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  • 2020 Gifted Education Policy Symposium and Conference

    Celebrating Gifted Education: Reflecting on our Past, Impacting our Future


    2020 Palmarium Award Recipient

    Dr. Tracy L. Cross

    College of William and Mary

    The Office of the Daniel L. Ritchie Endowed Chair in Gifted Education at the Morgridge College of Education is pleased to announce Dr. Tracy L. Cross as the recipient of the 2020 Palmarium Award, an annual award given to an individual who most exemplifies the vision of the Office of the Daniel L. Ritchie Endowed Chair in Gifted Education. The office seeks a future in which giftedness will be understood, embraced, and systemically nurtured. Recipients of the Palmarium Award demonstrate the vision through understanding of giftedness in the areas of:

    • Practice by impacting graduate education, pre-service, and P-12 community
    • Outreach through advocacy at a variety of levels (local, national, international)
    • Publications informing teachers, children, parents, policy-makers, and academia
    • Research influencing theory, practice, and policy

    “Through the generosity of the Considine Family Foundation, the Palmarium Award provides professional acknowledgment and tangible support to eminent leaders in the field of Gifted Education,” said Norma Hafenstein, the Daniel L. Ritchie Endowed Chair in Gifted Education. “Dr. Cross’ commitment to the social and emotional needs of gifted learners in inspirational. We are pleased to recognize Tracy’s visionary leadership in support of mental health challenges and positive intervention.”


    Keynote: An Ecological Model of Suicidal Behavior Among Gifted Children and Adolescents

    Nothing is more tragic than a child dying by his or her own hand. Each year, thousands of students die by suicide. At this time in history, it is difficult to discern how many students with gifts and talents (SWGT) are among the thousands of children and adolescents who take their own lives. Limited research indicates they are not more likely to engage in suicidal behaviors than other students. They do, however, have unique risk and protective factors. Risk factors can accumulate to outweigh protective factors, causing a downward trajectory toward psychache, a condition of intense psychological pain, and hopelessness. Without intervention, SWGT suffering from psychache are in imminent danger of suicide. This presentation outlines an ecological model of suicidal behavior among SWGT. The model provides an explanation and framework for future research and prevention efforts.


    Policy Symposium Panelists & Moderator  
    James T. Webb Influence Scholars


    Dr. Sylvia Rimm – 2013 Palmarium Recipient

    Dr. Sylvia Rimm, our 2013 Palmarium recipient, is a psychologist who directs the Family Achievement Clinic in Ohio and specializes in working with gifted children and adults.  She is also a clinical professor at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine and counsels at Menlo Park Academy, a K-8 charter school for gifted children.  Dr. Rimm speaks and publishes internationally on parenting, giftedness, creativity and underachievement.  Among her many books are Education of the Gifted and Talented, Why Bright Kids Get Poor Grades and What You Can Do About It, How to Parent So Children Will Learn, Keys to Parenting the Gifted Child, See Jane Win®, How Jane Won, and See Jane Win for Girls.  See Jane Win® was a New York Times Best Seller and was featured on The Oprah Winfrey Show and in People magazine.  Her newest book is Jane Wins Again: Can Women Have It All? A Fifteen Year Follow Up. Dr. Rimm was a longtime contributor to NBC’s Today Show, hosted Family Talk on public radio nationally, and served on the Board of Directors of the National Association for Gifted Children.  She has received the prestigious Anne F. Isaacs, Robert Rossmiller and Palmarium awards for her lifetime contributions to gifted children.


    Dr. Julia Link Roberts – 2015 Palmarium Recipient

    Dr. Julia Link Roberts, our 2015 Palmarium recipient, is the Mahurin Professor of Gifted Studies at Western Kentucky University. She is also the Executive Director of The Center for Gifted Studies and The Carol Martin Gatton Academy of Mathematics and Science in Kentucky. She is active in international, national, and state organizations. Dr. Roberts is one of seven members of the Executive Committee of the World Council for Gifted and Talented Children, past-president of The Association for the Gifted (a division of the Council for Exceptional Children), co-chair of the Legislative and Advocacy Committee for the National Association for Gifted Children, a member of the Kentucky Advisory Council for Gifted and Talented Education, and a board member of the Kentucky Association for Gifted Education. Her writing has focused upon differentiation, assessment, STEM schools, advocacy, and gifted education. Dr. Roberts received the first NAGC David Belin Advocacy Award, the 2011 Acorn Award as the outstanding professor at a Kentucky four-year college or university, and the 2011 William T. Nallia Award for innovative leadership from the Kentucky Association for School Administrators. Dr. Roberts was the recipient of the 2015 Palmarium Award. She directs summer and Saturday programming for gifted children as well as travels internationally with high school students.


