President’s Message by Holly Shupert
AGATE newsletter, August 2014
Greetings! As a parent of three gifted children, at varying stages of matriculation, I am often asked why I am involved in AGATE. The answer is easy. At a very basic level, we all desire children to be healthy, happy, experiencing personal and academic growth. We all want the educational needs of all children to be met. The development of each child’s talent is essential to fulfilling this desire. As Julie Andrews sang in the Sound of Music, we must “start at the very beginning, it’s a very good place to start.” We already know that each child’s learning success begins in the home. Repeated studies have shown that children who live in “healthy and happy” homes are better prepared to learn at school. However, even children from healthy and happy homes are each different from each other, including those who have been labeled “gifted and talented”. The label does not mean they are better or worse than other students; it means their brains are developing significantly differently. A new study published this summer reports on how some video games your students may have played this summer effects developing brains.
In the June/July 2014 issue of Neurology Now, Amy Paturel, M.S., M.P.H. reports on how video games effect the developing brains of children and teens in her article “Game Theory”. “In a study of 45 adolescents, playing violent video games for only 30 minutes immediately lowered activity in the prefrontal regions of the brain compared to those who participated in a non-violent game. “ (page 34). “’The prefrontal cortex – the locus of judgment, decision-making, and impulse control – undergoes major reorganization during adolescence,’ explains Tom A. Hummer, Ph.D., assistant research professor in the department of psychiatry at Indiana University School of Medicine in Indianapolis. That executive control center is essential for weighing risks and rewards and for putting the brakes on the pursuit of immediate rewards (like gaming) in favor of more adaptive longer –term goals (like next week’s chemistry test). ‘ Id.
I am not saying that all video gaming is unhealthy. To the contrary many games help students increase visual capabilities, strategize, and learn to perform multiple tasks at one time. However, I do think that showing students the MRI scans that show what the violent gaming is doing to their brains will help them understand the importance of their gaming behavior. I know when I showed this to my son and his friend they both turned off the video game and went outside to play. Sometimes a picture does say a thousand words.
Paturel, Amy. “Game Theory.” Neurology Now June/July 2014 Print
As we prepare for school I thought you might find some of the following books and websites interesting to explore as you finish this summer.
www.Byrdseed.com Ian Byrd has a wonderful website that has free and subscription offerings for teachers, parents, and gifted students. He has a free monthly newsletter with lesson plans, games, and things to spark discussion with the children in your life and he has a free weekly spelling list of foreign words that we use on a daily basis.
http://faculty.washington.edu/chudler/neurok.html Dr. Erik H. Chudler has a good website for students entitled “Neuroscience for Kids”. This site is fun way to learn about the nervous system. He also has links to lots of wonderful articles on anything affecting your brain and nervous system. You can also request to get a free newsletter from Dr. Chudler by e-mailing: email@example.com.
Mindset The New Psychology of Success How We Can Learn to Fulfill our Potential by Carol S. Dweck. This is a great book to help reevaluate how you approach goals in your life and how your mindset effects more than your talent to bring success.
Living with Intensity Edited by Susan Daniels, Ph. D. & Michael M. Piechowski, Ph. D. This book is five years old but a good book to help you understand students who learn differently because they are gifted and talented.
Intelligent Life in the Classroom by Karen Isaacson and Tamera Fisher. An inspirational book for all teachers filled with humor and wisdom to improve your classroom with the love for learning.
A Parent’s Guide to Gifted Children by James T. Webb, et al. This is a valuable and comprehensive book that I believe all parents of gifted children should read. It explains the lingo and helps you understand your children.
I look forward to meeting you at MT AGATE’s Conference in Helena on April 9-10, 2015. We will be announcing our keynote speakers soon and are very excited! Conference is a nice time to meet many new people and to see and visit with those you have known for a few years as you learn and explore new and exciting ways to teach and connect with your students and children. As you plan your budget this month, please remember in addition to providing the opportunity for you to learn how to better prepare for and engage with gifted and talented students, MT AGATE offers renewal credits and college credit when you attend our conference.
See you soon!
