Gifted and Talented
Those who dream by day are cognizant of many things which escape those
who dream only by night. – Edgar Allan Poe
The National Association for Gifted Children (NAGC) offers the following definition for giftedness: "Gifted individuals are those who demonstrate outstanding levels of aptitude (defined as an exceptional ability to reason and learn) or competence (documented performance or achievement in the top 10 percent or rarer) in one or more domains."
The Flemington-Raritan School District offers two distinct Gifted and Talented programs for students who have been identified as needing additional programming in order to thrive. These programs are designed to encourage hard work, challenge, and grit as the keys to further academic success.
Stretch (Humanities-Based Gifted Program in Grades K-8)
Passages Program (For Linguistically-Talented Students in Grades 7-8)
Gifted and Talented Programs Continuum of Services:
- Accommodations in the regular classroom
- small group instruction with varying grouping strategies implemented
- differentiation of curriculum and instruction
- Part-time assignment to both regular and special classes (small-group targeted pull-out groupings, book clubs, enrichment activities, and games, schoolwide enrichment opportunities, etc.)
- Full-time grouping with students of similar abilities (Stretch classes, Passages classes)
- Acceleration or grade advancement (mathematics acceleration classes)
Individuals who believe that the school district has not complied with the provisions set forth in the New Jersey Department of Education's Strengthening Gifted and Talented Education Act may file a complaint with the District's Board of Education. The Public Complaint Policy outlines the processes and procedures necessary to file a complaint.
Interesting in knowing more about gifted learners?
Here are the ten most common characteristics seen in gifted students.
Gifted children often begin communicating verbally at an early age, and they use vocabulary far beyond their age. These children are often referred to as “precocious” because of their language usage. The website for Amend Psychological Services lists some of the verbal features of gifted children as “avid storytellers,” early talkers or those with an extensive and precise vocabulary. These children often choose their words carefully but tend to use a lot of them. They can also get frustrated with children in the same age group who are unable to understand them and often turn to older children or adults for conversation.
Education.com states that gifted children often have an “unusual capacity for processing information” and are often able to process that information more quickly and accurately than their peers. These children typically master subjects like reading and math much more quickly than their peers, which can make it difficult to keep them challenged in a regular school setting. Bright Hub Education explains that some gifted children become disruptive in classrooms – often because they are bored with the material that is taught over and over again.
High Curiosity Level
Gifted children often have a high curiosity level and dive into subjects with a passion not seen in most children their age. Amend Psychological Services says it is not unusual for a gifted child to learn the names of all the dinosaurs or the stats for every player on a baseball team at a very young age. Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center calls this characteristic a “deep absorption in activities that interest them,” and parents of gifted children learn quickly just how saturated that absorption can go when they have to take a child to the library or help them find facts on the Internet over and over again.
Gifted children are often able to retain information faster and for longer periods of time than average children of the same age. Their rapid learning ability allows them to process facts quickly and retain them for efficient recall later on. High memory retention combined with fast information processing often means these children learn subjects at a rapid-fire rate that can make it challenging for parents and teachers to present information to gifted children as fast as they like.
Intensity and Persistence
Many gifted children are intense in the way they learn, which is often why they pick up large amounts of information so quickly. They can also be intense socially, with acute sensitivity to the needs and feelings of others, according to Education.com. These children are able to show compassion to others at a much deeper level than other children their age. However, the intensity and persistence can also work against a gifted child on occasion, when the child encounters a problem he cannot easily solve or a topic he cannot seem to master as quickly.
Sense of Humor
Gifted children are enjoyable to be around because many exhibit a sense of humor that goes well beyond their years. Bright Hub Education states that these children often have a special appreciation for more subtle types of humor like satire. They also enjoy plays on words, such as puns, and are particularly adept at using these comic techniques themselves. Whether their sense of humor comes out in their conversation or their writing, these students can be a joy to converse with.
Sense of Justice
Gifted children often have an acute sense of justice, which can translate to high expectations of themselves and others. While their strong moral compass can make them effective leaders, and ensure good choices in many situations, this characteristic can also make it difficult for them to forge long-lasting relationships with others. These children often become interested in justice and fairness at a very early age, which continues throughout their lives.
Gifted children often exhibit a strong imagination, with an ability to spin tales that parents and teachers do not necessarily expect. Education.com says these children often show originality in their oral, written or artistic expression and are viewed as highly creative. Gifted children may spend time fantasizing, and are often categorized as independent thinkers.
Children who fall into this group may have the ability to pick out details much more acutely than other children in the same age bracket. Whether reading a book or watching a movie, gifted students often notice seemingly non-essential pieces of information that others might miss. Their attention to detail often results in long, drawn-out renditions of situations or conflicts – a frequent source of frustration for parents and teachers, at times.
Often perceived as effective problem solvers, gifted children typically relish nothing more than breaking down a complex issue and finding a solution that no one else has ever thought of. These children, according to Education.com, have an “advanced cognitive and affective capacity for conceptualizing societal problems” – the potential leaders of the future.
- Accommodations in the regular classroom