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Wednesday, December 4


The Transformative Power of Cooperative Gameplay
Cooperative game play may be used as a powerful tool within the classroom to amplify moral reasoning skills for the gifted child. Exploring multiple perspectives while invoking one’s own sense of ethics-based decision making is critical to healthy social and emotional development.

avatar for Allison Ross

Allison Ross

Curriculum Coordinator and MS Faculty, E.A. Young Academy
Allison Ross serves as Curriculum Coordinator and Middle School faculty. With a bachelor’s degree in Early Childhood Education from Texas Christian University, Ms. Ross is a Horned Frog at heart. After spending the early part of her teaching career in a more traditional elementary... Read More →
avatar for Kathy Lyda

Kathy Lyda

Head of School, E.A. Young Academy
Kathy Lyda serves as Head of School but prefers the title “Director of Awesomeness” at E.A. Young Academy, an independent, not-for-profit academy dedicated to the needs of the gifted and talented scholar. Ms. Lyda holds a BS in Psychology from Texas Christian University and a... Read More →

Wednesday December 4, 2019 9:00am - 10:00am
Cibolo 10-11 JW Marriott Hill Country Hotel


Who Is Doing the Thinking?
Who does the thinking in your classroom? You, or your students? In this session, we will identify high-level questioning techniques that will get students thinking and solving problems. We will learn three strategies you can take into your classrooom and use today. Let's get the students thinking!

avatar for Barbie Scott

Barbie Scott

Advanced Academics/GT Specialist, Clear Creek ISD
Barbie Scott is an Advanced Academics/GT Specialist for Clear Creek Independent School District. She is currently in her 20th year of teaching and has taught Pre-K, 2nd grade, 4th grade and Advanced Academics. She loves to challenge her Gifted students, while building their self-esteem... Read More →

Wednesday December 4, 2019 9:00am - 10:00am
Begonia/Bottlebrush JW Marriott Hill Country Hotel


Real Science on a Dime with NASA Resources
Do you need to have expensive kits and extensive lab equipment in order to engage your learners in authentic hands-on STEM opportunities. The answer, of course, is a resounding NO! In this session you will work through a succession of challenges using whatever the presenter found earlier.

avatar for Steven Smith

Steven Smith

STEM Engagement Specialist, NASA
Steven is the STEM Engagement Specialist with NASA’s Educator Professional Development Collaborative at Johnson Space Center. His work helps develop scientists from historically disenfranchised groups, creating culturally responsive lessons that engage students previously left out... Read More →

Wednesday December 4, 2019 9:00am - 12:00pm
Iris/Lily JW Marriott Hill Country Hotel


The Possibility of the Unexplored
80% of our oceans are unexplored. We have no idea what is beneath the surface of the undiscovered waters. What if the same is true for student learning? In this session, learn how to give gifted learners opportunities to go deep and explore using a variety of tools and strategies.

avatar for Andi McNair

Andi McNair

Author/Speaker, ESC Region 12
Andi was a classroom teacher for 16 years before pursuing her passion to change education by sharing practical ways to engage and empower today’s learners. She was named one of the Top People in Education to Watch in 2016 by the Academy of Education Arts and Sciences. Andi has published... Read More →

Wednesday December 4, 2019 9:00am - 12:00pm
Cibolo 6 JW Marriott Hill Country Hotel


Using Powerful Questions to Guide Inquiry and Discussion
Effective questions drive the process of learning through inquiry. Teachers who understand how interpretive questions focus and facilitate group discussion are better able to guide students towards deeper critical thinking about the meaning of complex texts and more civil discourse. Learn to create such powerful questions through modeling and practice.

avatar for Denise Ahlquist

Denise Ahlquist

Senior Academic Consultant, Great Books Foundation
Denise Ahlquist loves to engage people in Shared Inquiry discussions about the great ideas that shape our world. Since 1985, Denise has taught workshops in effective questioning for teachers and volunteers, supported diverse schools implementing inquiry learning, and led thousands... Read More →

Wednesday December 4, 2019 9:00am - 12:00pm
Grand Oaks PQ JW Marriott Hill Country Hotel


How to Increase Engagement by Limiting Choices for the G/T Learner
Feeling overwhelmed as you keep adding more to your load to differentiate for your special learners? What about limiting choices as a source for creativity within our current curriculum? This session will share lots of tried and tested ideas that will have your students 100% engaged!

avatar for Kate Wells

Kate Wells

GT Trainer & Elementary Teacher, Cypress-Fairbanks ISD
Kate is a GT Trainer and award-winning elementary teacher who has worked in multiple grade levels and content areas with Gifted, SPED and ESL populations from a wide variety of socio-economic backgrounds. Passionate about differentiating both instruction AND assessment, and an expert... Read More →

Wednesday December 4, 2019 10:15am - 11:15am
Begonia/Bottlebrush JW Marriott Hill Country Hotel


Meaningful Experiences for the Mathematically Gifted Elementary Student
How do we grow leaders during math class and beyond? Active instructional techniques like Problem Based Learning (PBL) can motivate bored students and raise their understanding and achievement. Student-centered strategies and reasoning skills obtained through PBL increase students' creativity and independence while helping students earn a sense of ownership.


