#IWG12 Giftedness and: Krissy Venosdale and her Venspired Posters for Gifted Classrooms

August 12, 2012 6 comments

Giftedness and Professional Development, a Story from the Belin Blank International Center for Gifted Education- University of Iowa

August 8, 2012 3 comments

An esteemed friend and colleague  Laurie Croft , PHD, is the Administrator of Professional Development   at the Belin Blank International Center for Gifted Education at the University of Iowa for the International Week of the Gifted #IWG12 she  shares a story of just one of their programs and /or opportunities for teachers to take part in  Gifted specific Professional Development.  Many of these programs  welcome international participants with open arms.

Ms Laurie Croft PHd

The Belin-Blank Fellowship

Since 1980, the Connie Belin & Jacqueline N. Blank Fellowship Program in Gifted Education has provided educators with knowledge and skills to better support the academic and socioaffective needs of gifted students.  Participants live on the University of Iowa campus and learn more about gifted and talented children (and often more about themselves, in the process).  As well, they begin to understand more about appropriate interventions for talent development, including the importance of above-level assessment and acceleration.  The Fellowship provides an intensive and collaborative professional learning experience, enabling participants to become leaders of gifted education in their settings. Fellows also develop friendships with colleagues who share their interests and commitment to supporting high-ability learners.

During the last week of June, 2010, a diverse group attended the Fellowship Program—what one Fellow called “a marvelous week!”  The 9 women and 2 men came from varied backgrounds.  While several of the participants came from Iowa cities and towns, others came from Washington, D.C., from Tennessee, and from India.  The Fellows included teachers (elementary, middle-school, and secondary), an Area Education Agency staff member, an elementary school counselor, and married professionals from India who have established a non-governmental organization (NGO) to support profoundly gifted children in their country.  Many of the teachers applied to the Fellowship hoping to learn more about challenging gifted learners in their classrooms; some are already committed to earning the State of Iowa Endorsement in Talented and Gifted Education (http://www.education.uiowa.edu/belinblank/Educators/Endorsement/Default.aspx).  Several of the participants are also parents of talented learners, and they understand the vital need for differentiated services for children who are far more advanced than others the same age.

The Fellowship Program provides extensive opportunities for professional learning.  Experts in the field, including Professors Nicholas Colangelo, Susan Assouline, and Susannah Wood, engaged the Fellows in topics as varied as the social-emotional development of asynchronous learners, acceleration, and twice-exceptionality.  Fellows participated in thoughtful, reflective discussions, expanding their understanding of the diversity within this population, as well as experiencing and sharing strategies and tools for facilitating learning.  Participants analyzed the movie, Finding Forrester, particularly focusing on the cultural and socioeconomic issues portrayed in the film.  In addition to class time with Dr. Laurie Croft, Fellows visited student programs, observing the energy and enthusiasm of learners in a homogenous setting; as well, they spent a morning with one of the professional development workshops scheduled every summer, learning more about curriculum compacting.  Participants developed a sense of the committed community of those dedicated to nurturing talented learners.  This community, and the knowledge gained through the Fellowship, will follow the participants as they return to their roles in their communities.

Finally,  in the event  that there may be an interest in finding out a little more about this or other professional development programs for those interested in providing for gifted and talented students, I offer the two links below:

Applications for the 2013 Fellowship, the 33rd anniversary of the program, will be available online in January 2013.  More information is available at http://www.education.uiowa.edu/belinblank/Educators/Fellowship/Default.aspx.

More information about ongoing professional learning experiences is available at http://www.education.uiowa.edu/belinblank/Educators/Courses/Schedule.aspx

Small Logo for #IWG12 and #IYGC

Categories: Uncategorized

The World Council for Gifted and Talented Children and the International Week of the Gifted 2012/ International Year of Giftedness and Creativity 2013-

July 29, 2012 Leave a comment

The World Council for Gifted and Talented Children and the International Week of the Gifted 2012/ International Year of Giftedness and Creativity 2013-

It has been a while since this blog touched on these happy events. Rest assured it is not because they have been far out of mind. On the contrary, there have been a lot of back channel thoughts and creative ideas bubbling away in various directions as the dates have been approaching.

