Maryland Educators
of Gifted Students

 

Maryland State Affiliate Report Update 2016
Maryland Educators of Gifted Students (MEGS)

    Maryland Educators of Gifted Students (MEGS) has been busy this year.

  • We sponsored and supported several professional development opportunities and gifted and talented education awareness and advocacy activities. MEGS and MSDE (Maryland State Department of Education) are collaborated to present our 16th annual Maryland State Conference on Gifted and Talented Education on Friday, October 21, 2016, to more than 300 participants. Our theme, Creativity, Critical Thinking, and Curriculum: Fitting the Pieces together included more than 30 sessions, based on two strands, Underrepresented Populations in Gifted Education and Instructional Needs of Gifted Learners. Tamra Stambaugh, Ph.D. was our excellent and informative keynote speaker.  Tamra is a research assistant professor of special education and director of Programs for Talented Youth at Vanderbilt University. She is the co-author of Comprehensive Curriculum for Gifted Learners and co-editor of Overlooked Gems: A National Perspective on Low-Income Promising Students, the Jacob's Ladder Reading Comprehension Program (both with Joyce VanTassel-Baska) and Leading Change in Gifted Education (with Bronwyn MacFarlane). Tamra has also authored or co-authored journal articles and book chapters on a variety of topics focusing on curriculum, instruction and leadership. Her current research interests include the impact of accelerated curriculum on student achievement, teacher effectiveness and talent development factors - especially for students of poverty.

  • Our Governor, Larry Hogan, declared February Gifted and Talented Education Month. MEGS and MCGATE supported the Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE) and the Maryland State Advisory Council on Gifted and Talented Education, who sponsored the annual Celebrating Gifted and Talented Education in Maryland Reception and Awards Ceremony, which was held at North County High School in Glen Burnie, Maryland on February 24, 2016 from 5:00-8:00 p.m. More than 450 people attended this reception, which honors educators, state leaders, students, and business and community partners and provides legislators and other stakeholders the opportunity for greater awareness of gifted education and talent development in the state of Maryland. We added a new award category this year, which honored Notre Dame of Maryland University as an Outstanding Institute of Higher Education that provides a series of courses to educators and/or pre-service educators in an educational program that provides certification as Gifted and Talented Specialist. Winning students of MCGATE’s annual essay contest answering the question, “What has my gifted education meant to me,” were also honored. Entertainment was provided by soloists from the Anne Arundel Schools Performing & Visual Arts Vocal Program.

  • The Maryland State Excellence in Gifted and Talented Education (EGATE) School Awards program is in its seventh year of implementation. MEGS is very supportive of this program, which is sponsored by MSDE and the Maryland State Advisory Council on Gifted and Talented Education. Schools with programs aligned with the Criteria for Excellence: Gifted and Talented Education Program Guidelines are recognized. Six schools received this award in 2016 after completing an extensive application and submitting a portfolio. Two of the six schools were recertified after receiving their first EGATE Award five years ago. Thirty-nine Maryland schools have received this award since the award’s inception.

  • MEGS leaders are active members of the Maryland State Advisory Council on Gifted and Talented Education.

  • This year, again, MEGS acquired a license for all of the NAGC WOW Webinars for members who were interested in furthering their gifted education experience. Hundreds of educators have taken advantage of this wonderful Professional Development opportunity.

  • During a working session of the State Board of Education, MEGS advocated for closer monitoring of the fidelity of the implementation of our stateís regulations regarding Gifted and Talented learners, COMAR 13A.04.07 by local districts. This regulation provides the twenty-four Maryland school districts with guidance for identifying gifted students and developing and implementing gifted and talented education programs and services.

  • In March, MEGS and MCGATE leaders attended the NAGC Affiliate in Washington, DC. At the conclusion, they lobbied with both of Marylandís U.S. Senators and six of Marylandís eight Representatives on Capitol Hill for their support of gifted education. As a result, Sen. Ben Cardin signed the Dear Colleague letter to demonstrate his support of continued funding of the Javits Grant to other U.S. senators.

