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Wednesday, December 4
 

9:00am CST

P3: Partnering, Passion, and Philanthropy
Tired of doing the same thing every year? Engage your students by first focusing on their favorite topic: Themselves! Learn how we taught our students to look beyond their own needs to benefit others in our community through research, collaboration, marketing, and leadership. Leave with resources to get started tomorrow!

Speakers
avatar for Caitlin Andrews

Caitlin Andrews

GT Specialist, Northwest ISD
GT Specialist, Northwest ISD
avatar for Kimberly Blake

Kimberly Blake

GT Specialist, Northwest ISD
Kimberly Blake is a GT Specialist and curriculum writer in Northwest ISD.



Wednesday December 4, 2019 9:00am - 10:00am CST
Cibolo 1-2 JW Marriott Hill Country Hotel

9:00am CST

Challenge Me With Choice
Do you want to add challenge to your classroom? Join us as we design purposeful menus for your students. Learn the models and how we differentiate cognitive level based on student need. Finally, work with colleagues to create your own menus to implement in your classroom.

Speakers
avatar for Blythe Brown

Blythe Brown

Advanced Academics, Clear Creek ISD
Blythe Brown is an Advanced Academics Specialist in Clear Creek ISD and has 20 years of experience teaching gifted children. Blythe has presented at TAGT for 4 years, sharing her love of innovative ideas. Her experience ranges from self contained upper elementary, Math Coach, Advanced... Read More →
avatar for Dalena Ryskoski

Dalena Ryskoski

Advanced Academics, Clear Creek ISD
Dalena Ryskoski, an Advanced Academics Specialist in Clear Creek ISD, has over 10 years of experience. Her experience ranges from self-contained classroom teacher, Advanced Academics Specialist K-5, an experienced UHCL presenter, and in and out of district presenter.
BZ

Bianca Zelenski

Advanced Academics, Clear Creek ISD
Bianca Zelenski, an Advanced Academics Specialist in Clear Creek ISD, has over 5 years of experience focused on the needs of gifted students. Her experience ranges from self-contained classroom teacher, Advanced Academics Specialist K-5, and an experienced district presenter.



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

10:15am CST

Self-Advocacy: The Power of a Child’s Voice
We often find ourselves in the position of advocating for gifted youngsters in our lives.  Yet, at some point, they will need to know how to advocate for themselves.  We can nurture this important life skill and foster a life-long willingness to tactfully speak up for their own learning needs.

Speakers
avatar for Tamara Fisher Alley

Tamara Fisher Alley

K-12 Gifted Education Specialist, Polson School District #23, MT
Tamara Fisher is K-12 Gifted Specialist for Polson Schools on Montana’s Flathead Indian Reservation. She is Past-President of Montana AGATE and earned her M.A. in Gifted Education in 2004 (UConn). Tamara co-authored "Intelligent Life in the Classroom" with Karen Isaacson, which... Read More →


Wednesday December 4, 2019 10:15am - 11:15am CST
Freesia JW Marriott Hill Country Hotel
 
Thursday, December 5
 

7:30am CST

Differentiation Through Creativity
Differentiation can be easy. Students' academic strengths can be differentiate by varying the creative task that accompanies their respective assignments. Students can be taught to be creative. The activities that you will take home from this session can be implemented immediately to produce both short-term and long-term growth.

Speakers
SS

Sandy Sook

Board Member, Odyssey of the Mind
Dr. Sook has been active in Odyssey of the Mind for over 30 years. She has taught Talented and Gifted Education for nearly as long. She hold a Masters of Education in both Middle School Education and in Talented and Gifted Education. She has her Ph. D. in Rhetoric. Sandy uses the... Read More →


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

7:30am CST

Voice and Choice Through Technology in the Secondary Classroom
Integrating technology in the classroom allows teachers to differentiate for advanced learners while offering opportunities to collaborate, communicate, think critically, and foster creativity. By utilizing tools such as Hyperdocs, Flipgrid, and Google, a teacher can address various learning styles and engage learners at various readiness levels.

Speakers
avatar for Stephanie Shackelford

Stephanie Shackelford

Ed Tech Trainer, Mansfield ISD
Within her 20+ years in education, Stephanie has taught in the English, technology, and leadership classrooms. Her passion for utilizing technology in the classroom led her to the Educational Technology team in Mansfield ISD. She works with the Advanced Academics department to help... Read More →
avatar for Melanie Beckett

Melanie Beckett

Advanced Academics Instructional Coach, Mansfield ISD
Melanie has been an educator for over 20 years in Texas and New Mexico and has served on Advisory Councils for developing curriculum with the GT and advanced student in mind. As an Advanced Academics Instructional Coach, she shares her passion of meeting the needs of GT students by... Read More →


Thursday December 5, 2019 7:30am - 8:30am CST
Grand Oaks AB JW Marriott Hill Country Hotel

11:00am CST

AP Capstone: A Perfect Match for Gifted High School Students
The AP Capstone Diploma provides the opportunity for personalized learning and independent study, and the encapsulates skills and experiences critical for the growth and development of advanced learners. This session will share the essence of the Capstone program and lessons learned as our district implemented it in three high schools.

