Frequently Asked Questions
What does it mean to be “gifted and talented”?
Children are gifted when their ability is significantly above the norm for their age. Generally speaking, it includes children who possess above average ability, high creativity, and high motivation. Students can be gifted in the following domains or in any combination:
What are the characteristics of giftedness?
Gifted children are all unique in the way they act. They may not exhibit all of these behaviors all of the time. However, the following is a list of common characteristics that many gifted children share. This list is taken directly from the National Association for Gifted Children’s website.
- Unusual alertness, even in infancy
- Rapid learner; puts thoughts together quickly
- Excellent memory
- Unusually large vocabulary and complex sentence structure for age
- Advanced comprehension of word nuances, metaphors and abstract ideas
- Enjoys solving problems, especially with numbers and puzzles
- Often self-taught reading and writing skills as preschooler
- Deep, intense feelings and reactions
- Highly sensitive
- Thinking is abstract, complex, logical, and insightful
- Idealism and sense of justice at early age
- Concern with social and political issues and injustices
- Longer attention span and intense concentration
- Preoccupied with own thoughts-daydreamer
- Learn basic skills quickly and with little practice
- Asks probing questions
- Wide range of interests (or extreme focus in one area)
- Highly developed curiosity
- Interest in experimenting and doing things differently
- Puts idea of things together that are not typical
- Keen and/or unusual sense of humor
- Desire to organize people/things through games or complex schemas
- Vivid imaginations (and imaginary playmates when in preschool)
How many potentially gifted children are there in the United States?
According to the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights, there are about six percent or about 3.2 million of public school students enrolled in gifted and talented programs.
How are potentially gifted children identified?
It depends on the school district. In Buffalo, students who are going into Kindergarten or 1st grade have the opportunity to test into the gifted and talented program. Parents or teachers can recommend to have their child tested.
How is the program structured?
The program will be based on the Schoolwide Enrichment Model (SEM). Under this model all students will receive exploratory activities throughout the year through field trips, guest speakers, and schoolwide cultural and academic “themed” days, like a science fair. These events will be coordinated by the GT specialist in collaboration with other school staff, like the Arts Coordinator.
Students who have been identified as Gifted and Talented will attend classes led by the GT specialist two times per six day cycle.
What happens in GT class?
Students will participate in activities that are designed to develop thinking and feeling skills. Students are involved in designing, experimenting, comparing, analyzing, recording and classifying. Skills to be developed include creative and critical thinking, learning how to learn, using advanced level reference materials and communicating effectively.
Students apply the knowledge and skills they have developed by becoming investigators of real problems, working on specific areas of study towards presentation to a real audience. Activities include researching, debating, surveying, making a presentation, writing a journal article or producing a book or play.