Monday, November 2, 2015

Education Movie Screening - Monday, Nov. 9th

You are invited to attend a special screening of the award winning documentary, Most Likely To Succeed, in the Piper Theater at the Mesa Arts Center in Mesa at 7 PM on Monday, November 9th. There is no cost to attend and this is not a fundraiser for any cause.  

This non-partisan documentary takes a powerful look at our K-12 education system and focuses largely on learning options and student engagement.  The film premiered at the Sundance Film Festival and has since shown at numerous film festivals including the Tribeca Film Festival and was directed by Greg Whiteley, who also directed the MITT documentary.

The executive producer of the film, Ted Dintersmith, will be in attendance and will lead an always interesting QA/Discussion after the film has concluded.

Please register for the event here:

View the film trailer here:

Please feel free to invite family and friends who you think would be interested in attending but be sure to RSVP soon as seating is limited.

*Please note that this event is not sponsored by Gilbert Supporters of the Gifted.

Thursday, October 22, 2015

4th Grader's Letter to Gov. Ducey

Guest post by Sophia & Audrey Tesch -

My daughter Audrey, who is in the Fourth Grade, asked me how to write a letter to the Governor. I told her that when I write a letter to an elected official I tell them my story, how I feel about the issue, and what I would like him/her to do about it. She said, "Ok," and later produced this letter which she mailed to Governor Doug Ducey's office. I am proud of Audrey. She values her education and she is standing up for it. I hope others will stand up for funding education in Arizona as well and give our students the best, so that our students can give us their best. Thanks Audrey!

Thank you Sophia & Audrey for sharing with us!

Dear Reader, 

Do you want to know more about education and gifted education funding in Arizona?  In Gilbert?  Check out our recent blog article:  Gifted Education Funding

If you or your child would like to write your own letter, you may wish to include an invitation to Gov. Ducey and/or your AZ legislative representatives to attend Parent Day of the National Association for Gifted Children's conference, to be held on Saturday, November 14th in Phoenix.  This would be a unique event at which they could hear from professionals in the field about the unique needs of gifted children and help them realize that the philosophy of gifted education - to focus on and support student strengths as well as student struggles - is a philosophy that would benefit every student.

Friday, October 16, 2015

ASU Earth and Space Exploration Day - 11/7/15

This is a wonderful family event that features hands-on exploration activities with earth and space scientists.

ASU's School of Earth and Space Exploration's annual Earth and Space Exploration Day - This annual event, hosted by Arizona State University's School of Earth and Space Exploration, has experienced remarkable growth over the past several years. Staffed by the school's faculty, researchers and students, the event is an opportunity for children and the general public to engage with scientists and researchers one-on-one or in small group settings. Earth and Space Exploration Day is one of the school's most visible efforts to increase science literacy in Arizona.

Saturday, Nov. 7, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Arizona State University Tempe campus - Interdisciplinary Science and Technology Building IV (ISTB 4) - located on the corner of McAllister Ave. and Terrace Rd.


Earth and Space Exploration day is a free annual fall event hosted by the School of Earth and Space Exploration (SESE) on ASU's Tempe campus inside/outside ISTB 4. The SESE community offers special science-related activities from 9 a.m. - 3 p.m. for students age five and up, families, educators and anyone interested in exploring Earth and space alongside real scientists. One of the biggest attractions is ISTB 4 with its Gallery of Scientific Exploration offering a variety of interactive exhibits and the Marston Exploration Theater, which will be running 3-D astronomy shows throughout the day. Visitors can see a replica of Curiosity rover, explore Tempe Butte on a guided field trip, pan for gold, watch science demos, dig for meteorites, bring rock samples for Dr. Rock to examine and so much more! Dr. Rock will be available to analyze rock samples and children are encouraged to bring samples from their backyard for analysis.