    Dr. Frank C. Worrell – 2019 Palmarium Recipient

    Dr. Frank C. Worrell, our 2019 Palmarium recipient, is a Professor in the Graduate School of Education at the University of California, Berkeley, where he serves as Director of the School Psychology Program, Faculty Director of the Academic Talent Development Program, and Faculty Director of the California College Preparatory Academy.  He also holds an affiliate appointment in the Social and Personality Area in the Psychology Department and was a Visiting Professor in the Faculty of Education and Social Work at the University of Auckland (2014–2017).  His areas of expertise include at-risk youth, cultural identities, gifted education/academic talent development, scale development and validation, teacher effectiveness, time perspective, and the translation of psychological research findings into school-based practice. Dr. Worrell is a recipient of UC Berkeley’s Chancellor’s Award for Advancing Institutional Excellence (2011), the Distinguished Scholar Award from the National Association for Gifted Children (2013), the Distinguished Contributions to Research Award from Division 45 (the Society for the Psychological Study of Culture, Ethnicity, and Race) of APA (2015), and the Outstanding International Psychologist Award from Division 52 (International Psychology) of APA (2018).  Dr. Worrell has ongoing international collaborations in China, Ethiopia, Germany, Iran, Israel, Italy, Japan, New Zealand, Nigeria, Peru, Slovenia, Sweden, Trinidad and Tobago, Turkey, and the United Kingdom.


    Dr. Norma Hafenstein - Daniel L. Ritchie Endowed Chair of Gifted Education, University of Denver

    Norma Lu Hafenstein, Ph.D., is the Daniel L. Ritchie Endowed Chair in Gifted Education at the University of Denver, Morgridge College of Education, Department of Teaching and Learning Sciences. A former teacher and administrator, Hafenstein brings decades of experience and expertise in graduate-level and K-12 teaching, teacher preparation, program development and evaluation, supervision, and research. Hafenstein led the development and implementation of the Carnegie Project on the Education Doctorate (CPED) for the University of Denver’s Education Doctorate in Curriculum and Instruction with a specialization in Gifted Education. She was a member of the Colorado Department of Education’s Standards Development Team where she helped to design the Gifted Education Core, Specialist, and Director endorsements. Hafenstein analyzes pre-service teacher training related to the needs of gifted learners and was recently named Chair of the World Council for Gifted and Talented Children’s international committee to develop teacher educator standards that support gifted education. In 1984, Hafenstein founded the Ricks Center for Gifted Children, a private school for preschool through eighth-grade gifted children on the University of Denver campus. Hafenstein was the founding director of the Institute for the Development of Gifted Education at the University of Denver, from 1998 through 2016, where she led efforts in research, publications, outreach, and service to the community. Publications by the Institute included the monograph series Perspectives in Gifted Education with special topics in Young Gifted Children, Twice-Exceptional Children, Complexities of Emotional Development, Spirituality and Hope, Diverse Gifted Learners, and Creativity. In 2017, Hafenstein edited Perspectives in Gifted Education: Influences and Impacts of the Education Doctorate on Gifted Education and is finalizing 7th Volume focusing on Legal Issues in Gifted Education. 


    Moderator: Dr. Susan Assouline, Belin-Blank Center, University of Iowa

    Dr. Susan G. Assouline is the director of the Belin-Blank Center, holds the Myron and Jacqueline N. Blank Endowed Chair in Gifted Education, and is a professor of school psychology at the University of Iowa. Upon completion of her doctorate, she was awarded a two-year post-doctoral fellowship at the Study of Mathematically Precocious Youth (SMPY) at Johns Hopkins University. Throughout her career, she has been especially interested in identification of academic talent in elementary students, academic acceleration as an intervention for advanced students, and twice-exceptionality. She is a codeveloper (with Nicholas Colangelo and Ann Shoplik) of the Iowa Acceleration Scale, a tool designed to guide educators and parents through decisions about grade-skipping students. In 2015, she co-edited with Nicholas Colangelo, Joyce Van Tassel-Baska, and Ann Lupkowski-Shoplik, A Nation Empowered: Evidence Trumps the Excuses Holding Back America’s Brightest Students. She received the NAGC 2016 Distinguished Scholar Award.


    James T. Webb, Ph.D., (1939 – 2018) was recognized nationally as one of the most influential psychologists on gifted education. Dr. Webb wrote 16 books, over 75 professional publications, three DVDs, and many research papers for psychology conventions or for conferences regarding gifted and talented children. Six of his books were on gifted children and adults, and four won “Best Book“ awards. In 1981, Dr. Webb established SENG, a national nonprofit organization that provides information, training, conferences, and workshops, and served as Chair of SENG’s Professional Advisory Committee. In 2011, he was recognized with the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Arizona Association for Gifted children, the Community Service Award from the National Association for Gifted Children, and the Upton Sinclair Award by Most recently, Dr. Webb was President of Great Potential Press, Inc. Dr. Webb received the 2017 Palmarium Award at the University of Denver’s Gifted Education conference, “Transformational Leadership: Inspirations and Issues in Gifted Education”, where Dr. Webb was honored for exemplifying “a future in which giftedness will be understood, embraced and systematically nurtured throughout the nation and the world.” We want to honor Dr. Webb by continuing his legacy through encouraging others to implement his work within their reach. James T. Webb Influence Scholars are selected professionals who are committed to improving the lives of gifted and talented individuals. The Influence Scholars will continue to learn theories and practices in gifted education and seek to apply this knowledge in their own setting. The recipients were given the opportunity to present the results of their work at our 2020 Gifted Education Conference.

    Anna Armitage, MS - James T. Webb Influence Scholar

    Anna is the Gifted/Talented and Advanced Programming Coordinator at Falcon Creek Middle School in the Cherry Creek School District, as well as a first-year student in the Doctor of Education: Curriculum & Instruction Gifted Specialization at the University of Denver. Her research and areas of practice include identification and talent development of underserved populations, Advanced Learning Plan implementation, teacher perceptions and understanding of giftedness, independent study for highly gifted students, creativity in the classroom, and meeting the unique needs of twice-exceptional students.


