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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Purple Sneakers and planning for the future 2

Image Jo Freitag

Image Jo Freitag

Paula had promised to tell why us why she and Sprite were painting Sprite’s grey sneakers purple. See https://spritessite.wordpress.com/2016/05/21/purple-sneakers-and-planning-for-the-future/

Apparently Paula was showing Sprite another way of creating a combination of De Bono shoes.

When Sprite told Paula how confused she was feeling about her future career after attending the Careers Expo Night Paula said she would help her investigate some more possibilities.

Sprite is always depicted as having an injured left ankle and needing to wear different shoes on each foot to illustrate the concept that she needs different educational provisions for both her giftedness and her learning difficulties and differences using De Bono’s 6 Action Shoes as the planning method. Every year we hope that the provisions which have been recommended and adopted in the previous year will continue but in the past we have often found that situations change and the measures had to be re-evaluated.

At the start of this year (See https://spritessite.wordpress.com/2016/01/18/flocks-and-shoes/ ) Sprite was wearing one orange gumboot representing stop gap measures to cater for her giftedness and a walker boot representing stop gap measures to cater for her difficulties.
She had recently had the plaster cast removed when the eligibility criteria for a support program changed. Because Sprite was working at above grade level she was not eligible for some of the supports.
But although she was not wearing the supporting plaster cast her problems were still present.

Sprite had worn her formal navy blue shoe which represents the formal gifted program she is enrolled in on her right foot and a soft pink slipper on her left when she attended the Careers Expo.

She found that most of the careers that flowed on naturally from the gifted program and the tertiary qualifications needed to pursue them seemed to be as formal as the formal navy blue gifted programs.
Sprite was left feeling that she had to make a decision right now and then follow a set course which would determine all her study subject choices. She was worried about making the wrong choice and not being able to change.
And she also told Paula that she felt as if the people manning the various career booths were looking at her pink slipper and judging her – thinking she would not be able to keep up with the fast paced advanced studies that were the hallmark of the formal blue shoe program studies if her disabilities meant she would need to wear a pink slipper. Paula had reassured her that they were probably not thinking anything like that at all! They were just there to give out information about the careers and courses – not to predetermine the suitability of the students.
“I don’t want to choose right now. I just want to find out all about lots of different careers without being judged for asking about them.” she said “I wish I could put on two blue formal shoes but I cannot do that.”
“You need the Investigative Grey Sneakers for your fact finding” Paul said “Are you able to wear both of those?”
“Yes – if I leave the Velcro straps on the left one open. But would you be able to come with me to the next Career Expo and help me sort through all the information, please?” Sprite asked.
“Yes. We are going to try a different approach to Combinations then” Paula had said.

Combinations

In De Bono’s 6 Action Shoes theory you can have subtle variation in the planning resulting from applying the 6 shoes by varying the colours
Combinations can be used to
1.Provide a balanced combination
2.
Provide alternatives in an uncertain situation
3.
Modify a situation

 Combinations Type 1
Combinations can be the result of changing the colour of the pair of shoes
In this way you have 36 possible types of action with six of them being the pure versions and the other 30 subtle variations.
Here is the chart of possibilities for the Blue Formal shoes.
Each of the other types has a similar set of variants.

combinations03

Image Jo Freitag

Combinations Type 2
Combinations could also be the result of wearing shoes of varying type with a different style on each foot and would lead to action plans which are a blend of both.

combinations04

Image Jo Freitag

Sprite is accustomed to wearing the Type 2 combinations of De Bono’s 6 Action shoes. For example sometimes she wears a Blue Formal shoe or a Grey Sneaker on her right foot and the Plaster Cast or a Pink Slipper on her left foot.

Image Jo Freitag

Image Jo Freitag

Paula thought that it would be good for Sprite to also experience Type 1 combinations so she proposed colouring Sprite’s grey sneakers purple so that they would represent investigations with the assistance of a mentor.
She was able to reassure Sprite that these days it is much easier to change courses or even change careers than it was in the past. Now you do not have to decide on one forever career.
Paula also pointed out that often when students have been accelerated they encounter the careers planning subject earlier and may not be legally old enough to participate in the practical job experience aspect which makes evaluating the different careers harder.

Image Jo Freitag

Image Jo Freitag

This has been a belated post on the Gifted Homeschoolers Forum May Blog Hop Preparing for Their Future: Parenting Gifted Teens and Tweens

To follow the blog hop go to
http://giftedhomeschoolers.org/blog-hops/preparing-future-parenting-gifted-teens-tweens/

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Purple Sneakers and planning for the future

Image Jo Freitag

Image Jo Freitag

“Why didn’t you write a post for the GHF Blog Hop?” demanded P’est Pour Parfait, the Perfectionist Poodle.

