New England Conference on Gifted Education and Talent Development 2015

Cromwell, Connecticut
Thursday, October 22, 2015

2015 New England Conference on
Gifted Education and Talent Development

Great Expectations

Beyond the Standards: Developing Advanced Thinkers

Thursday, October 22, 2015

8:30 – 3:30 p.m.    Pre-conference Leadership Event for District and Building Administrators, G/T  Coordinators,  Board of Ed members, Legislators

Meeting the Needs of Your Gifted and High-Ability Learners
on a Tight Budget

This special pre-conference program is designed for an audience of district and building administrators, board of education members, other educational leaders and policy makers.
It focuses on key concepts and models for meeting the needs of advanced learners in a time of limited resources. The speakers are nationally recognized researchers in gifted education and talent development who have spent their careers researching and developing successful initiatives to support gifted and talented learners while responding to the needs of all students.

All registrations include lunch.

Presenter Topic 
 8:30-8:40 a.m. Katie Augustyn / Bonnie O'Regan Welcome and Introduction
8:45-10:00 a.m.
Dr. Elissa Brown
Gifted Learners and Common Core Learning Standards: Implications for schools & classrooms
10:15-11:30 a.m. Dr. Catherine Little Buzzwords or Ballast? Quality Elements in Curriculum and Instruction for the Gifted
11:30-12:15 p.m.    Lunch Welcome remarks
12:30-1:45 p.m. Dr. Joseph Renzulli, Gara Field, Julie Martin-Beaulieu, Robert Gilbert, Kathleen McCoy
The Administrator's Role in Total Talent Development Programs
2:00-3:15 p.m. Dr. Joyce VanTassel-Baska
A Nation Empowered: Evidence Trumps the Excuses Holding Back America’s Brightest Students

3:30 - 6:00 p.m.    Early Check-in for Conference

6:00 - 7:00 p.m.    Exhibitors/Book Sales

5:00 - 7:00 p.m.    Friends of CAG Reception - Cash Bar & Hors d'oeuvres (all invited)
Sponsored by the Neag Center for Creativity, Gifted Education, and Talent Development

Friday, October 23, 2015
7:45 - 8:30 a.m.     Check-in/Continental Breakfast/Exhibitors
8:30 - 10:15 a.m.   Welcome/Keynote

"Ignite Learning with a Growth Mindset"Janna Peskett,  Director, Digital Content and Curriculum Design, Mindset Works

10:15 - 10:45 a.m.  Coffee Break, Exhibitors, Book Sales
10:45 - 12 noon          Signature Series and Breakout Sessions

Signature Series:
Dr. Joyce VanTassel-BaskaAccelerating the Gifted in the Age of the Common Core
A Nation Empowered provides an update to the watershed work initiated by A Nation Deceived: How Schools Hold Back America’s Brightest Students. A Nation Deceived informed us of research-based practices for challenging academically talented youth. A Nation Empowered tells the story of how well we have applied what we have learned. The purpose of A Nation Empowered is to inform educators, parents, and policy makers of current research on acceleration, how that information has been applied to educational policy throughout the nation, and how educators can use the findings to make decisions for their brightest students.

Breakout Session 1:
Dr. Carla Brigandi Rigorous Creativity?
Ten different uses for a paperclip? In this session, participants will learn about classic creativity techniques, but equally important, they will also learn how to use these fun and engaging cross-curricular techniques to increase academic rigor and support student thinking.
Damon M. Piletz The Gifted Child and the Common Core Learning Standards: Building Strategies for Total Development
With new mandates and federal ideals, we need to remember that the Common Core Learning Standards are your building code and the renovation design is up to you. They are the rules of the game instead of a strategy for ensuing success in a game.
Dr. Elissa F. Brown Identification of Gifted Learners: Why and How?


