Category Archives: Classes and events

Come Join Us This Summer For Blast!

Check out more about the courses below and additional academic programming at belinblank.org/summer.

It’s Debate Time


We are very excited to announce two new classes this summer in Public Forum Debate!  Students in grades 8-10 can sign up for one or both classes in July.  In the first session, you will learn more about the principles of argumentation, research and rebuttal, and  tournament preparation.  The second session will focus on strategy decisions and in-round decisions about argumentation. All students will receive individualized critiques and instruction to help them advance as debaters.

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Professional Learning in Spring 2017

Professional learning never stops at the Belin-Blank Center!  While we schedule flexible classes for educators who are earning their Talented and Gifted endorsements in gifted education, we welcome anyone with an interest in the topics below.

Even before the spring semester begins, we are offering EDTL:4085:0WKA, Current Readings and Research, from December 28 – January 13, for one semester hour of academic credit. Readings are selected by each participant, based on his/her needs and interests.

During the spring semester, we are offering the 10 classes below; the selection includes both “workshops” (course numbers are followed by 0WKA; these classes have no additional fees) and “extension classes” (course numbers are followed by 0EXA; these classes include technology fees, in addition to tuition).

As well as spring classes, the Belin-Blank Center is sponsoring a webinar with Dr. Jaime Castellano, one of the nation’s leading authorities about the needs of culturally and linguistically different gifted students.  Registration for the Webinar (February 2, 4:30 – 6:00 p.m.) will open in January; participants register ONE computer for the webinar, allowing multiple participants to access the session.  If the date or time isn’t convenient, participants may choose the DVD option.

Course Number Course Name (semester hours) Dates
EDTL:4199:0EXW Program Models in Gifted Education (3 sh) Jan 17 – May 5
PSQF:4121:0EXW Identification of Students for Gifted Programs (3 sh) Jan 17 – May 5
EDTL:4072:0WKA Thinking Skills Jan 23 – Feb 10
EPLS:4110:0EXW Administrative and Policy Issues in Gifted Education (2 sh) Jan 30 – Apr 28
RCE:4124:0WKA Ethnic and Cultural Issues* (1 sh) Feb 9 – Mar 1
EDTL:4022:0WKA Math Programming for High Ability Learners Mar 13 – 31
EDTL:4096:0EXW Pract in Tchg & Curric Devel Gifted Educ (2 or 3 sh) Mar 20 – May 5
EDTL:4096:0EXW Smart Girls in the 21st Century** (Special Topics 2 sh) Mar 20 – May 5
EDTL:4029:0WKA Leadership Skills for G/T, K-12 (1 sh) Apr 3 – 21
EDTL:4189:0WKA Practicum in Gifted/Talented Education*** (1 sh) Apr 10 – 28

 

* Interested in Ethnic and Cultural Issues in Gifted Education?  Participants must also register for the webinar on the same topic with Dr. Jaime Castellano on February 2, 4:30 – 6:00 p.m.

**Smart Girls in the 21st Century uses the book by the same name (Barbara Kerr and Robyn McKay, authors) to explore this topic.

*** Educators who are interested in the one required hour of practicum (EDTL:4189:0WKA) may enroll as early as January 2017.  The ICON website will open in January, allowing more time to complete the practicum experience.  Those who want more than one semester hour of practicum should enroll in EDTL:4096:0EXW.

Questions?  Contact Dr. Laurie Croft, Associate Director for Professional Development (laurie-croft@uiowa.edu  or  319-335-6148).

Challenge Comes to Cedar Rapids!

We’re excited to partner with Imagination Iowa to offer enrichment courses in Cedar Rapids for gifted middle school students this fall!

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Starting October 21 – November 18, gifted middle school students in Cedar Rapids can explore the world of business development with the iEntrepreneur class or try out the art of 3D Design & Printing. Classes will start at 2:00 pm after the early release from school and last for three hours.

Imagination Iowa is a K‍–‍12 STEAM-based program powered by the non-profit NewBoCo. It prides itself on encouraging creative growth by teaching students coding, engineering and entrepreneurship skills. All Imagination Iowa courses are hands-on, experiential and project based. This ensures that students apply real world concepts to their learning and have opportunities to work with experts in those fields. Located in the heart of the NewBo District, this innovative program is growing quickly and expanding its efforts to reach the needs of all learners.

Are you in the Cedar Rapids area? Check out the courses!

No Time for Your Own Professional Development? Take Graduate Courses in Your PJs!

