KAGE Conference 2020 Tuesday

7:00 am Registration Desk Opens
7:30 am Continental Breakfast
7:30 am KAGE Business Meeting
8:00 – 9:15 am General Session
   • KAGE Distinguished Student Award
   • Keynote: Richard D. Courtright, Ph.D. The Gifted and Talented: Who They Are, What They Need, And Why They Don’t Have It
8:00 am – 2:30 pm Visit the Exhibits
9:30 – 2:30 pm Concurrent Sessions
2:30 – 3:30 pm KDE Update with KDE Consultant Dina Chaffin


Kentucky Department of Education (KDE) Update, Dina Chaffin, Gifted Education Academic Program Consultant, Kentucky Department of Education – Join Dina Chaffin as she shares information regarding the new accountability system and other gifted education hot topics from across the state.

Tuesday concurrent sessions are presented by educators, exhibitors, and others who have much to share about practices, curriculum approaches, materials, insights, and more about gifted and high ability children.

Critical Thinking: The Secret to Classroom Management, COLIN SEALE (KAGE Conference 2020 Monday Keynote Speaker), ThinkLaw Founder and CEO, Critical Thinking Expert  – Student learning is the ultimate goal in education, but we also know that learning can’t occur without effective classroom management. What if you could foster critical thinking in your approach to classroom management? Walk away from this session with practical tips and strategies to leverage critical thinking within behavior management.  

GT/RtI in Elementary and Middle Schools, TODDIE ADAMS, Director of Gifted Services, Marshall County Schools – Although RtI is implemented throughout the Commonwealth of Kentucky, GT/RtI (based on the Kentucky System of Intervention (KSI)), is not fully utilized in gifted services. Learn how to implement GT/RtI at the elementary and middle school levels for the purpose of monitoring gifted service options and to aid in the identification of gifted learners including twice exceptional and under-represented student groups.

Growing Up Gifted – Part 1, DINA CHAFFIN, Gifted Education Academic Program Consultant, Kentucky Department of Education – Planning professional learning opportunities for teachers, administrators, and instructional assistants working with gifted and talented students can be a challenge. Come and join us for this session that will allow you to leave with everything needed to facilitate a 45-60 minute professional learning opportunity in your home district. This “train-the-trainer” session will be the first in a series of three sessions on the characteristics, interests, needs, and abilities of gifted and talented students.          

Books, Books, and More Books, LYNETTE BREEDLOVE, PhD., Director, The Gatton Academy of Mathematics and Science, KAGE Board Member – Build on gifted students’ voracity for reading by pairing the characteristics of gifted learners with books featuring characters to whom they can relate. Everything from picture books to adult novels will be discussed. Flip through and review many of the books being highlighted, and contribute to a crowd-sourced list. Add a few new favorite books to your list to share with your students.  

Identification of Gifted Children in All Five Categories, JULIA LINK ROBERTS, Ed.D., Mahurin Professor of Gifted Studies; Executive Director, The Center for Gifted Studies and The Carol Martin Gatton Academy of Mathematics and Science; President, World Council for Gifted and Talented Children, KAGE Board MemberIdentification is so important yet not an exact science. This session will focus on all categories of giftedness recognized in Kentucky. You will be introduced to an instrument for identifying in science that has been developed at WKU in a Javits grant, one that is available at no cost. Come learn and discuss strengths of various ways to identify children with gifts and talents.

Engage in Shared Inquiry: Powerful Questions = Deeper Learning, DENISE D. AHLQUIST, Senior Academic Consultant, Great Books Foundation – Want all your students to think critically and be 21st century problem solvers? See how the Shared Inquiry method of learning differentiates and engages everyone in asking better questions, collaborating more effectively, and reading with greater comprehension. This flexible, research-based approach has been used to support the academic and social-emotional development of students in a wide variety of settings. Learn how more effective questioning leads to deeper learning and increased student engagement.

Differentiating with Technology: Efficiently Meeting (and Managing) Student Enrichment, ASHLEY DELUCIA, GT Resource Teacher, Tates Creek Elementary and SCAPA; KATIE FARRINGTON, Gifted and Talented Resource Teacher, Picadome Elementary; RACHEL MATTHEWS, Gifted and Talented Resource Teacher, Wellington Elementary; and BRITTANY SLONE, Gifted and Talented Resource Teacher, Cardinal Valley Elementary and James Lane Allen Elementary, Fayette County Schools  – Have you ever wondered how technology can assist with differentiation and enrichment for gifted students? Our students often surpass their grade level expectations or show mastery of content well before their same age peers and need additional challenges to keep them engaged and growing. Join us to learn tips and tricks about our favorite technology resources that make differentiation manageable, efficient, meaningful, and engaging for all students!

Gifted All Day, Every DayUsing Interdisciplinary Differentiation to Foster Growth, JAN LANHAM, Ph.D., Private educational consultant with It’s All About Potential!, past KAGE President – Faced with the challenge of serving students who are gifted in five areas across all content areas, participants will explore interdisciplinary differentiation strategies to foster growth for all students each day. Leave with some basic strategies to give each student challenge every day.

