Say Cheese for Les Souris

Les Souris are delighted that the #gtstoogies are having another cheese tasting this week because they know Sprite will make up a mini platter and push it through the hole in the skirting board for them.
The vegemite is on the table because it was not put away after the Australia Day celebrations on 26th January.
Sprite’s backpack has been prepared for Back to School after the long Summer holiday which happens next week for most Australian schools.

In the Mouse House a Mouseterious Anonymouse is firing up the paper shredder in readiness for producing mouse bedding when Sprite’s homework papers start to be delivered through the hole in the skirting board. Imaginational Dabrowski will not let Sprite claim that ‘the dog ate her homework’ so  the mysterious Anonymouse gets the blame and the spoils!

Beyond our Ken – Sprite tries to fathom the nature of creativity

This is my first entry in the Calling all Bloggers: Sir Ken Robinson blogathon.
Details of the blogathon and videos of Sir Ken Robinson speaking on creativity can be found on Joe Bower’s For the love of learning blog at http://www.joebower.org/2011/01/calling-all-bloggers-sir-ken-robinson.html?spref=tw

Like so many children, Sprite  often has unexpected observations and insights to contribute to discussions; so I decided to ask her opinion on the videos before writing my blog post.

This post  is  the transcript of  part of our conversation. (I hope to write other posts on this theme also)

Sprite: Am I creative?
Me: Yes, you can be very creative at times. (Mentally I added – Take as an example some of your excuses for not handing in your homework!
Sprite: Are you creative?
Me: I like to think I am.
Sprite:  But Sir Ken Robinson said children are creative and then they grow out of it – so does that mean you are childish?
Me: Probably.

Sprite: Why am I creative?
I resisted the urge to say “because I created you as a creative character” because I was afraid that would take us back to the ‘where did I come from?’ (See  https://spritessite.wordpress.com/2009/08/03/baby-photos/ and   https://spritessite.wordpress.com/2011/03/05/avatar-album/
I could see a conversation comparing the cartoon picture of Sir Ken to the real Sir Ken in the videos looming.

So instead I opted for deflecting attention to the influence of Dabrowski’s Overexcitabilities, particularly the Imaginational.
Me: Probably because you spend so much time with Imaginational Dabrowski!
Sprite: Do you spend time with Imaginational Dabrowski too?
Me: Yes

Sprite: We are not allowed to take dogs to school. When Mary’s dog followed her to school they rang Mary’s mother and said to come and get him and take him home. So Imaginational Dabrowski hides just outside the window. Sometimes he pretends he is a lamb and sometimes he flies around in a hot air balloon.
But I get in trouble if I watch him too long. The teacher says “Earth to Sprite – come in Sprite!”

First Birthday celebrations for #gtchat

The festivities begin for the celebration of the first birthday of #gtchat with a party in the #gtstoogies lobby.
To find out all about #gtchat see Deborah Mersino’s Ingeniosus website http://www.ingeniosus.net/gtchat
 Buttercup Mersino is the Dabrowski dogs special guest for the occasion. They are all playing Pass the Parcel except PsychoMotor who wants to preview the pinata.
Intellectual Dabrowski has brought some puzzles to go with the gifts.
Of course there is another fireworks display and the Twitter Bird Band is prepared to give a rousing oompah and harp variation of Happy Birthday to you!

Parrots in the plum tree

A few days ago we thought we would have a great harvest of cherry plums from the tree by our back door. There would be enough to fill the fruit bowl and maybe even to make cherry plum jam as well.

But then the rainbow lorrikeets arrived and took at least one bite out of every last plum!

They were not the least bit of scared of people and didn’t mind me filming their feast. Unfortunately the video clip is too large to upload to the blog so I will endeavour to put it on my website.

The Twitter birds were thrilled to watch their friends and relations and now they are bringing barrowloads of videos for Sprite to sort!

Thank you notes

“Do I really HAVE to write thank you letters?” asked Sprite.

“Well, yes, it is good manners to write thank you letters when you are given a gift or have been to stay with someone or if someone has organised an event which you have enjoyed “I said.

I thought about how much I appreciate receiving thank you cards, notes and letters. As Gifted Resources has always operated on a shoestring budget and I do not receive any salary or funding, expressions of appreciation are very important to me. I have even created a page on Gifted Resources website to display them http://www.giftedresources.org/gr/appreciations.htm

“I started to write thank you letters for my Christmas presents and I wasn’t sure what I should write so I looked up Daily writing tips – Writing a thank you note
http://www.dailywritingtips.com/writing-a-thank-you-note/
But it just sounded like homework – such a lot of writing – and I don’t want to do it” said Sprite.