A list of activities is available on the event's website:

Pre-registration is encouraged to ensure that visitors are able to secure tickets for the astronomy shows and other ticketed activities. Public parking is free in any ASU lot south of University Avenue on Nov. 10. The most convenient parking is available in the Rural Road parking structure (#4) on Lemon St. and Rural Rd., and the Tyler Street parking structure (#2) on the corner of Tyler Street and McAlister. A parking map is available at:

Student visitors can get their event "passport" stamped upon completion of an activity. After the event, some teachers and troop leaders collect the "passports" and award extra-credit or badges based upon the number/types of passport stamps. Free teacher resources will be available such as educator packets, hand-outs, supplies and posters, as well as contacts for outreach and more educational interactions with ASU scientists and students.

Personal Note:
Here's a picture from a few years ago when we enjoyed this event with cousins who came from out of state.  It was very inspiring to these children since several of them are interested in pursuing STEM careers in the future.  Even the toddler enjoyed the experience (well, at least until he lost patience with the picture taking process).

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Gifted Education Funding

This year Gilbert Public Schools and other districts in Arizona are asking voters to support budget overrides.  Per Gilbert Supporters of the Gifted by-laws, one of our missions is to educate our members on issues pertinent to gifted education.  Therefore, Gilbert Supporters of the Gifted (GSG) publicly states that we are in support of both the 2015 override and bond initiatives.  

  • Why would a budget override be pertinent to gifted education?
  • Why would a bond be pertinent to gifted education?

The Budget Override

First to explain what an override is:  “Since 1980, the Arizona Legislature has allowed school districts to supplement their base budgets by asking voters in their local districts to approve a budget override.  If approved by voters, this override will allow GPS to supplement its operation budget by 10% more than the state provided funds.  This election authorizes the increase for seven years, but funding is reduced after year five per state law.” 

In other words, if the state legislature does not fund public education at the level communities expect in order to have desired programs, the district has permission through state law to ask the local community through an election to directly fund their local public school district.  Money obtained from a local override does not get processed through the state sieve of budget reallocations; rather the money stays local and this means local control.

If you haven’t seen the Gilbert Public Schools’ Election Information presentation on the budget, you can do so by visiting the GPS homepage, and clicking on the appropriate links, as indicated by the yellow arrow below.  The district has Fact Sheets as well as FAQ sheets to assist voters in understanding these important budget issues.

The graph below, which is part of the Gilbert Public Schools’ budget presentation, shows the history of state funding for the GPS Maintenance & Operations (M&O) budget and how local community overrides supplemented the M&O budget.  By law, M&O budgets are to be used for teacher & staff salaries, curriculum and classroom supplies. 

You will notice, that the combination of state M&O funding (blue) and local M&O override funding (orange) has never returned to 2009 levels.  Districts are expected to do more with less, but GPS is not able to pay their teachers a competitive wage.  Mesa and Chandler school districts have voter passed overrides and have chosen to invest in their public education.  Their teachers and staff are paid a competitive wage, whereas teachers in Gilbert are not.  GPS has lost great teachers and staff to these districts, including gifted endorsed teachers.

Again, what does this have to do with gifted education funding?  On the map below you will see how states compare across the nation regarding both mandated gifted education as well as the funding commitment to gifted education.  Arizona falls into the category of the states that have unfunded mandates for gifted education.

Now, Arizona wasn’t always categorized as an “orange” state.  Arizona used to partially fund gifted education.  When did the state of Arizona defund gifted education?  The table below shows the history of Arizona’s gifted education funding.

According to the table, Arizona decreased gifted education funding in 2009-2010, and completely defunded gifted education beginning in 2010-2011.  When the state defunded gifted education, districts across the state had to use general funds from their (M&O) budget to pay for these services.  Again, by law, M&O budgets can only be used for salaries, curriculum and classroom supplies.  We therefore see that at the same time the Arizona state legislature decreased M&O funding to districts across the state, they also defunded gifted education in our state.  This means Gilbert Public Schools REALLY has had to do more with less.

Gilbert Public Schools is committed to providing gifted education services even in times of economic struggle.  Gilbert Supporters of the Gifted (GSG) is grateful for the district support of the GPS Gifted Education Vision and Mission Statement, which was GPS board approved in December 2012.  The GPS Gifted Education Parent Council has worked in partnership with GPS and GSG to provide appropriate supports and feedback towards the fruition of the GPS Gifted Education Vision & Mission.

