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April 20th  2011
April 2011 Newsletter

Gifted Children: Resources for Parents and Teachers in WA
  WA RES BK fr0001
Copies now available
Click here for details and to order.
 The new edition of this book is 150 pages in handy A5 size and is packed full of information. It includes current information on programs and competitions plus a vast new collection of websites, useful readings and links to other serivices and resources. Entries are coded to make it easy to find what you are looking for.

Other Resources
Upside Down Brilliance by Linda Silverman is the blueprint for parenting, teaching and living with these delightfully different beings. It is also a manual for discovering and honouring your own hidden gifts."

4 copies currently in stock   

Go to the Resources section of the Website for more information and to order

Tutor Bank
The details of those people who have expressed an interest in tutoring gifted children have been added to the website. 

 Feedback from parents about their experience with tutors is welcomed.


Conferences and Seminars
Howard Gardner
will be in Perth on Monday 23rdMay 2011 with a seminar titled “The Disciplined Mind: Educational Visions for the Future”.
To book contact ACER or call them on 03 9277 5403 

Get it Together for Young Children
4 - 7 May, 2011
International conference to be held at Bond University, Queensland

Excellence in Education 2011: Giftedness, Creativity, Development
6 - July 2011 in Istambul, Turkey
organised by the International Centre for Innovation in Education

World Gifted Conference
now to be held in Prague
August 8 - 12, 2011

The 2nd conference of the
International Research Association for Talent Development and Excellence
26-30 November in Saudi Arabia


Logo only
 April 2011
Hi Derrin,
Happy Holidays, Happy Easter!

First Term has drawn to a close for just about all the students now. Apart from being a long term the weather has been less than kind and I am sure that everyone is looking forward to the changes that Autumn promises.

Change is coming to Thinking Ahead
For quite a number of years now I have been managing varying degrees of adrenal fatigue. Mostly I have been able to work around the busy and quieter times fairly well but lately things have been more difficult and I need to devote some serious time to restoring my health and vitality.

So I am taking the opportunity to restructure things and change is coming to Thinking Ahead. Some things will continue, some will not, some will change form a little.

Newsletter, Blog and Wesbsite
These will all continue as usual. The newsletter will continue to be sent out about once a month, postings to the blog will continue (hopefully a little more consistently) and the website will continue to be updated. I am still working on the new website but it really is getting closer now.
There will be some new resources which you will be able to download from the website which will become available in the next few months which will include information and links on various topics. The book which I am working on called The Beginners Guide to Life on the Bright Side will hopefully be available later in the year.

Holiday Workshops
The holiday programs will continue but the format may change slightly. I won't be doing the organising in future but I will still be letting you know what is on offer. Some of you may have met Saani Bennetts during the last couple of programs when she has led some very popular workshops. Saani is from Quest Lifelearning and she is going to take on organising and running the workshops. We are still working out some details and I should be able to tell you more early next term. We anticipate that workshops will be held at Murdoch College in July (and possibly in October) and there may also be some additional workshops at the Quest premises at Swanleigh in Middle Swan.

As you will be aware Tracy Taylor has been working with me since later last year taking up some of theconsultation load. As I ease out of this job, Tracy will take over the consultations. She is very experienced in the area of gifted education, understands Visual Spatial Learners well, has home schooled each of her children at various points on their school journey, also lectures at ECU and is completing her PhD. Requests for consultation appointments will be passed on to Tracy from Easter onwards and appointments will be made directly with her. 

Term Programs
I wont be offering any further term programs at this point in time. I am happy to direct people to other programs which may be available however. If you hear of something (or are organising something), please let me know!

When the results of this test are available parents will be advised as usual. Further information will be added to the website as it is available. A decision about whether this test will be offered next year has not yet been made.

Special Event Book Sale
As I will move out of my office in a few weeks time, I have decided to have a book sale in order to reduce the number of boxes I have to move or store. My collection of books and resources relating to giftedness is extensive and many of them will be available via an online 'shop' on the website early next term. When it is all set up I will email you to let you know what is available and when the sale will start.

Amongst the collection there are many books which will be of interest to parents (and teachers) as well as some classroom materials on designing programs and units of work which can be used as the basis for enrichment or extension opportunities. There are also some magazines which I will include with orders as a bonus, until they run out.

I will be sure to keep you up to date on things via the newsletter but also check the Thinking Ahead website, not just to be amongst the first to spot the new look but also to see what else has been added. 

 What's New in the Download section this month?
A couple of new articles have been added this month. The first by Carolyn Coil is about Motivating Gifted Underachievers and includes some infromation about underachievement but also some strategies to consider to reverse underachievement.

The second is by James Delisle and is the copy of a handout from a presentation titled Parenting Gifted Kids: Tips for Raising Happy and Successful Children.

