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Gifted Learners [clear filter]
Thursday, October 17


Perfectionism in High Achieving Learners, Room A-117
One of the characteristics of highly intelligent students is the strong desire to master. While this can be a positive quality, it can result in a limiting perfectionism when coupled with unrealistic expectations. Additionally, students lack the tools needed to help them persevere when they face struggle. As educators at Nueva, we have seen the rise of perfectionism in our students in recent years. What can we as educators do to foster a healthy approach to growth and mastery? Join us as we look more closely at perfectionism in our younger students and share the ways in which we can support them in developing a balanced approach to learning.

Leave this workshop with ideas that will empower your students!

Wednesday & Thursday Slate
avatar for Emily Mitchell

Emily Mitchell

1st Grade Lead Teacher and Design Thinking Coach, The Nueva School
Emily Mitchell is a first-grade teacher at The Nueva School in Hillsborough, California. Teaching had always been one of her passions, and it wasn't until she spent time in the corporate world that the pull to education became even stronger. Emily has a Bachelor of Arts from Lafayette... Read More →
avatar for Laraine Ray

Laraine Ray

Kindergarten Teacher, The Nueva School
Laraine Ray has been an early childhood educator for 40 years; the last fifteen as a kindergarten teacher at The Nueva School.  She specializes in developing intellectually stimulating curricula that stems from student interest. Using the children’s questions as a starting point... Read More →

Thursday October 17, 2019 10:10am - 11:20am
Nueva Hillsborough Campus 6565 Skyline Boulevard, Hillsborough, CA 94010


Depathologizing Learning Difference: A Non-threatening, Solution-oriented Way of Talking to Students and Their Parents, Room J-201
In this session, I present a compassionate approach to thinking and talking about learning differences. My approach is nonjudgmental, strengths-based and solution-oriented.

When we spend too much time talking about what is "wrong" with a student, we are at risk of forgetting what is “right.” Too often, the language we use to talk about learning difference is reductionistic and focuses more on the perceived problem than on possible solutions. I believe this approach is pathologizing and often leaves students and their parents feeling worried, disappointed, and hopeless.

In this session, we will explore how educators can partner with parents and their children to:
  • clarify the nature of the learning challenges
  • de-escalate feelings of "defected-ness," worry, and blame 
  • highlight strengths
  • offer a different, hopeful perspective
Appropriate for all grade levels.

Wednesday & Thursday Slate
avatar for Ericka Fur

Ericka Fur

Learning Support Consultant
Ericka Fur, Learning Support Consultant, holds a BA in English literature and psychology from the University of the Witwatersrand in South Africa and a higher diploma of secondary education from the University of Cape Town. She also holds an MS in learning disabilities from Bank Street... Read More →

Thursday October 17, 2019 11:30am - 12:30pm
Nueva Hillsborough Campus 6565 Skyline Boulevard, Hillsborough, CA 94010


A Visual Hands-on Approach to Building Perfect Numbers: A Perfect Theme for Gifted Students in the Elementary Grades 2-5, Room L-102/103
Perfect numbers are a perfect portal into advanced arithmetic for the mathematically gifted and curious student. But how do we find a perfect number? Using a combination of colored interlinking blocks and paper and pencil, participants will find the sum of the divisors of the numbers from 1 to 12. Visual patterns will emerge, deductions and discoveries will be made. Each sum has different characteristics: some sums have characteristics in common, but, as the blocks will illustrate, perfect numbers have a special arithmetic feature. Participants will create hands-on visual representations of the first 3 perfect numbers, and discover that perfect numbers are also triangle numbers, which share an internal structure. 

Wednesday & Thursday Slate
avatar for Peter Koehler

Peter Koehler

Lower School Math Enrichment Teacher, The Nueva School
Peter Koehler holds a PhD in theoretical and elementary particle physics from Royal Holloway College, University of London; a master’s degree from Imperial College of Science, Technology and Medicine, London; and carried out post-doc studies in the theory group at Stanford Linear... Read More →

Thursday October 17, 2019 2:45pm - 3:45pm
Nueva Hillsborough Campus 6565 Skyline Boulevard, Hillsborough, CA 94010
Friday, October 18


Talented Girls and Women: Challenges, Obstacles, and Nuances
What challenges and obstacles do talented girls and women encounter? This session will focus on smart girls and talented women, summarizing decades of research by the presenter and making recommendations based on this research about how to develop talents in girls and women. Specific ideas about helping talented adolescents will be discussed, including creating plans for personal talent development.

