Academic programs for gifted and talented/learning disabled students.
When Jonathan graduated from Carnegie-Mellon University, he landed a job as a computer engineer with Microsoft. It was hard to believe that this was the same young man whose parents were told by school staff that they needed to accept that he was an average first and second grade student. Jonathan's parents, however, had seen evidence of his giftedness as he worked on his "inventions" at home. They continued to advocate for his gifts and his areas of need to be recognized by the school system. He was eventually identified as gifted and talented/learning disabled (GT/LD) and placed in Montgomery County's GT/LD Center Program. After 3 years in the program, his writing and organizational skills had improved. His gifts in the sciences and the arts were so evident that he went on to participate in GT instruction in middle school and Honors and Advanced Placement courses in high school with support from the special education resource teachers.
The premise of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act
Some statements may be disputed, incorrect, , biased or otherwise objectionable.
In currencies, this is the abbreviation for the Irish Punt.
The currency market, also known as the Foreign Exchange market, is the largest financial market in the world, with a daily average volume of over US $1 trillion. ) teams make many decisions that support and encourage student performance in the general curriculum and general education classroom (National Information Center for Children and Youth with Disabilities, 1997). The premise of gifted education Gifted education is a broad term for special practices, procedures and theories used in the education of children who have been identified as gifted or talented. Programs providing such education are sometimes called Gifted and Talented Education (GATE) or in the United States United States, officially United States of America, republic (2005 est. pop. 295,734,000), 3,539,227 sq mi (9,166,598 sq km), North America. The United States is the world's third largest country in population and the fourth largest country in area. , first articulated in the Marland Report Marland Report
Refers to a 1972 report to the Congress of the United States:
Marland, S. P., Jr. (1972). Education of the gifted and talented: Report to the Congress of the United States by the U.S. Commissioner of Education and background papers submitted to the U.S. (Marland, 1972), is that, "Gifted and talented children ... require differentiated programs and services beyond those normally provided by the regular school program in order to realize their contribution to self and society" (p. 2). Learning disabled students who are also gifted and talented or "twice exceptional" require opportunities to promote their own individual strengths and talents to achieve the accelerated academic proficiency pro·fi·cien·cy
n. pl. pro·fi·cien·cies
The state or quality of being proficient; competence.
Noun 1. proficiency - the quality of having great facility and competence expected of nondisabled gifted students. They simultaneously require gifted instruction and the special instruction, adaptations, and accommodations provided to other students with special needs (Neilson, Hammond, & Higgins, 1993).
Identified as gifted because of high achievement or high IQ scores, these students exhibit remarkable strengths in some areas and disabling dis·a·ble
tr.v. dis·a·bled, dis·a·bling, dis·a·bles
1. To deprive of capability or effectiveness, especially to impair the physical abilities of.
2. Law To render legally disqualified. weaknesses in others. As they grow older, discrepancies widen wid·en
tr. & intr.v. wid·ened, wid·en·ing, wid·ens
To make or become wide or wider.
widen·er n. between expected and actual academic performance. Instructional programs for gifted and talented/learning disabled (GT/LD) students must focus on developing their strengths, interests, and superior intellectual abilities while accommodating for their learning weaknesses (NAGC NAGC National Association for Gifted Children
NAGC National Association of Government Communicators
NAGC National Association of Government Contractors
NAGC National Art Gallery of China
NAGC North American Grappling Championships
NAGC National American Glass Club, Ltd. , 1998). However, the majority of school districts in the United States do not have procedures in place for screening, identifying, and serving GT/LD students. Research and information about the gifted learning disabled population has not been adequately transferred and applied to classrooms (Dix & Schafer, 1996). According to according to
1. As stated or indicated by; on the authority of: according to historians.
2. In keeping with: according to instructions.
3. federal laws PL 94-142, and subsequently IDEA 97, these students are legally entitled en·ti·tle
tr.v. en·ti·tled, en·ti·tling, en·ti·tles
1. To give a name or title to.
2. To furnish with a right or claim to something: to an appropriate education in the least restrictive environment As part of the U.S. Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, the least restrictive environment is identified as one of the six principles that govern the education of students with disabilities. that includes services for the gifts as well as the disabilities (Blancher-Dixon & Turnbull, 1978). This article presents the program model found in Maryland's Montgomery County Public Schools Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) is a school district that serves Montgomery County, Maryland, USA. It is currently the largest county in Maryland serving over 137,000 students. (MCPS (MegaChips Per Second) See chip rate. ) that addresses the needs of this often underserved population.
Review of the Literature
Over the years, the Years, The
the seven decades of Eleanor Pargiter’s life. [Br. Lit.: Benét, 1109]
See : Time body of literature regarding GT/LD students has been a source of inspiration, guidance, and validation for the design and implementation of the academic programming for GT/LD students in MCPS. MCPS's identification of GT/LD students utilizes Brody and Mills' (1997) definition, while incorporating VanTassel Baska's (1991) concept of high functioning. The MCPS definition is: GT/LD students are those who possess an outstanding gift or talent and are capable of high performance, but who also have a learning disability that makes some aspect of academic achievement difficult.
As recommended in the literature, the MCPS referral process emphasizes early identification and appropriate intervention (Barton & Starnes, 1989; Whitmore, 1980). The identification criteria used are multidimensional mul·ti·di·men·sion·al
Of, relating to, or having several dimensions.
multi·di·men and reflect the unique cognitive processing qualities of the GT/LD students. (Barton & Starnes, 1989; Baum, 1991; Ellston, 1993).
The need for studies on effective treatment and programming for GT/LD students was cited in a 1987 report to Congress (Interagency in·ter·a·gen·cy
Involving or representing two or more agencies, especially government agencies. Committee on Learning Disabilities, 1987). GT/LD students with disabilities require a unified effort of special education and gifted specialists who emphasize an appropriate pace of instruction, extend and compact curriculum, and use a variety of programming strategies (Whitmore & Maker, 1986). Unfortunately, little program development and evaluation for this population has been forthcoming (Vaughn, 1989). Students who qualify for special education services because of the severity of their learning disability and qualify for gifted services because of the type or level of their talent (Baum, Owens, & Dixon, 1991) rarely qualify for multiple services. The framework for the MCPS program incorporates the major recommendations for programming found in the literature (Brody & Mills, 1997).
