Sargent School District
Gifted Education - September 2020
The purpose of gifted education is to meet the academic and social/emotional needs of gifted and advanced learners. Sargent Gifted Education staff adheres to the San Luis Valley BOCES process for Gifted Identification
Advisory Board Meeting - Mark Your Calendars
When: October 13th
Where: Secondary Library
Time: 4:30 p.m- 5:15 p.m.
The purpose of the advisory board is for discussing GT programming & budget. Any personal concerns should be brought to the attention of classroom teachers, GT building staff and administration if needed.
OVEREXCITABILITIES/ OPENNESS TO EXPERIENCES
Overexcitabilities are inborn intensities indicating a heightened ability to respond to stimuli. Found to a greater degree in creative and gifted individuals, overexcitabilities are expressed in increased sensitivity, awareness, and intensity, and represent a real difference in the fabric of life and quality of experience. The term overexcitability has also been referred to as openness to experiences. Today we will focus on one of these overexcitabilities: Emotional Overexcitability/Openness to New Experience.
Often the first to be noticed by parents.
Reflected in heightened, intense feelings, extremes of complex emotions, identification with others’ feelings, and strong affective expression (Piechowski, 1991).
Other manifestations include physical responses like stomachaches and blushing or concern with death and depression (Piechowski, 1979).
Remarkable capacity for deep relationships; they show strong emotional attachments to people, places, and things (Dabrowski & Piechowski, 1977).
They have compassion, empathy, and sensitivity in relation-ships.
Acutely aware of their own feelings, of how they are growing and changing, and often carry on inner dialogs and practice self-judgment (Piechowski, 1979, 1991).
Often accused of “overreacting.”
Their compassion and concern for others, their focus on relationships, and the intensity of their feelings may interfere with everyday tasks like homework or doing the dishes.
Accept all feelings, regardless of intensity. For people who are not highly emotional, this seems particularly odd. They feel that those high in Emotional OE are just being melodramatic. But if we accept their emotional intensity and help them work through any problems that might result, we will facilitate healthy growth.
Teach individuals to anticipate physical and emotional responses and prepare for them. Emotionally intense people often don’t know when they are becoming so overwrought that they may lose control or may have physical responses to their emotions.
Help them to identify the physical warning signs of their emotional stress such as headache, sweaty palms, and stomachache. By knowing the warning signs and acting on them early, individuals will be better able to cope with emotional situations and not lose control.
FOCUS ON THE POSITIVES
Jointly discuss the positives of each overexcitability when you first introduce the concept, and continue to point out these merits.
Benefits include being energetic, enthusiastic, sensual, aesthetic, curious, loyal, tenacious, moral, metacognitive, integrative, creative, metaphorical, dramatic, poetic, compassionate, empathetic, and self-aware.
REMEMBER THE JOY
Often when overexcitability is discussed examples and concerns are mostly negative. Remember that being overexcitable also brings with it great joy, astonishment, beauty, compassion, and creativity. Perhaps the most important thing is to acknowledge and relish the uniqueness of an overexcitable child or adult.
Creative Explorations -
CoGat Testing- Sargent Goes Online!
The CogAT measures general reasoning abilities in three domains: verbal, quantitative, and nonverbal. The scores, reported in national percentiles by age using the most current norms, provide a cognitive snapshot helping parents and school staff better understand individual learners.
Last year was our first year of administering the assessment online. The benefit is that the scores are available instantly. It was a successful administration and we are putting the results into action! We look forward to utilizing this again in the Spring of 2021.
Opportunities: Programs, Testing, Camps and More
Program: Pre-Collegiate CU Denver Programs with Middle School, High School, and Summer Options. Students do apply for this process, but can have ongoing “membership” once accepted.
WATS Testing: Center for Bright Kids Regional Talent Center recommends students who are eligible to participate in the Western Academic Talent Search (WATS) for academically gifted and high achieving 3rd-9th graders. For many year, the WATS program has been providing assessment, advocacy, and recognition for bright students as part of the national talent search program and as your regional service provider. Please continue to watch for the 20/21 testing date.
- Living With Intensity: Understanding the Sensitivity, Excitability, and the Emotional Development of Gifted Children, Adolescents, and Adults by Susan Daniels and Michael M. Piechowski
- When Gifted Kids Don't Have All the Answers: How to Meet Their Social and Emotional Needs by Judy Galbraith M.A. and Ph.D. Jim Delisle