August and September is a time when students return for another academic year of school. With a new school year comes many new experiences. Many school districts are stepping up their course offerings in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM), while at the same time striving to teach toward 21st Century skills. What these two approaches have in common are several concepts that are common in successful gifted programs.
These concepts are a focus on critical thinking, problem-solving, creativity, communication, collaboration, and innovation. In addition, gifted students require that learning have relevance to real world problems, and knowledge that they are taken seriously.
Skills of today, including STEM and 21st Century skills, are skills that are innate for many gifted children. As the new school year starts, keep watch for lessons and assignments (homework) that use these skills. Encourage your student to use these skills to enrich and further their own learning. If these skills are not promoted in your child’s classroom you and your child may want to consider suggesting it to the teacher and providing resources. The following are several websites with information on using these skills in the classroom. These are only a few of the many websites available about STEM and 21st Century skills. Do your own search, or have your child do the research online, and explore how your child’s strengths and skills may be used in school. Be sure to share what you learn with your child’s teacher.
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