Concerns about identifying gifted learners, particularly those from traditionally under-represented groups, have caused administrators and teachers difficulty in terms of politics, procedures, and determining appropriate service delivery. This session will explore the larger educational landscape with regard to identification as well as provide practical tools and tips for administrators and teachers.
Dr. N. Gail Herman Teaching Children Philosophy (TCP) Through Children's Literature
This session is based on Dr. Tom Wartenberg’s TCP class at Mount Holyoke College in MA. I will share strategies for students in grades K through 6. Using trade books, we retell folktales to initiate philosophical discussions within a theme of civil discourse free of logical fallacies. Listening and responding with respect is emphasized as well as how to construct responses and refine ideas. Students come to see that building on what they hear by listening carefully to others’ ideas leads to a satisfying disagreement or agreement, where everyone can see what the points are.
Dr. M. Kathy Gavin Raising the Common Core Math Standards to New Heights for Our Talented Elementary Students
How can you increase challenge and spark motivation in your math classes? Three new field-tested units from the NAGC award-winning Project M3 series can help. Participants will engage in in-depth investigations that develop critical thinking and creativity while focusing on advanced concepts.
Lorrie-Anne Monte Innovating Intuition: Creative Thinking Strategies for Affective Development
Gifted learners may experience social/emotional concerns in learning and relationships. Given GT students’ capacity for higher-level thinking, creative thinking strategies may foster development of problem-solving skills. We will explore strategies to help students develop creative problem-solving strategies for lifelong use.
Dr. Susannah Richards                                   

The Reality Is: Recently Published Nonfiction Books Kids Will Want to Read 
Tell me more about Emerson or how to be a cheetah scientist. With the increased attention on reading and writing expository text in the Common Core State Standards, it is imperative that teachers and students be able to engage with high-quality informational texts. This session will highlight a diverse variety of recently published nonfiction texts that you will be able to use to ignite readers to create meaning. An extensive booklist and suggestions to use the titles in the curriculum will be shared.    

Dr. Patti Drapeau Higher Order Thinking and Assessment: Realizing what Counts
The presenter demonstrates how to assess thinking by showing criteria that are quantitatively and qualitatively specific, measureable, and observable. The presenter addresses how to assess thinking in formative or summative assessments as well as how to show growth over time.
Nathan Levy Powerful Strategies to Enhance Learning of Gifted Students
This workshop explores numerous, proven ways to reach gifted learners in challenging ways. Participants will leave with new strategies and specific ideas to help pupils become better creative and critical thinkers. Bring your thinking caps and your funny bones.

12 noon - 1:10 p.m..  Lunch, "Friend of Gifted" Award 
1:15  - 2:30 p.m.  Signature Series and Breakout Sessions 

Breakout Session 2:

Dr. Susan Baum  2e: Twice Exceptional a film by Thomas Ropelewski: Part 1 (Documentary Screening) 
Here is your opportunity to view the award winning documentary by Tom Ropeleski about students who are both gifted and challenged with learning, attention, or social issues. This moving film will allow you to hear from students, parents, teachers and professionals about their insights of what it is like to be twice exceptional. There will be time for questions and discussion following the screening during the next breakout session (moderated by Dr. Susan Baum).
Dr. Carla Brigandi Academicize Enrichment!  
Learn how to combine elements of acceleration, including structure and rigorous learning methodologies, with elements of enrichment, including interest and meaningfulness. In this way, gifted students get the best of both worlds! Participants will have access to online resources.
 Dr. Rachel R. McAnallen  Creative Mathematics Is Not an Oxymoron within the Core Curriculum
Arithmetic could be defined as answering the question whereas mathematics could be defined as questioning the answer. Mathematics can be highly creative in its own right when taught through a conceptual base rather than a procedural one. Teaching through a conceptual base fosters creativity in the student and excitement in the classroom.
Neesha Rahim Empowering Innovation:  3D Printing in the Classroom (suitable for beginners!) 
Join us on a hands-on journey into the world of 3D printing in this fast paced workshop for educators who want to explore how to use this cutting-edge technology to inspire innovation and creativity in the classroom. You'll leave with a real taste of how CAD works, an opportunity to get a free printer for your classroom and a list of free, educator-tested resources guaranteed to light up your students’ eyes.
Cindy Nottage & Virginia Morse  IIM – A Successful Research Model for Gifted Students (Gr. 3-8)
Do your students find research assignments difficult? Do even your gifted students hand in plagiarized, poor quality work? Help is at hand! Learn CCSS-based strategies from a proven research model, The Independent Investigation Method, that give support where students experience difficulty and enable G/T students to maximize their talents in rigorous independent studies.

