Keynote Speakers & Sessions

2020 Keynote Speakers 
Thursday - Dr. Todd Kettler

Dr. Todd KettlerTodd Kettler, Ph.D., is an Associate Professor in the Department of Educational Psychology in the School of Education at Baylor University. He teaches courses in gifted education and talent development, creativity, and the history and systems of psychology with educational applications.

Dr. Kettler conducts research on access to advanced academic learning opportunities in schools, including access to gifted education. He studies the features of learning designs that support outcomes of exceptional performance including the development of critical thinking and creative capacity. His book, Modern Curriculum for Gifted and Advanced Academic Students (Prufrock Press, 2016) won the Legacy Award for the best scholarly book in the field of gifted education in the United States in 2016. That text articulated Kettler’s four-level approach to elite talent development in academic domains.

Dr. Kettler studies learning designs that combine advanced content, complex thinking, conceptual understanding, and the development of intellectual character. His work in complex thinking has specifically focused on developing students’ abilities to think both critically and creatively within domain-specific traditions. His book Developing Creativity in the Classroom: Learning and Innovation in 21st Century Schools (Prufrock Press, 2019) explores systematic development of creative capacity in learning organizations. Kettler’s research has appeared in the leading journals in the fields of gifted educational and creativity including: Gifted Child Quarterly, Journal of Advanced Academics, Journal for the Education of the Gifted, Creativity Research Journal, Psychology of Aesthetics, Creativity, and the Arts, Creativity Research Journal, and Thinking Skills and Creativity.

Currently Dr. Kettler serves as editor of the Journal of Advanced Academics, and he is the chair of the Texas Commissioner of Education’s Advisory Council for Gifted Education in Texas. He is actively involved in the American Educational Research Association and the National Association of Gifted Children. He began his professional journey as a middle school and high school English teacher and spent more than a decade designing and leading advanced academic programs in public schools in Texas.

Friday - Dr. Karen Rogers

Dr. karen rogers

Karen is Professor Emerita of Gifted Studies in the College of Education, Leadership, and Counseling in the Department of Special Education & Gifted Education at the University of St. Thomas in Minneapolis, Minnesota. She retired after 30 years there and an additional 3 years part-way through her tenure as Director of Research for the Gifted Education Research and Resource Information Centre at the University of New South Wales in Sydney, Australia. She has written several books, quite a few chapters for edited publications, multiple journal articles about her research in the areas of research synthesis, arts education, cognitive processing, parenting, creativity, gifted program development & evaluation, and twice exceptionality ( a new book will be forthcoming!). She is a manuscript reviewer for most of the major gifted research journals both here and abroad. She sits on the advisory boards for the College of William and Mary Gifted Advisory Board, the Minnesota Department of State Gifted Advisory, the Grayson School Research Advisory, Bridges Academy Publications Advisory, and the U.S. Department of State Office of Overseas Schools. She is the proud mother of three gifted children, nine gifted grandsons (yes, they are all gifted), and one gifted granddaughter. They are all out in the world and, it is hoped, making lasting contributions in their fields of talent!

Sessions Thursday, March 26, 2020


Welcome & Keynote: 9:00 a.m. - 10:00 a.m.


Why Creativity and Problem Solving Should be Prominent in the Gifted Curriculumkettler-todd-400-2fdi4k5-300x300.jpg

Dr. Todd Kettler, Associate Professor, Baylor University

Is there time for creativity in the curriculum? What about problem solving, innovation, and imagination? Too often creativity is on the outside looking in when it comes to curriculum. Worries persist that teachers and curriculum designers make trade-offs between teaching creativity and problem solving versus teaching content. Is that a real dilemma? What does a content-rigorous, creative thinking, problem-solving curriculum look like?

