Acknowledging Diversity: Gifted is not a homogenous group

Better late than never!

New Zealand’s Gifted Awareness Blog Tour is held in June

www.nzcge.co.nz/blog_tour_2017

This year I volunteered to contribute a post for the blog tour but real life got in the way of my writing. I am living with my daughter and son in law and their Stumpy Tail Australian Cattle Dogs had a litter of puppies. Caring for the puppies took up a great deal of time both during the day and overnight. The pups liked to play and be fed at between 2.00am and 4.00am. We called it the ‘stupid o’clock session’!

In the past, when I lived in Rosebud, the folk at Sprite’s Site have gone down to the beach to wave ‘across the ditch’ to New Zealand

https://spritessite.wordpress.com/tag/gifted-awareness-week-new-zealand/

But this year I am not living near the beach so they have to be content to hold up signs and send postcards and emails.

The theme for this year is Diversity.

It is a topic dear to the heart of the Sprite’s Site folk as they are a very diverse lot themselves.

The Psych-Owl –Ogist explained the concept to Retweet when she queried whether both her tweetlets could be gifted as they were so different from each other

https://spritessite.wordpress.com/2012/05/28/the-psych-owl-ogist-6/

Gifted students come from every racial, ethnic, religious, and socio-economic group.

They can have differing profiles as described by Dr. Maureen Neihart and Dr. George Betts Revised Profiles of the Gifted and Talented 2010
http://www.ingeniosus.net/wp-content/uploads/2010/11/PROFILES-BEST-REVISED-MATRIX-2010.pdf
Teachers would usually recognize gifted students with Successful profile, maybe the Creative ones and maybe the Autonomous Learners but may have more difficulty in recognizing the Underground, At Risk and 2E Twice Exceptional students as gifted.

The Persona Dolls from the Personas, Profiles and Portraits Blog https://jofreitag.wordpress.com/  are representatives of these profiles of giftedness

Columbus Cheetah is quick to point out that there are many myths about characteristics which contribute to the lack of understanding of the diversity present in gifted students. http://www.giftedresources.org/gr/columbuscheetah.htm

Myths such as:
All gifted students will do well in school https://spritessite.wordpress.com/2014/01/07/columbus-cheetah-myth-buster-myth-3/

Gifted students are polite, well behaved and have neat handwriting https://spritessite.wordpress.com/2014/01/08/columbus-cheetah-myth-buster-myth-4/

It is not possible to be gifted and have a disability https://spritessite.wordpress.com/2014/01/17/columbus-cheetah-myth-buster-myth-8/

All of these myths cause gifted students who do not fit those particular descriptions to be overlooked.

Gifted students also vary in the areas of giftedness and talent they have and come with varying personality types and varying types of intensity and sensitivity.

Sprite’s Site discussed the various types of giftedness in the post Gifted – How? https://spritessite.wordpress.com/2014/09/01/gifted-how/  which was a contribution to

Hoagiesgifted September 2014 Blog hop www.hoagiesgifted.org/blog_hop_gifted_how.htm

Because of this diversity in gifted students there is no single program which fits all of them.

Sprite’s Site discussed this:

One size shoe cover system https://spritessite.wordpress.com/2014/02/11/de-bonos-6-action-shoes-9-one-size-shoe-cover-system/

I am very sorry that I did not manage to complete this post in time for the New Zealand Gifted Awareness Blog Tour.
However the good news is that the excellent posts in the Tour can still be read at www.nzcge.co.nz/blog_tour_2017

 

By Heresies Distressed

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When I arrived at Sprite’s Site today I found things much as they had been when I was here last.

“Where have you been all this time?” demanded Sprite.

It was a reasonable question.
The last time I posted on Sprite’s Site was 1 August last year. That post would have been written in mid-July and set to go live on 1 August for
Hoagies’ August Blog Hop: Gifted Social Issues.
In late July Rainer, my husband of 43 years was admitted to hospital suffering from pancreas and liver cancer and he passed away on Sunday 14 August 2016.

I am now living with my daughter and son-in-law which is great because they are looking after me very well and they have two Stumpy Tail Australian Cattle Dogs and an elderly ginger cat who are great company.

