The Dabrowski Dogs dress up for Halloween 2014

The Dabrowski Dogs always dress up for Halloween This year they have chosen the theme Pumpkins.

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Intellectual Dabrowski is dressed as the Bearer of Pumpkin Pi (to as many digits as he can remember)

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Psycho Motor Dabrowski is sporting a pumpkin helmet and a gold cape to dress as the Caped Canine Crusader

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Emotional Dabrowski, the drama queen, thinks that wearing a carved pumpkin makes her expressiveness shine through

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Sensual Dabrowski is scratching his head while deciding what to do with his pumpkin

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Imaginational Dabrowski Is sitting on his pumpkin and imagining that it could be a wonderful hover board

The illustrations for this post are ink sketches made for INKtober http://mrjakeparker.com/inktober
Every October, artists all over the world take on the InkTober drawing challenge by doing one ink drawing a day the entire month.
I have been participating in INKtober and posting at least one picture a day on a very friendly and supportive Facebook group where I have my own album

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Sprite as a Persona Doll

As you may remember I decided to make a Sprite Persona Doll https://spritessite.wordpress.com/2014/10/17/not-sprite-to-be-a-persona-in-her-own-right/ and bought a pattern and some trimmings.

And here she is!

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I used a pattern for the largest size of Raggedy Anne doll but I embroidered the face of the Sprite doll I had envisaged.

 

I already had the calico and the filling I needed and found a wig and clothes in opportunity shops. The cost of the pattern and extra materials I needed to make her was approximately $25.00.

For Sprite’s Persona Biography see https://spritessite.wordpress.com/2014/10/13/could-sprite-be-a-persona-doll/

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My next task will be to make Biography Journals for both Sprite and Felicity https://spritessite.wordpress.com/2014/10/16/sprite-to-be/

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Doggy Classroom Dynamics

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This is what happens when the Dabrowski Dogs and the Black Dogs accompany Sprite to school. The subject is English language and the topic is creative writing.
This is the discussion amongst the dogs and their recommendations to Sprite.

Imaginational Dabrowski: You could write a story titled “I am a Cheetah”

Intellectual Dabrowski: The cheetah, Acinonyx jubatus, is a large feline inhabiting some areas of Africa and Iran.
The cheetah can run faster than any other land animal— as fast as 112 to 120 km/h in short bursts covering distances up to 500 m and has the ability to accelerate from 0 to 100 km/h in three seconds. It has an anatomy that is perfectly designed for running fast. Look up fact sheets about this on the Cheetah Conservation Foundation website.
The cheetah is listed as vulnerable to extinction, facing various threats such as competition with and predation by other carnivores, a gene pool with very low variability, and persecution by mankind.

P’est Pour Parfait, the Perfectionist Poodle: Excellent choice of subject. Just make sure that you spell those long words correctly and get all the facts 100% accurate.

Imaginational: I mean you should write about what it feels like to BE a cheetah.

Guard on Duty Black Dog: How could she possibly know what it feels like to be a cheetah?

Thinks He’s an Alien Black Dog: If she writes that she IS a cheetah everyone will think she is really weird!  I bet none of the other kids think they are cheetahs. When I say what I think and feel everyone looks at me as if I came from another planet and maybe I did!

Little Bully Black Dog: If she writes that everyone will laugh at her and tease her and call her a CHEATER and say she cheats on tests

Sensual Dabrowski: You could write about all the sights and sounds and smells that a cheetah would experience. I am not feeling very comfortable in the classroom at the moment. There is too much background noise and the neon lights are flickering and I am feeling really itchy. I bet you are too!

Psycho Motor Dabrowski: Cheetahs must have a lot of fun running and running and running. Do you want to go outside and see what it would be like to run?

SAD Seasonally Affected Black Dog: She can’t go outside now because it is raining.

Wistful Black Dog: Even if she could go outside she would not be able to run far and she would just get depressed.
Is that shadow on the wall just a shadow of a cloud or is it Leaping Attack Black Dog?

Emotional Dabrowski: You should write about the cheetah’s emotions. What makes the cheetah happy? What makes the cheetah sad? What makes you happy? Are the things that make you happy the same as the things that make the cheetah happy?

Why are you crying now? Are you happy or sad or just confused?

