Gifted and Advanced Student Services
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Teasing & Bullying
ALP (Advanced Learning Plan)
Identification in any of the following areas tells you,
your parents and teachers that you have the
potential to do very well in school. Whether you do
is up to you.
INTELLECTUAL ABILITY/ACADEMIC APTITUDE
This is most often measured with a pencil and paper test. Tests of intellectual
ability give you a score of how well you can accomplish school-type intellectual
tasks. Achievement test scores tell how well you have learned things you were
taught in school. (The Gifted Kids Survival Guide; Judy Galbraith, M.A,)
Advanced results on these tests usually identify a student as gifted in a particular
subject area. If you are identified as gifted in language arts you most likely enjoy
and have an easy time with reading, writing, talking and spelling. If you find math
and numbers easy and enjoy science, games, riddles and computers then your
tests scores most likely show that you have gifted potential in math.
Tests of creativity, portfolios that show imagination that is advanced for your age,
inventive work and your ability to solve a variety of problems are used to identify
your potential to be creative.
There are certain characteristics of people who are leaders. If you are a student
who is responsible and counted on by classmates to get things done, communicate
well with others, organize things and people, cooperate well with others, but also
know how to direct your classmates, you may have been identified as having
leadership potential. This is done through checklists of characteristics, interviews
and looking at the leadership roles you have had in school such as student council,
club president or volunteer and service work.
VISUAL / PERFORMING ARTS
Gifted potential in the arts is revealed through advanced and unique art products
or performances such as plays or concerts. These are evaluated with rubrics that
measure advanced works by teachers who are experienced in the arts.
For all of the above areas of giftedness, multiple pieces of evidence such as test scores, behavior
checklists, and portfolios of work that show advanced abilities are collected for identification.
Students who are gifted have similar characteristics that can make
them feel different from many of their classmates. Not all gifted
students have all of the traits and you might even see some traits
in all students. The difference is that in gifted students these
characteristics are strong and show up often compared to other
I am gifted
Watch this video to see if you recognize any
of these characteristics in you.
MORE CHARACTERISTICS OF GIFTED
Does this sound like you?
• Know a lot about a lot of things.
• Passionate about an area of
• Get lost in your thoughts
• Like a challenge
• Usually like to hang out with older
• Have a good sense of humor
Sometimes gifted students experience
issues that are challenging for them,
and require extra help to understand.
Click into any of the words for more
information on these topics.
Asynchronous development (You
are advanced in reading, but still
at grade level when it comes to
Overexcitabilities (You may have
intellectual or sensory (senses)
Perfectionism (Thinking that what
you do and create should be
perfect can lead some people to
never start or finish a task or
never try to do anything new
because they might not do it well.)
Underachievement (A student is
not working and succeeding at the
level of his or her ability.)
Teasing & Bullying (Sometimes
gifted students are teased and
bullied by others.)
ADVANCED LEARNING PLANS
School won’t be cool unless you do your part to make it that way. Galbraith
As a student you must learn to advocate (support, promote, campaign, fight)
for yourself. To learn more about how to advocate click HERE.
The Advanced Learning Plan (ALP) is a document that records your
achievement and personal goals for a year. This document helps
you, your teachers and parents identify your areas of strength and
potential, set goals in those areas and follow your growth
throughout your school years. The ALP helps your teachers to
communicate with one another and keep giving you opportunities
to work at your own level and speed.
You and your teacher work together to set these goals and share
responsibility in achieving them. Your parents can also make
suggestions and assist you in achieving your goals. The ALP should
record one achievement goal for each area you have been
identified as having gifted potential and one social/emotional goal
(personal, peer-related, career, college, etc.).
GOALS SHOULD BE SMART
SMART Goal Examples:
comprehension skills by participating in
the advanced reading group and scoring
95% or higher on the unit tests.
I will improve my listening skills by
talking less in cooperative groups and
stating back to group members what
they just said. At the end of the
semester I will have group members rate
my ability to listen using a rubric I make.
There are a lot of different ways teachers provide
advanced learning opportunities for their students.
Some options depend on the school you attend and
the grade your are in. Check out the list below for
examples of the types of activities that can
accelerate, extend and enrich your learning.