The literature describes program efforts that modify traditional enrichment enrichment Food industry The addition of vitamins or minerals to a food–eg, wheat, which may have been lost during processing. See White flour; Cf Whole grains. programs (Baldwin & Gargiulo, 1983; Baum & Owens, 1988; Baum, Owens, & Dixon, 1991; Bees Bees
See also insects.
a person who tends bees.
a beehive or collection of beehives. — apiarian, adj.
the art and science of beekeeping. — apiculturist, n. , 1998; Betts, 1985; Fall & Nolan, 1993; Renzulli, & Reis, 1985; Udall & Maker, 1983; Nielsen, Higgins, Wilkinson, & Webb, 1994; Whitmore, 1980). Programs have also been designed for GT/LD students with specific disabilities (Clements, Lundell, & Hishinuma, 1994; Coleman & Gallagher, 1995; Gentry & Neu, 1998; Hackney Hackney, inner borough (1991 pop. 164,200) of Greater London, SE England, on the Lea River. Clothing manufacture (in Hackney) and printing and furniture making (in Shoreditch) are the borough's chief industries. London's first theater was built in Shoreditch (c.1575). , 1986, LeVine & Evans, 1983; Maker, 1981; Yewchuk & Bibby, 1988). Regardless of the program model used, the curriculum must be geared to the strengths, rather than the weaknesses of the GT/LD student. Utilizing a variety of adaptations, strategies, and accommodations for GT/LD students is widely advocated throughout the literature (e.g., Baum et al., 1991; Daniels, 1983; Fox, Tobin, & Schiffman, 1983; Hishinuma, 1991; Howard, 1994; Silverman, 1989; Surer & Wolf, 1987; Torgesen, 1986; Van Tassel-Baska, 1991; Waldron, 1991; Weill, 1987; Whitmore, 1988). When a student's gifts are identified and nurtured, there is an increased willingness on the part of the student to put forth greater effort to complete tasks (Baum, Emerick, Herman, & Dixon, 1989). Differentiation of curriculum, (Maryland Task Force on Gifted and Talented Education, 1994; NAGC, 1998), acceleration and enrichment (Renzulli & Reis, 1985; Southern & Jones, 1991), and mentorship s “Protégé” redirects here. For other uses, see Protégé (disambiguation).
Mentorship refers to a developmental relationship between a more experienced mentor and a less experienced partner referred to as a mentee or protégé (Baum et al., 1991) provide positive opportunities for GT/LD students. "Education of these children must focus on abstract ideas and generalization gen·er·al·i·za·tion
1. The act or an instance of generalizing.
2. A principle, a statement, or an idea having general application. . Teachers must provide organizational strategies to help these students achieve and allow alternatives to writing as a means of communication." (Baum et al., 1991, p. 19).
The System-Wide Comprehensive GT/LD Program in MCPS
Determined to address the needs of the GT/LD students, educators in MCPS have spent 15 years creating dynamic, comprehensive programs for their GT/LD student population. In 1986, MCPS initiated a pilot program to explore the incidence rate of students with high cognitive ability who were experiencing learning difficulties. The findings were presented in a paper to The Council on Exceptional Children National Conference in Washington, D.C. March 29, 1988 entitled "A Study in the Identification, Differential Diagnosis differential diagnosis
Determination of which one of two or more diseases with similar symptoms is the one from which the patient is suffering. Also called differentiation. , and Remediation of Underachieving Highly Able Students" (Starnes, Ginevan, Stokes Stokes , William 1804-1878.
British physician. Known especially for his studies of diseases of the chest and heart, he expanded on the observations of John Cheyne in describing the breathing irregularity now known as Cheyne-Stokes respiration. , & Barton, 1988). With initial funding from the Jacob K. Javits Jacob Koppel "Jack" Javits (May 18, 1904 – March 7, 1986) was a liberal Republican New York politician originally allied with Governor Nelson A. Rockefeller, fellow U.S. Senators Irving Ives and Kenneth Keating, and Mayor John V. Lindsay. Gifted and Talented Education Grant, promising developments have occurred in MCPS. MCPS identifies gifted students with varying degrees of learning disabilities and has developed special self-contained classes for gifted students with severe learning disabilities while those with moderate and mild disabilities receive services in the general education classes.
GT/LD students in grades 2 through 12 receive appropriate instruction, adaptations, and accommodations related to their disability. Successful, practical programming is based on solid research and theory. GT/LD students are guaranteed access to accelerated and enriched instruction that maintains the rigor rigor /rig·or/ (rig´er) [L.] chill; rigidity.
rigor mor´tis the stiffening of a dead body accompanying depletion of adenosine triphosphate in the muscle fibers. and high standards expected of all gifted students. As with other gifted students, the range of instructional opportunities available to GT/LD students is provided in gifted classes in elementary and middle school, in Honors and Advanced Placement classes at the high school, in highly selective gifted and magnet programs in grades 4-12, and through differentiation in general education classes at all levels. In addition, GT/LD students with severe learning disabilities receive appropriate gifted instruction within GT/LD Center Programs. Gifted underachieving students also have the opportunity to participate in a mentor program designed to nurture NURTURE. The act of taking care of children and educating them: the right to the nurture of children generally belongs to the father till the child shall arrive at the age of fourteen years, and not longer. Till then, he is guardian by nurture. Co. Litt. 38 b. talents and develop potential. The comprehensiveness of the delivery of GT/LD programming is what makes this one of the most unique programs serving this population.