  • MEGS leaders attended the Johns Hopkins University School of Education’s presentation: “Why the Excellence Gap Matters for Civil Rights,” with Jonathan Plucker, Ph.D.

Helaine Zinaman, MEGS Executive Director
Penny Zimring, MEGS President
Theresa Jackson, MEGS Vice-President
Wendy Ingalls, MEGS Secretary
Debbie Blum, MEGS Treasurer


Maryland State Affiliate Activity Report 2015
Maryland Educators of Gifted Students (MEGS) and
Maryland Coalition for Gifted and Talented Education (MCGATE)

  • Maryland Educators of Gifted Students (MEGS) and Maryland Coalition for Gifted and Talented Education (MCGATE) have been busy this year. MEGS and MCGATE hosted the NAGC Convention in Baltimore in 2014! The first time the Convention was held in Maryland was a highlight for both organizations! The Local Arrangement Committee, co - chairs, and sub - committees collaborated with NAGC leaders to give the convention a local Maryland flavor and to personalize the experience to meet the professional learning needs of Maryland educators and administrators. State education leaders and district leaders in gifted education were invited to present keynote, signature, and/or breakout session presentations. For example, Dr. Freeman Hrabowski, President of the University of Maryland Baltimore County, opened the convention as the keynote speaker on Thursday afternoon, while Sean McComb, the 2014 National Teacher of the Year from Baltimore County, provided the closing convention address on Sunday morning. Preconvention sessions highlighted Maryland teachers who differentiate the Common Core Standards to meet the needs of gifted/advanced learners. A Leadership Forum was held to provide administrators from the twenty - four Maryland School districts with a high - quality professional learning experience on gifted and talented education, tailored to meet their specific needs. Jack Andraka, a Maryland high school student innovator and author, delivered an amazing opening session on Saturday's Parent Day. MEGS hosted a fabulous "Dance with the Dinosaurs" party at the Maryland Science Center, which was a perfect venue for the event. Party attendees enjoyed refreshments, the opportunity to participate in many hands - on exhibits, and danced to tunes spun by our terrific DJ.

  • MEGS sponsored and supported several professional learning opportunities and gifted and talented education awareness and advocacy activities. MEGS and MSDE (Maryland State Department of Education) collaborated to present our 15th annual Maryland State Conference on Gifted and Talented Education on Friday, October 16, 2015, to 300 participants. Our theme was Gifted and Talented Education: A Diverse Palette. The program included 33 sessions, based on two strands, Underrepresented Populations in Gifted Education and Instructional Needs of Gifted Learners. Dr. Jonathan Plucker, Endowed Professor of the Neag School of Education at the University of Connecticut, was our keynote speaker. His keynote, "Using Research to Inform Advocacy for Gifted Learners," was very informative. He also presented two break - out sessions, "Everything I Know About Gifted Education I Learned by Reading an 800 - Page Book" and "Creativity: What It Is, What It Isn't, and How to Help Children Have More of It," both of which engaged the audience.

  • Our newly elected governor, Larry Hogan, declared February 2015 as Gifted and Talented Education Month in Maryland. We were pleased to receive his support so soon after he took office. MEGS and MCGATE supported the Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE) and the Maryland State Advisory Council on Gifted and Talented Education, who sponsored the annual Celebrating Gifted and Talented Education in Maryland Reception and Awards Ceremony. It was held at North County High School in Glen Burnie, Maryland on February 25, 2015 from 5:00-≠-8:00 p.m. More than 450 people attended this reception, which honors educators, state leaders, students, and business and community partners and provides legislators and other stakeholders the opportunity for greater awareness of gifted education and talent development in the state of Maryland. We also honored the Maryland Javits-≠-Frasier Scholars. Entertainment was provided by middle and high school performing groups. Student speakers spoke about how gifted and talented education changed their lives. Winning students of the MCGATE and Maryland G/T Advisory Council sponsored essay contest were also honored.

