Southwest licking local school district administrator and teacher


Excerpt from ERIC Digest #E574, “Dual Exceptionalities,” by Colleen Willard-Holt



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Excerpt from ERIC Digest #E574, “Dual Exceptionalities,” by Colleen Willard-Holt.
Masking Giftedness
At times, various social and emotional issues may cause a child’s giftedness to be masked. Such issues may include perfectionism and underachievement. Check out some of the resources at the end of this handbook for more information about each of these concerns.

Characteristics of Underachievement

  • High ability levels

  • Low or inconsistent grades or performance on assignments

  • Little or no effort or motivation

  • Undeveloped work habits and disorganization

  • Incomplete work

  • Negative attitudes toward school and others

  • Claims work is too easy or too hard

  • ADD or ADHD behaviors

  • Masking behaviors

  • Social problems


Characteristics of Perfectionism

  • Unreasonably high expectations for self

  • Hesitates to attempt new or challenging tasks

  • Requests lots of assistance and affirmation on challenging tasks

  • Highly critical of own work and may speak poorly about own performance despite its quality

  • Gives up easily when facing a challenge

  • Has difficulty calling a project “finished”



This information comes from the various works by James Delisle and Judy Galbraith. See Resource section for titles.

MYTHS
Evidence of misunderstanding of gifted children can often be seen through the following beliefs propagated in educational settings.
Myth: Gifted programs are elitist.

Fact: Gifted children could become elitist if they continually have the highest grades in the class. By working and learning with others of the same ability level, children learn that they are not always the top student and that mastery of a subject should involve hard work.
Myth: Gifted kids should love school, get high grades, and greet each new school day with enthusiasm.

Fact: Most schools are geared for average learners, not gifted learners, which make it hard for gifted students to get excited about school. Some of the most talented students in the United States actually choose to drop out of school altogether.
Myth: Gifted students come from white middle-and upper-class families.

Fact: They come from all cultural, ethnic, religious, and socioeconomic groups.
Myth: Gifted kids have pushy parents.

Fact: Some do; some don’t. Some parents want to make sure that their children get the learning opportunities they need, and they may be very vocal and persistent about it. Other parents worry about calling extra attention to their children and say nothing.
Myth: Gifted kids are good at everything they do.

Fact: Some gifted students are good at many things; others are exceptionally able at only a few things. Some gifted students also have learning differences, which means that they might not be very good at schoolwork.
Myth: Teachers love having gifted students in their classes.

Fact: Some do; some don’t. Certain teachers feel uncomfortable with gifted students and get defensive when they suspect that their students know more than they do.
Myth: If gifted students are grouped together, they become snobbish and stuck-up.

Fact: Some do; some don’t. What’s especially pernicious about this myth is that adults have used it to rationalize decisions about not grouping gifted students or providing them with appropriate learning opportunities.
Myth: Gifted kids have trouble adjusting to school and forming friendships.

Fact: Some do; some don’t—just like other kids.
Myth: Gifted students don’t know they’re “different” unless someone tells them.

Fact: Most gifted kids don’t need to be identified or labeled before they know that they’re not quite like their age peers.
Myth: Gifted students must constantly be challenged and kept busy, or they’ll get lazy.

Fact: They might get bored, but they won’t necessarily get lazy.
Myth: Gifted kids are equally mature in all areas—academic, physical, social, and emotional.

Fact: That would be convenient, but it’s simply not true. Asynchronous development is common among gifted children. On the other hand, it’s not reasonable to assume that just because someone is advanced intellectually, he or she will lag behind in other developmental areas.
Myth: Gifted kids need to go through school with kids their own age.

Fact: They may need to play with them and interact socially with them, but they don’t necessarily need to learn with them. For the child who started reading at age four, a first-grade reading class can be torture.
Myth: Gifted kids tend to be weak and sickly.

Fact: Actually, gifted children tend to be physically stronger than their age peers. They have fewer illnesses and are generally taller and heavier.
Myth: It’s easy for teachers to recognize which children in their classes are gifted.

Fact: Teachers without any training in this area have only a fifty percent chance of accurately identifying gifted kids.
Myth: Gifted children are all alike.

Fact: There is no one “portrait” of a gifted student. Talents and strengths among the gifted vary as widely as they do with any sample of students drawn from a so-called “average” population. Some educators distinguish between academically gifted and socially gifted; between highly gifted and normally gifted; and between highly creative and highly talented students. Many other breakdowns and categories exist.
Myth: Gifted children share common psychological traits or personalities.

Fact: Some are outgoing risk-takers, challengers of the status quo. Some are quiet, satisfied with their private world. As learners, some need constant feedback; others don’t. Some need a tremendous amount of encouragement to perform, or a lot of structure. Others ask for help after class, or look up a special teacher years later to get advice.
Delisle, J. (2001). When Gifted Kids Don’t Have All the Answers, (pp. 26-29). Minneapolis, MN: Free Spirit Press.


