SIG eNewsletter: The Gifted Student
|This newsletter is sponsored by IAGC
In this issue:
From the President's Desk
A letter from Barbara Swicord, President of SIG:
In a month that's all about love, can happiness be far away? These two emotions certainly go together to me. I am very happy when I see an emphasis on happiness as a student goal, as well as being a global goal. Here at SIG we are all about both love and happiness for our students. We love, love, love them and all the wonderful things they bring to our programs. We also strive to inspire them to discover what they love about learning as well as what they love to learn about. In the process, we believe that they will find their true happiness through being all that they are.
So I was really happy to read Stuart Grauer's blog Happiness as a measurable educational outcome. Grauer had been invited to speak at the closing of the 2013 Annual Seoul International Education Forum to talk about happiness in education. South Korea's legendary high test scores have created sacrifices in other areas due to a lack of time to develop such characteristics as empathy, creativity, and happiness. South Korea's new President has made the happiness of her country a primary goal. Since we know that happy teachers and happy students go together, it appears that many people are now finally appreciating the detrimental effect that a prescribed test-driven curriculum has on both teachers and students. I hope it's not too much longer before we change courses and drive our curriculum into more student-directed areas. Happiness is measureable, so I would bet that a change in curriculum focus toward students and away from tests would result in increases on happiness scales.
Last summer we offered a course in our SIG programs called The Pursuit of Happiness. We wanted students to think about, and gain an understanding of, the psychological phenomenon of happiness and to find their happy place in the process. What does research tell us about what makes people happy? What could be more critical for young people to discern? Sadly, from my point of view, this class was far less subscribed than the SAT prep classes, so we didn't offer it again in 2014. I'd like to think the lower enrollment was because our students had already figured out their keys to happiness, but I suspect the enrollment had more to do with our societal emphases on test scores. Perhaps we can offer this course again when the test-driven curriculum pendulum swings in another direction.
In addition, I think the Global Happiness Project is very interesting in that it asks teachers and students on an international level to weigh in on a Happiness Index. Indeed, what elements do you think contribute to a happy and healthy society? Even if you don't participate in this project, take some time to think about how you would answer that question. You can read more about the project at www.newtechnetwork.org/services/resources/global-happiness-project.
Meanwhile, I challenge you to take a few minutes today to think about what happiness is to you. If you are a teacher or parent, how can you increase the happiness factor in your students and children? At SIG we say “Happy Trails” to all of you in the paths you love to travel!
President, Summer Institute for the Gifted
SIG is 30! Thirty Reasons To Go To SIG
- You make friends from all over the world.
- You become increasingly independent.
- You get to tell the instructor what you want to learn about.
- You get to be in a Broadway show if you want to.
- Everyone thinks your talent in the Talent Show is great, even if it's not.
- You get to experience life on a college campus.
- You get to take courses that don't exist in school.
- There are no grades.
- Mistakes are welcome and encouraged.
- You can do things smart kids do and not feel out of place.
- You can try a new sport and not worry about not doing it well.
- You get to be in a small enough class to get your thoughts across and receive the feedback you desire.
- You get to talk to college students, who are your counselors, about college life.
- You learn how to do laundry if you want.
- You learn how to manage your time.
- You learn that sleep really is important.
- You get to eat in college cafeterias.
- You get to eat all you want.
- You get to go on trips with your new friends on Saturdays.
- You get to hang out with new friends on Sunday.
- You get to exhibit your trivia knowledge in the Brain Bowl.
- You get mail and packages from home sometimes.
- You learn about other cultures and languages through the international student population.
- You get to do different recreation activities every day.
- You learn how to navigate around a college or university campus.
- You get to experience whether the campus you are on is the type of campus that fits you.
- You meet some cool adults.
- You might experience romance!
- You get to call yourself a SIG alum after the summer is over.
- You get a certificate every year and a plaque after three years, along with tons of great memories!
A question recently came to me from a parent who continually saw references to Bloom’s Taxonomy – she was curious what Bloom’s had to do with gifted education.
Bloom’s Taxonomy is a classification of cognitive skills, ranging from simpler level skills of knowledge and comprehension through more complex level thinking skills like evaluation. Here’s a brief example of Bloom's Taxonomy based on the carpetbaggers of the Civil War.
- Knowledge: Define a carpetbagger.
- Comprehension: Explain how a carpetbagger made his money.