Damon M. Piletz  The Gifted Mindset: A Catalyst for Developing the Immovable
In the present climate of education, recognizing one’s mindset seems to get a lot of attention. Use of the label of “gifted” can be a catalyst for overall development and not of complacency. This workshop will focus on the major areas that gifted student should be improving and developing to truly be a gifted, life-long learner.
Olivia Delaney, Alyssa Chmura and John Lombardo  What Lies Beneath: Arts and the Core Curriculum
The aim of this workshop is to illustrate interdisciplinary lessons as a technique for incorporating arts into the core subjects. The activities provided are designed to engage students globally, socially, and academically while adhering to Common Core Standards.
Dr. Catherine Little & Rebecca O'Brien  Project SPARK: Promoting High Potential at K-2
Project SPARK is implementing the Young Scholars Model, an approach to seeking and nurturing high potential among students from traditionally underserved populations, in several New England schools. We will share elements of the model and details from our first year.

2:30 - 3:00 p.m.  Coffee Break, Exhibitors, Book Sales 
3:00 - 4:15 p.m.
Signature Series and Breakout Session 
Signature Series:
Dr. Joseph S. Renzulli - An Infusion Based Approach to Curriculum Enrichment: Jazzing Up the Common Core

The widespread adoption of the Common Core has promoted enthusiastic interest among gifted education advocates and several promising practices for adapting standards have been contributed to the literature in gifted education. This presentation describes a practice that can be used in regular classrooms and in cases where adapted standards for high achieving students have not been implemented. The practices use a curriculum enrichment infusion process that guides teachers through the steps necessary to select, inject, and extend higher-level thinking skills, creativity training, and the application of knowledge skills into any and all regular curricular content. 

Breakout Session 3:
Dr. Susan Baum  2e: Twice Exceptional a film by Thomas Ropelewski: Part 2
(Follow-up Discussion) moderated by Dr. Susan Baum
Dr. Sherry Earle  Bouncing Back – Developing Resiliency in Gifted Children
All children face challenges in life. We can assess risk factors such as lack of connectedness, repeated daily stress, perfectionism and lack of practice with stressful events. Gifted children can develop the skills needed to bounce back from difficult situations.
Dr. Patti Drapeau  Is Differentiation Really Working with Gifted Students?
What one teacher thinks is differentiated another teacher thinks is differentiated but not differentiated enough for gifted students. The presenter identifies strategies that make a real difference for gifted students and suggests ways to make differentiation doable, possible, and effective.
Jonathan R. Craig & Dr. Jessica Lodwick  Native Americans and Archaeological Puzzles for kids
How do archaeologists interpret the past and what do artifacts mean?  Native Americans left clues and pieces of puzzles to their ancient past that kids can decipher by inquiry, investigation and interpretation. 
Lydia H. Gibb & Jennifer Travers The Power of Play:  Supporting the Social and Emotional Needs of Gifted Children
As practitioners, we have experienced the powerful effect of play in helping gifted students cope with everyday stresses. We will share strategies in a demonstration and discussion format.
Dr. Barbara Swicord  Working the Future
Are your students prepared for jobs that don’t yet exist? While the future is uncertain, we can teach students to solve complex problems and be self-directed learners, becoming experts in emerging fields. Explore strategies to prepare for future careers with confidence and creativity!
Lavinia Southam & Meghan Geary  Writing in a Differentiated, Gifted Classroom
Writing is a wonderfully versatile teaching tool in a differentiated, gifted classroom because it is the one area where teachers can assign a single topic and yet reach the abilities of every child in their classroom.
Matthew Worwood  Project-Based Learning: The Role of the Creative Thinking Advocate 
Digital technology is an essential ingredient to the implementation of a 21st Century classroom. Utilizing these technical marvels we now have a genuine opportunity to increase creative output in students. This presentation will showcase creative thinking methods that can be easily incorporated into project-based learning, with special emphasis on the ideation process and how we as educators can better advocate for the production of original products that have value to an intended audience.

4:30 - 5:30 p.m.  Book Signings/Exhibitors/Cash Bar 
7:00 – 9:00 p.m.  Dive-in Movie

Saturday, October 24, 2015
 7:45 - 8:30 a.m. Check-in/Continental Breakfast/Exhibitors 
 8:30 -  8:40 a.m. Welcome
 8:45 -  10:00 a.m.  Breakout Sessions