Friday Slate
avatar for Sally Reis

Sally Reis

Letitia Neag Morgan Chair in Educational Psychology, Neag School of Education, University of Connecticut
Sally M. Reis recently completed a six-year term as the vice provost for academic affairs and currently holds the Letitia Neag Endowed Chair and is a Board of Trustees Distinguished Professor at Neag School of Education at the University of Connecticut. She was previously a department... Read More →

Friday October 18, 2019 8:30am - 9:30am
Room 316-317


THE G WORD -- A Feature Documentary in Post-Production
Independent filmmaker Marc Smolowitz will screen and discuss the latest clips from his feature documentary The G Word, which is now in post-production. The G Word aims to be the most ambitious and comprehensive film ever made on the topic of gifted and talented education in the United States.

Link to presentation: https://spark.adobe.com/page/zt2qSzvgdOT5B/

Link to videos referenced in presentation: https://vimeo.com/showcase/5341657

Friday Slate
avatar for Marc Smolowitz

Marc Smolowitz

Independent Filmmaker, 13th GEN
Marc Smolowitz is a multiaward-winning director, producer, and executive producer with more than 25 years’ experience across all aspects of the entertainment and media business. His career focus has been powerful social-issue filmmaking across all genres. His long list of credits... Read More →

Friday October 18, 2019 8:30am - 9:30am
Room 340


Intelligence, Personality, and Privilege: Implications of the Research for Innovative Learning
Intelligence, personality, and privilege are the strongest predictors of academic achievement. These variables work in interaction with one another to enhance or detract from achievement, life satisfaction, and well-being. Educators working with talented young people need to understand how combinations of intelligence, personality, and privilege can be assessed, interpreted, and used to understand the optimal academic and career pathways for their students. How can students be encouraged to develop their abilities and their positive personality characteristics? How can educators help their students to find the cultural, social, and financial resources needed to overcome lack of privilege related to their gender, race, socioeconomic status, sexual orientation, citizenship, age, physical ability and characteristics, and geographic origin? This presentation highlights the possibilities for truly understanding the strengths and challenges of our students.

Friday Slate
avatar for Barbara A. Kerr

Barbara A. Kerr

Williamson Distinguished Professor of Counseling Psychology, University of Kansas
Barbara Kerr, PhD, holds an endowed chair as Distinguished Professor of Counseling Psychology at the University of Kansas and is an American Psychological Association Fellow. She specializes in psychology of creativity; issues of gender, privilege, and talent development; and innovations... Read More →

Friday October 18, 2019 9:40am - 10:40am
Room 340


The Underachievement Dilemma
Underachievement by gifted and high-potential learners is one of the most frustrating issues that teachers encounter. What causes underachievement? How can parents and teachers help develop talents in students who underachieve in school but not in creative outlets outside of school? What interventions work for what types of underachievement? How can we motivate gifted learners to achieve? These and other questions will be explored in this session.

Friday Slate
avatar for Sally Reis

Sally Reis

Letitia Neag Morgan Chair in Educational Psychology, Neag School of Education, University of Connecticut
Sally M. Reis recently completed a six-year term as the vice provost for academic affairs and currently holds the Letitia Neag Endowed Chair and is a Board of Trustees Distinguished Professor at Neag School of Education at the University of Connecticut. She was previously a department... Read More →

Friday October 18, 2019 10:50am - 11:50am
Room 340


Anxiety and the Twice-Exceptional Child
Students who are twice-exceptional (2e) have tremendous intellectual gifts alongside a wide range of possible learning challenges — attention differences, slow processing speed, social immaturity, and/or weak executive function skills, just to name a few of the possibilities. This asynchronous development can make it extremely challenging to meet their unique needs and contribute to significant mental health conditions such as anxiety. Learn more about the profiles of 2e students, why they experience anxiety, and how parents and educators can help support these exceptional youth.