    Joi Lin, MS - James T. Webb Influence Scholar

    Joi is a former middle-school math teacher and a second-year graduate student working on an Ed.D. in Gifted Education at the Morgridge College of Education, University of Denver. She is interested in researching and supporting the career development and well-being of gifted and talented students and adults.


    Stephanie Peralta, MA - James T. Webb Influence Scholar

    Stephanie Peralta is workgin on her Ed.D. in Curriculum and Instruction  at the Morgridge College of Education. She completed her Undergraduate and master’s degrees from DU as well. She is specializing in Gifted Education, with the hopes of becoming a Gifted Coordinator in Denver Public Schools in the future. She hopes to provide and create safe spaces for students of color who may be gifted, to further their education, to be recognized and identified. Their access is her passion. 




  • Preconference Workshops

    Dr. Bob Seney - Creating Empathy and Understanding through Bibliotherapy

    Seney - Creating Empathy and Understanding Through Bibliotherapy.pdf

    What fiction does best is to create a space for readers to gain empathy with others, even if their situations are different. -Carlos Hernandez: Sal and Gabi Break the Universe

    In presentations, when I reference Bibliotherapy, most questions are about this strategy – even though it was not the focus of the presentation! Obviously, this reflects a strong interest in this best practice strategy. Bibliotherapy is a counselling technique, adapted for classroom use, and is a tool for helping people deal with problems or issues through reading novels or short stories about characters that possess similar problems. Because reading appeals to the imagination, Bibliotherapy provides an interaction between readers and the story/action of the novel, leading to a less threatening situation than direct confrontation, thus “defusing” the problem. The idea is to help individuals realize that others have the same
    problems and that they are not alone. This is often the first step in effectively dealing with a situation and creating empathy. This technique has become a popular strategy in working with gifted students. Since many of our gifted students are avid readers, Bibliotherapy is a very effective way to respond to their social/emotional needs. Because we are using gifted students’ strength areas: i.e. reading and problem solving, we often experience success. Bibliotherapy can be used to explain problems/issues; to define problems/issues; to solve problems/issues; and to create empathy. In this session, we will define and describe the strategy, provide guidelines for implementation, and share resources that will help participants locate literature that directly addresses a variety of issues. A Resource List will be provided.


    Robert W. Seney, PhD Professor Emeritus/Gifted Studies, Mississippi University for Women, has worked in education for over 46 years, 40 of those in gifted education. He was a classroom instructor, district administrator, head of private schools, and university professor. He is most known for his advocacy of using Young Adult Literature with Gifted Readers and his work with gifted readers. At MUW, he directed the graduate programs in Education and was the primary instructor in the Masters of Gifted Studies program. He was also the director of the Mississippi Governor’s School, a three-week summer residential program for gifted high school students. Upon retirement, the Mississippi University Board named him Professor Emeritus for his educational service to the state of Mississippi, the university, and the field of gifted education. He has been active in several state gifted organizations, NAGC, and the World Council for Gifted Children. He was the 2005 World Conference Chair in New Orleans.

    Dr. Jessica Howard - How to fly when you feel like falling…Understanding the social emotional needs of gifted learners 

    SEAD - DU conference note catcher.docx

    SEAD - Anxiety presentation flyer 2019.pdf

    SEAD - Social-Emotional resources 2020.docx

    SEAD - Strategies.docx 

    It is difficult to help students if you do not know they are struggling. Low flyers are students that fly under the radar and avoid letting adults know when they need help. Gifted learners are often low flyers, wanting to appear as if everything is fine, when they are actually struggling. If not addressed, this can have negative, lifelong consequences. In this session, we will explore the factors that affect the social and emotional development of gifted learners. Understanding the underlying issues can assist practitioners, teachers, and parents as they support these students. Perfectionism, anxiety, and depression are often exacerbated by over excitabilities and asynchronous development. We will discuss the relationship between these topics and share strategies that are easy to implement and will allow students to overcome setbacks in order to foster lifelong success. Low flyers require proactive support to address their needs. Gifted girls are a large subgroup of low flyers. Female low flyers often deal with Imposter Syndrome and Horner’s Effect. We will spend time understanding the unique characteristics and needs of gifted girls, how to identify them, and ways to support their individual needs. If low flyers are not supported, they can become lost and disengaged in the world around them. They may lose their enjoyment in activities and collapse within themselves. Suicide rates are high for this type of student. We cannot let these amazing children fall through the cracks. It’s imperative to be highly aware and support them early and often as they move through childhood, adolescence, and young adulthood.


    Jessica Howard, EdD is the founder of the SEAD Program and has been involved in special education and gifted education for decades. The SEAD program offers an online platform for adolescents to learn about specific social and emotional topics. She has three children, 15-year-old twins and a 17-year-old. Jessica has been featured in Your Teen Magazine, presented at national and international conferences, and offers professional learning opportunities across Colorado and beyond. She holds a doctoral degree in curriculum & instruction specializing in gifted education, as well as master’s degrees in educational psychology & elementary education. A board member of the Colorado Academy of Educators for the Gifted, Talented & Creative, she has been worked in public schools, private schools, universities, and the Colorado Department of Education.