Session 1: 10:10 a.m. - 11:00 a.m.                                                                                                                                                
  • Critical Thinking, the Cognitive Shield of a Post-Truth Culture
    • Dr. Todd Kettler, Associate Professor, Baylor University
    • In a world of unlimited information, the ability to think carefully and critically is becoming increasingly important. This session focuses on ways that teachers and curriculum designers can combine the skills of critical thinking with the content of the curriculum. Critical thinking skills are most effectively acquired when they are infused with complex and demanding content and reinforced with dialogical instructional models.
  • Equity and Underrepresented Gifted Students
    • Kimberly Solomon, Exec. Director of Gifted and Talented Programs, Detroit Public Schools
    • This presentation focuses on issues of equity, societal systemic impact of implicit bias with a focus on education and the impact on the social and emotional needs of underrepresented gifted students. This presentation further discusses cultural needs of underrepresented gifted students and how to address these needs in schools and classrooms. 
  • Scaling Personalized Learning through School Wide Enrichment and Gifted Instructional Strategies
    • Blane McCann, Interim Superintendent, Piper USD 203
    • This session is for educators who are seeking to personalizing learning for all students and would like to use SEM and other gifted strategies to begin the process. Participants will define the term personalization for their local context. They reframe their own thinking about teaching and learning. Participants will also learn how to infuse the five proven gifted strategies including school wide enrichment into the classroom as they integrate them with the presenter's five elements of personalized learning developing classroom lessons that give voice and choice to all learners promoting student independence and engagement.
  • All the Drama, All the Learning
    • Emily Gardner, Gifted Teacher, Grades 2-6, The Museum School of Avondale Estates
    • Do you want an exciting, real world way to help your students engage with drama, research, and writing skills? The student dramaturgy program allows students to research and delve deeply into a play or other literature. In this interactive session, you will learn how to guide students through this real world job by researching and creating content that can be shared with a variety of audiences. By the end of this session, you will have participated in a dramaturgy experience and leave with practical applications for your classroom.

Session 2: 11:10 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.                                                                                                                                                   
  • Global Citizenship and Engagement Curriculum for Gifted and Talented Learners
    • Dr. Mary Slade, Professor, Towson University
    • Dr. Stephen Schroth, Professor, Towson University

    • The social issues challenging tomorrow's global citizens must be understood and addressed through collaboration, creativity and problem-solving. Gifted learners have the potential to inspire and lead others in global awareness and community engagement to create social change. The session focus is K-12 curriculum planning emphasizing global engagement. A model curriculum, instructional strategies, and classroom activities will be shared across grade levels and disciplines.
  • Implementing Genius Hour in a mixed abilities, multi-age classroom to reach learners of differing abilities in a general education classroom.
    • Rachel Sirene, Director of Curriculum and Instruction, Saint James' Episcopal School
    • Nell Lawrence, Third Grade Teacher and Reading Specialist, Saint James' Episcopal School
    • Our third grade teacher/reading specialist and I partnered together to plan how we would implement Genius Hour in a classroom with a wide range of learners' abilities. It is still a work in progress, but what it is revealing about our students and our approach to teaching is causing both our students and us to ask questions differently. We take each session as it comes and try to prepare as best as possible. We are trying different rubrics to help students self-evaluate, and we have made plenty of mistakes, as exploring and tinkering lend themselves to. However, we think that's probably a good thing to reinforce with the students anyway. 
  • Programs to Support Low-income, High-ability Students
    • Dr. Mihyeon Kim, Director of Precollegiate Programs, Center for Gifted Education, William & Mary
    • This session introduces a residential summer program designed to serve low-income middle school students who are highly capable in academics and shares the process of designing a program, the components of the program, and the lessons from 8 years of services. Implications for counselors and educators to support this population will be discussed.
  • Modern Scientific Research & Mentorship: Creating Opportunities, Developing Talents, and Inspiring Innovation. Differentiated instruction for gifted high school students in the STEM pipeline.
    • Vikki Wismer, Director, New Horizons Governor's School for Science and Technology
    • Laura Vobrak, Mentorship Coordinator, New Horizons Governor's School for Science and Technology
    • Seth Buffkin, Honors Research Instructor, New Horizons Governor's School for Science and Technology
    • Mentorships are invaluable experience for gifted high school students. These opportunities foster genuine learning, problem-solving and critical thinking skills and allow students to conduct cutting-edge, advance research projects.
  • Fostering Gifted Students' Peer Relationships
    • Dr. Jennifer Cross, Director of Research, Center for Gifted Education - William & Mary
    • Despite their intellectual differences, gifted adolescents are much like their peers who have not been identified as gifted. They reach many developmental milestones at the same time as their classmates and share many of the same concerns. In this session, we will examine what we know about peer relationships among gifted students and what adults can do to foster positive social development.

