TAGT giftED19 has ended

Sign up or log in to bookmark your favorites and sync them to your phone or calendar.

Wednesday, December 4

9:00am CST

Building Vocabulary: The Foundation for College Readiness
Discover why and how to build a program that gives your students an advantage in reading comprehension, verbal communication, and test preparation! Explore vocabulary best practices based on Robert Marzano's well-respected research and learn innovative ways to introduce and teach vocabulary that students not only internalize but also utilize.

avatar for Sheila Griffith

Sheila Griffith

President, Knowsys Educational Services LLC
Dr. Sheila Griffith is the author of the Knowsys College Readiness Program and the Knowsys Vocabulary Builder Program and the co-author of the Knowsys Basic Genius Math Program. Dr. Griffith is the co-owner and co-founder of Knowsys Educational Services and a recognized expert in... Read More →

Amber Reynolds

GT Teacher (6th grade), GT Academy @ Pearland ISD
Amber Reynolds attended Baylor University where she specialized in Gifted and Talented Studies, the only undergrad program of its kind in the nation. Her time there instilled in her a love for engaging this population and equipping them with just the right tools to meet their unique... Read More →

Wednesday December 4, 2019 9:00am - 10:00am CST
Grand Oaks AB JW Marriott Hill Country Hotel

9:00am CST

How to Develop Curriculum Units Using the TEKS and the State Plan
Would you like to implement cross-curricular learning experiences that lead to advanced-level products in your ELEMENTARY G/T pull-out program? Join us to learn how we have used TEKS, district data, and outside resources to create a curriculum that engages and challenges gifted learners. We’ll share both our successes and challenges.

avatar for Dewawn Wiest

Dewawn Wiest

GT Teacher, Wylie ISD
Dewawn Wiest is in her 16th year in education and second year as a K-4 GT teacher. Previous to her current role, she taught fourth graders. She holds a Master’s Degree from Dallas Baptist University (2016) and a Bachelor’s Degree from University of Texas at Dallas (2003). Dewawn... Read More →
avatar for Kristi Williams

Kristi Williams

GT Teacher, Wylie ISD
Kristi Williams is in her 15th year of education and her fourth year as a GT teacher in a pull-out program. She serves two K-4 campuses and is part of a district team that writes curriculum for the elementary GT program. Previously, she taught GT students in a first grade classroom... Read More →
avatar for Heather Buckley

Heather Buckley

Elementary Advanced Academics & GT Specialist, Wylie ISD
Heather Buckley is in her 16th year as an educator in Wylie ISD. While her primary role is to serve as the Advanced Academics Instruction Specialist, she has 5 years experience teaching K-4 GT students in the classroom and 3 years teaching in a pull-out program. She leads a district... Read More →

Jessica Travis

Early Childhood Literacy Specialist, Wylie ISD

Wednesday December 4, 2019 9:00am - 10:00am CST
Cibolo 7 JW Marriott Hill Country Hotel

10:15am CST

Modify the Depth, Complexity, and Pacing? Exploring Curriculum Using a Rigorous Lens
State law requires districts to modify the depth, complexity, and pacing of the curriculum and instruction ordinarily provided to meet the needs of G/T students. An intense investigation of the standards relative to depth, complexity, and pacing is paramount when designing programs and services for gifted learners. Discuss, learn, and apply!

avatar for Donna Ashby

Donna Ashby

G/T Specialist, Region 7 ESC
Donna Ashby M. Ed., a G/T Specialist for over 15 years at Region 7 Education Service Center, has created and conducted numerous programs and events for thousands of students across East Texas including Model United Nations, robotics, the Imagination Fair, and Innovative Inventions... Read More →

Wednesday December 4, 2019 10:15am - 11:15am CST
Cibolo 3-4 JW Marriott Hill Country Hotel

11:30am CST

Easy Reads, Tough Conversations
Choosing picture books that encourage students to think intensively and critically about social studies concepts can be a difficult task. Additionally, facilitating discussions or reflective writing assignments that provide students with a voice to the topics is essential in the development of informed, empathetic, well-rounded citizens.

