Declining the Table

“I don’t want to eat at the table tonight – I want to take a tray to my bedroom” said Sprite
“There- I have now finished my Latin homework!”
“I beg your pardon?”I said “I have not seen any sign of you working on Latin homework.”
“There, see – Decline table” said Sprite “DONE!”

“She makes me SO cross!” barked Intellectual Dabrowski “Sometimes I don’t know whether she is lazy or being smart aleck or if she is genuinely having problems doing her homework. I am sure she really does understand it. And if she does need extra help she could always visit these sites”

Trescolumnae Joyful Latin Learning

All about the Latin Language

“I thought that was a very creative response!” said Imaginational Dabrowski “But I guess the teacher would not be satisfied with it.”
I made a mental note that I need to discuss the pros and cons of ‘Pleading the Pink Slipper’ with Sprite and post about it in a blog post soon.

This discussion about Mensa and tables and invitations to a seat at the table was very timely for me.
I had just enjoyed a #gtchat session with guest expert Lisa Van Gemert

from American Mensa

The Storify transcript, overview and links will be posted soon on the #gtchat blog at

There was a theme of sharing together around the meal table in the
Cheetah Conservation Foundation News Fall Issue

Lisa Conrad asked on her Gifted Parenting Support blog ‘Is there a place at the table for parents?’

And the Institute for Educational Advancement replied with a warm invitation
Parents, please take a seat at our table.

I would love to see other organisations also expressing invitations like this as parents have a great deal of knowledge understanding and experience that they can bring to the table!

Combined celebrations

There is a double booking for the lobby this weekend – Halloween and the annual Lobby Lobster Fest but Intellectual Dabrowski has a solution. He will be going undercover to work on the puzzle of the Wicked Lemon Wedges and has suggested that the other Dabrowski Dogs should also dress up as Lobsters this year.

So the lobsters will conduct their Lobster Lolly Lobbing competition using Halloween candy and dance the Lobster Quadrille beneath the suspended apples.
The garlic cloves are guarding the windows and the pumpkins have declared the lobby a safe haven place from Jack-o-lantern carvers.
Arachnid is engrossed in spinning decorations for the occasion.

The Memory Elephant is eager to remind everyone about The First Annual Lobby Lobster Fest

And about how the Dabrowski dogs had celebrated at previous Halloween parties

How will the Dabrowski dogs celebrate Halloween?

Intellectual Dabrowski dresses up

The Dabrowski dogs dress up

Fine Focus webinar

Last Friday I presented the first of two Fine Focus webinars ‘Which de Bono Action Shoes are best for a 2E student on Gagne’s DMGT Road?’
An overview and the recording of the presentation can be seen on Jo Hart’s E-verything blog at

In preparation the Feetspeak 2E shoes page on Gifted Resources website  has been updated to include links to the resources and websites used as references and here on Sprite’s Site blog we have included posts on de Bono’s 6 Action shoes

Orange gumboots
Pink slippers
Grey sneakers
Blue formal shoes
Purple riding boots
Brown brogues
and also
More shoes

I will give the second part of the presentation this week. Details about how to join the session and find the time for your part of the world can also be found in Jo Hart’s blog post.

More shoes

Having chosen some of the programs for Sprite’s education by using the De Bono’s 6 Action shoes methods for planning, we found some further shoe plans which were not included in the De Bono set.
Some of them were measures we had already tried.

Of course there is Bare Feet which represents not having a program at all.

And then there are the Sparkle Toes sparkly sandals which either represents a fun but not particularly demanding holiday program

Or a full time provision which is billed in the glossy brochures as a wonderful Extension Program and is often very expensive to attend but in reality turns out not to have much substance

There is the Can Do adjustable Velcro shoe which represents a flexible program and the  Can Do Boot which is similar with added support included. Sprite had really, really wanted the De Bono blue formal shoes and had not been able to fit into them. She felt she could probably manage the program represented by the De Bono formal blue shoes if she wore one blue formal shoe and a CanDo support boot on the other foot.

Then there are Jesters and Cheetah Feet

These all represent novel approaches to gifted programs such as programs based on humour or environmental issues. Seeing these shoes prompted Imaginational Dabrowski to speculate on possible programs and what type of shoes could be used to represent them. You may need to click on the picture to see an enlargement of his thoughts.

