Nominate Your Peers for IAG Awards!

December 13-15 at The Indianapolis Downtown Marriott!

Nominate Your Peers for IAG Awards Today! The Deadline has been extended to November 13th!

Do you know an outstanding teacher of gifted children? Or an outstanding leader? Or someone who provides a great service to the gifted community? Nominate your peers for IAG Awards today! Visit to nominate your peers! You may also click on the following links below to view entry forms for each award!

The Hazel Feldhusen Outstanding Teacher of the Gifted Award

IAG Service Award

IAG Leadership Award

Have You Registered for the Conference? We Are Filling Up Fast!

If you haven't registered, please go to to register today! We have sold out each of the last five years, and we do not want you to miss out on a great day of learning and fellowship! If you have questions, please write Jason at

It all kicks off with Parent Night on Sunday Night!

Come join us from 6:00-7:00 on Sunday, December 13th, for Parent Night!

Conference attendees may also pick up their credentials on Sunday night to avoid Monday morning lines! Be sure to come and see us at the registration kiosk on the second floor!

Keynote Speakers

Monday Ticketed Workshop Options! Sessions are sorted by strand.


Ian Byrd: Build Delightfully Intriguing Math Projects

Learn to develop intriguing real-world data into motivating and complex math projects for your gifted learners. Begin with authentic data, find the enticing conflict in that data, add an expert's perspective, and build on students' talents to finish with an interesting product. Sample projects will be shown and time will be given to creating new projects perfect for your students. (All Levels)

John Benson: These are a Few of My Favorite (Math) Things

Participants are invited to take on the role of a budding problem solver in this session geared to engage the best problem-solving minds. We will explore what makes math problems interesting and how to engage students in the intriguing story of math! Practice problems and guidance regarding when to introduce certain types of problems will be shared. Come ready to think and have fun! (Upper Elementary/Middle/High School Math)

Ed Zacarro: Eight Components of Effective Teaching That Meet the Needs of Mathematically Gifted Children

A failure to find mathematics challenging, interesting, or relevant are significant factors when gifted children lose interest in mathematics. Children who are talented in mathematics must be exposed to material that lights a fire and nurtures their gift. This session will cover the most important features of programs that successfully meet the needs of mathematically gifted children. (All Levels)

English / Language Arts:

Laura Belchenko: Picture Books as Complex Text: Visualizing Words and Developing Meaning through Illustrations

In this visual literacy and picture book rich session, we will explore the advanced messages that illustrations extend to the reader that the text does not often share. We will explore visual thinking strategies and help to promote vocabulary and concept development. (Elementary)

Michael Clay Thompson: Four-Level Analysis for Success in Grammar

This intensive session is for teachers who are new to Michael Thompson’s four-level analysis method of grammar instruction and would like an introductory overview. Four-level analysis gives teachers a practical way to compact grammar instruction and launch it early in the year, so that grammar can be used throughout the year as a way of thinking about language, resulting in more effective writing and vocabulary usage. Participants will leave the workshop with an understanding of how four-level analysis gives students a clear, understandable approach to grammar that makes real application possible. (All Levels)


Sherry Hamstra: On Demand Writing: Real-World Writing Skills

Supporting students of all grades in writing about texts they have just critically read is a real world demand in our text-oriented, information-packed world. Using these writing products to gauge academic growth through the year in writing skills is an added benefit for teachers. Resources will be shared for finding grade appropriate reading selections to pair with assignments in the areas of information, argument and narrative writing. Rubrics will be explored for assessing writing over time. (All Levels)

Social Studies / Research:

Sally Dobyns: Using Primary Sources as Springboards to Historical Research: Skills for the 21st Century

Primary sources, raw and rich evidence of the past, beg for interpretation. When students examine primary sources such as public records, personal documents, artifacts, epitaphs, maps, and photographs, the fascination is immediate, the curiosity is powerful, and the natural outcomes are meaning-making questions driven by each student’s personal interests and points of reference. High levels of student engagement provide fertile ground for the development and pursuit of essential questions in historical inquiry, leading to authentic student research in the discipline of history. Naturally differentiated, this mode of inquiry engages students in the development and sharpening of skills that are transferrable across time and disciplines. (All Levels)


JJ Boylan: To Boldly Go Where No 1:1 Has Gone Before

What happens when your 1:1 learning initiative meets the high ability child? In this session we will explore a variety of aspects on how to meet the needs of your high ability students in this forward thinking environment. We will discuss the benefits and challenges of differentiation, apps, projects, expectations, and independent learning in this new terrain that is often alien to educators (offered on both Monday and Tuesday -- All Levels).

Gifted Programing:

Sally Krisel: If I Admit to Being Gifted, Exactly What's in it for me?

In an era of escalating accountability and shrinking budgets, gifted education programs can be at risk. Dr. Krisel will share proven ways to make your services for gifted students indispensable, starting with clear articulation of the program’s goals. She will describe evaluation strategies for boosting gifted education services in the ways that matter most -- ensuring excellence, equity and visibility. (All Levels)

Tuesday Ticketed Workshop Options! Sessions are sorted by strand.