  • The Maryland State Excellence in Gifted and Talented Education (EGATE) School Awards program is in its sixth year of implementation. MEGS and MCGATE are very supportive of this program, which is sponsored by MSDE and the Maryland State Advisory Council on Gifted and Talented Education. Schools with programs aligned with the Maryland Criteria for Excellence: Gifted and Talented Education Program Guidelines are recognized. Three schools received this award in 2015 after completing an extensive application and submitting a portfolio. Thirty - three Maryland schools have received this award since the award was initially offered. Schools who received the award five years ago will need to submit a recertification portfolio next year.

  • MEGS and MCGATE have established a social media presence with a Facebook page for each organization. Relevant information for educators and parents is posted on each of the Facebook pages. Information for educators of gifted students is typically posted to the MEGS Facebook page, while information of interest to parents is posted regularly on the MCGATE page. Data reflect that the followers engage with the content posted daily.

  • MEGS and MCGATE leaders are active members of the Maryland State Advisory Council on Gifted and Talented Education.

  • This year, MEGS acquired a license for all of the NAGC WOW Webinars for members who are interested in furthering their professional learning in gifted education and talent development. Hundreds of educators have taken advantage of this wonderful professional development opportunity.

  • MEGS and MCGATE advocated for the Maryland State Board of Education to monitor the fidelity of the implementation of Maryland's first set of state regulations regarding Gifted and Talented learners, COMAR 13A.04.07. This regulation provides the twenty - four Maryland school districts with guidance for identifying gifted students and developing and implementing gifted and talented education programs and services.

  • In March, MCGATE and MEGS leaders attended the NAGC Affiliate in Washington, DC. At the conclusion, MCGATE and MEGS lobbied with Maryland's U.S. Senators and Representatives on Capitol Hill for their support of gifted education.

Helaine Zinaman, MEGS Executive Director
Penny Zimring, MEGS President
Theresa Jackson, MEGS Vice-President
Wendy Ingalls, MEGS Secretary
Debbie Blum, MEGS Treasurer
Yvonne Golczeczewski, MCGATE President



MEGS Update 2014

  • Maryland Educators of Gifted Students (MEGS) and Maryland Coalition for Gifted and Talented Education (MCGATE) have been busy this year. MEGS and MCGATE are very excited about hosting the NAGC Convention in Baltimore in 2014! This is the first time the Convention is being held in Maryland, and we have been extremely busy with preparations. We organized the Local Arrangements Committee (LAC) for hosting the Baltimore-based NAGC convention, and the co-chairs and sub-committees have worked hard to make this convention a fantastic experience.

  • We sponsored and supported several professional development opportunities and gifted and talented education awareness and advocacy activities. MEGS and MSDE (Maryland State Department of Education) collaborated to present our 14th annual Maryland State Conference on Gifted and Talented Education on Friday, October 18, 2013, to 367 participants. Our theme was Gifted Education: Developing Talent. The program included almost 40 sessions, based on two strands, Underrepresented Populations in Gifted Education and Instructional Needs of Gifted Learners. Dr. Paula Olszewski-Kubilius, Director of the Center for Talent Development at Northwestern University, professor in the School of Education and Social Policy, and past-president of the National Association for Gifted Children, was our wonderful keynote speaker. Her keynote, " Talent Development: A Framework for Our Work with Gifted Children", was very informative. We arranged her appearance through the NAGC Expert Speakers program.

  • February was declared Gifted and Talented Education Month by Governor Martin O’Malley. MEGS and MCGATE supported the Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE) and the Maryland State Advisory Council on Gifted and Talented Education, who sponsored the annual Celebrating Gifted and Talented Education in Maryland Reception and Awards Ceremony, which was held at North County High School in Glen Burnie, Maryland on February 27, 2014 from 5:00-8:00 p.m. More than 400 people attended this reception, which honors educators, state leaders, students, and business and community partners and provides legislators and other stakeholders the opportunity for greater awareness of gifted education and talent development in the state of Maryland. Entertainment was provided by middle and high school performing groups. Student speakers spoke about how gifted and talented education changed their lives. Winning students of the MCGATE and Maryland GT Advisory Council sponsored essay contest were also honored.