Approximately 25-35 new students are identified for the GT/LD Center each year, primarily at the elementary level. The three elementary programs serve approximately 50 students or 16 students per Center on the average. Currently the majority of these students are in grades 4 and 5, so grades 3 and 4 are grouped in the primary program and fifth graders are alone in the upper level program. Each of the elementary classrooms is staffed with one teacher and one special education assistant. These groupings are dependent on the referrals received and placements that are made each year.
Each of the three middle school Center Programs has approximately 10 students at each of the three grade levels. Many of the GT/LD Center students have progressed to the point that they can return to their home high schools after middle school. Two of the GT/LD high school programs currently provide services for three to five students at each grade level, within their larger programs for learning disabled students. The third high school will become a full-fledged GT/LD Center Program during the 2003-2004 school year as students begin to transition from one of the middle school programs. Each year, 60 to 70 students participate in mentorship experiences.
The MCPS model is also unique because it simultaneously addresses the giftedness and the academic needs of each student regardless of the grade level or the severity of the disability. Overseeing all of the instructional and program opportunities is a full-time program coordinator with expertise in both gifted education and special education. Drawing from the best practices in the literature and from their own field experiences, MCPS combines the most successful components into a strength-based, integrated, and collaborative program.
The room was a buzz of activity. Steven was working on an independent study project at a computer as he listened to a book that had been converted from text to speech. A group of students were sitting and working at a round table with a variety of resource materials related to their in-depth study of whales whales - like kicking dead whales down the beach . Rachel, returning from her social studies mainstream class, began dictating a biographical bi·o·graph·i·cal also bi·o·graph·ic
1. Containing, consisting of, or relating to the facts or events in a person's life.
2. Of or relating to biography as a literary form. sketch on Sacagawea into a tape recorder tape recorder, device for recording information on strips of plastic tape (usually polyester) that are coated with fine particles of a magnetic substance, usually an oxide of iron, cobalt, or chromium. The coating is normally held on the tape with a special binder. . Frank was meeting with the teacher at the front table about next steps in his research project. Student products from their Structures unit lined the bookcases under the windows. The student-made three-dimensional projects reflected the concepts learned in both math and science. Junior Great Books, software products, reference materials, large-print books, science equipment, and math equipment filled the shelves. On the walls of the classroom, colorful posters, class standards and expectations, message boards, and plans for the day were displayed. The workstations had a collection of tools that were always available--pens, pencils, tape recorders, graphic organizers Graphic organizers are visual representations of knowledge, concepts or ideas. They are known to help
This profile is a "snap shot a quick offhand shot, without deliberately taking aim.
See also: Snap " of a student-centered classroom with a view into the workings, resources, and climate for students within the GT/LD Center Program. The activity is purposeful pur·pose·ful
1. Having a purpose; intentional: a purposeful musician.
2. Having or manifesting purpose; determined: entered the room with a purposeful look. and planned. The interdisciplinary in·ter·dis·ci·pli·nar·y
Of, relating to, or involving two or more academic disciplines that are usually considered distinct.
Adjective instruction and multiple tools and opportunities for choice are the norm.
The first Center Program for GT/LD students opened in 1987 for fourth and fifth graders. Over the years, this program has expanded across the county to its present level of three primary (grades 2/3) and three upper level (grades 4/5) programs housed in three separate elementary schools elementary school: see school. , as well as three middle school programs and three high school programs. The instructional program has focused on: developing strengths; providing classroom organization that is flexible and collaborative to maximize goal setting, self-direction, group discussion, self-reflection, problem solving problem solving
Process involved in finding a solution to a problem. Many animals routinely solve problems of locomotion, food finding, and shelter through trial and error. , and self-evaluation; and providing curriculum and instruction that is inquiry based with a thinking focus.
Placement in the Center Programs
While the vast majority of gifted students with learning disabilities in MCPS are served in their home schools with varying degrees of supports and accommodations, GT/LD students who are not demonstrating academic progress in their home schools are considered for GT/LD Center Programs. The GT/LD Center Programs serve students who have both a documented superior cognitive ability and an identified learning disability. The majority of students accepted into the program score two standard deviations In statistics, the average amount a number varies from the average number in a series of numbers.
(statistics) standard deviation - (SD) A measure of the range of values in a set of numbers. above the mean (130) on the verbal or performance scales of the WISC-III WISC-III Wechsler Intelligence Scales for Children, 3rd Edition , or comparable intelligence scales with the verbal scale falling at or above average. Identification of the "gift" does not rely solely on broad IQ scores. Strong performance on IQ subtests as well as other less formal evidence of giftedness is also considered. Strengths of these students often include superior ability in forming concepts, abstract reasoning, vocabulary, creativity, math reasoning, science, and the arts.
In addition to superior cognitive ability, GT/LD students demonstrate a significant learning disability with academic deficits that are severe enough to drive the need for reduced staff-student ratio and special education supports throughout the day. Learning disabled students, as defined by state regulations, have a deficit in one or more of the basic psychological processes involved in understanding or in using language. The deficit affects performance in one or more of the areas of written language, reading, or mathematics. The GT/LD Center Programs serve students who demonstrate academic deficits that are severe, such that barriers to achievement cannot be overcome through accommodations and modifications in the student's home school. These Center Programs provide access to GT instruction for students who would otherwise not have this access.
An Individualized in·di·vid·u·al·ize
tr.v. in·di·vid·u·al·ized, in·di·vid·u·al·iz·ing, in·di·vid·u·al·iz·es
1. To give individuality to.
2. To consider or treat individually; particularize.
3. Education Plan (IEP) team considers this placement as part of the school-based periodic or annual IEP review meeting. The school IEP teams refer students who are candidates for this program to their local supervisor of special education. A review is then conducted by a small committee of individuals who are familiar with the GT/LD program and characteristics of the students in the program. The committee includes the program coordinator for GT/LD programs, a representative from the GT department, and a school psychologist. If a difference of opinion regarding the placement exists or if there is a need to clarify certain issues, the case is considered by the Central IEP team, which then identifies the appropriate placement. The goal is to serve students in their home school. Therefore, students placed in the GT/LD Center Program must demonstrate a limited response to their home school's attempt to modify the student's program and provide sufficient interventions over a significant period of time.
