Head U Gator News

April 26, 2015

Asynchronous Development

If you shook your head and said, "What?" you would probably not be alone. This was a new term that I learned when we started the ASPIRE Academy. Asynchronous development is primarily applied to gifted children, although it could be applied to others as well. It is commonly used to explain the extreme differences in abilities in different areas of a child. For example, students who are extremely gifted and can grasp extremely complex math topics, but have severely delayed motor skills. Or another student who can read and understand difficult text but cries when s/he makes a mistake because they expect to do everything perfectly and they can't.

It is entirely possible that you may have a student in your typical classroom who is better at school than some of the ASPIRE kids. A GT, highly achieving student is every teacher's dream: Smart and compliant, these students typically don't have emotional issues. They understand your directions, complete the given assignment quickly and then say, "what do you have for me next?"

Students with asynchronous development might look like this: Doing extremely difficult and beyond their age level math problems and reading at an extremely high text level. This same student might be unable to write legible text to communicate their ideas, and can't "play in the sandbox" with other students without having issues. Or, more likely, is completely unaware that there are other children in the room! This child, when given an assignment, is likely to say, "Why do I have to do that?" or "Can I do this instead?" which can be very frustrating when you have a classroom full of kids watching. In ASPIRE, this is a pretty typical response from every child, and the teachers have to be okay with saying, "Well, tell me what you're thinking...."

Some of these highly gifted students have also learned to be satisfied with whatever their first effort is. They haven't developed the insight to understand that just because they are bright doesn't mean everything they do is brilliant! Grit and determination are not well-developed, and they think the teacher should be grateful for whatever they produce.

As we talked Thursday at their retreat about changes and improvements for next year, the subject of AD came up again and I thought you might be interested in hearing a little more about some of our Gators and the struggles they have.

A High Achiever... A Gifted Learner... A Creative Thinker

Below is a link to a chart that details the differences between these three types of learners. I'm sure you've seen something similar to this before, but it doesn't hurt to go back and review. It is particularly important when we have conversations with parents about which option(s) is/are right for their students. We don't want to encourage parents to apply for the Academy because their child comes up with creative ideas, only to have them told that they don't have a high enough IQ! This brief refresher might be helpful:



Please be sure to complete your PDAS sections 2 and 3. We have to have that information to finish your summative evaluation reports, and the deadline is quickly approaching. It takes some time to think about the report, and then you're supposed to have time to read it before we have our conference. Time's a-wasting!

No Jeanette...

Jeanette's uncle passed away last week and she flew Friday evening to be with her mom for the service on Saturday. She'll be back Tuesday.

This week:

Today: Jayne Williky's birthday

Tomorrow, April 27:

1:00 Ballet Folklorico

Culture Club: 2:45

School Board Recognition of our DI team.

Tuesday, April 28:

No WG (District Leadership Team)

Microteaching (12-3)


Wednesday, April 29:

Pam Fredeck's birthday

second grade to PARR Park

Choir 2:45

Thursday, April 30:

Lunch with Principal (fill out the Google drive form for Spirit Sticks)

Marimba Band

Parent Technology Night (6:30

Friday, May 1:

Musings and misc.

What an amazing display of nature Friday evening, followed by absolutely gorgeous days Saturday and Sunday!

We only have 33 days of school left this year. The year has flown by, and will end before we know it. Treasure the time with your students and your colleagues. We will never again have this same combination of people and experiences, and while we may be glad for some of them to be gone there are many more that we will be sad to see leave us.

I have quite a few cards for Mr. Wes and wanted to go see him today. Unfortunately, I have a sinus infection and Kelly advised staying away just in case there was a chance I'd make him sick. Hopefully someone else will be able to go and check on him soon.We will have a different custodian beginning tomorrow until the end of the year.

There are also 2 weeks until elections, so you know what my after-school life will look like. If I don't do something that you need done, please feel free to remind me. I feel like I'm surrounded by that wind that blew through Friday night!