Vestavia Hills Living

2018

Official magazine published by the Vestavia Hills Chamber of Commerce for the City of Vestavia Hills which details the quality of life, education, shopping and lifestyle of Vestavia Hills.

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Dana Sheheane 30 v e s tav i a h i l l s l i v i n g 2 0 1 8 D A N A S H E H E A N E G I F T E D P R O G R A M S P E C I A L I S T " I want to help them with activities to challenge their early finishers, high achievers, or children who need an extra push," she says. "It is important for every child to know their strengths and gifts and to see the special traits they all possess. I hope to help each student I come in contact with to see their worth and value and to stay true to themselves. " V E S T A V I A H I L L S E L E M E N T A R Y W E S T For three years, Dana Sheheane has worked as gifted program specialist at VHE-West. She works closely with students in the gifted program, which usually number between 5 percent and 10 percent of the student population. In gifted classes, Sheheane takes students through concept-based units that begin with the end goal in mind. "It forces them to have a focus on an overall concept and do activities and lessons that help them learn in a different way," she says. "It's extremely important to learn how to fail and bounce back. Each child is usually gifted in certain areas and not in every subject. It's important for them to understand being gifted is thinking 'outside the box' and not necessarily 'smart.' I want these kids to always strive to be the best version of who they were created to be and not feel the pressure to be perfect." Sheheane's goals are to promote critical thinking and reasoning abilities, to develop research skills and methods, self-understanding, to enhance opportunities for future planning and development, to develop creative and divergent thinking skills, to develop problem-solving skills and foster independent and self-directed learning, and to help every child understand their strengths and weaknesses and to realize giftedness does not mean perfection. "Giftedness may present itself in one or more domains such as intellectual or creative, and is important to note that not all gifted children look or act alike," Sheheane says. "Giftedness exists in every demographic group and personality type. It is important that I look hard to discover each child's potential and support them as they reach for their personal best." In addition to working with gifted students, Sheheane also teaches lessons with all second graders and does an activity and field trip with all third graders. She works with teachers at every grade level to provide tips for differentiation in the classroom to reach every child. "I want to help them with activities to challenge their early finishers, high achievers, or children who need an extra push," she says. "It is important for every child to know their strengths and gifts and to see the special traits they all possess. I hope to help each student I come in contact with to see their worth and value and to stay true to themselves."

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