually, average or below-average students do not look to the gifted students in the class as role models. They are more likely to model their behavior on those who have similar capabilities and are coping well in school. Seeing a student at a similar performance level succeed motivates students because it adds to their own sense of ability ; watching or relying on someone who is expected to succeed does little to increase a struggling student’s sense of self-confidence. [2] Similarly, gifted students benefit from interactions with peers at similar performance levels. </li></ul><ul><li>http:// =569 </li></ul>
  10. 10. Fact: Parenting young gifted children is labor intensive. <ul><li>Some of the earliest signs of giftedness include: </li></ul><ul><li>unusual alertness in infancy = increased interaction </li></ul><ul><li>less need for sleep in infancy = long, sleepless nights, few breaks for naps </li></ul><ul><li>long attention span = repetition in play </li></ul><ul><li>high activity level = Mom and Dad trying to keep up </li></ul>
  11. 11. Parenting young gifted children cont’d <ul><li>advanced progression through the developmental milestones extraordinary memory = watch what you say and do </li></ul><ul><li>enjoyment and speed of learning = constantly providing new experiences </li></ul><ul><li>early and extensive language development = “She learned to talk and hasn’t stopped yet!” </li></ul><ul><li>fascination with books = lots of time reading, sometimes the same book over and over and over and… </li></ul>
  12. 12. <ul><li>curiosity = “Where does the moon go?” and other difficult questions </li></ul><ul><li>excellent sense of humor = playing with language, “getting” jokes other children their age might not get </li></ul><ul><li>abstract reasoning and problem-solving skills = nothing is safe </li></ul><ul><li>vivid imagination (e.g., imaginary companions) = lots of stories to listen to and games to play </li></ul>Parenting young gifted children cont’d
  13. 13. What is Giftedness? <ul><li>Asynchronous development </li></ul><ul><li>Advanced cognitive abilities </li></ul><ul><li>High levels of achievement </li></ul><ul><li>Potential for high levels of achievement </li></ul><ul><li>Specific academic areas / cognitive abilities / creativity / visual and performing arts </li></ul>
  14. 14. Identifying the Gifted
  15. 15. Some behavioral / learning characteristics of gifted students: (Dr. Linda Kreger Silverman) <ul><li>Reasons well (good thinker) </li></ul><ul><li>Learns rapidly </li></ul><ul><li>Has an excellent memory </li></ul><ul><li>Is a keen observer </li></ul><ul><li>Has a long attention span (if interested) </li></ul><ul><li>Perseverant in their interests </li></ul><ul><li>Has a wide range of interests </li></ul>
  16. 17. Behavioral Characteristics <ul><li>Has facility with numbers </li></ul><ul><li>Good at jigsaw puzzles </li></ul><ul><li>Has extensive vocabulary </li></ul><ul><li>Early or avid reader (if too young to read, loves being read to) </li></ul><ul><li>Has a vivid imagination </li></ul><ul><li>Is highly creative </li></ul><ul><li>Tends to question authority </li></ul><ul><li>Has high degree of energy </li></ul>
  17. 19. Some social / emotional characteristics of gifted students: (Dr. Linda Kreger Silverman) <ul><li>Prefers older companions or adults </li></ul><ul><li>Has a great sense of humor </li></ul><ul><li>Concerned with justice, fairness </li></ul><ul><li>Judgment mature for age at times </li></ul><ul><li>Morally sensitive </li></ul><ul><li>Sensitive (feelings hurt easily) </li></ul><ul><li>Shows compassion </li></ul><ul><li>Perfectionistic </li></ul><ul><li>Intense </li></ul><ul><li>Has strong curiosity </li></ul>
  18. 21. The flip side Inability to accept help from peers, nonconformity, reliant on self  Independent, prefers individualized work  Escape into fantasy, rejection of norms, may be seen as disruptive Creativity, inventiveness Inaccuracy, sloppiness, impatient with others, dislikes basic routine Acquires/retains information easily  Tunnel Vision; resists interruption, stubbornness , resists duties Long attention span   Talks too much, talks above the heads of his or her age peers Verbal skills       Possible Problem Strength   
  19. 22. The flip side cont’d Possible Problem Strength Critical of others, perfectionism , unreasonable standards for self Critical thinking   Resistance to simple solutions ; constructs complicated rules, bossy Preference for  Complexity   Appears disorganized , scattered, frustrated over lack of time Versatility  Extreme sensitivity to criticism or peer rejection Sensitive
  20. 23. Shoe Size <ul><li>Going into the shoe store, the salesperson says...&quot; Do you have a size 7 foot? I have a size 7 shoe that should fit you very nicely, and may be just what you need. No? You have a size 9 foot? Well, all I have are size 7 shoes. Just wear this one anyway.&quot; </li></ul><ul><li>&quot;I can't get it on.&quot; </li></ul><ul><li>&quot;What's the matter with my shoe?&quot; </li></ul><ul><li>&quot;Nothing is wrong with the shoe. It is a perfectly fine shoe.&quot; [i.e., program/curriculum is great, just not a good fit. We are not putting down your program/curriculum.] </li></ul>
  21. 24. Shoe Size <ul><li>&quot;Well, maybe you would like my shoe if I put this pretty bow on it. Or maybe a shiny buckle? Now put it on. I don't understand why it doesn't fit. How about if I give you more size 7 shoes? Will three be enough [more of the same!]? Well, then something must be wrong with your foot. What's wrong with your foot?&quot; </li></ul><ul><li>&quot;Nothing is wrong with my foot. I have a perfectly good foot.&quot; </li></ul><ul><li>In order for shoes to work well for you, they have to be a good fit. And imagine what happens when you have to walk around all day in shoes that are too small--you get a little cranky, don't you? Or maybe you decide to stop wearing shoes altogether! Good programs and good kids need to be matched for a good fit. </li></ul>
  22. 25. Great Resources! <ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul>