∞ SUPPORT ∞ ADVOCACY ∞ INFORMATION ∞
SERVICES ∞ COMMUNITY
A GIFT FOR YOU
from MAGE President Dr. MaryGrace Stewart
In these tricky times, it may be helpful to have something you can give to your children or students that will automatically be enriching, creative, and meaningful to them. These two PDF documents should be able to help you do just that:
Several years ago, when a 1st grader asked his teacher "What are the sum of the interior angles of a dodecahedron," She called me in a panic. Like her, you don't need to panic about educating your advanced/bright/gifted/talented/ twice-exceptional child or students. I made a "menu" for her and now you, where you and the child can create instant truly enriching activities or projects. I've shared it with several others since then that first time but it's not available anywhere for purchase. It can only be received as a gift from me to you. There is one for younger children and one for older students. Use them as you see fit.
These menus are based on the work of Dr. Sandra Kaplan from USC and her work on depth, complexity, and universal themes. They work because of a phenomenon known in Creative Studies as "forced fit." You may recognize this idea if you've ever done improvisational theater. It also relies on the Venn Diagram concept and something we educators used to call an assignment "contract."
Here's how it works:
(Interest + Enrichment + Process + Product = Project)
1. The student or an adult if the child is too young to write or finds writing too laborious, puts a major interest of theirs on the first line instead of the required curricular content assignment that would go there if this were being used in a school setting as an alternative assignment. (You don't need a pre-assessment in this case so you can skip that.)
2. The student chooses one of the depth and complexity words or one of the universal themes.
3. The student chooses one of the processes from the list. (It's a long list.)
4. The student chooses one of the product choices from that list.
5. They put these together to make their "assignment."
For example, they may have said their favorite interest is airplanes. Then they chose "rules" from the depth and complexity list. Then they chose "model" from the processes list. Finally they chose "yak" from the products list. They then write a sentence using airplanes, rules, model, and yak. It could go something like this. I will make a model of an airplane that uses the rules of survival that a yak has to use in their environment to survive. I will get this done by two weeks from now. Signed: Mary Smith.
This will require them to find out about yak survival and environment and how it might apply to aeronautics. It can and it will if you let them research yaks and use their imagination to ponder in what ways yaks and their survival might apply to airplanes.
You may end up with your child making a kind of flying yak but they will learn, struggle, and attain satisfaction through their learning.
Best wishes to all from all of us at MAGE!
Stay safe, healthy, and happy,
MAGE SPRING CONFERENCE CANCELED
The MAGE Board has been considering our annual conference in light of the current health situation. We met March 11 and discussed our options. We determined that the in-person conference scheduled for April 4th, 2020 at Boston University will be canceled. Those of you who have already registered for the conference rest assured that you will have your funds returned very soon.
We are working on alternatives. We know that you value the information that our presenters bring, so we are considering online options. We are also keenly aware of the importance of the in-person connections the annual conference brings to our community, so we are also considering other in-person options for later in the year, but first and foremost we are keeping in mind everyone's health.
We will update you in the next couple of weeks as to how we will proceed whether it be online, later in the year in-person, or a full cancellation this year. In the meantime, you still have access to the plethora of information on our website at massgifted.org, to support through The MAGE Parents Forum Facebook group, and to our gifted education specialist Dr. Stewart by emailing email@example.com.
Stay healthy and safe,
MAGE Board of Directors
Announcing the 20th Nicholas Green Scholarship
Change a Life!
Nominate a student for a Nicholas Green Award. The winner receives up to $500 towards an enrichment program of the student’s choice.
DEADLINE: April 17, 2020
This scholarship is funded entirely by donations.
Please encourage and support our gifted students through this program.
2019 Report Shows Massachusetts Needs Gifted Education
In June 2018 the state legislature mandated that the state's department of education (a.k.a. DESE) have independent research done into the practices, policies, and educational needs of students who could achieve beyond their grade level and the those who are gifted. The Final Report was released 8/21/2019.
The report recommended creating a taskforce to:
Define giftedness and measures to assess giftedness;
Determine most effective way to collect data on gifted students;
Consider best practices of other states and districts;
The report also urges the state to:
Establish state policy and guidelines on acceleration;
Track and report on the excellence gap; identify and implement strategies to close it.
Include instruction on the learning needs of gifted students as part of teacher training for all teachers; and
Hire staff at the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education with expertise in gifted students and gifted education.
The mission of MAGE is to:
support and advance the understanding of high potential/gifted children and their special needs;
promote the establishment of programs, services and opportunities for high ability/gifted students; and
encourage the exchange of information pertaining to gifted individuals among educators, parents, policy-makers and students on the national, state and local level.
We recognize the need to provide every Massachusetts student, regardless of cultural or socio-economic background, the opportunity to be educated in a manner that is fully commensurate with his/her ability or talent without restriction.
More about our Misson & Goals.