Being well aware of care

As I sit to write a post for New Zealand’s Gifted Awareness Week 2020 Blog Tour I am very conscious of the difference of the situation from previous years.

Until 2016 I was living in seaside Rosebud, Victoria and it was very easy for the folk from Sprite’s Site to go down to the beach and send light hearted greetings and good wishes across the ditch.
The Origami Secretary Bird and Intellectual Dabrowski made sure that I also included some useful information or links.

This year I am living in the beautiful village of Poatina, Tasmania on the edge of the Great Lakes country and framed by the majestic heritage listed Great Western Tiers.
There are many wonderful walking tracks around the village and the surrounding areas

The Poatina Tree Art Gallery can be visited virtually at

So some of the folk from Sprite’s Site have gathered on the grassed area near my cabin to send their greetings and to contribute their insights and varying expertise

The mood this year during the corona virus pandemic is more sombre.
So it is very appropriate that the theme for New Zealand’s Gifted Awareness Week 2020 is Wellbeing: Why it is important to care for the wellbeing of gifted people – young and old.

When I started considering how to provide the care needed for wellbeing I thought of what the needs are and how to meet them.

Intellectual Dabrowski appeared with the diagram of Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs

“Here you are!” he said. “These are the needs that must be met to ensure a person’s well-being. You will notice that, most importantly, the foundations at the very base are the physical needs of food, water, warmth and rest. After that come the needs for security and safety. Then come the needs for belonging and being loved and loving. And then the esteem needs of prestige and feeling of accomplishment. At the apex of the triangle is self-actualisation, fulfilling one’s potential and being creative.”

“That is true” said Columbus Cheetah. “But when we are thinking about care for the well-being of gifted people there are a few extra things to consider.”

“If you remember the Columbus Group 1991 definition of giftedness specifies that the gifted require modifications in parenting, teaching and counselling in order for them to develop optimally”

“And why is that?” continued Columbus Cheetah. “It is because of the asynchronous development and the heightened intensity and sensitivities of the gifted.”

So what modifications are needed to provide for the wellbeing of the gifted?

The gifted are a diverse group coming from every racial, ethnic, religious, and socio-economic group.

And there are gifted people in every age group

The gifted need to be understood and the myths about giftedness  to be dispelled.

They need appropriate education at the right level, depth, breadth and pace and to have time with true intellectual peers rather than being limited by being tied to the expectations for their age peers.

Gifted and 2E Twice Exceptional students need educational options
that will be best suited to ensuring their progress from their innate giftedness to fully developed talent

They need examples of excellence and teachers, mentors and counsellors to support their physical, intellectual and spiritual growth.

And they need Advocacy

It does matter that the gifted should be given the modifications of care necessary for them to develop optimally!

So it is great to know that New Zealand is joining with Australia and Jamaica to highlight Wellbeing: A no limits approach to the care of the wellbeing of gifted people of all ages.

All at Sprite’s Site send their greetings, message flags in the trees, and wishes for a successful Gifted Awareness Week

This is a post for the New Zealand Gifted Awareness Week 2020 blog tour.

Myth busting with Columbus Cheetah

When Psycho Motor Dabrowski learned that the theme for this year’s New Zealand Gifted Awareness Week was to be Myth Busting he became even more super-over-excited than usual.

“Cool! I love myth busting!” he yelped. “Lots of bouncing and barking and blowing stuff up and then lots of high fives all round!”

“I think it would be wise to leave myth busting about giftedness to me” said Columbus Cheetah. “It is what I do! And I use Cheetah Logic rather than explosions to make my case.”

Columbus Cheetah has been working on busting myths about gifted and twice exceptional students for many years now.

He has tackled the myth that there are NO gifted students
and the myth that ALL students are gifted
and the myth that it is possible to create giftedness by training and attitude

He has battled myths such as
All gifted students will do well in school

Gifted students are polite, well behaved and have neat handwriting

Special education provisions for gifted students are elitist

Gifted students have pushy parents

And he has fought valiantly against

All students level out by Year 3

Acceleration is harmful for gifted students

It is not possible to be gifted and have a disability

Sometimes Columbus Cheetah becomes disheartened when he sees that the myths he has been battling against for such a long time continue to be believed and hinder gifted and twice exceptional students from receiving the educational opportunities and the social emotional support they need.