 “Well I was busy” I said “Sprite had Careers Expo Night and she came home more confused about her future than ever. She is quite a bit younger than most of the students who attended the Careers Expo Night.
So I went to talk to Retweet about the Careers Week at the Twitter Stream and whether she had found it useful for helping to plan the tweetlets’ future career paths which can be found at https://spritessite.wordpress.com/2013/08/18/the-twitter-stream/  and the following 4 posts.
Then Sprite’s mentor, Paula the Physicist, came for tea and they spent the evening painting Sprite’s grey sneakers purple. Paula said she would explain why they were doing it later.
And then it was too late to write a post so I went on the blog hop myself and left some comments.

asterisks 

These were the posts I visited and the comments I left or tried to leave.

Giftedness doesn’t end when adulthood hits. How do we prepare gifted teens and tweens for the unique challenges they’ll face as they move toward independence? Read the tips, tricks, and strategies used by our GHF Bloggers to strengthen gifted teens and tweens, giving them the boost they need to take adulthood head on.
http://giftedhomeschoolers.org/blog-hops/preparing-future-parenting-gifted-teens-tweens/

~~~~~~

7 Tips for Parenting Tweens and Teens  ~ Eclectic Homeschool (Amy B.)

Parenting teens and tweens is not for the feint of heart. Parenting in general is not easy, but the tween and teen years can be particularly challenging. I’m new to parenting teens and I’m attempting to figure it out as we go. My older kids are currently aged 12 and 14 and they are teaching me much about this stage of development. Here are a few lessons I’ve heard along the way.

My Comment: I love your tips. One extra one I needed to be aware of was that teens are often growing rapidly and it can take up a lot of their energy; meaning sometimes they are more tired and less focussed even without doing any extra activities.

Coming of Age ~Gifted Homeschooling (Amy Harrington)

In western culture children are granted full rights and responsibilities at the legal age of adulthood. Until 18 most children are dependent beings who are under the control of the adults around them both at home, in school and elsewhere. In an unschooling home these notions of attaining freedom based on age maturation are obsolete. Children of all ages are completely free in an unschooling lifestyle and their ability to self-govern is supported and nurtured. Teens and tweens who embrace their freedom and their authentic personalities should have less issues than their mainstream counterparts. Teenage rebellion and peer pressure are nonexistent as our entire lifestyle rebels against societal norms.

My Comment: An excellent post, Amy – challenging and inspiring!
Keepin’ It Real as a 2e Parent ~ Laughing at Chaos (Jen Merrill)

I’m going to share a little secret with you. Please don’t spread this around, it’ll totes ruin my rep:
OH MY GOD I HAVE NO FREAKING IDEA WHAT I AM DOING.
My Comment: I do think the world feels much less safe and much less predictable than it was! Even time seems to be spinning at a faster rate! Thank you for your humorous posts, Jen!

Preparing for College; Preparing for Crazy ~ Gluten-Free Mum (Kathleen Humble)But I did learn something from this crazy week. I learned that I and my family are really good at rolling with those punches. There might be a manic moment when I channel Jack Nicholson’s mirror-smashing laugh in Batman. But after the hilarity, there’s usually the realisation that confronting unusual and obscure (even unthinkable) conundrums is something that I’ve become very good at doing
Odds of this happening are one in five thousand? I’ll raise you a one in ten thousand! And, being me, there’s also a little Han Solo voice in the back of my brain yelling out, ‘Never tell me the odds!’
One thing I have learned? Preparing and dealing with the unexpected is pretty similar, whether we’re talking medical-crazy, or education-crazy.
My Comment: Great post, Kathleen! You are doing a great job of rolling with the punches and sharing what you have found helpful – thank you!

Preparing for Their Future: The Importance of Learning to Navigate Ambiguity ~ Teach Your Own (Lori Dunlap)
Decades ago, the ambiguity we were navigating was the lack of information – if it wasn’t available at the library, we just didn’t have access. Today, navigating ambiguity means wading through an excess of information, much of which is irrelevant, inaccurate, biased, or contradictory. We were trying to find any lighthouse in the fog; they are trying to figure out which light is actually the lighthouse.
My Comment: I really loved this nautical navigation analogy for finding and evaluating information!

Show And Tell: Preparing Gifted Teens and Tweens for the Future ~ Atlas Educational (Lisa Epler Swaboda)
There are a million articles out there touting the importance of education. They begin at birth with readying your life by preparing for a stress-free environment, go on to advise you in ways of finding the best preschools, and recommend the best ways to prepare for college applications all aimed at securing the best jobs for your child.
Whoa.
Slow down, people.
My Comment: Thank you Lisa for a very helpful article about putting together a portfolio which will be of great value for the student’s future!

This has been a commentary post on the Gifted Homeschoolers Forum May Blog Hop Preparing for Their Future: Parenting Gifted Teens and Tweens.

To find out why Sprite and Paula are painting Sprite’s grey sneakers purple read the next instalment of this post.

To follow the blog hop go to
http://giftedhomeschoolers.org/blog-hops/preparing-future-parenting-gifted-teens-tweens/

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