At all grade levels in Montgomery County Montgomery County may refer to:
The GT/LD classes are staffed in the same way as other special education programs for students with severe learning disabilities. The teachers are all special education certified See certification. and receive ongoing training in the education of gifted and talented students. A full time program coordinator helps manage all of these programs and provides consultation and training for all staff working with GT/LD students.
Implementation of effective instructional programming for GT/LD students has been a collaborative effort between the Division of Accelerated and Enriched Instruction (Gifted and Talented Office) and the Department of Special Education over the last 15 years. This collaboration has provided an opportunity to draw on what is known to be the best practices from both special education and gifted education (Brody & Mills, 1997). The ongoing dialogue and trust have built a partnership that serves students well.
The following is a comprehensive description of best practices that have been successful in the GT/LD Center Programs in MCPS. The analysis presented includes what works and what doesn't work in the following areas: school climate, instructional skills and strategies, and content areas.
Creating a comfortable yet challenging classroom climate is essential. Addressing the socioemotional needs of GT/LD students is critical to their achievement. The climate is one that is designed to respect individuality individuality,
n collective characteristics or traits that distinguish one person or thing from all others. with accommodations that focus on strengths and potential for success rather than remediation. It promotes the students' development of an understanding of their unique strengths, empowering them to successfully advocate for themselves. It is counterproductive coun·ter·pro·duc·tive
Tending to hinder rather than serve one's purpose: "Violation of the court order would be counterproductive" Philip H. Lee. to use routine and remedial REMEDIAL. That which affords a remedy; as, a remedial statute, or one which is made to supply some defects or abridge some superfluities of the common law. 1 131. Com. 86. The term remedial statute is also applied to those acts which give a new remedy. Esp. Pen. Act. 1. drill and practice that focus on the student's disability. Lowering standards, confrontational communication, and inflexible expectations that diminish student individuality are inappropriate. Instead, the climate is designed to encourage interactive participation, flexibility, high standards, student participation in cooperative groups, individualized programming, active listening Active listening is an intent to "listen for meaning", in which the listener checks with the speaker to see that a statement has been correctly heard and understood. The goal of active listening is to improve mutual understanding. , and practice in conflict-resolution strategies.
The physical climate within the classroom is also carefully orchestrated or·ches·trate
tr.v. or·ches·trat·ed, or·ches·trat·ing, or·ches·trates
1. To compose or arrange (music) for performance by an orchestra.
2. . A stimulating environment is created-posters, collections, products, and highly visible student/teacher classroom standards and expectations for performance are displayed. Multimedia resources and technological tools including word processors, tape recorders, calculators, and spellcheckers are available in the classroom. Students have freedom of movement within the classroom. Careful attention is given to both the physical and social climate in the classroom, creating an environment in which needs are supported and abilities are recognized and nurtured.
Instructional Skills and Strategies
Gifted Instruction. Teachers, through professional development and self-study, implement models for gifted education (examples include: Howard Gardner's Multiple Intelligences, 1983); Creative Problem Solving Creative problem solving is the mental process of creating a solution to a problem. It is a special form of problem solving in which the solution is independently created rather than learned with assistance. Creative problem solving requires more than just knowledge and thinking. , McAlpine, Weincek, Jeweler, & Finkbinder, 1982; Edward deBono's CoRT, 1986; Bloom's Taxonomy taxonomy: see classification.
In biology, the classification of organisms into a hierarchy of groupings, from the general to the particular, that reflect evolutionary and usually morphological relationships: kingdom, phylum, class, order, , 1956). Teachers use activities that focus on students' strengths and interests, allowing for self-directed choices. Instruction is multisensory multisensory /mul·ti·sen·so·ry/ (mul?te-sen´sah-re) capable of responding to more than one kind of sensory input, as certain neurons in the central nervous system. using hands-on experiences and guided discovery (e.g., What I Know/What I Want to Know/What I Learned [KWL KWL Guilin, China (Airport Code)
KWL Kernkraftwerk Lingen
KWL what I Know/what I Want to know/what I've Learned (education)
KWL Kaduna Writers' League ], Ogle, 1986) as powerful strategies, especially when introducing new topics. Support and clarification for embedded Inserted into. See embedded system. directions, both oral and written, are given to the student.
Integrating the visual and performing arts into the program is effective. Champion of Change, Learning In and Through the Arts (LITA LITA Library and Information Technology Association
LITA Left Internal Thoracic Artery
LITA Love Is The Answer
LITA Laser-Induced Thermal Acoustics
LITA Local Information Transfer Architecture
LITA Logistics Infrastucture and Technical Architecture ; 1999) and Champion of Change, The Impact of the Arts on Learning (1999) studies found evidence that learning in the arts has significant effects on learning in other domains. Students are more motivated and teachers report that students retain information more readily when the arts are integrated into the curriculum.
Teachers recognize that remedial instruction, rigid task guidelines guidelines,
n.pl a set of standards, criteria, or specifications to be used or followed in the performance of certain tasks. , and a belief that GT/LD students can organize their thinking without accommodations or instruction do not work for GT/LD students. The teachers do not consider that a lack of production is a sign of motivational weakness or lower intelligence. Rote rote 1
1. A memorizing process using routine or repetition, often without full attention or comprehension: learn by rote.
2. Mechanical routine. memorization mem·o·rize
tr.v. mem·o·rized, mem·o·riz·ing, mem·o·riz·es
1. To commit to memory; learn by heart.
2. Computer Science To store in memory: , forced oral reading, text-based instruction, and the use of only teacher-directed activities are not successful practices. Instead, teachers use instruction that obviates weaknesses; provides for production of alternative products; provides "real-life" tasks; provides open-ended outlets for the demonstration of knowledge; designs tasks that fit the student's learning style; differentiates instruction; and uses collaboratively designed rubrics.