So Columbus Cheetah is delighted that the theme of New Zealand’s Gifted Awareness Week 2019 is Mythbusting!
All the folk at Sprite’s Site and Personas, Profiles and Portraits blog send their best wishes to New Zealand for a great week and much success with busting the myths surrounding giftedness.

Acknowledging Diversity: Gifted is not a homogenous group

Better late than never!

New Zealand’s Gifted Awareness Blog Tour is held in June

This year I volunteered to contribute a post for the blog tour but real life got in the way of my writing. I am living with my daughter and son in law and their Stumpy Tail Australian Cattle Dogs had a litter of puppies. Caring for the puppies took up a great deal of time both during the day and overnight. The pups liked to play and be fed at between 2.00am and 4.00am. We called it the ‘stupid o’clock session’!

In the past, when I lived in Rosebud, the folk at Sprite’s Site have gone down to the beach to wave ‘across the ditch’ to New Zealand

But this year I am not living near the beach so they have to be content to hold up signs and send postcards and emails.

The theme for this year is Diversity.

It is a topic dear to the heart of the Sprite’s Site folk as they are a very diverse lot themselves.

The Psych-Owl –Ogist explained the concept to Retweet when she queried whether both her tweetlets could be gifted as they were so different from each other

Gifted students come from every racial, ethnic, religious, and socio-economic group.

They can have differing profiles as described by Dr. Maureen Neihart and Dr. George Betts Revised Profiles of the Gifted and Talented 2010
Teachers would usually recognize gifted students with Successful profile, maybe the Creative ones and maybe the Autonomous Learners but may have more difficulty in recognizing the Underground, At Risk and 2E Twice Exceptional students as gifted.

The Persona Dolls from the Personas, Profiles and Portraits Blog  are representatives of these profiles of giftedness

Columbus Cheetah is quick to point out that there are many myths about characteristics which contribute to the lack of understanding of the diversity present in gifted students.

Myths such as:
All gifted students will do well in school

Gifted students are polite, well behaved and have neat handwriting

It is not possible to be gifted and have a disability

All of these myths cause gifted students who do not fit those particular descriptions to be overlooked.

Gifted students also vary in the areas of giftedness and talent they have and come with varying personality types and varying types of intensity and sensitivity.

Sprite’s Site discussed the various types of giftedness in the post Gifted – How?  which was a contribution to

Hoagiesgifted September 2014 Blog hop

Because of this diversity in gifted students there is no single program which fits all of them.

Sprite’s Site discussed this:

One size shoe cover system

I am very sorry that I did not manage to complete this post in time for the New Zealand Gifted Awareness Blog Tour.
However the good news is that the excellent posts in the Tour can still be read at


Belonging – A place of sanctuary

Image Jo Freitag

Image Jo Freitag

Sprite’s Site is a place of sanctuary for many:

  • Lobsters holding their Lobsterfest without fear of the Wicked Lemon Wedges
  • Pumpkins hiding from the Halloween carvers
  • Outfora Duck escaping the humiliation of cricket matches
  • Twitter Birds setting up bowers where they can gather to discuss topics of their own choosing
  • The Topiary Tessellation Bird Leaf Tree Octopus (Octopus Topiarii) because at least there are some at Sprite’s Site with sufficient imagination to acknowledge him
  • Thinks He’s Alien Black Dog because he can find others there (like Sprite  and Retweet)  who also feel at times as if they are an alien who has been abandoned on this planet or have sufficient imagination (like Imaginational Dabrowski) to guess how he might be feeling.

Everyone needs a place of sanctuary – a place where they feel as if they belong and are understood. It is a basic need.

Gifted people are no exception. They have the same need to ‘find their tribe’, find their peers, find their place of sanctuary. But it can be harder for them to do it.

Exceptionally and profoundly gifted students are unlikely to find another student like themselves in their own classroom unless it is a selected entry gifted class.

It is one of the most compelling reasons for acceleration

It is a powerful reason for grouping gifted students together.