Speakers
avatar for Michelle Swain

Michelle Swain

Director of Gifted and Advanced Academic Services, Round Rock ISD
Michelle Swain currently serves as the Director of Gifted and Advanced Academic Services for Round Rock ISD. Michelle served on the TAGT Board of Directors and as 2011 President. She also served on the NAGC Board of Directors. Michelle was the recipient of the 2001 TAGT Region XIII... Read More →


Thursday December 5, 2019 11:00am - 12:00pm CST
Grand Oaks AB JW Marriott Hill Country Hotel

11:00am CST

Daily Wonderings & Genius Minutes: Finding Ways to Fit Curiosity, Passion, and Wonder Into Everyday Activities
Gifted students are naturally curious, but they tend to lose this in the classroom. This fun session will explore the benefits and advantages of curiosity and ways to stimulate your students’ interests in multiple ways everyday. Participants will also learn ways to support students in finding and exploring their passions.

Speakers
avatar for Sheila Mulbry

Sheila Mulbry

TX, Lockhart ISD
Sheila Mulbry currently serves as a TAG Facilitator with Lockhart Independent School District. She is a constant advocate for gifted students and their special needs, and has presented staff development on gifted education at the local, district, state, and national levels for the... Read More →



Thursday December 5, 2019 11:00am - 12:00pm CST
Cibolo 8-9 JW Marriott Hill Country Hotel

11:00am CST

Owning Your Identity
Whether suffering from imposter syndrome, perfectionism, idealism, or just trying to fit into a social microcosm, gifted students benefit from stepping into their individual power. Join this session to unpack personal identity and stereotypes. Learn methods to facilitate discussions on beliefs, influences on identity, and the need for personal contributions.

Speakers

Thursday December 5, 2019 11:00am - 12:00pm CST
Grand Oaks NO JW Marriott Hill Country Hotel

1:15pm CST

Beyond the Classroom Border: Student Writing in Community-Based Partnerships
Get G/T students outside the walls of your classroom by implementing a service learning project. Immerse students in authentic rhetorical situations for external audiences. Support students as they use real-world genres, employ complex creation, and reflection processes. Combine multiple learning standards and allow for students’ unique voices, interests, and strengths.

Speakers
avatar for Karen Otto

Karen Otto

English Teacher, Carroll ISD
Karen Otto teaches English II GT at Southlake Carroll High School. She began her 22 year career in education teaching 6th grade GT English. Since then, she has taught middle and high school GT in schools of varying socioeconomic diversity. Karen holds an MA in English, an M.Ed., and... Read More →
JW

Jim Warren

English Professor, University of Texas at Arlington
Dr. James “Jim” Warren is an Associate English Professor at The University of Texas at Arlington. He teaches rhetoric and composition courses for future high school English teachers. Jim is also involved in UTA’s First Year Writing Program, and works closely with current high... Read More →


Thursday December 5, 2019 1:15pm - 2:15pm CST
Azalea JW Marriott Hill Country Hotel

1:15pm CST

Empowering Middle School Students Using the Texas Performance Standards Project
The Texas Performance Standards Project (TPSP) offers differentiated instruction for students based on interest and choice. Come explore ways to use the TPSP to empower your middle school students to participate in in-depth investigations and the development of authentic products for an audience outside your classroom walls.

Speakers
avatar for Heather Bland

Heather Bland

G/T Coordinator for Advanced Academics, Ector County ISD
I have experience as an elementary classroom teacher, G/T program teacher, Schoolwide Enrichment (SEM) coordinator, and current secondary G/T instructional coach. I am interested in strength- based teaching with a focus on developing the talent and individual strengths of all students... Read More →


Thursday December 5, 2019 1:15pm - 2:15pm CST
Grand Oaks AB JW Marriott Hill Country Hotel

4:30pm CST

Concepts, Essential Questions, and Inquiry: What Would Socrates Do?
Concepts lie at the heart of quality curriculum and instruction that provide rigor, depth, and complexity. Learn how engaging learners in the examination of concepts is best accomplished through questioning–as Socrates demonstrated–that takes students to the highest levels of cognition through essential questions and Socratic inquiry.

