The Academically Gifted Gazette
Reedy Fork Elementary
Volume 3, Issue 6
2nd: Read Across America (Dr. Seuss Day)
2nd-6th: Social Worker Week
3rd: Welcome to AG 3rd Grade Parent Meeting
4th: 4-5 Music Program (rescheduled)
5th-6th: NCAGT Conference
6th: Terrific Kids/Fabulous Fathers Friday
8th: Daylight Savings Time begins
9th: Battle of the Books competition at UNCG; iMoms
10th: Reading Interim Testing; Reading Night/book swap; Interim reports
11th: Math Interim Testing
12th: AG Parent Advisory Board Meeting; TAG Meeting (for Feb); Chuck E. Cheese Night
12th-13th: Science Interim Testing (grade 5)
16th: Fifth Grade Field Trip to Haw River
17th: St. Patrick's Day
18th: Early release
20th: Career Day
26th: TAG Meeting; Read to Succeed
27th: Movie Night; Third Grade Field Trip; All-Pro Dads
31st: Duke Tip talent search application and writing contest deadline (invitees received info in fall)
Nurturing Empathy in Your Gifted Child
Webster defines “empathy” as the ability to identify with and understand somebody else’s feelings or difficulties.
Gifted children sense and feel things more deeply than their age-level counterparts. While many young children are concerned about toys, sports, and friendships, the gifted child may be more preoccupied with global issues such as poverty, homelessness, and abandoned animals. This divergence of perception can lead to feelings of isolation from their age-level peers. They are overwhelmed by the enormity of the world's challenges, and realize at an early age that there are matters far beyond their control.
Gifted children have a heightened awareness of the world around them but lack the emotional development to cope with adult world issues. Many adults may be quick to dismiss or minimize their concerns, which only serves to magnify their feelings of helplessness.
While gifted children are often quite empathetic, they still manifest age-appropriate concerns. They may hold self-centered views of their surroundings and dismiss the needs of others. It is important that we continue to foster healthy empathy and teach them how to use their talents to make a difference in the lives of others.
What can you do to help?
Acknowledge the concern - Do not minimize the issue. Be an active listener. Work with your child to explore ways to make a difference. Cultivate the concept that every action, no matter how small, counts. Get involved in your community by volunteering as a family.
Model empathy for your child – Capitalize on everyday interactions to demonstrate appropriate levels of empathy. Use characters in movies, books and TV shows to foster conversation. Share your own thoughts, concerns and experiences.
Teach your gifted child to communicate effectively – Provide a safe place to talk. Help your child articulate feelings and brainstorm potential solutions to problems. Explicitly teach children to read physical cues in order to recognize emotion in others. Practice additional avenues of self-expression such as journaling or artistic expression.
Meeting the Social and emotional needs of Gifted Students- Dr. Mary Ruth Coleman; NCAGT Conference 2013
Gifted Children: Emotionally Immature or Emotionally Intense- Davidson Institute for Talent Development
Vulnerabilities of the Highly Gifted- in Roeper Review; Roedell, W.C.
Empathy in the “Me” Generation-in Teaching for High Potential, Winter 2015; Dixon, Felicia.
Who is My Neighbor?
Third grade students have transitioned well into AG classes, especially given the inclement weather and jostling of schedules as a result. Students have been introduced to the idea of diversity and our next stop is the land of presentation skills. Students will be completing a questionnaire about themselves and groups will be determined based on those responses. Each group will be responsible for presenting the most important points about something they are good at or enjoy. Students will also be asked to bring in an artifact from home to use as a visual for their independent portion of the group presentation.
The Power of Literate People
Using the imagery of a snowflake, students have been introduced to the issue of illiteracy and to the idea that there is power in numbers should they wish to join the cause. Students have experienced the frustration and confusion of dyslexic and English-as-a-second- language learners and will continue to examine the plight of those who have obstacles standing in the way of becoming literate. On an upcoming weekend, students will be asked to refrain from reading, writing, or any activity that involves such as a means of experiencing life in the shoes of someone who does not have the skills that our children have been so fortunate to attain. Stay tuned for more information!
Wherefore Art They?
Fifth grade students have explored art as an expression of nature by comparing and contrasting videos of swan behavior to the characters of Tchaikovsky's Swan Lake and a mountain river with a performance of Riverdance. During our last class, students were challenged to submit a one-paragraph analysis of the opera they enjoyed on a recent field trip. Next we will observe geometry in nature, fashion, visual art, architecture and engineering. By the end of this lesson, students should understand that beauty is in the eye of the beholder and art is everywhere!