I had the priveledge of attending the Kansas Associatoin of the Gifted, Talented, and Creative conference here this past week. There were many wonderful speakers at the conference.
One in particular (Scott Hobson) got me thinking about how even gifted students need a push sometimes in motivation. We don't always equip them with ways to cope with things that don't come easy to them. He said that we often let kids give up way too easily. One way to accomplish this is to give logic stories such as the Stories with Holes from http://www.storieswithholes.com/. You don't give the kids hints and you don't give the story a deadline. You read it to them, let them come to their own conclusion and only give yes or no answers. These are great for critical and out of the box thinking.
Something I find with my high ability/gifted students is that they are often only motivated by the things that interest them. (Isn't that true of most people?) But getting them to go beyond their comfort zone can be a challenge. Mr. Hobson says we aren't doing kids any favors by making them "comfortable". He isn't saying abuse the kids or try to bully them, but you try to get them to go out of their zones of comfort in ways that show it's ok to be wrong. No one is perfect, so it's exhausting trying to be. It's ok to fail as long as you learn from it.
I just wanted to share with you these little thoughts as I have been thinking a lot about them this week.