• Working on advanced
work in place of regular
• Independent study
High School classes
• Work with tutors &
• Competitions & Clubs
• Use of advanced text
books and resources
• Work with tutors &
mentors on advanced
• AP, IB & honors
• Mentorships &
• Socratic Seminars
• Competitions &
Some of the options above may not be available at all Adams 12 schools.
It can be very frustrating to be able to read two grade levels above
your classmates but not be able to play sports or watch the same
movies as your above grade level classmates. This is what we call
asynchronous development—when what you can do in your area of
giftedness is way beyond your social, emotional or physical
development. You might be gifted in language arts, but still need to
work at grade level in math and science. This kind of uneven
development calls for some strategies to help you, your parents
and teachers better understand and deal with the situation. Don’t
be surprised if sometimes you need to talk with a counselor about
how to keep the gift of being gifted in balance.
TIPS FOR BALANCING ASYNCHRONOUS
• You might have to remind yourself and others that you are still a
kid first and gifted second. Sometimes everybody forgets that.
Just because you can work at an advanced level, and like to
work with students and adults older than yourself doesn’t mean
you are an adult and should be expected to be treated like one
or act like one.
• Understand that socially and emotionally you may have
different needs from your classmates on or above grade level.
Don’t be afraid or ashamed to ask for an adult to talk to about
any feelings or problems you might be experiencing.
• Remind your parents and teachers that you need time to be
with other gifted kids. Ask them to give you some scheduled
times to work and play with other kids that think like you and
have some of the same interests. You might even want some
time to speak with adults who are experts in a topic you are
• Don’t be concerned that you are not gifted in everything. Some
people are good at sports, but can’t sing or dance. Some people
can heal the sick and others faint at the sight of blood. Gifted
doesn’t mean you have to or even can be good at everything.
The idea of over excitabilities was developed by a Polish psychiatrist
and psychologist Kazimierz Dabrowski. He found that more gifted
people (not all) have overexcitabilities than the general population.
The types of over excitabilities are:
Psychomotor—need for action, love of movement, energetic
Sensual – intense pleasure or displeasure from sight, smell, taste,
touch and hearing
Intellectual – curious and active mind seeks understanding, truth and
Imaginational – play of imagination, visualization, vivid dreams,
confuse reality and fiction
Emotional – intense and extreme feelings, concerns, emotions
STRATEGIES FOR DEALING WITH
Be sure to communicate your needs to your parents and teachers
so they can help you with these strategies.
• PSYCHOMOTOR: Build physical or verbal movement and activity into your daily
schedule. Be sure to choose a time and activity that is not disruptive to others.
• SENSUAL: Create a calm place to work. Wear headphones to drown out noise and
keep lights low. Be aware of what distracts you and try to find ways to eliminate or
limit those distractions when you need to concentrate.
• INTELLECTUAL: Look for ways you can turn moral and ethical concerns into actions
that make a difference. Also be aware that being overly critical of others may keep
you from making and keeping friends.
• IMAGINATIONAL: Create your own way to stay organized and keep on task. Write
down or draw factual information you learn before going on to imagine new and
creative ways to use or add to the facts.
• EMOTIONAL: Learn how your body warns you when you are overwhelmed by your
feelings. Do you get headaches, stomachaches or sweaty palms? Knowing the
signs will help you to catch yourself and use deep breathing or other techniques to
lower the stress of your emotions.
It’s easy to see why many gifted kids think they need to do
Parents, teachers and even classmates
sometimes think that because you’re gifted you should be able to
get A’s and first place in everything. When you start believing this
myth too, you begin to think and act like a perfectionist:
• Feeling inferior
• Believing nothing you do is good enough
• Doing things to please others not because you want to
• Stop trying new things because you are afraid you won’t
be able to do them perfectly.
THREE GREAT TRUTHS ABOUT
(The Gifted Kids Survival Guide; Judy Galbraith, M.A,)
1. Nobody’s perfect, and no one
is good at everything.
2. It’s perfectly okay to be
perfectly imperfect! (We
learn best from our
3. Dong things perfectly
doesn’t make you a more
successful person. Other
things count, too.
Lots of students, not just gifted students, do not get the best
possible grades they can based on their abilities and potential.
