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    SurvivalGuide TeachersGifted KidsHow to Plan, Manage, and Evaluate Programs for Gifted Youth K12

    Jim Delisle, Ph.D., & Barbara A. Lewis

    The

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    I US$27.99

  • SurvivalGuide for

    Teachers of Gifted Kids

    The

  • Jim Delisle, Ph.D., & Barbara A. Lewis

    Edited by Marjorie Lisovskis

    SurvivalGuide for

    Teachers of Gifted Kids

    The

    How to Plan, Manage, and Evaluate

    Programs for Gifted Youth K12

  • Copyright 2003 by Jim Delisle, Ph.D., and Barbara A. Lewis

    All rights reserved under International and Pan-American Copyright Conventions. Unless otherwise noted, no part of this book may bereproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recordingor otherwise, without express written permission of the publisher, except for brief quotations or critical reviews. For more information,go to www.freespirit.com/company/permissions.cfm.

    Free Spirit, Free Spirit Publishing, and associated logos are trademarks and/or registered trademarks of Free Spirit Publishing Inc. A complete listing of our logos and trademarks is available at www.freespirit.com.

    Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication DataDelisle, James R., 1953-

    Survival guide for teachers of gifted kids : how to plan, manage, and evaluate programs for gifted youth / by Jim Delisle and Barbara A. Lewis.

    p. cm.Includes bibliographical references and index.ISBN 1-57542-116-X

    1. Gifted childrenEducationUnited StatesHandbooks, manuals, etc. I. Lewis, Barbara A., 1943- II. Title.

    LC3993.9 .D45 2003371.95dc21 2002013573

    eBook ISBN: 978-1-57542-858-1

    Free Spirit Publishing does not have control over or assume responsibility for author or third-party websites and their content. At thetime of this books publication, all facts and figures cited within are the most current available. All telephone numbers, addresses, andwebsite URLs are accurate and active; all publications, organizations, websites, and other resources exist as described in this book; andall have been verified as of November 2010. If you find an error or believe that a resource listed here is not as described, please con-tact Free Spirit Publishing. Parents, teachers, and other adults: We strongly urge you to monitor childrens use of the Internet.

    Cover design: Marieka HeinlenInterior book design: PercolatorAssistant editor: Douglas Fehlen

    10 9 8 7 Printed in the United States of America

    Free Spirit Publishing Inc.217 Fifth Avenue North, Suite 200Minneapolis, MN 55401-1299(612) 338-2068help4kids@freespirit.comwww.freespirit.com

  • For more than twenty years, Ann Wink, my cherished friend and colleague from Texas, hasbeen an inspiration to my work and my thinking. This book is dedicated to her because so

    much of who she is, and what she believes, is within its pages. Ann, thank you!J.D.

    My husband, Lawrence, who is one of the most gifted people I have known, has devotedmuch of his life to developing the intellectual abilities of others. I dedicate this book to him,

    my dear friend, who has also led my mind across bridges to the unknown.B.L.

  • ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

    If I listed the name of every person whose thinkingand other work contributed to the content of thisbook, there would be no room for anything other thanthe acknowledgments! What this tells me is that thelearning I now possess in relation to designing pro-grams for gifted kids is due, in great part, to the par-ents, professional educators, and gifted students Ihave met in my twenty-five-year career quest. Iacknowledge and thank each of these individuals forthe unique insights that have helped to shape thebeliefs and principles I now espouse. Thanks to mycolleagues, friends, and students, this book hasbecome a reality.

    Of course, the crack editorial team at Free SpiritPublishing was invaluable in making all the piecesand parts of the book come together. Thank you to all,but especially to Margie Lisovskis and Douglas Fehlen,whose patience rivals Jobs and whose detective skillswould give Sherlock Holmes a run for his money.

    Jim Delisle

    Just as it takes the work of many to build a bridge overwhich others may travel, the work of many peoplehas served to inspire and shape this book. First, Iwould like to thank the Park City School District andthose administrators who allowed me to design thePATHS gifted program for Park City, Utah: Dr. NancyDeFord (a superintendent with both vision andtenacity) and Merry Haugen (who allowed freedomof thought).

    I will always be indebted to my mentor, Sally Laf-ferty, Salt Lake City School District, for her generosity

    in sharing all she knew about the field of gifted edu-cation. Other people have also influenced my think-ing and shared materials with me: Becky Odoardi,Davis School District; Phyllis Embly, Jordan SchoolDistrict; Sue Sakashita, Granite School District; ScottHunsaker, Utah State University; Connie Amos, SaltLake City School District; and Kay Erwin, MurraySchool District. All of them have in some way lefttheir footprints on the bridge of this book.

    My thanks to Sally Walker for generously sharingthe Illinois plan with me. Thanks, too, to numerousnational consultants who have inspired, mentored,and befriended me: Dr. Linda Silverman (who hastime for anyone), Barbara Clark (who enlightenedmy brain), and Sally and Joe Renzulli (who providedsome theory upon which I could ground my practice).

    My thanks also go to the organizations that haveleft their imprint upon me, and thus upon this book:NAGC, UAGC, and NRC/GT. Ive been truly lucky to have had such a broad network of caring individu-als to help design my education, both directly andindirectly.

    I am delighted to have shared the writing of thisbook with Jim Delisle, who has such a broad histori-cal scope on gifted education and who is also tal-ented and easy to work with.

    Finally, my gratitude goes to my publisher, JudyGalbraith, who always exemplifies integrity (andwho is a gifted child herself), for her continued sup-port, enthusiasm, and friendship; and to my editor,Margie Lisovskis, and assistant editor, Douglas Fehlen.

    Barbara Lewis

    vii

  • List of Figures . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . x

    List of Reproducible Pages . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . xi

    Introduction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1Teacher of the Gifted: Fainthearted Need Not Apply.. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1Why We Wrote This Book .. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1. . . and Who We Wrote It For .. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2The Challenges You Face.. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3Your Greatest Challenge (and Opportunity): Turning Skeptics and Critics into Stakeholders .. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5How to Use This Book .. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5Before You Begin .. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7

    Survival Strategy 1: Set a Solid Foundation for Your Program . . . . . . . . . 8

    Keys to Developing a Successful Gifted Education Program... . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9

    The Gifted Education Committee .. . . . . . . . . . . . . 9Program Development and Planning .. . . . . . 9Identification, Selection, and Placement of Students .. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9Staff Development and Involvement.. . . . . . . . 9Publicity .. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10Parent Involvement.. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10Program Evaluation.. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10Networking and Trend Monitoring .. . . . . . . . 10

    Getting Started: Stating Your Mission and Philosophy .. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10

    Look First at Your Districts Philosophy and Mission.. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11Develop a Statement That Fits Your Districts Focus.. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11

    Conducting a Needs Assessment .. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12Tips for Gathering and Using Information .. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13

    Setting a Focus for the Gifted Education Program .. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .14Resources .. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15

    Survival Strategy 2: Cast a Wide Net to Identify Students . . . . . . . . . 34

    Defining Your Terms.. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 35Pitfall 1: Creating a Definition That Isnt Inclusive .. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 36Pitfall 2: Creating a Definition ThatSuggests All Kids Are Gifted .. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 38

    Identification: The Beginning Steps . . . and Missteps .. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .