Who was the most gifted student you ever had?

Discussion in 'General Education' started by Verstpac, Jul 3, 2020.

  1. Verstpac

    Verstpac New Member

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    Jul 3, 2020

    What made the student so gifted, or so advanced? Any age, any grade welcome. You can talk about multiple students if you want.
     
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  3. rpan

    rpan Cohort

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    I’ve had a few over the years. They understood brand new concepts really quickly, they could link prior information with new information to see the bigger picture, they had very strong innate higher order skills like critical thinking and analysis and they were very good in using clever approaches to justify questions.
     
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  4. bella84

    bella84 Aficionado

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    This is how I would describe my gifted students as well. I’ve had identified third and fourth graders who exhibited these traits. I have also had not yet identified first graders who I am certain will be identified as gifted because they already show these traits.

    I will add that some of my gifted students have had issues with math or spelling, but it was their thinking abilities that identified them as gifted. Good academic achievement was often correlated but not always.
     
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  5. rpan

    rpan Cohort

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    I’d agree that good academic achievement is not a given with gifted students. I’ve had a couple of gifted students who just weren’t interested in putting in the effort to get good grades. they would get mediocre grades because they just wanted to be done with a task asap and of course they finished everything fast. Or some gifted kids had such awful time management that they couldn’t produce anything that reflected their giftedness. Or some kids dumbed themselves down to fit in. But when you ask these kids questions or when they ask me questions, it’s clear as day that they are not your average kid.
     
  6. Ima Teacher

    Ima Teacher Maven

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    They think about things differently. They don’t do things the traditional ways. They push boundaries. They often exhibit traits like poor organizational skills or time management skills. They don’t always care about grades or getting work done.

    sometimes teachers say they would love to teach a gifted class. I think they really mean they want well-behaved, smart kids with good work ethic. Gifted kids will give you a run for your money.
     
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  7. bella84

    bella84 Aficionado

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    So true. The most challenging years I’ve had were when a) a third of my class was gifted, and b) only a third of my class wasn’t gifted. When I’ve had few to no gifted students, teaching was much easier.
     
  8. Tyler B.

    Tyler B. Groupie

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    I had a fourth grade student named Alice who was very ordinary in cognitive skills, but when I did a sociogram with my class, every single student listed her as their very best friend. Alice was a social genius. Everyone loved her, including staff. There are many kinds of gifted students.
     
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  9. MissCeliaB

    MissCeliaB Aficionado

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    Every summer I work at an academic program for gifted kids. Some of them are profoundly gifted, like 32 on the ACT in 7th grade gifted. And some of them are just plain old gifted and/or talented kids. And some of just high-achieving kids who are really motivated and interested in the course that they chose.

    During the school year, I teach mixed populations, so I have kids on all different levels in the same classroom. What I have learned from that is that often the kids who are more successful are those with high emotional intelligence or who are very talented in an area, but not necessarily the stereotypical, high-IQ gifted kids.

    I definitely agree that gifted students should receive special services, and have IEPs, as they do in my state and many states. I just think we approach gifted education all wrong. I was classified gifted in elementary school. I attended a special public residential high school for gifted kids. I think we need to do more to nurture gifted kids and focus on their social and emotional needs than worrying about pushing harder and more challenging curriculum.
     
  10. bella84

    bella84 Aficionado

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    I agree that social emotional needs should be addressed in gifted curriculum. And I think some of this may vary by school. The gifted teachers in my district do integrate some SEL into their curriculum because the identified "gifted" students are often those who need the most SEB support.

    I also think there is some widespread confusion as to whether high-achieving equates giftedness. I was high-achieving as a student, but I missed out on the gifted program by just a couple of points on an IQ test in first or second grade. I honestly didn't care that much myself, but I remember my mom being very upset about it (which is the only part that every really bothered me). Now, as a teacher, I've had some really well-rounded, creative, high-achieving, in-control students, but they don't qualify for the gifted program. I often think these students are easier to teach than some of my identified "gifted" students, and I would expect them to be qualify for the gifted program. When they don't, I'm surprised. But I've slowly come to realize that, at least where I've worked, high-achieving and gifted are not the same thing.
     
  11. MissCeliaB

    MissCeliaB Aficionado

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    Amen! And so many district shove gifted kids in AP classes in high school when they are totally inappropriate for them. AP is for high achieving students, and not all gifted kids are, can be, or want to be. I feel like gifted as an exceptionality is frequently misunderstood.
     
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  12. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    That's so true. So often I encounter teachers and parents who feel that gifted students are hard-working, high-achieving, diligent students, and some certainly are. I've taught just as many who are dual-identified with an LD, ADHD, ASD or a Behaviour identification along with Giftedness. We do not have gifted programs in most schools, so gifted students need to make the choice of going to another school, or having their IEP goals met in the regular classroom. Most stay at their home school and many who choose to make the move end up returning after a year or two.
    When I think of gifted students who I've taught through the years, those who come to mind the quickest were both gifted in written expression; their writing was absolutely beautiful and I could read it for days.
     
  13. viola_x_wittrockiana

    viola_x_wittrockiana Comrade

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    Yes! So often the kids who are twice-exceptional are left in the lurch. My brother and I both fall into that category. He was doing calculus in 7th grade and is dysgraphic. I'm partially blind and had to fight for minimal accommodations in HS because my grades were fine. I remember being told I couldn't have an IEP because I was passing everything. Through that stroke of genius *eyeroll*, I had to take driver's ed. even though I don't qualify for a license. Then again, this was the same district that told my mother that boys are gifted and girls are over-achievers.

