The Signpost 1

Image Jo Freitag

Image Jo Freitag

I have decided to accept Lisa Rivero’s challenge to write 30 blog posts for the month of September. I intend to try to add 10 posts to each of my 3 blogs during the month of September. Sprite’s Site will feature posts about posts!

The signpost is one of the landmarks on Sprite’s Site.

The Sprite’s Site Signpost is the marker at the crossroads in the centre of the Feetspeak: 2E Shoes Quest Map.
The Quest Map is a mind map which provides an overview of the Feetspeak: 2eshoes program

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.

Image Jo Freitag

Image Jo Freitag

In Sprite’s mind the roads are called Shoes Road and DMGT Road.
Shoes Road leads to Edward De Bono’s 6 Action Shoes and DMGT Road leads to Prof Francoys Gagne’s Model of the development from natural ability to fully developed talent.
She calls the other end of DMGT Road Fund Road because that was where she had to go to find out whether she would be eligible for any funding, special considerations or assistance.
The other end of Shoes Rd is what Sprite calls Plan Rd; because it was there that strategies for building an education plan for her could be found. Sprite always wonders whether DMGT Road and Plan Road meet each other somewhere behind the distant hills.
It could be reasonably extrapolated that if the plans made on Plan Road were suitable and were pursued to their conclusion that Plan Road and DMGT Road would indeed meet up.

The crossroads was also the scene of a virtual picnic held by the GTStoogies a group interested in issues relating to gifted and 2E students in 2011


When participating in Best Australian Blogs competition in 2013 Sprite installed a different signpost and gave tours of the blog highlighting her participation in social media, webinars, blog hops and her local real life situation

This is a post for Lisa Rivero’s challenge to write 30 blog posts for the month of September. To read all about her challenge see


Columbus Cheetah, Myth Buster – Myth 8

In line with his New Year resolution, that in 2014 he will increase his efforts to bust the myths surrounding giftedness and advocate for acceleration and ability grouping opportunities for gifted students, and in preparation for a webinar and Global GT chat on Twitter for the next two weeks, Columbus Cheetah is updating his myth busting presentations.

Columbus Cheetah’s discussion of the myths surrounding giftedness are based in his own brand of cheetah logic and the wonderful analogy of the cheetah to the gifted person given in Stephanie Tolan’s wonderful article ‘Is it a Cheetah?’


Columbus Cheetah says the cheetah has an anatomy and physiology which is
perfectly designed for running fast. Cheetahs have enlarged nostrils, chest and
lungs to take in large amounts of oxygen, a flexible spine, long legs and a
long tail for balance.

A cheetah with an injured leg still has all the anatomical attributes of the
cheetah but cannot run as fast

This myth has already been discussed during Myth 3 as one of the reasons that  gifted students may not all  be successful in school.


The analogy of the lame cheetah to the 2E student is the basis of Feetspeak:
2E shoes  and Sprite’s Site blog


For more information about 2E see 2E Newsletter

Fine Focus Webinar Part 2

Jo Hart has posted on her E-verything! Blog  an overview of the second part of my Fine Focus session ‘Which de Bono Action Shoes are best for a 2E student on Gagne’s DMGT Road?’

The session was recorded and can still be accessed using the link

I began with a brief recap of the first session – see Jo Hart’s post at

Topics covered in the recap were

  • Edward de Bono’s Six Action Shoes
  • Gagne’s Differentiated Model of Giftedness and Talent;
  • the Six Action Shoes in the context of the Feetspeak Quest Map;
  • a reminder of the six shoes and their relationship to the Gagne DMGT model.

The main focus of the second session was a consideration of combinations and variations in the shoes. We explored the possible combinations of two shoe types to produce modified action plans. I also shared some extra shoe types which I have added  that broaden the program possibilities including Sprite’s plaster cast that symbolizes the support that may be available through eligibility for funding!

We looked at the needs of 2E students and the S.C.A.M.P.E.R. methods of varying the program to make provisions for them

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.

The Meeting

The meeting with Sprite’s school went reasonably well, as far as I could tell at the time. However, as I think back over it, I am having some concerns.

They explained that there had been several staff changes because of teachers moving interstate, suddenly leaving because of serious health issues or going on maternity or long service leave; and that there had consequently been changes to the programs that the school offered. The new teachers were still getting to know the students and would find suitable solutions soon.

The handover had not been very smooth but then… given that some of the teachers had left suddenly …that was understandable.

I reminded them about the course of action we had embarked on to find the ideal education for Sprite for her journey along Gagne’s DMGT road
from innate giftedness to fully developed talent using the De Bono’s 6 Action Shoes as the planning method and they agreed we would continue to use it.