The illustration for this post is a composite of ink sketches made for INKtober http://mrjakeparker.com/inktober
Every October, artists all over the world take on the InkTober drawing challenge by doing one ink drawing a day the entire month.
I have been participating in INKtober and posting at least one picture a day on a very friendly and supportive Facebook group where I have my own album

Gifted Grown Ups

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There was an argument in progress in front of the Gifted Homeschoolers Forum October Blog Hop sign.
“You go on the blog hop – you are the gifted one!”
“No, you go! The tweetlets inherited their giftedness from you!”
The usually lovey-dovey Twitter Bird couple, Tweet and Retweet,   were debating about who should go on the blog hop and neither of them were prepared to acknowledge their own giftedness.

It is so often the way!
People seem happy to acknowledge their children’s giftedness and to advocate for their needs to be met; while not recognizing, acknowledging or affirming their own giftedness and needs.

In fact a strange thing happened at the meeting I had to discuss Dr Ed Needs’ recommendations with Sprite’s teacher.

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I had been very concerned about the meeting because I remembered previous meetings and attempts to advocate for suitable provisions for Sprite’s education
https://spritessite.wordpress.com/2012/09/11/the-meeting/

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

I had gathered lots of information to take to the meeting including the results of Sprite’s testing and Dr Ed Needs recommendations

bloghop201014edneeds

And I had been mentally rehearsing the conversation.

The conversation always went well in my mind until we inevitably came to the point where the teacher would say with a hint of a sneer in her voice
“So how do you know about all this? Are you a gifted person too?”
And I would mentally try out different possible replies.
I felt that I needed to affirm my own giftedness as my work is based in helping people to recognize and affirm giftedness and seek the provisions, supports and resources they need for their children and themselves.

But what if affirming my giftedness just confirmed to her that I was the crazy, over sensitive, perfectionist cheetah mama lady with no obvious giftedness and no formal qualifications who just thought the sun shone out of her precious child?

All I do would be able to do would be to show her Gagne’s DMGT innate giftedness to fully developed talents road diagram.

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I could tell her that, because of a combination of circumstances and some bad choices, I had not completed my journey across the path; although I was and still am gifted and that I just wanted the most suitable opportunities to be available for others.
And also that giftedness is not always synonymous with achievement

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I would show her again the Columbus Group definition of giftedness and talk to her about the myths surrounding giftedness and Columbus Cheetah’s myth busting efforts  and I would give her the One Page to Tell information sheet  emphasizing the particular needs of the gifted and the possible causes of underachievement.

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But, as I said, a strange thing happened at the meeting.
We were not very far into the discussion (nowhere near the point where my authority to speak on such matters would be challenged) when the teacher said
“I have been doing some PD on gifted and 2E students and I have been reading a lot.
I have learned a lot about myself in the process.”

It is so often the way!
I have seen teachers leave the room in tears at gifted conferences when they realised that the speaker was describing not only their students but also the teachers themselves.

“I realize now,” she continued, “that I was a gifted child and I never had any special provisions made for me.
I know more now about the modifications needed for teaching gifted and 2E students.
Sprite is very fortunate to have you advocating for her”

This is a post for the Gifted Homeschoolers Forum October Blog Hop: Gifted Grown Ups.
Please join us on the hop and read and comment on the posts.
To find all the posts in the hop please follow the links at http://giftedhomeschoolers.org/blog-hops/gifted-grown-ups/

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Lobster Fest 2014

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The annual Lobster Fest was held in the lobby at Sprite’s Site during the weekend.
As usual the Lolly Lobbing Competition was conducted and the Lobster Lewis Carollers entertained with a performance of the Lobster Quadrille.

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And as usual the Forensic Lobsters were on hand to check for any traces of the Wicked Lemon Wedges who are always present when a lobster meets an untimely end in mysterious circumstances.

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What was different this year was that I recorded the Lobster Fest in ink drawings for INKtober http://mrjakeparker.com/inktober
Every October, artists all over the world take on the InkTober drawing challenge by doing one ink drawing a day the entire month.
I have been participating in INKtober and posting at least one picture a day on a very friendly and supportive Facebook group where I have my own album at https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=oa.1472995212960928&type=1

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Not Sprite to Be – a Persona in her own right

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I realized that it would be a real pity to try to turn the beautiful 74 cm doll I found in the Opportunity Shop yesterday into a Sprite Persona Doll. It would be almost impossible to change her without damaging her and she has so much character as she is.

I have decided that she is a Persona doll in her own right.
She is FELICITY
She is gifted, introverted, very sensitive and probably trying to hide herself from being noticed in the classroom.

So I have gone back to the previous plan to create a Persona doll for Sprite myself and have purchased a pattern and some trimmings.

