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July 2011
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Newsletter July 2011
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Hi Derrin,

Welcome to the July Newsletter, with information about things coming up and plenty of links to articles and websites which will hopefully be of interest. Remember to check the website and the Facebook page for other information, both are added to regularly.

Winter is well and truly underway now and the gardens are looking refreshed with all the recent rain. You might be one of the many who vowed in the long hot summer that you would not complain about being cold, but even so there have been some days recently when a jumper was definitely needed.  

Since I arrived home from the USA I have been working regularly on The Beginners Guide to Life on the Bright Side. I will be including a Glossary of Terms so if there are terms that you needed to understand or were unsure of when you started your gifted journey, please let me know!

I have also been working on a Visual Spatial Learners Pack which should be ready soon. It will include not only information and links to articles and books, but also practical strategies and samples of resources you can print and use. Keep an eye on the website for more information.

While I have been doing all that, I haven't got to update the blog for a while. I was working on a piece about Growing our Gifted and the conditions for thriving when I read another piece yesterday by someone else on a similar topic. So check the blog again soon for an update.

Book Sale
I am currently making the Buy buttons for the website for the first round of the Book Sale, having established the most economical shipping options, so it should not be long now before the sale starts.

Future Problem Solving Program International Conference
Last newsletter I gave you a bit of an insight into the Future Problem Solving International Competition in La Crosse Wisconsin where we had been with our daughter while she was competing there. Since then more of the results have been published and Breanna was very excited to discover she had been placed 7th out of 26 students in the Senior Individual division. And more recently FPS has announced that as of next year there will be an Adult division included in the competition which will provide an opportunity for post school age students, workplaces and other groups to be involved. 

If you are interested in finding out more about the Future Problem Solving Program there is plenty of information on the Australian site along with local contacts who can help you out. I would rate FPS as one of the most valuable programs my children were involved in during their school years.

‎EXPLORE Test
Parents of students who sat the EXPLORE earlier this year have recently been contacted by email for feedback on how useful they found the Toolbox on the Centre for Talent Development site and comments on the value of the EXPLORE test for their child. This feedback will help us decide whether to offer the test again in 2012 so please take a moment to let us know.

Coming up - various things organised by others
Holiday programs

The holiday workshops are running next week. There are still spaces in quite a few of teh workshops so if you haven't checked out the program, it is not too late to do so. Workshops will run from 18 - 20 July at Murdoch College with workshops on July 21st being held at Swanleigh in Middle Swan. Follow the links from the Quest Lifelearning website homepage to the program and other information about workshops, teachers and how to enrol.

Family Activity Night
This will be held on Friday July 22nd from 6.30 to 9pm at Murdoch University and provide an opportunities for families to come together to play board games and craft activities while parents can share the delights and challenges of parenting gifted children. Donation of $10 per family payable at the door. You will find a flier on the Thinking Ahead website with more information.

Simon's Philosophy Club will continue in Term 3. Check the Term Program page of the website for information and to contact Simon.

Robotics – a Thinking Ahead parent is looking for second hand Lego Mindstorms for her son and is also interested in starting a robotics club for kids south of the river (Cockburn area) for others who cant get to Scitech after school. If you are interested, let me know and I will pass your details on to the family.
 
***
I hope you are enjoying the holiday break that it has brought a welcome change of routine. It is hard to believe that half the year has passed already, but I hope you are looking forward to the next term and the new challenges it will hopefully bring. 

 Regards 


Derrin Cramer
 
Go to the website
 
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Gifted Children: Resources for Parents and Teachers in WA

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This 150 page A5 size book 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 services and resources. Entries are coded to make it easy to find what you are looking for. 
  

New stock has now arrived.

Upside Down Brilliance
I currently have 2 copies still in stock with more stock coming soon. 
Order now to avoid delays in getting your copy.


Holiday Programs
Dates July 18 - 20 at Murdoch College and July 21 at Swanleigh. More more information and the program visit the
Quest Lifelearning 

Simon's Philosophy Club
will continue in Term 3. Go to the website for more details


Conferences

World Gifted Conference
Prague, August 8 - 12, 2011

 

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

 

The Victorian Gifted Association State Conference Unmasking the Possibilities
Melbourne, Sept 8 and 9 2011

 




Find us on Facebook
 Thinking Ahead now has a Facebook page. Please come by and if there is something you have found which you think others might also be interested in, leave a link or a message.


Link to the Thinking Ahead Facebook  page 




Quote
“Preconceptions, whether they are visual or verbal, can blind one to innovative discoveries.” 
Betty Edwards


 
Links to Information you might find usefulTA Globe only 

Articles, blogs and Webinars

Gifted children: Are their gifts being identified, encouraged or ignored?
A useful article which covers how experts define giftedness and what parents

The science of academic improvement
 
Teachers of the Gifted or Gifted Teachers?