As I have explained before Sprite is the twice exceptional poster child for my Feetspeak: 2E shoes presentations.
Feetspeak: 2E shoes is about planning programs that will be suitable for gifted students who also have a learning difficulty or different learning style using Edward De Bono’s 6 Action Shoes as the planning tool.
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 disability at the same time.

She is exceptionally gifted but has learning style differences and disabilities which sometimes make it hard for her to demonstrate her giftedness and make her studies an exhausting experience for her.
She has a great thirst for knowledge and gathers so much by osmosis and intuition. She loves the research but hates writing the essay about it! And she really hates the homework and has become an expert in devising excuses for not doing it!

It is often difficult to tell whether I should allow Sprite to ‘Plead the Pink Slipper’ and use De Bono 6 Actions Shoes Pink slipper soft, caring, compassionate approach and let her avoid or modify certain activities or whether I should make her use the adjustable Velcro sandal or walking cast cover approach- participate and do the best she can.

Fortunately Dr Michele Borba had some words of wisdom about the importance of thank you expressions which included some fun alternatives to writing lengthy letters

I suggested she might like to send taped messages or even Voki messages http://www.voki.com/  or send a photo of her wearing or using the gift.

“I have thank you letters to write, too,” I told her. “I really appreciated the work done by the organizers Shelly Terrell, Christopher Rogers, Kelly Tenkely, Greta Sandler, Lisa Dabbs and Melissa Tran to organise the Reform Symposium for us. So I am going to send them a screen shot of the thankyou whiteboard from the final session.”

#gtstoogies enter teen lounge territory

This week one of topics of discussion on #gtchat will be “Communication Strategies for Parents of Tweens/Teens”.
To get in the right frame of mind the #gtstoogies are serving teen favourite fast foods, milkshakes and chocolate.
I must apologise for the condition of the room. Sprite left her gtchat teeshirt on the couch and her Twitter Nike and DeBono grey sneakers on the floor and has also just dumped her stuff in front of the Shelfari shelf which is displaying Annie Fox books .
She did this although I asked her to help me get the room ready and to help me write thank you letters to the organisers of the Reform Symposium. She just helped herself to a slab of chocolate and went out to see Ginger Pony.
Emotional Dabrowski was looking at me and then looking at Sprite and became quite overcome with teenage angsty emotions!

Blogs on #rscon11

“I don’t want to go straight home!” Sprite told me. “I don’t want #rscon11 to be over!”

I knew what she meant. We had enjoyed such a great weekend with so much learning and inspiration reconnecting with contacts and friends and adding new ones
“We could visit some other blogs on the way” I said. “Especially as I was so lucky as to win an Edubloggers Pro pack; I think we should go and look at some blogs and see what other people thought about the Reform Symposium”

Here are some blogs we could visit. Click on the whiteboard if you want to see it enlarged.

Reform symposium: Free professional development you can get in your jammies!
http://ilearntechnology.com/?p=3512

Janet Abruzzo’s blog feedback

http://civitaquana.blogspot.com/2011/01/reform-symposium-for-new-teachers-2011.html

You drank a beer during a teacher conference? Includes Ice video
http://stumpteacher.blogspot.com/2011/01/you-drank-beer-during-teacher.html

Eliminating the box blog  Yesterday’s Reform Symposium Experience
http://eliminatingthebox.blogspot.com/2011/01/yesterdays-reform-symposium-experience.html?spref=tw

Be Bold
http://beardedteacher.blogspot.com/2011/01/be-bold.html

Dragontech  blog
http://dragontech.posterous.com/reform-symposium-2011

Nancy teaches blog Thanks to rscon11 –why I’m not grading
http://www.nancyteaches.com/2011/01/thanks-to-rscon11-why-im-not-grading.html

What I learned to make me a better teacher
http://mwedwardstechnology.blogspot.com/2011/01/to-make-me-better-teacher.html

The Inspired classroom
http://www.theinspiredclassroom.com/2011/01/webinar-outline-and-links-%e2%80%93-getting-started-with-arts-integration/

Pernille Ripp
http://mrspripp.blogspot.com/2011/01/let-them-speak-notes-from-my-rscon11.html

About a teacher
http://gret.wordpress.com/2011/01/12/myrscon11take-aways/