Critical Thinking

I had returned from a #gtchat session on Twitter about Critical Thinking and was looking forward to reading the transcript which will be posted soon at  Much helpful advice and many useful links were shared during the chat and also some light hearted joking like this

 I found Sprite trying to finish her homework with “help” from Intellectual and Imaginational Dabrowski.
As Serendipity would have it her homework involved reading the chapter about brain function, then writing an essay about it and drawing a picture or chart to illustrate it.
Intellectual had suggested that she should  stick some pictures on her whiteboard and make notes about the various areas to help her with writing the essay and creating a chart.
Much to Intellectual’s frustration, Imaginational had insisted on doing the fun bit first and was suggesting the form her illustration should take.
This is the diagram Sprite drew with the help of Imaginational.



“See” said Sprite “This is my Thinkatorium. Twitter Birds bring stuff in and I see stuff with my eyes and hear stuff with my ears and then it all gets put on conveyor belts which are on cogs that are turned by hamsters in hamster wheels and they get sent to the Language Garden to be sorted out into the subjects they are about and then the Memory Elephant files them somewhere in the filing cabinets and if I have told the Memory Elephant enough about them they can be found again. Otherwise I can’t find them when I need them later.”

Intellectual sighed! “Let’s apply some Critical Thinking to this” he barked “Bearing in mind that you are required to write a factual essay and provide an accurate factual illustration, can you see any inconsistencies between what you just read about how the brain functions and the picture that Imaginational helped you to draw?”

“Oh, incidentally, I do approve of your use of the word Thinkatorium” added Intellectual “ I checked your sources and I found that there is an excellent wiki of the same name at Thinkatorium  and that Dr Sheldon Cooper from The Big Bang Theory also used the term
I hope you are going to cite the sources of your quote properly!”

“I didn’t know I was quoting!” wailed Sprite “I thought Imaginational invented it!”


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 ( 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

Cybraryman’s Educational Web sites Science pages


World Builders

Virtual frog dissection

And they also have links to some interesting science blogs

Dr Jeff’s Blog on the Universe

The big blog theory

Krissy Venosdale Venspired blog


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

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
Free Spirit Willow Connection
Great Potential Press
Hoagies Gifted Education Page – Books on Gifted Topics

Twitter Birds useful link to Online Teaching of Gifted Students
GO Gifted Online
Twitter Birds useful links to some great pages and blogs about Teaching Gifted Students
Cybrary Man’s Educational Websites Gifted and Talented
Hoagies Gifted Education Page
Byrdseed Gifted
Krissy Venosdale

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

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.

GT Chat is back! 2

GT Chat is back this week and Sprite helped to decorate the #gtstoogies Lobby for the occasion.

Dr Jeff Goldstein’s  Twitter 21C water cooler  has been set up as well as the coffee machine and chocolate fountain.

And there are gifts for GT Chat founder, Deborah Mersino, and the new moderator, Lisa Conrad, and gifts and a rocket  cake for Krissy Venosdale of Venspired Learning who celebrated her birthday during the week.