  • The Maryland State Excellence in Gifted and Talented Education (EGATE) School Awards program is in its fifth year of implementation. MEGS and MCGATE are very supportive of this program, which is sponsored by MSDE and the Maryland State Advisory Council on Gifted and Talented Education. Schools with programs aligned with the Criteria for Excellence: Gifted and Talented Education Program Guidelines are recognized. Nine schools received this award in 2013 after completing an extensive application and submitting a portfolio. Thirty Maryland schools have received this award since the award was offered.

  • MEGS and MCGATE leaders are active members of the Maryland State Advisory Council on Gifted and Talented Education.

  • This year, MEGS acquired two additional separate licenses for the NAGC WOW Webinars for members who were interested in furthering their gifted education experience. Hundreds of educators have taken advantage of this wonderful Professional Development opportunity.

  • MEGS and MCGATE advocated for the Maryland State Board of Education to monitor the fidelity of the implementation of our state’s first regulations regarding Gifted and Talented learners, COMAR 13A.04.07. This regulation provides the twenty-four Maryland school districts with guidance for identifying gifted students and developing and implementing gifted and talented education programs and services. The link for this document is www.marylandpublicschools.org/NR/rdonlyres/047CAC81-DEBA-42FE-A058-0C5C45947512/32797/COMAR_13A0407_GT_Education.pdf.

  • In March, MCGATE and MEGS leaders attended the NAGC Affiliate Conference and Wallace Symposium in Crystal City, VA. At the conclusion, MCGATE lobbied with Maryland’s U.S. Senators and Representatives on Capitol Hill for their support of gifted education.

Helaine Zinaman, MEGS Executive Director
Penny Zimring, MEGS President
Theresa Jackson, MEGS Vice-President
Wendy Ingalls, MEGS Secretary
Debbie Blum, MEGS Treasurer




MEGS Update 2013

Maryland Educators of Gifted Students (MEGS) and Maryland Coalition for Gifted and Talented Education (MCGATE) have been busy this year. We sponsored and supported several professional development opportunities and gifted and talented education awareness and advocacy activities.

February was declared Gifted and Talented Education Month by Governor Martin O'Malley. MEGS and MCGATE supported the Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE) and the Maryland State Advisory Council on Gifted and Talented Education who sponsored the annual Celebrating Gifted and Talented Education in Maryland Reception, which was held at The Kossiakoff Center, Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory on February 28th. More than 300 people attended this reception; which honors educators, state leaders, students, and business and community partners and provides legislators and other stakeholders the opportunity for greater awareness of gifted education and talent development in the state of Maryland. Winning students of the MCGATE and Maryland GT Advisory Council sponsored essay contest, "What have Gifted Education Opportunities Meant to Me?" were also honored.

The Maryland State Excellence in Gifted and Talented Education (EGATE) School Awards program is in its fourth year of implementation. MEGS and MCGATE are very supportive of this program which is sponsored by MSDE and the Maryland State Advisory Council on Gifted and Talented Education. Schools with programs aligned with the Criteria for Excellence: Gifted and Talented Education Program Guidelines are recognized. Nine schools received this award in 2012 after completing an extensive application and submitting a portfolio. Twenty-one Maryland schools have received this award since the award was offered.

During 2012-2013, members of MEGS worked in collaboration with MCGATE and the Maryland State Advisory Council on Gifted Education to assist with the implementation of our state's first regulations regarding Gifted and Talented learners, COMAR 13A.04.07. This regulation provides the twenty-four Maryland school districts with guidance for identifying gifted students and developing and implementing gifted and talented education programs and services. The link for this document is HERE. Board members of both organizations spoke in front of the state board of education, asking them to monitor the fidelity of the regulations throughout the state, and rallied supporters for public comments.

This year, MEGS acquired two additional separate licenses for the NAGC WOW Webinars for members who were interested in furthering their gifted education experience. Hundreds of educators have taken advantage of this wonderful Professional Development opportunity.