    Dr. Susan Daniels - Visual Learning & Teaching: Developing an Educator Toolbox of Strategies to Boost Engagement and Increase Retention

    Emojis . . . avatars . . . icons . . . Our world is becoming increasingly reliant on visual communication. Visual thinking, imagery, and imagination have long been recognized as key aspects of creative thinking and creative giftedness in both the arts and sciences. Yet our classrooms still heavily focus on traditional oral and written instruction. Visual thinking is essential to imagination, design, problem solving, and invention. Moreover, visual learning methods have shown to increase retention by 29%!
    Based on the visual triad model, Dr. Daniels channels over twenty years of research and experience into a comprehensive guide of creative and practical visual learning strategies that enable educators to rise to the challenges of 21st century education. In this talk, Dr. Daniels will look at how we can use the images we see, imagine, and depict while teaching and learning visually. She will examine research based on dual-coding theory, which illustrates how students learn best and have greater retention when working both visually and verbally. Attendees will develop a visual toolbox for use in visual learning and teaching.


    Susan Daniels, PhD, is Professor of Educational Psychology and Counseling at California State University
    – San Bernardino. She is also a co-founder and Educational Director of the Summit Center, with offices in Northern and Southern California. At the Summit Center, Dr. Daniels provides personality, creativity, and learning profile assessments for children and adolescents as part of the center’s comprehensive psycho-educational and neuropsychological evaluations. She is also available for consultation with families and schools. Dr. Daniels is an internationally recognized expert in the field of gifted education and creativity, with numerous publications and presentations given annually at educational and psychological conferences. She specializes in the social and emotional development of gifted children and adolescents, intensity and sensitivity of gifted individuals across the lifespan, and the development of creative potential. Dr. Daniels is co-editor and co-author of Living with Intensity (Great Potential Press). In addition, and along with Dr. Peters, Dr. Daniels is co-author of Raising Creative Kids (Great Potential Press). Her most recent book Visual Learning and Teaching: An Essential Guide for Educators K-8 was published by Free Spirit Publishing.

    Dr. Lindsey Reinert and Dr. Ruthi Manning-Freeman - Why are We Ignoring the Researched Benefits of Acceleration?

    Reinert and Manning-Freeman - IDGE 2020 Pre conference Why are We Ignoring the Researched Benefits of Acceleration.pdf

    In light of the current national debate regarding the elimination of gifted programs, Renzulli and Reis (2019) state, “The recent controversy over the elimination of gifted education programs in New York City’s public schools must be viewed in the larger context of the role that schools need to play in changing world conditions, career development opportunities, the job market and the ways in which we can better prepare all of our young people for happy and productive futures.” This session will provide resources and ideas to consider when programming for gifted learners; not eliminating gifted programming but rather changing what gifted programming could look like.
    The overwhelming research surrounding the academic benefits of acceleration and peer ability grouping continues to face opposition with many public school districts choosing to turn their backs on the research and best practices of acceleration (Colangelo, Assouline, &; Gross, 2004). Borland (1989) promotes, “Acceleration is one of the most curious phenomena in the field of education. I can think of no other issue in which there is such a gulf between what research has revealed and what most practitioners believe” (p.185).
    During the past two decades of research, evidence supporting acceleration has continued to accumulate (Kulik 1984, Rogers, 1991; Colangelo, Assouline, & Gross, 2004; &; Colangelo, Assouline, Van-Tassel-Baska, &; Lupkowski-Shoplik, 2015). Despite the evidence, advocates remain concerned that educators continue to hold negative attitudes and schools and districts remain reluctant to implement acceleration models. This session will describe twenty different types of acceleration options, discuss national, state, and local acceleration policy, and engage participants in collegial discourse addressing these dimensions of acceleration. Educators will be empowered to be change agents in helping to remove barriers concerning acceleration such as scheduling issues that can often block creative programming to meet students’ learning needs. Doctors Reinert and Manning-Freeman are experts in the field of gifted education and specialize in Early Access, a form of acceleration, as well as meeting the unique individual academic and social emotional needs of the students they serve.


    Lindsey Reinert, EdD is an adjunct faculty at the University of Denver in Curriculum & Instruction, a GT Resource Teachers for Jefferson County Public Schools supporting pre-K through 12th grade students, schools, and families, and has her own educational consulting business; Little Red Backpack, LLC. She is the presiding secretary for the Gifted Education State Advisory Committee (GE-SAC) and is Co-Presiding Governor for the Colorado Academy of Educators for the Gifted, Talented and Creative (CAEGTC). She has actively worked in the field of gifted education for the past 20 years.


    Ruthi Manning-Freeman, EdD is serving Academy District 20 Schools, Colorado Springs as the Assistant Director for Learning Services responsible for Gifted and Talented Programs, Enrichment Programs and Foreign Exchange Programs.  Ruthi has an interest in the arts and oversees two large partnership grants with The New York Metropolitan Opera Company and the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts.  Ruthi is a graduate of Chatham College, earned her master’s degree at The University of Virginia, and her Doctorate in Gifted Education from the University of Denver.  Ruthi is passionate about gifted young learners and acceleration in all forms.