avatar for Jessica Torres

Jessica Torres

Education Specialist, ESC Region 12
Jessica serves as an Educational Specialist for ESC Region 12 in the heart of Texas. Formerly an assistant principal and Montessori teacher, Mrs. Torres is passionate about developing educators to provide innovative approaches and experiences for all learners as they pursue their... Read More →

Wednesday December 4, 2019 11:30am - 12:30pm CST
Begonia/Bottlebrush JW Marriott Hill Country Hotel

11:30am CST

Gift of Gab: Discourse of Gifted Learners
The goal of this session is to give all stakeholders ideas on how to give gifted and talented students opportunities to learn from one another via classroom discourse. These structured discussions will help boost their social skills and their ability to learn from multiple perspectives found within the classroom.

avatar for Angela Votion

Angela Votion

GATE Instructional Specialist, SAISD
Angela Votion is a Gifted and Talented Education specialist with SAISD. Angela has worked with gifted students for the last six years, and is mother to four gifted children of her own. She holds a Masters of Science in Reading/Literacy from Texas A&M - SA, and is constantly looking... Read More →

Wednesday December 4, 2019 11:30am - 12:30pm CST
Cibolo 10-11 JW Marriott Hill Country Hotel

4:00pm CST

Storytime STEAM
Our goal of the session is to share ideas on how to use mentor texts and open-ended materials to engage students in hands-on challenges through interactive read alouds. Participants will learn tips on how to choose mentor texts, design challenges, and how to implement STEAM across the curriculum.

avatar for Moon Hernandez

Moon Hernandez

Gifted & Talented Specialist, San Marcos CISD
Passionate about literacy and STEM, I am currently in my 23rd year of teaching in San Marcos, TX. I spent 21 years in the general education classroom. I am currently the Gifted & Talented Specialist for K-5. I love creating fun learning experiences for my students that will enrich... Read More →
avatar for Hilda Bazaldua

Hilda Bazaldua

Gifted and Talented Specialist, San Marcos CISD
I am dedicated to being creative and engaging in the classroom through the integration of literacy and STEAM. After earning my M.Ed in Educational Leadership from Texas State University, I have devoted my professional life to gifted education, sharing teaching best practices, and... Read More →

Wednesday December 4, 2019 4:00pm - 5:00pm CST
Begonia/Bottlebrush JW Marriott Hill Country Hotel
Thursday, December 5

7:30am CST

Beyond Either/Or: Open-ended Questions Support Academic and Social-Emotional Learning
Open-ended questions challenge yet support academic and social-emotional growth of gifted students. Divergent thinking may initially be unsettling; with practice, students communicate unique perspectives, support claims with evidence, and use others' insights to stretch their thinking. Reflect on ways to improve questioning as you participate in a Shared Inquiry™ discussion.

avatar for Denise Ahlquist

Denise Ahlquist

Senior Academic Consultant, Great Books Foundation
For over 30 years, Denise Ahlquist has led Shared Inquiry discussions with diverse participants ranging from ages 4 - 99, across the U.S. and abroad. Through the Great Books Foundation’s professional learning courses, she has introduced thousands of teachers to this powerful method... Read More →

Thursday December 5, 2019 7:30am - 8:30am CST
Cibolo 1-2 JW Marriott Hill Country Hotel

7:30am CST

Integrating Science and ELA Instruction to Add Depth and Complexity
How do you support your advanced students and fit in-depth science instruction into an already packed day? Integrate and differentiate! Apply an anchor text, easy-to-use questioning models, and concept development to create differentiated science and ELA instruction for primary students. Apply demonstrated models to your own science and ELA content!

avatar for Eric Fecht

Eric Fecht

Educational Consultant, Vanderbilt University, Programs for Talented Youth
Eric Fecht serves as Educational Consultant and Professional Development and Special Projects Coordinator at Programs for Talented Youth. He received a B.A. in History and Secondary Education from Western Washington University, a M.A. from Johns Hopkins University, and an Ed.D. in... Read More →

Thursday December 5, 2019 7:30am - 8:30am CST
Cibolo 8-9 JW Marriott Hill Country Hotel

11:00am CST

giftED Exchange: Challenging Curriculum for Gifted Students
Want to leave giftED with tried-and-true lessons and units your gifted students will love? Join us for this fun, 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 lesson plans you can immediately use in your classroom. Sponsored by Kendall Hunt.

