Coffee for the #gtstoogies

We are running a bit late with setting upthe supper table for the #gtstoogies gathering after #gtchat this week.
This is due to having problems with my computer and having to use my little very old laptop which needed lots of updating and is still very S….L….O….W  

On the pinboard you can see announcements of the topics for gtchat – twice exceptional students and discussion on the blog post on Deborah Mersino’s Ingeniosus blog Call to Action: Making Gifted Education Relevant Today.
There are also reminders about The Bavarian Center for Gifted and Talented Children’s Gifted Education conferences in Second Life. and New Zealand’s Gifted Education Centre GO  Gifted Online  Mary St George is organising blog tours for New Zealand’s Gifted Awareness  Week in June.

I have brought out the chocolate fountain as I am in need of consolation! I may not be able to participate in the next Second Life session as the little old computer may not cope with it.

Meanwhile, back on Gifted Island…

One of the drawbacks of blogs is that the entries are in chronological order so sometimes entries which belong together as a series become separated.

So recently we have participated in the fun of the Best Australian blogs competition, the launch of Christine Fonseca’s new book, set up a teachers’ lounge and battled with Mean, Mean 13 for #gtstoogies.

And meanwhile, back on Gifted Island…

Having participated in our first challenge for reward, we have received our first rewards.

The reward for me was to spend some time on the Teachers Island with the teacher who is the third member of our team for Survivor – Gifted Island. It turned out to be a real eye opener for me and lead to much greater understanding of and empathy with the teachers.

I found that the situation on the teacher island was not as rosy as we had been led to believe on the parent/child island. We were given the impression that life on the teacher island was just a luxury holiday during which they could develop programs for their gifted students.
However this was not the case. The teachers were also expected to act as emergency teachers in a variety of regular school classes and to prepare the students for standardized testing. They were also given large amounts of correction, marking and report writing to complete within firm deadlines. The amount of time they were actually able to devote to the program planning turned out to be minimal.
Having embarked happily and in one accord on the Survivor –Gifted Island project, we now found that both the parents and the teachers had sources of stress which made the team effort more difficult.

However we did enjoy the short time together and managed to share some laughs and chocolate and plan a few strategies for challenging Sprite in her areas of ability and passion while giving her support in the areas which cause problems for her.
We also discussed the rumour that there was another island where we could find psychologists and education consultants who would be able to help design an excellent program for Sprite.

Sprite’s first reward was a copy of Christine Fonseca’s new book 101 Success Secrets for Gifted Kids. She took it to her hammock straight away.

Now she quotes advice such as:
Success Secret #18 You control your feelings not the other way around.
Success Secret #33 Don’t put off your projects (with comment from Chandler, 13 “Waiting to the last minute to do your work only makes you more stressed. Try to get things done early. You’ll sleep better”
Success Secret #35 Don’t overthink things (This has always been a problem for Sprite eg the Weed wars debate]

It is just amazing how she is accepting and acting on advice from 101 Success Secrets since she disregarded the same advice when I gave it to her!

#gtstoogies Dinner for 13

Sprite has accepted Intellectual Dabrowski’s challenge to imitate The Thirteen Club   and test the theory that Friday the 13th is an unlucky day and that it is unlucky for 13 people to sit down to dinner together  by setting up a Dinner for 13 for the #gtstoogies this week.

The Dinner for 13 will be held in Room 13 on the 13th floor of the hotel at No 13 Thirteenth St.

If you do not want to participate in the Dinner for 13 you can help yourself to a cup of coffee from the table. If you choose to join in the Dinner for 13 you must enter by walking under the ladder and pass the black cat and frog to get to the table set for 13 guests.

Other items which would concern superstitious people are the umbrella opened indoors, the spilt salt and broken mirror and the shoes on the table.

Through the window you can see a ship which will not be leaving port until Friday 13 is over.


Mean, mean 13! Part 2

After some time outside watching butterflies and talking to Ginger pony Sprite returned and we worked through the problem again. Intellectual was pleased to see that he had been correct.
Sprite really did understand the problem and had merely made an error in transcription.
We completed a few more similar examples and then moved on to slightly different problems. Unfortunately Imaginational and Psycho Motor chose that moment to reappear.
The first problem in the new set contained the number 13.

“I don’t like 13!” said Imaginational
“I like 13” said Intellectual “It is a prime number and also an emirp (prime number which is also a prime number when reversed) and it is in the Fibonacci series. Why don’t you like 13?”

“It just looks really mean!” said Imaginational. “It has craggy eyebrows and a bulbous nose and a pointy chin and it carries a scythe. It looks really scary!”

“You are suffering from Triskaidekaphobia – fear of the number 13” said Intellectual.  You probably suffer from Friggatriskaidekaphobia – fear of Friday 13th as well.
You might want to go into hiding – we have a Friday the 13th this month.”

“Or else you could perform an experiment to see whether Friday the 13th really is unlucky” Intellectual continued.
“You could hold a Friday the 13th Dinner like the theme dinners of the Society of Eccentrics of London in 1780s-1800.”

Mean, mean 13 Part 1

I was trying to explain to Sprite with the help of Intellectual Dabrowski why the answer to the maths problem was 5 and not 2.
We were going quite well until the other Dabrowski dogs joined the conversation.

Intellectual:” It is really very easy. I am sure Sprite really understands the tables and the number grid and the formulas. She probably just wrote the number facing the wrong way. I told her she should check it again and she didn’t!”

Sensual: “No, it is not just really easy! Sprite did check it again but the numbers don’t look the same in the book. In the book the numbers are just flat and black on white paper but really they should be 3D and all different colours. The colours all have different smells too.”

I had wondered before whether Sprite had a degree of synaesthesia and had spent some time researching it at  and   and

And then, of course, little Imaginational Dabrowski wanted to add some embellishment to Sensual’s comment.
Imaginational:” And all the numbers have characters and stories too. Two is a graceful swan. Maybe Sprite thought she needed a graceful swan to balance the equation.”

We have used Allie Golon’s maths strategies for Visual Spatial Learners  and one of these was to create poems or pictures or stories about maths facts.

We have also used the memory training methods on the Memory Sports website at

And I have shown Sprite how numbers can be turned into pictures as a mnemonic devise for remembering lists such as the Ten Commandments (Exodus 20:2–17 and Deuteronomy 5:6–21)

“It IS really simple! She understands it. She just drew the number backwards!” reiterated Intellectual.
“I’m not sure now” said Sprite.
Emotional Dabrowski pressed her head against Sprite in a comforting way.
“Ok how about we work through the problem again “I said “Let’s illustrate it with butterflies”
“I like butterflies” said Imaginational “they are so pretty and they float around on the air currents. I could watch them all day!”

“Why bother counting them when you can chase them?” called Psycho Motor as he rushed outside.
“I want to go outside now!” said Sprite.