Discovering and Developing Talents in Spanish-Speaking Students

Front Cover

¡Atención! Recognize the strengths of Spanish-speaking students!

How do you nurture the gifts and talents of the growing population of Hispanic students? This book provides teachers and leaders with the skills needed to uncover each child’s abilities and ultimately boost achievement for gifted Spanish-speaking students. Packed with strategies that teachers can use immediately to enhance instruction and assessment, this book shows how to:

  • Recognize students’ unique strengths
  • Identify and develop the gifts of bilingualism and different cultures
  • Create challenging learning experiences for every student in the class
  • Adapt tools and strategies to meet each learner’s unique needs
  • Connect with parents and the greater Spanish-speaking community
 

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Contents

THE CHANGING LANDSCAPE OF US SCHOOLS A CALL TO ACTION
1
Demographics
2
Potential Obstacles to Educating Hispanic Youth
4
Poverty
5
HighPoverty Schools
7
College Enrollment Rates
9
Hispanics in Special Education
10
Underrepresentation in Gifted Programs
14
Three Broad Characteristics of Giftedness
78
Questions to Ask to Determine if Students Fall Into These Categories
79
Importance of Early Identification
80
Gifted Characteristics of Child Interpreters
81
Recommending Students for Your Schools Gifted Program
84
Review
88
EFFECTIVE WAYS FOR TEACHERS TO CONNECT WITH SPANISHSPEAKING PARENTS
91
Parent Teacher and Student
94

Barriers to Entry
15
Why Hispanic Enrollment in Gifted Programs Matters
16
BILINGUALISM A COGNITIVE STRENGTH
19
Advantages of Bilingualism
20
Cognitive and Intellectual Benefits for Child Interpreters
21
Stages of SecondLanguage Acquisition
22
Academic Language
24
Words Into Action
26
A CULTURAL PRIMER
27
Priorities
28
Respect for Educators
30
Influence of Demographics and Schooling Levels
31
Bridging the Cultural Divide
32
Parent Involvement Opportunities
33
Teacher and Administrator Responsibilities
38
Integrating Culture Into the Curriculum
44
Districtwide Responsibilities
47
Understanding Parents Motives to Learn or Not Learn English
49
Maintaining the Native Language
50
Why Is It Important to Maintain the Native Language?
51
RECOGNIZING TALENTS ABILITIES AND CREATIVITY IN YOUR SPANISHSPEAKING STUDENTS
55
A Case Study
57
Four Guideposts
59
The Einstein Experience
60
Gardner and Torrance
61
Torrances Creative Positives in Disadvantaged Youth
62
Motivation Is Key to Teaching ELLs
63
Enrique and the Creative Positives
65
Tools of the Trade
66
Interest Inventories
67
Portfolios
68
Parental Input
69
Torrance Tests of Creative Thinking
70
IDENTIFYING GIFTED HISPANIC STUDENTS
73
What Is Gifted Anyway?
75
Characteristics of Gifted Individuals
76
Explaining Giftedness and Gifted Education to Parents
97
Hosting Successful Parent Meetings
98
Staying in Touch With Parents About Their Childrens Progress
103
Working With Overburdened and Resistant Parents
104
Involving Parents in the Learning Experience
107
WrapUp
110
DEVELOPING THE STRENGTHS AND TALENTS OF HISPANIC ELLS STRATEGIES FOR GETTING STARTED
113
Creating an Open Learning Environment for Hispanic ELLs
116
MaterialsMedia
117
Student Engagement
118
EmotionalSocial
119
General Strategies for Meeting the Learning Needs of Hispanic ELLs
122
A Toolbox of Strategies
124
Applications to the Classroom
133
A Review of What You Can Do
135
PROGRAM OPTIONS FOR ADVANCED HISPANIC ELLs PUTTING YOUR STRATEGIES TO WORK
137
Identification of Strengths and Needs
138
SchoolBased Program Options for Advanced SpanishSpeakers
141
InterestBased Independent Learning
146
Independent Study
147
Creativity and the Arts
148
SensingIntuiting
152
Art MakingImagining
153
KnowingDiscovering
155
Originality
156
Supplemental Programs for Advanced Hispanic ELLs
159
Qualification
160
Class Content
161
Ongoing Assessment
162
A Review of What You Can Do
163
CONCLUSION
165
APPENDIX
169
BIBLIOGRAPHY
179
INDEX
189
Copyright