Adults call this underachievement or working below a level that is
expected. The bad news is that underachievement is a behavior
you learn. The good news is you can learn how to change it. If you
have ever been told you are an underachiever or think you might
be one, answer the following questions to help you better
understand where your underachievement might be coming from.
Are you successful and perform at high levels
in activities outside of school?
Don’t overlook all the things you do well. If you are not
doing well in a particular subject in school keep in mind
that school should be challenging. It takes work to learn
and there is nothing wrong with asking for extra help so
you can do your best.
How important are grades?
Some students aren’t satisfied unless they get A’s. Other
students don’t think anything above an F is a failure.
What are your feelings about grades? How about your
Do you welcome or fear mistakes?
Do you see yourself as a failure? Do you think any
successes you have are because of luck or something
someone else did? Are you afraid to make mistakes?
If you answered yes to any of these questions you or others
might think of you as an underachiever. In that case, talk to your
parents, a teacher or counselor about your behaviors and how
they might be able to help you better understand everyone’s
responsibilities for your success.
When Gifted Kids Don’t Have All the Answers; Jim Delisle, Ph.D.,
& Judy Galbraith, M.A.
TEASING & BULLYING
Many students are teased and bullied by others. Gifted students
are no exception. There are many reasons why kids tease each
other, but no matter the reasons you have control over whether you
decide to let the teasing bug you or not. The Gifted Kids Survival
Guide suggests you ask yourself three questions the next time
someone teases you for being smart. Then see if you don’t feel
better about the situation.
1. Who’s doing the teasing? Is that person’s opinion
important to you?
2. Why are they teasing me? Are they doing it for fun,
because they’re jealous or do they really not like you?
3. Do I accept the teasing? Do you let them hurt your feelings
or ignore them and walk away?
Bullying is far more serious
than teasing. If you are
being bullied, try one of
the following suggestions:
Do the following to stay
as safe as you can from
Look at the kid
bullying you and tell
him or her to stop in a
calm, clear voice. You
can also try to laugh it
off. This works best if
joking is easy for you.
It could catch the kid
bullying you off guard.
If speaking up seems
too hard or not safe,
walk away and stay
away. Don’t fight
back. Find an adult to
stop the bullying on
If you don’t have a teacher who is
as wise as the one in this video,
find an adult who can help you
with any bullying problems you
might have. Ask a teacher to let
you pair up with someone you
feel comfortable with and is
mostly likely not to bully or tease
Talk to an adult you
trust. Don’t keep
your feelings inside.
Telling someone can
help you feel less
alone. They can help
you make a plan to
stop the bullying.
Stay away from
Stay near adults and
other kids. Most
when adults aren’t
Advocacy is all about knowing what you want
and need out of school, and being able to plan
ways to get it. This takes a lot of preparation on
your part to understand how you learn best,
make a realistic plan for your learning, and then
politely convince your teacher to help you do it.
Here are some ways to learn that you might
want to ask your teacher to let you try.
Take a pretest to find out what you already know.
Then skip over that work and use the time to do a
challenging project or independent study of interest to
Take a chapter, unit or end of year test to see if you
could go to the next grade for that subject or work out
of a more advanced text book.
Help to plan and organize mini-classes for subjects not
taught in your school.
Show what you have learned in new and unusual ways
like designing a Web page, writing a play, making a
Get an “any-time-of-the-day” library pass so you can
learn on your own.
you advocate the
answer is no. You
chances and keep
trying even when
things don’t work
out the way you
want them to.
won’t know if you
Follow these Ten Tips for Talking with Teachers when advocating
Make an appointment.
If there are other students with the same needs, go in and speak as a group.
Be prepared and think what you want to say before you meet with the teacher.
Be positive and choose your words carefully.
Come with ideas. Don’t expect the teacher to do all the work and have all the answers.
Talk about what you need, not what the teacher is doing wrong.
Be sure to listen at least as much as you talk. (You have two ears and only one mouth.)
Bring your sense of humor so you don’t take things too seriously, and can laugh at your own
misunderstandings and mistakes.
10. If the meeting isn’t successful, get help from another adult.
When Gifted Kids Don’t Have All the Answers; Jim Delisle, Ph.D., & Judy Galbraith, M.A.