Category Archives: Professional Development

Professional Learning Opportunities for Teachers

Aug17_PDDear Colleagues,

I wanted to be sure you are aware of upcoming professional learning opportunities!

The day before the Iowa Talented and Gifted Association Conference (October 15), Dr. Susan Assouline will provide a pre-conference session about academic acceleration, and the Iowa Acceleration Scale.  You can register here:  https://www.eventbrite.com/e/pre-conference-workshop-on-academic-acceleration-tickets-37100929880.

If you would like to earn credit at the conference itself (instead of OR in addition to the pre-conference credit),

Please let me know if you have questions about these opportunities! As well, if you live in a different state and would like to discuss similar options for your own state conference, let me know.  If you have the chance to attend the National Association for Gifted Children (NAGC) convention in Charlotte, NC, this November, you can earn either one or two hours of credit there, as well (https://www2.education.uiowa.edu/belinblank/educators/courses/schedule.aspx#PSQF:5194:0WKA).

I look forward to seeing you at ITAG!

Laurie Croft

laurie-croft@uiowa.edu

Professional Learning Opportunities in the Fall

Some say professional development, some say professional learning…I just know that many of the teachers who work with gifted students are lifelong learners, looking for new opportunities whenever and wherever they can find them.  I know that these teachers continue to learn from their students—sometimes learning that an old strategy isn’t working as well as it used to, and wondering what new tools they can add to their professional toolkits.

The Belin-Blank Center is providing multiple options this fall; most can be found at belinblank.org/educators, following the link to Schedule.  As always, the semester includes three-semester-hour classes such as the Introduction to Educating Gifted Students and Psychology of Giftedness. An eight-week version of the Introduction to Educating Gifted Students is scheduled from October 16 – December 15, if you prefer an accelerated pace.

Workshops, which typically last for three weeks, begin on September 5 with Topics in Teaching and Learning: Perfectionism and High-Ability Learners. A second topics class, Writing for High-Ability Learners, is scheduled from October 23 – November 10.

The Iowa Talented and Gifted Association Conference is a logical place to offer academic credit, and the Center usually offers TWO different opportunities.  For experienced teachers who can benefit from the credit option, Leadership in Gifted Education: ITAG 2017 begins on October 23 (you can even register by filling in a paper form at the conference) and concludes on November 10.  Participants can choose between either one or two credit hours.  For the first time, we also plan to offer one Iowa Licensure Renewal Unit for participation in the conference.  For teachers NEW to gifted education, we offer a two-semester-hour option that we call TAG: You’re It; building on what you learn at the conference, the class will provide content that can most help with the first year or two in gifted education.

As well, this year we’ll have a special opportunity for a THIRD credit option associated with the conference: Dr. Susan Assouline will be offering a pre-conference workshop about academic acceleration, including better understanding of the Iowa Acceleration Scale, and how it can help you determine whether a student is a good candidate for whole-grade acceleration (grade-skipping).  The Center will offer a one-semester-hour class that will build on the pre-conference session with choices of readings and emphasizing what individuals most need from the academic credit.  One Iowa Licensure Renewal Unit will be available, as well.

Finally, if you attend the National Association for Gifted Children Conference this year in Charlotte, North Carolina (November 9 – 12), the Belin-Blank Center is offering Leadership in Gifted Education: NAGC 2017 for either one or two semester hours of credit; this workshop is offered from November 16 – December 8.

Please check back often to see what professional learning opportunities are available; if you have a topic that you would like to see offered, please contact Dr. Laurie Croft at either laurie-croft@uiowa.edu or  319-335-6148.  And for some of the best informal professional learning in the field today, please join our gifted-teachers listserv.  To subscribe to the list, send an email to LISTSERV@LIST.UIOWA.EDU and, in the text of your message (not the subject line), write: SUBSCRIBE GIFTED-TEACHERS First-Name Last-Name.

 

Wallace Research Symposium

Wallace postcard 2017Registration is open for the Wallace Research Symposium on Talent Development, to be held April 29-May 1, 2018 at the Mt. Washington Conference Center, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore.  The Wallace Research Symposium is the premiere scholarly conference for the latest research findings in gifted education and talent development.  The call for papers is open until September 15th.

Featured speakers include:

  • Susan Assouline
  • Camilla Benbow
  • Linda Brody
  • Nicholas Colangelo
  • Elaine Hansen
  • David Lubinski
  • Matt Makel
  • Besty McCoach
  • Paula Olszewski-Kubilius
  • Jonathan Plucker
  • Sally Reis
  • Joseph Renzulli
  • Ann Robinson
  • Nancy Robinson
  • Robert Root-Bernstein
  • Michele Root-Bernstein
  • Del Siegle
  • Amy Shelton
  • Rena Subotnik
  • Joyce VanTassel-Baska
  • Frank Worrell

The Wallace Research Symposium for Talent Development is co-hosted by the University of Iowa Belin-Blank Center, the Johns Hopkins University Center for Talented Youth, and the Vanderbilt University Study of Mathematically Precocious Youth. For more information, please visit belinblank.org/wallace. For questions, please contact wallace@belinblank.org.

APTTI 2017 Recap

We had such a great week of AP training at the end of June!

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More than 100 teachers participated in 8 AP workshops in science, technology, math, language arts, and history. They are now certified by the College Board to teach those courses in their schools!