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About the author (2012)

Joan Franklin Smutny is founder and director of the Center for Gifted, a Northern Illinois University Partner. She directs programs for thousands of bright, talented, and gifted children in the Chicago area annually. She also teaches creative writing in many of these programs as well as courses on gifted education for graduate students at the university level. She is editor of the Illinois Association for Gifted Children Journal, contributing editor of Understanding Our Gifted, and a regular contributor to the Gifted Education Communicator, Parenting for High Potential, and the Gifted Education Press Quarterly. Smutny has authored, co-authored, and edited many articles and books on gifted education for teachers, parents, and administrators, including Challenging High Potential Spanish Speaking Students (2012), Teaching Advanced Learners in the General Education Classroom (2011), Manifesto of the Gifted Girl (2010), Differentiating for the Young Child, Second Edition (2010), Igniting Creativity in Gifted Learners, K–6 (2009), Acceleration for Gifted Learners, K–5 (2007), Reclaiming the Lives of Gifted Girls and Women (2007), Designing and Developing Programs for Gifted Students (2003), Underserved Gifted Populations (2003), Gifted Education: Promising Practices (2003), Stand Up for Your Gifted Child (2001), The Young Gifted Child: Potential and Promise, an Anthology (1998), and Teaching Young Gifted Children in the Regular Classroom (1997). In 1996, she won the National Association for Gifted Children (NAGC) Distinguished Service Award for outstanding contribution to the field of gifted education.

Kathryn P. Haydon has been an advocate for early second language learning, and has taught and developed curriculum for preschool and elementary school Spanish programs. She has also worked extensively with high-school aged Hispanic students as a college essay writing coach. The founder of Ignite Creative Learning Studio in Ojai, California, Kathryn is a nationally-known writer and speaker, and a teacher and mentor to gifted and creative students of all ages. A former second grade teacher, she is a published author on teaching, creativity, parenting, and early foreign language instruction, and her work was featured in Igniting Creativity in Gifted Learners, K-6 (Corwin, 2009). Kathryn holds a B.A. from Northwestern University in Spanish and Latin American language, literature, and culture. She serves on the Torrance Legacy Creative Writing Awards committee for the National Association for Gifted Children.

Olivia Gutierrez Bolaños is the Coordinator of Curriculum and Instruction in the Santa Maria-Bonita School District where one of her responsibilities is overseeing the Gifted and Talented Education (GATE) Program. She taught bilingual education for 11 years and was a principal for 12 years. Olivia comes from a family very similar to the students she has worked with. Her ability to create an atmosphere of “familia” within the school community and her knowledge of Hispanic culture has helped lead to the academic success of her students. Olivia has seen the GATE Spanish Parent group flourish in the district in just three years by making a few changes to better meet their needs.

Gina M. Estrada Danley has been a teacher of gifted and talented students since 1997. She taught junior high English for 11 years and has served as district GATE resource teacher in the Santa Maria-Bonita School District for 4 years. Having had her own life powerfully impacted by participation in the Future Leaders camp at age 13, she has since been the assistant co-director for the Future Leaders annual summer retreat, dedicated to empowering young Latino/Chicano students to fulfill their leadership potential. A strong advocate for gifted education, Gina is proactive with the California Association for the Gifted (CAG). She facilitated the local regional affiliate’s Best Practices Workshop for educators and parents of gifted and talented students. She has also been a presenter at CAG’s annual conference, where she has shared best practices on reaching high-performing Hispanic students.

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