On April 29, 2013 more than 150 educators and administrators from various Maryland counties, attended our fifth annual spring MEGS event, Dinner and Conversation with Dr. Joy Lawson Davis, who spoke about Partnering with Families to Meet the Unique Needs of Culturally Diverse Gifted Learners. She provided culturally responsive strategies to improve engagement, involvement, and partnering with culturally diverse families. Three Maryland educators were honored and presented with the MEGGY Award in recognition of valuable contributions, exemplary commitment, and contribution to the field of gifted and talented education and to highly able students in the state of Maryland. One teacher received recognition as Outstanding Educator in the Field of Gifted and Talented Education and two teachers were recognized for their Dedication to Creating Rigorous and Challenging Curriculum. Each of the 2013 MEGGY Award recipients received a basket full of gifted education books donated by generous publishing companies supportive of gifted education, a check for $100, and a gift certificate.

Most recently, MEGS and MSDE (Maryland State Department of Education) collaborated to present our 14th annual Maryland State Conference on Gifted and Talented Education on Friday, October 18, 2013, to more than 350 participants. Our theme this year was Gifted Education: Developing Talent. The program included almost 40 sessions, based on two strands, Underrepresented Populations in Gifted Education and Instructional Needs of Gifted Learners. Dr. Paula Olszewski-Kubilius, Director of the Center for Talent Development at Northwestern University, professor in the School of Education and Social Policy, recent past-president of the National Association for Gifted Children, was our wonderful keynote speaker. Her keynote, "Talent Development: A Framework for Our Work with Gifted Children", was very informative.

MEGS, MCGATE, and MSDE are very excited about hosting the NAGC Convention in 2014!


Educators Attend MEGS Dinner
with Guest Speaker, Carolyn Coil
by Helaine Zinaman

On Thursday, April 26, 2012, more than 120 educators and administrators from various Maryland counties attended the fourth annual MEGS Dinner. After a delicious dinner at the Comfort Inn Hotel and Conference Center in Bowie, three Maryland educators were honored and presented with the MEGGY Award in recognition of their exemplary commitment and contribution to the field of gifted and talented education and to highly able students in the state of Maryland. The 2012 MEGGY Award recipients who attended the dinner, received a basket full of gifted education books donated by generous publishing companies supportive of gifted education, a check for $100, an award certificate, and a two gift certificates. Terrie Fraer from Harford County received recognition as Outstanding Educator in the Field of Gifted and Talented Education, and Mary Cole from Harford County and Lisa Maio Kane, principal of Holy Cross School, received the award for Providing Learning Environments that Include Opportunities for Students to Demonstrate Outstanding Academic and Creative Talent.

Following the awards, Carolyn Coil, our guest speaker, gave an engaging, timely, and informative talk about Using the Common Core Standards with Gifted Students. Carolyn is an internationally known speaker, author, trainer, consultant, and educator. In her workshops, professional development courses, seminars and keynotes, she is an enthusiastic, motivating, and energetic presenter. Carolyn is a recognized expert in the field of gifted education and a sought-after conference speaker and keynoter at gifted conferences throughout the world. She offers practical strategies for raising student achievement, motivating underachievers, differentiating curriculum, enhancing higher level thinking, implementing a variety of assessment strategies, and challenging gifted students to be 21st century learners and problem solvers.

During her talk, Carolyn emphasized that a big advantage in using the Common Core Standards with gifted students is that these standards are broader in application and can potentially lead to higher level thinking, rigorous work, and problem solving. She modeled how specific common core standards can be implemented while using a Curriculum Compactor to identify skills and content, document mastery, and provide student choice alternate activities. Participants left with an idea that they could immediately implement in their classroom.

As educators of gifted students in Maryland, we are very fortunate to have had the opportunity to learn from Carolyn Coil's expertise. MEGS looks forward to providing other professional development opportunities in the future.

A special thank you to the following generous educational companies that graciously donated books and gift certificates to enhance the MEGGY Awards: AKJ Books, Corwin Press, Free Spirit Publishing, Pieces of Learning, and Prufrock Press.


Exciting Gifted and Talented Events and MEGS Advocacy

MEGS has been actively participating in advocacy efforts during the months of January and February, 2012. On February 28, 2012, the Maryland State Board of Education approved the COMAR Gifted and Talented Regulations that set in place minimum standards for Gifted and Talented education programs in school systems throughout the State for the first time. Click here for the press release and the link to the regulation.

