Governor Reynolds declared the month of October to be Gifted Education Awareness Month. The Iowa Talented and Gifted Association (ITAG) proposed many activities to celebrate giftedness in your school and district! Here on our blog, we revisited some of your all-time favorite posts all month long.
First, we encouraged you to think about who your talented students are and what they need to stay challenged and engaged at school. Then, we gave away the best-kept secret in gifted education and shared why we should all be advocates for academic acceleration. Finally, we discussed educational assessments, including twice-exceptional assessments, and explained when and for whom they might be helpful.
Although October is coming to a close, we know that for advanced learners, and their families and educators, every month is gifted education awareness month. To carry you forward from here, we are sharing some of our most helpful resources. We hope you can return to these again and again as you continue to advocate for your own gifted students.
Go-To Resources on Academic Acceleration
A Nation Deceived, published in 2004, is still relevant today. It highlights disparities between the research on acceleration and the educational beliefs and practices that often run contrary to the research. We highly recommend Volume 1, which contains responses to common myths about acceleration.
The update to that publication, A Nation Empowered, came out in 2015. You can download the free pdf here or obtain a paper copy or Kindle version here. Volume 1 contains many stories about acceleration, and those seem to resonate with people. Volume 2 contains the up-to-date research supporting acceleration.
The Acceleration Institute website has many, many resources on academic acceleration for parents, educators, policy makers, and researchers.
When most people think of acceleration, they think of either skipping a grade or moving ahead in a particular subject. But did you know there are at least 20 different types of acceleration within the broad categories of grade skipping and subject acceleration?
Thinking about early entrance to kindergarten? These resources will be helpful.
What about early entrance to college? Start here and then head over to the Bucksbaum Academy website.
How do you make an informed decision about skipping a grade? The Iowa Acceleration Scale is a highly recommended tool.
Do you have a talented math learner? Be sure to check out the book, Developing Math Talent, by Susan Assouline & Ann Lupkowski-Shoplik (published by Prufrock Press, 2011). Build student success in math with the only comprehensive parent and teacher guide for developing math talent among advanced learners of elementary or middle school age. The authors offer a focused look at educating gifted and talented students for success in math.
To help answer questions about which students are ready for subject acceleration, consider investigating I-Excel, an online, above-level test for high-ability 4th-6th graders. I-Excel offers the research-supported power of above-level testing in a convenient online format.
If you’re wondering whether your child is ready to be accelerated, these tips for parents can help guide you. This Tip Sheet from the National Association for Gifted Children (NAGC) will also be helpful.
Does your school need to create or update its policy on academic acceleration? Guidelines for Developing an Academic Acceleration Policy are available in a free download. This document supports schools in creating a comprehensive and research-based acceleration policy that is compatible with local policies. (And be sure to keep an eye out for an update to this publication, Developing Academic Acceleration Policies: Single Subject and Whole Grade, in late 2018!)
If you’re a fan of podcasts, you can listen to Dr. Ann Shoplik talking about acceleration on Mind Matters, and Dr. Megan Foley-Nicpon discussing twice exceptionality on Bright Now by Johns Hopkins Center for Talented Youth (CTY). Or check out our own podcast, The Window, and listen to our founder, Dr. Nicholas Colangelo, engage thought leaders on issues relating to maximizing human potential and directing talent toward a larger social good.
We know that TAG educators can sometimes feel a bit isolated from their other colleagues in gifted education. If you are looking for a group of like-minded professionals and experts to connect with and share ideas, be sure to subscribe to the Gifted Teachers’ Listserv.
Connect with your state and national organizations, the Iowa Talented and Gifted Association (ITAG) and the National Association for Gifted Children (NAGC). The Iowa Department of Education’s Gifted and Talented webpage also has helpful resources and information about important legislation affecting gifted education. Not in Iowa? Find information about your state gifted association, statistics, and policies concerning gifted education here.
For a comprehensive look at all things gifted education, grab a cup of coffee and settle down to peruse Hoagies’ Gifted Education Page and the Davidson Institute for Talent Development’s database. The Hoagies’ Gifted Blog Hop on acceleration was so excellent, it was offered a second time (with fresh content) in “Acceleration, Again.”
Follow our own @AnnShoplik and on Twitter, who often tweet about topics related to acceleration and gifted education, and read through the hashtags, #nationempowered, #gtchat, and #gifteded.
And finally, be sure to connect with the Belin-Blank Center on social media (you can find us on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram) and subscribe to our newsletter to stay updated all year long!