Special Topics

Select One Special Topic During This Time Slot to Attend on Monday

6:00-7:30 PM

A.        Building Brawny Brains-Dr. Larry Rogien (Elementary Teachers, Middle School Teachers, High School Teachers, G/T Coordinators, Parents) 

Not all gifted students have strong memory or mental organizational skills. This session is about practical cognitive strategies to improve memory, and organize cognitive concepts through color coded mind mapping. This session is for parents, teachers, and learners of all ages.  

B.        Social Emotional Needs: In and Out of the Classroom-Susan Hufford, M ED, NBC and Wanda B. Bouchard, NCC, LPC (Elementary Teachers, Middle School Teachers, High School Teachers, G/T Coordinators, Parents, Counselors, Administrators) 

Social Emotional Needs of Gifted (SENG) Model Parent Groups bring individuals and families together to discuss the challenges associated with raising a gifted child. Discussion topics include issues like motivation, discipline, stress management, peer relationships, perfectionism and more. This Edufest Special Topics session will address the needs of gifted children in regard to these topics, comparing and contrasting the ways in which the same needs manifest in different settings. 

C.        Imaginary Gardens Growing in Visual Journals-Diane Rowen Garmire (Elementary Teachers, Middle School Teachers, High School Teachers) 

Join us as we workshop art journals - handmade, using an eclectic mix of media and materials. Our experiment will combine fluency, flexibility, originality and elaboration, as you learn the techniques to craft your own unforgettable journal pages. Diane will share how the adaptability of visual journals can be integrated with math, science, art and language. This event is hands on with all workshop materials supplied by Blick Art Supplies.   Come - see how journaling and imagination can be a dynamic tool for educators wanting to deeply connect with and provide life-time skills for students in grades 4-12.   

 D.        Edufest Book Club, 2017-Margo Long (Elementary Teachers, Middle School Teachers, High School Teachers, G/T Coordinators, Parents, Counselors, Administrators) 

Edufest Book Club is a tradition at Edufest each year. Come explore an exciting new book, Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance, which explores other factors that explain success. We will discuss some of the ideas that Angela Duckworth found in her research and surprisingly applicable strategies to change our educational system to nurture our brightest students.  Margo’s excitement and energy will certainly encourage lively discussion and interesting inquiry. 

 E.          A Creative Twist and Turn: Using Rubik’s Cubes in the Classroom-Kim Hyde (Upper Elementary Teachers, Middle School Teachers, High School Teachers, G/T Coordinators, Parents, Counselors, Administrators) 

This session will focus on learning how to spark a student’s creativity using Rubik’s cubes. The Rubik’s cube is a great critical thinking puzzle that teaches students to stay in the struggle and persevere through hard tasks.  During this session participants will learn ways to integrate the Rubik’s cube into their classroom. Participants will also learn how to solve at least the front face of a Rubik’s cube.  Holding a Rubik’s cube and twisting and turning its parts gives hands on experience to those tactile and sequential learners.   

F.         Maximizing Advanced Opportunities for Gifted Students-Matt McCarter (Elementary Teachers, Middle School Teachers, High School Teachers, G/T Coordinators, Parents, Counselors, Administrators) 

Planning for middle school and high school for gifted students is often scary. In many cases, there are not as many supports available for students once they exit the gifted program at their elementary school.  Using Advanced Opportunities to maintain full steam ahead is an attractive option for many gifted students. Learn how student can individualize their course plans using Advanced Opportunities in order to set themselves on an early trajectory into college and onto their career pathway.  Many middle and high schools are expanding these options for students at an unprecedented rate. Learn what is available in order to help gifted students thrive at the secondary level and beyond.

G.        Developing a Freedom to Think: Strategies to Engage Students-Dr. Jann Leppien (Elementary Teachers, Middle School Teachers, High School Teachers, GT Coordinators, Parents, Counselors, Administrators)  

A focus on developing thinking skills allows all students to take charge of their own learning, deepen their understanding, and become more engaged. To cultivating students’ thinking and alertness to thinking requires a set of tools and strategies for educators to use in their classrooms.  This session will focus on the varied practices/strategies/and routines that can be used to deepen understanding and foster desire for students to make their thinking visible as they interact with peers. If you have iPads or laptops please bring them with you to this session.

H.        Using Google Classroom and Classroom Partners to Leverage Individualized Learning for Gifted & Talented-Cassidy Hall (Elementary Teachers, Middle School Teachers, High School Teachers, G/T Coordinators) 

This session will teach you how to individualize instruction in Google Classroom by leveraging Google Classroom Partner tools for enrichment such as American Museum of Natural History, Curiosity, EDpuzzle, etc. 

 I.        Independent Learning Projects (K-12)-Tamara Fisher (Elementary Teachers, Middle School Teachers, High School Teachers, G/T Coordinators, Parents, Counselors, Administrators) 

The idea of cutting students loose to do and study whatever their hearts desire strikes fear in a lot of teachers. Visions of mass chaos erupting bring on anxiety, fear, and trepidation. “What about the standards and the curriculum?” teachers wonder. “How will I know what, if anything, students are really learning? But aren’t I supposed to be In Charge? Yet, the prospect of a personalized, self-directed, self-selected, independent research or project opportunity is precisely the freedom of choice for which many gifted learners find themselves yearning. Even our most capable students are capable of so much more than we know. Practical tools, strategies, and advice, along with inspiring examples, will equip you to open these doors for your students. 