REFERRAL FOR GIFTED CONSIDERATION

On an annual basis the Southwest Licking district identifies students in grades K-12 who qualify as gifted in the following four areas: Superior Cognitive, Specific Academic, Creative Thinking Ability and Visual/Performing Arts. Students are identified according to Ohio Administrative Code 3301-51-15.


Although current formal programming is only offered by the district at grades three through eight, the state requires that we identify students in grades K-12. Classroom teachers are instrumental in recognizing students they see as possessing talent advanced for a particular grade level. Nominated students will be reviewed. The state relies solely on standardized test scores to identify superior cognitive and specific academic abilities. Students identified as gifted by another Ohio public school using the guidelines established by state law will maintain that identification status when transferring in to Southwest Licking Schools. For students nominated in a new area of identification, any past test scores will be noted and considered for identification if less than 24 months old. Students needing further evaluation will be given a Permission for Assessment Form for a parent signature. Students will be administered an achievement or ability test or both by the county gifted coordinator. Results will be sent to the parent, appropriate school building personnel, and the gifted teacher, and a copy will be placed in the student’s permanent file.
Teachers, parents, students, or peers may refer students for gifted consideration. They should contact an administrator, one of the gifted teachers, or the county gifted coordinator.

The following pages contain samples of the forms used in the identification and notification process. Once nominated students’ test scores have been examined, some students proceed to the next step, which is an additional assessment. Parents must approve the testing before administration can occur.



SOUTHWEST LICKING ELEMENTARY TEACHER

GIFTED AND TALENTED NOMINATION CHECKLIST
Nominated Student _____________________________ Part I: Learning Characteristics





1

2

3

4

1. Has unusually advanced vocabulary for age or grade level













2. Possesses a large storehouse of information about a variety of topics (beyond the usual interest of youngsters his or her age)













3. Has quick mastery and recall of factual information













4. Has rapid insight into cause-effect relationships













5. Tries to discover the how and why of things













6. Asks many provocative questions (as distinct from information or factual questions)













7. Has a ready grasp of underlying principles and can quickly make valid generalizations about events, people, or things













8. Is a keen and alert observer













9. Usually "sees more" or "gets more" out of a story, film, etc. than others













10. Reads a great deal on his or her own













11. Reasons things out for him/her self













COLUMN TOTAL













WEIGHT

x1

x2

x3

x4

WEIGHTED COLUMN TOTAL













TOTAL SCORE




Date_________ Building ______________________


Grade______ Nominated by ____________________
Please circle the appropriate answer below.
WHAT IS THE STUDENT'S AREA(S) OF STRENGTH?

superior cognitive ability (generally high intelligence)

math, reading, language, science, social studies
WHAT IN PARTICULAR STANDS OUT ABOUT THIS STUDENT?

_______________________________________________

_______________________________________________

_______________________________________________

_______________________________________________

_______________________________________________

DIRECTIONS FOR COMPLETING THE CHECKLIST
Using this scale rate the student on characteristics described in each area:


1-seldom or never

2-occasionally

3-considerably

4-almost always


Note that the numeral at the top of each grid corresponds to the above rating scale. Place a checkmark in the grid column that most accurately reflects how well the student fulfills each statement.


**This checklist is meant to help you thoughtfully consider the nomination of a potentially gifted child. This score will not be used to determine gifted identification.
SOUTHWEST LICKING ELEMENTARY TEACHER

GIFTED AND TALENTED NOMINATION CHECKLIST
Part II: Motivational Characteristics Part III: Creativity Characteristics




1

2

3

4

1. Becomes absorbed and truly involved in certain topics or problems (It is sometimes difficult to get him or her to move on to another topic.)













2. Is easily bored with routine tasks













3. Needs little external motivation to follow through in work that initially excites him or her













4. Strives toward perfection













5. Is self critical and is not easily satisfied with his or her own speed or products













6. Prefers to work independently













7. Is interested in many "adult" problems such as religion, politics, sex, race, war - more than usual for age level













8. Often is self-assertive (sometimes even aggressive)













9. Often introverted, but thinks deeply.













10. Is quite concerned with right and wrong, good and bad













11. Often evaluates and passes judgment on events, people, and things













COLUMN TOTAL













WEIGHT

x1

x2

x3

x4

WEIGHTED COLUMN TOTAL













TOTAL SCORE






1

2

3

4

1. Displays a great deal of curiosity about many things













2. Is constantly asking questions about anything and everything













3. Generates a large number of ideas or solutions to problems and questions













4. Often offers unusual "way out," unique, clever responses













5. Is sometimes radical and spirited in disagreement













6. Often concerned with adapting, improving, and modifying institutions, objects, and systems













7. Displays a great deal of intellectual playfulness, fantasizes, imagines (I wonder what would happen if...)













8. Displays a keen sense of humor













9. Shows emotional sensitivity













10. Is sensitive to beauty













11. Is nonconforming, individualistic













12. Is not interested in details













13. Accepts disorder













COLUMN TOTAL













WEIGHT

x1

x2

x3

x4

WEIGHTED COLUMN TOTAL













TOTAL SCORE





SOUTHWEST LICKING ELEMENTARY PARENT

GIFTED AND TALENTED NOMINATION CHECKLIST
Nominated Student _____________________________ Part I: Learning Characteristics





