Coordinating GT Programs, Curriculum Compacting, and Cemetery History!

Dr. Laurie Croft, Administrator, Professional Development

For those of you who are looking for new and very useful professional development opportunities this summer-and for an excuse to come to Iowa City-Nancy Grimes is teaching three workshops you should consider.

Nancy was a teacher of the gifted, and then the Gifted Education Coordinator, for 20 years in Waterloo, Iowa.  Her professional development in the field of gifted education included participation as a Belin Fellow in the mid-1980s (the Belin-Blank Fellowship is designed for *general* education teachers to begin learning about gifted students-we accept applications in January of each year).  Nancy’s experience has allowed her to develop some content for us that we KNEW you were interested in better understanding.

One of the two Social Studies for High Ability Learners options this summer, Cemetery History (7E:165:WKA) is one of our most unusual (and cool) workshops this summer (June 19 – 20, 9:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. each day).  The course description for this NEW Programming workshop reads as follows (you can see the appeal for art teachers, too):

Cemeteries provide fascinating and rich historical information. Monuments and gravestones determine the age of the community, its ethnic heritage, and the impact made by the social culture. The style of headstones, the symbolism of the artwork, and the inscriptions reflect beliefs, values, customs, and clues to the history of the area and people. Participants will learn how to “read” a cemetery for historical content and how their students can learn history from this valuable primary source.

In July, Nancy teaches another NEW workshop, entitled Coordinating G/T Programs (7B:240:WKC), July 8 and 9, 9:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. both days.  This workshop falls in the Administrative strand, and it focuses on:

the many facets of coordinating a gifted and talented program. Participants will examine topics that align with best practices and real issues to include standard-based recommendations, meeting state requirements, and curriculum and instructional programming strategies. Unique situations that rely on problem solving and creative solutions will also be discussed.

Finally, immediately after the workshop above, Nancy facilitates a workshop about a topic that we ALL should be utilizing with gifted learners!  Curriculum Compacting (7E:196:WKC) takes place on July 10 & 11 (9:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. both days), and as the description notes,

Teachers know that gifted students often need differentiated learning experiences throughout the school day. This workshop will examine how classroom teachers and the gifted/talented resource teacher can implement the compacting curriculum strategy to provide appropriate instructional services to students. Participants will discuss the benefits of compacting, examine an eight-step process, analyze the content and structure of compact contracts, and consider assessment and grading options for compacted work.

Read more about these and our other summer workshops.  Share the options with your colleagues, and enjoy spending a few days at the Belin-Blank Center in June or July!  If you have any problems with enrollment, just let me know.

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