Breakout Sessions

The virtual TAGT Leadership & Gifted+Equity Conference will run live Monday, June 8 through Thursday, June 11 from 8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., and the session recordings will be available to registered attendees after each event. Each day will focus on a new content area:

Details and a full breakout schedule for each day is listed below.

Monday, June 8, 10:00 a.m.-11:00 a.m.

Conversations About Underrepresentation Data From the Texas Report Card
Law & Policy | Foundational | All Educators
In this follow-up to the Monday keynote, speaker Marcia Gentry will provide a Q and A session with instruction on how to examine one’s own school data as well as some actions steps to mitigate underrepresentation.
Marcia Gentry, Ph.D., Purdue University

From "Either/Or" to "Both/And"
Program Options & Design | Strategic | Program Coordinators, District Administrators
With the new expectations of the Texas State Plan and with no more weighted funding, G/T services may be decreased to focus more on talent development highlighting two disparate camps of thought. This session shows how to honor both ways to serve high-ability students.
Monica Simonds, M.Ed., & Sara Mooney, Richardson ISD

Policies & Procedures & Handbooks, OH MY!
Law and Policy | Foundational | Program Coordinators, District Administrators
Explore structures that work best, information to included (and not), and how to effectively communicate these resources so that all stakeholders are well informed. Learn how well-developed documents that align with the state plan can also help to develop a program tailored to the needs and structure of your district.
Dawn Drisdale, M.Ed., East Central ISD 

Monday, June 8, 11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.

Observing and Supporting Teachers’ Differentiation in the Classroom
Differentiated Curriculum | Applied | Program Coordinators, District Administrators
This session shares observation instruments examining differentiation in the classroom. One of the instruments, the Classroom Instructional Practices Scale, describes the degree of differentiation and is used for identifying professional learning areas and scaffolding change. The presenter will share how this instrument was used to change practices in school districts.
Susan Johnsen, Ph.D., Baylor University

(Re)Structuring Gifted Education: An Adaptive and Flexible Approach to Services
Program Options and Design | Strategic | Program Coordinators, District Administrators, Campus Specialists
Serving all students in the general education classroom is possible. Using innovative, adaptable service options, gifted education leaders can meet every student’s needs. Explore how a district’s service model for K-2 G/T education leverages depth and complexity to enrich and extend content, providing all students opportunities for differentiated learning experiences.
Brie Smith and Kari Lockhart, Lovejoy ISD  

Tasty Tidbits: Texas State Plan & Stakeholders
Law and Policy | Foundational | Program Coordinators, District Administrators, Campus Specialists
Come and explore various ways on how you can use the Texas State Plan to create a choice board of G/T program service options and discuss a cheat sheet that we created to help keep track of our campuses’ state compliance.
Brandi Marroquin, M.A., and Angela Votion, M.S., San Antonio ISD 

Monday, June 8, 1:00 p.m.-2:00 p.m.

Best Practices in Implementing Acceleration, Universal Screening, and Grouping
Program Options and Design | Applied | Program Coordinators, Campus Specialists
This session will focus on acceleration, universal screening, and grouping. Acceleration and grouping are related to significant gains in student achievement. Universal screening increases access to gifted programs for underrepresented students. Participants will hear an overview of each practice and then delve into administrative considerations when implementing the practice.
Susan Johnsen, Ph.D., Baylor University, Monica Simonds, M.Ed., Richardson ISD, and Marcy Voss, M.Ed., TAGT,  

Enrichment in the Virtual Landscape: Evolving Best Practices
Creativity and Instructional Strategies | Strategic | Classroom Teachers, Program Coordinators 
With the drastic pivot to adapt to physical distancing, how can we ensure the needs of special populations like gifted students are not neglected in this reinvention of school? Let's discuss lessons learned and evolving best practices from the first months of shelter in place.
Ben Koch, M.Ed., Justin Vawter, M.Ed., and Kristen Roemer, M.Ed., NuMinds Enrichment

Gifted and Talented Learning Plan: A Goal-Directed Approach To Meet The Needs Of Gifted Learners
Program Options and Design | Strategic | Program Coordinators, District Administrators, Campus Specialists
The Gifted and Talented Learning Plan provides a framework that supports goal achievement and details the individual gifted and talented student’s needs and services. This session presents the processes and procedures involved in implementing G/T Learning Plans to meet the new initiatives in the Texas State Plan.
Crystal Wilson, M.Ed., Fort Bend ISD

No More Silence: Tools for White People Who Want to Actively Fight Racism
Strategic | All Educators
It is impossible to detach the fight for equity in education, and in gifted education in particular, from the broader struggle for racial justice in this country. At a time when racial tensions are flaring up nationally at a level unseen in generations, one thing is abundantly clear: racism cannot, and will not be wiped out without active involvement from white people committed to the cause. This panel discussion and workshop will give all attendees the practical tools to understand how to not just be "not racist," but become an anti-racist, active participant in ending racism. After this session, you will have the practical tools needed to transform from a mere ally to a true co-conspirator in the fight against racism. 
Kelsey Karcher, Allen ISD, and Colin Seale, thinkLaw

Tuesday, June 9, 10:00 a.m.-11:00 a.m.

