December memories 2


The other task I had for the Memory Elephant was to help me sum up the past year 2013 as recorded on Sprite’s Site blog and the Gifted Resources blog


Sprite’s Site
There were 90 posts on Sprite’s Site during 2013. Some of the highlights were

January 13 posts
Summing up 2012
Planning for 2013
January creating challenge Twitter Birds visit the Circus
The Pair O’Noids black hat thinkers arrive to worry about stuff

February 9 posts
February creating challenge Let’s go fly a kite
Moodle sandbox
When extended family don’t get giftedness
What Seth Godin doesn’t know about gifted people – 2 blog posts written in reply to a post on Seth Godin’s blog

March 14 posts
March creating challenge Luck
Socialization and Qualified to teach – posts about home schooling.
Best Australian Blogs 2013 nomination posts

April 14 posts
Best Australian Blogs 2013 nomination posts
GT chat Labels

May 9 posts
Best Australian Blogs 2013 nomination posts
The Month of Maybe
Stealth learning – a post in Gifted Homeschoolers Bloggers Forum Blog Hop
A turquoise turtoise
Gifted Underachievers

At the end of May Gifted Resources website suffered hacking caused by vulnerability to exploitation in WordPress, the platform for both Gifted Resources blog and Sprite’s Site blog.

Because of the problems the blogs now have new addresses
Gifted Resources Blog 

Sprite’s Site Blog  

Sprite’s Site also has a completely independent Sprite’s New Site on the Edublogs platform at 

It means that we lost the blog internal links and I had to edit all the posts on both blogs to restore broken links. Gifted Resources blog with only 50 plus posts was repaired fairly quickly but Sprite’s Site which celebrated its fourth birthday in June had over 600 posts and took much longer to clean up.

There were 0 blog posts in June.

July 1 post
Clean up complete

August 4 posts
The Twitter Stream – 4 posts about Twitter

September 2 posts
The Twitter Stream
CHAOS plan check

October 4 posts
Creating challenge – Spring
October creating challenge – finger painting
The Annual Lobby Lobster Fest

November 1 post
Surviving the Christmas season- a post in Gifted Homeschoolers Bloggers Forum Blog Hop

December 28 posts
Christmas -28 posts relating to the Christmas celebration activities at Sprite’s Site


Sprite’s New Site
Sprite’s New Site was set up as a completely independent on the Edublogs platform at  in June and contains the main series from Sprite’s Site.
There were 23 posts on Sprite’s New Site

June 5 posts
Moving in and introducing the characters
Blog birthday celebrations

July 18 posts
2 posts about the Tweet family
6 posts about the Psychologist
10 posts about De Bono’s 6 Action Shoes


Gifted Resources blog
There were 23 posts on Gifted Resources blog in 2013

January 5 posts
Planning for 2013
The new Gifted Resources Info Pack
Re cataloguing GR library

February 3 posts
An answer for Penny Bentley
Gifted Homeschoolers Forum

March 5 posts
Featured flyers

May 2 posts
Bright V Gifted V 2E
VAGTC conference

August 1 post
WCGTC conference

October 3 posts
2013 Reform symposium E-conference

November 4 posts
Global Education Conference 2013




December memories 1

When the Memory Elephant returned from the Memory Elephant Day holiday everyone wanted help with preserving their Christmas memories. Here is part of my collection of recollections.


The Memory Elephant helped Oliver Moremouse to condense his Christmas season reminiscences into a picture for his wall.


Sprite needed several pages for her Christmas memories. Here is one of them.


And the Twitter Birds also needed several pages for pictures of their Nativity Play and their Christmas festivities. Here is one of their pages.


Memory Elephants Day 30 December

“The Origami Secretary Bird has declared 30 December to be Memory Elephant Day’ Sprite announced. “It is not going to be on 31 December because everyone wants Memory Elephants to work on New Year’s Eve to make up compilations of all the events of this year”

“That’s nice dear” I mumbled

I was completely engrossed in putting photos of our Christmas into the album with assistance from the Memory Elephant. As I inserted pictures of the cards we had received the Memory Elephant reminded me of the kind people who had sent them and the messages they had written to us.
As I placed the pictures of the decorations the Memory Elephant reminded me who had made them or who had given them to us and where they had been placed for previous Christmas seasons.

And when we came to the 12 Days of Christmas quilt and Rainer’s star the Memory Elephant whispered to me about our homeschooling days when we made the quilt and 3D geometric shape paper craft decorations and the children calculated the cost of the gifts for the 12 Days of Christmas at the current prices.

This year there was a theme of stars, angels, birds and shells and two birds had landed on Rainer’s star.

This year we hung the quilt on the bookshelf but it was not all visible in the photo so the Memory Elephant found an old photo which showed the whole quilt.