The World Council for Gifted and Talented Children and the New Zealand World Conference 2013 sub-committees have been hard at work organising for these events. In the spirit of community,  and to allow as many distinct contributions as possible, we are inviting both members and non  members of the organisation to take part.

It is a joyous thing to realise that we as a global gifted community will soon be celebrating our Year of Giftedness and Creativity during 2013. A year in which to explore ways of expressing what makes us who we are. This is an opportunity for our children, and the people who care and work with them, to share and celebrate through their creativity and innovation, experiences, activities and products related to, and born out of the essence of giftedness and talent.  An opportunity to share how life might look, if  giftedness was  to make life whole and happy for them.  The  20th World Conference 2013 in Auckland is also taking place   (Don’t forget to visit the Conference Blogsite), during the International Year of Giftedness and Creativity. We are hoping  to see many of you there,  perhaps sharing your stories, or experiencing that of many others.

Last year, the first International Day of the Gifted was successfully celebrated in August 2011. On the run up to the day, many people participated and contributed, from all parts of the globe, in a number of initiatives that were being worked on.

Themes that were highlighted on that day, during the World Conference 2011, in Prague, consisted of:

1) Honouring all gifted & talented awareness-raising efforts being made worldwide within our communities.

2) The celebration of gifted children.

The energy and good will that was generated from this event, and the material produced to celebrate it, spread out and remained tangible a long time after the event. This was apparent in the blogs and posts that were being written and shared along many of the digital and social networks, worldwide. It gave off a spark, lighted a flame, a flame that once fanned, blew a great gust of wind. This wind picked up a kite, an idea, which would be called The International Year of Giftedness and Creativity 2013, and culminate in the World Conference 2013.

Enter the International Week of the Gifted 2012- (Second week August)

Building on the wonderful sense of camaraderie and community that was felt during the IDG2011, and, in view of the many time differences and suggestions from folk around the world, it has been determined  that  the IDG should evolve into an IWG or International Week of the Gifted. Allowing for greater participation, or time for folk to think of ways to participate, mark or celebrate the week.

It also feels like a good week for reflecting on how gifted awareness movements have grown since last year.  In celebration of this growth, this years’ 2012 collection of awareness events is somewhat larger than last years, and can be accessed below, or at the link above.  Please note that only those events that I was made aware of have been included. If there are others that should be added, I invite all to please let me know through a comment on this blog.  This year a number of conferences were also included, also as gifted awareness events.  There are so many more than last year.  Will your country’s story include starting a national awareness event? If so.. let us know!!

Secondly,   the International Week of Giftedness 2012 is an ideal  awareness week to be thinking and planning ahead for the International Year of Giftedness and Creativity 2013,   based around a theme (admitting to have been partially inspired by Stephanie Tolan, one of my favourite ‘Elders’ in our circles) of  ‘Stories and story sharing’.

This #IWG12 will be celebrated with  a blog tour, inviting members of the gifted community across the globe to think about, and contribute their ‘stories’ of what they coul/might do, or what they might make happen next year…#IYGC,  after all, creativity does begin with ideas..  and with a little luck, giftedness can help make it happen.

  • ¨Remember:  Stories can take many shapes and forms.  Hold an event or an activity and tell the story  of how it unfolded, share stories of good practice, Art- a painting that tells it’s own story, or through music,  the story of how an invention got built, a cultural story of giftedness,  the stories of our children, our parents, ourselves;  developing stories/literature for gifted students, stories about creativity, creations and their creators, stories about gifted experiences…  your story of what an ideal environment for gifted education would look like… Stories of  gifted awareness events and how they came to be..
  • Stories:  Can be expressed/delivered though  a range of many mediums such a  video,  audio,  writing, photography or Art the choice is yours.

Moving forward, what will the ‘story of you’ or  the story of your celebration of giftedness and or creativity look like over this next year?