I’m a gifted coordinator. Now What?, LEANN PICKERILL, Ed.D., Coordinator of Gifted and Talented Education, Paris Independent Schools, KAGE Board Member – A session to get started on evaluating what is needed to successfully run a gifted and talented program as a new coordinator. A quick-start guide to everything gifted and talented.

Counseling/Parenting Strategies to Address Underachievement, JAN LANHAM, Ph.D. – The challenge of underachievement impacts most gifted students at some time. Participants will look causative factors and best practice strategies at home and at school that can provide support in the process to reverse patterns of underachievement.

Genius Hour – The Dos & Don’ts, ASHLEY SAKIE, Gifted Resource Teacher, Oldham County Schools – Participants will receive information about the dos and don’ts of running a successful Genius Hour program to enrich and enhance passion projects for gifted students. It will include project ideas and a planning guide to set up your program in grades 4-12.

All Students Need A Challenge: Growth Mindset in the Classroom, GENNY JENKINS, Gifted and Talented Coordinator and Instructor, Rowan County Schools, KAGE Board Member – This session will focus on ways to incorporate strategies into your teaching to encourage growth mindset among your students. Most activities can be adapted for various grade levels. All materials will be shared and can be used in your home district with your colleagues.   

Beyond the Stars: Experiences that Expand the Boundaries of the Classroom, MICHAEL KESSINGER, Assistant Professor, KIMBERELY NETTLETON, Associate Professor, and LESIA C. LENNEX, Professor, Morehead State University –Gifted students need instruction that enriches their conceptual attainment, helps them make connections and patterns between content areas, and develops an understanding of real-life application of content. The growing availability of technological resources has empowered teachers to meet the academic needs of students and provide an enriched learning experience for all students. Part of this presentation will look at a wide range of software which can provide gifted students with opportunities to explore areas not possible in the regular classroom.

Brains and Bots, CASEY KIRK, Gifted and Talented Teacher, Williamstown Independent Schools – Robots in education are everywhere! Check out how robotics such as Ozobots, Spheros, M-Bots, and Little Bits are used to foster social skills and enrich precocious learners. This workshop will allow for participants to explore the technology and experience some of the centers used with elementary G/T groups. 

Breakfast with the Arts: Nourish Bodies and Souls, SUSAN WILLIAMS, Gifted and Talented Coordinator, Russell Independent and ANNE STEVENS, UK Fine Arts Extension Agent, Greenup County Extension Service – One of the on-going issues in Gifted Education is how to identify, nurture, and support students gifted in the arts. A partnership between Russell Independent and Greenup County Extension Service has allowed us to provide performance opportunities within the school day which help us identify and support these budding artists and performers.

Coasting Through Newton’s Laws, KATHY AMES, 6th Grade Science Teacher, Noe Middle School, Jefferson County Schools – See how students at Noe Middle School use project-based learning to demonstrate their understanding of Newton’s Laws and basic principles of physics. This project draws on real life experiences while exploring the construction of and physics behind roller coasters. This hands-on workshop will guide you through the process that students used to create working models of roller coasters and demonstrate their understanding of basic principles of physics.

Exploring Popular Culture, Music, and Media with Gifted Youth, DAVID CHILDS, Ph.D., and KIMBERLY CLAYTON-CODE, Ph.D., Northern Kentucky University College of Education – Imagery and sounds from television, film, music, the Internet, and other media bombard American youth; dictating to them how they should act, think, or what they should believe. Young people should think critically about their media choices and reflect on the degree they shape their identity. This presentation will explore how gifted educators can integrate popular culture into their curriculum, thereby helping students become more critically aware of the media they consume and how it impacts their lives and self-image.

Math Differentiation in Diverse Classrooms, SYDNEY BARTON and PAM HART, 4th Grade Teachers, Picadome Elementary, Fayette County Schools – How to meet the needs of gifted children in a diverse classroom through leveled guided math groups, including how to provide enrichment opportunities beyond the standards. Highlighting best practices and easily implemented activities and experiences for gifted learners during guided math groups and independent rotation work.

Northern Kentucky Association for Gifted Education, SHANNON GUBSER, Gifted and Talented Teacher, Newport Independent Schools, HEATHER HICKS, Gifted and Talented Coordinator, Boone County Schools, JODI LUDMANN, Gifted and Talented Teacher, Fort Thomas Independent Schools, KIMBERLY CLAYTON-CODE, Professor, Northern Kentucky University  – Do you feel like you are alone and on your own GT island? Join our NKAGE group as we take a one-hour tour of what our collaboration model looks like for NKY. Set sail to learn about how we plan and organize regional events for students across NKY districts and support each other through professional learning and sharing of resources.