  • Breakout Session A

    Anna Armitage, MA – Increasing Opportunity: Integration of Choice for All

    Armitage - Increasing Opportunity Integration of Choice for All.pdf

    James T. Webb Influence Scholar

    Increasing Opportunity: Integrating Choice for All will provide guidelines and examples for secondary teachers looking to start or increase their integration of choice in the classroom. Choice is essential for gifted students, but it benefits all. Guidelines will be differentiated for student needs’ and teacher comfort with choice in the classroom. Special attention will be paid to creating choice for students who struggle with ambiguity, perfectionism, underdeveloped executive functioning skills, and work avoidance.

    Joi Lin, MS – Exploring the Phenomena of Gifted Graduate Students Studying Gifted Education

    Lin - Exploring the Phenomena of Gifted Graduate Students Studying Gifted Education.pdf

    James T. Webb Influence Scholar

    This session will reflect on the educational experiences of gifted graduate students who have taken graduate coursework in gifted education. A phenomenological research study was conducted using a convenience sample of the researcher's peers. Graduate students, who self-identified as gifted, completed two interviews designed to explore their experiences as a gifted student, experiences studying gifted education, and goals for their future impact as educators of gifted and talented students.

    Stephanie Peralta, MA – Early Childhood Gifted Students of Color: A Curriculum Implementation Exploration

    Peralta - Early Childhood Gifted Students of Color A Curriculum Implementation Exploration.pdf

    James T. Webb Influence Scholar

    Early Childhood Gifted Students of Color are a population that needs further identification and support. This presentation will aim to answer questions about general educator knowledge surrounding the topic of early childhood gifted students of color, and how discrepancies between that of general educators and their knowledge of gifted students can be reconvened. The presentation will encapsulate the researcher's intent to collect data and the protocols to be used as mechanisms in understanding the discrepancies that may exist between general educator knowledge of gifted students of color and curriculum based in the literature.

    Colleen Urlik, EdD – Working with School Leaders

    Building strong relationships with leaders who influence gifted programming at the school level is essential to providing equitable gifted programming. In a state where local control is implemented, it is critical for gifted leaders to understand how to best work with and support school leaders. During this session, we will analyze how collaboration with school leaders and challenges within the site based gifted programming have traditionally been approached. We will explore and apply a new framework to collaborating with school leaders, understanding issues within site based gifted programs, and creating long-lasting solutions.

    Connie Brown, MEd – From Socrates to STEAM: Student Agency Impacts the Future

    Brown - From Socrates to STEAM.pdf

    While Agency feels like a new buzzword in education, it has been around since the 5th Century, BCE. What does it really mean?  Why does it matter?  How has it changed (and stayed the same) throughout all these centuries? How can we help our students develop it, and why should we?  This session is for any educator who is hoping to understand the meaning of this concept as well as explore opportunities to inspire and invigorate their most complex learners to become the best version of themselves.

    Brenda Kay Hardman, EdD & Dialne McCall, MS - The Secondary School Leader’s Role in Gifted Education: Building for Success?

    Small and McCall - The Secondary School Leader's Role in Gifted Education.pdf

    School administrators of the future have more ability then they realize over how to meet the gifted student’s needs. With knowledge of state and federal standards, the building administrator can create innovate programs specific to their population. We present examples on how to staff a school and create consistent accountability structures at little or no cost. An innovative school leader is pivotal to the success of gifted secondary students as they build a master schedule which facilitates their diverse populations with unique curricular needs. Participants will be inspired to purposefully align scheduling and programs to meet the gifted student’s interests.

    Terri Lee Nielsen, MA - Sharpen Your Tools: The Endrew F. Supreme Court Decision

    Nielsen - Endrew F Presentation.pdf

    This session maximizes the opportunity to share our experiences with several important Education Law tools that may touch the lives of Gifted and other Learner types, such as ALPs, 504 Plans, IEPs, Reading Plans, Independent Learning Plans, FBAs, School-wide MTSS and PBIS planning, along with legislatively required (in Colo) ICAP career planning that often begins in "the middle years" but is required for 9th - 12th grade students, along with a quick magnifier on some specific criteria that help lay the foundation for success for these documents.

    Benjamin Hershelman & Jennifer Fredrickson - Transitions are Internal: Mindshift Matters

    Hershelman and Fredrickson - Middle School Transition Process.pdf

    If change is external and transition is internal, what structures might support a MINDSHIFT that paves the way for a successful and smooth transition from elementary school to middle school?  Investigating, strengths, super-powers, passions, challenges and catalysts WITH students allows teams to identify tools and resources that support the learner and the learning ahead of the transition. Explore how we embraced the transition MIND SHIFT and created partnerships and pathways to prepare for successful transitions to middle school for students, educators, and families!

    Aleah Dacey, MA - The Harkness Method: 21st Century ‘Power’ Skills and Gifted Learning

    Dacey - Harkness Presentation.pdf

    Dacey - Overview of Harkness Presentation for Gifted Conference 2020.pdf

    Dacey - Harkness Materials for Presentation.pdf

    Gifted learners have an opportunity to explore and receive feedback on 21st century ‘power’ skills, like communication, problem-solving, critical thinking, and collaboration, through the use of responsive, student-led Harkness discussions. This strategy encourages students to practice reasoning, analysis, and argument while simultaneously developing impulse control, taking risks, negotiating conflict, managing time, and practicing flexibility. In this session, attendees will receive an overview of the Harkness method and listen to samples of student-led discussions along with sample rubrics, student reflections, and feedback strategies.