We invite you to vote yes on the 2015 GPS budget override.

The Bond

What is a bond?  “A bond allows local voters to approve additional funding to use for capital items such as school buses, building renovations, and deferred maintenance and technology.”

Why does GPS need additional capital funding?  “In fiscal year 2015-16, GPS expects to receive $2.7 million in capital funding from the state, which is an 85% reduction from the $17.9 million received in fiscal year 2010-11.  Because of the reduced state funding, school repairs have been deferred, older buses have remained in service, and technology has not been updated.  The increased capital funding will address the most immediate needs in these areas.”

The chart below is, again, from the GPS budget presentation.  From this chart you can see how the Arizona legislature has decreased its funding for capital items, despite the state dictated formula stating required levels of funding.

How are your children affected by safe buildings?  Properly working air conditioning?  Properly functioning transportation?  Current instead of out dated technology?  These are the educational needs that the state is no longer funding sufficiently.  These are the budget items that will be supported by the 2015 bond. 

In spite of state lack of support for public education, we as a community can still have the great teachers, wonderful programs, safe transportation and the updated technology that our children need and deserve if we vote YES, YES for the 2015 override and bond.

For more information, please visit these websites:

We hope you will join us in supporting the 2015 GPS Bond and Budget Override election.  Please vote YES, YES, this October on your mail-in ballot.

** Please note that the ballot for this election is mail-in only and needs to be mailed by October 30th in order to be counted. 

Gilbert Supporters of the Gifted Executive Board
Stephanie Newitt, President
Pam Walton, Vice-President
Terri Grubb, Treasurer/Secretary

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Anxiety and Depression: Implications for Gifted Youth

September presentation:  “Anxiety and Depression:  Implications for Gifted Youth”

We would like to thank Dr. Laura Wingers for being GSG’s first guest speaker of the year.  Her presentation on “Anxiety and Depression:  Implications for Gifted Youth” was very informative.  We learned some of the symptoms that manifest themselves in gifted children and some of the supports (old and new) that are available.  The presentation reminded us that many of these feelings are normal, however, when they get in the way of life, growth, relationships, etc. that is the time to seek for help.  Dr. Wingers also recommended a book list with resources to support parents. 

If you missed  the Gilbert Supporters of the Gifted guest lecture, you can find the link Dr. Wingers’ slide show presentation on the News & Events page of our website.  Disclaimer:  The presentation is for informational purposes only; not a substitute for individual/professional consultation.

If you would like to hear Dr. Wingers again, she is presenting at Parent Day of the NAGC Conference on Saturday, November 14th, on “Developmental Asynchrony in the Young Gifted Child: Challenges and Opportunities.”

Sunday, September 27, 2015

NAGC Parent Day and Kid Program Scholarship Opportunity

An affiliate of the National Association for Gifted Children

Arizona Association for Gifted & Talented (AAGT) is excited to announce the 2015 National Association for Gifted Children (NAGC) Conference Parent Day and Kid Program Scholarship opportunity! 

Parent Day will be held on Saturday, November 14, 2015 from 8:30a - 4:30p during the NAGC Conference.

Parent Day is a one-day event during the upcoming annual NAGC Conference that gives parents tools, information, and networking opportunities to help them support their children’s optimal development and ensure their continued growth. Each grade group (K-8) will enjoy a full day of classroom activity run by student teachers from ASU and each will be joined by Joe Hudy to MAKE something and showcase it at the end of the day while the parents attend the formal Parent Day session.

Who is Joe Hudy? 
Joe is the youngest person Intel has ever hired through its corporate internship program, which traditionally is meant for talented college-age students AND he is from the Valley!

Below is the application/funding criteria:
  • A limited number of partial scholarships are available to send parents and/or students to the NAGC Parent Day
  • Parents and children from the same family can apply at the same time.
  • Scholarship covers conference fees to attend the 62nd Annual NAGC Conference Parent Day, does not cover food & beverage, parking or lodging accommodations
  • This scholarship is open to all parents and children in the state of Arizona
  • Scholarship is open until all scholarship reserves are disbursed
  • To view the full application, click HERE
  • To apply, please call Robin Feldman at (202) 785-4268 or email her at  
  • For more information on Parent Day please click HERE.