Thinking Skills. The GT/LD student is capable of exceptional thinking. Many resources that focus on thinking skills are available through educational publishers and distributors. Teachers learn thinking strategies, teach, model, and practice them in the classroom. Teachers actively participate in the learning process using the Socratic method Socratic method Education A teaching philosophy that differs from the traditional format as instruction is in the form of problem-solving and testing of hypotheses. See Layer cake education, Spoon feeding. , as they work with the GT/LD students to help them formulate questions and think through logic problems. Students apply abstract concepts to everyday occurrences. Teachers help students to transfer and apply the thinking strategies that work for them in their areas of strength to their areas of need. Teachers use metacognitive skills, "Think Alouds" to model the thinking process, develop a thinking language, and help students search for their own solutions. Teachers do not assume that students already know thinking strategies and can apply them without ongoing practice.
Reading. The emphasis in reading is on comprehension comprehension
Act of or capacity for grasping with the intellect. The term is most often used in connection with tests of reading skills and language abilities, though other abilities (e.g., mathematical reasoning) may also be examined. , listening, and gaining information. Teachers avoid overly focusing on word attack errors that do not affect comprehension. A successful reading program includes the use of literature for stimulating reading interest, oral discussion using supporting text, the development of expository reading, and the use of high interest personal reading material that may be above grade level. Programs like the William and Mary Noun 1. William and Mary - joint monarchs of England; William III and Mary II Reading Program (The College of William and Mary, 1998) and Junior Great Books (Great Books Foundation, 1992) offer great opportunities for the development of reading and writing skills for GT/LD students, even though writing may be a weakness for them. These programs provide opportunities for GT/LD students to build on their abstract reasoning and comprehension skills. Students also benefit from explicit instruction in phonological awareness Phonological awareness is the conscious sensitivity to the sound structure of language. It includes the ability to auditorily distinguish parts of speech, such as syllables and phonemes. , phonics phonics
Method of reading instruction that breaks language down into its simplest components. Children learn the sounds of individual letters first, then the sounds of letters in combination and in simple words. , and decoding de·code
tr.v. de·cod·ed, de·cod·ing, de·codes
1. To convert from code into plain text.
2. To convert from a scrambled electronic signal into an interpretable one.
3. . The Wilson Reading Program (Wilson, 1985) is an excellent example of a program that has proven effective in teaching these reading skills. Accommodations such as books on tape or text-to-speech software that enables students to scan any print material and have the computer read the material to them aloud are appropriate supports to reading. More traditional approaches such as reading worksheets, round robin reading, and below grade level basal readers basal reader
A textbook compiled to teach people, especially young children, to read. are not used.
Writing. Writing is often difficult for GT/LD students who may have trouble expressing themselves due to difficulty in sequencing and attending to detail. Students also may have grapho-motor deficits. Focusing on handwriting HANDWRITING, evidence. Almost every person's handwriting has something whereby it may be distinguished from the writing of others, and this difference is sometimes intended by the term.
2. instead of content, quantity versus quality, and the use of red pens to denote de·note
tr.v. de·not·ed, de·not·ing, de·notes
1. To mark; indicate: a frown that denoted increasing impatience.
2. errors do not work. Establishing writing processes through discussion and practice is ongoing. Using assistive technology Hardware and software that help people who are physically impaired. Often called "accessibility options" when referring to enhancements for using the computer, the entire field of assistive technology is quite vast and even includes ramp and doorway construction in buildings to support such as portable word processors, computers, electronic spellers, organizational and word-predictive software unlocks students' abilities to communicate what they know and understand. Graphic organizers, mind-mapping strategies, extended time for completion of work, and clear written expectations for writing tasks help the students create writing products. Prompts guide the purpose for writing. Rubrics, proofreading Proofreading traditionally means reading a proof copy of a text in order to detect and correct any errors. Modern proofreading often requires reading copy at earlier stages as well. for one type of error at a time, and using a highlighter high·light·er
1. A usually fluorescent marker used to mark important passages of text.
2. A cosmetic for emphasizing areas of the face, such as the eyes or cheekbones. to indicate corrections aid in self-evaluation of written work. Publication of writing for an audience is a great motivator for the student.
Organization. GT/LD students frequently have problems with organizational demands of classroom assignments. Teachers help minimize the impact of this problem by structuring assignments with very clear directions and steps. Best practices include establishing specific due dates and a time frame for long-term assignments, providing checkpoints for monitoring progress, providing time for organizing materials and assignments, and providing a specific location for students to place completed work. Teaching students effective strategies helps them become more self-sufficient learners. The supervised su·per·vise
tr.v. su·per·vised, su·per·vis·ing, su·per·vis·es
To have the charge and direction of; superintend.
[Middle English *supervisen, from Medieval Latin use of assistive technology and visual organizers, as well as the use of the more traditional supports of assignment books, study guides, homework hotlines, and calendars, all help students become more organized. Promising new practices include posting homework assignments on web pages, the use of hand-held organizers, and having students e-mail their own assignments to their home e-mail account e-mail account n → cuenta de correo .
Adults sometimes assume that students have the needed organizational skills, but are not using them because of laziness, lack of motivation, or poor attitudes. In the case of the GT/LD student, this is often not true and contributes to their academic problems and low self-esteem.