But it meant that at the same time as we were organizing the memorial service and working on winding up Rainer’s affairs we were also packing up and cleaning the home in Rosebud and unpacking and settling in here.

So I have neglected Gifted Resources website, the Gifted Resources Newsletter and the three blogs.

Adding to the difficulties in July my old faithful laptop’s hard drive failed due to old age and being over worked and I lost my list of contacts and some of my favourite programs. My kind brother in law Rick Freitag gave me a new laptop/tablet with Windows 10 and I set to work loading it up and learning the new system.

I am still in the process of learning and working out how best to manage the Gifted Resources website; so until I have it all sorted out I am going to post the Gifted Resources Newsletters on the Gifted Resources blog, starting with the spring 2016 Holiday Programs Newsletter.

“I thought you had gone away and left us!” Sprite said.

“I’m sorry!” I said. “I have been busy and sad and not feeling very creative. What have you been doing?”

“What could I do without you telling me what to think and say and do?” she replied. “I thought you had created us and then just left us alone. Would your creator do that to you?”

We have talked about the differences between me as Sprite’s creator and God as my creator before https://spritessite.wordpress.com/2012/08/28/creator-is-to-creation-is-as/

The main difference is that unlike God, my Creator I am not omniscient, omnipotent and omnipresent.

I realize that I am more like the creator described in various heresies which beset the church.

The Puppeteer God

Although my storylines describe Sprite using initiative and acting in ways that surprise me, in truth I dictate all her thoughts, words and actions.
God, my creator gives us free will to think, speak and act.

The Watchmaker God

The intricacies of the watch propose that the watch had an intelligent creator in the same way as the intricacies of the natural world speak of an Intelligent Creator. This analogy is also used to suggest the heresy that God designed the creation, set it on its course and then ignored it and now allows it to run according to the laws of nature which He had installed.
It describes a God who is transcendent but never immanent.
It fails to account for God’s continued presence in and ongoing sustaining and interaction with His creation.
I acknowledge that I have been acting in the manner of the watchmaker lately.

The Absent God

This heresy suggests that because evil things are happening in the world it indicates that God has either died or gone away.
It denies that God is infinite, eternal and omnipresent.
We have talked in the past https://spritessite.wordpress.com/2014/08/16/donkeys-live-a-long-time-5-intermission/ about the fact that I will not live forever and at some point will go away.
“Will I die when you die?” Sprite had asked.
I had never contemplated having a discussion about the likelihood or otherwise of a fictional character living after the author’s death with said fictional character.
“I don’t know!” I said.
However I know I have the promise from God, my Creator that he will never leave or forsake me.

 

The PYHI Project

Image Jo Freitag

mage Jo Freitag

Now that Sprite’s Site has been declared a neutral sanctuary zone Sprite has realised that there needs to be a few rules to ensure that the residents and their visitors are all safe and being respectful to each other. She sees that Sprite’s Site is a microcosm of the larger world and that the problems that afflict the world at large could become problems in her world unless wise steps to prevent them are put in place

The Twitter Birds have experienced greeting alien arrivals to their world. They presented Sprite with a slide show about their encounters. There were three possibilities they said –
1. The aliens came with warlike intentions
2. The aliens came with peaceful intentions
3. The aliens came seeking a place of asylum

Image Jo Freitag

Image Jo Freitag

They reassured Sprite that, unlike some places in the real world, it was not very likely that the new arrivals at Sprite’s Site would have warlike intentions. So she should concentrate on how to make them feel welcome. They told her that they had shared feasts and music and art and exchanged gifts with the aliens who came in peace and that they had all been enriched by sharing their cultures.

Image Jo Freitag

Image Jo Freitag

Sprite herself does not have very good social skills. She finds relating to her age peers difficult and never knows quite how to start a conversation.  And when she manages to get a conversation started she cannot always interpret facial expressions and body language to know when she is boring or completely confusing the other person. So she discussed the matter with the Utopian thinker Imaginational Dabrowski and then announced that there would be a meeting to discuss the introduction of the PYHI project.