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They also got to take home some AP materials to get them started in their courses!

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Interested in becoming an AP teacher? Keep an eye on our website (belinblank.org/aptti) and the blog for details on next year’s APTTI. If you’re curious about other ways to offer AP courses to your students, visit belinblank.org/ioapa.

Message from the Director: Summertime is Talent Development Time

Welcome to the Belin-Blank Center’s 29th summer of programs for teachers and students!  While in the midst of serving hundreds of elementary, middle, and high school students, we will deliver TAG courses and workshops to teachers, evaluate clients in the Assessment and Counseling Clinic, and prepare for 2017-2018 fall and spring opportunities.  Dozens of short-term faculty and staff, including program coordinators, teaching assistants, instructors, and residential advisors, assist our permanent staff members in accomplishing our goals for Summer on the Brain.  While many students come from Iowa, we will also welcome students from 28 other states, plus Canada, Hong Kong, China, South Korea, and Turkey!

Saying good-bye at the end of each program is always difficult.  However, everyone can stay connected to the Belin-Blank Center through our newsletter and The Window, a new podcast hosted by Director Emeritus, Dr. Nicholas Colangelo.  As described in the article published in The Gazette, The Window aims to make a meaningful difference in the lives of the listeners and break new ground in our thinking about talent development and our educational systems vis-à-vis the talent development process.

Speaking of talent development, we are thrilled to share that the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation has introduced a new grant program, the Rural Talent Initiative, and the Belin-Blank Center is one of the six grantees.  In 2014, the Center received a $500,000 Talent Development Award from the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation for its STEM Excellence and Literacy (SEAL) program for students in grades 5 to 7.  It will use its new grant to expand the program to students in grades 8 and 9 in the 10 rural Iowa school districts currently implementing SEAL. More than 1,000 students and their teachers in these districts will receive direct benefits over a two-year period due to this grant.

One thing we’ve found in nearly thirty years of summer programs is that there is always more to learn.  Even on the sleepiest summer days, students of all ages are at the Center learning exciting new things!

More Summer Opportunities For IOAPA Students and Mentors

We know our IOAPA students and mentors are always looking for ways to keep busy and to keep improving their skills. We wanted to offer a few more options of relevant opportunities and events through the Belin-Blank Center.

IOAPA Students
Junior Scholars Institute: One-week, residential summer program on the University of Iowa campus for students in grades 6 through 8. Several classes remain open for enrollment for this summer (June 18-23)! JSI is a self-nomination program open to all students regardless of participation in their school’s talented and gifted program. Students select one advanced level course to take for the week. This year’s course topics include mixed media art, Wonder Woman, engineering, and Robot Theater, among others. Visit the JSI website for more information.

National Scholars Institute: One-week, residential summer program on the University of Iowa campus for students in grades 9 through 11. Much like JSI, NSI is a self-nomination program, so all interested students in grades 9-11 are encouraged to apply! Enrollment is still open for several courses. This summer’s course topics include 3D design and printing, engineering, visual arts, and data science. There are two NSI sessions, and students select one advanced level course per session. Students may choose to participate in one or both sessions. NSI Session 1 occurs July 9-14, 2017, and Session 2 runs July 16-21, 2017. Visit the NSI website for more information.

To see all the Belin-Blank Center summer opportunities for students, visit belinblank.org/summer.

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IOAPA Mentors
AP Teacher Training Institute: One-week program for teachers seeking certification to teach an AP course at their school. This is an especially great opportunity for schools that have offered IOAPA courses in the past, but now wish to expand their on-campus AP offerings. Enrollment is still open for most of our courses, including AP Computer Science, AP English Language and Composition, and AP Physics. To learn more, see last week’s blog post or visit belinblank.org/aptti.

Professional Development: The Belin-Blank Center offers extensive professional development opportunities for teachers in gifted education, with both in-person and online coursework options throughout the summer and during the academic year. IOAPA mentors may be interested in looking into the Chautauqua series, which includes 6 separate workshops over two weeks (June 19 – June 24 and June 26 – July 1, 2017). Additional information about PD opportunities and coursework can be found at belinblank.org/educators.

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Four Weeks Until APTTI 2017

In four short weeks, we will be welcoming teachers to the University of Iowa campus for a week of AP training and fun. There is still time to register and join us!

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All workshops remain open for registration. We are especially excited to offer an AP Computer Science A workshop to aid in local efforts to expand access to computer science instruction for all students. To see all the available workshops, learn about our consultants, and register, visit our website.

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If you teach in Iowa, you may be eligible for a grant to help defray the cost of attending. A limited number of grants are available, so check it out and apply today! Pre-service teachers currently studying at the University of Iowa are also eligible to attend APTTI at a reduced rate. Email aptti@belinblank.org for more information about these options.

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Academic credit and Iowa Licensure Renewal Units are available. These can be applied to a gifted education endorsement, graduate degree, and/or licensure renewal, depending upon the credit option you pursue. Visit our Credit Opportunities page to learn more about the available options and find out how to sign up. We encourage you to complete some or all of the credit application and registration process before arriving on campus. Visit our website for details regarding who to contact with questions. 

We look forward to having you on campus this summer! Share your experiences on Twitter using #APTTI2017.