Rubik’s Cube Mania!, BROSI BLOSSOM, GT Coordinator, Danville Independent Schools – Rubik’s Cube mania is in full swing in my school district. In this presentation I will share how the Rubik’s Cube is used as a tool to both reach reluctant learners and to challenge gifted kids. Furthermore, I will explain how the cube can reach underrepresented and diverse populations of gifted students in my district. I plan to hold the first ever You Can Do The Cube competition this spring. Learn more at this presentation!

Using Power Tools in Your Classroom to Do Hundreds of Hands-on STEM Projects, BILL CLOYD, DAWN CLOYD, AND KEITH HOLLIFIELD, Newton’s Attic – Attendees will be shown how to use play, hand and power tools, engineering creativity and technical knowledge to incorporate exciting, hands on engineering projects in the classroom for their students. This presentation will also illustrate why mastery of seemingly unrelated skills are necessary for effective STEM education, and how tool use can unlock engineering creativity and foster scientific learning. Attendees will leave with plans for a simple and inexpensive power tool center they can build and use in their classrooms.

When Gifted Doesn’t Feel Like a Gift, JEANI GOLLIHUE, Professional Learning Coach/Dual Credit Math Instructor, Greenup County Schools – Expectations are higher than ever for our gifted students. In this session, participants will focus on using unconditional positive regard in ways that are not contingent on academic performance. Students deserve to be valued for academic AND non-academic abilities. Teachers will leave this session with some research-backed strategies to build self-worth in their students holistically. Let’s work together to celebrate the whole child.    

Keeping Gifted Learners Engaged Through a Personalized and Relevant Writing Initiative, RYAN LACIVITA, Senior Partnerships Manager, ThinkCERCA, and MICHELLE CASON, District Gifted & Talented Coordinator, Woodford County Schools, ThinkCERCA and Woodford County Schools In this session, District Gifted & Talented Coordinator Michelle Cason will share how Woodford County School District implemented a personalized writing initiative across its middle school social studies classes. Through a partnership with ThinkCERCA, the district was able to roll out a rigorous literacy initiative that helps educators effectively teach writing in social studies while personalizing instruction for today’s diverse classrooms.

Meeting the Needs of High Ability and Gifted Students in Grades K-12, MICHELLE LYNCH, Ed.S., Gifted and Talented Coordinator, Glasgow Independent Schools  – This presentation will focus on meeting the needs of gifted and high ability students from a GT teacher and coordinator’s perspective. CELTIC Academy (Creating Enriched Learning Through Innovative Curriculum) will be discussed, along with Primary Talent Pool and Gifted & Talented Programming. GT visual and performing arts portfolios will be discussed along with our district GT mentoring program. Also highlighted will be how the use of Google’s G-Suite Education tools can make your gifted programming effective and easier to manage.        

Supporting 2e Learners by Advocating for the Arts, JILLIANE MCCARDLE, Ed.D, Gifted Services Coordinator, JANA MAYER, M.A., Coordinator of Extended Learning, and MARY TOM EMANUEL, Instructor at Model Laboratory School at Eastern Kentucky University – During this session, presenters will share the experiences of twice-exceptional (2e) learners in a fine arts program at a K-12 laboratory school in Central Kentucky. They will illustrate specific instructional strategies that empower 2e learners through visual and performing arts programming. Participants will leave with recommendations to create and promote meaningful and equitable learning opportunities via the arts for 2e learners on their campuses.”

To the Metaverse and Beyond, DJ RIGGS, Ed.S., School Counselor/Physical Education Teacher, Ben Johnson Elementary School, and JACLYN RENFRO, Fifth Grade Teacher, Ben Johnson Elementary School, Breckinridge County Schools – Create Magic in your Classroom. Metaverse is a FREE Augmented Reality Platform that is being used by teachers and students to create their own augmented reality experiences without having to code. Metaverse strengthens student digital literacy, creativity, and logical thinking. Student engagement and ownership is off the charts. Metaverse empowers students as content creators. Students can apply what they’ve learned to create experiences such as scavenger hunts, games, interactive stories, puzzles (breakouts), quizzes, virtual field trips, presentations and much more.              

Planting and Growing Critical and Creative Thinking in Your Instruction of Gifted Students, TAYLOR THOMPSON, Ph.D., Professor of Education, Georgetown College – The presenter will describe and give examples from observed and submitted lessons of the four formats of teaching both critical and creative thinking; how the media of the thinking may determine its success in reaching and motivating students; and differentiation of thinking activities for serving the gifted. Participants will analyze sample activities from different grade levels. Outline handouts with links will be available. Recommended for teachers of all grade levels and GT specialists who work with teachers.

STEM-ulating Activities for People and the Planet, Dr. SCOTT TOWNSEND, Associate Professor of Education, Eastern Kentucky University – Engage in hands-on activities with a variety of learning strategies — small-group problem solving, data analysis, mathematical modeling and simulations — that combine mathematics, science, social studies and language arts skills, while building awareness on human-environmental interactions. Stimulate discussion, critical thinking and problem-solving skills on timely global challenges that empower gifted students to address real-world challenges. Receive lesson plans and background materials in an electronic format, matched to state standards.