As they had only heard the word PYHI and not seen it in writing Intellectual Dabrowski made the assumption that the topic of conversation would be the constant number Pi. He set about gathering as much information as he could and learning the value of Pi to as many digits as he possibly could. He wanted to be well informed to provide information at the meeting.

Edward, the Autonomous Learner, who loves to teach himself computer programming languages, assumed that PYHI would be in some way related to PYTHON programming language.

Sensual and Psychomotor Dabrowski immediately jumped to the conclusion that a PYHI project would involve eating a large stack of pies! Tortoise and Beloved Snail thought that PYHI would be the acronym for Pull Your Head In because that was their chosen method of avoiding conflict and seeking safety.

They all brought their opinions to the meeting and Sprite could see merit in all the suggestions.

Sprite agreed with Intellectual and Edward that education must be a basis for building a respectful multicultural society and that seeking and then freely sharing information was important.

She agreed with Sensual and Psychomotor Dabrowski that sharing culture was very important and that eating together was a great way of getting to know each other. She recalled all the fun the International Feasts and visits of the Taste Tester Dogs  had brought. Also she remembered how Evelyn’s Grandma’s donation of cakes and gingerbread men for the cake stall at the Sprite’s Site Voting booth had created goodwill with the Persona Dolls who wished to vote at the elections.

And Sprite agreed with Tortoise and Beloved Snail that the acronym PYHI could remind everyone to Pull Your Head In rather than making a situation any worse by being physically or verbally abusive.

Imaginational Dabrowski’s version of PYHI turned out to be Put Your Heart In which he conceded was simple but at the same time challenging. It was a call to give respect, speak graciously and do to others as you would like them to do to you.

For helpful information and resources in relation to social issues for the gifted see SENG http://sengifted.org/  and Hoagies’ Gifted Education Page: Social/Emotional Aspects of Giftedness

This is a post for Hoagies’ August Blog Hop: Gifted Social Issues
Read more posts by going on the hop at www.HoagiesGifted.org/blog_hop_social_issues.htm

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Sprite’s Site goes to the Polls

Image Jo Freitag

Image Jo Freitag

You may remember that in 2014 Sprite and her friends played a game of Elections  https://spritessite.wordpress.com/2014/11/28/donkey-votes/

This year in line with elections in Australia and the USA Sprite and co are playing Elections again despite or maybe because of the anxiety politics and the state of the world is causing her.

The same candidates are standing for election at Sprite’s Site this year but there has been an influx of extra voters as the Persona Dolls all requested the right to vote.
They had found out about the election when one of the Pork Barrelling Pigs gained 3D status and took up residence on the farm belonging to the family of country kid Evelyn

Image Jo Freitag

Oinker (the Pork Barreller) informed the folk at Sprite’s Site that almost all the 2D inhabitants of Sprite’s Site had a 3D doppelganger over at Personas, profiles and portraits blog https://jofreitag.wordpress.com/

Since Sprite’s Site has been declared an area of sanctuary the Persona Dolls have been welcomed into the community.

But there was considerable debate about whether the Persona Dolls should be allowed to vote as it could be implied that they were being given permanent resident status for Sprite’s Site.
Some were afraid that the Persona Dolls would take the jobs which rightfully belonged to the Sprite’s Site characters and cited the recent post for the Hoagies Gifted July blog hop: All things Science where the Persona Dolls had posed for the illustrations as an example.
Others thought they would not do their share of the work and would just be doll/dole bludgers!

However, when Evelyn and her grandma produced cakes and gingerbread men for the cake stall, the Persona Dolls were welcomed warmly.
The dogs all hoped that they would also provide a Barbie Queue for the sausage sizzle!

Image Jo Freitag

Image Jo Freitag

Miranda quickly acquainted herself with the policies of the various candidates at https://spritessite.wordpress.com/2014/11/28/donkey-votes/  and proceeded to hand out the how to vote cards.

Image Jo Freitag

Image Jo Freitag

All things Science

Image Jo Freitag

Image Jo Freitag

The theme of Hoagies Gifted blog hop for July is All Things Science!