- Application: Construct a cause/effect chart of the impact of carpetbaggers on the Southern economy.
- Analysis: Analyze the name carpetbagger; describe the origins of the term and defend whether or not the term truly epitomized the role carpetbaggers played in the reconstruction era.
- Synthesis: In what ways would Southern Reconstruction be different if carpetbaggers didn’t exist?
- Evaluation: Evaluate the role of the Carpetbagger on the economy of the post-Civil War reconstruction era. Assess the overall impact of the carpetbagger on the economy. Consider what individuals, companies, or disciplines could be considered modern-day carpetbaggers.
As you can see, the simpler levels of Bloom’s Taxonomy focus on recall of facts – tell me, explain, what is, etc. Complex levels ask students to put together information and take it apart/compare/contrast/judge. So what does Bloom’s Taxonomy mean for gifted education? As a general rule, curriculum for gifted learners should be more complex, have more depth, and allow for extensions and critical thinking. Gifted educators often rely on Bloom’s when they plan lessons, lead discussions, and create projects. To increase depth and complexity, the complex levels of Bloom’s Taxonomy are used. By incorporating complex thinking skills, students learn not just to memorize facts, but to gain a deeper understanding of the topic.
New Location! Rippowam Cisqua in Bedford, NY
SIG is excited to offer a new Day program at Rippowam Cisqua School in Bedford, NY, for Summer 2014!
Program Dates: July 7- July 25, 2014
Open to: Students ages 5 to 12 by August 31, 2014
Rippowam Cisqua School is a co-educational, independent country day school for students in grades Pre-K through nine, founded in 1917 and located on two campuses. The SIG program will be housed at the Bedford, NY, location.
In addition to the beautiful campus, the mission and philosophy of the school fit beautifully with a SIG program as well. Rippowam Cisqua promotes intellectual curiosity and a lifelong love of learning, while instilling a strong sense of community and connection with the larger world. We are excited about our first summer at this historical Bedford school!
Learn more about the SIG Day Program at Rippowam Cisqua School
SAVE THE DATE! 30th Anniversary Event in Westport, CT!
When: June 1st, 2014
What: SIG's 30th Anniversary Friends & Family Event
Where: A private residence in Westport, CT
Live and Silent Auctions
To find out how you can help, please email Kate Vieillard at firstname.lastname@example.org. More information will be posted on the website in the coming weeks, so check back soon!
Rearrange the following letters to form three words.
What are they?
A E N R S T V
Submit your answer online at www.giftedstudy.org/newsletter/puzzlecorner.asp. The first student who submits the correct answer will receive recognition in the next issue of The Gifted Student!
Last Month's Puzzle
For each of the following, place the two words together and rearrange the letters to give one word.
What are the words?
- SET + FIVE
- WOLF + SNAKES
- LEND + ONWARD
A: 1. Festive 2. Snowflakes 3. Wonderland
Congratulations to Robin from Pasadena, CA, for being the first to respond with the correct answer to last month's puzzle!
NSGT Board of Trustees Scholarship Fund
16 Scholarships: (4) $250, (6) $500, (6) $1,000
The NSGT Board of Trustees Scholarship is a prestigious award given each year to NSGT students who wish to pursue their passions for learning in educational programs offered beyond the school day or year. Previous student applications included requests to attend gifted summer, online, and weekend programs.
Scholarship funds may only be used to help pay tuition for programs that employ gifted and talented educational practices through eligibility, strategies, content, and/or application of learned information. Future program participation only will be considered and must commence by August 31, 2014. NSGT will remit all scholarship money awarded directly to the program organization.
- Student must be a member of NSGT to qualify for a scholarship. Membership materials can be submitted at the time of scholarship application.
- To view NSGT membership criteria, click here.
- Scholarship funds may be used only for fees to attend a program. Other expenses (e.g. – travel, supplies, etc.) will not be considered. An invoice from the program must be submitted to NSGT by all scholarship recipients. Funds will be paid directly to the program organization.
- Completed NSGT Scholarship Application
- Detailed description (one page) of how you propose to use the funding. This description should include:
- A description of the program you wish to attend including tuition fees, a brochure from the program, and/or a link to the program website
- Why you would like to attend the program and your expectation of how the program will impact you academically, socially, and/or culturally
- School projects or papers
- Listings of honors or awards won
- One letter of recommendation from a teacher or administrator
A team of educators in the field of gifted education will review the applications and choose the scholarship winners.
