Florida Association for the Gifted


The strands for the 2018 FLAG Annual Conference represent areas of interest to a large number of our members. This year's conference theme is ENGAGE. EMPOWER. GIFTED LEARNERS



Integrating Curriculum Standards and Affective Needs: The New Affective Jacob’s Ladder Curriculum

Presented by Tamra Stambaugh

The importance of affective needs as part of a talent development framework are critical to one’s future trajectory. Affective skills that support academic risk taking, developing excellence, overcoming adversity, and regulating emotions can be taught and integrated within a language arts curriculum. In this session we will examine the new Jacob’s Ladder affective ladders and apply them to common affective components that promote talent development. Come prepared to learn new ladder frameworks and write your own affective ladders based on reading prompts or media used in your classroom.

Using The Schoolwide Enrichment Model and Technology To Provide Talent Development Opportunities 

For All Students

Presented by Dr. Joseph S. Renzulli (will present via live Skype).

The biggest challenge facing gifted education today is the underrepresentation of low income and minority students and students who learn differently or simply miss out on G/T services by a few test score cut off points. The Schoolwide Enrichment Model (SEM) does not take issue with whatever current practices you are using; however, it does recommend that gifted education specialists assume leadership roles for infusing some of the G/T pedagogy into the regular curriculum by working with a school wide enrichment team. It also recommends that readily available technology resources be used to identify the full range of student potentials by creating a strength-based profile that can personalize learning by matching students’ profiles with thousands of categorically organized resources. The major goals of the SEM are to promote enrichment and engagement in all aspects of the curriculum, to develop a creative and investigative mindset among our most advanced learners, and to make schools a happy place for all students and teachers.

Getting More From CogAT Scores: Instructional Differentiation Using Ability and Achievement Test

Presented by Tara Mathis

Data Differentiating Instruction is a critical teaching approach that can benefit all students, however these opportunities are not always realized for gifted and talented students, for whom teachers may not realize that differentiation is necessary. Whether students with strong reasoning abilities are served in the regular classroom or in other arrangements, teachers can make adaptations suited to the range of cognitive strengths and weaknesses in their students. In this session, we use CogAT as an example of a multi-dimensional ability test that can promote instruction and differentiation. Learn how the CogAT Ability Profile score concisely summarizes each student’s pattern of strengths and overall level of ability to provide robust guidance to program leaders and the classroom teacher alike.

Using Student-Centered Discussion to Cultivate Critical Thinking and Collaborative Leadership in Gifted Students  

Presented by Stephanie Tackas

This session engages participants in the same role their students assume as active listeners and increasingly collaborative leaders within an inclusive Touchstones discussion class. As educational research further underscores benefits gained from collaborative approaches to problem solving, we must actively prepare gifted students to proactively make their unique abilities and approaches available to others throughout their lifetimes. 

Challenge and Engage Your Mathematically Talented Students with Project M2 and Project M3

Presented by Linda Sheffield

How can you increase challenge and add a motivational spark to develop K - 6 students’ mathematical engagement, expertise, and innovation? Join us to investigate research-based teaching and learning practices and activities from the NAGC award-winning mathematics curricula, Project M2: Mentoring Young Mathematicians (K – 2) and Project M3: Mentoring Mathematical Minds (Grades 3 – 6) that support and enhance the Mathematics Florida Standards (MAFS) as well as mathematical creativity. Activities will be selected from the Operations and Algebraic Reasoning Domain, going beyond playing games to a rich analysis of the math behind the game through student discussions and writing that give students the opportunity to “expand their mathematical talents, creativity, and passions” as called for in the NAGC-supported NCTM position paper, Providing Opportunities for Students with Exceptional Mathematical Promise.

Why Spatial? Spatial Reasoning Skills, Achievement, and Learning Potential

Presented by Ashley Flynn and Dr. Amy Lynne Shelton

Spatial reasoning represents a broad category of cognitive skills that enable us to manage, manipulate, reason about, and organize information about spatial relationships in real and imagined spaces. These skills have been associated with various aspects of academic and career achievement. Recent work with advanced learners from different backgrounds and environments has explored the role these fundamental skills might play in identifying students with the potential for academic achievement. Focusing on these skills may offer insights into ability that more traditional curriculum-based tests cannot capture, opening new doors to both characterizing students and developing educational opportunities that foster the needs of the diverse range of advanced learners.