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Sprite to be

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Since I wrote the blog posts for Gifted Resources blog and Sprite’s Site about Persona dolls I have been considering buying a 70 cm doll and dressing it as Sprite or sewing a calico doll from scratch. I searched the Internet and found that dolls could be purchased from the UK but it would be quite expensive and possibly take a long time to arrive.
I could purchase a pattern and I have just discovered that we do have a shop in Rosebud where I can get patterns, fabrics and craft supplies.
But God gave me a special blessing today! I walked into an Opportunity Shop which I visit fairly often and, right beside the counter, there she was – hiding her face and just waiting for me!
She cost the same amount as a pattern and must have just arrived as one of the store staff had not known she was there and the other said she was not there last week.
As I carried her through the shopping centre several people stopped me to comment on her, saying they thought I was carrying a real child until they looked closer.
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Could Sprite be a Persona Doll?

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Recently I received a request from a teacher to answer some questions relating to giftedness to help her develop a persona doll for an assignment she was doing.

She supplied this information about persona dolls and the doll she intended to create.

“A persona doll is a doll developed by a practitioner/educator to enable children to gain an awareness and understanding of the richness and diversity of different backgrounds and lifestyles as well as to help children learn strategies for dealing with unfairness against themselves and others.
The dolls are given personalities, family and cultural backgrounds, likes and dislikes and the stories that are created around them enable children to explore positive and negative emotions.
To be able to develop one, I need to research and consult with children and their families to develop the persona doll identity and story. This is to avoid stereotypes and to provide an authentic representation of the children and their challenges.
I believe that developing a persona doll about giftedness can also be a way to advocate because children, families and educators where it will be shared will be cognizant of the current realities and difficulties faced by children that are gifted.”

I wrote a post about Persona Dolls for Gifted Resources blog at http://giftedresources.wordpress.com/2014/10/12/persona-dolls/

She then asked a large number of detailed questions about ethnic, socio-economic and cultural conditions and everyday life matters to help her build a unique and authentic persona for her doll.

She would have liked to ask the questions to my youngest child also, hoping to hear a child’s voice expressed. Our youngest is now in his late twenties; so was not able to provide the child voice.

After replying that gifted children can be found in every ethnic, socio-economic and religion group so she could choose whatever background she felt most comfortable to use when developing her persona doll; I answered the giftedness related questions and some of the everyday life issues questions using my twice exceptional blog character, Sprite, to personalise the answers.

I was delighted to find that I was able to give quite a detailed portrait of Sprite from references to posts in the blog. I provided this picture.

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Here are my replies to some of her questions.

ABOUT SPRITE

Name:  Sprite https://spritessite.wordpress.com/about-2/

Age: Not specified – a pre-teenager in middle – upper primary school but about six years ahead of age group for academic level

Cultural background: Australian

Gender: Female

Area of giftedness: Intellectually gifted with passionate interests in sciences (especially astronomy) https://spritessite.wordpress.com/2009/07/01/talkfest/ 
Hobbies are playing guitar and playing with her imaginary friends. All her toys have complicated back stories and she likes to make banners for them and set them up to stage protest marches https://spritessite.wordpress.com/tag/marches/

Is giftedness diagnosed? Sprite has been assessed as being in the exceptionally/profoundly gifted range http://www.hoagiesgifted.org/highly_profoundly.htm
by a psychologist with specialist knowledge of giftedness and her (unspecified) learning difficulties/different learning styles have been diagnosed by education consultants like the (fictitious) Dr. Ed Needs https://spritessite.wordpress.com/2011/02/12/casting-sprites-education-in-a-new-form-part-1/

Sprite has a Visual Spatial Learner style of learning
https://spritessite.wordpress.com/tag/visual-spatial-learners/
http://www.giftedresources.org/gr/vsl.htm

Sprite has a Memory Elephant. The Memory Elephant is a personification of memory and the Visual Spatial Learner’s style of thinking https://spritessite.wordpress.com/tag/memory-elephant/

Character traits

As with many gifted people Sprite is an introvert and has many intensities and sensitivities including Dabrowski’s Over excitabilities which are depicted as the Five Dabrowski Dogs and can be prone to depression depicted by the Black Dogs
https://spritessite.wordpress.com/about-the-characters/

I have checked whether my readers perceive Sprite in the way I intended to portray her and have found that they did

https://spritessite.wordpress.com/2011/07/16/gifted-island-challenge-2-getting-to-know-myself-with-a-little-help-from-my-friends/

https://spritessite.wordpress.com/2011/09/03/gifted-island-challenge-2-getting-to-know-myself-with-a-little-help-from-my-friends-the-results-are-in/

