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Gifted in Middle School
"Because middle school educators emphasize the negative impact of
homogeneous grouping on at-risk learners, heterogeneity has become a hallmark
descriptor of "good" middle schools (Carnegie Task Force on the Education of
Young Adolescents, 1989). But educators of the gifted value the benefits of
ability grouping for advanced learners..." Carol Ann Tomlinson, Gifted Learners and the
Middle School: Problem or Promise?
Gifted Adolescents by Glenda L. Griffin,
Gifted Child Today ($)
A great guide to the adolescent years with our gifted ... young adults!
in the Middle: How Middle Schools Have Failed America - and how to make them
by Cheri Pierson Yecke, The Thomas B. Fordham Institute
- Those [middle schools] that embraced middle schoolism have lost their way.
Middle schoolism is partially based on the now-discredited theory... that
teaching complex material during that period will have damaging effects. It
is time for a thorough reform of middle grade education, including a new
focus on high standards, discipline, and accountability for student
achievement. .. (requires Adobe Reader)
the Needs of High Ability and High Potential Learners in the Middle Grades: A
Joint Position Statement of the National Middle School Association and the
National Association for Gifted Children
- Curriculum and Instruction: Advanced middle grade learners thus require
consistent opportunities to work at degrees of challenge somewhat beyond their
particular readiness levels, with support necessary to achieve at the new
levels of proficiency... (requires Adobe Reader)
Myth About College Planning: It's Not Too Early to Start!
by Avis Wright
- A college planning checklist for middle school students and their parents,
from knowing your support personnel to studying the right subjects to moving
ahead with accelerated learning, distance education and advanced classes.
Time management and study skills are another important detail, and...
Teens' Guide to Living with Intensity: How to Get More Out of Life and
by Lisa Rivero
- A guide for pre-teens and teens who are a little more... more intense,
more creative, more interesting, and yes, sometimes even called "more
difficult." A teen's perspective into growing up as a gifted teen
today. And for the parents,
A Parent's Guide to Gifted Teens: Living with Intense and Creative
or Thriving? Gifted middle school boys with learning disabilities by Mary
Ruth Coleman, in
Gifted Child Today
- Teachers often view gifted students as outstanding performers and see
these students as top picks for their classes. Yet, not all gifted-students
thrive in school. For gifted students with learning disabilities, school is
not always the most comfortable place. What have we have learned in the last
Gifted Kids in Today's Classroom: Strategies and Techniques Every Teacher
by Susan Winebrenner
Updated third edition for a new generation of teachers and classrooms.
- An excellent guide to modifying curriculum for gifted elementary and
middle school students in the regular classroom
Diversity in the Middle School: Results of a National Survey of Middle
School Administrators and Teachers by Tonya R. Moon, Carol A. Tomlinson
and Carolyn M. Callahan
- Teachers and principals report that academically diverse populations
receive very little, if any, targeted focus in middle school. They hold
beliefs that underchallenge advanced middle school students. The
overwhelming majority of responding educators believe middle schoolers are
more social than academic, concrete thinkers, extrinsically motivated, and
work best with routine. More alarming, nearly half of the principals and
teachers believe that middle school learners are in a plateau learning
period... (requires Adobe Reader)
Brain's Left and Right Sides Seem to Work Together Better in Mathematically
Gifted Middle-School Youth, an APA Press Release
- Mathematically gifted teens did better than average-ability teens and
college students on tests that required the two halves of the brain to
cooperate, as reported in the April issue of Neuropsychology...
Verbal Talent by Michael Thompson
- "Verbal talent is developed by new verbal experience. If this seems
too obvious, we must recall that it flies in the mass face of an educational
culture that avoids the shock of difficulty in the name of self-esteem; giving
students things they can do, the theory is, builds their self-esteem.
Developing verbal talent in gifted children doesnt work that way..."
- Differentiating Instruction
for Advanced Learners in the Mixed-Ability Middle School Classroom (ERIC
Digest #536) by Carol Ann Tomlinson
- An overview of some key principles for differentiating instruction, with
an emphasis on the learning needs of academically advanced learners
Gifted Students in Middle School: A Practical Guide by Susan Rakow
- Practical information about meeting the unique needs of gifted students in
middle school. Focuses on helping teachers, administrators, and parents to:
understand gifted middle school students, implement effective program
models, define the role of the gifted teacher, identify best practices for
the classroom, and apply curriculum ideas that are effective and research
on the Wonder Years: Challenges Facing the American Middle School by Jaana
Juvonen, Vi-Nhuan Le, Tessa Kaganoff, Catherine Augustine, and Louay Constant
- Young teens undergo multiple changes that seem to set them apart from
other students. But do middle schools actually meet their special needs?
While not specifically written about gifted children, the proposals in this
report would be equally valuable to the middle school gifted child
Simple Steps to Self-Advocacy
by Deborah Douglas
I cant read your mind, I told my son when he was a teenager, so
give me a little help here. What would make school better for you? His
shrug and blank stare told me that he didnt really know how to describe
what he needed. ... Fifteen years later as a gifted education coordinator, I
still get that blank stare from many of the young people with whom I
workwho dont know how to ask, dont know what to ask for, dont even know
that they can ask. Now, however, I have a plan to help them create a more
successful, satisfying school experience...