Applications must be received by March 19, 2014. Winners will be notified by April 15, 2014.
SIG Student Publishes Article
After taking Proof is in the Logic, a 2013 SIG online course, Swara Ramaswamy, a then 11-year-old from central New Jersey, wrote an article about what she learned and how she applied what she learned to her concerns about childhood obesity. This article was published in the Fall 2013 issue of Promise, the newsletter of the New Jersey Association for Gifted Children (NJAGC).
We applaud Swara’s interest in applying her newly acquired logical thinking skills to a real concern and in writing an article about her thoughts for broader distribution. We encourage all students to apply newly gained knowledge in constructive and authentic ways as Swara has done. We also applaud NJAGC for publishing students’ work with real life problems.
Read Swara's article: Obese Kids: Why?
Minerva – A Global College Experience!
Are you interested in living and learning in global hubs like San Francisco, Rio de Janeiro, Hong Kong, and Cape Town throughout college? Would you like to apply what you’ve learned by volunteering at an NGO in Mumbai, discovering the nuances of seismic engineering at the Golden Gate Bridge, or understanding ancient civilizations through art museums in London? Do you want to be a pioneer helping to reimagine the future of higher education?
The Minerva Schools at KGI is a new top-tier university experience designed from scratch to be uniquely global, academically rigorous, and financially accessible. Minerva is currently recruiting students to join its Founding Class of 2014; they'll receive free tuition for four years and the unique opportunity to shape higher education.
Minerva's head of student outreach, Will Houghteling, is hosting an information session over Google Hangout so you can learn more about Minerva – sign up here if you're interested. You can also email him directly at email@example.com if you have questions.
The basic story is that Minerva is rethinking top-tier higher education to be more global, academically rigorous, and financially accessible. Students will:
- Become global leaders: Students will have a global residential experience (Freshman year in dorms in San Francisco, subsequent years in Minerva dorms in global hubs like Rio, Madrid, Hong Kong, Mumbai, etc) and an international peer group (~70% of students from outside the US). Extra- and co-curricular activities emphasize experiential learning (intern at an NGO in Mumbai or a start-up in SF, visit museums in London).
- Master critical thinking: All students take the same four cornerstone seminars during Freshman year to develop a foundation in critical thinking. In subsequent years, all courses will be upper-level seminars (< 20 students/Professor) in traditional majors (social science, natural science, art & humanities, etc). All courses will be delivered via live video conferencing to incorporate the latest science of learning research (feedback, peer instruction, etc) and facilitate an interdisciplinary scaffolded curriculum.
- Have financial accessibility to the world's best and brightest: Members of the Founding Class of 2014 will receive a four-year academic scholarship (no tuition), and tuition for the Freshman Class of 2015 (250+ students) will be only $10k/year.
Meet SIG in Queens, NY, at Camp Blast 2014 on February 23rd
Come meet SIG at Camp Blast, a free event for families who are seeking day camps, sleep-away camps, and specialty camps for Queens and Long Island families with kids ages 2-18. Now is the time to research and register for summer camps before spots fill up.
When: Sunday, February 23, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Where: New York Hall of Science, 47-01 111th St., Corona, NY 11368
Cost: Free with NYSCI admission – NYSCI is totally free on Sundays from 10am-11am
The fair will showcase 30+ exhibitors with samplings and demonstrations from the best camps for children ranging from the toddler to high school years. SIG representatives will be there, and we'd love to talk to you about our programs!
For more information, please visit www.queensmamas.com/campfair.
New Program from Global Citizens Initiative (GCI)
Global Citizens Summit for Youth (GCSY) is a summer youth program to cultivate a global citizen community and to build future leaders who can navigate a complex world. This new program is being launched in the summer of 2014.
GCSY has a goal to nurture global citizens who, through C4Leadership can:
- Think Critically
Applications are now being accepted for the 24 positions. This program will continue after the 8 day summit at Harvard via the GCI virtual platform and community. It is intended to be a springboard to a larger world of global learning and inspiration as GCI youth take action and follow their passion in their increasingly globalized and digitalized world.
Learn more: Global Citizens Summit for Youth Information Page
SIG Is Looking for a Few Good People!