“I’m just saying …” said Sprite “…that you better finish doing that by tomorrow because the Memory Elephant has a holiday on 30 December”

“The Origami Secretary Bird says it is in the Memory Elephant Manifesto and should be observed by all owners of Memory Elephants.”

“I found out because I was enjoying being on holiday and going down to the beach at Rosebud” said Sprite. “And I said I love the colour of the sky and the water and I wish I could take home a bottle of sky colour and the smell of the sea.
And the Memory Elephant said in a really huffy tone ‘I suppose you want to remember that! Memory Elephants don’t even get a holiday!’
So I asked the Origami Secretary Bird about it.”

Filing memories 2

The Origami Secretary Bird organised an in-service PD session for Sprite and her Memory Elephant.
Now Sprite has created  a blue filing folder where the Memory Elephant is to place the memories of Rosebud.
Sprite said she chose blue because Rosebud is by the sea and many of the houses have blue trimmings.

Having given the Memory Elephant several attractive pictures of the beach Sprite then absentmindedly handed over  a strip of pictures of the
wood sculptured figures which can been seen on the pavement in the main street of Rosebud.


“There!” said the Memory Elephant. “That is just the sort of thing she does! She just hands me stuff and expects me to know what it is and where to file it and she doesn’t tell me enough so that I can help her find it later!  Who are these wooden statues and what does Sprite want to remember about them?”

I am pleased to say that Sprite is beginning to understand her part in the memory process and she was able to produce extra information for the Memory Elephant to file.
“I want you to file these pictures in the Rosebud file, please” she said. “I want to remember the details about them so that I can tell people who are visiting Rosebud. They are carvings of local identities which were commissioned by the Rosebud Chamber of Commerce .”

“There is Jack Jennings who had the dairy and Frank Whittaker the film maker and Norm Clark the charity tin rattler”

“And I don’t know who this is – just a random person drinking  beer outside the Rosebud Hotel”

Keeping calendars

The Memory Elephant had made an appointment with the Origami Secretary Bird to discuss the delineation of duties for Memory Elephants and their owners. Not only had Sprite expected that the Memory Elephant would set up files and folders for her memories without any thought or consideration made by her; but  she had also not been filling in the calendar which she was given as a New Year gift.

This had become apparent when someone asked when Tweet and Retweet’s egglets were due to hatch and the dates they were laid had not been entered. Fortunately we knew that the blue egg was laid the day after Valentines Day and the pink egg two days later. This means they are due to hatch on 7th and 9th March. We were able to fill in the dates.

When I asked Sprite why she was not using the calendar she told me that it was just too overwhelming!  She wanted to fill in all the important events she knew about (for example the Annual Lobster Fest in October ) and all the holidays and celebrations (her blog birthday in June) and then all the Dabrowski dogs wanted her to fill in different dates as well.

Sensual Dabrowski wanted her to add all the appointments booked for Paws for Poise Parlour visits.
Intellectual Dabrowski wanted her to add anniversaries of the births and deaths of all the famous scientists, mathematicians, authors, artists and musicians he could remember. He also wanted her to record occasions such as Talk like a Pirate Day, International Dot Day and Pi Day.
Emotional wanted the dates for all the marches organized by Sprite and the social responsibility events recorded such as Clean Up Australia Day
Imaginational Dabrowski wanted her to include all the events that SHOULD exist even if they do not exist already.
The only one not anxious to write dates on the calendar was Psycho Motor Dabrowski who suggested that their time would be much better spent if they went down to the beach and flew kites.

The Memory Elephant reminded Sprite that they had heard that the Rosebud Kite Festival would be held on 10-11th March and suggested that she should fill in the dates on her calendar so that she would not miss all the fun of the event!

Filing memories

Sprite learnt a valuable lesson about her part in her own learning this week.
When she returned from visiting Meredith and Merebith she was angry with her Memory Elephant for not creating files and folders where her memories could be filed and easily found when needed.
I found her scolding the Memory Elephant and demanding to know why the elephant had not put any of her memories in files or folders.
I reminded her that Starjump Starfish,  Maxine Cowie  had advised her  in a response that she should create images of files and folders in her mind in order to file and be able to retrieve her memories and instructed her to contact her again; but Sprite had never actually taken the step of creating files.
The Memory Elephant was looking most aggrieved! “I tried to tell her that I can only put the memories in files and folders if Sprite tells me where they have to go! She has to be responsible for setting up the files and telling me where to put all the different memories if she wants to find them again! If I just file them for her without her even thinking about it, she will never know where to find anything! A Memory Elephant can only do so much, you know!”