Full handout with table descriptions attached below. Tables include:

Table #1: Applying Math to Real Life Experiences
Table #2: Grupo
Table #3: Make It, Say It (Place Value)
Table #4: Brain Boosters for Gifted Learners
Table #5: Interest Stations for the Gifted Classroom
Table #6: The G/T IB Connection
Table #7: Pack a Puzzle and Build Problem-Solving Confidence
Table #8: Math Thinking Process & Depth & Complexity Icons
Table #9: Building Relational Capacity: We Are All 1 Family
Table #10: Easily Differentiate Your TEKS
Table #11: Criteria for Designing, Selecting, and Evaluating Gifted Curriculum

Thursday December 5, 2019 11:00am - 12:00pm CST
giftED Exchange (Exhibit Hall)

3:40pm CST

Research Pop-Up: A Psychosocial Approach to Improving Gifted Students' Academic Writing
The purpose of this study was to analyze the impact that a growth-mindset intervention has on gifted students’ growth and achievement in language arts when embedded into the classroom curriculum for the first semester. In this quasi-experimental, quantitative study, survey data and achievement data were collected and analyzed for growth. This study explores one approach to embdedding growth mindset material into an academic discipline with the aim to improve students' mindset towards learning as well as encourage academic grit and perseverance (particularly students with perfectionistic and task-avoidance related underachievement). Learn more about research being conducted in gifted education in this short research presentation.

avatar for Holly Mohler

Holly Mohler

Headmaster/Principal, School for the Highly Gifted, Grand Prairie ISD
Holly Mohler opened the School for the Highly Gifted in 2014 and is still currently leading the in-district, GPISD charter as its headmaster. She has spent thirteen of her fifteen years in education in Grand Prairie ISD serving in a variety of roles: elementary teacher, elementary... Read More →

Thursday December 5, 2019 3:40pm - 4:00pm CST
giftED Exchange (Exhibit Hall)

4:30pm CST

A Framework for Using Media and Texts to Support the Social and Emotional Needs of Gifted Learners
How do you engage gifted learners in discussions about common affective needs such as perfectionism, stress management, empathy, risk-taking, identity, and achievement motivation while also integrating content-based ELA standards? Learn and practice using a framework for designing and discussing questions and activities that support affective needs and textual analysis.

avatar for Tamra Stambaugh

Tamra Stambaugh

Associate Professor; Executive Director, Vanderbilt University, Programs for Talented Youth
Tamra Stambaugh, Ph.D. is the Executive Director of Programs for Talented Youth and an Associate Research Professor of Special Education at Vanderbilt University. Stambaugh's research interests include gifted students living in rural settings, students of poverty, and curriculum and... Read More →

Thursday December 5, 2019 4:30pm - 5:30pm CST
Grand Oaks NO JW Marriott Hill Country Hotel

4:30pm CST

Literature That Connects to G/T Students
Research shows that when students "see" themselves within the pages of a book, their mind is more open and receptive. Our gifted population is certainly no exception. Participants will be exposed to a variety of texts with gifted characters. In addition, twice-exceptional students will be highlighted.

avatar for Melissa Saphos

Melissa Saphos

Region 6 ESC
Melissa Saphos has always been a teacher at heart, although she took a twisty path to get there! She has enjoyed a career in journalism, marketing, banking, and education and considers herself fortunate for the experiences that allow her to advocate for teachers and learners. She... Read More →

Thursday December 5, 2019 4:30pm - 5:30pm CST
Bluebonnet/Dogwood JW Marriott Hill Country Hotel

4:30pm CST

Ratcheting-Up the Curriculum for Gifted Learners
Teachers of the gifted are responsible for going beyond mastery of grade-level curriculum. They need to be able to “ratchet-up” the learning for students. This skill can be developed by learning how to upgrade grade-level curriculum TEKS objectives and pose appropriate advanced-level questions in any content area.

avatar for Debbie Troxclair Ph.D.