1

2

3

4

1. Has unusually advanced vocabulary for age or grade level













2. Possesses a large storehouse of information about a variety of topics (beyond the usual interest of youngsters his or her age)













3. Has quick mastery and recall of factual information













4. Usually has a deeper understanding and gets more out of a book or visual presentation













5. Tries to discover the how and why of things













6. Asks many provocative questions (as distinct from information or factual questions)













7. Has rapid insight into cause & effect relationships













8. Learns math processes and concepts quickly













9. Puts unrelated ideas together in a new way or order













10. Reads a great deal on his or her own and does not avoid difficult material













11. Reasons things out for him/her self; sees logical and common sense answers independently













12. Sees humor in situations that may not be humorous to others; is playful with words













13. Shows positive leadership qualities













COLUMN TOTAL













WEIGHT

x1

x2

x3

x4

WEIGHTED COLUMN TOTAL













TOTAL SCORE




Date_________ Building ______________________


Grade______ Nominated by ____________________
Please circle the appropriate answer below.
WHAT IS THE STUDENT'S AREA(S) OF STRENGTH?

superior cognitive ability (generally high intelligence)

math, reading, language, science, social studies
WHAT IN PARTICULAR STANDS OUT ABOUT THIS STUDENT?

_______________________________________________

_______________________________________________

_______________________________________________

_______________________________________________

_______________________________________________

DIRECTIONS FOR COMPLETING THE CHECKLIST
Using this scale rate the student on characteristics described in each area:


1-seldom or never

2-occasionally

3-considerably

4-almost always


Note that the numeral at the top of each grid corresponds to the above rating scale. Place a checkmark in the grid column that most accurately reflects how well the student fulfills each statement.


**This checklist is meant to help you thoughtfully consider the nomination of a potentially gifted child. This score will not be used to determine gifted identification.
SOUTHWEST LICKING ELEMENTARY PARENT

GIFTED AND TALENTED NOMINATION CHECKLIST
Part II: Motivational Characteristics Part III: Creativity Characteristics




1

2

3

4

1. Becomes absorbed and truly involved in certain topics or problems (It is sometimes difficult to get him or her to move on to another topic.)













2. Is easily bored with routine tasks













3. Needs little external motivation to follow through in work that initially excites him or her













4. Strives toward perfection













5. Is self critical and is not easily satisfied with his or her own speed or products













6. Prefers to work independently













7. Is interested in many "adult" problems such as religion, politics, sex, race, war - more than usual for age level













8. Often is self-assertive (sometimes even aggressive)













9. Often introverted, but thinks deeply.













10. Is quite concerned with right and wrong, good and bad













11. Often evaluates and passes judgment on events, people, and things













COLUMN TOTAL













WEIGHT

x1

x2

x3

x4

WEIGHTED COLUMN TOTAL













TOTAL SCORE






1

2

3

4

1. Displays a great deal of curiosity about many things













2. Is constantly asking questions about anything and everything













3. Generates a large number of ideas or solutions to problems and questions













4. Often offers unusual "way out," unique, clever responses













5. Is uninhibited in expressing opinions













6. Often concerned with adapting, improving, and modifying institutions, objects, and systems













7. Displays a great deal of intellectual playfulness, fantasizes, imagines (I wonder what would happen if...)













8. Displays a keen sense of humor













9. Shows emotional sensitivity













10. Is sensitive to beauty and aesthetics often unnoticed by others













11. Is nonconforming, individualistic













12. Accepts disorder













13. Is unwilling to accept authoritarian pronouncement without critical examination













COLUMN TOTAL













WEIGHT

x1

x2

x3

x4

WEIGHTED COLUMN TOTAL













TOTAL SCORE





SOUTHWEST LICKING ELEMENTARY STUDENT

GIFTED AND TALENTED NOMINATION FORM
Nominated Student ____________________________________________________________
Date_______________________ Building ________________________________________
Grade_________ Nominated by _________________________________________________
Please circle the appropriate answer below.
WHAT IS THE STUDENT'S AREA(S) OF STRENGTH?

superior cognitive ability (generally high intelligence, problem solving, creativity)

math reading /language science social studies
WHAT IN PARTICULAR STANDS OUT ABOUT THIS STUDENT?

______________________________________________________________________________


______________________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________________


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