A Most Peculiar Puzzle Piece

If I were a puzzle piece and you were looking for the puzzle where my piece would fit you would probably have a hard time finding it.

Peculiar

Adjective

  1. Different to what is normal or expected; strange.

“He gave her some very peculiar looks”

strange, unusual, odd, funny, curious, bizarre, weird, uncanny, queer, unexpected,
unfamiliar, abnormal, atypical, anomalous, untypical, different, out of the ordinary, out of the way
  1. Particular; special.

“Any attempt to explicate the theme is bound to run into peculiar difficulties”

distinctive, characteristic, distinct, different, individual, individualistic, distinguishing,
typical, special, specific, representative, unique, idiosyncratic, personal, private,
essential, natural

distinctive, characteristic, distinct, different, individual, individualistic, distinguishing,
typical, special, specific, representative, unique, idiosyncratic, personal, private,
essential, natural

But I do seem to have found a place where my peculiar piece of the puzzle will fit!
I am moving to Poatina Village in Tasmania
https://poatina.fusion.org.au/
Poatina is 40 minutes’ drive from Launceston on the edge of the Great Lakes country and nestled by the majestic heritage listed Western Tiers.
When the Poatina Power Station was built in the late 1950’s, Poatina Village was constructed nearby to house the workforce. Hydro Tasmania sold the entire Village to Fusion Australia in 1995.

I spent two months in Poatina earlier this year as an Artist in Residence. Poatina has a strong emphasis on all forms of the arts and is home to the Alethea Mountain Retreat Arts Centre and Glass Studio.
It is home to Faith and the Arts Summer School
http://www.poatinaarts.org.au/index.php/events/faith-and-the-arts

So my storytelling writing and drawing fitted in.

Also at Poatina is Capstone College http://www.capstone.tas.edu.au/  which redefines education for students who have become disengaged from traditional schooling.
The curriculum includes a mixture of literary and numerical study, together with practical, hands-on life skills in areas like Sustainable Farming, Commercial Enterprise, Artistic Expression, the Natural Environment, Community and Historical importance. Some of these students are gifted or 2E twice exceptional.
And there are several homeschooling families in the village and the surrounding area.
So all the experience and resources I have gathered or created over the years for my family and Gifted Resources and the Church school programs I have written will be useful to the community.

Poatina is interested in stewardship, permaculture, sustainability and waste reduction and at present are working on a Permaculture Appreciative Enquiry which will be leading to and contributing to a Permaculture Design Certificate.
Poatina encourages all the residents to be life-long learners and there are so many opportunities to study and learn and discover within the village or via the universities or online.
So all the people in the village are regarded as unique and treasured assets.

The scenery is beautiful and the sunrise, sunset and rainbow draped skies are beautiful. There are many animal and bird visitors. Wallabies, paddymelons and wombats come right up to the houses at dusk.
So I will be busy happily recording memories with my camera.

And also, most importantly, I will enjoy participating in the life, activities and devotional times of the community.

1 Peter 2:9 King James Version (KJV)
But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light

 

 

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 http://giftednz.org.nz/resources/gifted-awareness-week/

Once again Mary St George is organizing a blog tour 8-21 June to mark the occasion
https://creatingcurriculum.wordpress.com/2015/06/01/announcing-the-nzgaw-blog-tour-2015/

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

“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.
https://spritessite.wordpress.com/2014/10/13/could-sprite-be-a-persona-doll/

I also consider it effective to tell the stories and investigate the needs of many different types of gifted student using Persona Dolls. https://jofreitag.wordpress.com/

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
https://jofreitag.wordpress.com/2015/03/16/ozelive-webinar/
https://jofreitag.wordpress.com/2015/05/12/australia-e-series-tech-talk-tuesdays-webinar/
https://jofreitag.wordpress.com/2015/06/07/australia-e-series-tech-talk-tuesdays-webinar-part-2/

Image Jo Freitag

Image Jo Freitag

Websites such as Hoagies’ Gifted Education Page http://www.hoagiesgifted.org/ and Gifted Homeschoolers Form http://giftedhomeschoolers.org/  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 http://globalgtchatpoweredbytagt.wordpress.com/
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 http://johart1.edublogs.org/about-edublogs-serendipityfine-focus-webinars/

Gail_Poulin

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 https://spritessite.wordpress.com/tag/gifted-awareness-week-new-zealand/

This is a post for the New Zealand Gifted Awareness Week blog tour. To read the other posts on the tour go to http://giftededucation.ultranet.school.nz/WebSpace/1286/

blogtour2

52 Illustrations Challenge

52illosb

The 52 Illustrations Challenge has literally been a life changing opportunity for me.

It has rekindled the love of drawing and painting that I had as a child and inspired me to try different media and engage in online tutorials. I feel that I have improved over the course of the year. And I have certainly had a great deal of fun!
It has been wonderful to see all the brilliant artwork that is posted to the group wall every week and I know my group of friends are enjoying it as well; as they see the posts I have liked.

I love the way all the artists, regardless of their ability levels, are gracious and supportive to each other and that all ages can participate. It is good to see the family activities that are generated by the challenge.
It is really great to be part of such a wonderful group of people and I love the warmth and humour in the discussions.

The challenge has also provided added bonuses such as  Art Swaps and opportunities to participate in extra challenges such as competitions, picture book page designs, wedding cake design and has led to participating in other art activities such as World Art Drop day and INKtober.