Helping boys develop a lifelong love of reading

Educating a gifted child

How to Talk to Little Girls. This post includes comments about engaging their minds rather than buying into the importance of looks, even with young children. You may also like to have a look at Think.tv

9 sure fire ways to get kids reading. Takes a US perspective with the long summer break but includes some useful thoughts

How to Land your kid in Therapy – The dangers of parents who do too much for their kids. The author discusses why the obsession with our kids' happiness may be dooming them to unhappy adulthoods.
Of course, everyone wants their children to grow up to be productive and happy adults. However, says Gottlieb, "Nowadays, it's not enough to be happy-if you can be even happier. The American Dream and the pursuit of happiness have morphed from a quest for general contentment to the idea that you must be happy at all times and in every way."

The power of engagement in learning, from Born to Learn

Social-emotional aspects of giftedness: SENG support model This article has appeared in the AAEGT Journal

Intelligent People Have “Unnatural” Preferences and Values That Are Novel in Human Evolutionary History . This article advances a new theory to explain why people form particular preferences and values. The theory suggests that more intelligent people are more likely than less intelligent people to adopt evolutionarily novel preferences and values, but intelligence does not correlate with preferences and values that are old enough to have been shaped by evolution over millions of years."

Girls and science – looks at 3 girls who were winners in the Google Science Fair and how they found their passion for science at an early age.

NZ Gifted Awareness week blog tour – follow links to gifted blogs

Gifted, talented, but it’s no easy ride. SMH newspaper article It would seem ludicrous to most Australians to make a top cricketer train with backyard cricketers. So why is it so contentious to group smart children with other smart children? 

A Tale of Two Trees from Unwrapping the Gifted  

Webinar - Australian Gifted Support and Starjump webinar series
Next webinar is July 27 and the topic is Identification and Assessment: Insights into the power of a comprehensive developmental assessment

Accurate Assessment? Asperger's Disorder, and Other Common Misdiagnoses and Dual Diagnoses of Gifted Children a video presentation by Dr James Webb
Many gifted children are incorrectly diagnosed as having emotional disorders. Other diagnoses are actually more common among gifted children, but are often overlooked because few psychologists, paediatricians, or other health care professionals receive training about gifted children. This session offers information about characteristics of gifted children, frequent issues that arise, and guidelines to distinguish whether a child is simply showing gifted behaviours or suffers from disorders such as ADHD or Asperger's Disorder. Because some disorders are more frequently found in gifted children, additional focus is given to these dual diagnoses of gifted children.


Books
Surviving the Applewhites by Stephanie Tolan.    Aimed at 10-12 year olds this book full of quirky (gifted) characters, this story explores fitting in through the experiences of a notorius boy who is sent to a chaotic, artistic homeschool family when no other school will take him. A laugh out loud novel. Look for it in the local library, also available from Book Depository or Amazon for around $6.00

Websites
 

GO Graphic
- online holiday program from Gifted Online NZ July 25-29. 8 -15 years 

The world of Begabungs
– a virtual camp for gifted kids

Language
Acrostica
claims to be the best acrostic puzzle site on the web! You will find dozens of acrostic (also called double-acrostic, quote-acrostic, etc.) word puzzles. 

Story Starters – generates a quick story starter and allows you to choose the format (letter, newspaper, postcard etc)

Lego for all the Lord of the Rings and Middle Earth fans -   Lego masters recreate Middle Earth, all of it...........

Food
Ingredient magazine
is aimed at 6 – 12 year olds who are curious about food.  6 issues a year, US$35, free issue to read online.

Maths
Mathematical doodling
– the value of drawing snakes, graphs and chequer boards. Some great ideas for creative fun with a pencil and paper (which does have something to do with maths, but you don’t have to talk about that just yet)

Technology
Spider Scribe
is an online mind mapping and brainstorming tool (probably of more use to parents as it also lets you connect files, notes, calendar events etc)

Tutors
Educaze
is an online platform that connects tutors and students regardless of geographical location. It's a bit like Freelancer or Elance but for students and tutors. There may not  be anything specifically for gifted at this point.

Games
Logic and puzzle games Everett Kaser Software specializes in logic and puzzle games intended to stretch your mind. If you like games that you can play, not just for weeks, but for years and years, and which require gray matter, not buckets of adrenaline and testosterone, you've found the right place. For Windows and Mac

Inspiration
Read about a young entrepreneur making man scented candles in the US.  Made in recycled cans first donated to a soup kitchen this young man is making a difference to the lives of other people as well as learning about business in a big way.

For teachers
LEGO Inspiration from Byrdseed Gifted.  10 LEGO applications in the classroom across all subject areas.

Nine interesting resources from around the web to inspire your classroom and ignite some creativity!
Includes a link to a pdf titled Universal themes and generalizations which covers change, conflict, exploration, force or influence, order vs chaos, patterns, power, structure, systems, relationships

Free Curriculum Differentitation webinar
from Renzulli Learning. To view recorded webinar you need to register at this page

Docs Teach Thousands of primary source documents from the US National Archives available online for students to access. Not sure whether we have a similar Australian resource. 



  Link to the new look website

Link to the Thinking Ahead blog 

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Thinking Ahead Extension Workshops
ABN 50 017 429 348


PO Box 171 Como, Western Australia
Email: derrin@thinkingahead.com.au
 
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