Debbie Troxclair Ph.D.

Associate Professor, Lamar University
Debra A. Troxclair, Ph.D., Associate Professor at Lamar University teaches undergraduate and graduate special education courses and gifted education courses in the Teacher Education Department at Lamar. She has more than 20 years of experience teaching at the K-12 level as well as... Read More →

Thursday December 5, 2019 4:30pm - 5:30pm CST
Cibolo 3-4 JW Marriott Hill Country Hotel

4:30pm CST

Weaving STAAR Stems, Depth and Complexity Tools, and Collaboration Into a Tapestry of STAAR Reading Mastery
Sadly, STAAR practice tests become the reading curriculum in some classrooms. This hurts gifted readers who crave opportunities to engage in meaningful discussions with others about interesting literature. Explore ways to inspire students, boost their confidence, and lead them to mastery on the STAAR through the use of irresistible text.

avatar for Gina Pasisis

Gina Pasisis

Gifted and Talented Instructional Specialist, Waco ISD
Gina Pasisis is passionate about providing students with a thinking curriculum. As an author, former principal, and coach of teachers, she seeks to share ideas for engaging students in rich learning experiences.

Thursday December 5, 2019 4:30pm - 5:30pm CST
Grand Oaks PQ JW Marriott Hill Country Hotel
Friday, December 6

7:30am CST

Books, Books, and More Books
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. Gain a few new favorite books to share with your students.

avatar for Lynette Breedlove

Lynette Breedlove

Director, The Gatton Academy of Mathematics & Science, KY
Dr. Lynette Breedlove is Director of The Gatton Academy of Mathematics and Science in Kentucky located on the campus of Western Kentucky University. She has served gifted students in Texas as a central office administrator, campus GT specialists, and classroom teacher. She is a past... Read More →

Friday December 6, 2019 7:30am - 8:30am CST
Freesia JW Marriott Hill Country Hotel

7:30am CST

Creating Strong Kids Through Writing: 30-Minute Lessons That Build Empathy, Self-Awareness and Social-Emotional Understanding
So many writing activities in today’s schools follow a standard format that is neither interesting nor purposeful for advancing student learning. This session is designed to change that. Participants will be presented with 12 writing lessons that enhance character, creativity and self-awareness, while engaging students in personal writing that they actually enjoy composing. While some of the activities are brief and humorous, others are extended and require introspection. Each classroom-tested lesson will be accompanied by student-generated responses that will help to turn even your most reluctant writers into wordsmiths.

avatar for Dr. Jim Delisle

Dr. Jim Delisle

Distinguished Professor of Education, Kent State University (Retired)
Dr. Jim Delisle has taught gifted children and those who work on their behalf for more than 30 years. Jim retired from Kent State University recently after 25 years of service as a professor of special education. Throughout his career, Jim has taken time away from university teaching... Read More →

Friday December 6, 2019 7:30am - 8:30am CST
Cibolo 5 JW Marriott Hill Country Hotel

7:30am CST

Engaging All Students in Learning; A Make-n-Take Workshop
Fill a portfolio with all new projects that teach skills "hands-on." Use the "rigor" of today's teaching and infuse research-based creative projects into your classroom that lead gifted students to be challenged with a differentiated curriculum piece that engages all! Fun, hands-on, creative, and motivational!