  • Do you have ideas you could suggest for others to do?
  • Perhaps your story will be culturally distinct and unique and would interest others how you might celebrate in your own country/land/tribe?
  • Do you have ideas that may be good for a class/school to do which would be effective and stand out?
  • Maybe an inventors’ fair, and the story of a young inventor who went far?
  • Are you a young scientist, math whizz, environmentalist or social entrepreneur with a story waiting to happen?
  • An Artist, a young writer, would like to celebrate by painting a picture, writing a story, writing a book.
  • Are you, or your students involved in poetry, drama or musically inclined, could you include this as you develop your gifted story for next year?
  • Perhaps your story includes writing a book, a chapter on giftedness yourself?
  • Are you about to embark on an important piece of research over the next year, and able to tell us how you hope your story will go?
  • What activities and approaches might we use to help foster motivation/self esteem/fruition of potential/self worth in our young folk (and adults) over the next year?
  • Are you presenting at the conference in NZ and willing tell us something about your topic?
  •  Might your story include starting a parenting group, or perhaps a kids’ club of a unique type?
  • Do you have a story sharing good practice?
  • Or will you share a story or stories of an individual or individuals emerging excellence/greatness in their area of passion, documenting this through a painting, photos or video?
  • A story of incredible wonderfulness in regards to 2Eness.
  • Will you tell a story of starting a new school/educational environment unique and welcoming for unique and interesting minds?
  • Will your story be one of unwavering advocacy in the face of a difficult situation, and survive?
  • Are you/will you be homeschooling this next year, might you keep a journal of how this story develops, helping others who may come after you?
  • Will your story simply be starting an annual gifted awareness event, or a conference?
  • What will you and/or those around you create, so that we may all share  in celebrating the soul and heart of giftedness?

#IWG12Second week, August 2012– We will celebrate with a  blog tour over the week, in honour of the upcoming International Year of Giftedness and Creativity 2013. This tour invites any who wish to blow a breath of air at our communal kite of giftedness, attach a bow of an idea onto it’s tail,— help it start to get it off the ground, simply by taking part, to contribute a blog post with your stories/ideas, and help others to see what can be…

We are hoping that the #IWG12 will give our gifted global community’s beautiful kite a good head start with your ideas. We are looking forward to letting the celebration start in earnest from January 2013th with your stories and their progression, throughout  the #IYGC year and during the World Conference 2013 in New Zealandwhere we hope to see that many of your stories have become reality, and even better, hoping that many of you may come and celebrate, tell/show us how your stories developed in person.

This event has been initiated by the World Council for Gifted and Talented Children through the sub- committee on the International Year of Giftedness and Creativity. It is being run in joint collaboration between the World Council for Gifted and Talented Childrens subcommittee and the New Zealand World Conference 2013’s International Year of  Giftedness and Creativity, and Social Media subcommittees.

We would like to invite the gifted community to take part in this initiative.  If you feel you would like to contribute to this blog tour, please contact Mary St. George at  <mail4mary@xtra.co.nz>, and send in your contribution, and/ or  a link to your blogpost for   review and scheduling.

You can pick up an image or a bannner to use on your site from the International Year of Giftedness Blogsite , to promote  this event. Be mindful, once you use the image or banner on your site,  to link it back to the IYGC Blogsite to show your support.

Those who wish to contribute, but do not have a blog are welcome  to do so too.  Just send in your contribution to Mary, at the email above, and it will be scheduled to be guest hosted either on the IYGC blogsite, or if traffic is heavy, on either this one or Mary’s or rescheduled for a following day.   We very much appreciate your contributions.

Please note;  This initiative is meant to be joyful and celebrative in nature, meaning positive and inclusive. We will welcome all contributions of this nature, and all contributions will be monitored for this.  Any contributions which are felt to be at risk of intentionally upsetting or damaging individuals personally or the organisations they are supporting, will be vetted, and may,  regretfully,  not be posted.

On Giftedness and a close encounter with (mis) fortune….

June 23, 2012 5 comments

On Giftedness and a chance encounter with (mis) fortune….

Very recently, I have been struggling with some news, the which may be about to seriously change the reality which is my life as I know it… thoughts on same come in shivering shaking waves, engulfing the very nucleous of my soul… and leaving me often, gasping for breath, as I endlessly search the caverns of my mind for direction…

In this state of mind, this morning, I had to take a train ride into town, to deliver an item for a friend, and the walk to the station, in the rain, under the dark, grey brooding skys only served to deepen the sense of dispare and hopelessness I had going…

A platform, glistening, reflecting the mirror of my soul, the green overhanging bushes weeping as droplets hurried, sliding zigzagedly down a multitude of leaves…  The rumble of the carriages as they entered the station, brought me back to my task, and I stepped on board…. and moved up the carriage looking for a place to sit..