Organizing Identification Information for the Selection Committee
Identification and Assessment | Applied | Program Coordinators, Campus Specialists
This session will focus on organizing qualitative and quantitative data to assist the selection committee in making identification decisions. Special attention will be given to weighting, score comparisons, assessment error, and student’s best performance. Participants will examine and share forms they have used in the selection process.
Susan Johnsen, Ph.D., Baylor University 

Toward Equitable Gifted Identification Using Behavior Rating Scales
Identification and Assessment | Applied | Program Coordinators, Campus Specialists
Using teacher and parent rating scales offers one strategy to identify students who exhibit gifted abilities. These scales also help identify gifted students from disadvantaged backgrounds, who do not speak English well, or who are twice-exceptional. This session will explore the use and benefits of four popular rating scales.
Joel McIntosh, M.Ed., Prufrock Press Inc., and Laila Sanguras, Ph.D., Baylor University  

When You Wear Too Many Hats: How to Leverage Multiple Roles to Serve Gifted Education Best
Program Options & Design | Applied | Program Coordinators, Campus Specialists
Many GT coordinators take on multiple roles both at the campus and district level. Come learn about ways you can align your disparate roles, reach out to strategic partners, and find hope for balance that will allow you to ditch the fireman's helmet for the hats you love most! Discover the advantages of these strategies to solving identification and service issues for diverse student groups, twice exceptional students and English Learners as well.
Celeste Sodergren, M.A., Manor ISD

Tuesday, June 9, 11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.

Beyond Banquet Chicken: Equitably Identifying Minority Students in Gifted Education
Identification and Assessment | Applied | Program Coordinators, District Administrators, Campus Specialists
Disproportionality in gifted programming can be addressed; it does not have to go on in perpetuity. This equity work is positioned at a critical junction in gifted education. Addressing equitable access to gifted programs is essential. Educators will discuss practical implications to redesign their gifted identification.
April Wells, Illinois School District U-46 

Local Norms for Equitable Identification: When, Why, and How
Identification and Assessment | Applied | Program Coordinators, Campus Specialists
Local norms are widely recognized as a best practice for equitable identification. But how do you know if local norms will benefit your school? How do local norms change the interpretation of the test scores? We will demonstrate how to create local norms that serve equity goals effectively.
Joni Lakin, Ph.D., Auburn University 

Visions for Gifted Equity: The Vast Potential of Nonverbal Talent
Nature and Needs of the Gifted | Foundational | Program Coordinators, Campus Specialists
Many of our underserved populations’ strengths lie outside of words or numbers, yet up to 80% school instruction centers around reading and writing.  In this session, we learn about the gifts of our future engineers, surgeons, choreographers, software designers, artists, and teachers through the lens of equitable identification and programming.
Mark Hess, M.Ed., Colorado Springs School District 11 

Tuesday, June 9, 1:00 p.m.-2:00 p.m.

Understanding Intelligence in the 21st Century: Implications for Gifted Identification
Identification and Assessment | Foundational | Program Coordinators, District Administrators
Modern theories of intelligence define multiple cognitive abilities which should inform our evaluation tools for gifted identification. Some of these cognitive abilities are influenced by cultural and linguistic background. This session will explain the integral importance of fluid reasoning and how fluid reasoning can be the key to addressing underrepresentation.
Anise Flowers, Ph.D., and Rob Dyson, Pearson Clinical Assessment

Using Data to Build Efficient G/T Identification and Differentiation
Identification and Assessment | Applied | Program Coordinators, Campus Specialists
This session will discuss how to use data from multiple sources to build efficient identification of G/T students and to differentiate education for those students.
Steve Navarre, Project Education

G/T Testing During/Post Coronavirus
Identification & Assessment | Foundational | Program Coordinators, Campus Specialists
District leaders are working on multiple plans to reopen schools in the fall. How will this impact G/T testing? We will discuss likely scenarios and share information including flexible scheduling/calendaring, small group, accommodations, and testing environment. We will review remote testing options including remote proctoring, best practices, and parent letters.
Dennis Murphy and Rhoni McClennahan, M.A., Riverside Insights

Wednesday, June 10, 10:00 a.m.-11:00 a.m.