Friday Slate
avatar for Ann Smith

Ann Smith

Co-Founder and Executive Director, Gifted Support Center
Ann founded Gifted Support Center in 2011 as a direct response to the lack of services and support available for gifted learners and their families in the San Francisco Bay Area. Ann spearheaded the creation of Leave Your Sleep for Education, an interdisciplinary language arts curriculum... Read More →
avatar for Vivien Keil

Vivien Keil

Clinical Director, Children’s Health Council
Vivien Keil is a clinical director at the Children’s Health Council (CHC) in Palo Alto. She is a neuropsychologist who specializes in the developmental evaluation of young children and neuropsychological evaluation of children and adolescents. In her role at CHC, she frequently... Read More →

Friday October 18, 2019 12:40pm - 1:40pm


Misdiagnosis and Missed Diagnosis of Gifted Individuals
Misdiagnosis most frequently occurs when professionals mistakenly view specific social and emotional characteristics of gifted individuals as signs of pathology, leading to inappropriate treatments or classroom accommodations.  On the other hand, missed diagnosis— an equally problematic situation — occurs when factors of giftedness obscure weaknesses, or problematic behaviors are minimized because one is gifted.  Twice-exceptional children are not identified as such because, for example, their strengths cover up weaknesses or school-related concerns are misattributed to giftedness rather than the handicapping condition such as a learning disability or attention disorder.  In these cases, individuals fail to receive the necessary interventions to address their unique needs.  With a focus on the behavior patterns that lead to misdiagnosis and the similarities between giftedness and clinical syndromes such as attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder and autism spectrum disorder, the presenter will outline concerns and ways to minimize the likelihood of these problematic situations.

Friday Slate
avatar for Edward R. Amend

Edward R. Amend

Clinical Psychologist, The Amend Group
Edward R. Amend, PsyD, is a clinical psychologist at the Amend Group, and he is licensed to practice in both Kentucky and Ohio. In his private practice in Lexington, Kentucky, Dr. Amend focuses on the social, emotional, and educational needs of gifted and talented youth, adults, and... Read More →

Friday October 18, 2019 12:40pm - 1:40pm
Room 1103


Gifted Education for the Cool Kids: Being Real About Social Capital & Achievement
Students are more accepting of each other than ever, but gifted students, particularly in older grades and in low-SES subgroups, face tremendous social pressures that may limit them from reaching their full potential. Discover practical strategies and structures to help high-potential students enhance their social capital and fulfill their promise.

Friday Slate
avatar for Colin Seale

Colin Seale

Founder & CEO, thinkLaw
Colin Seale is an educator, attorney, and critical thinking evangelist. With degrees in law, public administration, and computer science, he has always had a passion for equity. His efforts to tackle educational inequity are particularly personal. Tracked early into gifted and talented... Read More →

Friday October 18, 2019 1:50pm - 2:50pm
Room 1103


Talent Development: The Gateway to Outstanding Performance
Many individuals interpret giftedness as a trait that individuals are born with. Others view giftedness as the outcome of a talent development process. In this latter view, classifying a child as gifted is the first step in a talent development journey. Using the talent development megamodel and the psychology of high performance as backdrops, this presentation will provide an overview of the elements of talent development that increase the probability of outstanding performance in adulthood.

Friday Slate
avatar for Frank C. Worrell

Frank C. Worrell

Professor, University of California Berkeley
Frank C. Worrell is a professor in the Graduate School of Education at UC Berkeley, where he serves as faculty director of the School Psychology Program, the Academic Talent Development Program, and the California College Preparatory Academy. He also holds an affiliate appointment... Read More →

Friday October 18, 2019 3:00pm - 4:00pm
Room 1103


Advocacy & Attitudes Toward Gifted Education
A poll commissioned by the Institute for Educational Advancement demonstrates unforeseen public understanding of issues facing gifted children and supports policy reform. This presentation will explore gifted advocacy and share IEA’s poll results regarding public opinion towards gifted education.

Friday Slate
avatar for Elizabeth Jones

Elizabeth Jones

President, Institute for Educational Advancement
Ms. Jones has been an educator, researcher, and administrator of educational programs for over 30 years. She holds a master’s degree in special education from the University of Southern California and has completed doctoral work in the field of educational policy and learning theory... Read More →

Friday October 18, 2019 3:00pm - 4:00pm
Room 217