Just at the end there was a seat, facing another in which a young man was sitting and holding his head in his hands.. I sat down, but watching this fellow, took me away from my own minds interdialogue, and into anothers reality… He was young, true,.. but thin, and rather shabily dressed.. pale, with haunting brown eyes.. and he was shivering/shaking in pain.  Feeling his discomfort (I’m a bit of an emphatic.. ) I could not help but reach out and ask him… ‘excuse me are you ok?….’   He explained that he had a tooth ache, and was on his way to the dental hospital,…  where sometimes it is possible to get work done if your wallet is a little bare…

As his pain receded, explaining that it came and went,  he thanked me for asking in a quiet way… I asked him what he was to have done, and a chance conversation ensued…

He recounted that he had a tooth that needed a root canal, that the dentist he had gone to in a town south of where I live, had suggested he have it pulled (as he could have this done for free), there and then, but  he had not wanted to loose his tooth.  The alternative treatment, a root canal would have cost him 500 to have done, an amount that was well beyond him.   He told me that he was homeless, and working off a ‘medical card’.. something that gave him a right to have his teeth pulled for free, but no help or discount for any other treatment.  That is niether here nor there, but the interesting story he told was the reason he had wanted to go to the Dental Hospital (students studying dentistry work here, hence the lower cost of treatment)…

He told me he had been taken there often as a child as there had been something unusual about his teeth that was of great interest to the college and this had been his favorite thing to do, visit with the students and dentists working there… He then proceeded to tell me… all about unusual teeth and bites, solutions and proceedures for same.. and how dental care is viewed differently in this country than in other countries (people often wait until things are very far along before they visit a dentist),  that folk from the USA (where folk take a great deal of careful care of their teeth) are sometimes taken aback by the lower importance of this in Europe and the resultant aspects thereoff…  He then mov,ed on to doctors, and what he felt was a clinical attitude towards their regard for life that was not human.  He felt that they did not see other species, such as dogs, as life that was as important as people and that this bothered him alot…  I focused…  here was a spark…

As he got off at the station before my own, put out a hand… asked me for my name…… gave me his own… and  thanked me for listening to him…   I could not think but… this young fellow, who had such alot to say… wanted to be heard.. but was so economically challenged, might have made a good dentist, a good listener..

I wished with all my heart that life would take a turn in an upward direction for this young man, as without a doubt, I would know he had ‘the look’  was one of those gifted kids that had had the potential and passion but not the opportunity to make it happen..Had he had the ‘chance’ opportunities, or mentors to help him be who he had wanted to ‘be’…. fallen through the cracks…

A snapshot… Of a life ……..and  putting  my own challenges in perspective…  wishing this young man a bit of  luck in this  zigzaggy world we live in… I do….  hope life does open a window….  for both of us… someday… ;-D…

As I think about contributing to the NZ blogtour… I ask we do not forget about those that may be left in the cracks.. they may yet have something to teach us …

On Giftedness and National Parenting Gifted Children Week-2012- July 13-21st

June 14, 2012 Leave a comment

This is just a small blogpost to acknowledge an Awareness week that is taking place in the USA, the Celebration of National Parenting Gifted Children Week 2012, on almost a parallel set of dates as the NZ Gifted Awareness Week 2012.  This is quite a joyous thing I think, as it means tha Matters Gifted are being given a great deal of attention during the same week, only a month apart on two continents on to different sides of the world Around THE SAME TIME….  That has to create alot of POSITIVE ENERGY out there folks, in relation to giftedness… andt that… is  A GOOD THING…

I know that SENG had a blog tour last year.  This year it appears they may choose not to, but that is ok, as what they are doing is staging an excellent Conference, and  from the SENG website itself, they give the following information:

This year, SENG is begining  its celebration with its SENG 2012 Conference in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Shining Light on Giftedness: Empowering Families and Communities, July 13-14, 2012. The conference features keynote speakers and authors Michael Piechowski, Rosina Gallagher, and Joy Lawson Davis, as well as nearly 50 different sessions designed for grandparents, parents, educators and mental health professionals; continuing education credit options for psychologists, health professionals and educators; and programs for children and teens. Register online at http://www.sengifted.org/programs/conferences/milwaukee-2012-conference/registration.

