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 News from NAGC

From Where I Sit
My Son Had an Amazing Year

By Erin Gribben, NAGC Parent Member
I gave to NAGC's Annual Fund this year because I saw the difference my son's teachers and NAGC resources have made in our lives. I wanted to show my gratitude by making donations in honor of Spencer's math/science teacher and his gifted specialist. They provided endless support, love and encouragement, and I have no doubt that his successes came from their joint efforts.

I live with my husband and two children in a small town in Tennessee, south of Nashville. Like most parents of a gifted child, I struggled with how to have Spencer properly identified and then later with whether acceleration was the best choice for him. I worried that he wouldn't fit in. Grade advancement is such a hard decision, and the first two months were emotional and scary. The uncertainty about making such a huge decision for your child is a heavy weight to carry. Shortly after Spencer began third grade my fears seemed justified when he came home one day and asked: "Would it be too late for me to go back to second grade?" If it hadn't been for the support of Spencer's teacher and gifted specialist, we might have given up.

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Network Awards Deadline Approaching

Several NAGC Networks honor individuals and organizations with awards. Check out these opportunities to recognize the efforts of a fellow NAGC member. Here are few to consider with upcoming deadlines. Check out the full list online:
  • NAGC's Curriculum Studies Network recognizes curriculum units that are appropriately challenging for use with gifted students in gifted classrooms or with gifted students grouped in heterogeneous classrooms. See the Curriculum Awards page on the NAGC website before the June 1 deadline for more information.
  • The Professional Development Award is given by the Professional Development Network for sustained professional development on gifted education for either preK-12 or higher education providers. The deadline is July 1 and submission materials are available online.
  • Global Awareness Network / Annemarie Roeper Global Awareness Award
    The annual award is given to one organization or institution and one individual who honors the legacy and work of Annemarie Roeper. The deadline for 2015 award nominations is Aug. 1. All nominations are submitted online.

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Explore NAGC's Career Center for New Job Possibilities
Quest Academy in Palatine, Illinois (outside Chicago), is looking for:
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NAGC Association Editor Search
NAGC is now seeking applications from individuals interested in serving as the Association Editor. The role of Association Editor involves the collaborative oversight of publication activities for the organization in conjunction with the Board of Directors and the National Office. The volunteer position also involves chairing the Publications Committee, made up of the editors of Gifted Child Quarterly, Parenting for High Potential and Teaching for High Potential, as well as members-at-large appointed by the NAGC president.

Application deadline is June 15. Find more information online.

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  Robinson Center for Young Scholars
Challenging K-12 students in an intellectual community through early entrance and outreach programs:
  • Transition School
  • UW Academy
  • Saturday Enrichment
  • Summer Programs
  • Professional Development
For more information, visit our website

Teacher's Corner
Summer Work

By Jeff Danielian, NAGC Teacher Resource Specialist and editor, Teaching for High Potential
The school year is flying by, and with the summer break around the corner, days feel more like minutes. I have often commented about the common misconception that educators and students have the summer off, but in reality, there is summer work to be done, whether assigned or voluntary. Here are a few suggestions for both the student and the educator seeking learning opportunities during this extended time away from the classroom.
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NAGC Convention
Convention Registration Now Open

Online registration with early bird rates and lower rates for NAGC members for the 62nd Annual NAGC Convention is now open. The NAGC website includes prices and links to registration, registration forms and hotel reservation site.
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Meaningful Stories, Creative Curriculum

Imagine creating an:
Edgar Allan Poe horror scene?
Eco-Disruption Radio Drama?
Daily Show parody, with special guest, PI?

Meridian Stories is a non-profit offering innovative digital narrative resources, activities and Challenges where students collaborate, problem-solve, create and playfully compete against other schools, nationwide. Join the Meridian community, fall 2015.
Let's reach the next level together

From strategic marketing plan development to effective public relations and social media marketing programs, when you choose Sterling you will truly add to your staff with a partner that is just as committed to your business’s success as you are.
Frog Publications
Frog Family Fun-Pack Level D Math. Complete 24-week program for homework, test preparation, and parent involvement! Serves up to 24 students reviewing 4th grade skills.

Free Webinars for NAGC Members Focus on Teaching Advanced Learners
Register now for this three-webinar series pulled from the pages of Teaching for High Potential (THP). NAGC Webinars on Wednesday — WOW — offers high-quality educational content presented by experts in the field who write for THP. Participate live and take advantage of the opportunity to pose questions to or share your experiences with presenters and other attendees. Your registration includes access to a multimedia recording, handouts and other resources. These WOWs are free to NAGC members, but you must be registered to tune in.

June 10
Noon - 1 p.m. ET

Choosing High Quality Curriculum for Gifted and Talented Learners
Jennifer G. Beasley, Assistant Professor and Assistant Head of Department of Curriculum and Instruction, University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, Arkansas

What do we know about high-quality curriculum for gifted and talented learners? This session will address best practices in high-quality curriculum and specifically curriculum that meets the needs of advanced learners. One tool for determining high-quality curriculum is the NAGC Curriculum Rubric used to analyze and evaluate winning curriculum units. Each of the 12 key features of the rubric will be explained and examples provided that determine quality. We will tour the Curriculum Studies webpage and the website that houses all of the winning curriculum units for further follow up. The webinar is inspired from Jennifer Beasley's upcoming NAGC Select e-book on the topic.