Recently the theme for the Facebook 52 Illustrations Challenge group Week 22 was SCIENCE and the Persona Dolls posed for pictures.
They all posed together for the MS Paint collage titled The volcano simulation.
I had found a free download print of a volcano model on an education site. In the picture Miranda was being a bit bossy about how the model should be made, Edward and Sprite were engaging in further reading about the topic, Vincent and Leona were crowding in for a closer look and Felicity and Sally were afraid it would go bang.

Image Jo Freitag

Image Jo Freitag

Edward the Autonomous learner loves to read and research maths and science topics.
He enjoys working at his own pace on Khan Academy subjects https://www.khanacademy.org/  and playing with the numerous maths interactive games online.
He likes The 24 Game https://www.24game.com/  and SET game http://www.setgame.com/  and Infinifield http://www.infinifield.com/

Image Jo Freitag

Image Jo Freitag

Michaela the creative gifted student was drawn with watercolour pencils and glitter gel pens. She is fascinated by the dispersion of light through a prism.

Sprite was fascinated by ripple tank experiments into the properties of light which her mentor, Paula the Physicist showed her.

Image Jo Freitag

Image Jo Freitag

Sprite has always loved Science especially Astronomy
She loves to visit
Scienceworks https://museumvictoria.com.au/scienceworks
The Planetarium  https://museumvictoria.com.au/scienceworks/about-us/melbourne-planetarium/
Mt Burnett Observatory http://mtburnettobservatory.org/
Bubble Zone https://spritessite.wordpress.com/2009/08/01/bubbling-over/

She likes the websites
Nine Planets – Solar System Tour http://nineplanets.org/
Space Weather Center http://www.spaceweathercenter.org/index.html
Homework Help Science http://homeworkhelp.stjohnssevenoaks.com/science/index.html

Image Jo Freitag

Image Jo Freitag

The Twitter Birds also love science and set up the Keep It Simply Science Expo in the Un-Olympics Bower where they give lots of links to resources for studying science and also provide a safe place for Outfora Duck to view their simulations of the Higgs Boson Particle

Image Jo Freitag

Image Jo Freitag

The Tweet Family investigate many scientific topics during their NEST Ed studies and particularly enjoy using Zome tools construction materials to illustrate principles and concepts of maths, especially geometry from simple Platonic solids through to very complex 3D constructions; as well as architecture and engineering, physics and chemistry, art and many other disciplines.

This is a post for Hoagies’ June Blog Hop: All things Science
Read more posts about all things science by going on the hop at www.HoagiesGifted.org/blog_hop_all_things_science.htm

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Belonging – A place of sanctuary

Image Jo Freitag

Image Jo Freitag

Sprite’s Site is a place of sanctuary for many:

  • Lobsters holding their Lobsterfest without fear of the Wicked Lemon Wedges
  • Pumpkins hiding from the Halloween carvers
  • Outfora Duck escaping the humiliation of cricket matches
  • Twitter Birds setting up bowers where they can gather to discuss topics of their own choosing
  • The Topiary Tessellation Bird Leaf Tree Octopus (Octopus Topiarii) because at least there are some at Sprite’s Site with sufficient imagination to acknowledge him
  • Thinks He’s Alien Black Dog because he can find others there (like Sprite  and Retweet)  who also feel at times as if they are an alien who has been abandoned on this planet or have sufficient imagination (like Imaginational Dabrowski) to guess how he might be feeling.

Everyone needs a place of sanctuary – a place where they feel as if they belong and are understood. It is a basic need.

Gifted people are no exception. They have the same need to ‘find their tribe’, find their peers, find their place of sanctuary. But it can be harder for them to do it.

Exceptionally and profoundly gifted students are unlikely to find another student like themselves in their own classroom unless it is a selected entry gifted class.

It is one of the most compelling reasons for acceleration https://spritessite.wordpress.com/2014/01/15/columbus-cheetah-myth-buster-myth-6/

http://www.accelerationinstitute.org/

It is a powerful reason for grouping gifted students together.

