Make A Difference With Student Discussion Groups

Discussion groups are an often overlooked school-based intervention that have a huge pay-off in social and emotional benefits for gifted students.  I have facilitated my own student discussion groups for middle and high school students for the past eleven years in the Boulder Valley School District.

Gifted students must be provided with affective education and affective support as part of their differentiated curriculum and instructional services.

Student discussion groups are a helpful intervention for all populations of gifted students, including those at-risk, twice exceptional, and underachieving.  Discussion groups require the facilitation of an individual that is comfortable with and familiar with the characteristics and social-emotional needs of gifted learners. Individuals interested in facilitating these discussion groups can be counselors, administrators, parents, GT coordinators, or classroom teachers.  This allows for more facilitator possibilities.

One of my areas of interest and expertise is teaching others to lead groups.  I often do full-day sessions training teachers, educators and parents on the value and importance of facilitating a student discussion group for gifted students that focuses on affective issues they have in common.  I’ve led these sessions at the national NAGC and SENG conferences, the state CAGT conference and regional Beyond Giftedness conference where I encourage and aid session participants to feel confident in beginning their own student discussion groups. I offer concrete suggestions and share specific materials and activities which will support the process of student group building, raising personal and social awareness, strengthening inter/intra personal skills, and providing positive adjustment strategies.

School districts all over the state of Colorado have hired me to give this training to their educators.  If your school district is interested, you can contact me at terbradley @ comcast.net.

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