Tuesday December 3: O Tannenbaum


Sprite, Columbus Cheetah and Emotional Dabrowski and Imaginational Dabrowski  are decorating their Christmas tree following instructions given by the Origami Secretary Bird. Imaginational Dabrowski was fairly sure he could see an Octopus Topiarii in the Christmas tree!
The Twitter Birds are also decorating their tree.
The Mice have already set up their tree and Caramel Cat is hoping to catch one of them using a bauble as bait.
They are listening to O Tannenbaum which you can enjoy at

If you would like to find a treasure trove of Christmas activities and websites – have a look at Cybraryman’s collection by following this link or scanning the QR code


The Un-Olympics Bower 5

The Creativity Challenge Un-Olympics Bower will today be the venue for the Twitter Birds Science Expo.

There will be opportunities to conduct science experiments, watch a film of the space shuttle launch and much excitement sharing links to recent discoveries, science programs and great blogs.

The Twitter Birds have brought links to recent science news

Higgs Boson particle

Cosmic Log MSN The Higgs Boson particle explained in just over a minute

The Guardian UK

The Twitter Birds also have some links for Online  science courses

MIT Open Courseware

RELATE Introductory Mechanics Course for Instructors and Advanced Students

Registration is open for a free online MIT-level course in Introductory Newtonian Mechanics targeting people with good knowledge and skills in mechanics that’s being given this summer by MIT professor David Pritchard and his education research group, RELATE (http://RELATE.MIT.edu). The course will enable participants to improve both their conceptual overview and their problem-solving skills in mechanics.  The course features e-text, videos, simulations, problems, and weekly interactive office hours. More information at http://RELATE.MIT.edu/physicscourse

Cybraryman’s Educational Web sites Science pages http://www.cybraryman.com/sciencelinks.html

Stellarium http://www.stellarium.org/

World Builders http://www.world-builders.org/

Virtual frog dissection http://www.froguts.com/

And they also have links to some interesting science blogs

Dr Jeff’s Blog on the Universe http://blogontheuniverse.org/

The big blog theory http://thebigblogtheory.wordpress.com/

Krissy Venosdale Venspired blog http://venspired.com/?page_id=1968

FCIWYPSC http://cherishthescientist.net/

Apparently the pair sitting in the black ring had not read the small print and thought that the Un-Olympics Bower was set aside today as a place to kiss!

New Zealand Gifted Awareness Week 2012 – TBA Post 4 Part 1

I am very happy to be participating in the New Zealand Gifted Awareness Week blog tour again this year.
For news of the events to be held during New Zealand Gifted Awareness Week 2012 see http://www.giftednz.org.nz/awareness.html
and for links to all the posts for the blog tour see http://ultranet.giftededucation.org.nz/WebSpace/696/

For last year’s blog post I sent a greeting and good wishes for a successful  and enjoyable week by posting a picture of some of the characters from Sprite’s Site waving ‘across the ditch’ to New Zealand and described the information which could be found on Gifted Resources website and Sprite’s Site blog.

This year when booking my place on the blog tour I wrote that my topic would be TBA – that is To Be Advised. However I decided that I would really write on the theme TBA and you may have been following the progress of my planning with the “help” of the characters from Sprite’s Site in my recent posts. Kiwi from New Zealand and Echidna from Australia were going to make selections from the books and articles in the Gifted Resources library and the Twitter Birds were to bring me links to websites.

So my plan is to point toward some helpful resources such as Books (B) and Articles (A) on the topics of Acceleration (A) and Teaching Gifted Students and 2E Twice Exceptional Students (T) and give some links to Australian and New Zealand national and state Associations (A) for the gifted.

Books about Teaching Gifted Students

Kiwi’s choice: They’re not bringing my brain out: Understanding and working with gifted and talented learners by Rosemary Cathcart A Hodder Education Book 3rd ed.
Published in 2005 by Hachette Livre NZ

Echidna’s choice: School provisions for gifted students: Resource sheets for parents and teachers by Judy Parker Published in 1997 by Hawker Brownlow Education

Twitter Birds useful links for publishers and booksellers of books about Teaching Gifted Students:
Hawker Brownlow Education http://www.hbe.com.au/
Free Spirit Willow Connection http://www.willowconnection.com.au/free-spirit
Great Potential Press http://www.greatpotentialpress.com/
Hoagies Gifted Education Page – Books on Gifted Topics http://www.hoagiesgifted.org/gifted_books.htm

Twitter Birds useful link to Online Teaching of Gifted Students
GO Gifted Online http://www.giftededucation.org.nz/giftedonline.html
Twitter Birds useful links to some great pages and blogs about Teaching Gifted Students
Cybrary Man’s Educational Websites Gifted and Talented http://cybraryman.com/gifted.html
Hoagies Gifted Education Page http://www.hoagiesgifted.org/
Byrdseed Gifted http://www.byrdseed.com/
Krissy Venosdale http://venspired.com/?author=1

Both Echidna and Kiwi became sidetracked from their task of selecting books on specific topics when they came to the book about dealing with anxiety and depression titled Stomp out the ANTs (Automatic Negative Thoughts) by Sally-Anne McCormack Published in Melbourne in 2009 by Sally-Anne McCormack http://www.sally-annemccormack.com.au/

And I realised that it was nearly 2.00am and decided to post this first part of the blog post and finish the post later.