Speakers
avatar for Richard D. Courtright

Richard D. Courtright

Gifted Education Research Specialist, Duke University Talent Identification Program (Duk
Dr. Richard D. Courtright serves as Gifted Education Research Specialist for Duke TIP. He has held the positions of lecturing fellow in the Duke University Program in Education, and as an adjunct assistant professor in the School of Education at Elon University as well as at the... Read More →


Thursday December 5, 2019 4:30pm - 5:30pm CST
Cibolo 1-2 JW Marriott Hill Country Hotel

4:30pm CST

Launching TPSPs for Beginners!
Don't let project-based learning overwhelm you. Instead, let your students take control of their learning! Let me coach you through four different TPSPs for grades K-5. I found the free resources, wrote timelines, and created unit plans I will share with you. We'll also look at authentic student examples.

Speakers
avatar for Deniece Frideley

Deniece Frideley

GT Specialist, Lancaster ISD
Deniece Frideley is currently in her seventeenth 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 →



Thursday December 5, 2019 4:30pm - 5:30pm CST
Grand Oaks CD 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.

Speakers
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

Blended Learning Centers in the Secondary Classroom
Yes! We said centers in secondary classes! With a shift in thinking, transform your classroom to focus on the individual learning needs of advanced learners. Blended learning offers avenues to differentiate, addresses various learning styles, allows students to learn at their own pace, and take ownership of their learning.

Speakers
avatar for Stephanie Shackelford

Stephanie Shackelford

Ed Tech Trainer, Mansfield ISD
Within her 20+ years in education, Stephanie has taught in the English, technology, and leadership classrooms. Her passion for utilizing technology in the classroom led her to the Educational Technology team in Mansfield ISD. She works with the Advanced Academics department to help... Read More →
avatar for Melanie Beckett

Melanie Beckett

Advanced Academics Instructional Coach, Mansfield ISD
Melanie has been an educator for over 20 years in Texas and New Mexico and has served on Advisory Councils for developing curriculum with the GT and advanced student in mind. As an Advanced Academics Instructional Coach, she shares her passion of meeting the needs of GT students by... Read More →


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

7:30am CST

Perspectives of Giftedness and Schooling: Gen X Talks With Gen Z
As the teaching workforce ages, the gap in generations may cause difficulties in connecting to today's youth. This presentation discusses the challenges of teaching gifted students through eyes of a Gen X and a Gen Z student. Participants will be encouraged to share their experiences as well.

Speakers
AR

Amanda Rudolph

Professor, Stephen F. Austin State University
Amanda M. Rudolph is a Professor in the Department of Secondary Education and Educational Leadership at Stephen F. Austin State University in Nacogdoches, Texas. She joined the faculty in 2003 after completing her doctoral work at the University of Arkansas. She serves as the Graduate... Read More →


Friday December 6, 2019 7:30am - 8:30am CST
Cibolo 3-4 JW Marriott Hill Country Hotel

7:30am CST

The Poverty-Disrupting Educator
Will you be the poverty-disrupting educator who will make a difference in the lives of the underserved gifted population? G/T students who live in poverty are increasingly left behind. Let's discuss strategies and practical applications to help change the trajectory of gifted students who may have otherwise be ignored.

Speakers
avatar for Sherry Johnson

Sherry Johnson

GT Trainer & Instructional Specialist, Cypress Fairbanks ISD
Sherry Johnson is the consummate educator, who is passionate about empowering individuals. She entered the field of education in 1996 and for the past thirteen years serves in Cypress Fairbanks ISD. She has earned the recognition of Spotlight Teacher of the Year and Elementary Math... Read More →


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

8:30am CST

Mindsets & Media: The Influence of Social Media on the Gifted Brain
Join us for a humorous but thought-provoking look at how social media shapes the teenage (and adult!) brain, influencing our mindset, worldview, mental/emotional health and social interactions. Discover ways to help our gifted students foster more open-mindedness and a healthy self image, and engage in more meaningful classroom peer interactions.

Speakers
avatar for Matt Wells

Matt Wells

GT Trainer & Science Dept. Chair, Cypress-Fairbanks ISD
Matt is an award-winning teacher, workshop presenter, national educational consultant and GT trainer. Recipient of the National Association of Biology Teacher's "Outstanding Biology Teacher Award" and the TMA "Butler Award" for Science Teaching, Matt is also a past-president of the... Read More →



Friday December 6, 2019 8:30am - 10:30am CST
Grand Oaks AB JW Marriott Hill Country Hotel

9:00am CST

Creating and Consuming Media Messages With Purpose
Media messages are prevalent and powerful. As children are inundated with these messages, they make decisions about interacting with media, which affects how they see themselves, others, and the world. This session benefits middle school G/T teachers with an introduction to media’s effects on identity development combined with student activities.