To learn more about the SENG conference, visit http://www.sengifted.org and read a recent interview with SENG Founder James T. Webb, “Organization Rallies for Gifted Children” (http://www.examiner.com/article/organization-supports-gifted-children).

They also offer a list of what folk can do during the week to support and take part in other ways too:

What can you do to support NPGC Week?

  • Register for the SENG 2012 Conference: Shining Light on Giftedness.
  • Download SENG’s FREE ebook, The Joy and the Challenge: Parenting Gifted Children, published to celebrate NPGC Week 2011, available for KindleNook, and from Smashwords.
  • Sign up for SENG’s FREE newsletter to be among the first to receive information about our new 2012 NPGC Week ebook.
  • Encourage organizations, schools and businesses in your area that provide resources for families of gifted children to publicize information.
  • Forward SENG’s NPGC Week news release to your local papers.
  • Join SENG on Facebook and Twitter, and post information on your own social media pages.
  • Watch and share SENG’s YouTube video The Misdiagnosis of Gifted Children and the MSN video report “Is My Child Gifted?

SENG,  The Organisation Supporting the Emotional Needs of the Gifted, is a fantastic organisation which has helped innumerable families and children, and I like/love the idea that at least somewhere someone (Dr. James T. Webb) thought about celebrating a week given over to those muchly uncelebrated Mom’s and Dad’s… the care worn, the constants, the always there no matter what folk, those that wipe the tears, empty their bank accounts and get up at o’dark thirty every morning and go to bed o’so late in the night-just to help make things happen for their kids.  Those living with great joy in their hearts, but often with great pain and worry as they navigate the highways and byways of bringing up these wonderous kids.  These kids, which like beautiful dragonflies, alight for just a moment of their lives on their parents hands, hovering there, before they decide which way to go… the hands that support, nurture and care for them, and help  them make/support the decisions they will take.. before they fly away and become all of who they want to be..begin the story of themselves.

Parents of Gifted Children.. YOU are so  important, and as a parent from me to all of you.. I wish to salute you, and celebrate with you and SENG and the NPGC-2012.. May your awareness week be encouraging and self affirming. Rest assured that this event, as on last years slide collection of Awareness events around the world 2011, will be recorded on this years collection for 2012.  It is hoped that it will be ready for release during the WCGTC’s International Week of  the Gifted, during the second week in August 2012 – In celebration and acknowledgment of all Gifted Awareness events and efforts by countries, cultures and their peoples  worldwide.

I would also like to encourage anyone, If they have been inspired by reading a few of the blogposts from the New Zealand Gifted Awarness Week 2012 who would like to start saving their pennies now, to think about going to the WCGTC2013 World Conference in New Zealand... second week in August 2013.  A long way to go yes… but the trip of a lifetime, and.. what a wonderful conference it will be.  With a title ofThe Soul of Giftedness’.... and held during the International Year for Giftedness and Creativity,  it can’t but help to be a magical and transforming experience.. and it would be wonderful to have many many parents and families there..  and a wonderful excuse to go see where the Lord of the Rings was filmed too… ;-D…

Categories: Uncategorized

On Gifted nests and Birds of a Feather

June 13, 2012 Leave a comment

‘On Giftedness and Birds of a feather…’

Firstly, I want to say that I very honoured to have the opportunity to take part in the New Zealand Gifted Awareness Week 2012 Blog tour. As last year it does appear to be quite international again… and I may yet be inspired to write a second contribution before this tour is over, however for this contribution I have decided to focus on a past memory that might be helpful in  terms of sparking off some advocacy ideas… Do please feel free to click on the link below to follow more blogs along the tour….

Recently, I have noticed that there have been a few discussions from folk in different parts of the world tossing around the idea that if the gifted community wishes to educate, reach and or foster a greater understanding of our populations, we should not only be reaching out/speaking/working/presenting within our own groups, rather than just flying together,

we should also be seeking out opportunities to give of ourselves in other circles.  I believe this is a good thing, and brought back some old memories which did affirm this.