  • Breakout Session B

    Sylvia Rimm, PhD & Julia Link Roberts, EdD – Gifted Curriculum and Social-Emotional Health—The Crucial Connection

    Rimm and Link Roberts - Gifted Curriculum and Social-Emotional Health The Crucial Connection.pdf

    2013 & 2015 Palmarium Award Recipients

    Curriculum that is challenging is a necessary component of appropriate schooling for high-ability students. Strategies must remove the learning ceiling at the same time that learning opportunities are built around complex content. Rigor and relevance combine to encourage the development of confident, creative and competent learners.

    In the early days of gifted education, educators assumed that advanced curriculum alone would ensure dedicated learning.  While some students adjusted well to new challenges, others equally gifted, defensively avoided them. Some struggled with perfectionistic anxiety and ignored challenges that demanded discipline and concentration. Some came from enriched home environments, while others came from diverse backgrounds that obscured their giftedness. Still others masked their giftedness because of disabilities or emotional exceptionalities.

    Educators, counselors and families discovered the crucial connection of social-emotional needs with advanced curriculum. That challenge continues and leads to under identification and underachievement of gifted students. Our presentation will emphasize that crucial connection of curriculum and social-emotional learning and how educators and parents can deliver the appropriate magical combination.

    Marla Caviness-French, MEd - Connecting to the Quantitative Strengths of Gifted Readers

    Caviness-French - Skills Your Child Needs for Different Math Subjects.pdf

    Caviness-French - MCF Quantitative Reasoning Strategies for the Classroom.pdf 

    Understanding and developing the quantitative strength areas of gifted and talented readers leads to deeper, richer thinking. Incorporating quantitative strategies into literacy classes will inspire readers to engage in text using a very different cognitive thinking style. Quantitative reasoning strategies are necessary job skills that need to be regularly incorporated into a wide variety of content areas to adequately prepare our students for their future career environment.

    Joi Lin, MS & Molly Isaacs-McLeod, JD, LLM - Making a Case: Advocating for Math Acceleration

    Lin and Isaacs-McLeod - Making a Case Advocating for Math Acceleration.pdf

    As educators, it is our responsibility to educate students at their true level of learning. Often, this requires advocating for student acceleration in any areas of advanced aptitude. In this session, we will reflect on the research surrounding the effectiveness and social and emotional impact of different types of math acceleration; discuss impacts of math acceleration interventions; and celebrate stories from the perspectives of a student who was accelerated in math, a teacher of accelerated math, and a parent who advocated for math acceleration. Join us to discuss tips for advocating for the appropriate math acceleration of your students.

    Anna Voth, MEd & Jennifer Polk, MEd - Affective Goal Setting with the Habits of Mind

    Voth and Polk - Affective Goal Setting with the Habits of Mind.pdf

    High levels of achievement are often the results of non-intellectual factors. Using the Habits of Mind to teach our students how to be successful thinkers is one way to reach those high levels of achievement. Changing the state of mind of our students and changing the ways they approach problems and situations can give them the skills needed to be successful in college and career. Using the work of Costa and Kallick I hope to give teachers the tools to write effective affective goals that will change the way our gifted students think about school and themselves as learners.

    Michelle Oslick, MA, Renee Cawley, LPC & Allison Armour, MSW – Unplugged: Frank Conversations About Supporting Gifted Learner’s Social Emotional Needs

    Oslick Cawley and Armour - Unplugged Frank Conversations Around Supporting Gifted Learner’s Social Emotional Needs.pdf

    In a time when reports of childhood mental health disorders are on the rise, and the capacity of mental health staff cannot keep pace with demand, meeting the social emotional needs of gifted learners can seem daunting.

    During this session, presenters will reflect on the past by sharing real world experiences and resources developed to provide vertically aligned SEL outcomes integrating NAGC and CAS standards as well as the CASEL model as a foundation for universal social emotional instruction. They will also share their vision of how these resources will impact the future of social Emotional Learning for gifted students.

    Felicia Lowman-Sikes, EdD - Is this Child Gifted? Characteristics Prevalent in Underserved Populations

    Lowman-Sikes - Is this child gifted.pdf

    This workshop will utilize profiles of gifted learners (K-12) from underserved populations to assist teachers and administrators as they learn characteristics that are present in rural students, English language learners, twice-exceptional students, and/or those who live in poverty. Workshop participants will work together to analyze student profiles and determine whether or not they would refer each student for a gifted education evaluation. Upon collaborating, participants will discover the true results from each student’s evaluation process, including special characteristics that may have hindered their identification. Participants will learn who initiated the referral process, none of whom were classroom teachers, and why classroom teachers often overlook similar students.
  • Breakout Session C

    Frank Worrell, PhD – Motivating Gifted and Talented Students

    2019 Palmarium Award Recipient

    Worrell - Motivation Talk Handout.pdf

    There is an assumption that gifted and talented students are always intrinsically motivated. However, these students are not always motivated to do what you want them to do and it is important that teachers know how to motivate gifted and talented students. In the first part of this presentation, Dr. Worrell will review several motivational frameworks that are useful for educators to know. In Part 2, participants will work on translating the frameworks into activities for the classroom so that participants have a chance to practice applying the motivational frameworks.

