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Minds in Motion Gifted Conference
Session 1

Paige Ellington and Deven Havner
Night of the Notables (adapted from George Betts' Autonomous Learner Model) is a unique, exciting event in which each student will ‘become’ a famous person from history. One of the continuing needs for the education of gifted children is the provision of effective role models who are their intellectual peers. This engaging project is designed to elevate the students' understanding of the qualities, characteristics, and challenges that are part of every successful, ‘notable’ person’s life. The program is fully adaptable and multi layered so it can meet the needs of a wide variety of ability and grade levels. It is meant to inspire all students to nurture and develop their own gifts and talents in order to make our world a better place!

Teagan Thomas
Understanding and Using the Depth and Complexity Icons with your Gifted Students

Dr. Sandra Kaplan specifically designed the Depth and Complexity Icons for gifted learners who need assistance in going beyond the surface and guidance in thinking more critically about the world around them. With the goal of digging deeper (Depth) and making connections (Complexity), these visual icons provide gifted students (and all learners), the chance to better wrap their heads around content and concepts. In this session, we will explore the meaning behind the icons, and discuss strategies for how to apply them in the classroom!

Melissa Bernard and Noelle Zagorski
Designing the Classroom Around the Student
Wiggle fidgets, volcano mouths, standing desks, Go Noodle, gorilla yoga, ball seats, sensory diets, hallways mazes and other strategies we have all heard about. We have learned about how each of these strategies can help students focus and be productive in the classroom but how do you really use (or manage) them in the classroom on a daily basis? Come learn more about how Noelle Zagorski, kindergarten teacher, and Melissa Bernard, second grade teacher, have designed their classrooms and schedule around their wiggly,fidgety, talkative, overexcited gifted students. See how each teacher has designed their classrooms to include all these strategies and how it has impacted the students, focus and productivity.

Beth Gutt
Singapore Math and Gifted Learners

Critical thinking piece behind Singapore Math and why it is a good method of teaching Mathematics to gifted learners.

Marilyn Gee
Bringing Shakespeare to Life -Two Plays in Conversation: Comedy and Tragedy in the Gifted Classroom

Session 2

Nicolette Torres
Writing is one of the ways that students learn in science. Through inquiry / interactive notebooks students explain what they have seen, why they think this occurs, and they are encouraged to clarify their thoughts and organize these ideas. On a daily basis it promotes student learning and proves to be successful for gift students because they use both the right- and left-brain hemispheres to help sort, categorize, and implement the new knowledge creatively and in diverse ways.

Sara Crowther and Manjinder Singh
Morning Tubs, Robots, Maker Space, Oh My!

Attendees will acquire resources that they can use in their classrooms through play using morning tubs, robots and maker spaces. We will demonstrate how to integrate, these forms of play, provide activities and allow hands-on work time.

Ari Pieper and Dawn Tenev
SEL for the AIG

Learn the importance of intentional teaching of social and emotional skills for gifted students. Attendees will be presented with classroom ready ideas for incorporating SEL in the AIG classroom.

Christy Hinkelman

Math Projects


Session 3

Dr Richard Courtright
JUST THE FACTS: Understanding Our Gifted Children & Their Education

A great deal has been learned from a century’s worth of research about the characteristics and needs of the gifted. Unfortunately, it is frequently misunderstood by educators, policy makers and parents. This session will present “the facts” - understandings derived from research that will help advance our program planning and advocacy efforts on behalf of gifted and talented students

Evelyn Metcalf
SENG 101

Dr Kristin Stephens
See, Think, Wonder: Using Visual Thinking Strategies To Develop Critical Thinking and Literacy Skills

Do you want to enhance engagement, discussion, and student thinking in your classroom? This session will provide an introduction to Visual Thinking Strategies (VTS), a methodology for developing aesthetic, literacy, and critical thinking skills using images. Questions that provide the foundation to a VTS lesson, specific facilitation techniques, and considerations for selecting images will all be shared. Participants will leave with an array of ideas and resources for implementing Visual Thinking Strategies in the classroom.


Dandelion Counseling

Session 4

Dr Richard Courtright
Gifted & Talented Students: Potential Problems and Pitfalls.

Gifted and talented children and youth (and even adults) are likely to fare quite well in life, as shown in research by Terman and others. However, they may encounter problems and issues that lead them to struggle in life, either with endogenous problems (those that come from within the psychological and emotional dimensions of their world) and/or exogenous problems (those that press upon them from the environment around them). This session will consider these problems, and suggest strategies to address and resolve them

Evelyn Metcalf
P.D.A /A.K.A
Parents Demand Answers OR Pathological Demand Avoidance
Pathological Demand Avoidance is a recognized (Autism Spectrum) diagnosis in the UK. In this presentation we’ll learn about the traits that make it unique and why it’s important to understand it EVEN if it’s not yet recognized by the American Psychiatric Association. Parenting strategies, coping mechanisms and tools for educators are starkly different than with other children on the high end of the Spectrum, especially when combined with perfectionism and Giftedness. Resources have been developed in the past 30 years that target this population that is mostly written off as ‘behavioral,’ or the result of ‘poor parenting.’

Cindy Gilson
All About Soccer, by Zach…Wait! Is This Project Challenging Enough?
A popular strategy for engaging students in self-directed learning is the report or research project. While both may effectively deepen students’ knowledge about a topic, they can vary by level of complexity. During this session, we will discuss the difference between reporting and researching. Participants will also learn how to match gifted students to an appropriately challenging project.

Dandelion Counseling