SIG is currently looking for well-qualified summer employees! Take advantage of the opportunity to influence and mentor gifted and talented children. Whether you are an undergraduate or graduate student interested in gaining hands-on classroom experience or a current teacher looking for additional teaching opportunities, working with us is a great way to grow your own potential as an educator or youth leader! In our 30th year of service, we hope you will consider becoming a part of the SIG legacy! Join us in making SIGnificant memories that will last a lifetime.
Keep an eye out for us at the following upcoming Career Fairs:
University of Connecticut (Storrs) Careers for the Common Good Fair
February 19th, 12:00 PM – 3:00 PM
Rutgers University Education and Public Service Career & Internship Fair
February 21st, 10:00 AM – 3:00 PM
Amherst College Non-Profit & Government Career Fair
February 28th, 11:00 AM – 2:00 PM
Upcoming Conferences & Events
Kate Vieillard, Director of Marketing, will be at the California Association for the Gifted Conference (CAG), Putting The Pieces Together, from February 21 – 23. Come and see her if you are in the Anaheim, CA area!
TAGT Parent Conference
February 15, 2014, 9 a.m. – 12 p.m.
"The Five-Headed Dragon: Threats to Giftedness," Keynote: Lisa Van Gemert
Round Rock, TX
UC Irvine's Free Gifted and Talented Webinar Series
February 20, 7 - 8 p.m. PST
"Discourse and Collaboration: Skills for the 21st Century,"
Asynchronous Development: Understanding the Implications for Gifted Children at School, in the Home, and Across the Lifespan
Also known as the Columbus Group Conference
February 20 - 21, 2014
Speakers: Shelagh Gallagher, Linda Silverman, Stephanie S. Tolan, Michael Piechowski, Patricia Gatto-Walden, Ellen D. Fiedler, Kathi Kearney, Michele Kane, Barbara Mitchell Hutton, Christine Neville
Beyond Giftedness XXI
February 21, 2014
Keynote: Steven Schroeder-Davis and Karen Rogers
Arvada Center for the Arts, Arvada, CO
California Association for the Gifted Conference (CAG)
February 21 - 23, 2014
"Putting the Pieces Together: Curriculum, Common Core, Creativity," Keynotes: Richard Cash and Kathy Jones
Anaheim Marriott Hotel, Anaheim, CA
SIG will be there!
Kentucky Association for Gifted Education (KAGE) 34th Annual Conference
February 24 - 25, 2014
Hyatt Regency, Lexington, KY
UC Irvine's Free Gifted and Talented Webinar Series
February 20, 7 - 8 p.m. PST
"Social and Emotional Needs of the Gifted Child: What Parents Want to Know," online, free
Nebraska Association for the Gifted (NAG)
February 27 - 28, 2014
"Powered By S.T.E.A.M.: Igniting High Ability Learners With Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math," Keynotes: Brian Housand and Ian Byrd; speakers include Carolyn K.!
Embassy Suites Conference Center, Omaha, NE
North Carolina Association of Gifted & Talented (NCAGT)
February 27 - 28, 2014
Winston-Salem Marriott & Embassy Suites Hotels, Winston-Salem, NC
New Jersey Association for Gifted Children (NJAGC)
March 7 - 8, 2014
"Gifted Education: Creativity, Curiosity, Challenge," Keynotes: Sandra Kaplan, James R. Delisle, Kevin and Lynne Fox
Hotel Somerset-Bridgewater, Somerset, NJ
SIG is a sponsor of this conference
Diamonds in the Rough: Smart Kids Who Learn Differently
March 8, 2014
Special Learning Needs Conference With a Focus on Mind Body Connection
The New School in Fairfax, VA
Minds in Motion
March 8, 2014
Workshops for students K-8 and adults
Minds in Motion
March 15, 2014
Workshops for students K-8 and adults
March 8, 2014
University of Maryland, Baltimore County, MD
Georgia Association for Gifted Children (GAGC) Convention
March 10 - 11, 2014
Classic Center, Athens, GA
Barbara Swicord, President of SIG will be presenting and exhibiting. Stop by the SIG table and say hi!
March 11, 2014, 7:30 p.m. EST
"Giftedness in Careers and the Workplace," Paula Prober, Adult Series
National Curriculum Network Conference (NCNC)
March 13 - 14, 2014
Keynotes: Tracy L. Cross and Joyce VanTassel-Baska;
Center for Gifted Education (CFGE), The College of William and Mary, Williamsburg, VA
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