    Emmaly Perks, MA, CC - Implementing Transitional Talent Development Programs to Support Multipotentiality

    Perks - Implementing Transitional Talent Development Programs to Support Multipotentiality.pdf

    Perks - Handout.pdf

    From an early age, gifted students are often told they can excel in any career they imagine—they need only to choose. However, many gifted students experience difficulty selecting careers due to multipotentiality, or increased aptitude across multiple domains. One solution is to implement transitional talent development programs (TTDPs). Through the framework of a TTDP at the University of Colorado, this session will provide information on developing TTDPs for students of all ages. Attendees will learn how to identify multipotentiality, resolve issues around multipotentiality, and leave feeling empowered to select and develop high-quality TTDPs for gifted students in their lives.

    Lindsey Reinert, EdD & Jessica Howard, EdD - Educational Pathways: Thinking Outside the Box & Advocacy

    Reinert and Howard - IDGE 2020 Educational Pathways Thinking Outside the Box & Advocacy.pdf

    As we are well aware, the traditional school system often does not meet the intellectual and/or social-emotional needs of our gifted children. Luckily, in this age of technology, transition and open-enrollment, there are many options available for families. How can we leverage advocacy to address these options available to families?  Advocacy is "standing up or speaking up" (Corbell, 2000, p. 1) or "giving active support to a cause, putting out a call to take a position on an issue, and acting to see that it is resolved in a particular way" (Dettmer, 1995, p. 389). Through the lens of giftedness, Gallagher (1983) defined advocacy for gifted education as "a set of activities designed to change the allocation of resources to improve opportunities for the education of gifted and talented students" (p. 1).

    Courtney Klein, PsyD & Kendra Doukas, LMFT – The Resilience Project: Understanding School Violence

    Klein and Doukas - Trauma and School Violence.pdf

    Traumatic situations such as school violence and other life-threatening acts against children and adults continue to impact our community. We look back at our experiences and work to support parents, teachers, and other community members who need to be better equipped to take care of themselves and to speak with their children about understanding, recognizing, and preventing violence through knowledge and improved mental health care. Looking forward we need to increase stress management techniques, self-care for all ages, and understanding of when to be afraid, when to react, and when to enjoy life with security. Ardent Grove presenters will help adults to recognize and address signs of trauma in themselves and children.

    Traci Glover, MEd & Leena Weaver, EdS - Emotional Regulation in the World of Gifted and Talented

    Glover and Weaver - Emotional Regulation in Gifted and Talented Students.pdf

    When it comes to emotional well-being, gifted and talented students come with a unique set of challenges. Many students struggle with frustration tolerance and emotional regulation. We’ll review healthy versus unhealthy development and underlying causes of severe behavior including trauma, attachment, temperament, development, and entitlement, and how they play out with gifted and talented students. Participants will learn what an emotionally healing environment is and the need for healthy boundaries while building healthy relationships with students. This leads to a deeper connection between educator and student which will enhance the student's emotional and academic growth.

    Korrie Allen, PsyD – Understanding the Twice-Exceptional Learner

    Twice exceptional children often demonstrate performance that falls on both ends of the learning spectrum and represent a diverse group of individuals with a wide range of gifts, talents, and accompanying disabilities (Neihart, 2008; Trail, 2012). These learners tend to be misjudged, misunderstood, and mistreated in the educational setting, and often fall through the cracks because their gifted characteristics can mask the disability, or the disability can mask their gifted potential (Cline, 1999; Brody & Mills, 1997). The goal of this presentation is to review recent findings from the research and discuss practical implications for educators, parents, psychologists, and counselors.

  • Breakout Session D

    Tracy Cross, PhD – Providing for the Positive Psychological Development of Students with Gifts and Talents

    2020 Palmarium Award Recipient

    In this session, I will discuss challenges to gifted students’ psychosocial functioning. The day-to-day lived experience of gifted students can include a variety of stressors unique to them. Peers, teachers, and family members may support or undermine their psychological functioning. Using developmental and motivation theory, I will discuss what the research on gifted students tells us about challenges to their happiness, mental health, and productivity. From there, I will explore options for the adults in their lives to provide the support they need.

    Mark Hess, MEd - Yellow Labs, Grizzly Bears:  Social-Emotional Lives of Gifted Boys

    Hess - Of Grizzly Bears and Yellow Labs The Social-Emotional Lives of Gifted Boys.pdf

    Gifted boys, like all gifted children, are wrapped in intensities. How do we invite boys—who might lack the basic vocabulary of emotions--into social-emotional classroom lessons in a non-threatening way? How can we invite them to move beyond the stereotypical roles of masculine from our past and reach out with empathy and understanding to propel us into the future?  This session will examine the wonderful (and conflicted) world of "boyness" and suggest ways we can use humor, hands-on learning, mystery, and activities to engage boys in social-emotional lessons.  Each participant will receive a fully developed lesson plan.