It is the reason Dr Karen Rogers says “Gifted and talented students should spend the majority of their school day with others of similar abilities and interests”
She has written articles about the grouping of gifted students which can be read at

http://nrcgt.uconn.edu/wp-content/uploads/sites/953/2015/04/rbdm9102.pdf http://www.davidsongifted.org/Search-Database/entry/A10173

And Prof Miraca Gross emphasises the social emotional importance of finding a true friend who can be a sure shelter and share at a deep level and that the likeliness of this happening is greater if the student has been accelerated http://www.sengifted.org/archives/articles/play-partner-or-sure-shelter-what-gifted-children-look-for-in-friendship

Belonging is the theme for the 2016 New Zealand Gifted Awareness Week Blog Tour.

Every year folk from Sprite’s Site go down to the beach to wave ‘across the ditch’ to New Zealand and wish them well for Gifted Awareness Week.
To read about Sprite’s Site involvement in previous blog tours see https://spritessite.wordpress.com/tag/gifted-awareness-week-new-zealand/

To read all the posts on this year’s tour go to http://nzcge.co.nz/blogtour

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A party for the Tree Octopus

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In June Sprite’s Site celebrates its birthday.

The first birthday celebration was held in June 2010.
To see how the blog birthday has been celebrated in other years see https://spritessite.wordpress.com/tag/birthdays/

The topic of the Hoagiesgifted’ June 2016 blog hop is Mysteries of the brain.
We took the opportunity to ask the opinions of some of the folk at Sprite’s Site who have gathered to celebrate the blog’s June 2016 birthday.

The Memory Elephant: For many people the biggest mystery about the gifted is how their brains work. People wonder whether the gifted brain is wired differently from the regular brain.

The Psych-Owl-Ogist: One of the enduring mysteries surrounding giftedness is the nature versus nurture argument and whether it is possible to create giftedness by making good choices, developing good habits, positive thinking techniques, training and practice.  Intellectual Dabrowski conducted experiments about this which are discussed here and here

Columbus Cheetah: I believe the biggest mystery to most people is the asynchrony of the gifted. It is especially obvious when gifted people are young. People wonder

  • How could such a young person know so much about such an obscure subject?
  • How could such a young person be thinking at such an advanced level about such abstract topics?
  • How could such a young person think like an adult but behave like a toddler?

Because they have so many questions about giftedness people have developed myths and stereotypes as an attempt to explain it. I try to bust some of these myths at http://www.giftedresources.org/gr/columbuscheetah.htm

The Dabrowski Dogs

Intellectual: I consider the biggest mystery to most people is what makes the gifted so insatiably curious and how they manage to locate, evaluate and recall such vast amounts of information.

Psych-Motor Most people wonder whether I ever stop for rest. They wonder how I can appear to be not engaged and yet know the correct answer. They wonder where my energy comes from and how they can keep up with me!

Emotional: People wonder why my emotions are so extreme and whether or not it is related to being gifted. It is a complete mystery to them.

Sensual: I suppose some people would wonder why I notice sights, sounds, scents and textures and whether giftedness enhances the noticing or enhanced noticing contributes to giftedness.

treeoctopusparty

Imaginational Dabrowski went to find the Topiary Tessellation Tree Octopus (Octopus Topiarii)
“You can just leave the money at the bottom of the tree and go” grumbled the Octopus.
It just causes trouble for Sprite if I put in an appearance.
https://spritessite.wordpress.com/2010/11/13/march-for-the-tree-octopus/

https://spritessite.wordpress.com/2010/11/17/review-of-the-march-for-the-tree-octopustranscript-1/

https://spritessite.wordpress.com/2010/11/18/review-of-the-march-for-the-tree-octopus-2-evidence-from-the-memory-elephant/

https://spritessite.wordpress.com/2010/11/23/imaginational-dabrowski-counsel-for-the-defence-2/

“There is a birthday party! And everyone is being interviewed about what The Mysteries of the gifted brain means to them” said Imaginational.
“You need to come with me!. You are a wonderful demonstration of the mystery of the contribution of imagination to gifted thinking.”

This is a post for Hoagies’ June Blog Hop: Mysteries of the brain
Read more by going on the hop at
www.HoagiesGifted.org/blog_hop_mysteries_of_the_brain.htm

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