Events from the Center

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Free Webinars

Don’t miss this opportunity to interact with recognized gifted education leaders and scholars online.

The University of Connecticut’s Renzulli Center for Creativity, Gifted Education, and Talent Development is excited to offer a free Saturday series of one-hour interactive webinars on topics of interest to educators.

With topics ranging from Implementing SEM Virtually to Avoiding Fluff in Differentiated Activities to Tips to Increase Student Motivation, our monthly sessions provide you and your colleagues with an opportunity to stay abreast of the latest issues in gifted education, talent development, and creativity.

Webinar Registration is open

If you require an accommodation to participate in this event, please contact Stephanie Huntington at 860-486-4826 at least 5 business days prior to the start of the event.

Renzulli Center Professional Learning Series Saturday Topics (Streaming LIVE at 11 a.m. Eastern):

  • Developing and Implementing Enrichment Clusters: A Great Way to Start SEM (Joseph Renzulli and Sally Reis) – March 20
    Enrichment Clusters are an organizational component of the Schoolwide Enrichment Model that allows non-graded groups of students who share a common interest to come together during specially designated time blocks to pursue these interests. The clusters are designed for all students, and the goal is to develop and apply thinking and investigative learning skills, creativity, and collaborative skills to the development of a product, presentation, service, or performance that is intended to have an impact on a specific audience. The open-ended nature of the clusters and the availability of just-in-time information from technology resources allow students to function in the manner of practicing professionals, even if at a more junior level than adult professionals. Advanced level clusters are designed to provide high levels of challenge for high-ability students.All teachers are involved, and they serve as coaches and “guides-on-the-side” rather than traditional presenters of information. Teachers explore possible cluster topics they would like to facilitate through the use of an interest questionnaire, and clusters frequently involve community resource persons who may have experience in particular topic areas. This session covers guidelines, professional learning activities, scheduling, examples of enrichment clusters in action, and several suggestions about possible cluster topics derived from our research.
  • Avoiding Fluff in Differentiated Activities (Catherine Little) – April 17
    Differentiation of curriculum and instruction to ensure rigor and challenge is an essential component of providing support for advanced learners. Yet there is an enormous range of quality in the resources advertised as examples of differentiation.  Sometimes the effort to apply a differentiation strategy in an engaging way may lead us to lose sight of the central goals and content of a learning experience, such that the “fluff” takes precedence over the essential learning. Sometimes the surface appearance of an activity may seem engaging, yet it may not provide an authentic challenge or promote high levels of learning and growth. In these circumstances, well-intentioned efforts to make learning activities appealing to students with different interests and abilities become more about appearance and less about substance. In this session, let’s talk about what makes a differentiated activity an example of fluff or substance. The discussion includes a focus on constructing and applying key criteria to evaluate resources for aspects of quality differentiation.
  • 9 Tips to Increase Student Motivation (Del Siegle) – May 15
    Lack of motivation is among the most frustrating issues facing parents and educators. Low motivation limits student opportunities and self-fulfillment. In this session, we share suggestions for increasing student motivation based on research over the past 20 years that explored why some talented students are willing to tackle new challenges, while others seem insecure or uninterested.
  • How to Develop Infusion Activities that Enhance Learning (Nicole Waicunas and Joseph Renzulli) – June 12
    The Schoolwide Enrichment Model (SEM) uses an infusion-based approach to make prescribed curricular content more interesting and engaging. The SEM strikes a balance between traditional approaches to learning and approaches that promote thinking skills, hands-on learning, and creative productivity on the parts of all students. In this session, we focus on how to minimize boredom and “school turn-offs” and to improve achievement and creative productivity by infusing what we call The Three Es (Enjoyment, Engagement, and Enthusiasm for Learning) into the culture and atmosphere of a school.
  • Doing SEM Virtually (Joseph Renzulli, Sally Reis, and Laurel Brandon) – Jan. 23 (view recording here)
  • Creativity: The Basics, The Benefits, and Tips (James Kaufman) – Feb. 20 (view recording here)

Don’t miss our series of monthly 30-minute webinars for parents.

Renzulli Center Third Thursday Parenting Topics (Streaming LIVE at 8 p.m. Eastern):

Register Here for the Webinars

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Don’t miss these additional professional learning opportunities from the Renzulli Center…

Teaching and Learning with Technology

Visit our Teaching and Learning with iPads, Chromebooks, and Cloud-Based Computing site to learn more about this one-day virtual event.


Visit our Confratute site to learn more about this week-long professional learning opportunity.


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