Early Gifted Learner Strategies

Presented by Kathleen Casper

In this workshop we will look at some early (potentially) gifted traits (birth through age 5,) and how these characteristics may affect learning and behavior in the classroom and at home. Then we will discuss resources and activities that can help these unique infants and preschoolers learn and grow with the most support possible.


The Heart of The Matter

Presented By Patricia Gatto-Walden, PhD

How Can We Support Who These Gifted Children Are, And Not Just What They Can Do? Incorporating Decades Listening To Gifted Youth’s Needs, Wants And Concerns, Learn What They Personally Say Is Essential For Them To Thrive In School.


Waging Peace!

Presented by Chené Williams Olgar and Eileen Baumfeld Lerner

In this BYOD workshop, learn how to promote creative and critical thinking in K-8 cross-curricular settings. Presenters will demonstrate through their Waging Peace projects how students can be motivated to make connections with their world.

Giving Students a Voice: Advocacy in Action

Presented by Shawna Christenson

Inspire students to educate, communicate, advocate and ultimately legislate on behalf of their passions. This workshop will inform how students can take debate and public speaking skills into the real world.

HoPS - Hands on Problem Solving

Presented by Sally Baynard and Barbe O'Steen

The HoPS (Hands on Problem Solving) workshop is an opportunity for you to participate in interactive team problem solving challenges. HoPS promotes critical reading, creative thinking, team work, problem solving, and perseverance. Come check out this exciting workshop!

Unlocking the Power of Genius Hour

Presented by Lacey Hay

Genius Hour is a strategy that originated with Google and is slowly gaining steam in the world of education. Genius Hour has been described as an innovative approach to learning built around student curiosity, self-directed learning, and passion-based work.


Advancing The Standards: A Planning Tool For Enrichment

Presented by Elizabeth Hamilton and Britany Barker

Participants will learn how to streamline multiple essential curriculum components to create gifted enrichment tasks using an "advancing the standards" outline, understand the reasoning behind each focus section within, and know how to produce meaningful tasks for their gifted learners.

Hands-On Activities For A Very Popular Planet

Presented by Hannah O'Malley

As the world population grows, so does competition for natural resources and the challenges to our environment. Engage in lively, interdisciplinary curricula that explore human impacts on land use and ecosystems. Demonstrated techniques include problem-solving exercises, role-playing simulations and concept-mapping.

Using Flexible Walls to Meet the Academic Needs of Our Gifted Students

Presented by Sarah Meers

In this model, learn how to use cross grade level collaboration and flexible walls to meet the academic needs of your gifted students. This model encompasses acceleration and grouping to ensure students are learning at their level.

Interdisciplinary Middle School Gifted Elective, District Wide

Presented by Pam Cebula and Katie Belk

How to create and free examples of authentic, interdisciplinary, differentiated, problem-based, project-based gifted curriculum intended for a district-wide gifted middle school elective. This is a quickly growing program option in Escambia County, helping to serve the needs of students and teachers.


Seeing Through the Veil: Emotional and Spiritual Giftedness

Presented by Patricia Gatto-Walden, PHD

Emotionally or spiritually gifted children are profoundly caring and acutely sensitive with heightened morals that dictate their behavior and experience of life. Their innate empathy renders them vulnerable to cruelties in our world; adults must learn how to support and nurture them.


Letting Go While Holding On

Presented by Deb Douglas

The typical teenage urge for independence makes it especially important for parents to be guides-on-the-side as gifted children learn to self-advocate. Session includes ways to support children as they create their own unique routes to graduation and beyond.

Parenting Your Gifted Or High Ability Child: The Ultimate Thrill Ride

Presented by Lois Horn-Diaz

Ms. Horn-Diaz was recently named her district teacher of the year, after spending the past seven years teaching gifted students in subjects including language arts, humanities and technology enrichment. Also drawing from twenty-four years of experience as a school psychologist and navigating the challenges of parenting a highly gifted child, she will be sharing her multimedia presentation, parenting the high ability and gifted child: the ultimate thrill ride!’