Memory. While GT/LD students often possess outstanding abstract reasoning abilities and are able to see the big picture readily, they may have difficulty remembering and sequencing details. When teachers motivate students through the use of a Multiple Intelligences approach and a variety of modalities Modalities
The factors and circumstances that cause a patient's symptoms to improve or worsen, including weather, time of day, effects of food, and similar factors. , students are much more likely to remember the details. Students are more successful when they can utilize assistive technology as well as a variety of supports in the classroom environment. Students become more independent in this area as they learn techniques to enhance their own memory such as mnemonics mnemonics /mne·mon·ics/ (ne-mon´iks) improvement of memory by special methods or techniques.mnemon´ic
A system to develop or improve the memory. , visual imagery, outlining, note taking, and highlighting. Other successful strategies include having students sequence activities after a lesson or event, having students teach information to other students, providing students with environmental cues and prompts, relating information presented to the student's previous experience, and telling them what to listen for when being given directions or receiving information. It is important not to assume that, although these students have great ability in certain areas, they have learned the needed skills to circumvent cir·cum·vent
tr.v. cir·cum·vent·ed, cir·cum·vent·ing, cir·cum·vents
1. To surround (an enemy, for example); enclose or entrap.
2. To go around; bypass: circumvented the city. their difficulties with memory of details.
Handwriting. GT/LD students often have grapho-motor difficulties. Therefore, the occupational therapist occupational therapist A person trained to help people manage daily activities of living–dressing, cooking, etc, and other activities that promote recovery and regaining vocational skills Salary $51K + 4% bonus. See ADL. is a partner in the instruction of GT/LD students. The goal is legibility leg·i·ble
1. Possible to read or decipher: legible handwriting.
2. Plainly discernible; apparent: legible weaknesses in character and disposition. . Focusing on form, using mechanical pencils A mechanical pencil, lead pencil or clicky pencil (usually called a propelling pencil in British English; other names include clutch pencil, or Pacer and grips, and using an appropriate handwriting program (e.g. Handwriting Without Tears, Olsen, 2002) helps the GT/LD students who have difficulty writing by hand. Lengthy handwriting tasks that result in fatigue and expectations that disregard a student's physical weakness or limitation do not work. Assistive technologies such as a word processor, word-predictive software, or speech-to-text software, are often appropriate alternatives to handwriting.
Content Area Instruction
Mathematics. Preassessment of student mastery of mathematical content (e.g., decimal Meaning 10. The numbering system used by humans, which is based on 10 digits. In contrast, computers use binary numbers because it is easier to design electronic systems that can maintain two states rather than 10. fractions, whole numbers, statistics, and probability) and objectives is an appropriate place to begin instruction. Focusing on developing conceptual skills and problem-solving strategies is essential. By using a multidisciplinary approach multidisciplinary approach A term referring to the philosophy of converging multiple specialties and/or technologies to establish a diagnosis or effect a therapy to math, students learn to apply and generalize generalize /gen·er·al·ize/ (-iz)
1. to spread throughout the body, as when local disease becomes systemic.
2. to form a general principle; to reason inductively. skills and strategies. Using interactive, hands-on programs (e.g., Hands-on Equations, Borenson, 1997), manipulatives, and math tools help students grasp content and concepts. Students may need untimed tests, a reduction in the number of problems, and direct instruction in the use of calculators for accommodations to be successful. Lengthy, repetitive assignments; copying from textbooks, overheads, or blackboards; and a focus on computation Computation is a general term for any type of information processing that can be represented mathematically. This includes phenomena ranging from simple calculations to human thinking. alone do not work with GT/LD students. Appropriate accommodations, such as a calculator calculator or calculating machine, device for performing numerical computations; it may be mechanical, electromechanical, or electronic. The electronic computer is also a calculator but performs other functions as well. , allow these students to utilize their often superior math reasoning abilities while not being held back by their computation skills.
Science. Science instruction that offers hands-on, interactive experiences is most successful. Activities that incorporate problem solving and "real-life" investigations with a purpose and an end product, along with a thematic the·mat·ic
1. Of, relating to, or being a theme: a scene of thematic importance.
2. approach that allows for students to direct their search for knowledge and answers are meaningful to students. Simulations and the integration of the visual and the performing arts are extremely successful when teaching science content and concepts. Focusing on science process objectives works as does using graphic organizers to support note taking when researching a topic. Memorization of facts and emphasis on reading and writing are often counterproductive for these students. The GT/LD student may become an expert in specific areas of interest when time is provided for individuals to do research projects. The acquisition of expertise through their independent studies enables GT/LD students to become valuable contributors to cooperative group projects.
Social Studies. The conceptual framework For the concept in aesthetics and art criticism, see .
A conceptual framework is used in research to outline possible courses of action or to present a preferred approach to a system analysis project. of social studies is based on content and process. Students are responsible for learning the historical, economic, political, geographic, and cultural content standards. Students are expected to construct understandings through systems of processing information, critical thinking, and problem solving. Thematic units, simulations, hands-on activities and projects, the use of various forms of media, integration of the visual and the performing arts, and extension/enrichment activities work well with GT/LD students. Instruction led by textbook reading and focusing on facts rather than understanding the concepts, does not work for GT/LD students.
Assessment and Evaluation
Students and teachers collaborate on the evaluation/assessment methods and tools that will give an accurate picture of student understanding of both content and process material. Evaluations are based on instruction and reflect the attainment of the key concepts and basic understandings that are the focus of the curriculum. Providing objectives, study guides, vocabulary, memory strategies, rubrics, and support and clarification for embedded questions aid students in accurately sharing what they know. Models of appropriate responses to prompts are helpful. Differentiation in evaluation/assessments is important. With accommodations, students may audiotape au·di·o·tape
1. A relatively narrow magnetic tape used to record sound for subsequent playback.
2. A tape recording of sound.
tr.v. responses, use a graphic organizer in lieu of Instead of; in place of; in substitution of. It does not mean in addition to. paragraph responses, create a model, or give a speech.
Evaluation/assessments are designed to maximize the student's demonstration of her/his knowledge of concepts and content. Lengthy essays, penalties for spelling in content areas, time limits, matching tasks, and the like may not communicate clearly a student's understanding of course material. Attention is also given to the formatting of evaluation/assessments in order to circumvent visual processing Visual processing is the sequence of steps that information takes as it flows from visual sensors to cognitive processing. The sensors may be zoological eyes or they may be cameras or sensor arrays that sense various portions of the electromagnetic spectrum. difficulties.