However they said Sprite should receive more testing in just the same way you would need to be remeasured when being fitted for new shoes.
Sprite has been subjected to testing in numerous ways by psychologists, therapists and education consultants and found to be both exceptionally gifted and to have specific learning difficulties.
I did wonder whether they were stalling for time and why they could not use the results of all the testing she had received so far.

I made a mental note to myself to reread Derrin Cramer’s blog post Do you need to test again?

I was also reminded of my own words of a few weeks previous

They were made into a photo quote by Mary St George at

And it appears in an album of Gifted Education Photo Quotes at

Various programs and assistive technology measures have been tried with varying degrees of success. You can see these represented by the different types of footwear Sprite wears and you can see by her body language how her comfort and optimism levels vary!

It is one thing to find out which are the best shoes for the DMGT Road but quite another to find ones that will be a good fit.

They said they would review Sprite’s needs but were rather vague about what provisions they could offer.

One thing which did concern me was that they seemed to be emphasizing the deficits and discussing those. They talked about a number of remedial measures, study skills sessions and social/emotion support but did not speak about challenging Sprite at appropriate depth and level in her areas of strength.
Most of the measures suggested sounded like Pink Slipper – (Do what is caring, compassionate and comforting) plans. Although Sprite loves her pink slippers she needs more of the Brown Brogue (Do the most sensible thing) and Grey Sneaker (Investigate) plans at this stage.
Maybe in the future she will be able to manage the Blue Formal Shoes and Leadership Purple Riding Boots type of plans.

I stressed that they should recognise Sprite’s giftedness even while they were trying to remediate the problems and they repeated that they would review the matter.

I left them with a link to a collection of articles and websites at

We set a date for a future meeting in a month’s time.


The day after the meeting Sprite came home wearing one orange gumboot.

I recognised this as representing the Orange Gumboot (Emergency measures) plan.
It appeared to be a stop gap measure to attempt to address Sprite’s giftedness which had not taken into account her difficulties. When that became apparent she had been told to just put on one orange gumboot and hop until they thought of something suitable.

New Zealand Gifted Awareness Week 2012 – TBA Post 4 Part 3

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
and for links to all the posts for the blog tour see

This is Part 3 of my post on the topic TBA

Intellectual Dabrowski had now rounded all of us up and was giving us the working dog stare, delivering a motivational talk and barking out orders.
“Nobody goes down to the beach to wave to New Zealand until we have finished.
Come on! Let’s see some action here!
Clear the landing bay for the Twitter Birds who are bringing the links to the gifted Associations (A) in Australia and New Zealand.

Echidna and Kiwi stop drooling over Stomp out the ANTs. It is not a cookery book! Find some books and articles relating to Twice Exceptional (T) students.

Sprite, there is room here for a heart-warming personal anecdote.
Put your best foot forward!
Bring out your Feetspeak Quest map and the DeBono 6 Action Shoes Collection catalogue. We don’t need the whole album – just some pictures of the signposts Emotional, you should help her. She always gets all choked up when she looks at that stuff”

Sprite is the poster child for Feetspeak: 2E shoes which is a method of planning education programs which are suitable for students who are both gifted and have a learning disability or difference in learning style.
We have been on a Quest to find the ideal education for Sprite within the school system, supplemented by extra activities and holiday programs.
Edward De Bono’s 6 Action shoes are used as the tool for planning and they are road tested on Gagne’s DMGT (Differentiation Model of Giftedness and Talent) road from innate giftedness to fully developed talent.

First I decide what type of gifted programs would be produced using each of De Bono’s shoes as the planning tool and then I look at whether the programs would be suitable for 2e students. See

“Here!” said Intellectual “If you want something to be done right – you have to do it yourself! Here are the references and the websites Jo used when she was writing Feetspeak 2E Shoes. I have personally checked that they are still current and I have added a couple of extra references as well.”

BAUM, Susan M., Owen, Steve V.  and Dixon, John
To be gifted& learning disabledMelbourne, Hawker Brownlow Education, c.1993

COWIE, Maxine  Breaking the cycle of learning difficulties c. Starjump 2003

DE BONO, Edward Six Action Shoes” © The McQuaig Group 1991 Harper Business 1991

GAGNE Francoys PhD  A Differentiated Model of Giftedness and Talent  (DMGT) Year 200 Update 

MARTIN,  Areva D. The 2e Dilemma: Understanding and Educating the Twice-Exceptional Child This article first appeared in the June 2006 issue of Los Angeles Parent Magazine

NEUMANN, Linda C.  What Can We Learn from a Tale of Two Cities?