Many years ago, once upon a time and long ago, I happened to be the chairperson of a gifted organisation which no longer exists.  I had started to organise a conference for the fall of that year  (sometime around the turn of the century…  I like saying that.. makes it sound kind of ‘historical’.. teehee)…  using the ancient computer in my kitchen and a dial up connection… as one does.  I remember thinking that it would be good to try and see if we could increase our footfall and came up with the idea of reaching out to groups that might have a lateral component to our own.  I was also involved with a group called Spectrum, which kind of saw itself as an umbrella group for other groups supporting children with what we called at the time ‘hidden special needs’.  Things like ADHD, Aspergers, Dyslexia and the like.

And so.. a conference called ‘Coping with Complexities’ was born.

Careful thought went into the choice of a broad spectrum of speakers, all who were gifted advocates but also a good number  of whom  might have had an additional passion/interest/expertise in a secondary area.  These included folk like Dr. Shirley Kokot from SA who was also doing work in the neurodevelopmental area,  Dr. Sheilagh Gallager from USA, who at the time was also researching the incidence of Aspergers in gifted populations and Dr. Ellen Feidler (USA), who’s presentations on Intensities in gifted left not one person in the audience with a dry eye…  Dr. David Carey, who specialised in ADHD,   to name a few.

As there are a fair bit of crossover issues within some of the spectrum groups and our own, it turned out to be a good idea, as these groups became very supportive, and helped to promote and advertise the conference quite a lot.  It also led to peripheral interest groups making contact and wanting to advertise or attend the conference.  Folk that as a gifted community would want to reach, such as members of the National Educational Psychologists group,  Occupational Therapists,  Resource and learning support teachers groups, and a number of University researchers .  This in turn led to a wider interest from the main teaching and school community, which might normally not have attended a conference aimed at  strictly gifted and or gifted ed.  It also reached out to a wider parent community.

Along with those previously mentioned, we had several other local folks in gifted sharing their wisdom.  Among these were  Dr Sheilagh Gilhenny and Colm O’Rielly from CTYI here in Ireland and Julianne Stevens, MA,  who was working and teaching here in Ire, at the time, but was from Aussie and had trained in gifted and who was also   a committee member of our organisation.

Through the sterling efforts of the committee members that fall, and the generosity of the speakers, peripheral groups interest and a lot of interesting conversations we managed to pull off a very well attended conference, that had an incredibly diverse mix of attendees, including a large number of mainstream teachers ,  of which many that I spoke to where very glad to have attended and felt they had learned a whole lot.   At the time I recall that it felt very good to know that we had reached so many, many people who would otherwise not have been exposed to the information we wanted to get out there.

I spoke to many new, stealth-  ‘gifted’ folk who felt that attending the conference had made them comfortable enough to ‘come out of the wood work’ and interact in that community on that day..

come out of their shells…  perhaps even grow some wings and fly with it for a while…  A good day..

I mention all this, because sometimes it is good to hear about other s experiences, but also because sometimes the things we do can come back and show us an impact that we made which we might never have known about.

Yesterday, I spent time at another conference.  At this conference I was the ‘crossover’ speaker/presenter, as the conference was on for Teachers in Special Education.  Most of the issues that would have been dealt with were for children on spectrums somewhat different than our own. I was pleasantly surprised with the turn out for the session,  however the most  heartening and eye opening bit  for me was when two teachers came up to me after my presentation, and introduced themselves as two mainstream teachers that had attended the other conference so many years ago and had spoken to me at the time.  They said they had learned so much at that conference long ago, and that when they saw I would be at yesterdays IATSE, they had decided to attend  for the gifted session.  Life can be funny that way…

I guess the lesson here is that it is important for us to not be afraid, and try and reach out to many other communities if we can, especially those that might be carrying a feather or two of a similar colour, or who might, with a little nurturing grow some wings and fly with us for a while, maybe helping to contribute to the richness of the support we are looking for.

So next time you plan a conference, maybe, think about how you can attract others who might come into contact with our kids… or .. perhaps have a look at conferences in your area and think, could you perhaps be able to contribute a presentation that might just reach some important folk which could further  the cause?  You might be one of those that helps to add a few new members to our flock..  and grow a number of nice new feathers too… ;-D

On the International Year of Giftedness and Creativity 2013

June 13, 2012 7 comments

‘Our world is woven from many textures, colours, sizes and threads, and so are we, may we care for our fabric, keep it bright and light, and everchanging…we must be careful not to tear it apart, giving it a chance, inspiring our hearts….. ‘ L. Graves 2012

On the International Year of Giftedness and  Creativity 2013

As we are moving on into this year and the next, I thought this might be a good opportunity to touch on this subject again.  The International Year of Giftedness and Creativity, 2013. It is an exciting idea. A year to celebrate, create and validate gifted, talented and creative souls, and broadly based on the theme of ‘Stories’.