Session 3: 1:00 p.m. - 1:50 p.m.                                                                                                                                                    
  • Networking Sessions- Coordinators & Administrators
    • Networking Session are scheduled throughout the conference for designated time to meet and talk with your fellow gifted educators from around the state and country. This session is for gifted coordinators, academics, and administrators who would like to meet each other and share ideas. 
  • Networking Sessions-Teachers K-5
    • Networking Session are scheduled throughout the conference for designated time to meet and talk with your fellow gifted educators from around the state and country. This session is for K-5 teachers to meet and share experiences. 
  • Networking Sessions - Middle & High School Teachers
    • Networking Session are scheduled throughout the conference for designated time to meet and talk with your fellow gifted educators from around the state and country. This session is for middle and high school teachers to meet and share experiences.
  • Networking Sessions - Teachers Language Arts & Social Studies Curriculum
    • Networking Session are scheduled throughout the conference for designated time to meet and talk with your fellow gifted educators from around the state and country. This session is for people wanting to discuss ELA and SS programs and curriculum. 
  • Networking Sessions - Teachers Science & Math Curriculum
    • Networking Session are scheduled throughout the conference for designated time to meet and talk with your fellow gifted educators from around the state and country. This session is for people wanting to discuss Science and Math programs and curriculum.

Session 4: 2:10 p.m. - 3:00 p.m.                                                                                                                                                 
  • William & Mary's Navigator Series: The Ultimate Novel Study Guide
    • Dr. Patty Costis, Program Coordinator, NORSTAR, Norfolk Public Schools
    • The William and Mary Navigator Series is a set of questions, writing and discussion prompts, and activities to accompany a variety of novels, stories and picture books. Each Navigator offers gifted and advanced learners the opportunity to analyze and interpret literature, build vocabulary and writing skills, and make real-world connections to the events in the stories. Participants in this workshop will learn how to customize student learning using Navigators for individual, small-group, and whole-group literature study. Incorporating gifted models and strategies into a Navigator study will also be highlighted. 
  • Designing Equity-Focused Professional Learning Plans
    • Stacy Hayden, Doctoral Student, University of Connecticut
    • For decades, inequities in gifted programs have persisted for students from culturally, linguistically, and economically diverse (CLED) backgrounds, resulting in many districts relying on professional learning (PL) to address this issue. But what does this PL look like? In this interactive session, presenters will briefly share findings from a study of PL practices in Virginia. Presenters and attendees will then discuss the implications for identification of CLED students for gifted programs. Attendees will utilize this information and professional learning best practices to design an equity-focused professional learning plan for use in their school or district.
  • Math: Extending the Standards for Grades Three, Four, Five, and Six
    • Dr. Lori Bland, Director of Curriculum, Center for Gifted Education- William & Mary
    • The Center for Gifted Education has developed math units for grades three through six that can be used with cluster groups within the context of a general education classroom, for enrichment in a pullout model, or for acceleration. These units are problem-based and extend the curriculum standards with depth, complexity, and rigor. Teachers will have an opportunity to work with sample lessons examining number sense, algebraic operations, geometry, measurement, and data and statistical analysis. The lessons are grounded within gifted pedagogy, as well as, research in mathematics education.
  • An Interdisciplinary Environment to Cultivate High School Research
    • Jonathan Buffkin, Teacher, New Horizons Governor's School for Science and Technology
    • Vikki Wismer, Director, New Horizons Governor's School for Science and Technology

    • Laura Vobrak, Mentorship Coordinator, New Horizons Governor's School for Science and Technology
    • At our STEM Governor's School, the students conduct research during both of their years of attendance. An individualized approach allows each student to choose the direction and area of their study but inhibits a single guiding methodology for a teacher to implement. This year, an interdisciplinary curriculum with a responsive structure was enacted, utilizing the diverse specialties of the faculty to form a supporting, collective knowledge base. This presentation reports the challenges and successes manifested from such an ambitious curriculum.
  • Anxiety and Depression among Gifted Students
    • Dr. Tracy Cross, Executive Director, Center for Gifted Education - William & Mary
    • What do the adults who work with and care for gifted students need to know about psychological issues? Anxiety and depression are two conditions that many teachers, counselors, and parents of gifted students may see in the course of normal development. In this session, participants will learn more about these psychological issues and how to support gifted students suffering from them.