SILVERMAN, Linda Kreger Upside-Down BrillianceDenverColorado, DeLeon, 2002

SINGER, Lee   If Gifted = Asynchronous Development, then Gifted/Special Needs = Asynchrony Squared From Uniquely Gifted: Identifying and Meeting the Needs of Twice Exceptional Students, Kiesa Kay ed., Avocus Publishing: Gilsum, NH, 2000.

STRICKLAND, Cindy Living and learning with Dabrowski’s Overexcitabilities  or I can’t help it I’m overexcitable A teaching unit by Cindy Strickland

TOLAN, Stephanie    Is it a cheetah?  c1996 Stephanie S. Tolan

TOLAN, Stephanie  Dabrowski’s Over-excitabilities A layman’s explanation
Written for Hoagies’ Gifted Education Page, February, 1999

TOLAN, Stephanie  The problem of pain
Revised, originally published in the Gifted Education Communicator (California Association for the Gifted), Volume 31, No. 4, Fall 2000

Edward De Bono

De Bono Institute Melbourne

Francoys Gagne’s DMGT model 2000 Update

2E Newsletter

LD Online

Dr Linda Kreger Silverman

Lesley Sword Articles

Twice exceptional (Hoagies list of sites)

Cybrary Man’s Educational Web Sites

Lesley Graves Leslinks Livebinder

(Gifted Resources list of sites)

Visual spatial Allie Golon

Meredith Warshaw

Maxine Cowie

Stephanie Tolan

Drs Brock & Fernette Eide Neurolearning Blog

Wendy Stewart Abilities only parents see

John Munro Understanding & supporting gifted learning disabled students

“Now we are just waiting for a delivery from the Twitter Birds and then we can go down to the beach and wave to New Zealand”

A Picnic at the Intersection

This week a picnic table has been set up for the #gtstoogies at the Intersection of Gifted Way and Asynchronous Drive.

In a post  at on her Deep Waters blog, written for the  Blog Tour for New Zealand Gifted Awareness Week Lisa Lauffer, alias Deepwaters Coach, gave an invitation to “Meet me at the Intersection of Gifted Way and Asynchronous Drive”
Very soon the #gtstoogies had arranged on FaceBook to not only keep the appointment with our beloved Chief Sanity Officer, but also to have a picnic at the crossroads.
Lisa Conrad, whose great  blog entry on her Gifted Parenting Support Blog stated
“The time has come for members of the gifted community – parents, teachers, researchers, and advocacy groups – to come together and engage in practical and meaningful dialog on how to promote the needs of gifted children both in school and society in general”
was quick to agree to a picnic at the Intersection of Gifted Way and Asynchronous Drive.
Leslie Graves, aka LesLinks, from Ireland who also wrote excellent posts for the Blog Tour, one about parent power at and one about fun activities  at said that when a picnic is held at the crossroads in Ireland, it is also a time for dancing to Irish pipes and whistles.
So the Twitter Bird Band members were quick to find Irish musical instruments and head to the crossroads to participate in the festivities.
The telescope, which was set up for viewing the total lunar eclipse, is still available for the use of the #gtstoogies.
A description of the way the lunar eclipse would appear in Melbourne, Australia is given in the Melbourne Planetarium Sky Notes video at

When Sprite arrived at the intersection of Gifted Way and Asynchronous Drive she had a feeling that she had been there before. The Memory Elephant confirmed that she had actually been to the crossroads before, but at that time had not known the name of the roads and produced a picture to prove it.
As always when memories were being brought out the Dabrowski Dogs gathered round to add their comments.
On her first visit to the area (see the Feetspeak 2E Shoes page on Gifted Resources website at )  Sprite had been making very painful progress toward the De Bono 6 Action Shoes shop where she hoped to get the ideal shoes for Gagne’s DMGT Road from innate giftedness to fully developed talent. See 
Sensual started scratching and Emotional started howling at this memory.

In Sprite’s mind the roads were called Shoes Rd and DMGTRoad. She thought of the other end of DMGT Road as Fund Road because that was where she had to go to find out whether she would be eligible for any funding,  special considerations  or assistance.
The other end of Shoes Rd was what Sprite called Plan Rd; because it was there that strategies for building an education plan for her could be found. Imaginational speculated about what plans could be made incorporating the “ideal funded solutions plaster cast” and the “do the most sensible thing” brown shoes and how the sensible brown shoes were well suited to the DMGT Road.
Sprite always wondered whether DMGT Road  and Plan Road met each other somewhere behind the distant hills.
Intellectual said that it could be reasonably extrapolated that if the plans made on Plan Road were suitable and were pursued to their conclusion that Plan Road  and DMGT Road would indeed meet up.
Psycho Motor was not really interested in the map of the roads. He knew he had seen the place before and the mention of shoes reminded him that he had taken one of Sprite’s shoes out to the garden to play with; so he bounced off to look for it!