John Benson: Setting the Stage in a Secondary Math Classroom

The new Indiana Academic Standards stresses the importance of problem-solving, but how exactly can teachers foster the type of environment in their classrooms to nurture patient and persistent problem-solvers? The answer seems easy - give students interesting problems - but there are some tricks of the trade. Come learn from a math expert with over 40 years in the classroom to unlock the secret to success in a secondary math classroom. (Upper Elementary/Middle/High School Math)

Doris Fulwider: Don’t Panic. Just Think! Conceptual Understanding in the K-3 Mathematics Classroom

Do your primary students panic when they encounter a math problem that you haven’t yet taught them how to solve? Wouldn’t it be great if your students could make sense of these unfamiliar situations and think flexibly to solve them on their own? Conceptual understanding is the key. Participants in this workshop will be introduced to a variety of methods and materials appropriate for primary high ability students that are intended to support the development of number sense. Developing basic fact fluency through the use of reasoning strategies will also be discussed. Activities will be interactive and hands-on, and tips for differentiation will be discussed along the way. (Early Elementary)

English / Language Arts:

Laura Belchenko: Knowing Understanding and Developing Purposeful, Productive and Thoughtful Questioning Techniques

Using Depth of Knowledge, D.O.K. (Webb, 1997; Hess, 2013) we will explore the levels of questioning that should be present in today’s classrooms by both the teacher and the student. We will look beyond Bloom’s Taxonomy and develop questions that lead to robust class discussion, instructional inquiry and assessment design. Media and print sources will be our vehicles to create tasks of increasing cognitive and affective demand. (All Levels)

Michael Clay Thompson: Four-Level Literature for Gifted Children: A Differentiated Strategy

A strong literature program not only exposes students to literature in itself, it also reinforces vocabulary, grammar, and writing instruction. It is one of the reasons that those elements are taught. Literature curricula for gifted children often fall short however, because the texts are of insufficient quality and quantity. Furthermore, novels are often taught as isolated units, unconnected with other titles, and the evaluation methods applied to the literature are often convergent, focusing on right answers to tedious and conventional questions. This presentation will provide a strategy for cumulative literature, with a wide range of high-level evaluation. Participants in this presentation will receive a differentiated strategy for presenting literature to gifted children. They will learn methods for teaching cumulatively and for emphasizing exciting Socratic essay questions that identify common themes and similar characters, taking literature to a higher order of thinking than simple novels in isolation can do. (All Levels)


Monica Plantan: Transforming Student Writing Through Critical Thinking

High ability students often know how to write information, but can they transform that information into something more meaningful? In this session, participants will examine questioning strategies that foster students’ critical thinking and lead to evidence-based writing applicable to all content areas. Teachers will leave the workshop with practical tools, strategies, and other resources to support students in the writing process and also hold them accountable for their writing. (All Levels)

Gifted Programming:

Sally Krisel: Pyramids of Intervention or Peaks of Performance? The Concept of RtI in a Talent Development Model

Response to Intervention (RtI) was developed as a method for identifying children with disabilities. But now it is being adopted widely as an approach to planning for all students, including those who are gifted. While many concepts associated with RtI ARE good for all students, it is still a deficit model; thus the advanced learning needs of gifted students are often ignored. In this session, Dr. Krisel will describe how one school district has reconceptualized RtI, basing interventions on strengths and interests to promote rigor for ALL. The session includes specific strategies in the areas of assessment, curriculum and professional learning. (All Levels)

Social / Emotional:

Ian Byrd: Apply Social and Emotional Needs as an Academic Tool

Gifted students' unique social and emotional needs often go unexplained. By turning personality traits, intensities, and multiple intelligences into instruments for analyzing characters, you will gain a powerful academic tool while also addressing students' important needs. You'll develop their self-awareness while also providing a practical way to dig deeper into literary and historical figures. (All Levels)


Sylvia Martinez: Where Do I Start? Making, Tinkering, and Engineering in the Classroom or Makerspace

Want to get started with “making” in learning spaces? This session will explore learning by doing with a wide range of new materials and technologies that support STEM, STEAM, and other subjects. We will discuss tinkering, design thinking, genius hour, PBL and other classroom frameworks that support hands-on, minds-on learning for all grade levels. Options and ideas for the best starter purchases, space design, and where to find free and low cost supplies will be shared. (All Levels)


JJ Boylan: To Boldly Go Where No 1:1 Has Gone Before

What happens when your 1:1 learning initiative meets the high ability child? In this session we will explore a variety of aspects on how to meet the needs of your high ability students in this forward thinking environment. We will discuss the benefits and challenges of differentiation, apps, projects, expectations, and independent learning in this new terrain that is often alien to educators (offered on both Monday and Tuesday -- All Levels).