Wheels within wheels

wheels02sm

As I could have predicted all the characters at Sprite’s Site blog had opinions about what the wheels I used to illustrate my plans for 2013 meant and what they would mean for them personally.

Sprite thought they were very pretty and showed them to the others.

wheelswithinwheels00

Tweet and Retweet recognized the wheels as Le Nid Insta D.I.Y. flat pack nest materials for renovating their nest and called in their friends and neighbours to help them with the assembly.
“In MY day…” said Great Aunt Hashtag disapprovingly “we didn’t have all this new-fangled stuff. We gathered our own materials and built it all ourselves.”

wheelswithinwheels02

The Memory Elephant said that wheels were very helpful memory devices and brought out collections of pictures created in Shape Collage http://www.shapecollage.com/   – one was a collection of pictures of Gifted Resources and the other was pictures of Rosebud beach.

wheelswithinwheels04

The Memory Elephant pointed out a particular photo of one of the strange jelly like tubes that I found on Rosebud beach and reminded me to search Google images and try to identify it.

beach11 (2)

I put ‘jelly tube fish egg sac’ in a Google picture search and found one picture which was a match. It led to a blog entry at http://residentjudge.wordpress.com/2010/01/11/squishy-things-on-the-beach/

The Memory Elephant also said that the wheels provided a reminder to add these dates to the calendar and brought out memories of the way Sprite’s Site had celebrated them in the past
Pi Day 14 March https://spritessite.wordpress.com/2011/03/15/pi-day/

International Dot Day 15 September http://www.thedotclub.org/dotday/  and
Sprite’s Site celebration https://spritessite.wordpress.com/2010/08/25/international-dot-day-15-september-2010/

wheelswithinwheels08

Columbus Cheetah said wheels were great for illustrating acceleration – a subject dear to his heart and Caramel Cat said knitting wool ball wheels were good to bat around the room

wheelswithinwheels01

The Dabrowski Dogs also approved of the wheels.
Intellectual was a veritable font of fun facts about the attributes of a circle.
Sensual talked about colour wheels and how different colours affected him. He insisted all the colours had their own smell and texture.
Emotional described the feelings and emotions generated for her by the colours on the colour wheels –happy yellow, active red, sad blue, relaxed green.
Psycho Motor yelped “Frisbee!” and bounced off in pursuit of a red wheel.
Imaginational mentally chose two wheels and joined them together with a lemniscate and sat contemplating them contentedly. After quite a lengthy period of contemplation Imaginational said “I wonder whether the Topiary Tessellation Bird Leaf Tree could wear a wheel and become a Topiary Wheel Tree and whether the Tree Octopus would still visit it if it did.”

wheelswithinwheels09

Here are some of the other opinions of the wheels I heard expressed by the characters at Sprite’s Site

Ginger Pony: “I hope you don’t expect me to jump through hoops!”

wheelswithinwheels05

Oliver Moremouse: “Yum, cheese wheel!”

wheelswithinwheels10

Arachnid:  “New website templates!”

wheelswithinwheels03

The Origami Secretary Bird: “Life Balance wheel – Sprite needs one of those!

wheelswithinwheels11

Getting organized – Homework steps

Homework was another area which we needed to get organized as it was rapidly becoming a battlefield. Sprite’s ruses to avoid doing homework were escalating at the same pace as my attempts to help her to get organized.
It was turning into homework wars!

Fortunately I found an excellent article Ending Homework Wars by Dr Michele Borba http://www.micheleborba.com/blog/2010/08/24/ending-homework-wars/

Then there was a very helpful discussion of homework on #gtchat. For the transcript of that chat see http://wthashtag.com/transcript.php?page_id=8668&start_date=2010-08-27&end_date=2010-08-27&export_type=HTML

The Davidson Institute offered helpful advice for parents with ‘What parents can do to help their children get organized’ by S Rief in the Davidson Institute collection of articles http://www.davidsongifted.org/db/Articles_id_10443.aspx

I found some great articles for teachers in regard to setting meaningful homework such as Five Hallmarks of Good Homework by Cathy Vatterott http://www.ascd.org/publications/educational-leadership/sept10/vol68/num01/Five-Hallmarks-of-Good-Homework.aspx

and Cybraryman’s Homework System by Jerry Blumengarten http://www.cybraryman.com/homeworksystem.html

Some tips for avoiding homework wars are

• Have a set place and time for homework
• Have the routine use of the homework notebook well established
• Allow some time for relaxation or outdoor activity and a snack before commencing homework (note the life balance wheel)
• Ensure that necessary information and equipment is available
• Parents need to provide support and encouragement without taking over the work and need to be prepared to advocate for alternate or more suitable homework for the child if necessary (especially in the case of 2E students)

I noticed that Sprite had put a picture of a small dog on her pin board. “That is Rio, the Homework Dog,” she told me. The Homework Dog has his own website at http://thehomeworkdog.blogspot.com/

Getting Organized – Stationery steps

“Stationery steps? Do you mean like walking on the spot?” asked Sprite when I suggested that our next step in the process of getting organized would be stationery steps.

“No I mean stationery with an e as in envelope not stationary with an a as in standing still’ I said “You can find out about common mistakes people make in English usage at Common errors in English Usage”
http://www.wsu.edu/~brians/errors/

One reason Sprite had problems getting organized in the study area of her life was that she never had the materials she needed for study in the place she needed them – they were at school when she needed them for homework and left at home when she should be handing them in at school.
Imaginational Dabrowski was getting tired of her claiming that the dog had eaten her homework and was sure she should be able to find more original explanations.

The school was making some token moves towards being the Paperless Classroom advocated by Shelly Blake-Plock http://teachpaperless.blogspot.com/ but they still relied on some textbooks and ring binder notebooks.
We implemented advice from Allie Golon http://www.visualspatial.org/Articles/orgskill.pdf about using binders and colour coding for different subjects.

Gathering and storing information ‘in the cloud’ has helped as information can be accessed from anywhere online.
As well as the colour coded ring binders we set Sprite up with online LiveBinders from http://livebinders.com/
Dropbox https://www.dropbox.com/ and Google Docs are useful for storing and accessing documents. Bookmarking sites such as Delicious http://www.delicious.com/ and Diigo http://www.diigo.com/ are also useful.

Getting Organized – Step 2

Step 2 in getting Sprite organized was to help her have a more realistic sense of time. She never seemed to be quite sure what day of the week it was or how much time to allow for various activities.
Because she was not sure of which day it was she often forgot to take things to school. She needed to remember to take her guitar on Tuesdays and her P.E. uniform on Thursdays.
So we invested in A Window of Time eco-friendly transparent perpetual monthly calendar for her window http://www.awindowoftime.net/

I also put a whiteboard and cork pin board up for her and as well as her regular alarm clock I gave her an hourglass she could set to keep track of time spent on certain activities.

We discussed finding a balance in the amount of time spent on the various aspects of life and put a laminated Life Balance Wheel on her pin board which she could colour with wipe-off marker pens. There were many to choose from and I found a good example at http://www.avisionofyourown.com/lifewheel.pdf