Succeeding in the General Education Classroom
Based on an analysis of what works in the GT/LD Center Programs, the best practices used in educating GT/LD students in any setting can be summarized in four major components: gifted and talented instruction in the student's area of strength; opportunities for the instruction of skills and strategies in academic areas which are affected by the student's disability; an appropriately differentiated program, including individualized instructional adaptations and accommodations systematically provided to students; and comprehensive case management to coordinate all aspects of the student's individual educational plan.
The most important component in the education of GT/LD students is providing gifted and talented instruction in the student's area of strength. Instruction emphasizes problem solving, reasoning and critical thinking, and includes extension and elaboration of the regular curriculum. Classroom organization is flexible, yet structured with opportunities for collaborative goal setting, significant peer interactions, and cooperative learning cooperative learning Education theory A student-centered teaching strategy in which heterogeneous groups of students work to achieve a common academic goal–eg, completing a case study or a evaluating a QC problem. See Problem-based learning, Socratic method. . GT/LD students receive this GT instruction in the least restrictive environment in which they can receive educational benefit. In order to benefit from GT instruction in a typical classroom setting, GT/LD students need educators to utilize appropriate strategies. Implementing these strategies involves close collaboration between special educators and general educators. By receiving GT instruction along with special education, GT/LD students develop their full potential.
GT/LD students need instruction in skills and strategies in academic areas that are affected by the student's disability. Instruction may be needed in one or more of the following areas: writing, reading, math calculations, organizational skills, test-taking skills, self-determination skills and social skills. These improved skills allow students even greater success in the development of their gifts. Skills and strategy instruction are accomplished through direct instruction and/or integrated into content instruction. Instruction in this area includes helping students to develop an awareness of their strengths and weaknesses and the ability to advocate for what they need in order to be successful.
Teachers adapt their programs by utilizing a multisensory approach that emphasizes student's strengths and interests. One successful example of this approach is the integration of art and drama into the curriculum within the middle school Center Program that serves as a model for general education. An award winning partnership with a local art college has integrated art and drama into all curriculum areas, resulting in demonstration of both greater motivation and greater mastery of the curricular objectives among students. An art specialist from the college works with teachers to identify key concepts in content areas and find ways that art can be used in both learning activities and assessment. In all of the GT/LD Center Programs, teachers use similar processes for integrating the arts.
GT/LD students need an appropriately differentiated program in order to be successful. Appropriate differentiation includes instructional adaptations and accommodations systematically provided to students. Instruction and assignments are structured in such a way that all students succeed to their fullest potential. Resources for teachers such as the State of the Art Handbook (MCPS, 1998) detail many appropriate adaptations and accommodations that obviate ob·vi·ate
tr.v. ob·vi·at·ed, ob·vi·at·ing, ob·vi·ates
To anticipate and dispose of effectively; render unnecessary. See Synonyms at prevent. student's disabilities, allowing them to understand and master material in a manner appropriate to their strengths. Utilizing appropriate assistive technology, which may include word processors, portable keyboards Either a very small keyboard or a full-size keyboard that can be folded into a small unit for travel. Portable keyboards are available for PDAs and other handhelds as well as laptops. See virtual keyboard. , electronic spellers, calculators, books on tape, speech-to-text and text-to-speech software, helps GT/LD students to succeed. Methodologies such as team-teaching allow students to participate in GT classes while receiving the supports that are necessary for them to be successful.
Crucial for ensuring that all other components are in place for the GT/LD student, the final component is comprehensive case management. The case manager, most often the special education resource teacher, must utilize the skills of a wide variety of professionals to build a team that includes students and parents. The case manager communicates with all involved staff regarding the student's strengths and needs as well as appropriate adaptations and accommodations. The case manager coordinates all aspects of the student's individual educational plan, making sure the student is both challenged and supported.
Mr. and Mrs. Anderson were relieved and somewhat surprised as they left the team meeting for their son, Matthew, at his new school. Matthew was a complicated student with great gifts and significant challenges. In the past, they had received many contacts from the school about the problems that existed, but few positive comments or solutions. This year they had been called to come to the school before the year even began to plan for Matthew' s first year in middle school. Matthew's English teacher, who was also the sixth grade team leader, volunteered to tell all staff about the appropriate adaptations and accommodations Matthew would need. The teacher described the special education instruction that she would be providing to address Matthew's needs in writing and organization. The team leader would coordinate the communication between the general educators, Matthew, and his parents and would communicate regularly with the special education teacher. The team leader spoke about how bright Matthew was and suggested that he should be involved in some GT classes. The special educator said she would communicate with the counselor, who recommended that Matthew participate in a new group to help students advocate for themselves when talking with teachers about their strengths and needs. Matthew agreed to participate in the counseling group and to check in with the resource teacher at the beginning and end of each day to clarify his assignments and make sure he had the needed materials. Mr. and Mrs. Anderson agreed to check Matthew's planbook each night and communicate with staff via e-mail on a regular basis. The team recommended that Matthew start the year in GT classes for science and social studies with a review before the second marking period began to evaluate his progress and to make recommendations for the next marking period. The principal reviewed each person's responsibilities and set the date for a progress review. Mr. and Mrs. Anderson and Matthew left the meeting feeling optimistic that the new school year would be Matthew's best yet.
Matthew's success that school year was aided by a team approach implemented by the educators who serve gifted students with learning disabilities in their home schools. The successful planning and implementation of their program, whether in the mainstream situation or in the Center Programs, becomes the responsibility of the school administrator, the general educators, the special educators (special education resource teacher, speech and language teacher, occupational therapist, physical therapist) the school counselor A school counselor is a counselor and educator who works in schools, and have historically been referred to as "guidance counselors" or "educational counselors," although "Professional School Counselor" is now the preferred term. , the student, and the parent.
Designing a classroom like the ones described here, be it a GT/LD Center class or a general education class, does not happen serendipitously. It requires careful analysis, planning, and thoughtful implementation. Key to its success is the educator's adoption of the underlying belief that these students are gifted first and learning disabled second. Once this attitude prevails, developing the climate in which the students feel safe and can achieve is a natural outcome. Providing appropriate accommodations with the understanding that one is leveling the playing field rather than giving unfair advantage is also key.