Session 5: 3:10 p.m. - 4:00 p.m.                                                                                                                                               
  • Break Out of Boredom! "Escape Room" for learning with practicing the 5 "C"s
    • Rhonda Taylor, Gifted Resource Teacher, Gloucester County Public Schools
    • Gaye Murphy, Gifted Education Specialist, Gloucester County Public Schools

    • Ever tried Breakout Boxes? Think an "Escape Room" for learning. Come try your hand. See how Breakout boxes can stretch your gifted learners as they practice the 5 "C"s.
  • A Framework for Advanced Studies Curricula for Gifted and Talented Learners
    • Dr. Mary Slade, Professor, Townson University
    • Advanced studies curricula address gifted and talented learners’ need for something other than the prescribed grade-level curriculum when the expected outcomes have already been mastered or can be learned at an advanced pace. Thus, the purpose of advanced studies curricula is to compact the general education curricula in order to modify, adapt, and supplant the grade-level curricula in core academic areas. The proposed advanced studies curriculum framework presented during this session is unique as it defines the nature and content of what most gifted and talented education programming refer to as advanced studies curricula by combining four requisite components necessary for differentiation.
  • Courage, Justice and Building Relationships
    • Joe Zenir, Teacher, Brecksville Broadview Hts Middle School
    • Scott Kinkoph, Brecksville Broadview Hts Middle School
    • Having successfully combined SEL, looping, and reading and writing workshop model, this session will present methodology to keep learning fresh as I loop with students from seventh to eighth grade. This session will talk about the benefits this classroom teacher sees through looping, and the instructional strategies employed over the two year span to keep it fresh using William & Mary curriculum in a reading and writing workshop model. 
  • Teaching Gen Z: PBL, Risk-Taking and International Mindedness
    • Dr. Anne K. Horak, Assistant Professor, George Mason University
    • Dr. Kimberly Daly, Project ExCEL and Coordinator, Project E-Ignite, George Mason University
    • Our students have been shaped by a post 9/11 world and the effects of recession. They are characterized by a desire for affecting social change. They don’t want to volunteer at a homeless shelter, they want to solve the issue of affordable housing. Curriculum and instruction that meaningfully engages these students revolves around a relevant problem and emphasizes creativity and divergent thinking. It leverages Google, YouTube and social media for learning. And, students learn in their own way. This session will highlight effective instruction for Gen Z and how it develops risk-taking and international mindedness.

Breakout Sessions Friday, March 27, 2020


Welcome & Keynote: 9:00 a.m. - 10:00 a.m.                                                                                                                                                      

Managing Instruction is the Key to Ensuring our Best-Evidence Curriculum gets Implemented with Fidelity: What the Last Thirty Years Has Told Us About Best Practices


Dr. Karen Rogers, Professor Emerita, University of St. Thomas

We can have the greatest differentiated curriculum in the world, but it may not be presented as it was originally intended, if we aren’t using the best practices our huge body of research provides. The factors of differentiated instructional delivery and instructional management need to support our curriculum. Karen will share the latest grouping research, going back as far as 1990 when she conducted her first exhaustive meta-analysis of the grouping studies. She will also review what we have found out since 2014 about accelerative and individualistic management strategies. Participants will be asked to reflect on what practices they will want to continue and which they may want to alter to ensure their most effective delivery of learning experiences for learners with gifts or talents.

Session 1: 10:10 a.m. - 11:00 a.m.


