15 Fabulous Picture Books about Family

I’ve got fifteen fabulous picture books about families to share with you. As the author of the Children’s Guide to the National Book Festival for several years, I have spent countless hours reading the best books for children available. I love helping families and teachers connect with great books. This

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What are the Depth and Complexity Icons?

The Depth and Complexity icons are a set of eleven visual prompts corresponding the the eleven fundamental thinking prompts of the Depth & Complexity framework. The icons were designed by Sheila Madsen to accompany the Depth and Complexity thinking prompts created by Dr. Sandra Kaplan and Bette Gould in the

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Using Haiku Poetry in the Classroom

Haiku in the Classroom How can you use haiku do in your classroom? A quick list includes: It’s no secret that I love poetry. I love teaching it, reading it, and even writing it. In second grade, my classmates accused me of cheating when I wrote my first haiku. Their

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Can Spelling Bees Help Anxious Children?

Recently, I was a guest on the They’ll be Fine podcast, a fabulous podcast for those interested in gifted education done by the North Carolina Association for the Gifted and Talented. The super cool and sparkly Stephanie Higgs, better known on the ‘Gram as her alter ego, Little Miss Gifted,

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Interview with a Gifted Kid: Jade

In this installment of the Interview with a Gifted Kid series, I speak with Jade, a 5th-grade student living in the Intermountain West. We did the interview on Zoom (and her mom was there, too, so you’ll see her pop up). The interview is one of the longer ones I’ve

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Misdiagnosis of Gifted Children Demystified

There are entire books written about misdiagnosis of gifted kids. Why? Because in a number of children, giftedness looks like an alphabet soup of issues and disorders. And the list goes on. And on. Of course, it’s not always misdiagnosis. Giftedness can coexist with many conditions. However, it’s very, very

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Why Gifted Students Need School

Recently, I interviewed a truly delightful sixth-grade student. At one point in the conversation, I ended up interrupting regularly scheduled programming to give her a micro-lecture. (You can read that interview here.) In the course of that, I decided that there was a message in it that more gifted students

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Tips for Using ASL in Your Classroom

ASL has a place in every classroom.  Because I specialize in the education of gifted and talented students, I often cross paths with students who have atypical learning needs. ASL is a great fit for students with learning disabilities, for students with amazing learning abilities, and for those who are

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5 Profound Mistakes Every Teacher Should Avoid in Their Career

Recently I hosted three other teachers at my home for dinner. We’d all taught together, and we have about 100 years of combined teaching experience. While we had different teaching styles, different strengths, and different weaknesses, what we shared was exceptional proficiency as educators. After journaling and thinking about the

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Everything You Need to Know about Board Books

Board books are an important tool for young readers because they are specifically designed for young children who are just forming their understanding of the joy of reading and books. If you’re a new parent or grandparent, you may be entering the wonderful world of board books. As a gifted

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african american students at desk

Why School Retention is a Terrible Idea

Here’s a question I would never have thought you’d hear me say: Is school retention a good idea for gifted kids? Recently, I’ve received emails from multiple teachers pleading for help in persuading parents not to redshirt or retain their gifted children. When I read the first one, I literally

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