Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Session 4 - Question 3

Would you recommend this book to another middle school teacher? Support your response.


  1. I would probably recommend this book to anothr middle school teacher. I would definitely recommend this book to a teacher who had always worked with high school students and needed a crash course on middle school. I spent over ten years teaching kids in their mid to late teens, now I am with pre teens and early teens.

    I din't realize how much personal development occured in middle school, physical and psychological. Chapter three was about the scientific development of the brain and Chapter Six had some developmentally planned lessons.

    The kids in middle school don't look like the one in the upper school. Now I realize that they don't think, learn, or view things the same way.

  2. I will definitely recommend this book to others. Its a great resource for both teachers and parents. It provides some good tips which can be easily incorporated in the classrooms. For example ..
    - Syn-naps to avoid neurotransmitter depletion.
    - Encourage participation, not perfection.
    - Ability Grouping.

  3. Valerie H... I would recommend this book. I am always looking for ideas to use in my classroom to improve student involvement and learning. I liked the last chapters... 8 and 9 and the appendix at the back with the various lesson ideas. There are a lot of interesting ideas I can use in my classroom.

  4. Valerie commenting on Elizabeth... I started teaching in Middle School, but have been teaching high school students for a long time. I now am the parent of a middle school/teenager. I had forgotten what it is like to teach a middle school student. It was interesting to read the process that middle school brains go through when learning.

  5. Valerie commenting on Shivani... I agree with Shivani... I think my favorite thing in the book was the syn-nap to help the brain absorb what we are teaching. With our block schedule, it is important to stop and give students a chance to absorb what we are trying to teach.

  6. I liked the book and would probably recommend it. Like Valerie, I am always trying to find a way to "improve student involvement and learning." This book has given some strategies on how to challenge them.

  7. I would recommend this book to others. There are so many pieces of it that we try to value but didn't necessarily see the value of it- now we do.
    - syn-aps breaks
    - feedback quality and student motivation levels
    - depth not more work
    - choices
    These are just a few of the reasons I would suggest this to others.

  8. I would definetly recommend this book to middle school teachers and parents of middle school age children. The chapters on brain development and learning are extremely important to keep in mind when working with this age level group. There are also many examples of ways to enrich the curriclulm for gifted children.

  9. I would recommend this book. I think it's intresting how its written from the perspectives of a mother, teacher and expert on gifted students.

  10. I would recommend this book to others. I agree with everything that has been written already. This book is written from so many different perspectives that there is value for parents, teachers, and experts in child development.
    What I truly appreciated about this book were the practical ideas that were provided that could be taken straight back to the classroom.

  11. I would recommend this to others. I found it be very interesting as a parent of a possible GT child. I learned not only how the GT student thinks but how they will progress, grow, and achieve if they have a teacher who understands what it means to teach gifted students. As a teacher it was eye-opening to me to learn more about the gifted student and how I can change things in my classroom to help meet their needs and at the same time I think some of these changes would help my other students.
    I agree with Amy, that the ideas were very practical and easy to employ in my classroom. And that makes the book worth reading and sharing with other teachers!

  12. I have mixed emotions about recommending this book. On the one hand, I found it insightful and fascinating. I found the biological evidences supporting certain studies to be very interesting. While it was sometimes very dry to read, the points were well thought-out.

    On the other hand, this book also seems a tad naive to me. While I realize that the author has teaching experience and a wealth of knowledge on neuroscience, I was sometimes struck by the impracticality of some of her suggestions.

    I realize that the end goal of her writing the book was to encourage a dialogue at the highest level, and perhaps find a way to change the nature of the way we educate, and thus also the way in which we live.

    However, necessity is the mother of all invention, not creativity.

    I can dream and point to the stars, but competing with the Russian will drive me to set foot on the moon.

    Her study focuses a great deal on making sure that GT kids are not overlooked, neglected, mislabeled, left behind, shamed, or over-worked.

    But while each of these points are well made, well crafted, and very important, the one question she left me with when the book was finished was, "and then what?"

    We identify, support, encourage, inspire, and develop gifted minds...and then after a nurturing middle school and high school they enter a world that doesn't appreciate the fact that sitting through lectures is boring and stifling. Both in college and in the business world, boring things are sometimes necessary, but we've not taught them how to manage boredom. We've not taught them how to buckle down and concentrate on unpleasant tasks for extended periods of time. We consider those skills to be unnecessary, inefficient, and detrimental to their development as a learner.

    Just because I don't have the longest, strongest legs, doesn't mean I shouldn't learn how to train for marathons.

    Just because my brain is wired for more creativity and introspection, doesn't mean I shouldn't learn how to deal with mechanical and repetitive tasks as well.

    All in all, I would say that the book IS worth the read, but to read it with an open mind, a GT mind.

  13. I bought a copy and sent it to my aunt who has middle school aged kids because I think it will be very useful for her to understand their GT kids.
    Would I recommend this this to a middle school teacher? Definitely YES!
    It's easy reading and bring together research and practical approaches that can used in the classroom.

  14. Yes, I would recommend this book to other teachers, not just middle school teachers, either... I think it has good information for teachers of all levels, something for everyone to learn from and use in their classrooms.

  15. Yes, I would recommend this book to other teachers because it blends both theory/research with practical application in the classroom. I think we should always be searching for new ideas to add to our tool box of the trade. I plan to try out some of these activities with my GT students as well as other kids in my classes. I think this book is a good reminder that we need to serve the individual needs of all of our students.

  16. I would probably recommend this book to others who teach GT students or even those who do not. It not only gives you insight to GT students but the learning and development of all children. Many of the activities or suggestions can help with all students of any background as well.

  17. Andrew I just read what you wrote and I really like what you said. I like that you said to keep an open mind when reading this book as I think that would be key so as to not feel worried or frustrated or that you can possibly do everything that was suggested we must be doing if we have GT students sitting in our class!I feel that I must take it step by step and keep trying to implement what I can in my class as my won pace.

  18. Yes, I would recommend this book to other middle school teachers. it offers great insight into the gifted child's mind and daily school experience. I appreciate all of the great activities and suggestions and I think it will be a resource I use in the future. I also think we should continue to grow and learn as educators, always looking for a new approach or way of doing things.

  19. I would recomend this book. It has great insight for teachers that teach all levels of students. The brain research is good for all and the points made about processing is invaluable.

  20. In response to Mr. Maddocks, I agree that while the book is good in theory many of the suggestions are too impractical to be fully implemented successfully in the classroom setting. And as TCWilliams said, it's also good reading for upper school teachers.