Conference Day 2: A full brain is a happy brain

Where to start?

What do you say about programming at a conference where the schedule book is 200 pages long? There are over 250 sessions over 4 days across 15 strands of gifted development.

There’s no way I can possibly get to all of the amazing programming I’d like to see. And for somebody with FOMS (Fear Of Missing Something) that can get a bit tricky.

There were all of the poster sessions – people who stood by their displays to talk about their projects. What a great range of work. I spoke with people who conducted Shakespeare theatre for fourth and fifth graders and others who led global education cohorts. I had discussions with teachers who had taken long, hard looks at the process their schools use at testing and identification of their students. I listened in on some incredible conversations about the latest updates in brain research.

And that’s not even the sit-down workshops!

My thoughts are brimming with all of the great ideas I was exposed to today. Overheard:

“We’re looking for kids who violate our expectation of where they ought to be.” – Nancy Robinson, at a panel discussion on early gifted learners.

“Education is like curling. Kids are the curling stone, and standards are the target. Teachers are the ones who sweep the obstacles away (or not) to get the child there smoothly.” – Caroline Cohen, in a seminar on building support for differentiation

“Hasten slowly means to do quickly what needs to be done quickly but take thought before you do it.” – Miraca Gross, in a discussion on accelerating gifted learners

“At this moment in history, it would seem more essential than at most other times to make a clear statement of will and policy to ensure that we raise ceilings of performance as fervently as we raise floors.” –Carol Ann Tomlinson (posted in a discussion on social and emotional welfare)

And now it’s my job to go upstairs, leaf back through the program book and choose the workshops I’ll attend tomorrow. Who knows what great experiences await me! I do know that it will take some time to sit down and process all of this learning. The good news is that it all gets to filter back to the classroom, and back to the kids – the real reason I’m attending in the first place.

By the way, parents, if you want an experience similar to this one, I’d encourage you to attend the Illinois Alliance for Gifted Children’s annual conference in early February.  http://www.iagcgifted.org/    Check it out!

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