June 17
Noon - 1 p.m. ET

Technology Untangled: Past, Present, and Future
Brian Housand, Associate Professor and co-coordinator of the Academically and Intellectually Gifted Program, East Carolina University, Greenville, North Carolina

From 2007 to 2014, Brian Housand wrote the column "Technology Untangled" for NAGC's Teaching for High Potential (THP). During that time, he saw a number of technology trends come and go while others stood the test of time. Join Brian as he explores why some trends continue and others faded away and how teachers can meaningfully choose tech tools to integrate into their learning environments. New tech tools and resources for the present and future will be highlighted and shared.

June 24
Noon - 1 p.m. ET

Changing the Culture: Developing Creative Problem Solvers
Eric L. Mann, Assistant Professor of Mathematics, Hope College, Holland, Michigan

Mathematics embraces creativity and beauty, yet often our children are immersed in classroom activities where these attributes are hidden by an overemphasis on algorithms, computational speed and known answers that can be found in the back of the book or with a quick Google search. From the research, we know that many students have negative attitudes toward mathematics, which may foster the development of reluctant, impatient problem solvers. To overcome these issues, Eric Mann calls for a change in the culture to one that both acknowledges and values the creative nature of mathematics. Explore what it means to be a creative problem solver and how embracing the creativity of our students fosters positive and productive attitudes in mathematics and the STEM disciplines.

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 From the Headlines

Skip a Grade? Start Kindergarten Early? It's Not So Easy
National Public Radio
On the first day of school, perhaps the only person more discussed than the "new kid" is the "new kid who skipped a grade." Words like "gifted," "brilliant" and "genius" get thrown around to describe these students. Education researchers generally refer to them as "accelerated." It's a catch-all term to describe students who have either entered kindergarten early, grade-skipped or taken single subjects above grade level. Part of the hype comes from how uncommon it is.
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How Does a Teacher's Race Affect Which Students Are Identified as Gifted?
The Washington Post
Black students are more likely to be identified as "gifted" when they attend schools with higher proportions of black teachers, according to a new study, and Latino students are more likely to be called gifted when they go to schools with more Latino teachers. The study doesn't get at why there is such a correlation, but it adds another layer to a long-simmering debate about why black and Latino children are less likely to be called "gifted" than their white and Asian peers.
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Gifted LearningLinks Individualized, Online Courses
Power up your gifted child’s learning with an online Gifted LearningLinks course. GLL offers challenging curriculum and flexible pacing for kindergarten–high school. MORE
Center for Talent Development Summer Program
Challenging and engaging courses inspire students age 4-grade 12 to delve deep into a subject of intrigue and connect with peers. Residential or commuter, Northwestern University. MORE

Here's Where You're Going to Find the Best Schools in the World
BBC News
The biggest ever global school rankings have been published, with Asian countries in the top five places and African countries at the bottom. Singapore heads the table, followed by Hong Kong, with Ghana at the bottom. The UK is in 20th place, among higher achieving European countries, with the U.S. in 28th.
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What the Future Economy Means for How Kids Learn Today
If you were only to listen to politicians and policymakers, you could be forgiven for harboring two delusions: first, that the sole purpose of schooling is to create the workforce of the future; second, that the only place that our students learn is at school. If you believe that preparation for work is at least a part of education;s function, at what point do educators have a responsibility to face the radically changing employment patterns facing our students? And how can we rethink schooling to complement, not compete with, their informal learning?
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New Study Suggests Gifted Students Can Still Get Left Behind in School
A group of researchers released an updated version of a study on gifted children and the risk they may face in school. The updated study revealed gifted students are also at risk of getting left behind in school, addressing the myth that acceleration is detrimental to a student. The original report focused on the belief that skipping grade levels can negatively impact a child's schooling.
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Missed an issue of NAGC's Compass Points? Click here to visit the archive page.

Gifted Education Is About the Whole Child
Education Week
Celi Trépanier writes: Face it, the vast majority of people think that gifted children are the smart, high-achieving students in a special, sometimes elitist program at school. It's a universal miconception. When I was an education student in college, the elementary school where I was student-teaching had a full-time gifted program. The classroom had no desks — the gifted students got to sit in bean bags for their instructional time instead.
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Some Schools Embrace Demands for Education Data
The New York Times
In a small suburb outside Milwaukee, no one in the Menomonee Falls School District escapes the rigorous demands of data. Custodians monitor dirt under bathroom sinks, while the high school cafeteria supervisor tracks parent and student surveys of lunchroom food preferences. Administrators record monthly tallies of student disciplinary actions, and teachers post scatter plot diagrams of quiz scores on classroom walls. Even kindergartners use brightly colored dots on charts to show how many letters or short words they can recognize.
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Compass Points
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