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  February 17, 2011


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Spring Conference - WVU

April 19, 2011

Call for proposals by February 28, 2011.


Proposal form - (Word document)

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West Virginia University

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Features of A Differentiated Curriculum for Giftedness
     In "Differentiating Curriculum for High Ability Learners," at the Summer Institute, College of William and Mary (2009), Joyce VanTassel-Baska listed creativity as one of the five features of a differentiated curriculum for high ability learners. She included acceleration, complexity, depth and challenge as the other features.

     Not all students identified as gifted are inherently creative. Gifted education teachers see a wide range in levels of creativity among their students. Some students can generate a number of ideas (fluency) while others need assistance and examples. Some students notice what is unusual and surprising or interesting in everyday objects (flexibility) while others need assistance in considering alternative possibilities. As students progress up through the grades, they may appear to lose their creativity as they are exposed more often to closed-ended, content-focused questioning in the general classroom.

     In "A Whole New Mind" (2005), Daniel Pink relates a story that Gordon MacKenzie, a longtime creative force at Hallmark's Cards, told of visiting classrooms and asking students, "How many artists are there in the room?" In kindergarten and first-grade classrooms, every student raised their hands. In second-grade, about three-fourths of the students raised their hands. By third grade, only a few students held up their hands; and by sixth grade, not a single hand went up. Mr. Pink comments that this is a "cautionary tale for our times." In an information age, creativity has been under-valued, but it is actually an essential element for success as it differentiates the product or service in today's market place.

     There are many instructional strategies available to teach the elements of creativity. Some proven techniques are brainstorming, SCAMPER, and the Six Thinking Hats techniques.

     One of the session tracks at this year's annual NAGC Convention was focused on creativity. If you are interested in viewing, listening, printing or downloading presentations and handouts from the NAGC 57th Annual Convention (and previous conventions) just email Vickie Mohnacky at for the information. The sessions will be available until May 2011. The Live Learning Center gives 24/7 access at your convenience.

     Also, you may access the free download of the article Creative Problem Solving Embedded into Curriculum, from the pages of the Fall 2010 issue of Teaching for High Potential.

From the WV Legislature

WV Legislature

      Below is the link to the February 21, 2011, issue of "The Legislature" which contains a review of public education and public education-related bills introduced 1st Regular Session - West Virginia Legislature. "The Legislature" is a West Virginia School-Board Association publication.

Highlighted Site

The highlighted site in this issue is The Khan Academy "free classroom to the world." Over 1800 free educational videos on Biology, Calculus, Algebra, Economics, Physics, Organic Chemistry and more, are available at this site.

    A cute way to consider negative numbers during the Valentine season.

Love is positive (+). Hate is negative (-).

If you love to love.


If you love to hate.


If you hate to hate.


If you hate to love.



Additional Resources

National Association for Gifted Children (NAGC)

National Research Center for Gifted Education and Talent Development

West Virginia Department of Education
Office of Special Programs, Extended and Early Learning
Building 6, Room 304
1900 Kanawha Blvd. E.
Charleston, WV 25305
Gifted education teachers in West Virginia receive this newsletter bi-weekly from the West Virginia Department of Education. To change your e-mail address or update your information, please email Vickie Mohnacky at or call (304) 558-2696.