Erica Arevalo

Chief Operational Officer, Embolden Educational Consulting
Erica Arevalo, has served in the education sector through the capacity of multiple roles including that of a classroom teacher, District Job Embedded Trainer, District Math Coach, District Instructional Coach, and Independent Educational Consultant. Currently, Erica works collaboratively... Read More →

Wednesday December 4, 2019 10:15am - 11:15am
Cibolo 1-2 JW Marriott Hill Country Hotel


The Perfect Pair: G/T and IB
Why is International Baccalaureate (IB) appropriate for gifted learners? In what ways do IB planners and student agency complement G/T differentiation and independent research? In this session, you will become familiar with the IB approach to learning that parallels the nature and needs of gifted students.

avatar for Ann Wink

Ann Wink

IB Consultant, TIBS
TIBS is a 501(c)(3) organization and a recognized Association of IB World Schools that supports the general improvement of education for students enrolled in IB.
avatar for Cecelia Boswell

Cecelia Boswell

Consultant, ACES
Cecelia Boswell, Ed.D., served as the Advanced Academics consultant for an Education Service Center and as an Executive Director of Advanced Academics. She is an independent consultant working nationally and throughout Texas for professional learning opportunities and auditing gifted... Read More →

Wednesday December 4, 2019 10:15am - 11:15am
Indian Paintbrush/Lakespar JW Marriott Hill Country Hotel


Create an Academic Competition Spotlighting 4C Skills
Create an academic competition based on 4C skills. Students work in teams, competing against their peers using critical thinking, communication, collaboration, and creative thinking skills in a game-like competition. We will show you how to set up a competition, make a rubic and we'll even play a few games to give you examples of inexpensive, engaging ideas!

avatar for Deniece Frideley

Deniece Frideley

Gifted and Talented Specialist, Lancaster ISD
Deniece Frideley is currently in her fifteenth year teaching and her sixth year as a G/T Specialist in Lancaster Independent School District. She is an innovative teacher who allows her students to take ownership of their learning through project based learning, as well as Genius... Read More →
avatar for Christine Grimm

Christine Grimm

Gifted and Talented Specialist, Lancaster ISD
Christine Grimm, a graduate of West Texas A&M University, has taught Gifted students for the past nine years and believes that an educator's role should be as a facilitator, allowing students to learn by doing.  She has obtained multiple grants that have allowed her students access... Read More →

Wednesday December 4, 2019 4:00pm - 5:00pm
Iris/Lily JW Marriott Hill Country Hotel


Extra Enrichment? Yes, Please!
How can you provide enrichment opportunities for your students outside of school and still be budget friendly? Two Central Texas districts provide several options for our students throughout the year. Come learn how to meet the requirements of the Texas State Plan for enrichment opportunities on a dime!

avatar for Amanda Ziegler

Amanda Ziegler

GT Coordinator, China Spring ISD
Amanda Ziegler is in her 15th year of teaching, all of which with Gifted Students either in the regular classroom or within an enrichment pull out model. She has a passion for gifted students that started when she was in the gifted program herself. She graduated from Baylor University... Read More →

Amanda Coatney

GT Specialist, Waco ISD
Amanda Coatney has taught for 15 years in a variety of educational settings and in multiple grade levels.  She has served as the ESL cluster teacher, the GT cluster teacher, and the inclusion classroom teacher and sometimes all three at once!  For the last 4 years, she has served... Read More →

Wednesday December 4, 2019 4:00pm - 5:00pm
Cibolo 8-9 JW Marriott Hill Country Hotel


MATHCOUNTS: Challenging Problem-Solving and Competition
How can you make mathematics challenging and exciting? MATHCOUNTS is a national enrichment, coaching, and competition program that increases enthusiasm for and enhances achievement in middle school mathematics classrooms. Teachers are provided resources that meet national standards and which encourage higher-level thinking. Come have fun and get free materials!


Iris Folger

Math Consultant, Texas Society of Professional Engineers
Iris Folger graduated from Midland High and West Texas State University, where she was selected as Student Teacher of the Year. She taught math courses for 29 years while being selected multiple times for inclusion in "Who's Who Among Teachers in America". She coached winning competition... Read More →

Wednesday December 4, 2019 4:00pm - 5:00pm
Cibolo 10-11 JW Marriott Hill Country Hotel


giftED Exchange: Enrichment Strategies for Gifted Learners
How can you enrich the learning inside and outside of the classroom for your gifted students? Join us for this fast-paced giftED Exchange session! giftED Exchange sessions allow attendees to experience a variety of creative teaching techniques that can be applied immediately in the gifted classroom. Each presentation will be repeated speed-dating style for a full hour. Come prepared to walk away with resources, tips, tools, and enrichment ideas you can immediately implement with your students! Sponsored by Vanderbilt University Programs for Talented Youth

Full handout with table descriptions attached below. Tables include:
Table #1: Asking Complex Questions for Social Studies Analysis
Table #2: We Choose Graphic Novels!
Table #3: Using Instant Challenges to Engage, Extend, and Enrich
Table #4: Making Time for Student Conferences With Horizontal Differentiation
Table #5: Building Menus for Enrichment
Table #6: Asking Complex Questions for Literary Analysis
Table #7: Creating Choice Boards With Depth & Complexity
Table #8: Games Galore for Gifted Kids
Table #9: Potential vs Kinetic Energy
Table #10: Tinker, Dabble and Doodle
Table 11: Morphing Into a Scholar Using 10 Transformative Behaviors

Wednesday December 4, 2019 4:00pm - 5:00pm
giftED Exchange (Exhibit Hall)


Learning Lab: SystemsGo, Inspiring Tomorrow's Innovators With Rockets!
Ever wanted to build a rocket?  Now’s your chance!  Come build a rocket with us and hear about the SystemsGo STEM Curriculum that is challenging students and changing lives across the State of Texas and New Mexico!

avatar for Rebekah Hyatt

Rebekah Hyatt

Program Director, SystemsGo
Rebekah has been the Program Director for SystemsGo since 2016. Prior to 2016, she taught the curriculum for 8 years and witnessed firsthand how it changed the lives of students, transforming them into competent, independent thinkers.  Her goal as Program Director is to give all... Read More →

Wednesday December 4, 2019 4:00pm - 5:00pm
Playground (Exhibit Hall)