  • Curriculum Compacting: An Easy Start to Differentiation
    • Stacy Hayden, Doctoral Student, University of Connecticut
    • Research has demonstrated that gifted students frequently spend their time in school learning previously mastered content. For many teachers the idea of differentiation seems overwhelming. In this fast-paced, interactive session, participants will learn how to implement curriculum compacting. By discussing specific examples of compacting for a wide range of students, teachers will think about the considerations and decisions to be made during the compacting process. Finally, teachers will get started with compacting by creating a basic plan of how they may implement this process with their own students.
  • Design Thinking: Promoting Novel Thinking, Solutions, and Creations for All
    • Jessica Lawson, Computer Resource Teacher/Gifted Contact, Abingdon Elementary School (Gloucester County)
    • This session will encourage educators to shift mindsets to see value in creativity in classrooms and students' lives. Society needs creative thinkers, and the educational system can be a springboard for supporting our youth! Design Thinking is a process for all settings to promote novel thinking, varied solutions, and original creations. Educators might be surprised when what they learn is as great for of a benefit for their OWN thinking as it is for their students!
  • Center for Gifted Education Curriculum Series: Our most popular units -Literature ELA units
    • Jennifer Callison, Curriculum Trainer, Center for Gifted Education - William & Mary
    • The goals of the W&M Center for Gifted Education (CFGE) Literature units are to develop students'skills in literary analysis and interpretation, persuasive writing, linguistic competency, and oral communication as well as to strengthen students' reasoning skills and understanding of the concept of change. The units engage students in exploring carefully selected, challenging works of literature from various times, cultures, and genres; and they encourage students to reflect on their readings through writing and discussion. The units also provide numerous opportunities for students to explore interdisciplinary connections to the language arts and to conduct research around issues relevant to their own lives In this session a CFGE curriculum trainer will introduce you to this popular and researched based curriculum series.
  • 360 Degree Math: Equity, Engagement, and Achievement for ALL
    • Sean Kavanaugh, Head of Schools
    • With 360 Degree Math, teachers and instructional leaders will improve Math achievement and make Math fun again! In a 360 Degree Math classroom, students learn in a collaborative social network, allowing teachers to provide real-time feedback and address misconceptions before they become learned. Walk away with the tools and inspiration to immediately improve Math practices in your school. 360 Degree Math is not a curriculum and it is not a strategy, it is the new way kids learn math.
  • Evidence-Based Curriculum That Works for 2E Learners
    • Dr. Karen Rogers, Professor Emerita, University of St. Thomas
    • This session will talk about what curriculum should be considered for providing differentiated learning experiences for children who are gifted and present with one (or more) special needs. Karen will share the success found for these learners across two of her recent Javits grants. As Baum and others have told us repeatedly, we must keep the complexity of our curriculum “up” for these learners but work with how to address their special needs within the curriculum we use. Karen will share specific materials that worked, specifically for reading and for math. She will also share a “model” that allows the integration of 2e students’ issues within a rich curriculum that focuses on their strengths.

Session 2: 11:10 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.                                                                                                                                             
  • Document and Defend Learning with Digital Portfolios
    • Kelly Yambor, Secondary Gifted and Talented Teacher, Windsor Locks Public Schools
    • Incorporating technology throughout the learning process has been found to increase autonomy, creativity, and motivation for gifted students. This session provides educators with the how and the why of moving from trifolds and slideshows, to more engaging digital portfolios. Teachers will be given opportunities to explore popular digital portfolio platforms, as well as brainstorm how they can incorporate them into an upcoming unit or lesson.
  • William & Mary's New Digital Accelerated English Language Arts Curriculum
    • Dr. Lori Bland, Director of Curriculum, Center for Gifted Education - William & Mary
    • Dr. Ashley Carpenter, Director of Professional Development, Center for Gifted Education - William & Mary
    • The Center for Gifted Education at William & Mary along with Northwestern University has developed an online, accelerated English Language Arts curriculum that is in its final phases of piloting. In this session, we will discuss the concepts behind the curriculum and work through a sample of the teaching and learning models. We will also explain why it works and the results of the research studies. Hang onto your seats.... the curriculum is aligned with standards. In the end, middle school students complete three English Language Arts courses in two years, so that they enter high school with a high school English credit.
  • What’s App with That? Moving Past Novelty to Authentic Application in the Gifted Classroom
    • Magdalena Fitzsimmons, S.T.A.T. Resource Teacher, George Washington Carver Center for Arts and Technology
    • Now that you have those shiny new apps in your technology toolbox, how do you develop instruction that uses them appropriately and allows gifted students to create, communicate, and collaborate in novel and engaging ways? This session provides strategies for blended learning opportunities in the gifted classroom, sample lesson plans and student work. Don’t forget to bring your favorite device!
  • Networking Session
    • Networking Session are scheduled throughout the conference for designated time to meet and talk with your fellow gifted educators from around the state and country.

