Monday, April 30th, 2018, 7PM ET

Course Description:

Improvisational acting (or Improv) games are an effective way to teach and shape social skills for the gifted population. These games rely on quick thinking, verbal skill, creativity, and enthusiasm. Having broad and varied interests also serve to make the games better. Research has indicated that Improv games are effective in teaching prosocial behavior, emotional resiliency, cognitive flexibility, failure tolerance, and sustained social engagement. While all children can benefit from learning these skills, these are areas of development significantly present in the gifted population. Improv games can be done anywhere, cost nothing, and are fun! The content of the games are supplied by the participants, which not only keeps the topics fresh and modern but also allow gifted individuals to engage with others about their areas of interest. Improv groups can be teacher-facilitated or student-lead and can be tailored to meet the needs of all students. This methodology represents a student-centric, real-time way to engage the gifted population in the development of social skills that fits their unique skills and interests. This presentation will review the psychological theory behind using Improv as a social skills methodology. This presentation will also demonstrate some various Improv games and invite attendees to observe and participate

Presenter Bio: Matthew Zakreski, Psy.D.

Matthew Zakreski, PsyD is a high energy, creative clinician who utilizes an eclectic approach to meet the specific needs of his clients. He specializes in working with children and adolescents, as well as their families, in providing therapy and conducting psychological evaluations. Dr. Zakreski served as the school counselor for The Grayson School, the only school in Pennsylvania that solely serves the needs of the gifted. He is proud to serve as a consultant to schools, a professor at the university level, and a researcher and author on his specialty, Giftedness. He is currently in private psychological practice.

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