MEGS submitted a letter to MSDE supporting the COMAR during the public comment period early in January and an additional letter in February. Penny Zimring, MEGS President, testified in favor of the COMAR at the State Board meeting on January 24, 2012, and Helaine Zinaman, MEGS Executive Director, testified by thanking the Board for approving the COMAR, during the Public Comment at the end of the February 28th meeting.

February was proclaimed Gifted and Talented Education Month by Governor OíMalley. Gifted and Talented Education Month was celebrated statewide during February through public awareness events sponsored by the Maryland State Department of Education, local school systems, and the MEGS and MCGATE organizations. A wonderful state reception and celebration was held on February 29, 2012 at the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory. The State Advisory Council on Gifted and Talented Education recognized this yearís awardees for Excellence in Gifted and Talented Education.


Gifted Education: Cultivating Creative Minds
Over 320 Educators Attend State Conference on Gifted Education, 2011
by Helaine Zinaman

On Friday, October 21, over 320 educators and administrators from 20 Maryland school districts attended the annual Maryland State Conference on Gifted Education. The conference featured 25 sessions offered by presenters from around the state for K-grade 12 educators, highlighting this year’s conference theme “Gifted Education: Cultivating Creative Minds.” These sessions offered educators and administrators a variety of perspectives, strategies, and materials aligned with the conference strands: Instructional Needs of Gifted Learners and Underrepresented Populations in Gifted Education.

Brian Housand, from East Carolina University, was our wonderful keynote speaker. His keynote, "Gifted Education in the 21st Century: A New Hope", was very informative and entertaining as well. He talked about how the impact of technology and 21st Century Skills needs to transform gifted education by emphasizing creativity, quality, and rigor. He categorized the skills into the 4 C’s: Creativity and Innovation, Critical Thinking and Problem Solving, Communication, and Collaboration. Brian also presented two featured sessions: Plugging into Creative Outlets and 60 Tools in 60 Minutes. During these sessions, he talked about powerful tools designed for creative production, focusing on a variety of free digital tools, resources, and specific strategies for integrating the International Society for Technology in Education’s (ISTE) Educational Technology Standards for Students and Teachers into a gifted curriculum. Links and resources recommended by Brian Housand are available at bit.ly/megs1000.

Several educators were honored as recipients of our second annual MEGGY Awards in recognition for their valuable contributions and exemplary commitment to the field of gifted and talented education and to highly able students in the state of Maryland.  These honorees included Mary Murray from Harford County and Cheryl Sellitti from Montgomery County who received recognition as Outstanding Educators in the Field of Gifted and Talented Education and Dr. Jeanne Paynter, Gifted Education Specialist at the Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE), who received the award for Providing Learning Environments that Include Opportunities for Students to Demonstrate Outstanding Academic and Creative Talent.

We invite you to nominate educators for the MEGGY Awards by February 6, 2012.  The application is available on our website www.megsonline.net. We also invite you to nominate students in grades 3-6 for the NAGC Nicholas Green Distinguished Student Award by May 4, 2012. This application will be available on the MEGS website www.megsonline.net and the NAGC website www.nagc.org.

Reserve the date for our 2012 Maryland State Conference on Gifted and Talented Education which will be held on October 19, 2012.  Stay tuned for further details.

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Educators Attend MEGS Dinner
with Guest Speaker, Dr. Bertie Kingore
by Helaine Zinaman

On Wednesday, March 30, more than 70 educators and administrators from various Maryland counties attended the third annual MEGS Dinner. After a delicious dinner at the Crown Plaza Hotel in Timonium, three Maryland educators were honored and presented with the MEGGY Award in recognition of their exemplary commitment and contribution to the field of gifted and talented education and to highly able students in the state of Maryland. Each of the 2011 MEGGY Award recipients received a basket full of gifted education books donated by generous publishing companies supportive of gifted education, a check for $100, a beautiful rose, a gift certificate, a flash drive, and a NAGC mug. Mary Murray from Harford County and Cheryl Sellitti from Montgomery County received recognition as Outstanding Educators in the Field of Gifted and Talented Education and Dr. Jeanne Paynter, Gifted Education Specialist at the Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE), received the award for Providing Learning Environments that Include Opportunities for Students to Demonstrate Outstanding Academic and Creative Talent.