Breakout Session 4:
Dr. Marcia A. B. Delcourt  Bridging the Achievement Gap for Able Middle Schooler
The Early College Academy prepares high potential  low-income  adolescents to improve their achievement, confidence, and habits of mind. In this session strategies used to assist these students to apply to and be accepted at competitive urban high schools will be presented.
 Kathy Kennedy & Lisa Beth Savitz Families and the Connecticut Core Standards
This workshop  will  connect caregivers with  the Common  Core in Connecticut.  Learn: where  we are in implementation, why  the  PTA is involved, what myths surround the standards and assessments, ways to support student learning at home,   and  how   the  PTA can  help you.
 Nicole S. Waicunas
Enjoyment, Engagement, and Enthusiasm for Learning: Enrichment Clusters
Engage in student-driven,  real-world  learning  experiences!    Teachers will  discover how  to utilize  their own  interests to enable students to engage in work as practicing professionals, applying advanced content and methods to develop products and services for authentic audiences.
Dr. E. Jean Gubbins

Infusing Critical and Creative Thinking Skills Into Curricula
Learn how to promote “learning  to think”  and “thinking  to learn” among your students by focusing on complex issues that reflect real-life problems.  Transform approaches to curricula by using questioning skills; cubing; role, audience, format, topic (R.A.F.T.); and tiered assignments.
Karen Beitler Science/Math Integration for Earth’s Sake
In this hands-on workshop,  participants  will participate  in innovative  activities that illustrate  the science and math behind real-world  ecology concepts such as carrying capacity, natural resource use, habitats and biodiversity. Presented strategies include group problem-solving, graphing/analysis,   and role-playing simulations.
Rebecca O’Brien & Kelly L. Kearney
SPARKing High Potential
The high potential  shown identifying  that potential  can be difficult.  We will model interactive  lessons focused on elicit- ing behaviors indicating high students from historically  underserved groups doesn’t  always look like “typical  gifted behavior.
Dr. Aimee Yermish  Within Normal Limits: How To Spot Real Problems In Gifted Kids
There is a broad range of “normal” behavior, and gifted kids’ intensity  often pushes the boundaries of that.  Some- times, the child’s issues are just quirks. Sometimes  they are minor problems being made worse by an unhelpful  environ- ment. Sometimes,  they are serious problems. We don’t  want to overpathologize  what’s  normal,  but we also don’t want to miss a real problem that really needs prompt intervention.  I will talk about how we can tell the difference and how we can explain what we’re seeing in ways that professionals can understand. Bring your questions!


10:00 - 10:15 a.m.  Coffee Break, Exhibitors, Book Sales 
10:15 -  11:45 a.m.


Dr. Del Siegle - Advocacy for Gifted Children
The frequently cited quote, “If you are not at the table you are on the menu” certainly applies to advocating for gifted children. Without strong voices that draw attention to their needs, gifted children will not have the necessary resources to reach their full potential. During this session, we will discuss strategies for productively advocating for gifted students with audiences that range from your child’s classroom teacher to a U.S. senator.

Kathryn Haydon and Jane Harvey - Creative Thinking: A Path to Happiness and Deeper Learning 
Is everybody really creative? In this dynamic, interactive  session, the presenters will shed light  on the science of creativity  and its power to deepen learning  and support growth. Participants will actively engage their own creative thinking  and problem solving in the process. You will return home with inspiration and strategies to help you nurture creative thinking  and problem solving in the classroom, in your family, and beyond.

11:45 – 12:45 p.m.  Lunch, Exhibitors, Book Sales
12:45 – 2:00 p.m.  Breakout Session 5

Breakout Session 5:
Dr. Susan Baum  2e: Twice Exceptional a film by Thomas Ropelewski: (Documentary Screening and discussion) 
Here is your opportunity  to view the award winning  documentary  by Tom Ropeleski about students who are both gifted and challenged with  learning,  attention,  or social issues. This moving film will allow you to hear from students, parents, teachers and professionals about their insights of what  it is like to be twice exceptional.  There will be time for questions and discussion following  the screening. 
Dr. Rachel R. McAnallen
Creative Problem Solving for the Spatially Talented Student
Tangrams are probably the least expensive but the most powerful  set of manipulatives  in the math  teacher’s geometry toolbox.  Beginning with flips, slides, and turns, (reflections,  translations, and rotations)  proceeding through geometric vocabulary, similarity and congruence, then concluding with the grand finale of the Pythagorean Theorem, the tangrams can be used for teaching geometry  at any grade level. Besides using the tangrams for geometry, in depth fractional problem solving at an algebraic level can challenge the most mathematically  talented student in the classroom. This age old puzzle can bring excitement  and fun into the math classroom and turn around those students who have been  traditionally bored with the memorization of geometric terms and vocabulary.

