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COPYRIGHTED MATERIAL with a sophisticated vocabulary (The sand in the sandbox is really arid today). The exceptionally bright child might also be the one who bites or hits for what seems like no reason, the one who uses classroom materials inappropriately (I wanted to see what would happen if I glued the blocks together), or the one who seems to live in his own dream world, never making a friend or even having a conversation with other children. The exceptionally bright child might also be the child who meticulously follows every school rule and carefully watches her teachers’ faces for nonverbal clues about how to best please the adults in her life. While the characteristics and behaviors of exceptionally bright children can vary widely, at the core these are the children with an unusual ability to focus on the tasks and topics that capture their interests. They are chil- dren with an advanced ability to use language, solve math problems, or understand science concepts, or chil- dren who are especially creative and seem to be able to make connections between ideas that are not obviously related. The term “exceptionally bright” also applies to children who have already mastered all or most of the learning outcomes of your stan- dard curriculum or who have passed most of the developmental bench- marks well in advance of the target This illustration demonstrates the level of detail and complexity in the work of time line for their age. An exception- exceptionally bright young children. ally bright child might seem smart in a traditional academic sense, like the five-year-old who enjoys reading the dictionary. Teachers must also be open to the possibility that an exceptionally bright child might reveal his talents in surprising and unconventional ways. The child who is able to mimic his teachers with startling and unnerving accuracy or the one who spends an hour stacking buttons into careful piles, using a sorting system that only he seems to understand—these are also chil- dren with exceptional talents and abilities. Meeting Their Full Potential The purpose of this book is to guide teachers and caregivers in their efforts to challenge exceptionally bright children to help them reach their full potential. 2 | Introduction COPYRIGHTED MATERIAL