Thank you to our generous sponsors for making this scholarship opportunity possible:

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

"Anxiety & Depression in Gifted Youth" - Guest Lecture on 9/24/15

Join us for our guest lecture to be held on Thursday, September 24th at 7:00 p.m. in the Greenfield Junior High Library (101 S Greenfield Road, Gilbert).  Note that the location has changed from previous lectures.

Dr. Laura Wingers will be speaking to us about "Anxiety and Depression in Gifted Youth."

Learn about the early signs of anxiety and depression in gifted youth and how parents can appropriately support gifted children who are dealing with these issues.  Dr. Wingers will also share resources that are available to parents.  Please spread the word to other parents and educators.

NAGC 62nd Annual Convention and Exhibition - November 12-15, 2015

In lieu of Gilbert Supporters of the Gifted hosting a November lecture, we encourage you to register and attend the NAGC conference being held right here in the Phoenix area on November 12-15. 

Early Bird Registration closes September 21st.  Visit HERE for more details or to register.

 Please see the graphic below for more details.

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

NAGC 2015 Annual Convention and Exhibition in Phoenix

Don't forget to register for the largest annual convention devoted to gifted and talented learners.  It will be held on November 12-15 in Phoenix!  It is a rare treat to have this event in Arizona. This event will be hosted by the NAGC (National Association for Gifted Children).

People who would benefit from attending are:
Classroom teachers, gifted/talented coordinators, school administrators, parents, college & university faculty, researchers, and more.

There will be a Parent Day and Kids Program on Saturday, November 14th.  NAGC Parent Day is "a one-day event that gives parents tools, information, and networking opportunities to help them support their children's optimal development and ensure their continued growth." This event is being co-hosted with AAGT (Arizona Association for Gifted Children).  Click HERE for more information.   The Parent Day event will be $45 per person and the Kids Program will be $35 per person (no meals included).

Click HERE to see pricing and register for the annual convention.  Early bird and group discounts available through September 21st.

Sunday, August 23, 2015

4 Life Lessons To Teach Your Gifted Kids (and one for you to learn, too)

Life lessons to teach your gifted kids- and one for you to learn, too

By Alessa Giampaolo Keener, M.Ed.
My oldest child turns 21 in one week and I’ve been reflecting back on a lot of childhood memories recently. So, when the request came in to blog for Hoagies’ Gifted Education Page on “lessons learned” along the gifted journey, I kind of chuckled to myself. If we measure ourselves by how many “A’s” we get on the first go-around of “tests” we encounter as parents, I would be no where near the head of the class.
Parenting gifted children can be filled with intensities: The need to know. The need to learn. The need to be right. The need to fight for justice. The need to do things independently.
By the end of many days, especially during that 4-8 year old range, I would find myself just needing a little peace and quiet – especially trying to go to the bathroom with the door closed *without* a running monologue about string theory on the other side.
When you first start out on the gifted journey, you find much to learn about educational advocacy. Achieving the right educational fit can often help resolve many other issues you might find yourself facing with your kids.
All the same, I’m going to gently suggest that too much focus on academics isn’t always the best choice for gifted children. Yes, there’s much to learn in life, but not all of it comes from books.
Life Lessons Worth Learning
Learn to Climb Trees
Unplugging and tuning into nature provides so many benefits for kids – beginning with learning how to self-soothe when you’re not bombarded by intellectual stimulation. (In other words, it teaches your kids to not rely on you to be their 24/7 conversation partner or playmate.) ... see more at Everyday Learning

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Regional Bus Stops – Logistics and Friendships

by Stephanie Newitt

School has begun and the morning craziness has started.  Bus stop schedules have been distributed by the district.  Maybe your child has old friends at the bus stop, maybe they have the chance to build new friendships.  Maybe your child attends a neighborhood bus stop or maybe it’s a new regional bus stop.  Whatever the case, it is most likely that they will mirror your parent view of the bus stop experience.