Speakers
JS

Jennifer Shewmaker

Dean: College of Education and Human Services, Abilene Christian University
As a school psychologist for the past twenty years, Dr. Shewmaker has worked with countless children and adolescents, and has seen the way that key media literacy skills impact the way that they respond to media messages. In the past several years, she has been speaking, researching... Read More →
avatar for Amy Boone

Amy Boone

Teaching and Learning Specialist, Abilene Christian University
Mrs. Boone is a Texas certified teacher and has taught students from pre-kindergarten through graduate school. She has written about positive media production. She currently works with university faculty on creating classrooms that maximizes learning based on research about how the... Read More →


Friday December 6, 2019 9:00am - 10:00am CST
Cibolo 1-2 JW Marriott Hill Country Hotel

10:45am CST

MasterMind Session: #whyGT
To truly know and serve our gifted students, we must do more than hear their voices, we must understand their stories. Bringing our advocacy and awareness campaign, #whyGT to life in a TED-Talk style storytelling session, TAGT invites you to hear from five Texas G/T students as they share how G/T has impacted them, what motivates and drives them, and #whyGT matters in their lives. Sponsored by Annette Strauss Institute for Civic Life, University of Texas at Austin.

Faith Borkataky-Varma is a junior at St. Agnes Academy in Houston. Faith plays in the Chamber Orchestra and serves on the philanthropy committee of her school's student council. Every summer, Faith travels to India to volunteer at a school for children with special needs to teach reading, writing, and tasks of daily living. She also co-chairs the Hope for Three Teen Huddle, which supports siblings of children on the spectrum. As president of her school's Autism Awareness club, Faith hopes to spread awareness and raise funds through bake sales, school spirit events, and the stories she’ll be sharing at giftED.

Hana Bredstein is a freshman at University of Texas at Austin. She is studying international relations and enjoys running. She was identified as gifted in elementary school and experienced a variety of educational approaches as her family moved throughout the country. By seeing the different policies and levels of funding for G/T education (no other place compared to Texas), Hana found that there are many different paths from public to private to skipping grades, but the teachers and mentors along the way were what really made a difference.

Jayden Gathers is a sophomore who attends John M. Harlan High School in San Antonio and has been a part of the G/T program since the third grade. He enjoys playing a multitude of sports, including but not limited to basketball, football, and track. In his free time, Jayden enjoys spending time with family and friends but he also asks himself psychological questions and likes to think about the world and its mysteries. Jayden will be discussing how someone like him is looked at differently and why G/T has ultimately caused people to treat him differently as well.

Victor Rodriguez is a 16-year-old junior at Southwest Legacy High School in San Antonio. Victor proudly comes from a Mexican family. He has taken AP, Dual-Credit, Honors, and college-related classes throughout high school. Victor will share about how his heritage and specific family environment has helped him grow as a person and student.

Abigail Weston is a freshman at Round Rock High School. She enjoys running cross country, playing soccer, and participating in various school activities. Abigail’s gifted experience is unique in that she was also enrolled in a dual language program when identified for gifted education in third grade. She has reaped many benefits from the combined exposure to both of these programs. Her talk will highlight the challenging yet rewarding aspects of her journey as a dual language student.

Speakers
avatar for Faith Borkataky-Varma

Faith Borkataky-Varma

Student, St. Agnes Academy
Faith Borkataky-Varma is a junior at St. Agnes Academy in Houston. Faith plays in the Chamber Orchestra and serves on the philanthropy committee of her school's student council. Every summer, Faith travels to India to volunteer at a school for children with special needs to teach... Read More →
avatar for Hana Bredstein

Hana Bredstein

Student, University of Texas
Hana Bredstein is a freshman at University of Texas at Austin. She is studying international relations and enjoys running. She was identified as gifted in elementary school and experienced a variety of educational approaches as her family moved throughout the country. By seeing the... Read More →
avatar for Jayden Gathers

Jayden Gathers

Student, Northside ISD
Jayden Gathers is a sophomore who attends John M. Harlan High School in San Antonio and has been a part of the G/T program since the third grade. He enjoys playing a multitude of sports, including but not limited to basketball, football, and track. In his free time, Jayden enjoys... Read More →
avatar for Victor Rodriguez

Victor Rodriguez

Student, Southwest ISD
avatar for Abigail Weston

Abigail Weston

Student, Round Rock ISD
Abigail Weston is a freshman at Round Rock High School. She enjoys running cross country, playing soccer, and participating in various school activities. Abigail’s gifted experience is unique in that she was also enrolled in a dual language program when identified for gifted education... Read More →


Friday December 6, 2019 10:45am - 12:15pm CST
Grand Oaks Ballroom G-M