It is the reason Dr Karen Rogers says “Gifted and talented students should spend the majority of their school day with others of similar abilities and interests”
She has written articles about the grouping of gifted students which can be read at

And Prof Miraca Gross emphasises the social emotional importance of finding a true friend who can be a sure shelter and share at a deep level and that the likeliness of this happening is greater if the student has been accelerated

Belonging is the theme for the 2016 New Zealand Gifted Awareness Week Blog Tour.

Every year folk from Sprite’s Site go down to the beach to wave ‘across the ditch’ to New Zealand and wish them well for Gifted Awareness Week.
To read about Sprite’s Site involvement in previous blog tours see

To read all the posts on this year’s tour go to


Changing the way you see us

Image Jo Freitag

Image Jo Freitag

New Zealand’s Gifted Awareness Week 2015 takes place on 15-21 June 2015

Once again Mary St George is organizing a blog tour 8-21 June to mark the occasion

The Origami Secretary Bird had seen the memo I had written about the blog tour and had summoned all of the Sprite’s Site folk to gather opinions.

“I understand that ‘Changing the way you see us’ will be the theme of the week “the Origami Secretary bird told them.

Psycho Motor Dabrowski stopped bouncing for long enough to ask “Who is you and who is us?”

“I surmise” intoned Intellectual Dabrowski “that Us refers to gifted and twice exceptional students and You refers to teachers, parents, politicians and the general public.”

“I would like to proffer this piece of wisdom” Intellectual continued “To paraphrase Robert Burns
O, wad some Power the giftie gie us
To see oursels as others see us!
Or so much better, if by spells
Others see us as we see oursels”

“That is all very well if you have good self-esteem and are contented with the way you see yourself” said little Thinks He’s An Alien Black Dog. “But it is bad enough if I see myself as an alien without everybody in general seeing me as an alien too.”

“He does make a good point” said Columbus Cheetah “It is probably more helpful to show what gifted and twice exceptional students are really like and to dispel the myths which most people have about them. This has been a major focus of my work and you can find my Myth Busting Efforts on Gifted Resources website at

“We usually go down to the beach and wave to New Zealand during their Gifted Awareness Week” said the Memory Elephant, showing the pictorial memories of all the previous years.

“Are we going to do that again this year and, if so, how could it be related to the theme?”

“Oh yes, yes, Frisbees and kites with messages on them” barked Psycho Motor.

“Or messages in bottles It makes people feel all warm and fuzzy to get a message in a bottle” said Emotional Dabrowski.

Image Jo Freitag

Image Jo Freitag

“I think having gifted and 2E students telling their own story or having their story told is a really powerful way of changing the way people see them” said Sprite. “That is why I don’t mind you writing about me on the blog – though sometimes I wish would not show my faults and embarrassing moments!”

I certainly enjoy telling the story of the 2E Twice exceptional Sprite  and I found, when I was considering whether she was a suitable candidate for being made into a Persona Doll, that over the years I have drawn quite a detailed description of her.

I also consider it effective to tell the stories and investigate the needs of many different types of gifted student using Persona Dolls.

The three webinars I have presented about them should contribute somewhat to changing the way people see and understand gifted and twice exceptional students.

Information about these webinars and links to the recordings of the sessions can be found at

Image Jo Freitag

Image Jo Freitag

Websites such as Hoagies’ Gifted Education Page and Gifted Homeschoolers Form  provide information about gifted and 2E students and links to resources and also conduct monthly blog tours on specific aspects of giftedness

Social media
Facebook groups such as Mary’s Gifted Contacts
Twitter chats such as #gtchat
webinars, Vlogs, podcasts Livebinders, Slideshares
can all be very helpful in raising awareness about gifted and 2E students.

I was really delighted to receive this comment on Facebook after Gail Poulin, a dynamic teacher from the U.S., had attended a presentation I gave using Blackboard Collaborate for Jo Hart’s Fine Focus webinar series


So here we are again for the fifth time going down to the beach to wave across the water to New Zealand and wish them all the very best for a wonderful and productive Gifted Awareness Week while the Persona Dolls watch on the laptop.
Emotional Dabrowski is sending a warm fuzzy message in a bottle. The Memory Elephant is sending greetings on a helium balloon. Tweetil is attempting to catapult his lucky acorn across ‘the ditch’.
Wishing you success with changing the way people see the gifted!

