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DOUBLE TAP TO ZOOM WITH PHONE OR TABLET TABLE 1.1 (continued) Strategy Structure Definition Example Connection Child to Child Intentionally creating and facilitating opportunities for children to learn from each other Emma is fascinated by birds and is able to identify the species and breed of the birds she sees in the neighborhood around the school. Emma’s teacher invites her to create a bird book and pairs Emma with Julianna for the proj- ect because Julianna loves to draw all kinds of animals. These three strategies—differentiation, conversation, and connection— are like a braided thread that is woven throughout this book. Using any one of the strategies will benefit children, but when implemented in combination, this trio creates an especially rich and satisfying learning experience. Overview of This Book Chapters 1 and 2 of this book provide the foundation for understanding what it means to be exceptionally bright in an early childhood classroom. Chapter 1 describes the characteristics of exceptionally bright children in greater depth and offers an overview of the field of gifted education. Chapter 2 presents informal and formal assessment methods that can be helpful for identifying exceptionally bright children and describing their weaknesses and strengths. Chapters 3 through 5 each focus on one of the three strategies for chal- lenging exceptionally bright young children: differentiation, conversation, and connection. Chapter 3, on differentiation, offers suggestions for how to adapt the curriculum, teaching practices, and the learning environment to challenge exceptionally bright children while still balancing individual and group needs. Chapter 4 describes specific techniques for asking questions that promote complex and creative thinking and strategies for providing authentic feedback that will prompt children to think more deeply. Chapter 5 explains social learning theory and offers suggestions for grouping children and facil- itating their interactions in order to increase opportunities for children to make connections and learn from each other. The next three chapters focus on three specific curriculum areas: literacy (chapter 6), math (chapter 7), and science (chapter 8). Each of those discus- sions demonstrates how the three strategies from chapters 3 through 5 can be utilized in that curriculum area to challenge exceptionally bright children. COPYRIGHTED MATERIAL Introduction | 5