Dr. Aimee Yermish  "If You’re So Smart…”: Coaching to Improve  Executive  Functioning
Most of the interventions  suggested for helping gifted kids get their work done, keep track of stuff, manage time, and the like, involve imposing adult will on an uncooperative child. But that doesn’t work well at all... We will explore executive functioning,  how to figure out what’s  really going on, and practical ways to intervene.  Learn to work with your child (or your spouse, or yourself!)  to make long-term change. Bring your questions!
Dr. Laura F. Main & Dr. Marcia A. B. Delcourt Improving Creative Thinking and Problem Solving Performance
Creative thinking  involves critical thinking  and problem-solving.  This complex set of skills should have a more prominent place in the 21st  century classroom. Find out how to infuse style training  into classroom activities and improve problem-solving performance.
Erik M. Francis Now THAT'S a Good Question!
What is a good question—or  rather, how does a good question address the cognitive rigor of college and career ready standards? Learn how to develop good questions that challenge and engage students to think deeply and communicate the depth and extent of their learning using oral, written, creative, or technical expression 
Dr. Susan T. Berry Parent Drop-In
If you’re a parent of a gifted child or adolescent and have a question about your child you’d like to share with a psychologist who specializes in gifted children, drop in for a brief chat with Dr. Berry. 
Nicole S. Waicunas  The Goals, Gifts, and Growth  of Authentic Research
Finding out how to capture students’ attention,  hold it, and then, enable them to dig deeper into researching that
which interests them is every teacher’s dream. This workshop  will enable you to discover the interests of your students, capitalize on them, and enable your students to truly own their work, share their work, and be motivated to discover the best that they can be.
 Kelly Lomax The Never-Ending Story-of  Learning
We are training future leaders of our world. We must embrace this charge by keeping students engaged with rigorous (which  is different from difficult)  opportunities to grow as learners. Participants will learn strategies, including an overview  of Talents Unlimited,  that  you can include in your class to write  your own  “Never-Ending  Story of Learners.” 
2:15 - 3:15 p.m.  Breakout Session 6 

Breakout Session 6:
Sarah Hack  Co-Constructed Learning: Increasing Motivation
Teachers often  watch  groups lose motivation   during co-constructed learning.  How do we avoid pitfalls  and ensure that co-constructed learning  helps gifted  students increase motivation  and academic achievement?  This presentation  is aimed toward deepening knowledge  of co-constructed learning while boosting engagement. 
Dr. Gail N. Herman  Family Story Writing and Storytelling
The book Tales of Mischievous  Martha:  New York City Wanderings,  Foster Care, and Orphanage  Life will  inspire stu- dents to write about their own experiences and those of their families.  Martha’s  stories are true, short, humorous, and
 sometimes  sad. Book samples from  G/T  and regular  classes will  be shared. The process is fun as well  as instructional. Audience members will participate in several activities and be given a handout and online link to this writing  process. The Core is addressed, of course!
Erik M. Francis R.E.I.D. to Learn: Research, Experiment, Investigate,  Design
Learn how to challenge and engage students to examine and explore concepts and content by having them R.E.I.D. to Learn: Research, Experiment.  Investigate,  Design. Use open-ended, text  dependent  questions that challenge and engage students to gather the information  they need. Students will process knowledge  and think  more deeply as they draw their own conclusions and generate their own ideas about what they are learning. 
Gena M. Rotas  Reducing Stress and Anxiety with EFT or 'Tapping'
In order to develop advanced thinkers,  educators and parents need new skills and strategies to help children manage their well-being, regulate their emotional state, and support their success.  EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique) or Tap- ping is an easy, simple and fast skill to reduce anxiety and fear, in order to help children flourish.
MaryGrace Stewart  The Whole Apple
The core isn’t  the  whole   apple,  nor  is CCSS the whole  of education.  This session presents a repositioning  of CCSS and testing in a deductive model that increases learning  in ways that increase insight and discernment,  especially for bright students. 




Contact Information

Payment Instructions

  • Please print your invoice at the end of the registration process.  If you are paying with a purchase order, please give the invoice to your Accounts Payable person ASAP.  Payment is expected prior to conference start.  If you are not paying by credit card, make checks payable to CAG.  Mail checks and POs to:

    P. O. Box 2598
    Westport, CT 06880
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