An opportunity for young, old and in-betweenies to think of how we can express ourselves through our stories, experiences and expressions of  our inner self.  Stories can be told//take form in an amazing number of ways.. Through a written word, painting, video/film, song, poetry, dance routine, construction, invention.   They can be altruistic, historical, A how-I(we)-did-something (achievement)- got somewhere.  The best Stories in our lives, the snapshot of what makes us who we are, and can help others understand the essence within that we all work with on different levels, are those that usually come from the heart, where ever we are, and whatever culture we are from/living in.  Stories in any form are wonderful teaching aids and theses stories can add richness to others lives and experiences. This richness may in turn become the thing that saves the soul of  yet  another gifted child. They are important to share.  Researchers, Parents, Children, Teachers, Psychologists, Educators, Family members, Activity leaders, Schools and Homeschools all have important voices and experiences that may add to a communal celebration of our community, and possibly help others in the world move that one step closer to understanding.

Now would be a good time to start think towards next year and how you or those around you, or that you work with  might  take part in this celebration. There will be more on this later on in the year, however before I go I felt I would like  to share a story of my own with you, an important experience in my life.

This is a Poem I wrote some time ago.  It  came back to me last night as I was falling asleep, and the thought  that it carried an important story, and was an important message to get out there and that it was quite possibly  clamouring for a spot on the New Zealand Gifted Awareness Blog tour... It is a voice that wants to be heard.. We must always be conscious of what kind of an impact our actions may have on the children we come in contact with, especially those who may not be so black or white,   in the gifted or non-gifted sense… but perhaps many hued….So for all the creative/visual types, and also in view of the fact that next year will be the International Year of Giftedness and Creativity, and some very Creative people in New Zealand will be hosting the WCGTC 2013 Conference, ‘The Soul of Giftedness’, – and creativity would be an inherent part of any gifted soul… I offer again, a personal experience in a poem….   Also, Please do not forget to also Click on the Blog image below to follow the tour to find the most wonderful collection of writings on gifted and be amazed as it unfolds!!!!…… )

 

Sometimes, as teachers and/or parents, in our busy worlds we can forget how much of an influence we may have on those precious souls in our care..  the emergence of a rare talent/creativity in any form, can often be tentative, and fragile and unsure.. often a product of  incredible sensitivity. It can be  most painfully squashed, and take years if  ever, to  have the confidence to appear again… often only if  met by another who understands..

“Unforgotten”

(by me!!- Leslie S. Graves)

You asked us

to draw a beautiful memory

We each had

Lovely coloured crayons

supplied

a blank paper and eyes

opened wide

We were only four, some of us

were even five

with tumbling fingers

scribbling hard, each

Hoping our picture

would please teacher

Ah..but I was one who considered

before I scribbled

and instead of dreamy shapes

I drew a train

complete with whistles, coal and flame

on tracks,

It’s engineer waved a cane

and shouted

‘ALL ABOARD’

You were working at

your desk

Did not notice, pick mine

out from  the rest

At the end of the day

during circle time

you asked us to identify

and take home our

drawing

Mine came up, next  to last

two hands came up

You who failed to see

my hand that worked so

diligently

Gave it not to me

but to another child

And then you wondered

why I cried and

would not love the

Circle left on that

last sheet as if it were my own

I would never draw again

Until many years had flown

Until a kind man

In another school saw a

doodle in a book

With passion

His eyes wide open

His heart sincere and true

Placed a pencil back into

my hand

and said.. welcome home

‘Hello World’- Drawing by Leslie S. Graves- 2011

Giftedness and sharing a global interest in Awareness… Holland

May 23, 2012 Leave a comment

Gifted and ….   the Dutch Day of the Gifted..

The 26th of May will be the Dutch Day of the Gifted,  or   the  Dag van  de  Hoogbegaafdheid,      and a lovely season to be celebrating this topic.

