Florida Association for the Gifted



Click here for the Comprehensive Presenter's Schedule. 

This conference is organized into eight powerful strands to help you customize your experience.

Click each strand for general sessions. 


Curriculum & Instruction

Parenting & Family Issues

Program/Service Options

Projects/Learning in Action


Special Population

(2E, LGBTQ, Underachieving, Racial Diversity, Trauma, Gender Issues, etc)

Talent Workforce Development


Showcasing the 'story' in History

Presented by Audrey Quale

This session will feature ways to add writing to a rigorous gifted program using history, keeping it interesting and exciting for students and teachers alike.

Formats for Critical and Creative Thinking

Presented by Carolyn Coil

21st century learning skills –problem solving and critical and creative thinking – are showcased in this interactive session. Participate in using examples of four user-friendly formats: Questivities™, SCAMPER, Six Thinking Hats and Encounter Lessons, that enhance these skills. 

Using Creativity to Support Decision-making and Risk-taking

Co-presented by Elizabeth Hamilton and Brittany Barker

21st century learning requires students to make informed decisions and take intellectual risks. In this hands-on session, participants will learn how to modify their current practices to incorporate questioning, brainstorming, and convergent/divergent thinking techniques. 

 Childhood Activities Bring Possibilities of Future Creativity

Presented by Elizabeth and Tommy Fairweather

Many creative individuals engaged in similar childhood activities, and these activities contributed heavily to their creativity. We'll show you how to incorporate these activities organically into your children's lives to nurture their creativity in fun and natural ways.

 All New Make N Take Workshop: Engage, Connect, and Challenge Gifted Students

Presented by Kevin Simmons and Cindy Guinn

Fill a portfolio with all new projects that engage the gifted student. Join a fun, enthusiastic, hands-on workshop for all educators as you motivate students to “Think out of the Bag”. New samples, stories, strategies, projects, and surprises!

Dynamic Activities to Use With Gifted Children Impacted by Trauma

Presented by Nathan Levy

This workshop will focus on how to help children be better thinkers and learners. The emphasis will be on the importance of challenge, perseverance and hard work as social-emotional components for acquiring skills that help gifted children adapt to meet life’s expectations. Practical ideas and materials will be presented that can have a positive impact on gifted children with trauma.

Hacking the Creativity Curve

Presented by Tim Walsh

Join author, game designer and filmmaker, Tim Walsh, as I share 10 tips to hack the creativity curve. With examples and stories from multiple creative fields, I will take your audience in a deep dive into what creativity is and why it matters.


Fitting It All In: Infusing Gifted instructional Standards within the Daily Routine of Gifted

Inclusion Classrooms

Co-presented by Cameron Mattingly, Johanna Kolb, and Tracy Chin

This workshop will describe how Teachers of the Gifted can ensure that all Gifted Standards and Frameworks for Gifted Learners are delivered to students within the gifted inclusion setting. Attendees will learn multiple ways in which to support gifted learners through core subjects by using alternative programs and strategies. 

Practical Alternatives to Acceleration for Gifted Middle School Students

Presented by Iain Ferguson

Acceleration is the main accommodation for gifted students, but different and deeper is what they need for growth. We share practical alternatives that leverage technology and a curriculum designed for gifted thinkers. Attendees will experience and receive classroom-proven solutions.

Biographies as a Guide to How Possibilities Become Reality

Presented by Elizabeth Fairweather and Tommy Fairweather

A unit for analyzing biographies to identify accomplished individuals’ gifted traits, how these traits were nurtured through childhood activities and how they relate to later processes and accomplishments also including strategies for reflecting on information to realize students’ own possibilities

Elevating Beyond School: Differentiating Infinite Choices and Challenges in After-school and Summer Enrichment Programs for Underserved Gifted

Co-presented by Gillian Eriksson and Jeanette Lukens

Learn how to develop community/university partnerships that use problem-based learning to enrich experiences for low-income gifted students most needed after school and in Summer that stem from an effective Federal grant in ten Title I Elementary schools.

Beginner's Guide to Engineering Design Challenge Incorporate Engineering Design Challenges into the gifted classroom!

Presented by Holly Mentillo

Classroom tested strategies and activities will be shared.

