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Lenore Cortina, Ed.D.


Unlocking Potential: Educating Gifted Learners

This session is an introduction to gifted education. Topics covered include an overview of legal requirements for gifted education,  identification and programming, the academic and social/emotional characteristics and needs of gifted learners, and potential issues when those needs are not met. Session will include suggestions for using assessment to plan instruction, and the rationale for modifying curriculum and differentiating instruction for gifted learners.


Effective Differentiation Strategies

This session is focused on strategies to differentiate instruction in the general education classroom. Topics addressed include a rationale for differentiation for advanced learners, principles of differentiation, and the necessity for assessment to guide decisions. Presentation of strategies that teachers can use to extend existing classroom tools and materials include pre-assessment options, differentiated graphic organizers, tiered tasks and discussions, choice menus, learning scenarios, learning stations, and independent research overview.


Modifying Curriculum for Advanced Learners

An overview of effective curriculum models for gifted learners including a rationale for raising the level of academic and intellectual demand for advanced learners. Strategies to support the development of lessons and units around concepts and big ideas will be presented. Exemplars of unit and lesson design are presented and discussed. 


Primary Gifted Learners: Affect & Academics

Primary age gifted learners have unique affective and academic needs that require differentiated learning experiences for optimal personal and intellectual growth. This workshop will address the affective and academic learning needs of gifted learners in grades K-2, and discuss the integration of affective goals into academic learning tasks.  Specific resources will be shared and discussed.


Standing Out & Fitting In

This session is focused on the social and emotional characteristics and needs of gifted learners. Topics discussed include asynchrony, overexcitabilities, multipotentiality, idealism, and unusual sensitivity to expectations of others. When academic needs are not met, these characteristics can leave gifted learners vulnerable to issues like underachievement, risk-avoidance, perfectionism, self-regulation struggles, and anxiety. Suggestions to design learning experiences that develop strong affective self-awareness and confidence are discussed.


A School Leader’s Guide to Gifted Education

School administrators are faced with balancing priorities to deliver equitable educational experiences for all learners in the district or school. This session focuses on the issues administrators will face when making decisions about gifted education in the district or school. Topics include New Jersey requirements for identification and programming, options for programs and service delivery including identification, and supporting teachers in implementing programs and services to gifted learners.


Identifying Gifted Learners: Matching Students to Services

Identifying gifted learners is required in New Jersey beginning in Kindergarten through Grade 12. This session presents the New Jersey regulations for identification and a step-by-step guide to developing equitable and defensible identification processes.  Topics include aligning goals and services,  selecting assessment tools, collecting and analyzing identification data, and matching students to services.  Measures that can be taken to insure the equitable identification of twice-exceptional and traditionally under-served gifted learners will be discussed.


Collaborating & Consulting to Support Gifted Learners

This session is targeted to teachers of the gifted or administrators responsible for gifted education. Focus of the session is on how specialists can use their time, resources, and expertise most efficiently to deliver effective learning experiences to gifted learners.  Topics include an overview of program options, the differences and benefits of direct and indirect services, consultation and collaboration models of service delivery, addressing scheduling issues, and additional ways to support gifted education in the district.


At the Corner of CTE & Gifted Education

NJ regulations require all CTE districts to develop identification processes and provide services for gifted and talented students. This session addresses NJ Law, characteristics and needs of gifted learners, and the intersection of CTE and gifted education best practices. It is beneficial to expand our conception of “giftedness” beyond traditional academically gifted learners, to include non-traditional advanced abilities. This session guides administrators, teachers and staff toward applying both CTE and gifted standards to gifted programming in a CTE setting.


Addressing the Needs of Underrepresented Students in Gifted Education

This session focuses on the unique needs of underrepresented populations of gifted learners including students with 504 plans, English language learners, and twice-exceptional learners. Processes for equitable identification of these students and strategies for inclusive programs and services are addressed.

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