Clock dance

Time to do the World Time Zones Clock Dance again! On 7 October some Australian states went onto Daylight Saving Time. Now Jo Hart’s Serendipity and Fine Focus Webinars will be at 10.00am Friday and #gtchat sessions at 10.00am Saturday for Victoria and New South Wales. You can work out the time for your part of the world at

Cuckoos in the nest

Meanwhile back at the Tweet family nest Tweet and Retweet had made the bold decision not to send the Tweetlets to FLOCK Ed    but to continue to use NEST Ed  and were now defending their decision to disapproving friends and family.

The Tweets had engaged me to provide some mentoring to Tweetelle for her artistic pursuits and we were busily trying to create a Twitter Bird Advent calendar and some other gifts for the Christmas/holiday season.
And Tweetil was investigating his hypothesis that eating fermented beans and other vegetable matter would provide sufficient power to provide him with rocket propulsion. The results of his experiments were an upset tummy and a foul smelling, greeny brown cloud surrounding the nest.

Of course it was at this moment that Great Aunt Hashtag paid a visit with the intention of persuading the Tweets to send the Tweetlets to the local flock so that they would become normalised and socialised!
“I swear these Tweetlets of yours get stranger every time I see them!” scolded Great Aunt Hashtag. “Are you sure they are not cuckoo chicks? But it would certainly be very unfortunate to have TWO cuckoo chicks in one nest. They say ‘The Cuckoo never strikes the same nest twice’.”

“No, they are definitely not cuckoo chicks! I didn’t ever leave the nest for long enough for a cuckoo to come and replace one of my eggs. I was quite paranoid about it! Tweet always brought food to me and minded the nest himself if I had to step out” replied Retweet.
But mentally she was conceding that she had wondered the same thing herself sometimes. Her Tweetlets were so different from those of her friends that they might have been put in her nest not just by cuckoos but by aliens!

Retweet had already decided that it could be useful to attend a meeting of Cuckoo Strike Parent Survivors who had managed to rear a cuckoo chick despite the tragedy and disruption to their own nest in the hope that she might learn some strategies for raising her Tweetlets.

Listening in on their conversation I remembered an excellent SerendipEd Fine Focus webinar given by Jo Hart titled A cuckoo free Twitter nest which discussed precautions to take to avoid problems with sp*m, ph*shing and h*cking of your Twitter account. The recording  is posted  on Jo Hart’s E-verything blog at

Brown Brogues

“There should be K.I.S.S. Shoes programs!” said Imaginational Dabrowski in a dreamy tone of voice. “You know – Keep It Simple and Sensible – just do what needs to be done to help students find their own niche and succeed.”

“The Brown Brogues in the De Bono’s 6 Action Shoes fill that role” replied Columbus Cheetah.

The Brown Brogues are sensible, comfortable and flexible for practicality and pragmatism. Actions planned using the Brown Brogues would be based on doing what is the most sensible and practical thing.

The programs for gifted students formed by Brown Brogue action planning would be choosing the most suitable option for the individual student which could be participation in full time programs or could be subject acceleration, extension, participation in withdrawal or holiday programs etc.
The key would be tailoring the course to the individual student’s needs and doing ‘whatever it takes’ to create an Individual Education Plan

Individualized programs which could include acceleration, extension, differentiation or whatever it takes appear to work very well and may lead to formal qualifications.
Or they may be the introduction to the specific niche for the gifted student.
And for the twice exceptional student it would mean providing whatever additional support was necessary to address the problems at the same time as providing appropriate challenge.

“I really like these Brown Brogue Action Plans!” said Intellectual Dabrowski. “It means doing the most sensible thing. So that means choosing from the Smorgasbord of Options for Gifted Education (I’m sorry – I do not have the reference details to give proper accreditation for that – it was a handout Jo received at a conference). It means pretesting and knowing the appropriate level to start and identifying any gaps and problems and taking measures to fix them.
It means working at the appropriate level, pace and depth in every subject even if all the subjects are at different levels. It means not being afraid to let students work at a level six years ahead if that is their ability level and finding ways to make that happen by dual enrolment in school and university or working with a Purple Riding Boots mentor.

“And,” continued Intellectual “the Brown Brogues are such a sensible choice of footware for travelling the Gagne DMGT  Road from Natural Abilities (Gifts) through to Competencies (Talents)”

“It could lead to formal qualifications or it could lead to the student finding their own particular niche in some very unusual or specialized area of expertise.
And the world is your oyster if you find your role and your place in the puzzle!” added Imaginational.