I have created pages on my personal website where I share the pictures I have created for the 52 Illustrations Challenge at http://www.giftedresources.org/jo/52illustrations.htm

Thank you so much to Tania McCartney for her invitation to join her in her challenge to herself and for setting up the group. Thank you also to all on the Admin Team who have kept the challenge running so smoothly.

watercolours07

Donkeys live a long time 5: Intermission

artists

I returned to Sprite’s Site after a short time away in which I had been busy with updating the pages on my personal website
Creating Challenge http://www.giftedresources.org/jo/creatingchallenge.htm

52 Illustrations Challenge http://www.giftedresources.org/jo/52illustrations.htm

My Sky 365 Challenge http://www.giftedresources.org/jo/mysky.htm

I found that Sprite and company had been busy also. They were temporarily distracted from their concerns about George Orwell’s Animal Farm.
They were preparing for World Art Drop Day on 2 September 2014.
http://mrjakeparker.com/art-drop-day
I told them that I am planning to participate in World Art Drop Day too and was considering where to leave a picture for someone to find and how I could give a clue about the location via Facebook or Twitter.

They were also creating art which featured dots for International Dot Day on 15 September 2014 http://www.thedotclub.org/dotday/
Sprite reminded me that she had enjoyed Dot Day in the past https://spritessite.wordpress.com/2010/08/25/international-dot-day-15-september-2010/  and that Intellectual Dabrowski had insisted that she should put the date on the calendar the Memory Elephant gave her so that she would not miss the event. https://spritessite.wordpress.com/2012/02/22/keeping-calendars/
dotday150914

But, if I thought that Sprite had forgotten about the Animal Farm discussions, I was wrong!
“We haven’t finished talking about Animal Farm yet!” she said.

“No and we have not re- evaluated your learning plan either” I said “Last time we talked about it was at The Meeting https://spritessite.wordpress.com/2012/09/11/the-meeting/

“But I have already been tested and have an education plan” said Sprite “Why do I need any more?”

“Well” I said. “Situations change. It is just the same as being remeasured when you are fitted for new shoes. It is like going to the doctor regularly for a check up if you have high blood pressure and have been given a prescription – you need to check that the medication is still working and nothing has changed.”

“Do you have high blood pressure?” asked Sprite. “Does that mean you are going to die?”

“I’m fine” I said “I am not planning on dying any time soon but everybody will die sometime”
“Will I die when you die?” Sprite asked.

I have had conversations about death and life after death with many people.
I have talked about death with a two year old when her grandpa died and we found an empty spider skin. I have talked about heaven with a three year old and infinity with a five year old.

But I had never contemplated having a discussion about the likelihood or otherwise of a fictional character living after the author’s death with said fictional character.
“I don’t know!” I said.

Fine Focus Webinar Part 2

Jo Hart has posted on her E-verything! Blog http://johart1.edublogs.org/2012/11/15/edublogs-webinar-overviews-pt-2-de-bono-action-shoes-for-2e-students-a-serendipity-shared-tools/  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 https://sas.elluminate.com/site/external/jwsdetect/nativeplayback.jnlp?sid=vclass&psid=2012-10-25.1520.D.4C3548A84E624FA254CD6511B7CA09.vcr

I began with a brief recap of the first session – see Jo Hart’s post at http://johart1.edublogs.org/2012/10/23/webinar-overviews-edublogs-serendipity-de-bono-action-shoes-for-2e-students/

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

http://johart1.edublogs.org/2012/10/23/webinar-overviews-edublogs-serendipity-de-bono-action-shoes-for-2e-students/

In preparation the Feetspeak 2E shoes page on Gifted Resources website http://www.giftedresources.org/  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 https://spritessite.wordpress.com/2012/09/15/orange-gumboots/
Pink slippers https://spritessite.wordpress.com/2012/09/19/pink-slippers/
Grey sneakers https://spritessite.wordpress.com/2012/09/28/grey-sneakers/
Blue formal shoes https://spritessite.wordpress.com/2012/10/02/blue-formal-shoes/
Purple riding boots https://spritessite.wordpress.com/2012/10/04/purple-riding-boots/
Brown brogues https://spritessite.wordpress.com/2012/10/07/brown-brogues/
and also
More shoes https://spritessite.wordpress.com/2012/10/12/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.

Casting Sprite’s Education in a New Form? Part 2

I have a sense of déjà vu now that I am deciding whether to homeschool Sprite.
I have been rereading my own information about homeschooling at http://www.giftedresources.org/jo/homeschooling.htm  
viewing and reminiscing over my Home Education PowerPoint presentations and working through the presentation on things to be considered when starting to homeschool and again I have been filling out a PMI chart.

I do not have to revisit the most commonly debated issues such as socialisation so my PMI chart looks like this

I found some helpful articles by Susan Wight who is the editor of the excellent Home Education Network magazine, Otherways http://www.home-ed.vic.edu.au/

Home Educating Gifted Children by Susan Wight
http://www.home-ed.vic.edu.au/2004/08/01/home-educating-gifted-children/

The beat of a different drum by Susan Wight
http://www.home-ed.vic.edu.au/2005/07/30/the-beat-of-a-different-drum-aspergers-syndrome/

But what if my child is dyslexic?
http://www.home-ed.vic.edu.au/2003/07/30/but-what-if-my-child-is-dyslexic/

And I reread the presentation Home educating gifted children that Susan and I gave to the National Home Education conference in June 2007
at http://www.giftedresources.org/gr/articles.htm

So will I be homeschooling Sprite? Well, I am still thinking about it.