Hopefully we’ve all had that experience of reading a book that powerfully “spoke” to us, a book whose characters we could relate to, and whose struggles and triumphs we identified with. Taking this experience a step farther is the strategy of bibliotherapy, the process of helping the reader learn about and cope with any social or emotional struggles or developmental needs by identifying with a character in a book who shares a similar struggle or need. The reading is typically followed up by discussion with a trusted adult. Bibliotherapy of course can be done with all students, particularly students ...


A couple of weeks ago, I had some group discussions with my fourth graders about the “Gifted Children’s Bill of Rights.” We sat around the poster in a semi-circle and I asked them to say which items, if any, struck a chord with them and why. (For anyone who hasn’t previously read the insightful list created by Del Siegle, you can read it and learn more in my previous post on the topic.) It’s amazing what comes pouring out of these kids when given a safe zone to open up about their myriad of hidden struggles that ...


In a few days, one of my former GT students will begin her student teaching. She came to school with me one day last week to shadow me, to have an opportunity to observe and discuss some of what I do with my gifted students. Yes, she participated in the program when she was a kid, but she came this time with a different perspective – that of a soon-to-be teacher. A few years ago, when Narysa was just beginning her college education, I encouraged her to come to a four-day AGATE (gifted education) conference that was taking place in the ...


[ugh... I suppose it's now obvious to the whole world that I have too much on my plate this year, huh? Sorry for the delay everyone... Here is today's update.] Hello, all! :o) The transcript for the recent EdWeek chat on "The Evolving Definition of Giftedness" can be accessed at this link HERE. It's a fairly long read (but of course very interesting), so leave yourself a half hour or so when you click the link to go read it. Many of the questions posed in the chat were not specifically focused on the three authors' new book and the ...


This is somewhat short notice for y'all, but I thought I'd mention it for those of you who don't subscribe to the EdWeek updates (which I know a number of you don't). So FYI for anyone interested who doesn't already know... Tomorrow (Wednesday, November 19th), EdWeek will be hosting a live chat with the three authors of a new book, titled "The Development of Giftedness and Talent Across the Life Span." I haven't read the book yet myself, but there is an article about it here that you could read to get some idea of what it's about. EdWeek's publicized ...


There are a lot of reasons why the academic needs of our gifted students aren’t always met, among them lack of teacher training, lack of funding, lack of accurate data on student learning needs (or lack of acting upon the data we do have), lack of awareness about these students and the effects that little challenge can bring about for them, and so on. Now, I’m not saying there aren’t a lot of great things happening for the advanced learners in our nation’s schools. There are. But there are also many ways the learning needs of ...


One morning last week, I was working during recess in the Computer Lab at one of our elementary schools when one of my third graders popped in. "Oh! Ms. Fish! I want to come in here during recess and do some research about space and astronauts, but my teacher said I could only do it if someone was in here with me. Will you be in here for a little while?" "Sure thing - come on in. You can use this computer next to me." He opened up a browser page and headed off to his first destination. A moment ...


It’s that time of year again! The annual NAGC (National Association for Gifted Children) convention is soon approaching, this year to be held in Tampa, Florida, from October 29th through November 2nd. Given that the temperature at my house was all of 4 degrees when I left for last year’s NAGC convention, I’m particularly excited for my first trip to Florida and a wee little escape from clouds, snow, and cold :o) I’m posting about the convention today because the early registration deadline is quickly approaching – this Friday, September 19th, as a matter of fact. You ...


Good-bye, M.B… School has started once again, yet you are not here with us. We’ve re-convened after a summer of travel and relaxation, learning and camps, celebrations, … and mourning your death. The other kids come in with their backpacks over their shoulders and I think of you, the one who didn’t make it back… Your easy grin, your brilliant curiosity, your penchant for deep questions and conversation, your friends who have carried on so admirably without you… I have found thoughts of each of these wandering in from the back of my mind at odd moments during ...


Hello from the Ice Cream Capital of the World! On the morning of July 7, I had my TV on in the other room while I was getting ready for the day. I overheard an interview on the Today Show that Matt Lauer did with swimmer Dara Torres. The day before, she had managed to qualify for her fifth Olympics at the age of 41, even breaking an American record (for the ninth time in that event!) in the qualifying process. Near the end of the interview, Matt asked Dara how she did it, noting his age and noting hers. (They...


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