Image Jo Freitag

Image Jo Freitag

To read about Sprite’s Site’s participation in previous NZ Gifted Awareness Week blog tours see the posts at

This is a post for the New Zealand Gifted Awareness Week blog tour. To read the other posts on the tour go to


Gifted Awareness Week New Zealand 2014


It is that time of year again!
During 15 – 21 June 2014 New Zealand celebrates Gifted Awareness Week.
I have joined in their blog tour and the crew from Sprite’s Site have gone down to the beach to wave to New Zealand and wish them a successful and productive Gifted Awareness Week.

This year’s blog tour can be found at

The Memory Elephant produced pictures to remind us of previous years.

To read about Sprite’s Site’s participation in previous NZ Gifted Awareness Week blog tours see the posts at


This year the theme of the week is Gifted Children are Priority Learners too!


So again this year we went down to the beach to wave to New Zealand and to write greetings in the sand and photograph our messages.



“What does priority learners mean?” asked Sprite

“It means that people should think that it is just as important for gifted students to receive the special teaching and support and encouragement they need as it is for struggling students” Columbus Cheetah told her.

“In other words people should make it one of the first things they do to give gifted students the provisions that I advocate for all the time” Columbus continued.
“They need the myths surrounding giftedness to be dispelled. And they need their learning to be at an appropriate level, depth, breadth and pace. And they need time with other gifted students”

We had to work fast as the tide was coming in and washing the writing away.

“That is how our message gets sent to New Zealand” said Sprite “The tide takes it over there and then lays it out on their beach.”

Intellectual Dabrowski growled. “No, it doesn’t! Why did you tell her that, Imaginational?”

“Because the Pair O’Noids said it was a pointless waste of time to write on the sand because the tide would wash the words away and they would be forgotten. And I did not want her to be discouraged or feel that her effort was wasted.”

However The Memory Elephant was quick to point out that the words would not be forgotten as we had taken photos of the words before they were washed away. And he suggested that they could be made into a poster with CC creative commons licensing for Mary St George’s Gifted Education Photo Quotes collection  so that they could be used by anyone without cost to create inspirational posters and blog illustrations.

This is a post for the New Zealand Gifted Awareness Week blog tour



Best Australian Blogs 2013 No 10: Stories and series



“What concerns me most” P’est Pour Parfait, the Perfectionist Poodle had said “is that 70% of the evaluation is based on the writing of the blog and that there have not been any posts yet relating to the storytelling here at Sprite’s Site. There should be posts about the storylines and the subjects covered on the blog”

After conducting tours of Sprite’s Site’s social media connections, Sprite was very pleased at the prospect of relaxing and reading some of the stories which have been told on the blog to the Dabrowski Dogs. She said she would dictate the stories she would like me to include in a post about storytelling.

Intellectual Dabrowski became quite bossy and started to point out errors in Sprite’s reading and to tell me what I should write.

“You should write one post about storylines, one about characters and one about themes and subject areas covered” he said.

“I agree” chimed in Parfait “I further recommend that you should include an A-Z glossary of the themes and subjects covered”

“And you do realize, I suppose, that you have not written about all the characters in the About the Characters page” added Parfait “that must be remedied before you write the post about the characters.”

“OK, then let us start by compiling the glossary of themes and subjects” said Intellectual.

“Do we really have to do that? I am feeling really tired now!” Sprite said.
Emotional howled in sympathy and Sensual scratched his head.
“Boring!” said Psycho Motor and went off to chase butterflies.
Imaginational said “Wouldn’t it be great if all the blog stories were made into books or e-books! Wouldn’t it be great if Jo won some writing lessons from the Australian Writers’ Centre so she could learn how to do it properly?”