Session 3: 1:00 p.m. - 1:50 p.m.                                                                                                                                               
  • Problem Based Learning Science Units by W&M - How to Adapt to fit your Students
    • Darbie Valenti, Gifted Teacher, St. Joseph City Schools
    • Dr. Ashley Carpenter, Director of Professional Development, Center for Gifted Education - William & Mary
    • The science curriculum units developed by the Center for Gifted Education contain simulations of real-world problems that face today's society. The units are geared toward different grade-level clusters, yet they can be adapted for use at all levels K–8. The goals of each unit are to allow students to analyze several real-world problems, understand the concept of systems, and design and conduct scientific experiments. These units also allow students to explore various scientific topics and identify meaningful scientific problems for investigation. Through these units, students experience the work of real science in applying data-handling skills, analyzing information, evaluating results, and learning to communicate their understanding to others. In this session you will learn how making small changes can make these more meaningful and real world for your students.
  • Building Powerful, Lifelong Learners with The Autonomous Learner Model
    • Dr. Patty Costis, Program Coordinator, NORSTAR, Norfolk Public Schools
    • The Autonomous Learner Model (ALM) was developed by Dr. George Betts and Ms. Jolene Kercher to assist students in harnessing the power of learning. Through the many targeted activities and lessons within ALM, students learn skills to better understand themselves as learners, as well as to gather information independently and collaborate effectively. Participants in this season will learn more about ALM's five components- Orientation, Individual Development, Enrichment, Seminars, and In-depth Projects- and how the model is successfully implemented as an integral part of an urban middle school.
  • Writing Curriculum with the Center for Gifted Education - William & Mary
    • Dr. Lori Bland, Director of Curriculum, Center for Gifted Education - William & Mary
    • Would you like to be a part of the writing team for the internationally renowned William & Mary curriculum? The Center for Gifted Education is about to undertake a new curriculum development project over the next couple of years. In this session, Dr. Bland will introduce the Center's curriculum needs across all grade levels and curriculum areas, including English Language Arts, Mathematics, Science, Engineering, Computer Science, Social Studies, the Arts, Medicine, Wellness and Social/Emotional Needs. Dr. Bland will discuss curriculum development plans, the process for working with The Center for Gifted Education @ W&M, the timeline for training how to write and/or update units, collaboration, and opportunities for leadership within this process. 
  • Jacob's Ladder Reading Comprehension Program for Advanced Learners- 2nd Edition
    • TBA
    • The Jacob’s Ladder Reading Comprehension Program: Targets reading comprehension skills in high-ability learners and moves students through an inquiry process from basic understanding to critical analyses of texts. These units use a field-tested method developed by the Center for Gifted Education at William & Mary. They enable students in grades K–8 to comprehend and analyze any reading passage after completing the activities. The second edition of the program features comprehensive teacher's guides and new readings and ladders for student use. There are also two extensions to the program—the Jacob's Ladder Reading Comprehension Program: Nonfiction and the Affective Jacob’s Ladder Reading Comprehension Program.
  • Networking Session
    • Networking Session are scheduled throughout the conference for designated time to meet and talk with your fellow gifted educators from around the state and country.

Session 4: 2:10 p.m. - 3:00 p.m.                                                                                                                                              
  • Beliefs, Facts, and Research: The Role of Curriculum in Gifted Education and Our Responsibilities
    • Dr. Lori Bland, Director of Curriculum, Center for Gifted Education - William & Mary
    • Research indicates that beliefs shape our thinking and how we integrate facts and research into our cognitive architecture. The manner in and degree to which research informs our beliefs affects our decision making and activities. In this presentation, we will briefly explore a few key ideas about beliefs, research, and decision making. Then, we will examine how curriculum can provide an avenue for gifted and talented learners to examine media content using a critical thinking model within each of the four core content areas. In addition, participants will have an opportunity to work with the strategies. Finally, participants will have an opportunity to reflect on the processes in which they engaged when using the model.
  • Social Emotional Learning: An Understanding & an Integrated Approach
    • Candice Sears, Director of Instructional Services, Montgomery Cty ESC
    • Amanda Deeter,  SEL Supervisor, Montgomery Cty ESC

