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What It’s Like to Be a Parent of a Gifted Child
Being a parent of a gifted child can be stressful. You have to cope with constant questioning all day long, unusual behavior that is difficult to understand, and negative comments from other people, including relatives. Here is some advice from the mother of a profoundly gifted boy.
Reading Is Not a Spectator Sport
“In my language arts classrooms, I did not teach reading; I taught literature. I assumed that students knew how to read the literature we tackled, and for some students, that assumption was true. But for others, it was not. Teaching sound literacy skills not only will create successful language arts students, but it will create successful science, social studies, and math students, and it will create successful employees in all industries.” – Steve Loe
No Less than the Trees and the Stars
“If we are to have something truly worthwhile to offer children, it seems to me that it needs to be not just child-centered but life-centered. We humans have vast individual differences, which is, arguably, how we have survived on this planet as long we have. Life here operates on the principle of biodiversity. Every difference has a place. Every life has meaning. EVERY life.” – Stephanie Tolan
Why Teach about Genocide?
“Having taught about and written a novel on genocide, I have often wrestled with the ‘why’ of teaching about genocide. Yes, students need to know the history of genocides to understand where unchecked discrimination and prejudice can lead. But more importantly, they need to be able to act when they recognize warning signs. What we can all do is to call out smaller injustices when we see them.” – Brian Crawford
Common Core and American Nonfiction: Some Thoughts
“The Common Core standards have been adopted in the majority of states, to our relief or disappointment, depending upon our understanding of the standards. My impression is that some of the negative reactions to Common Core have not so much to do with the standards themselves as with how they are interpreted or implemented.” – Michael Clay Thompson
Advocacy for Gifted Education Should Be a National Priority
“As we seek support for educating gifted students, we must accept the fact that our advocacy efforts have been largely unproductive. We need a persistent and convincing effort to change our environment. Our job is to get the decision-makers to want to help gifted students and then to provide them with a path to do that.” – James J. Gallagher
The Venn Diagram: Is It Analysis?
“Venn diagrams have become a staple of ‘analysis’ exercises. However, it is not the Venn diagram but the questions that accompany the Venn diagram that determine whether or not an exercise engages students in analysis. A lesson must have a goal beyond simply completing the diagram; the diagram must serve as a stepping stone to a new insight.” – Dr. Shelagh Gallagher
Assessing the Cult of Assessment
“I am sometimes asked, ‘What are we supposed to do with this? Just read?’ It is true: my curriculum is different, particularly in its philosophy of assessment. I think we must change the terms from what students can FIND to what they can THINK after careful reading.” – Michael Clay Thompson
Poetry or Prose: A False Dichotomy
“We must include the formal study of poetics as one of the core components of language arts. Using the sentences of great novelists as their models, students can begin to experiment with poetic devices, not only in their own poems but in their own prose sentences.” – Michael Clay Thompson
Developing Verbal Talent
“For gifted children, the development of verbal talent is among the deepest joys and most critical preparations of life, but the talent will not develop on its own. If we provide access to books, enlightenment about grammar, and enthusiasm for words, then children will move forward into exciting experiences in language that will be catalysts for the development of verbal talent.” – Michael Clay Thompson
Education: It’s Not on the Test
“The exciting thing is how far we are able to extend learning. None of the extra material included in Michael’s books is on the test. That is not why it is there. It is intended to expand our children’s horizons so that they can make themselves more knowledgeable about things that interest them and so that they can be better educated about the civilizations that produced their world.” – Dr. T.M. Kemnitz
The Classical Education Editions of Caesar’s English
“The primary pedagogic purpose of ‘Caesar’s English’ is to teach vocabulary—the academic vocabulary that children will need to succeed in education and in professional life. But the classical education editions have a wealth of additional content. They are everything we want textbooks to be.” – Dr. T.M. Kemnitz
The Genesis of the Classical Education Editions of Caesar’s English
“The ancient Greek and Roman civilizations provided the inspiration for the classical education editions of ‘Caesar’s English.’ There is a difference between good and great; we are determined to bring to you what is truly great, and we will use the best that humankind has created to fire the imaginations of children.” – Dr. T.M. Kemnitz
Is Everyone Gifted?
“A teacher told me, ‘I think everyone is gifted in their own way.’ It is only when giftedness is discussed that someone feels the need to make it a universal attribute; someone may not be gifted—everyone must be. But just as everyone is not tall, even in their own way, everyone is not gifted, even when we twist the idea by saying ‘in their own way.'” – Michael Clay Thompson