Designing Data Literacy Activities for Cross-curricular Lessons: Data Exploration Skills Using Tuvalabs Technology

Presented by Janine Malavasi and Kristin Hunter

Learn how to design standards-based inquiry lessons for grades 3 to 12 that integrate real world data. Get students exploring, creating, and questioning the validity of graphs using the most powerful data analysis available in education for free- Tuvalabs Basic.

No More Recipes

Presented by Michael Allard

A discussion of ridding our classrooms of recipe lessons and how to adapt existing lessons to help unleash creativity and innovative thinking in our students.

Infinite Possibilities of Inquiry-based Media Projects

Presented by Monica Plantan

Looking for ways to ignite passion and uncover creativity in your gifted students? Projects and products featured in this session have been G/T classroom-tested to spark student learning through the use of technology, inquiry, conceptual thinking, and interdisciplinary connections.

Meaningful Work for Early Finishers

Presented by Patricia Barbur

High-ability students often finish work early. They color, read, or serve as teacher’s helper. It’s hard to provide meaningful tasks for them. We will explore what it would look like if students had access to complex and creative challenges & how teachers could easily accomplish this, focusing on strategies for providing real-world activities for students who demonstrate mastery at an accelerated rate, using collaboration to fuel discussion.

Just Okay, Is Not Okay

Presented by Suzanne Philpot

“Just okay, is not okay” addresses the importance of meeting the needs of the Gifted/Talented student in the regular classroom setting and ways to accomplish this challenging task.


The Four Tendencies Workshop - How to Use the Four Tendencies to Motivate Your Student

Presented by Heather Lambert

The "Four Tendencies" is a framework developed by Gretchen Rubin to explain the different ways people respond to expectations.

Understanding your own Tendency, as well as your students, can help you communicate more efficiently, prevent conflict, and allow you to more effectively motivate your student.

College Admissions: Everything Parents and Gifted Students Need to Know

Presented by Nicole Jobson

Understand what students need to do in high school to stand out and improve their odds of college admissions. Learn about current admissions trends, how to build a college list, the role of grades, standardized tests, extracurricular activities, and more.

Expanding Your Parental Toolbox for Challenging Times

Presented by Patricia Gatto-Walden

Integrating over three decades as a psychologist working with gifted families, learn specific strategies, words and behaviors which effectively lessen stress and generate stability and security during difficult times. Do’s and don’ts will be delineated to expand your parental toolbox.


Keys to Successful Schoolwide or District-wide Differentiation

Presented by Carolyn Coil

Gifted students need rigorous and engaging learning activities throughout their school day. For most, this will only occur if general education teachers differentiate their instruction. In this session, Carolyn will discuss a practical, long-term, step-by-step approach to differentiation training.

How to Keep Diverse Gifted Students Learning: the Role of Non-verbal Programming

Presented by Dory Muller

This workshop will expose current demographic trends of K-12 Hispanic gifted learners in our school district and consider their background that is similar to regular education when designing advanced programming curriculum and not entirely language- and academic-based.

Supporting High-ability Students Through Acceleration

Presented by Kim Thomas-Cain

Acceleration strategies are a most effective approach to help ensure that highly able students receive quality gifted and talented programming and achieve at their greatest educational potential. Leave this session understanding acceleration and its use as a powerful educational tool.


Gemstone Geometry: Facilitating Mathematics Exploration With Manipulatives

Presented by Margarita Azbel and Yana Mohanty

Gemstones provide us with beautiful examples of mathematics in action. Their highly symmetric shapes—pyramids, prisms, octahedra-- are designed to maximize brilliance. In this workshop, we will construct models of geometric “gems” and challenge participants to explore their mathematical properties. You will also get to hear a student volunteer perspective on working as a facilitator in this type of exploration.

Learning through Geocaching

Presented by Michelle Whipple

Geocaching provides an engaging learning experience in all disciplines. Learning through geocaching enable students to actively formulate concepts while practicing 21st Century skills.


Helping Students Become Durable People

Presented by Audrey Quale

In today's society, there are many pressures on young people. Stress has become a 'bad word' but really, stress is a natural, normal part of life. Dealing with stress, in a healthy way, is a huge part of learning to become a 'durable person'.

Overexcitabilities: What Are They and How Can We Deal With Them?

Presented by Carolyn Coil

We will discuss the five major types of overexcitabilities. Many gifted students have characteristics of one or more of these. Examine the traits of each, examples of individual students, and strategies for dealing with them at school and at home.