    • Do you find your gifted learners need support in learning social-emotional skills such as self-management? This session shares how we have integrated social emotional learning into a supplemental English-Language Arts curriculum. Participants will leave with sample curriculum, as well as, practical strategies that may be implemented into the classroom right away.
  • Critical Thinking Activities That Are No Fuss
    • Kathy Carpenter, Gifted Resource Teacher, Kate Waller Barrett Elementary
    • Kimberly Austin, Principal, Kate Waller Barrett Elementary

    • In our daily lives, we use many critical-thinking skills simultaneously and not in any prescribed order. Research indicates, however, that critical thinking is neither inborn nor naturally acquired. In fact, fewer than half the adults in America today have the ability to reflect upon their thinking and explain how they solved a problem. Fortunately, critical thinking can be taught and learned. Our job is to teach students to reflect upon their own thinking processes and become more successful, active learners. It's not about recall of information, it is about how you get kids to think about things. 
  • What Teachers Do Well When They Do PBL
    • Dr. Anne K. Horak, Assistant Professor, George Mason University
    • Dr. Kimberley Daly, Project ExCEL and Coordinator, Project E-Ignite, George Mason University
    • To be a good instructor of problem-based learning (PBL), teachers need to make a difficult shift to facilitating student directed learning. But, what does good teaching look like in a PBL classroom? And, how do we help teachers become good PBL facilitators? To explore these questions, we developed the Cognitive Apprenticeship Rubric (CAR). Teachers implementing PBL span the continuum from beginning to experienced, among other things. Yet, teachers do many things well even in their first attempts. In this session, we will share the wisdom we gained observing teachers implement PBL using a rubric developed to support teacher growth. 
  • Networking Session
    • Networking Session are scheduled throughout the conference for designated time to meet and talk with your fellow gifted educators from around the state and country.

Session 5: 3:10 p.m. - 4:00 p.m.                                                                                                                                               
  • Hands on Inquiry: K-5 Science Units from the Center for Gifted Education - William & Mary
    • Dr. Ashley Carpenter, Director of Professional Development and Publications, William & Mary
    • Each of the Science Units in this series offers curriculum that focuses on advanced content and higher level processes. Each contains simulations of real-world problems, and students experience the work of real science by using data-handling skills, analyzing information, and evaluating results. These materials are a must for any teacher seeking to challenge and engage learners and increase achievement.
  • Rising Innovators: An 8-Week PBL Experience for Gifted Learners
    • Candice Sears, Director of Instructional Services, Montgomery Cty ESC
    • Lahela Snyder, Gifted Supervisor, Montgomery Cty ESC

    • Risen from a regional need to design conceptual student understanding, this session shares a curricular opportunity building capacity and boosting confidence around National Science standards in primary grades. Teachers can confidently serve early identified gifted students through a designed interdisciplinary PBL package that includes career connections, professional development, and the platform to offer real-world problem solving challenges to students. 
  • Helping Gifted Students Improve International Mindedness and Respect for Other Perspectives
    • Dr. Kimberley Daly, Grant Manger, Project ExCEL, George Mason University
    • Dr. Anne K. Horak, Assistant Professor, George Mason University
    • While content instruction is important, of equal importance is the development of students’ interpersonal and intrapersonal skills. Living in a global world requires students to interact with others from different cultures and nations in trade, academia, and over technology. Curriculum that challenges gifted learners to act intentionally, develop the intellectual capacity to understand multiple perspectives, and foster global citizenship is crucial in today’s marketplace. This session will discuss classroom strategies for increasing international mindedness and respect for other perspectives using problem-based learning curriculum. Presenters will discuss how PBL units can be employed to explore multiple perspectives, global issues, and improve student reflection skills.
  • Tech tools to use in your Gifted Classrooms
    • Darbie Valenti, Gifted Teacher
    • TBA
  • Networking Session
    • Networking Session are scheduled throughout the conference for designated time to meet and talk with your fellow gifted educators from around the state and country.