Avatar Album 2

A bit over a year ago after participating in a SerendipEd webinar http://johart1.edublogs.org/2011/03/05/edublogs-serendipity-webinar-overview-avatars-and-vokis/  about creating Voki and avatars I created an Avatar Album for Sprite https://spritessite.wordpress.com/2011/03/05/avatar-album/

Recently the topic was revisited on the webinar http://johart1.edublogs.org/2012/03/24/edublogs-webinar-overview-a-look-at-some-avatar-makers/ and although I only attended the last few minutes I learned of several avatar creators which I had not previously seen

So Sprite posed again for a portrait and a campaign poster for the Best Australian Blogs 2012 competition http://www.sydneywriterscentre.com.au/bloggingcomp/index.html  and she was very pleased with the results

Here she is holding her portrait which was created using Flashface

I tried out several of the avatar creators mentioned by Jerry Blumengarten (@cybraryman1) on his “My Avatars page” which he added after the session to his already amazing collection of pages of useful education related links.

I am ashamed to say I cannot remember which avatar creator yielded this image but Sprite liked it enough to use it for her campaign poster for Best Australian Blogs 2012

And despite Sprite’s aversion to pictures of people which are too cartoonified and animals which are anthropomorphised https://spritessite.wordpress.com/2009/08/14/elephants-in-the-waiting-room/ she does love to dress up for Build Your Wild Self http://www.buildyourwildself.com/
So we revisited that site and she had fun dressing up as a butterfly peacock!

Packing for the New 2


The packing is proceding well; except that there are so many strangely shaped treasures to be fitted into the cartons and everyone keeps bringing more.
Intellectual Dabrowski is claiming that it is simply a matter of treating the packing like playing tetris or tangrams so that everything fits in but P’est pour Parfait, the perfectionist Poodle insists that everything must be perfectly aligned and the labels for the boxes should be colour coded and adhered in exactly the correct position.
Psycho Motor Dabrowski disagrees. He says that the Lolly Lobbing Lobster has the right idea: throw items into the boxes from a distance like shooting for goal and then give the box a shake to get everything to settle so you can put more in!

Sprite is escaping from the packing at every opportunity.
She brings things to be packed and then vanishes to talk to Ginger Pony or to visit Cybraryman at  http://www.cybraryman.com/  or Mrs P. at  http://www.mrsp.com/
“I thought you might like to get a Second Life!” she told me “So I have put reminders about The Global Center for Gifted and Talented Children’s Gifted Education conferences in Second Life  on the pinboard”

“And now, while you pack my fish, I am going to visit my new friends Meredith and Merebith at  http://www.meredithandmerebith.blogspot.com.au/


The teachers’ lounge

The #gtstoogies lobby is set up as a teachers’ lounge for this week’s gathering after the only #gtchat session for this week which will be a session guest moderated by the wonderful twitterbrarian (or cyber librarian) Cybraryman, Jerry Blumengarten, on the topic What makes a Great Teacher of #gifted children?

Cybraryman has a webpage for everything and everything on its page! He facilitates and participates in many Twitter based education chat sessions and has a page which lists the numerous education chats at http://www.cybraryman.com/chats.html
He has a well stocked Gifted and Talented page at http://cybraryman.com/gifted2.html
Cybraryman has also often joined the #gtstoogies merriment and acted as our cyber DJ, choosing just the right music to suit the theme and mood of the occasion.

The Dabrowski Dogs are as eager as ever to participate in the #gtstoogies gathering and a selection of key books has been chosen for display on the bookshelf.

In case you have forgotten to bring your spectacles, here is a close up view of the pin board which includes the notice about this weeks’ #gtchat, a poster for New Zealand’s Gifted Education Centre GO  Gifted Online and The Bavarian Center for Gifted and Talented Children’s Gifted Education conferences in Second Life. There are pictures of Tim Dracup aka Gifted Phoenix as he appeared in Second Life and Dr George Betts presenting his Autonomous Learner Model at the most recent Second Life conference.
The next “Global Virtual Meeting for Gifted Education in Second Life”, 28th 2011 at 9 p.m. CEST.
Invited speaker is Margaret Keane from Ireland. Topic: “MissionV Pilot: Using virtual world technology for the support of high potential students.”

#gtchat Practice run

The alarm clock was jangling and Sprite was pulling my nose and shouting in my ear.
“Wake up, wake up! You’ll really regret it if you miss the #gtchat session”
I squinted at the alarm clock. “But it’s only three twenty-five am!”
“I know. That gives you half an hour to get up and have a cup of coffee and get the computer fired up before it starts.”
“But it’s not even on today” I said “It will be on Saturday for us in Australia”
“I know that!” said Sprite “I looked it up on The World Clock Meeting Planner http://www.timeanddate.com/worldclock/meeting.html
Twelve noon Friday for them is 4.00am Saturday for us and 7.00pm Friday for them is 11.00am Saturday for us.”
“So why did you wake me up now?”
“I wanted you to have a practice run!”

I said “I plan to attend the 11.00am session and then I can read the transcript of the earlier session from links on Deborah Mersino’s Ingeniosus Blog” http://giftedperspective.typepad.com/ingeniosus/

“Well since you are awake now can you take me to visit Cybraryman’s website at http://www.cybraryman.com/ and can you help me write a letter to Annie Fox?” http://anniefox.com/