    Lindsey Reinert, EdD & Kimberly Schmidt, PhD  – Best Practices for Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Learners in Gifted Education

    Reinert and Schmidt - IDGE 2020 Presentation Building Bridges Best Practices for Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Learners in Gifted Education.pdf

    Culturally and linguistically diverse learners have inequitable access to gifted programming, curricula and services; therefore, they do not receive instruction that nurtures their learning talents, culture, and emergent bilingualism. Siegle and colleagues report (2016) that “students from culturally, linguistically, and economically diverse communities represent disproportionately low numbers of students scoring at the highest levels of achievement, rendering concerns that students in today’s schools are potentially being “intellectually barred” from achieving their obvious, emergent, and latent talents and abilities.” (p. 105) Because of this divide, we argue that giftedness programming and identification must also include culturally responsive curricula, build from language strengths and needs of students, and provide access to gifted programming that includes enriched curriculum, cluster groups, differentiated learning experiences, critical thinking. Community-based projects are culturally responsive building from Freire’s conceptions of problem-posing that encourage students to explore the problems, concerns, and needs of their communities through inquiry-based approaches in small groups.

    Debra Maldonado, MA & Darrell Trujillo, MAT - Underrepresentation of Minority Gifted Students within the Public School System

    Trujillo Maldonado - DU Presentation.pdf

    One of the goals is to advocate for minority students who are underrepresented and identified in gifted education. In order to provide all students with an equitable education, we need to recognize culturally diverse students who are underrepresented. Another goal is to educate parents on the importance of giftedness of their child and what that means including the support systems that are available to them. Finally, the last goal, is to help educators be more aware of the underlying biases that often prevent them from identifying minority gifted students.

    Paul Viskanta, MA – Serving Gifted & Talented GLBTQ+ Students: Supporting CO/CA/NJ/IL Legislation

    Viskanta - Serving Gifted & Talented GLBTQ+ Students Supporting COCANJIL Legislation.pdf

    Viskanta - Gifted GLBTQ - Handout.pdf

    This workshop will focus on this special population by exploring the similarities and differences in each of the states’ (CO/CA/NJ/IL) legislation. We will then review the research regarding how to support this population from a lens of gifted and talented education. Finally, we will collectively study several of the most prominent curricular resources currently available for educators to satisfy the different legislative requirements, then determine strategies to specifically differentiate the content for gifted and talented students. The study of curricular resources will identify specific areas of opportunity, so as to “Impact the Future,” as more states mandate curriculum that is inclusive of the GLBTQ+ population and its accomplishments.

  • Poster Sessions

    Anna Armitage, MA – Increasing Opportunity: Integration of Choice for All

    James T. Webb Influence Scholar

    This poster will provide examples of strategies to support secondary teachers in increasing integration of choice in their classrooms.

    Laura Boroughf, MA - Creating Relevant Curriculum Through Current Events in the Secondary Classroom

    Boroughf - Poster.pdf

    Using current events to connect students to the curriculum. This poster will show how to make deeper meaning with the content. Websites, resources and lesson ideas will be shared.

    Katie Coggin, MA – English Language Proficiency and General Intellectual Ability: Is there a correlation?

    Coggin - Poster.pdf

    This presentation would present research findings from my doctoral research proposal. This research will use a quantitative correlational design to investigate the relationship among English language proficiency and general intellectual ability of English language learners for identification in gifted programs. This will be done by correlating test results from ACCESS, a measure of English language proficiency, and the Naglieri Nonverbal Ability Test (NNAT), a test of general intellectual ability commonly used in gifted identification.

    Clare Hammoor, EdD & Heather Mock, MA - Engaging Documentation: Verbatim and Reflective Practices

    Poster - Hammoor and Mock - Engaging Documentation Verbatim and Reflective Practices.pdf

    Many schools share frequent documentation of children with families and the larger community. These photos and blurbs form the basis of parents’ understanding of their children’s day-to-day activities. They also support our students as they articulate their experiences and learning.

    This poster is particularly interested in discovering ways in which this practice can expand beyond the scope of photographs and adult-written notes and into the voices and actions of young people. By sharing more complicated and engaging documentation of children’s projects, relationships and interactions, we can more clearly identify and support talent in our young people.

    Joi Lin, MS – Educational Experiences of Gifted Graduate Students Studying Gifted Education

    Poster - Lin - Educational Experiences of Gifted Graduate Students Studying Gifted Education.pdf

    James T. Webb Influence Scholar

    This poster will share a horizon of quotes of gifted graduate students studying gifted education related to their educational experiences in elementary school, secondary school, and higher education. A convenience sample of eight graduate students were interviewed as part of a phenomenological research study.

    Stephanie Peralta, MA – Curriculum Impact for Early Childhood Gifted Students of Color

    Poster - Peralta - Curriculum Impact for Early Childhood Gifted Students of Color.pdf

    James T. Webb Influence Scholar

    Ms. Peralta, MA, has chosen to display the potential impact of curriculum usage in general education classrooms for early childhood gifted students of color. Three mechanisms are used to understand what is currently happening in the classroom and the comparison to vital current literature.

    Sydney Slifka, MA – Preparing Preservice Teachers for Working with Gifted Students

    What research has explored the preparation of preservice teachers teaching gifted students? This literature review reflects upon current trends in academic research on preservice teachers' preparedness for working with gifted students. Current areas of need and recommendations for impacting the fields of gifted education and teacher preparation will also be identified.

This portfolio last updated: 31-Aug-2023 11:43 AM