Differentiation 101: Applying Definitions and Frameworks
Differentiated Curriculum | Applied | Classroom Teachers, Program Coordinators
Definitions and frameworks serve as a guide for differentiating instruction and meeting the needs of a variety of learners. Learn specific definitions to used words such as depth, complexity, and abstractness as well as evidence-supported models to help you differentiate or lead differentiated instruction in your classroom or school.
Tamra Stambaugh, Ph.D., Vanderbilt University 

Gifted Education in the Secondary Grades
Program Options and Design | Foundational | Program Coordinators, District Administrators
This session will describe one district's journey to craft differentiated learning experiences for gifted learners in already "advanced" secondary classrooms. The program’s structure is designed to challenge the conception of a gifted child as one that is good at all academic subjects for a focus on individual student strengths within a specific content area. In this way, participants will gain a broader and more equitable view of who a gifted learner is and what the function of gifted and talented curricula could be. Further, participants will leave with a practical understanding of how to schedule sheltered and clustered classes and how to build curriculum for the gifted learner in multiple content areas.
Luke Hurst, M.Ed., McKinney ISD 

Writing Skills: Bringing Equity to Low SES and ELL Students
Creativity and Instructional Strategies | Applied | Classroom Teachers, Campus Specialists
Students in poverty and English language learners need solid communication skills to compete in the 21st century.  Explore techniques designed to immerse your elementary students in English writing skills. Investigate new approaches to student writing with your colleagues, and discover new ways to apply writing skills to your GT classroom.
Stacy Camp, M.A., Dallas ISD  

Wednesday, June 10, 11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.

Blended Learning for Diverse Populations in Gifted
Creativity and Instructional Strategies | Foundational | Classroom Teachers, Campus Specialists
During this session, participants will learn how to incorporate blended learning activities for diverse gifted populations on the elementary and secondary levels. Although the strategies discussed can deem success for various diverse groups, twice-exceptional and gifted English language learners will be the primary focus.
Javetta Jones Roberson, Ed.D., Birdville ISD 

A Crash Course on Curriculum Compacting
Differentiated Curriculum | Foundational | Classroom Teachers, Campus Specialists
Curriculum compacting is an effective approach for organizing differentiated learning experiences for diverse gifted learners. We will explore how to identify content and skills that your students have already mastered and ways to replace it with differentiated curriculum, enrichment, or acceleration to enhance your students’ strengths and excitement for learning!
Cindy Gilson, Ph.D., University of North Carolina at Charlotte 

Empowering Students Through Innovative Teaching Practices
Creativity and Instructional Strategies | Foundational | Classroom Teachers, Program Coordinators
Let's build a pathway for equity through the invention process. The invention process builds a new relationship for teaching and learning practices fostering children’s ability to experience real-world problem-solving, explore their passions and prepare a pathway for creativity and innovation. Early exposure to innovation will impact lifelong opportunities for growth.
Barbara Hinton, M.Ed., National Inventors Hall of Fame 

Wednesday, June 10, 1:00 p.m.-2:00 p.m.

All Learners, All Teachers: Effective Questioning and Discussion for All
Creativity and Instructional Strategies | Applied | Classroom Teachers, Program Coordinators
With Shared Inquiry learning, everyone asks questions and learns from others, leading to deeper understanding, engagement and achievement for all, especially many under-identified gifted students. Discover how inquiry-based activities and open-ended questions differentiate and release responsibility. Consider adaptations of key elements of Shared Inquiry, live/remote, and synchronous/asynchronous.
Denise Ahlquist, M.A., Great Books Foundation 

Differentiated Curriculum | Applied | Classroom Teachers, Program Coordinators
Curricula from Javits grants has been created and found effective with gifted students from low income households. What are the patterns among these evidence-supported materials and why are they effective? Investigate patterns and view examples that cut across these exemplary curriculum and instructional materials. Apply features to your own curriculum.
Tamra Stambaugh, Ph.D., Vanderbilt University 

Low Floor, High Ceiling: Concrete Strategies to Unlock Excellence in All Students
Differentiated Curriculum | Strategic | Campus Specialists, Program Coordinators
Denying access to rigorous learning opportunities because students are "too low" is unacceptable. Open the door to increased gifted identification rates in underrepresented populations with practical strategies in this interactive workshop. Participants will leave equipped with content and grade-agnostic tools to raise the bar for students with sustainable differentiation strategies.
Colin Seale, thinkLaw 

Thursday, June 11, 10:00 a.m.-11:00 a.m.