    My first truly gifted student was a little booger, and we got along great. I had him when I was student-teaching, and I spotted him as gifted when I was doing my pre-service observations. "J, stop poking M!" J: "Technically I'm not touching him since we're made of atoms and two atoms can't actually touch." He could be a sass-pants, and you had to have the right kind of humor and be ready to fire back a solid response. I can see how he would be labeled disruptive or defiant, but that wasn't his goal or motivation.

    I had an academically normal student, but gifted musician. The kid was about a year, year and a half ahead of where I was at that age. He was so focused and so willing to learn and try everything. He would choose to practice the "boring" foundational exercises; run-of-the-mill talented kids don't do that. Unfortunately his parents weren't very supportive, so he wasn't able to make much of the opportunities he earned, like a year of scholarship private lessons he'd won. It's not easy to be a black male flute player in a low-SES community, but his talent could be his ticket to college.
     
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  14. blazer

    blazer Connoisseur

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    Jul 7, 2020

    Had a few. One pair of Twins who were interstellar in their intellect and work ethic. Both are Doctors now. One young lady who just kept her head down in class and worked steadily. Got a top grade in my subject. Then when the GCSE (Whole nation) exam results were in got the best grades in the entire country across all subjects (she did 16 in all where the average kid would do 8). Not bad for a neighbourhood school beating all the best schools in the country including all the Private ones.
     
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  15. Tired Teacher

    Tired Teacher Groupie

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    I taught kids of all ages that were highly gifted for many years. Many learned to read w/out parent help before school. Some had brilliant parents, others did not. Ones that stand out to me are: a girl who could write fluently and read on an 8th grade level at age 6. She had 1 heck of a vocabulary. She knew and figured out figurative language. She never forgot a word that I said. She had a photographic memory too. ( Her mom was an average person.)
    Another set of twins could read on about a 9th grade level when they entered school. ( They had bright parents.)
    A boy who had a photographic memory too and could do math in 3rd grade that HS kids were doing. You would show him something once and he'd have it. He could read and write on HS level too. His parents were both very bright. His only annoying habit was once in awhile, he'd politely argue w/ me about an answer. Most of the times, he was right or had a point too. :) :)
    These were just a few I had tons of fun with.
    Before I had a lot of experience, 1 kid who spoke English as a 2nd language used to commonly read a book while I was teaching something new. ( His parents did not know English at all.) I admit, it was annoying and a principal who popped in for evaluations would have had a problem with it. However, I realized he could listen, learn, and read at the same time. I'd never seen a kid like him before. He had kind an an odd personality, but was wicked smart.
    There is another subtype of brilliant student I have encountered., 2 to be exact, that were sociopathic. Neither of these kids had decent parents. They were manipulative as all get out and pretty evil. 1 wrote a paper in 3rd grade titled: Manipulation. It was 2 pages of ( perfect spelling and punctuation) ideas that were really freaky for a kid his age to write about.
    The biggest waste of gifted kids happens when everyone tells them how smart they are instead of focusing on what they can learn, curiosity, perseverance, and effort. I very seldom used the word smart with those kids.
    I have seen a small subgroup of gifted kids who do not want to make a mistake when they are 1st learning something new. Some actually shut down when something new was challenging. They wouldn't want to make a mistake b/c it would make them feel like they were not smart. Usually these kids had parents who had stressed how important it was to be smart. It is hard to "undo" the damage done to this type of kid. It is deep rooted.
     
  16. Pisces

    Pisces Companion

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    Last edited: Jul 11, 2020
  17. txmomteacher2

    txmomteacher2 Enthusiast

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    I am the mother of 4 children all of whom are gifted...... in their own way. Only one was ever actually tested and given the title gifted. The one that was actually tested and given that title was tested for several years before he actually made it into the "program" The reasoning behind this was he didn't know how to take a standardized test. I was floored when I was give this answer. At this point he was a 5th grader. He had taken all of our states standardized tests up to that point and had not missed ONE question on those standardized tests. At this point I decided that him and my other children were not going to be in the "program" (he did wind up going because he begged me his best friend was in the "program"
    Fast forward a few years and I became a teacher. We had moved to a new district my older kids were grown. I was asked to nominate someone from my class for GT. So I did. This kid I thought was a bright think out of the box kind of kid. He didn't qualify either. The reasoning behind this was he wasn't able to articulate his thoughts very well in an interview. (He was in the first grade ) I have never nominated another kid. I feel that the GT program in our state needs a overhaul. There are many kids who are gifted but because our standards are ridiculous they don't qualify. Some kids maybe gifted in areas that are not quantified in the "standard" test we give. I think we need to test in areas that they are "gifted" in not an overall giftedness. Plus they they should be age appropriate. Who thinks grilling a first grader in an interview is appropriate. NOT ME!!!!
     
  18. gr3teacher

    gr3teacher Phenom

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    I had a third grader once who passed a BAS Level Z with a perfect 10/10 and who I was informally teaching high school algebra to while teaching the class 4th grade math. For Greek Mythology Day, she produced a fully cited 20 page research paper along with a 45 minute film of various Greek myths. Loved that kid.
     

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