Karen Simmons

teacher, The Bag Ladies and PBC School District
Karen Simmons is a veteran teacher in Palm Beach County, Fl. where she has been awarded numerous awards and merits. She and another teacher speak all over the USA to districts, schools, and groups on ways to keep gifted students engaged in learning. Since retirement she teaches art... Read More →

Cindy Guinn

Teacher, The Bag Ladies and Palm Beach County School District
Cindy Guinn is a teacher in Palm Beach Co. , Florida. She is the winner of numerous awards and merits for her exceptional teaching. She speaks with Karen Simmons all over the USA and is a noted author of 4 books, and numerous thematic units. Mrs. Guinn runs the art gallery for her... Read More →

Friday December 6, 2019 7:30am - 8:30am CST
Cibolo 8-9 JW Marriott Hill Country Hotel

7:30am CST

More Mathematical Minds in the Multiage Mod: 2019 TAGT Innovation Award Winner
After an extensive review of research on best practices for gifted learners, the Klein ISD Gifted and Talented Guiding Coalition concluded that a self-contained, high-ability, multiage elementary class would be the ideal pilot program. Join us to learn about this innovative, successful program which earned the TAGT Innovation Award.


Carie Barber

Program Coordinator, Klein ISD
Carie currently serves Klein ISD gifted learners as a Program Coordinator in the Advanced Academic Services Department. She leads the department in Identification and Assessment for gifted learners in Klein ISD.

Kathleen Plott

Officer-Advanced Academic Services, Klein ISD
Kathleen Plott leads Advanced Academics for Klein ISD. She has served educational communities across the United States as a classroom teacher, content/technology specialist, grant writer/program manager, GT/Advanced Academic Program Coordinator, National Professional Development trainer... Read More →

Carrie Raiyawa

Program Coordinator, Klein ISD
Carrie serves Klein ISD gifted learners as a Program Coordinator in the Advanced Academic Services Department. She leads the department in Professional Learning for gifted learners in Klein ISD.

Friday December 6, 2019 7:30am - 8:30am CST
Grand Oaks EF JW Marriott Hill Country Hotel

7:30am CST

SESSION CANCELLED: Beyond the Book Report: Promoting Critical and Creative Thinking Through Literary Analysis
CANCELLED! Do you need engaging ways to assess students’ understanding of books read during independent reading? This session will include the presentation of alternative literary analysis assignments (book reports) that promote critical and creative thinking. The suggestions provided will emphasize higher order skills while cultivating student interest in reading.


Kimberley Chandler

Senior Director of Learning and School Performance, Essex County Public Schools
Kimberley Chandler, Ph.D., is the Senior Director of Learning and School Performance in the Essex County Public Schools in Virginia. Her professional background includes teaching gifted students in a variety of settings, serving as an administrator of a school district gifted program... Read More →

Friday December 6, 2019 7:30am - 8:30am CST
Grand Oaks NO JW Marriott Hill Country Hotel

9:00am CST

Dynamic Assessment for the Classroom
Dynamic assessment is sometimes used in the identification process. However, with a little shift in thinking it can also be an effective tool for the gifted and mixed-ability classrooms when students come with sometimes wildly different background experiences.


Joe Russell

Advanced Learning Specialist, Richardson ISD
Joe Russell is a teacher of an amazing bunch of kids in in Richardson, TX. He has published research on several subjects related to G/T, but considers his most important contribution to the field to be the time spent in his classroom with his students. He lives in Plano, TX with his... Read More →

Friday December 6, 2019 9:00am - 10:00am CST
Cibolo 3-4 JW Marriott Hill Country Hotel

9:00am CST

STEAMSS! Innovate Through Social Studies
Social studies includes hundreds of stories about real-world creative problem solvers. Explore these stories and challenge students to design related solutions. Teams will design advertising for Stephen F. Austin, a map protector for Lewis and Clark, and a disguise for Santa Anna. Learn social studies while developing 21st-century skills!

avatar for Susan Gallander

Susan Gallander

Creative Director, Mind Missions
After 25 years in a variety of educational settings, Susan Gallander was inspired to provide engaging G/T experiences for ALL students. Using her master's degree in Social Studies curriculum and instruction, Ms. Gallander created hundreds of teacher-friendly lessons that incorporate... Read More →

Friday December 6, 2019 9:00am - 10:00am CST
Azalea JW Marriott Hill Country Hotel