Last week was the Annual OAGC conference. I will have to tell you it is something that I look forward to. I get the chance to meet some other gifted intervention specialists (GIS) around the state. I also get the chance to talk to my fellow GIS teachers from my district to see what they are working on, and what they are looking forward to. We also brainstorm some ideas for projects, and discuss the different sessions we went to.
I can honestly tell you I took a lot in during the two days of the conference. I saw that Response to Intervention (RtI) is a hot topic that is gaining more and more momentum in Gifted Education. I saw that Co-Teaching is becoming more prevalent with some districts as a way of saving money. Dr. Mary Rizza went through the steps and stages of Co-teaching, and I will have to say it was very beneficial. (I am co-teaching with 2 other teachers this year for 8th grade American History class and I can definately see where we fall into the spectrum if co-teaching and where we need to get to). I also got to see that technology is being infused more often into gifted classrooms that ever before. There were several different sessions on technology, and internet resources to help teachers with reach student who are really into technology. I also went to a few sessions about adding humor into the classroom. I often forget that you need to laugh and have some humor in the classroom. Finally, I went to a session on Project Based Learning (PBL). I find this to be fascinating. I think it is a great idea to allow students to have that real life application of a project. It totally cuts down on the “why am I learning this?” question.
I was impressed with the vendors this year. Some of the materials that were selling were very interesting. They were highlighting some books and resource materials that were very helpful and up to date.
Overall, I had a great time at the conference. I am looking forward to next years’ conference. In the mean time, I have been inspried to maybe be a presenter again at the Teacher’s Academy. Never know….we will just have to see.