If you have questions about your child’s bus stop, check out THIS LINK to the GPS Transportation Department.   The number of bus stops, though NOT the number of actual buses, have multiplied for 2015-16 due to the regionalization of ALP, Special Education, and ELL services.  We appreciate that the task of organizing bus routes and bus availability is more complex this year than it has ever been before.  We thank the transportation department for their efforts with this daunting task.


This is our third year attending a regional bus stop.  For our first year, all the children were new to the bus stop.  They made friends.  Though some of the children were in different grades, they connected.  They looked out for each other.  They playfully teased each other and respected one another.  This was their social safety net as they rode the bus to a new school.

What helped make this possible?  As parents we got out of our cars and connected with other parents.  This encouraged our kids to interact as well.  We parents swapped phone numbers so we could notify one another if one of the kids wouldn’t be on the bus one morning or schedule after school play dates at the park.  As parents we supported one another in teaching our children respect for each other, the driver and the property of others.  We shared similar values.  And we got together at least once over each summer so the kids could still feel connected.

 Relationships.  As we model for our children, and also guide them in building positive relationships, they will be able to develop the social skills necessary to navigate a successful life.  The regional bus stop, per our experience, has been an opportunity to build positive friendships.

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Webinar - Organizing Chaos: Solutions for Everyday Life in a Gifted Family

From the Summit Center of California ...
Organizing Chaos: Solutions for Everyday Life in a Gifted Family

Thursday, September 03, 2015, 11:00 AM - 12:00 PM (Pacific Time)
Living in a gifted family can be chaotic. Overwhelmed with schedule and time management? Exhausted trying to keep everything and everyone on track? Frazzled when you can't find what you need? We will explore which organizing methods increase emotional connection and functioning within the gifted family.
Learning objectives:
·  Identify how gifted characteristics can be used to help get and keep your family organized
·  How to enlist help from everyone in the family
·  Establishing routines and good habits to get organized
·  Evaluate time management and expectations
·  Learn what can realistically be accomplished

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Gifted Education Parent Council - Gilbert Public Schools

Gathering Information helps us, as parents, to be prepared for the roller coaster of raising a gifted child.  Please join our Gilbert Supporters of the Gifted meetings when there is a guest lecture.  Also, get informed about what is happening with gifted education in Gilbert by contacting your campus’ representative for the Gifted Education Parent Council.  Each school has a parent representative who meets with members of GPS administration monthly, so you can have a voice.  Begin by being informed, and then you will be ready to be involved at any level.

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Top 10 Reasons Why Your Gifted Child Procrastinates

Ten reasons why your gifted child procrastinates

Procrastination: that vexing time thief so many gifted children face. You watch as your bright, curious child, passionately engaged in so many interests, comes to a screeching halt when a project is due. You coax, cajole, demand, bribe, threaten, and stand on your head, yet nothing will budge. What gives?

While most people procrastinate from time to time, some develop a chronic pattern fraught with avoidance, disorganization and frantic efforts as deadlines loom. Before you nag your child one more time, rush out and buy yet another self-help book, or hit your head against the wall, you may first want to sort out the reasons for the procrastination. Usually there are one or more contributing factors, and if you sort these out, you may be better prepared to tackle the problem.