Following the awards, Dr. Bertie Kingore, our guest speaker, gave an engaging and informative talk about Nurturing Creative Thinking and Long-Term Learning. Dr. Bertie Kingore is an international consultant who has worked with students, their teachers, and their parents for over 30 years. She is also an award-winning author of numerous articles, instructional aids, more than twenty-five books, and numerous interactive CD-ROMs on education. Her newest publication, Tiered Learning Stations in Minutes! Increasing Achievement, High-Level Thinking, and the Joy of Learning, was recently released.  Recognized for her humorous and practical presentations, her energetic presentation left attendees revitalized and eager to implement her shared ideas and learning experiences in their own classrooms. 

During her talk, Dr. Kingore emphasized that “the more joy there is in learning, the greater the memory and that long term memory is activated when one is creative.”  Much of her presentation was interactive. In order to emphasize the importance of seeing the world from multiple perspectives, Dr. Kingore led the guests in a choral reading of the poem “Honeybees” from Paul Fleischman’s book Joyful Noise: Poems for Two Voices, half of theroom reading one voice and half the other. Dr. Kingore ended her talk by sharing how content can be used in a different way through “Bio Variations,” highlighted in her book, Just What I Need! A Bio uses guide words to promote student thinking about the content being studied, scaffolding thinking to encourage varied responses. This unusual way of looking at characters and topics is an excellent method of reviewing and organizing information in a divergent manner. Participants left with an idea that they could immediately implement in their classroom.

As educators of gifted students in Maryland, we are very fortunate to have had the opportunity to learn from Dr. Bertie Kingore’s expertise. MEGS looks forward to providing other professional development opportunities in the future.

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I3: Innovation, Invention, and Ingenuity
Over 300 Educators Attend State Conference on Gifted Education
by Debbie Blum and Helaine Zinaman

On Friday, October 16, 2010 over 320 educators and administrators from 20 Maryland school districts attended the annual Maryland State Conference on Gifted Education.  The conference featured 30 sessions for K-grade 12 educators, highlighting this year’s conference theme “I3 Innovation, Invention, and Ingenuity.”

Keynote speaker, Dr. Bertie Kingore, examined a three-way comparison of similarities and differences among high achievers, gifted learners, and creative thinkers, sharing research-based techniques that maximize the achievement potential of each during her keynote, Differentiating Instruction to Nurture Creative Thinkers.

Dr. Kingore provided practical tools for helping students think creatively, solve problems, and gave us tips for promoting accountability, quality, and achievement.  Some of these tips included: working with students to develop criteria and practice scoring both strong and weak product responses to increase understanding of evaluative reasoning; challenging students to pose questions that require more complex thought and communication; focusing on research-based, high-yield strategies affecting students’ achievement, particularly similarities/differences, summarization, note taking, and recognition of effort; integrating process engagement time and closure to enable students to link and connect learning to prior knowledge; and challenging advanced students to integrate abstract thinking, complexity, and depth in most responses.

In addition to the keynote presentation and two additional sessions by Bertie Kingore, 30 sessions were offered by presenters from around the state.  These sessions offered educators and administrators a variety of perspectives, strategies, and materials in the conference strands: Instructional Needs of Gifted Learners and Underrepresented Populations in Gifted Education.

Several educators were honored as recipients of our first annual MEGGY Awards in recognition for their valuable contributions and exemplary commitment to the field of gifted and talented education and to highly able students in the state of Maryland.  These honorees included Carol Brzezinski and Sally Oswald from Howard County for their dedication to creating rigorous and challenging curriculum; Kathleen Cecil from Baltimore County for providing learning environments that include opportunities for students to demonstrate outstanding academic and creative talent; and Kathleen Gregory from Prince George’s County for being outstanding in the field of gifted and talented education.  In addition to a basket full of professional books, they will receive a $100 check and a certificate of honor.