Social and Emotional Needs of Gifted Students: Growing the Mindsets and Supporting Passion of Our Gifted Children

Presented by Emily Mistretta

This presentation shares some of the emotional challenges such as Overexcitabilities and Asynchronous Development that gifted children face and how they can counter success. This will also offer strategies to help grow the mindsets of our gifted learners and be successful.

The Experience of Sharing an Internal Joke: a Support Group Designed to Provide Social and Emotional Tools for Gifted Puerto Rican Children

Presented by Frances Crespo and Héctor Rivera

A group experience for Puerto Rican gifted students with a psychoeducational focus on gifted characteristics, intensities, perfectionism, motivation and self-concept.

Mindfulness and Self-compassion as Tools to Help Students Who Are Gifted

Presented by Hiba Chehaib, Ph.D. Anjanette Todd, Ph.D.

Participants will explore five areas that explain how children who are gifted experience the world. The experiential part will promote an intentional focus on wellness for educators as a tool to help students. Mindfulness and self-compassion techniques will address social/emotional health.

Building Self Worth

Presented by Jumora Cooper

Know your worth and teach your kids to learn their self worth. Yes, it's tough being a kid, so let's create an environment that builds their self-confidence and influence their heart for life.

Incorporating Social-emotional Learning Into Reading Comprehension Instruction

Presented by Katie McCarville

Learn about the Affective Jacob's Ladders Reading Comprehension Program through the eyes of a fourth-grade teacher. In this session, gain insight into the implementation process, the social and emotional benefits for gifted learners, and try an activity yourself!

Fear, Worry and Catastrophic Thinking: Dismantling the Stress Hierarchy

Presented by Patricia Gatto-Walden, PhD

Gifted individuals trust their minds as the source of understanding and decision-making. However, intense emotion coupled with vivid imagination can create fears and catastrophic thinking. Come learn what causes fears and stress and how to diminish its power over you.

The Heart of the Matter

Presented by Patricia Gatto-Walden, PhD

For over three decades thousands of gifted children and adolescents have shared with me their inner qualities, needs, concerns and desires. Come learn what they wish adults understood and accepted about them, and how to cultivate their confidence and wellbeing.


Reversing Underachievement: Helping Gifted Underachievers Reach Their Potential

Presented by Carolyn Coil

Many mindsets common to schooling in the 21st century discourage rather than encourage gifted learners. How can we be the promoters of a growth mindset for gifted kids? Explore practical strategies for helping gifted students achieve at their maximum potential.

Your Child’s Gifted Specialist: a Valuable Resource and Advocate

Presented by Eileen Lerner and Chené W. Olgar

Your child’s Gifted teacher can be your greatest advocate. From the vantage points of parents and educators, our presentation will help you navigate the education system to best advocate for your child.

Saving a Seat on the Bus- an Inclusion Classroom for Special Populations of Gifted

Presented by Laurie Smith

Share novel instructional strategies for AP Biology to maximize student engagement and deepen content understanding especially in diverse learners.

Introduction to Engaging Students of Color: Divergent and Convergent Thinking Styles

Presented by Michelle Martin

Participants will examine creative thinking strategies to provide appropriate and relevant instruction for engaging students of color.

The Complexity of the Twice-Exceptional Child

Presented by Patricia Gatto-Walden, PhD

For the twice-exceptional child discrepancies exist between what is understood and what is shown. While intellectually gifted, these children can become frustrated, lack confidence, fixate on limitations and doubt strengths. Come learn how to effectively respond to these children’s needs.

Engaging African American Students: Convergent and Divergent Thinking

Presented by Michelle Martin

Participants will examine creative thinking strategies to provide appropriate and relevant instruction for engaging students of color.


 Blue-sky Learning: Building Cubesats and Influencing Stem Policy

Co-presented by Kevin Simmons and Shawna Christenson

 Start a CubeSat Team and go from a blank page to low Earth orbit (LEO) in less than three years. Student-built CubeSats are disruptive tools that inspire and prepare students to excel both academically and vocationally. Learn to optimize soft and hard skills while conducting experiential science and policy.

Copyright © 2016 Florida Association for the Gifted. All rights reserved.

Florida Association for the Gifted is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization.


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