The success of this program is dependent upon professional development of those who work with this special student population focusing on definition, identification, and best practices in programming for GT/LD students. It includes opportunities to attend county, state, and national conferences or institutes on topics related to the instruction of GT/LD students. Professional leave is granted so educators may participate in these sessions with the intent of learning the material and implementing it with their students. Professional development is also accomplished through school-based in-service workshops, staff meetings, and team or individual meetings.
During school-based, half-day or full-day training sessions, a variety of topics related to GT/LD students are addressed. Administrators, special education staff, counselors, GT Committee members, and grade-level teams collaborate to meet the needs of GT/LD students within the school. Based on a needs assessment, in-service workshops are designed to introduce and/or develop instructional resources, materials, and strategies to be used with students. For example, in-service workshops may include topics such as building positive attitudes, a deeper understanding of the characteristics, strengths, and needs of the GT/LD population, conflict resolution strategies, strategies for integrating arts instruction into content areas, thinking strategies such as Bloom's Taxonomy (1956) and Edward deBono's Thinking Hats (1986), Howard Gardner's Multiple Intelligences theory (1983), utilizing mentors, and strategies on how to differentiate instruction. Development also includes a review of current best practices in the areas of reading, writing, organization, memory, metacognition Metacognition refers to thinking about cognition (memory, perception, calculation, association, etc.) itself or to think/reason about one's own thinking. Types of knowledge , and the use of technology.
Staff meetings are a time for professional engagement. Due to the shorter length of this type of meeting, one concept, strategy, idea, or issue is addressed. For example, keeping up-to-date on current research is important. Therefore, in this forum, a recent journal article related to the GT/LD population is distributed and discussed with staff members. Team or individual meetings also offer excellent opportunities for development. The resource teacher shares, with a teacher or team, an effective adaptation or accommodation for a GT/LD student. In this setting, questions, concerns, and plans are focused on individual students and their unique strengths and needs. The immediate transfer and application of training takes place in the classroom.
By using the "what works" and "what doesn't work" suggestions from the field experience of teachers in MCPS as a basis for appropriate training, educators will build their knowledge, confidence, educational techniques and strategies for the successful instruction of GT/LD students.
The goal of education is to provide opportunities for students to build knowledge, skills, and attitudes in order to become successful, contributing members to a global society. The comprehensive program found in MCPS for the GT/LD population, makes it one of the most unique in the country. Successful, practical programming is based on solid research and theory. GT/LD students are guaranteed access to accelerated and enriched instruction that maintains the rigor and high standards expected of all gifted students. Gifted students with special needs are, therefore, not to be excluded from this promise. In fact, according to Thomas West Thomas West can refer to:
1. The inherent mental ability to imagine or remember scenes.
2. The imagination.
in one's mind's eye in one's imagination
, it is these very students who have made and will make some of the most extraordinary contributions to our world.
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distinctive feature, peculiarity
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Bloom, B. S., et al. (1956). Taxonomy of educational objectives The Taxonomy of Educational Objectives, often called Bloom's Taxonomy, is a classification of the different objectives and skills that educators set for students (learning objectives). handbook I: Cognitive domain cognitive domain,
n area of study that deals with the processes and measurable results of study, as well as the practical ability to apply intelligence. . New York New York, state, United States
New York, Middle Atlantic state of the United States. It is bordered by Vermont, Massachusetts, Connecticut, and the Atlantic Ocean (E), New Jersey and Pennsylvania (S), Lakes Erie and Ontario and the Canadian province of : David McKay.
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Of or relating to dyslexia.
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aspen: see willow.
Aspen, city, United States
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Small Business Administration
Noun 1. SBA - an independent agency of the United States government that protects the interests of small businesses and ensures that they receive a fair share of government .
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Variant of interpretive.
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President John F. Kennedy’s legislative program, encompassing such areas as civil rights, the economy, and foreign relations. [Am. Hist.: WB, K:212]
See : Aid, Governmental .
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1. A chronological record of the events of successive years.
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Dr. Waveline Starnes, Virginia Tucker, Dr. Jean Barton, Barbara Leister leis·ter
A three-pronged spear used in fishing.
tr.v. leis·tered, leis·ter·ing, leis·ters
To spear (a fish) with a leister. , Martha Abolins, Larry March, Caroline Peloso, Marion Finkbinder
Richard Weinfeld is Montgomery County (Maryland) Public Schools' first full time Instructional Specialist for Gifted and Talented/Learning Disabled programs for which he coordinates the elementary, middle, and senior high school Center Programs for GT/LD students. He also conducts the training of school staff and consultation with both parents and staff regarding appropriate interventions and program placement for individual GT/LD students. Sue Jeweler, a retired teacher, is currently an educational consultant to the Montgomery County Maryland Public Schools. Much of her 30-year career with MCPS has been spent teaching elementary school; training student teachers from area universities; training teachers in conflict-resolution strategies, gifted and talented instruction, differentiation and accommodation strategies; and also in writing curriculum for conflict resolution and social studies. Linda Barnes-Robinson, a nationally recognized trainer and consultant in conflict management and mediation mediation, in law, type of intervention in which the disputing parties accept the offer of a third party to recommend a solution for their controversy. Mediation has long been a part of international law, frequently involving the use of an international commission, , is a mediator mediator n. a person who conducts mediation. A mediator is usually a lawyer, or retired judge, but can be a non-attorney specialist in the subject matter (like child custody) who tries to bring people and their disputes to early resolution through a conference. in private practice. She specializes in issues involving children; including parent/child mediation, special education mediation and custody/visitation in family mediation. Betty Shevitz developed and coordinates the GT/LD Mentor Program for the Division of Accelerated and Enriched Instruction in Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS). Prior to working with the mentor program, Ms. Shevitz was involved in a special program designed for identifying and nurturing gifted students in underserved populations.