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The Belin-Blank Center offers a variety of online courses in gifted education, so you can learn at a time that is convenient to you (even if that means late at night!).  The cost of courses starts at $297 (undergraduate credit), and you can register for one or more classes.  There is no travel requirement, and all online courses can be completed at home.  Learn about gifted education when and where it’s convenient for you!

Spring 2017 courses include:

  • Program Models in Gifted Education (3 semester hours)
  • Identification of Students for Gifted Programs (3 semester hours)
  • Topics: Smart Girls in the 21st Century (2 semester hours)
  • Administrative & Policy Issues (2 semester hours)
  • Thinking Skills (1 semester hour)
  • Ethnic & Cultural Issues / Giftedness (1 semester hour)
  • Math Programming for High Ability Learners (1 semester hour)
  • Leadership Skills for G/T, K-12 (1 semester hour)

Ready to get started? More details at: belinblank.org/educators.  New students should visit belinblank.org/EdReg and follow the directions to register as a continuing education student.

You need a computer and a reliable internet connection. Many courses provide all necessary course materials. For others, you will need to purchase one or two books.

In addition to these online opportunities, the Belin-Blank Center again is facilitating two different academic credit opportunities for those who are attending the Iowa Talented and Gifted (ITAG) Association Conference on October 17-18, 2016:

  • For teachers NEWto gifted education, TAG: You’re It provides a guided overview of the field, building on the ITAG Conference (2 semester hours)
  • For more experienced teachers, Leadership in Gifted Education, ITAG 2016 provides a structure to reflect on ITAG in light of national standards in gifted education and complete projects inspired by conference content (1 or 2 semester hours)

For those who are attending the National Association for Gifted Children (NAGC) Convention in Orlando on November 3-6, the opportunity for academic credit again builds on convention content, national standards, and educators’ applications of material.

To see more information about the ITAG and NAGC options, view the Fall 2016 schedule of courses online.  (Note: The list of spring courses is not yet online.)

All educators (or interested parents) who would like to earn academic credit should register as Continuing Education Students.  Questions?  Contact Dr. Laurie Croft, Associate Director for Professional Development, Belin-Blank Center.

A (New) Visual Guide to Middle School IOAPA Courses

With the introduction of our middle school courses in Fall 2015, many students and teachers may still have questions about the types of courses offered by the Iowa Online AP Academy, who these classes might benefit, and how to select students who will be prepared for and challenged by online coursework.

Based on the information and experiences we have gathered so far, we are excited to provide a visual guide to our middle school classes! These data are based on middle school Iowa Online AP Academy (IOAPA) courses taken during the 2015-2016 school year. We hope they will be helpful as you and your students consider IOAPA registration in Spring 2017 and beyond.

If you are looking for more information about IOAPA’s middle school classes, check out our past posts on middle school courses and above-level testing, or visit our website. Make sure to check back here soon for our guide to high school courses!

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Professional Learning for Fall 2016

Professional learning opportunities for educators are available throughout the year, and Fall 2016 has some new and exciting opportunities.  In addition to the semester-length classes that have already begun at the University of Iowa, educators can enroll as Continuing Education students in:

  • Topics in Teaching and Learning: Competitions for Elementary and Secondary Gifted/Talented Students (September 12 – 30, 2016, 1 semester hour)
  • Topics in Teaching and Learning: Common Core State Standards for Gifted/Talented—English Language Arts (October 3 – 21, 2016, 1 semester hour)
  • Topics in Teaching and Learning: Differentiating: Going Beyond the Basics (November 7 – 29, 2016, 1 semester hour)

In addition to these new opportunities, the Center again is facilitating two different academic credit opportunities for those who are attending the Iowa Talented and Gifted (ITAG) Association Conference in October:

  • For teachers NEW to gifted education, TAG: You’re It provides a guided overview of the field, building on the ITAG Conference (2 semester hours)
  • For more experienced teachers, Leadership in Gifted Education, ITAG 2016 provides a structure to reflect on ITAG in light of national standards in gifted education and complete projects inspired by conference content (1 or 2 semester hours)

Those who are attending the National Association for Gifted Children (NAGC) Convention, the opportunity for academic credit again builds on convention content, national standards, and educators’ applications of material.

The Fall schedule of courses is available online.

All educators (or even interested parents) who would like to earn academic credit should register as Continuing Education Students.

Dr. Laurie Croft, Associate Director for Professional Development, can answer questions about the Talented and Gifted Endorsement, a shortage area in Iowa and many other states.