Class or Socioeconomic Status

Gifted children come from every social class, socioeconomic and ethnic group and religious background. So how you depict your own Persona Doll is up to you and will influence your response to the cultural and lifestyle questions

For myths about giftedness see http://www.giftedresources.org/gr/columbuscheetah.htm

Languages spoken: Sprite speaks English (she would like to learn other languages)

Religion: Sprite is a Christian. Her faith is very important for her and she thinks very deeply about it and asks many questions. She has been asking questions about life and death, God, the universe, ecosystems, philosophy etc since she was very young.

What holidays does she celebrate? She celebrates Christmas https://spritessite.wordpress.com/tag/christmas/  and Easter https://spritessite.wordpress.com/tag/easter/ She wonders whether she should celebrate Halloween herself but the Dabrowski Dogs always dress up for it https://spritessite.wordpress.com/tag/halloween/ She also likes playing tricks on 1st April https://spritessite.wordpress.com/tag/april-fools-day
Socio-economic group: She is from a middle class socio-economic group neither extremely wealthy nor extremely poor

Sleep
Sprite, like many gifted children, has difficulty getting to sleep. Her brain is so active that she has trouble switching off. She is a perfectionist and will mentally review the happenings of the day and what she should/should not have done or said in the situations. She has a vivid imagination and is sure that the shadow on the wall is Leaping Attack Black Dog coming to get her.  She also has vivid dreams https://spritessite.wordpress.com/2009/11/16/all-the-dabrowski-dogs-part-3/

https://spritessite.wordpress.com/2010/07/09/perchance-to-dream/

https://spritessite.wordpress.com/2009/11/27/is-there-a-dimmer-switch-for-the-memory-elephant-2/

https://spritessite.wordpress.com/2009/12/10/visit-the-pyramids-with-the-memory-elephant/

Social/friendships issues

Sprite has trouble relating to children her own age as she has very different interests which she likes to discuss at great length https://spritessite.wordpress.com/tag/friendships/

Food
Sprite likes most foods and her favourite flavour is chocolate.
She has been fortunate enough to try food from many different cultures.
However because of sensual overexcitabilities she does not like some textures of food such as mushy or sloppy foods. So she likes to keep food of different types separate on the plate. She also does not like food that is very spicy or too acidic or too fatty. She is not allergic to any foods but knows that many people can be.

Her friend, the gifted Twitter Bird chick, Tweetelle, has become a ‘seedetarian’ for moral reasons https://spritessite.wordpress.com/2012/05/02/tweetelle-becomes-a-seedetarian/

Clothes
Sprite’s favourite colour is blue and her favourite clothes are a blue skirt or shorts and a blue tee shirt. Because of sensual over excitabilities she does not like scratchy materials and does not like tags left on her clothes or having seams on her socks.

Shoes are very important (see under Do you have a tailored program?) Her favourite shoes are her De Bono pillow soft pink slippers.

She does enjoy dressing up
https://spritessite.wordpress.com/2011/03/05/avatar-album/
https://spritessite.wordpress.com/2012/04/05/avatar-album-2/
https://spritessite.wordpress.com/2010/01/06/portrait-of-sprite-at-her-p-party/

Does she have a tailored program?

Sprite’s Site blog is about finding the educational provisions that will be most suitable for Sprite as a twice exceptional student.
She needs to be challenged in her areas of strength and supported in her areas of weakness.
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 and road testing their effectiveness using Gagne’s DMGT model.
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.

http://www.giftedresources.org/gr/feetspeakforweb01.htm

https://spritessite.wordpress.com/2011/02/12/casting-sprites-education-in-a-new-form-part-1/

https://spritessite.wordpress.com/tag/debono-6-action-shoes/

So could a Sprite Persona Doll be useful to advocate for the understanding of gifted or twice exceptional students? Imaginational Dabrowski and I think she could.

I began to consider the idea of buying a persona doll
http://www.persona-doll-training.org/ukresources.html
http://www.amazeworks.org/store/p_pdoll.html
and dressing it as my Sprite (I already have all the mini versions of De Bono’s 6 Action shoes and a mini plaster cast); or of sewing one myself.

I found sewing instructions here http://www.livingcrafts.com/blog/doll-room/a-doll-for-every-child

This is what I imagine a Sprite 2E twice exceptional persona doll would look like.

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