In a retrospective post written in October on the World of Learning blog (Three Decades of Indifference) I laid out a dismaying set of missed opportunities and our resultant failure to serve academically gifted students in spite of the alarming call to action published in A Nation at Risk 30 years ago.
The very next day I received a copy of Closing America’s High-Achievement Gap, written by noted education expert Andy Smarick. Chock full of resources and ideas for donors to spur high-achieving students into appropriate learning environments, this publication from The Philanthropy Roundtable is available as a free download and should be required reading for any gifted advocate, education policy influencer, parent or teacher of academically gifted students.
Last week I happened upon a link to an “anti-Common Core” post on someone’s Facebook wall. Embedded in the post was a video of a young girl executing a math problem using a TERC/Investigations method for solving a simple addition problem. Videos like these have been around for some time – but recently they (and other absurdities) are beginning to surface in response to the upcoming Common Core implementation. I’ve been meaning to blog on this topic for some time, from a parental point-of-view, but like many topics in education it is a multilayered and complex topic not easily distilled into a 500 word post. So I was particularly pleased to find someone had the good sense to write a post on this very topic (“5 Things Every Parent Needs to Know About The Common Core”) which I hope will dispel some of the myths and misconceptions flying around about it.
The concept behind bedtime math is simple. If you ever read a bedtime story to your children you already know the joy of connecting over a book – and the confidence regular reading can instill in a child. In a delightful change on the bedtime reading routine, Bedtime Math founder Laura Overdeck and her husband decided to enhance their children’s bedtime routine with a daily math problem. Intended for young kids through elementary schoolers (three different levels of problems are offered each night) the bedtime math problem is also available through email subscription via their website.
Earlier this month I had the privilege of visiting the George W. Bush Institute on the campus of Southern Methodist University. In the midst of construction leading up to the dedication of the George W. Bush Presidential Library, the Philanthropy Roundtable held its opening session in the newly finished theater of the Institue. I do… Read More »
In Cincinnati we are quite fortunate to have many local employers interested in creating opportunities for high school students to become familiar with careers in technology – so much so that they sponsor an annual “TECHOlympics.” This year I attended (again) as a volunteer and wrote about hacking a Kinect motion sensor on the The… Read More »
Enrichment is what we do when we have nothing else in our toolkit to offer the gifted kid. It is the very least we can do for these children.
November has been (and continues to be) a particularly busy time both professionally and personally – honestly I just never had the time to sit down and “work” the system. The colleagues I had identified to join in the fun were already too busy to engage and I lacked the skills and/or time to assemble a like-minded team by promoting myself in the online forum process (designed for that purpose.) By the second week of November I realized I couldn’t pull it together and I dropped the course. No harm, no foul? Or does it speak to the intrinsic motivation required for successful free education systems. If there is nothing at stake, no tuition or course credit, then what is to keep us from abandoning the chosen path at the slightest obstacle?
My proposal? That we assemble a virtual team of parents of gifted students and gifted students themselves and focus on creating a new learning environment for gifted learners.
If you are interested please sign up for the course on the Venture Lab website and then come and find me on the course Discussion Forum during the first two weeks of the program (I have no idea what that interface looks like yet but I am sure we can figure it out.) Because I want to create an innovative model I want to keep the team confined to parents of academically gifted students and academically gifted students. Why? Because many of us have already been creating innovative blended learning models out of necessity (the mother of invention, remember?)
I believe we have to nurture our academically talented students if we have any expectation of improving our national ability to compete in the STEM fields.
A consistent application of democratic education requires differentiation for all students – even the gifted ones. Schools that do not accommodate these learners place them in highly restrictive environments. No wonder they fail to thrive.