Here are some possible reasons for procrastination:
1.  Distractibility - Some gifted children are so immersed in their interests that they have difficulty focusing on the task at hand. They become easily distracted by more engaging ideas or projects. Overscheduling can exacerbate this problem; however, distractions can arise even without competing demands once the child's passions and interests take hold.
2.  Disorganization - Gifted children can struggle with poor organizational and planning abilities and can lack time management skills. Despite motivation to complete a project, they may become overwhelmed when it involves more attention to details or long-range planning than usual. Difficulty managing their time and structuring how they will work is frequently the root of this problem.
3.  Apathy - Sometimes gifted children have become so bored and disgusted with school that they lose interest and don’t really care about the quality of their work. They delay completing assignments because the work seems meaningless. They would rather engage in a multitude of other activities than “waste” their time on rote paperwork or assignments that seem too easy.
4.  Past success - Some gifted children procrastinate because they can get away with it. Many have learned that completing assignments at the last minute does not diminish the quality of their work or harm the outcome. They know they can do better, but with a track record of excellent grades behind them, they realize they don’t have to work very hard to just slide by.
5.  Rebellion - Procrastination can be an expression of resistance or quiet rebellion against completing an assignment a child resents. It is a means of devaluing the project, minimizing its importance, and expressing anger about having to work on something unappealing. Even if the project is eventually completed, delaying it until the last minute is a form of silent protest that may feel empowering to the child.
6.  Perfectionism - High expectations of achieving success can create anxiety and a desire to delay that which is distressing. When gifted children worry that they might not excel on a given task, they may put it off until the last possible minute. Clearly, this can be a recipe for increased anxiety and inevitable 11:00 PM melt-downs. 
7.  Self-sabotage - Some gifted children (and gifted adolescents in particular) try to hide their abilities from others. In an attempt to blend in, they may disguise their talents, perform poorly, and disengage from academics. Procrastination may reflect their ambivalence about confronting this dilemma and uncertainty about whether to minimize their abilities or live up to their potential. And if the quality of their work suffers, then they can perpetuate the image they want to convey.
8.  Insecurity - Despite their apparent skills, some gifted children doubt their abilities. They may feel like "imposters" and worry that their inadequacies will be "discovered" at any time. They believe that they have an image to uphold and if they fail in some manner, they will be outed as a fraud. Delaying completion of a project is a means of avoiding the inevitable anxiety that arises when they confront this fear.
9.  Shame - Along with insecurity, some gifted children experience feelings of shame if they fail to excel. They react as if this is an indictment against their intelligence and suspect that others will view them as inadequate. As a result, procrastination can be an excuse; if a less than perfect grade is attributed to a rushed, last-minute effort, then the child can believe that actual ability was never to blame.
10. Depression - Occasionally, procrastination may be a symptom of depression. However, it usually coincides with other signs, such as withdrawal and isolation from peers, apparent sadness, changes in eating and sleeping patterns, and irritability. In these situations, procrastination may be a reflection of feelings of hopelessness and a perception that school work lacks any meaning.

Sorting out the cause of your child's procrastination is the first step toward working on the problem. A one-size-fits-all approach based on the latest self-help ideas may not work for your child's specific situation. Clearly, a child whose procrastination is the result of perfectionism and shame will need a different approach than one whose primary concern is apathy.

Gather information, speak with your child, listen to what your child thinks. Make a decision about whether the problem is behavioral (habits, distractibility, time management), school based (boredom, apathy), and/or the result of anxiety or depression. Determine whether intervention needs to occur at home, school, or both, and whether a counselor, school psychologist, or 
therapist would help to address the problem.

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Picky Eaters and Supersensitivities

By Tawnya Sherman

Often gifted kids are picky eaters. There may be a cause other than stubbornness!  This might be a sign of the kinds of intensities that can be seen in gifted children.  Polish psychologist, Kazimierz Dabrowski, identified five of these intensities, which he called overexcitabilities or supersensitivities:: Psychomotor, Sensual, Emotional, Intellectual, and Imaginational.  Picky eaters may derive from the overexcitability related to the senses.

Sensual à The primary sign of this intensity is a heightened awareness of all five senses: sight, smell, taste, touch, and hearing. Children with a dominant sensual overexcitability can get sick from the smell of certain foods or as toddlers will hate to walk on grass in their bare feet. The pleasure they get from the tastes and textures of some foods may cause them to overeat.

·      Appreciation of beauty, whether in writing, music, art or nature. Includes love of objects like jewelry
·      Sensitive to smells, tastes, or textures of foods
·      Sensitivity to pollution
·      Tactile sensitivity (Bothered by feel materials on the skin, like clothing tags)

·      Need or desire for comfort and pleasure

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Building Persistence

By Stephanie Newitt

Do your kids ever give up before their task is complete?  Do they ever have a meltdown over an assignment they perceive as difficult?  Among the gifts our kids have, do we ever wish we could give them the gift of persistence so they can work through difficulties and obtain the rewards they seek.

