Mrs. Landry's Land of Learning

A place dedicated to learning for ALL students!

Let’s get this party started!

on July 11, 2012

Well I’m just going to dive right in and get this blog going!  My classroom has students of all levels in it.  I work with special education through inclusion and and all the way up through gifted and talented kids.  My school has done a great job in learning to identify our struggling learners- also called the bleeders.  I’ve become very good at bringing concepts down to help those who need it.  But where I struggle to most…those G/T babies.  I started working with them only in the last couple of years.  I did that to consciously learn how to differentiate for ALL learners.  To me, it should not matter what level you are (unless you’re an extreme and yes those exist).  If you’re in my room, I want to help you learn more from where you are.  Needless to say I’ve paniced over this constantly.  Oh the joys of teaching!

One of the things I’m doing right now is reading a book to fulfill my district’s requirements to maintain my Gifted and Talented certificate.  They’ve got us (and by us I mean all G/T teachers in district) reading Some of My Best Friends Are Books by Judith Wynn Halsted.  The concept behind this book is using literature to help G/T students do work more at their level as well as learn some life lessons as well.  Such life lessons include making friends with others who do not understand why they are so different.  The book is divided into three parts.  The first part is labled “The Children” and focuses on their emotional and intellectual development.  Part 2 is called “The Process” and talks about how books will help the students.  Part 3 is simply called “The Books”.  Quite literally, it’s a list divided by grade levels as well as genre.  There is a quick synopsis with each book title as well as potential lessons or opportunities with each book.  This book from start to finish is 574 pages long.

Now I’ll be honest.  After I purchased the book, I looked through the various parts to get an idea of how it was laid out.  In the interest of time (because I just realized how quickly it’s running out and I’ve still got a project to do!) I’m only going to concentrate on the books specific to my level.  That takes me to the 300s in this book.  Ouch.  Still a lot to go but I’m deteremined to read all this AND do the required project.  I’ll talk about that later.

So anyways, I finally finished chapter 1 and got some great insight on how G/T kids tend to develop emotionally and what I need to look for in my students.  Think back to your past classes.  Did you have students who thought so outside the box you could only sit and stare at them as they talked?  Did you have students who were experts on topics you never thought kids that age would be interested in?  Were any of these students getting through your grade level work like it was nothing?  Did you ever watch these students in how they interacted with peers?  Did some have a real hard time talking with them and relating to them?  Did they prefer to be alone more than with others?  Chances are, if you answered yes to several of these questions, you had a G/T student.  Throughout this whole chapter, the author gave hints about how reading books would help G/T students through their development and be as strong an individual as possible.

I’m getting ready to start chapter 2 and I’m excited to get into the intellectual development.  The book is actually an easy read and stuffed full of information.  My issue right now?  I’m a slow reader armed with a highlighter.  Yikes.  But that’s okay.  It’s how I learn.  How do you learn?

Happy Teaching!

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