Connected But Disconnected: Building Meaningful Relationships in Culturally Responsive Distance Learning Environments
Social and Emotional Needs of the Gifted | Strategic | Campus Specialists, Program Coordinators, District Administrators
Real connection requires more than wifi and a device. For students most impacted by the inequities of school closures, creating authentic learning experiences that affirm their identity and allow them to truly connect has a heightened importance. Learn tools to create this environment in this interactive workshop.
Colin Seale, thinkLaw 

Owning Your Identity
Social and Emotional Needs of the Gifted | Applied | Classroom Teachers, Program Coordinators
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.
Heather Vaughn, Ed.S., Annette Strauss Institute, University of Texas 

Challenges, Joys, and Decisions of Eminent and Creative Girls and Women
Social and Emotional Needs of the Gifted | Strategic | Classroom Teachers, Program Coordinators
This session will focus on new research focusing on creative talents of girls and women and how highly creative women develop their talents and productivity over time.  Also discussed will be the implications of the loss of talent on diminished creativity, leadership, innovation, and creative productivity. The session will conclude with a positive call to action on how educators and researchers can make a difference in helping girls and women to develop their talents and creativity.
Sally M. Reis, Ph.D., University of Connecticut​

Thursday, June 11, 11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.

Considerations for Gifted Students With ADHD
Nature and Needs of the Gifted | Foundational | Classroom Teachers, Parents
Students may be both gifted and have ADHD. ADHD is characterized by challenges with executive functioning skills such as organization, planning, and time management. Also, students with ADHD often have challenges with social interactions. Implications of the disorder will be explored as it relates to programming for gifted students.
Anise Flowers, Ph.D., Pearson Clinical Assessment 

Meeting the Social and Emotional Needs of Gifted English Learners
Social and Emotional Needs of the Gifted | Applied | Classroom Teachers, Program Coordinators
Using Maslow’s hierarchy of needs as a framework, participants will explore how to address the social and emotional needs of gifted English Learners.  Topics include how to lower the affective filter, offer a culturally responsive classroom, provide language support, and address funds of knowledge, as well as other ideas.
Marcy Voss, M.Ed., Independent Consultant 

Stress, Anxiety and Gifted Children: Strategies to Help Children Thrive
Social and Emotional Needs of the Gifted | Foundational | Classroom Teachers, Counselors
Even before the global pandemic, maladaptive stress and anxiety were on the rise. Gifted children are particularly at-risk related to their high emotional sensitivity. In this workshop, the presenter offers specific strategies to help gifted youth reframe stress from maladaptive to adaptive, and move past the hold of anxiety.
Christine Fonseca, M.S., Independent Consultant 

Thursday, June 11, 1:00 p.m.-2:00 p.m.

College, Career, and Military Choice: Supporting Highly-Mobile and Culturally, Linguistically, and Economically Diverse Students
Law & Policy | Foundational | Classroom Teachers, Program Coordinators
Early exploration opportunities are critical parts of adolescent identity development that shape the decisions students make to enroll in college, begin a career, or blend education and occupational training (e.g., military service). We will identify equity/access issues and discuss research-based ways to support all students in making postsecondary choices.
Melanie S. Meyer, University of North Texas & McKinney ISD

Enhancing Motivation and Resilience for Gifted Students From Special Populations
Social and Emotional Needs of the Gifted | Applied | Classroom Teachers, Program Coordinators
Achievement is affected by a number of factors, including motivation and the match between student needs and the classroom environment. This session focuses on practical interventions you can use to address underachievement, enhance motivation, and develop resilience especially among culturally-diverse, economically disadvantaged, and twice exceptional students.
Emily Mofield, Ed.D., and Megan Parker Peters, Ph.D., Lipscomb University 

Student Panel: Supporting and Empowering Gifted Students
Nature and Needs of the Gifted | Student Voice | All Educators
Join us for a panel discussion with gifted, high caliber, culturally diverse students who will share their experiences achieving highs and experiencing lows. Chat in depth with the students from the Texas Academy of Mathematics & Science who have pushed through those achievements to attack the world of high school and explored early college. Explore how to provide support, expertise, and empowerment to those students while they experience vulnerable places in school and life.
Rachel Dalton, Texas Academy of Mathematics & Science