 Select One Special Topic During This Time Slot to Attend on Tuesday

6:00-7:30 PM

AA.     Mathematical Moments in Educational Magic that Leave Lasting Impressions-Bob Bishop (Elementary School Teachers, Middle School Teachers, G/T Coordinators) 

Join Mr. X, The Math Magician, as he demonstrates and exposes some amazing puzzles, brain teasers and magic tricks that teach math and science concepts. We will provide give-aways and prizes for all who come to this. These activities will get the student's attention, make lessons more memorable, build positive rapport with students and provoke wonder.

BB.      Special Evening for  Parents, Teachers, Counselors, Administrators: The Student at School is the Student at Home-Jeff Danielian (Special Session for Parents, School Psychologists, Educators, Counselors, Administrators)  

Education is about understanding, not merely the knowledge related to a specific discipline or parental /educational strategy, but an understanding of the immense variation of our children's social, emotional, and educational backgrounds, which demand individualized acceptance and consideration. The development of higher order thinking skills and problem solving techniques, creativity training, and autonomous learning should serve as the foundation for the emergent and realized potential of the children we raise and the students we teach. Learn more about the strategies, practices, tools and resources available to parents and educators, while recognizing that a focus on interest and learning style can provide a wealth of experience. 

CC.     Meet with the Experts Session-Providing a Variety of Services for Students Identified for Gifted/Highly Capable Programs-Conference Speakers (Elementary Teachers, Middle School Teachers, High School Teachers, G/T Coordinators, Parents, Counselors, Administrators) 

 Do you have questions that you would like to pose to our conference speakers about issues in the field of gifted and talented education?  Well, this is the session for you.  Come prepared with questions to ask these people who have all worked with advanced learners in a variety of grade levels, coordinated g/t programs, lead state-initiatives for the advocacy of these students, and conducted research in many areas related to giftedness. This is an informal session where conversation and dialogue will be the focus as we collaborate on solutions.

DD.     Growing Courageous, Efficacious Kids Who Can Advocate for Themselves-Part I- Margo Long and Jann Leppien (Elementary Teachers, Middle School Teachers, High School Teachers, G/T Coordinators, Parents, Counselors, Administrators)  

The foundation of development and learning for gifted students is both social and emotional. This session focuses on the strategies and the type of environments that foster positive and productive learning outcomes.  The result is students who understand resiliency, grit, tenacity and courage based on solid decision making, good choices and ethical values. This session will give specific strategies for healthy emotional/social development and practical definitions, practices, and evaluation tools to teach grit, tenacity, and courage. 

EE.        A Creative Twist and Turn: Using Rubik’s Cubes in the Classroom-Kim Hyde (Upper Elementary Teachers, Middle School Teachers, High School Teachers, Parents, Counselors, Administrators) 

This session will focus on learning how to spark a student’s creativity using Rubik’s cubes. The Rubik’s cube is a great critical thinking puzzle that teaches students to stay in the struggle and persevere through hard tasks.  During this session participants will learn ways to integrate the Rubik’s cube into their classroom. Participants will also learn how to solve at least the front face of a Rubik’s cube.  Holding a Rubik’s cube and twisting and turning its parts gives hands on experience to those tactile and sequential learners. 

FF.      No Special Topic 

GG.      Genius Hour 101-Sharee Barton (Middle School Teachers, High School Teachers, G/T Coordinators, Parents, Counselors, Administrators) 

If you haven't tried Genius Hour and would like some step-by-step ideas on how to get started this is the class for you. Ideas on management, organization, and support will be addressed.  Genius Hour teaches students how to research, assists the development of organizational skills, involves student choice, can be applied to real-world experiences, helps students "learn how to learn", and creates a setting for communication skills to flourish.  Students are driven by their own passions and interests and apply their creative juices to individual experiences. Genius Hour is hands-down my students' favorite time of the week. And, it has the potential to meet many curriculum standards.  

HH.     Supporting Gifted & Talented with Primary Sources for Enrichment-Cassidy Hall (Elementary Teachers, Middle School Teachers, High School Teachers)  

Primary sources provide great connections to enhance learning across the subject areas.  We’ll focus on the benefits of utilizing National Archives Educator Resources and Library of Congress Teachers to find enriching materials to support gifted and talented learners.

II.      Primarily Thinking: Thinking Skills Activities for Primary Grades (K-2)-Tamara Fisher (Primary Teachers, Elementary Teachers, Parents)  

Can Kindergarteners solve – and then create their own – analogies? You bet they can! The use of thinking skills activities is one great way to provide intellectual challenge for children in the primary grades. It also doubles as an excellent means for uncovering potential giftedness in this often-overlooked age-level. While most schools wait until students are well-into their fourth year of schooling (3rd grade) to begin identifying gifted students, the use of thinking skills activities in the primary grades can provide a valuable tool for beginning that process years earlier – so that appropriate academic intervention services can be delivered in a far more timely manner. This session will focus on sample thinking-skills-based activities for primary grades and a discussion of the needs of primary-aged gifted students. 