 

It is wonderful to see yet another day celebrating giftedness in yet another country in the world.  Like the lovely tulips that Holland is so famous for we hope that the notion of having annual events within countries will continue to grow and spread.  I recently wrote a poem on gifted comparing them to Orchids.. one flower, with so many different faces.  Well it has struck me that the humble tulip, which  has been carefully nurtured and developed by the Dutch people into a bloom  can also have an incredible variety of colours and shapes too… each unique and wonderful in itself.  This to then could also apply to the uniqueness of our gifted, and knowing many of the committed folk in the Netherlands personally, who are doing such good work, and tirelessly researching, supporting and providing for these children and the adults they will become, I am sure they are in safe hands.  Hopefully, as we look into the future of Dutch gifted education, and the unique people it will produce, we will see a field of many colours, the unique, strong and delicate shapes all standing tall and beautiful as they sway in the breezes of all that they will become.

The Dutch day of the Gifted has been now been added to the International Awareness Days collection, which I am putting together for the WCGTC for this year 2012, and will join many others as part of  a growing number already there.  Hopefully this list will grow and grow and will be showcased at the WCGTC2013 in New Zealand.

If your country has not yet planned an annual celebration for your gifted, perhaps you might take heart and consider planning for one in your neck of the world.  If you do please let me know, so I can add it to the growing number of those that are doing so.

I would like to add my support for this, the Netherlands and their Gifted, and encourage others to show their support perhaps by also writing a small blog, or spreading the news of their awareness raising efforts, through their own social or professional  networks.

An example of this comes from Mary St. George in New Zeleand who writes:

In the Netherlands, the 26th of May will be Dag van de Hoogbegaafdheid – the Day of Giftedness. As we anticipate this event, it seems like a wonderful opportunity to acknowledge our shared challenges, our togetherness, as we advocate for gifted people, and especially our gifted children, around the planet.

Our education systems differ from country to country, but we seem to find ourselves wrestling with many of the same dilemmas.

In her blog she attempts to answer  three questions which she feels  seem to reach across the oceans and borders that divide us, and you can read about them here.

May you have a most wonderful celebration!!!! ;-D

Giftedness and liking… Classical studies…

May 22, 2012 Leave a comment

Gifted and liking… Classical Studies

 

 

This is a short blogpost, as I am somewhat shot of time today, but did not want to disappoint by not sharing a binder today.  This binder does not have a lot of links, but some of them are really good for those that might be interested, have a look and enjoy.  Smart History is a huge interactive history site that spans many periods, including Greek and Roman times.  This link let’s you see how alphabet has evolved and includes letters from this period (perhaps students could learn to write this way, or make codes).  History of the Assyrians and Learning latin for free..  Expolore ORBIS, Stanfords geospatial model of the Roman world and the 7 stages of Athenian Democracy.   Don’t forget to take a good look at the Digital Classicist.…  there is an incredable amount of interesting information and a wealth of good link to be found there…

I hope you enjoy some of the sites in this Livebinder on Classical Studies and that they prove useful… stay tuned next Monday for another Livebinder shared….

On Giftedness and liking….Physics..

May 14, 2012 Leave a comment

Click on the image to go to Sciencekids site

‘Gifted and liking…. Physics…

Physics is a subject that can be quite interesting and kids that are into how things work, can get quite excited about this subject.  It can many times be almost equated to ‘magic’ at times as fascinating things can happen when we delve deeply into what one can do.

Dependent on what you are doing with it, it also spans/can span a range of disciplines, including math, cookery, architecture, various sciences, art and any number of subjects both natural and not so natural..

This binder does not contain a huge number of links, but I have been told that a number of them have been useful and enjoyable to those who have explored it.. such as..

The Particle adventure a game that deals with the fundamentals of mater and force  it can be played in several languages and is an

award-  winning interactive tour of quarks, neutrinos, antimatter, extra matter, dark matter, accelerators and particles…..

Build a Trebuchet Challenge– custom build a trebuchet taking in distance, accuracy and power…

I have included useful things like Physic Animations  and physics videos, and Periodic videos   and a number of other items of interest including the physics of pizza tossing…

I hope that readers find something of use to them in my Physics livebinder.  Stay tuned next Monday for another binder shared.

Enjoy ;-D