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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Staying motivated throughout the homeschool year

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Sprite and her friends are joining in the first Gifted Homeschoolers Forum Blog Hop for 2014 which deals with the challenge of staying motivated throughout the homeschool year.

The Tweet family of Twitter Birds who live at Sprite’s Site are teaching their tweetlets at home using the NEST Ed method.
Retweet says that she has experienced difficulty with maintaining motivation for the whole year but that she has found a number of strategies that were helpful.

Intellectual Dabrowski had encouraged her to watch

RSA Animate Daniel Pink The surprising truth about what motivates us
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u6XAPnuFjJc

It discussed Intrinsic /extrinsic rewards and interest and engagement as sources of motivation
Retweet had tried using the reward of digital badges as motivation
https://spritessite.wordpress.com/2012/12/07/digital-badges-2/

Get in the Flow
The Psych-Owl-Ogist advised Retweet to “Get in the Flow”
He told her that in order for students to be engaged in their learning it is important to pitch the teaching at what Dr Katherine Hoekman would call ‘the eyebrow wrinkle level’ of challenge – possible to attain with effort – but neither impossibly difficult nor far too easy.
http://www.positivedisintegration.com/Hoekman1999.pdf

He also referred her to the TED talk about Flow at http://www.ted.com/talks/mihaly_csikszentmihalyi_on_flow.html
Professor Mihalyi Csikszentmihalyi’s work, Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience, notes that people are happiest when they are in a state of flow when they are completely absorbed in the activity at hand and nothing else seems to matter. For the state of flow to occur the challenge of the task and the ability of the performer need to be matched. The task should be neither too easy nor much too difficult.

Columbus Cheetah agreed it was important for Retweet to start at the right level and work at a suitable pace in order to keep the tweetlets engaged in their studies and added that they should also be given opportunities to spend time with true peers.

flow

PBL – Project/Problem/Passion Based Learning

Retweet had seen how disastrous it could be when the tweetlets were not interested in their studies https://spritessite.wordpress.com/2012/05/24/the-psych-owl-ogist-5/

Intellectual Dabrowski had suggested the use of PBL – Project/Problem/Passion Based Learning and Retweet had incorporated project work in the areas that the tweetlets were passionately interested in to their studies.
Retweet had included some theme studies such as the study of luck https://spritessite.wordpress.com/2013/03/03/lucky-i-had-my-lucky-_________-with-me/  and arranged for the tweetlets to build kites. She had encouraged Tweetelle in her love of painting and suffered cracked ear wax as Tweetil mastered the drums.
https://spritessite.wordpress.com/2012/12/14/pa-rum-pa-pa-pum/

She had incorporated some Online courses such as the ones offered by Gifted Homeschoolers Forum  http://giftedhomeschoolers.org/ghf-online/
Khan Academy etc. and various universities and programs and tutorials such as Scratch http://scratch.mit.edu/

nestedpics

Vocational guidance

Giving the tweetlets some insight into future careers by taking them to Work Experience Week at the Twitter Stream for Vocational Ed studies had also provided a sense of purpose for the tweetlets. It broadened their awareness of careers that are available and what subjects should be studied in order to prepare for them.
https://spritessite.wordpress.com/2013/08/18/the-twitter-stream/

twitterstream

Participation in Global Projects
After I participated in the Global Education Conference I brought back to Sprite’s Site information about making connections with others by joining in global projects such as World Museum World Friends Project, Peace One Day, Dream flags, My Hero and Flat Stanley. Retweet was quick to see that collaborating with others around the world and sharing their work with a real audience would be great motivation for her tweetlets.
https://spritessite.wordpress.com/2012/11/26/gathered-from-the-global-education-conference-2012/

Find mentors or tutors

Imaginational Dabrowski had suggested to me the benefits of finding a mentor for Sprite https://spritessite.wordpress.com/2012/10/04/purple-riding-boots/

“I love the idea of a mentor for Sprite!” Imaginational said “She could go and listen to her mentor 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 overcome her difficulties and not feel embarrassed about wearing one pink slipper. And she could come and visit and we could all look at the stars together”
We found Paula the Physicist who shares Sprite’s love of astronomy and she has been a great source of encouragement and motivation for Sprite.