“Come on then! Let’s get started!” said Intellectual. Just list them all at the moment. Then we can sort them into groups later”

There is no point in arguing with Intellectual when he is giving you the flinty working dog stare. He will keep pushing until you accomplish his goals. I remember so clearly the way he commanded the writing of the New Zealand Gifted Awareness Week blog post series. I can still hear him barking out “No-one goes down to the beach to wave to New Zealand until we have finished”
It is frustrating and tiring enough for me to deal with; but for Sprite it can cause overwhelming distress and exhaustion

So we persevered and here is the list we compiled


A  Anthropomorphism Advocacy Acceleration A-May-ING April Fools Arachnid Asynchronous development

B Biographies Big Questions Beloved Snail Back stories Bullying Birds & bees talk Body language

C Creator/Creation Christmas Choosing schools Cheetahs Comics Creating challenges Cleaning up Columbus Cheetah

D Dabrowski’s Overexcitabilities Dabrowski Dogs Depression DeBono’s 6 Action shoes Dimensions Devotional Digital citizenship Dogopus Dreams

E Emotions Emoticons Existence

F Film discussions Friendship Facial expressions

G Giftedness Gifted Education programs Gagne’s DMGT Road

H Homeschooling Homework Halloween Holiday programs

I Imaginary/Imaginal Imagination

J Johari’s window

K Kites

L Lobsters Les Souris

M Memory Marches Mindmapping Memory Elephant Myth busting Mentors

N Name calling Noids

O Organizational skills Origami Secretary Bird optimism

P Parenting Psych-Owl-ogist Paws for Poise Parlour P Party Puzzle Perfectionism

Q Quilting Questions Quest

R Real pony Reading

S Survivor Gifted Island Sensitivities Social/emotional issues Schrödinger’s cat Storytelling

T Twice Exceptional students Twitter bird stories (wedding album and band auditions) Tree Octopus Taste Tester dogs Topiary Tessellation Bird Leaf Tree Tweet family

U Un-Olympics Bowers Underachievement

V Visual spatial learners Voki

W Webinars Weed wars

X X-rays (testing not written yet)

Y Young gifted children

Z Zzz (sleep – Tweetlets)

Vote for Sprite’s Site (and as many other great Australian blogs as you like) by clicking on the Vote for Me button in the sidebar of the blog. But you can only vote once: so be sure to make the vote count. Sprite’s Site is on Page 4 O-S.

If you have entered Sprite’s Site by following a link to a specific post you will need to click on the Sprite’s Site header to see the sidebar.

Best Australian Blogs 2013 No 4: Interaction with other blogs and blog tours



Sprite is keen to demonstrate the interaction that Sprite’s Site has with other blogs by participating in blog tours, leaving and receiving comments and mentions and inclusion in blogrolls.

Last August I received an email telling me that I needed to either close my other blog, Gifted Resources blog  or update it to the newer format. I had neglected that blog as all my blogging energy has been poured into Sprite’s Site for the last few years.

My tech guru, Jamie Tarling, put in a lot of work to update the blog and transfer old posts into it. It was exciting to see the possible formats and themes on offer for the updated version. The picture in the blog header changes randomly from a selection of Gifted Resources pictures at each page refresh.

It meant that I was now ‘two-blog lady’ and had to divide my time between the two blogs. You can read about the reactions of the Sprite’s Site characters here

Here is a round up of the posts on Spite’s Site and Gifted Resources blog during 2012

Sprite’s Site participated in blog tours, blog hops, blogathons etc including


Calling all Bloggers: Sir Ken Robinson blogathon


What Seth Godin Doesn’t Understand about Gifted People  – Answers to a blog post by Seth Godin organised by the Facebook group Gifted Homeschoolers Forum Bloggers Group
What Seth Godin Doesn’t Understand about Gifted People: Goes the other way? I think not!

What Seth Godin Doesn’t Understand about Gifted People: Goes the other way? I think not! 2


NZ Gifted Awareness Week Blog Tours

New Zealand Gifted Awareness Week

In 2012 I answered the call for posts and filled in TBA (To Be Advised) as the proposed topic for the post. I will be careful not to make that mistake again; as having said I would write about TBA I felt obligated to do so and ended up writing a series with a total of 7 posts for the blog tour.


Gifted Awareness Week Namibia
The post Namibia, cheetahs and gifted students  was written at the invitation of Roya Klingner from the Global Center for Gifted Education as a part of Gifted Education Awareness Week in Namibia.