“One thing I noticed,” chimed in Emotional Dabrowski is that Sprite has a number of styles of the brown brogues to choose from – some look quite firm (almost as firm as the Blue Formal Shoes) and some are soft suede like material and look as comfortable as the Pink Slippers.  Some of them are made from the same materials as the Investigative Grey Sneakers and coloured brown which shows how sensible the Grey Sneakers are too. One pair had a camouflage print – ideal for blending in naturally without a fuss; even though what she would be doing is the sensible thing for her and might be quite different from what the others are doing.
And I noticed her Can Do Velcro strap adjustable sandals sitting beside the Brown Brogues and thought that they are very much the same. They are not covered in shoes like the Brown Brogues but they are flexible and adjustable and Spite is able to wear them quite comfortably. It is always good to know that something you have been doing has been on the right track!

Purple Riding Boots

“What Sprite needs is a mentor” declared Columbus Cheetah “She needs a mentor who shares her passion for science especially astronomy and it would be even better if you could find her a mentor who has overcome the same difficulties that Sprite is experiencing!”
“You should look into some of the Purple Riding Boots Programs.”

Sprite had proved, when given the opportunity in the Grey Sneakers Investigation Programs, that she had the ability to comprehend material several years beyond her age grade level; but because of her learning differences and difficulties had not been able to fit into the Blue Formal Shoes programs which included most of the formal programs for gifted students.
The work she had completed in the Orange Gumboot Emergency Plans program had demonstrated that she had leadership potential.
She had felt comforted and supported in the Pink Slipper Compassionate Care Programs but her intellect had not been challenged by them.

The De Bono 6 Action Shoes Purple Riding Boots lead to action plans emphasising leadership, command and authority.

The De Bono 6 Action Shoes Purple Riding Boots lead to action plans emphasising leadership, command and authority
The programs formed by purple riding boot action planning would be Leadership skills programs, Mentoring, Biographical studies.
They could also be creativity and artistically based programs.

Programs for gifted education which focus on Leadership skills programs, Mentoring and Biographical studies can prove very effective in helping the student to determine their path and find a role model.

The program can be undermined if the mentor proves unsuitable but if successful these programs can be a powerful influence in the development from giftedness to talent and great assistance in travelling the Gagne DMGT Road from Natural Abilities (Gifts) through to Competencies (Talents).

“I love the idea of a mentor for Sprite!” said Imaginational Dabrowski “She could go and listen to her giving lectures and show her the things she has been working on and the mentor could suggest books for her to read and send her encouragement notes. And if the mentor has overcome difficulties too she could help Sprite not feel embarrassed about wearing one pink slipper. And she could come and visit and we could all look at the stars together”

“And” said Imaginational “If Sprite takes part in some Purple Riding Boot Leadership programs she might even become a role model herself!”

Blue Formal Shoes

Have you ever gone shopping for shoes and found that the style that you really, really liked was not available in your size?

That was what happened to Sprite when it came to the De Bono’s 6 Action Shoes Blue Formal shoes.

The Blue Formal shoes are rigid and solid and represent adherence to guidelines, formal routines, drills and procedures.
The gifted programs designed by using the Blue Formal Shoe Action Planning method would be full time dedicated gifted programs, withdrawal programs or select entry residential programs for gifted students.
They would be fast paced, accelerated, above grade level courses for highly motivated, high achieving students.
They would have stringent selection eligibility criteria and selection would usually be by scholarship examination or nomination by the teacher.
There would be no flexibility in regards to moving into and out of the course.

Sprite had demonstrated her exceptional giftedness by performing so well in the Grey Sneakers Investigations programs that it had been suggested that she could apply for Blue Formal Shoe programs.

This is how it was supposed to work

Intellectual Dabrowski and P’est pour Parfait, the perfectionist poodle thought that the Blue Formal Shoe programs represented the ideal solution for gifted education and were exerting pressure on Sprite to attempt to fit in. They considered that the Blue Formal Shoes would be the most suitable shoes for travelling Gagne DMGT Road from Natural Abilities (Gifts) through to Competencies (Talents).

Imaginational Dabrowski could foresee problems with the rigid structure which did not seem to allow for outside the box thinking and Sensual Dabrowski did not think the blue formal shoes would be a comfortable fit for Sprite.

Emotional Dabrowski was upset because she could see how much Sprite wanted the Blue Formal Shoes. She was concerned about how the Twice Exceptional Sprite would feel if she found that because of her learning difficulties she was not able to keep up with the fast pace and large amount of written work expected in the Blue Shoes programs.