debonosh05comp2

A recent gtchat discussed the value of mentoring for gifted learners http://globalgtchatpoweredbytagt.wordpress.com/2014/02/10/mentoring-gifted-learners/

Retweet agreed that finding mentors was a great way to encourage motivation and engagement. The Psych-Owl-Ogist had advised her to engage mentors and tutors or take courses with specialists in specific subjects and had suggested that she could share the teaching of
Migration and Navigation with Arctic Tern
Business Studies with the Secretary Bird
Collecting and curating with Bower Bird
Humour with Kookaburra
Carolling with Magpie
Theatre with Lyrebird
Elocution with Parrot

Retweet said that her tweetlets loved the sessions they spent with their mentors and tutors.

nestedmentors

This is a post in the Gifted Homeschoolers Forum February 2014 Blog Hop: Staying motivated throughout the homeschool year

To read all the posts from the blogs participating in this blog hop please see http://giftedhomeschoolers.org/?p=3285

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The Twitter Stream 3

failwhale

It is Work Experience Week at the Twitter Stream and both the Tweet family and the Promoted family have gone to show their tweetlets what work at the Twitter Stream entails.

A simulation exercise of a Fail Whale Removal was staged in order to promote interest in the Emergency Services as a career path for tweetlets. Barrow Bird demonstrated how to run out the carry away net. RunRun Bird handed out helium balloons shaped like Emergency Services workers to the tweetlets. Promoted donned an orange hardhat and explained that sometimes when an excessive number of tweets were put into the Twitter Stream a Fail Whale would swim into the stream from the ocean and clog it. When that happened it was the duty of the Emergency Services workers to place carry away nets around the whale and take it back out to the ocean before it became completely beached.

(“Beached az… Bro!” interjected a heckler with a Kiwi accent.)

Tweetil was very excited by the display and said that if he could not be Leader of the Great Migrations he would like to be a Twitter Emergency Services worker.

But Tweetelle’s reaction took almost everyone by surprise.
“Why isn’t anyone looking after the whale?” she asked. She ran to the lemonade stand and grabbed one of the jugs and started to pour water over the Fail Whale.

After the demonstration of the removal of the Fail Whale Tweetelle was still upset.
“Why don’t they fix the entrance to the Twitter Stream so that even if more tweets are put in it will not open the stream to the sea and let the whale in?” she demanded. “And why is the whale being treated as a villain to be removed rather than a victim who has to the rescued?”

Retweet was not surprised at Tweetelle’s emotional reaction or by the very different viewpoint she was expressing. She remembered the quote about the nature of giftedness from Annemarie Roeper which the Psych Owl Ogist had shown her.

roeperquote

“We could talk to a software engineer about it. Maybe we could do some problem solving projects about it in our NEST Ed” Retweet said.

The Twitter Stream

twitterstream

An important aspect of education is preparing the students for their future careers and the work experience component of the Careers subject can give the students a taste of what it would be like to work in a particular field.
Sometimes if students have been given radical acceleration they are studying the Careers subject before they are legally old enough to participate in the work experience.

It is Work Experience Week at the Twitter Stream and both the Tweet family and the Promoted family have gone to show their tweetlets what work at the Twitter Stream entails. The tweetlets who are doing work experience are shown how to gather posts (tweets) from all the @posts and all the #hashtags and all the links and tip them into the Twitter Stream. They are told it does not matter whether the #hashtags were put in the upper case or in the lower case they are all to be tipped into the Twitter Stream.

Promoted and Trending are eager to show their tweetlets Promoted Jnr and Popular how celebrities and entrepreneurs use the Twitter Stream and what type of careers they could pursue using Twitter.

Tweetil and Tweetelle are not quite old enough to work and Tweet and Retweet are more interested in investigating the use of Twitter for developing a PLN for educational collaboration to assist them with their NEST Ed.
When they are asked what careers they would like to follow Tweetil usually says he wants to be a Leader of the Great Migrations and to play the drums or else to be a pirate and Tweetelle says she wants to be a famous artist or a caterpillar curator.
Great Aunt Hashtag used to work at the Twitter Stream. She is now retired and proudly displaying her long service golden hashtag hatpin.
She is keen for the tweetlets to follow in her steps and work at the Twitter Stream although she tells everyone quite stridently that work at the Twitter Stream is not what it was ‘in her day – what with all these new fangled ideas’.