Identifying Gifted in High School: A Successful 2 Year Study

Presented by Dr. Brenda Kay Hardman

A 2-year initiative identifying gifted students entering high school. Our data shows students experienced a high success rate academically and emotionally following their identification and receipt of resources. This study is easily replicated on a national scale to meet student needs.

Transforming Innovative Gifted Programming Through Quality Indicator Rubrics: 

Implementation Year 4

Presented by Elizabeth Hamilton and Sarah Meers

Transform your gifted programs with this coaching tool that supports building new gifted programs, evaluating the current state of gifted programming to plan for improvements, guide professional development, and communicate progress toward individual, team, school-wide, and/or district-wide gifted program initiatives.



Plugged in, Turned On, & Engaged 

Presented by Jumora Cooper

Participation techniques teachers will enjoy learning step by step to help ensure relevant, engaging, and cognitively challenging lessons for the students. 

Restoring Student Engagement: A Make-N-Take Workshop With The Bag Ladies

Presented by Karen Simmons and Cindy Guinn

Fill a portfolio with all new projects that practice skills hands-on. Use the "rigor" of today's teaching and infuse research-based creative projects and portfolios into your classroom, that lead the gifted student to be challenged with a differentiated curriculum piece that engages all! Fun, humorous, motivational, and creative!!!!


The Power of Self-Advocacy for Gifted Learners

Presented by Deb Douglas

When empowered to self-advocate, students can take charge of their own educations. Session will explore four steps to successful self-advocacy. Includes activities that help students understand their rights/responsibilities, reflect on learner profiles, select options, and communicate needs effectively.

It Takes A Village: Meeting the Social and Emotional Needs of the Gifted Child

Presented by Sarah Meers

How one model includes parents, students, teachers, administration and support personnel to meet the social and emotional needs of their students.

From Risk-Taking to Risk-Making: Encouraging Gifted Students to Step Out of their Comfort Zones

Presented by Deb Douglas

Self-advocacy requires taking and making positive risks, but gifted kids may be cautious about stepping outside their comfort zones. This session describes both risk-taking and risk-making and offers several ideas for helping gifted teens accept/create their own academic challenges.



Art Therapy with Gifted and Anxious Adolescents

Presented by Diane Roberts

Presenting research and therapeutic activities designed to assist 2e (anxiety and gifted) adolescents in coping with daily stressors that affect social and academic functioning.

Hidden in Plain Sight

Presented By Jolayne Breedlove

This workshop will discuss characteristics and attributes that may be masking giftedness in special populations; specifically, 2e and minority groups. The discussion will continue with an explanation of Dr. Mary Fraiser's TABs, which is beneficial in identifying gifted students in special populations.

Demystifying the Twice-Exceptional Paradox

Presented By Patricia Gatto-Walden, PhD

For the twice- exceptional child discrepancies exist between what is understood and what is shown. Come learn what underlies test scores, diagnosis and inconsistent behaviors; how 2E affects the whole child; and ways to effectively respond to these children’s needs.

Accommodating the Twice Exceptional (2E) Learner

Presented By Wendy Hirsch Weiner, Ed.D.

The 2E student often struggles in class because how they learn does not fit into the traditional mold. During this session, Dr. Weiner will share her experiences as principal and curriculum designer as she developed a methodology to meet the academic needs of the 2E student.

Special Challenges and Opportunities for Refugee Populations: ESP Support and Beyond

Presented By Taryn Ward

A discussion about identifying and supporting gifted students in refugee populations beyond ESL instruction.



Student Created Mathematics Projects That Encourage Participation Of Underrepresented Student Populations In Mathematics

Presented By Orlando Math Circle

Orlando Math Circle student volunteers will talk about their learning experience creating and executing special interest mathematics community service projects. Omc is focused on creating a diverse community of student leaders and participants in these mathematics projects. Some examples include encouraging girls in mathematics by creating a special math contest for them, making arts and math connections and well as sports and math connections through special projects and collaborations.

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Florida Association for the Gifted is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization.


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