The esteemed Nicholas Green Distinguished Student Award sponsored by the National Association for Gifted Children (NAGC) was presented at our conference for the first time to David Oriala, former 6th grade student at Oakcrest Elementary TAG Center in Prince George’s County.  David will receive a $500 savings bond and a certificate of excellence from NAGC.

We invite you to nominate educators for the MEGGY Awards by March 5, 2010.  The application is available on our website.  We also invite you to nominate students in grades 3-6 for the NAGC Nicholas Green Distinguished Student Award by June 1, 2010.  This application will be available on the NAGC website www.nagc.org.

WBAL-11 TV coverage of the conference is available at http://www.wbaltv.com/video/21319884/index.html.

Reserve the date for our 2010 Maryland State Conference on Gifted and Talented Education which will be held on October 15, 2010.  Stay tuned for further details.



David Oriala, former 6th grade student at Oakcrest Elementary TAG Center in Prince George’s County,
is awarded the
Nicholas Green Distinguished Student Award

The Nicholas Green Distinguished Student Award is sponsored by NAGC, the National Association for Gifted Children.  This year’s Maryland recipient for this nationally esteemed award is David Oriala.  David’s nomination was supported by his teacher, Mrs. Janet Clarke, who says that “David is a truly promising candidate and a very brilliant student who is gifted in the field of math and science.  He exhibits an extraordinary level of continuous growth, intelligence and industriousness and is able to communicate ideas with an engaging clarity and coherence”.  David’s goal is to become a pharmacist and find the cure for AIDS.  This is the 11th year of the Nicholas Green Distinguished Student Award.  Only one other student in the whole state of Maryland has ever received this honor!

The Nicholas Green Distinguished Student Award is designed to recognize outstanding achievement in academics, leadership, or the arts, in children grades 3 through 6.  NAGC believes that the Nicholas Green Distinguished Student Awards inspire children to achieve to their fullest potential, and draw attention to the educational needs of our nation's gifted and talented students.

The Nicholas Green Foundation was established by the Greens to honor the memory of their seven-year-old son Nicholas who lost his life in a tragic accident while visiting Italy in 1994.

As a result of winning this award, David will receive a $500 U.S. savings bond and a NAGC Certificate of Excellence.  David’s name and photograph will be on the NAGC website along with the winners from other states.  David will also be honored at the Maryland Conference on Gifted and Talented Education on October 16th at Randallstown High School in Baltimore.  David’s parents will receive a one year subscription to Parenting for High Potential, a NAGC publication.



The 2009 MEGGY Awards for Achievements in Gifted and Talented Education in Maryland Public Schools

Announced at the Maryland Educators of Gifted Students (MEGS) dinner reception

The Maryland Educators of Gifted Students hosted our annual Spring Dinner and recognized four educators for our first MEGGY Awards at the Crowne Plaza Baltimore in Timonium, Maryland on Tuesday, April 21, 2009. 

  • Kathleen Cecil - MSDE – Providing learning environments that include opportunities for students to demonstrate outstanding academic and creative talent
  • Carol Brzezinski and Sally Oswald – Howard County – Dedicated to creating rigorous and challenging curriculum
  • Kathleen Gregory – Prince George’s County – Outstanding in the field of gifted and talented education
Each awardee received gift certificates and books donated by publishing companies who support gifted education.   They will also be recognized at the annual Maryland State Conference on Gifted and Talented Education at Randallstown High School in Baltimore on October 16, 2009.

Dr. Donald J. Treffinger, President of the Center for Creative Learning, Inc., in Sarasota, Florida, was the guest speaker.  Dr. Treffinger’s keynote, “Teaching for Life in a World of Change: Nurturing Creativity and Innovation” was informative and entertaining.  He is an internationally known researcher, writer, teacher, and presenter in the area of creativity and creative problem solving, as well as in the area of gifted and talented education.

 


 

© Copyright 2012  Maryland Educators of Gifted Students