Winter has certainly arrived, and as the 2010 year comes to a close, I thought that I would share my experiences at "Minds in Motion." Organized by the Connecticut Association for the Gifted, Minds in Motion events happen throughout the school year at a variety of locations across the state. These hands-on, fast-paced, high-interest workshops are designed for gifted and high-ability children in grades K-8. While there is a small fee for student registration, the event is free of charge to parents and educators. I encourage you to explore the Minds in Motion program, whether you live in CT or not, as I believe the experience presents a solid model for enriching an entire school community.
From the moment I entered the building I knew that it would be a great afternoon. Students were there to welcome visitors, as they greeted me at the door and answered questions. The superintendent and principal were also there to greet attendees. It was certainly clear to me that a safe and comforting school environment exists at Dr. R.H. Brown Middle School.
Presenting Navigating the Educational Journey: The Student at School is the Child at Home to the group of parents and teachers was relaxing and interactive. As I was leaving I walked by many of the students who benefited from the afternoon’s activities. They carried projects, talked to each other and their parents about the day, all the while wearing a smile from ear to ear.
As we all settle down for a long winter’s nap, here are some of the main ideas from that presentation that I hope will resonate with the spirit of the season. Check out the links to the archives of The Teacher’s Corner.
10 Points to Ponder
“If it is skills you are evaluating, give them choice of content. If it is content, give them choice of product.”
“The monotony of daily classes is avoided when students are allowed to discover who they are as individuals.”
“Sometimes all that is needed to open a line of communication is a simple step back, allowing the situation to come into focus.”
On Social and Emotional Development
“Simply asking 'How’s it going?' can open up the line of communication between teacher and student.”
“Education, much like life, is an ever-changing process. Failure, as a variable, always comes into play.”
“Educators can only guide students in the right direction, offering suggestions and ideas along the way.”
“Dreams begin at home or in the classroom.”
“The ability to identify potential, offer differentiated curriculum (process and product), and assess with individuality.”
On the Myths
“The time has come to reverse the unrealistic conceptions of not only what the field has to offer, but also what it truly means to be a gifted and talented student in today’s society.”
“A lack of knowledge in terms of what to look for and what to do with 'them' once found, carries with it a lack of identification and services for all students of high ability. Gifted children are in every socio-economic and cultural milieu.”