This past week we hosted a STEM camp for our kids and their cousins at our home.  The children were divided into teams and were to build their own Rube Goldberg contraptions to meet a specific goal.  On the last day, about an hour before the end of class, my youngest son left the project room, ran to his bedroom and locked the door.  He was frustrated with his project and felt like giving up.  I went to his room.  With coaxing he unlocked the door.   In a very neutral tone I called him down from his bunk bed and asked him to stand in front of me.  He had no idea why I was asking him to do this and so while he complied, he wore a perplexed look on his face.  As soon as he was in position, I scooped him up, and held him upside down, while I jumped and wiggled around the room.  By this time he was laughing!

“Mom!  What are you doing??” 

“Remember the movie ‘Big Hero 6’?  You need to use your great thinking brain to look at the problem from a different angle!  You can do this.” 

“OK! OK!”  Amidst more of his laughter, I set him upright on the floor.

He returned to the project room and continued to work on their Rube Goldberg with a more positive attitude until the “Show and Tell” moment with parents at the end of class.

This experience reminded me of the article by Dr. Dan Peters, “Coping 101:  Building Persistence and Resilience in Gifted Children.

You are invited to read this short article by Dr. Peters, where he uses his down to earth approach to introduce a few steps that will help us build persistence and resilience in our gifted children.  The steps he expands on are:

1. Improve frustration tolerance (lengthen the fuse)
2. Teach them to use their great “thinking brain”
3. Help them form a realistic view of self and their abilities
4.  Scaffold and support weaknesses
5.  Set up opportunities for success

Throughout these steps I would add to share family stories when family members have dealt with adversity and then persevered.  These family stories can be powerful if shared in the right way.  What strategies of persistence did Dad use when he was looking for a job while a high school student?   What motivators did Aunt Cathy use when she was a kid and the cookies didn’t turn out like she wanted?  Kids can come away from a family story thinking, “Well, if they can do it, and we are related, then I can do it too.”

So whether it’s sharing stories about how grandpa worked to make new friends when he moved to a new school, or how mom didn’t give up on her scholarship applications, you may also want to flip your kid upside down or just tap her on the shoulder and say, “Tag!  You’re it!”  Including family stories of perseverance and creating moments of uplifting humor can be a part of your scaffolding strategy and little by little you will be able to help your child build persistence and resilience.

Do you want to know how to effectively use family stories in your parenting scaffolding?  Then check out this article from the New York Times – The Stories that Bind Us

Big Hero 6 – “Look for a new angle” 15 second video clip:

Sunday, June 14, 2015

The Heart of the Gifted Underachiever - Seminar 6/18/15

Do you wish to better understand the heart of a gifted underachieving child? 
If so, then you may be interested in the webinar hosted this week by SENG – the national organization Supporting the Emotional Needs of the Gifted

The Heart of the Gifted Underachiever 

Thursday June 18, 2015
Time: 7:30 p.m. Eastern [90 mins.]  
Presenter: Josh Shaine
Fee: $40 ($30 for SENG members)
In a time when even the former foremost advocate for gifted children has turned its focus back to achievement and even eminence, where is the place for the gifted child who is not achieving?

Educational research is filled with explanations about the impact of expectations on our students, our children. Yet we have this set of children for whom there were sky high expectations by teachers and parents, but whose response bears no resemblance to the authority figures' dreams and hopes.

We will spend a little time on the history of the field, but mostly we will look at the kids - and at the long term implications of being a gifted "underachiever." 

(some senginars may not be available for registration so check back if it isn't)


Josh Shaine has been working with gifted students of all ages for more than 25 years, including many years teaching, administrating, advising, and sometimes directing programs for 7th - 12th graders through MIT's Educational Studies Program.
He has taught at public, private, and alternative schools, as well as working with special needs students who were either at home or institutionalized for a number of public school districts in several different states.

Shaine has served on the boards of directors of the Hollingworth Center for Gifted Children, Kids College, the Massachusetts Association for Gifted Children, the New England Conference for Gifted and Talented, the NH Association for Gifted Children, and Voyagers Homeschool Cooperative.

He currently organizes and presents at conferences around the country, including the Beyond IQ conferences in Boston, Chicago, and the West Coast.