Adolescents by Paula Olszewski-Kubilius (or from
- Focuses on talent development in adolescence, critical issues facing
adolescents, and implications for educational practice and parenting...
Gifted and in
the Middle: Addressing the Needs of Gifted Middle School Students by
Joseph S. Renzulli and Susannah Richards
- A series of techniques that are designed to assess each student's mastery
level of regular curricular material; adjust the pace and level of required
material to accommodate variations in learning; and provide enrichment and
acceleration alternatives for students who have, or can, easily master
regular material faster than the normal pace (requires
- Gifted Education and Middle
Schools an ERIC Mini-bibliography
- Gifted Learners and the
Middle School: Problem or Promise? (ERIC Digest #535) by Carol Ann Tomlinson
- Historically, tension has existed between gifted education and middle
school education, leaving some advocates of each educational practice
suspicious of the other, and gifted middle school students in a sort of
Adolescents Adjust to Giftedness (ERIC Digest #489) by Thomas M. Buescher
and Sharon Higham
- The developmental issues that all adolescents encounter exist also
for gifted students, yet they are further complicated by the special needs and
characteristics of being gifted. Once counselors and parents are aware of
these obstacles, they seem better able to understand and support gifted
End Learning in the Diverse Middle School: Investigating the Possibilities
by Catherine Brighton and Holly Hertberg
- Achieving middle school classrooms where all learners find both acceptance
and genuine challenge requires a shift in how we conceive the roles of
students and teachers
of Assessing Spatial Ability in Intellectually Talented Young Adolescents: A
20-Year Longitudinal Study
by Daniel L Shea, David Lubinski and Camilla P. Benbow
- "...Spatial ability added incremental validity to the SAT-M and SAT-V
assessments in predicting educational - vocational outcomes over these
successive time frames [age 13, 18, 23, and 33]. It appears that spatial
ability can compliment contemporary talent search procedures..." (requires
of Gender on Academic Achievement by Miriam R. Linver, Pamela E. Davis-Kean
and Jacquelynne S. Eccles
- For both boys and girls, math grades fall over the course of junior high
and high school. Young women achieve at comparable or higher levels in math as
males, but their interest especially for the high achieving females, is the
same or lower than males. Our results, also, suggest that for young men in
higher-level math tracks, math interest is much more strongly related to math
school grades than for young women in the same math courses...
of Secondary Gifted Education
- Offers education professionals comprehensive and critical information
needed for building an effective educational environment for gifted
Parents Have Good Intentions but Little “College Knowledge” in the
Duke Gifted Letter
- Despite good intentions, few parents of middle-school children are taking
the actions needed to ensure their children can attend college. Many
families of middle-school students...are not sufficiently aware of
postsecondary education options...
Middle Grades Division
- NAGC division dedicated explicitly to this unique population. Don't
miss the Middle Matters Newsletter Archives (requires
Adobe for newsletters), especially
and Curriculum Authority Guidance on teaching the Gifted + Talented
For teachers, coordinators and others involved in teaching the gifted and
talented in the context of an inclusive curriculum. Now includes information
and case studies on providing for gifted and talented 14- to 19-year-olds...
seek to kindle gifted by Heather Woodward,
"The Challenge Academy was created to meet the
special academic needs of our middle school gifted population. There is
often the expectation that gifted kids will learn in spite of whatever
curriculum they have, but we want them to learn because of it." The
academy is intended to fill a previous gap between North Thurston's gifted
elementary school program and the Advanced Placement classes for high school
Development: Accommodating the social and emotional needs of secondary
gifted/learning disabled students by F. Richard Olenchak
Secondary school students who are concomitantly gifted and learning
disabled is especially at risk for poor academic performance. Often, their
sense of self has been damaged by schools' overemphasis on their
disabilities at the expense of efforts aimed at enhancing their strengths.
This exploration advocates the development of individual student talent as a
philosophical theme for schools to accommodate the social and emotional
needs among gifted/learning disabled youth. Descriptions of several
educational innovations and reform components, likely to enhance talent
development, are included...
Brain: A work in progress by National Institutes of Mental Health (NIMH)
A brief overview of research into brain development during adolescence.
...NIMH's Dr. Judith Rapoport and colleagues were surprised to discover a
second wave of overproduction of gray matter, the thinking part of the
brainneurons and their branch-like extensionsjust prior to puberty...
Imaging Study Shows Brain Maturing and view the time-lapse 3-D movie that
compresses 15 years of human brain maturation, ages 5 to 20...
The War Against Excellence: The Rising Time of Mediocrity in America's Middle
Schools by Cheri Pierson Yecke
Radical activists do not see the American middle school as an organization
to impart academic knowledge, but as an instrument through which they can
force social change. Yecke, an experienced teacher and administrator, shows
how these activists have implemented their plans and endangered the education
of all middle school children--especially those who are gifted...
Nerds are Unpopular by Paul Graham
I know a lot of people who were nerds in school, and they all tell the
same story: there is a strong correlation between being smart and being a
nerd, and an even stronger inverse correlation between being a nerd and being
popular. Being smart seems to make you unpopular. Why?
September 12, 2014