I thought his Key tips were worth repeating here. They are

  1. Understand what giftedness is.... and what it is not
  2. Know the distinction between 'better at' and 'better than'
  3. Stop paying interest on a bill you never owed
  4. Take charge of your child's education
  5. Appreciate that less than perfect is more than acceptable
  6. Live a nuanced life
  7. Use the past to understand the present
  8. Write your dreams in pencil
  9. Make a life, not just a living
  10. Understand that life is not a race to who gets to the end the fastest
    Copyright, James R. Delisle, 2006

This handout also includes a list of books by James Delisle. They are worth looking up, I particularly recommend Barefoot Irreverance. (This is one of my favourite books on giftedness and it is one that wont be appearing amongst the titles in the book sale next term. Sorry!)

New on the blog
Check the blog for posts touching on topics as diverse as the difference between achievement tests and IQ tests, advocacy, the power of connecting with others and the similarities between a duck and parenting gifted children.

I hope you have all had a satisfying term and that the holidays provide a chance to recharge and enjoy the sunshine without the heat.

Derrin Cramer

 Links to information you might find usefulTA Globe only 2

Articles and Blogs
Let Kids Rule School
Eight teens were given the chance to create their own curriculum, and the results have been transformative.

Cognitive neuroscience and mindfulness meditation
This Google Tech Talk reports on a pilot study whick looks at the effects of mindfulness training on mediating social anxiety (and later depression). It is quite long adn technical in parts but interesting for the possibilities that mindfulness practice may provide in mediating emotional responses.

Yes my grown homeschool kids are odd - and yours will be too (but in a good way)
Make sure you read on, while it says homeschool kids are not well socialised it requires a context - socialised in the school sense. And this is true. But life is not like school......... The article outlines how the social skills of homeschooled kids are better than their schooled peers and how homeschooling means they fall outside the norm anyway.

It is a fitting comment when a grown person who was homeschooled say 'I am glad I am not like everyone else'...... that sort of self assurance is rarely seen amongst the 'schooled'


Steve Miranda - Today's word is queejus article. It is almost an aside as the article's focus is on whether increasing salaries for teachers is an effective way to attract the best........ be sure to read the last 2 paragraphs.  

Benefits of gifted education for all teachers

A study of 10,000 students indicates if you teach children as if they are gifted, more children will perform as if they are gifted. Gifted is as gifted does—or in this case—gifted is as gifted is taught.

 High achiever, gifted learner, creative thinker
The Identification of gifted students is clouded when concerned adults misinterpret high achievement as giftedness. This article goes on to look at the differences between not only high achieving students and those who are gifted, but also the way that creative thinkers approach things. Worth a look for parents as well as teachers


Your Child's Strengths
by Jennifer Fox
This is a workbook to help you identify your child's strengths and how they can be utiliseed in lerning and life. Practical . Particularly useful for parents who want to focus on assets not liabilities......


7 must read books on education 
Include Sir Ken Robinson's book The Element and 
Gardner's 5 Minds for the Future


Picture books for developing social emotional growth
A selection of picture books focussing on social and emotional issues which may be of interest to parents of young children in particular.


Courses and competitions

There are a few writing competitions on at the moment including:

The Bookchook Writing contest for Australian kids
 Write a response to one of 3 images show on their site. Closes 30 June 2011.

Script Frenzy Young Writers Program
This one is drawing to a close but there is still time to get involved. Script Frenzy is an international writing event in which participants attempt the creatively daring feat of writing an entire script in the month of April.

What would you change about the world if you could?
ActNow is run by The Inspire Foundation, an Australian not-for-profit organisation that creates opportunities for young people to change their world. for the next 6 weeks they are looking for young people, who live in Australia and are aged 14-25, to write articles about the issues in the world that they care about and to put forward their ideas for change.  

National homeschool Book Award (US)
This is a readers choice book award designed to recognise and celebrate current juvenile fiction that explores learning experiences occurring outside the traditional classroom setting

This is an 8 week online/offline mystery game for middle school children, meant to inspire engagement and problem solving through science. 
Developed and curated by MIT's Education Arcade and the Smithsonian Institution, VANISHED is a first-of-its-kind experience Utilised online museum collections for those who cant hop over to the US and visit in person.... Starts April 4, join up at any time. Free.

Little Giant Steps
Nueropsych innovations have  provided helpful solutions for accelerating learning abilities in individuals whether they are gifted or challenged. The website indicates it includes a range of information, articles, links to seminars, support and products and materials to equip families for success though neurodevelopmental activities which increase brain function 

Get The Math
Get the Math is a multimedia project about algebra in the real world. See how professionals working in fashion, videogame design, and music production use algebraic thinking. Then take on interactive challenges related to those careers.

 Binary hand dance 
Learn how to write binary, its as simple as counting. 
 A guaranteed fun way to learn it.

decimals to fractions  from The Math Dude


Math frog leap test 
A fun test of logic. Move the frogs to the opposite side of the pond in under 2 minutes


Learning Styles

Faces of Learning 
Info on learning styles and learning environments in an interactive format aimed at helping you find better ways to work and learn.


And of course, make sure you have a copy of Gifted Children: Resources for Parents and Teachers in WA for plenty of other links to articles, websites and opportunities.


Thinking Ahead Extension Workshops
PO Box 171, Como WA 6952
Tel: (08) 9474 4594

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Thinking Ahead
PO Box 171
Como, Western Australia 6952

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