2E Dansk

Hilde Buys from Denmark picked up my post Reading to dogs and commented on it on her 2E Dansk blog
in a post titled ‘Læsning til hunden med Sprite og 2e-footsteps’  at
I wrote about Sprite’s visit to Denmark  at


A set of posters about Creativity was created for
International Week of Giftedness 2012/International Year of Giftedness and Creativity 2013 blogtour at

Inclusion in Blogrolls and mentions in posts on blogs and commenting on blog posts.

Sprite’s Site enjoys excellent relations with many blogs and provides commentary and links to posts on them and is quoted and linked to in their posts.
Some of the main blogs which Sprite connects with are:


Jo Hart’s E-verything blog

Lisa Conrad’s Gifted Parenting Support

Global #gtchat powered by TAGT blog


Vote for Sprite’s Site (and as many other great Australian blogs as you like) by clicking on the Vote for Me button in the sidebar of the blog. But you can only vote once: so be sure to make the vote count. Sprite’s Site is on Page 4 O-S.

If you have entered Sprite’s Site by following a link to a specific post you will need to click on the title on the blue Sprite’s Site header to see the sidebar.

Digital Badges 4

These are the badges I received as a result of the recent Digital Badges course with Peter Rawsthorne
overview at and forums at

The Participant Badge
Participant introduced themselves to the group via the discussion forum and actively contributes to 7 of the 12 primary discussion threads, also participates in one of the two lunch-and-learn sessions.

The Contributor Badge
Contributor does everything the participant does with the addition of contributing;
1. by designing badge images
2. creating a badge system design for another curriculum
3. blogs about their participation in this seminar series
4. other creative endeavours regarding digital badges

“Are you going to display them in the sidebar of the blog?” asked Sprite.

“Maybe, if I can work out how to embed them” I said. “But more likely I will leave them here in this post about Digital Badges.”

“We need a display case” said Sprite “We have the badges for Nomination for the Sydney Writers’ Centre Best Australian Blogs in the blog sidebar to remind us of the posts about our campaigns in 2011 and 2012.”

Best Australian Blogs 2012

Best Australian Blogs 2011

“And I think we have other badges that are included with posts but are not in the sidebar. The Memory Elephant would know!”

The Memory Elephant searched through the archives of the blog and found several badges with posts which were part of a blog tour or reflections on global conferences. Tweetil brought his newly earned Little Drummer Boy Badge and Tweetelle brought her Peacock Preening Badge to show us.

Here are the badges the Memory Elephant found

Fine Focus webinars

Calling all Bloggers: Sir Ken Robinson blogathon

New Zealand Gifted Awareness Week

International Week of Giftedness 2012/International Year of Giftedness and Creativity 2013 blogtour at

Global Education Conference

Reform Symposium

The Sketchbook Challenge

Blog Birthday

While I have been busy writing posts for the New Zealand Gifted Awareness Week blog tour Sprite has been planning the celebrations for her blog birthday.
She has chosen the theme The Flowers of Giftedness and created this poster to use for decoration and promoting the event.
It combines the stationery P’est Pour Parfait, the perfectionist poodle had produced belatedly when she was searching for invitation cards and the Flowers of Giftedness that Imaginational Dabrowski had suggested.
Intellectual Dabrowski insisted that I should include references to the reasons for including the various flowers.
Sunflowers and  irises were  included because of the paintings by Vincent Van Gogh, one depicting a jug of sunflowers and the other a bed of irises with just one white iris in a large group of purple irises.  The symbolism of the one white iris was explained in the film Little Man Tate. 
Orchids were included because of an excellent blog post poem by Lesley Graves at

Poppies were chosen because of Miraca Gross’ article Small poppies: Highly gifted children in the early years at
NZAGC magazine Tall poppies 
The logo for The Soul of Giftedness 20th World Conference on Gifted and Talented Children is a poppy

The tree in the centre of the poster in the Topiary Tessellation Bird Leaf  Tree decorated as a Topiary Tessellation Flower Tree

Sprite has already received some greetings for the card shelf for her blog birthday. If you would like to send a greeeting please reply in the comments box.