The intent of the Montana SAT Challenge is to
identify and recognize academically talented seventh
and eighth grade students who reason well
mathematically, read critically and express
themselves well in a self-developed written essay.
Through the SAT Challenge, 7th & 8th grade students
who exhibit strong academic aptitude are eligible to
take the SAT Test designed normally to be taken by
college bound 11th and 12th graders. Performance on
this test forms the basis for providing academic
program counseling and offering opportunities for
Click here to read the SAT Challenge Spring article and learn more about the SAT challenge and meet the 2014 winners.
Click here to visit the SAT Challenge page and learn how to register!
Ten Marks is a terrific website used by teachers all over the country to differentiate math instruction for their students. This site offers Common Core aligned modules for students in grades 1-12. Their summer program is available for parents to use for FREE! Modules are assigned to students based on their performance on an assessment. They are given more practice or more challenging work depending on their performance. CLICK HERE to learn more!
Are you looking for some professional development this summer? Plan on attending the annual Summer Institute in Dillon MT June 9-11 on the University of Montana-Western campus. Explore a variety of pertinent educational topics, including two sessions offered by Gifted and Talented trainers, Estee Aiken and Nikki Vradenburg. To register, click here!
The Montana STEM Girls Collaborative is a state chapter of a national effort to encourage girls to study science, technology, engineering and math. A $2,000 mini grant is available to teachers who have projects intended to promote STEM studies for girls. The deadline to apply is May 1, 2014 Click here for more information!
Are you looking for a summer opportunities for your gifted child? Follow the links to learn more about Peaks and Potentials Camp held June 15-20 and Montana State University in Bozeman. Students entering grades 5, 6, and 7 can participate in a week long program specifically designed for gifted students.
The 2014 AGATE conference was a huge success! Teachers all over the state of Montana traveled to Billings to hear Keynote speakers Bertie Kingore and Brian Housand teach about best practices in Gifted Education at the Billings Crown Plaza Hotel April 3 and 4, 2014. Teachers chose from over thirty different breakout sessions about topics such as technology, twice exceptional students, differentiation, the workshop model, problem solving and so much more! Parents of gifted students were invited to take part in many sessions as well as a panel discussion titled "An Evening with the Experts." The SAT Challenge Scholarship Awards Ceremony brought the event to a close as students from Montana were recognized for their participation in the 2014 SAT challenge and AGATE summer scholarship awards. We hope to see you next year for our 35th annual spring conference in Helena, April 9-10, 2015!
Bertie Kingore talks rigor with Montana teachers April 3, 2014
Montana teachers participate in small group activities during Bertie Kingore's key note speech.
Montana teachers explore resources provided by vendors during AGATE 2014, Billings MT.
Terri Porisch, Estee Aiken and Tamara Fisher share their wisdom during the discussion panel "An Evening with the Experts" Thursday April 3, 2014
Keynote Speaker, Brian Housand about talked about technology and "geeking out" during his lecture, "The Geeks Have Inherited the Earth" Friday morning.
Gayle Roege teaches Montana educators about finding artistically gifted adolescents in rural schools during a breakout session Friday afternoon.
SAT Challenge winners, Billings MT, April 4, 2014
Do you know a someone whose product or service is perfect for gifted kids or their teachers? Maybe a counselor or psychologist that wants to focus on gifted kids, a summer camp, a provider of enrichment materials, a publisher, an author, a toy company?
Encourage them to have a presence at the Montana AGATE spring conference, either by exhibiting (just $70/table) or providing materials that we can insert in the tote bags we give out to attendees ($50 to $60/insert).
They win by getting their name and product/service in front of over 200 attendees. The attendees win by learning about services they or their kids may want to take advantage of. And Montana AGATE brings in some extra cash, which helps us keep conference registration fees down so that more people can attend.
All the details are on our Conference page, under the Exhibition & Sponsorship Opportunities heading.
And the winners of the Montana AGATE mini-grants are.....listed here.
Is someone you know a winner? Tell 'em "congrats".
And if you're not a winner this year, start thinking about what project you might want to propose for next year's grant.