  

Select One Special Topic During This Time Slot to Attend on Wednesday

6:00-7:30 PM

 AAA. Care and Feeding of Your Brain-Dr. Larry Rogien (Elementary Teachers, Middle School Teachers, High School Teachers, G/T Coordinators, Parents, Counselors) 

 This session explores the practical and health conscious side of recent brain research. For example,

  • What kinds of foods contribute to clarity of thinking?
  • Is it OK to consume diet soft drinks? Caffeine?
  • Are there mood foods?
  • Is there any evidence to support the concerns about heavy metals and toxins?
  • What about cell phones and brain function?

This session is for anyone with an interest in healthy brain function.

BBB.   Fueling Inquiry in Our Classrooms through Documentaries and Problem Solving-Kim Kooistra (Upper Elementary Teachers, Middle School Teachers, High Schools Teachers, C/T Coordinators)  

Inspire students to dig deep into research using differentiation to fuel their interest.  Take students through the full stages of a research and information writing process to develop projects and writing projects that supply an interdisciplinary focus and hook their interest. In this session, we will discuss the stages of inquiry within the research process, discuss scaffolding for the information writing process, and explore rich ways to produce differentiated products in grades 5-10.

CCC. No session

DDD. Growing Courageous, Efficacious Kids Who Can Advocate for Themselves-Part II- Margo Long and Jann Leppien (Elementary Teachers, Middle School Teachers, High School Teachers, G/T Coordinators, Parents, Counselors, Administrators)  

The foundation of development and learning for gifted students is both social and emotional. This session focuses on the strategies and the type of environments that foster positive and productive learning outcomes.  The result is students who understand resiliency, grit, tenacity and courage based on solid decision making, good choices and ethical values. This session will give specific strategies for healthy emotional/social development and practical definitions, practices, and evaluation tools to teach grit, tenacity, and courage. 

EEE.      Clever Classroom Creations: Origami in the Classroom-Lindsey Rogien (Primary Teachers, Elementary Teachers, Middle School Teachers, High School Teachers, G/T Coordinators, Parents, Counselors, Administrators)  

Paper folding has been a subject of beauty and intrigue for centuries. Of late, researchers have studied the use of origami to facilitate learning of mathematical and spatial concepts. Positive findings show an increase in attention and memory of such topics by children. Origami can be used for such things, as well as to teach math, history, appreciation of other cultures, creativity and to build fine motor skills. In this session, participants will make their own paper creation, see ideas for direct application in the classroom, and learn how to make every day lessons fun with folding!

FFF.    Reading Beyond Walls – A Curated Collection of Books for Gifted Readers-Laura Delaney (Elementary School Teachers, Middle School Teachers, Parents, Counselors Administrators)  

Reading Beyond Walls was created by Gene Yuen Lang and the Library of Congress as a way to challenge readers of all ages.  The process centers around three challenges: 1) Read a book about a character who doesn’t look like you or live like you, 2) Read a book about a topic you don’t know much about, and 3) Read a book in a format that you don’t normally read for fun.  At this session, Laura DeLaney, owner of Rediscovered Books and experienced teacher, will share books and teaching tools to expand the reading experiences of your students. The books that will be shared will range from technology and science, to history and fiction, and to graphic novels and books in verse.

GGG. Getting Ready for Back-to-School: The New Tools You Need to Know About-Brenda Miller (Elementary Teachers, Middle School Teachers, High School Teachers, G/T Coordinators, Parents, Counselors, Administrators) 

Education is changing at an unprecedented rate.  Each year, a bevy of new technologies, programs, techniques, and research floods the market.  With busy schedules, teachers need an overview of what’s working!  This presentation curates five new and notable teaching innovations and programs from recent months and presents them to teachers at a time when they are best able to integrate them into their classroom.

HHH.  Utilizing Text Sets to Support Enrichment for Gifted & Talented Learners-Cassidy Hall (Elementary School Teachers, Middle School Teachers, High School Teachers)  

Text sets are collections of related texts organized around a topic or line of inquiry.  Keep in mind that the use of “texts” in this sense can mean written words, audio, video, images, posters, etc.  In this session, we’ll explore multiple ways to find text sets to support gifted and talented learners.

III.   A Bill of Rights for Teachers of Gifted Students-Jeff Danielian (Elementary Teachers, Middle School Teachers, High School Teachers, GT Coordinators, Counselors)  

In 2007, the publication of The Gifted Kids Bill Of Rights gave children a language with which to understand who they are as gifted children and what educational rights they have. It gave them a voice. These children are in need of educators who understand that they possess unique abilities and strengths, embrace creative productive thought, and seek out answers to the problems of the world. Talent, whether latent, emergent, or manifest, should be recognized, nurtured, and encouraged. The Bill of Rights for teachers of gifted students is for those who seek to identify, serve, and advocate for a population often misunderstood and overlooked. After all, teachers of the gifted need a voice, too.



 

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