Mean, mean 13 Part 1

I was trying to explain to Sprite with the help of Intellectual Dabrowski why the answer to the maths problem was 5 and not 2.
We were going quite well until the other Dabrowski dogs joined the conversation.

Intellectual:” It is really very easy. I am sure Sprite really understands the tables and the number grid and the formulas. She probably just wrote the number facing the wrong way. I told her she should check it again and she didn’t!”

Sensual: “No, it is not just really easy! Sprite did check it again but the numbers don’t look the same in the book. In the book the numbers are just flat and black on white paper but really they should be 3D and all different colours. The colours all have different smells too.”

I had wondered before whether Sprite had a degree of synaesthesia and had spent some time researching it at  and   and

And then, of course, little Imaginational Dabrowski wanted to add some embellishment to Sensual’s comment.
Imaginational:” And all the numbers have characters and stories too. Two is a graceful swan. Maybe Sprite thought she needed a graceful swan to balance the equation.”

We have used Allie Golon’s maths strategies for Visual Spatial Learners  and one of these was to create poems or pictures or stories about maths facts.

We have also used the memory training methods on the Memory Sports website at

And I have shown Sprite how numbers can be turned into pictures as a mnemonic devise for remembering lists such as the Ten Commandments (Exodus 20:2–17 and Deuteronomy 5:6–21)

“It IS really simple! She understands it. She just drew the number backwards!” reiterated Intellectual.
“I’m not sure now” said Sprite.
Emotional Dabrowski pressed her head against Sprite in a comforting way.
“Ok how about we work through the problem again “I said “Let’s illustrate it with butterflies”
“I like butterflies” said Imaginational “they are so pretty and they float around on the air currents. I could watch them all day!”

“Why bother counting them when you can chase them?” called Psycho Motor as he rushed outside.
“I want to go outside now!” said Sprite.

Please Remember Campaign

When I saw this entry from Jennifer Goddard of fuzz2buzz on Twitter I thought that it sounded like a good memory tip.
I mentioned it to Sprite so that she could tell the Memory Elephant.
But Sprite was more interested in the ‘campaign’ part of the message and called up her group of marchers to give support to the campaign.
The party planning was put on hold and the history study pushed even further into the background as Sprite repainted the signs and organised her troops
I noticed that Columbus Cheetah seemed to have a better understanding of the issue this time although he still put his own spin on his message. The Origami Secretary Bird said it was ‘all about Taking Affirmative Action’.
And Jen E Wren was participating in this campaign.


Is there a Dimmer Switch for the Memory Elephant? 2

Dear Starjump Starfish

I did try to design a Dimmer Switch for the Memory Elephant. I tied his trunk in a knot so he would not be able to smell as well and I put a volume control slider on him for his trumpet.
This is what it looked like

But it upset Emotional, the Dabrowski dog. She said it was cruel and wrong to dampen down senses and emotions and the she would report me to the R.S.P.C.M.E. (the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Memory Elephants)

And it didn’t really work properly anyway. So I put the Memory Elephant back to the default settings.

Then the Memory Elephant was so happy he went on a creativity retrieval binge and kept me awake all night. That is the circles, bubbles, balloons series.  Apparently there will be a triangles and pyramids series coming soon.

Sincerely Sprite


Reading up on VSL

I could see that the problems Sprite had been having with studying for the History exam were due to the way the subject had been taught to her and also that she did not have enough understanding of her learning style to make notes in a way that would help her to remember.
The History text book had been very dull with large blocks of small font text and very few illustrations and the teacher had been mainly reading from the text book and only writing the occasional word or date on the board. Sprite had only written down the things that were written on the board; so now when she reread the notes they did not make any sense and the Memory Elephant had not been able to add anything more.

I could also foresee that if Sprite started drawing and appeared to be doodling and fiddling in class the teacher would probably assume she was not paying attention. Sprite and I did some role playing of Sprite asking permission to make pictures with her notes in a respectful way.

I also made an appointment to talk to the teacher and looked for information about the Visual Spatial Learning style that I could take with me. I chose the article ‘I Think in Pictures, You Teach in Words’ by Lesley Sword which I found on Lesley’s Articles and Handouts Page of her Gifted and Creative Services Australia website

Fortunately when the teacher read the article she could see very clearly how it related to Sprite and also several other students in the class and was anxious to learn more.

I lent her the book ‘Upside down brilliance’ by Dr. Linda Silverman
She wanted a copy of her own and I referred her to Helen Dudeney at Australian Gifted Support
I read the parent companion book ‘Raising Topsy-turvy Kids’ by Alexandra Golon and found that she also had a book for teachers and one for students.

So Sprite is now happily reading ‘If you could see the way I think’ and I will be giving the teacher a Christmas gift of The Visual-Spatial Classroom Differentiation Strategies that Engage Every Learner