Sprite’s Site goes to the Polls

Image Jo Freitag

Image Jo Freitag

You may remember that in 2014 Sprite and her friends played a game of Elections  https://spritessite.wordpress.com/2014/11/28/donkey-votes/

This year in line with elections in Australia and the USA Sprite and co are playing Elections again despite or maybe because of the anxiety politics and the state of the world is causing her.

The same candidates are standing for election at Sprite’s Site this year but there has been an influx of extra voters as the Persona Dolls all requested the right to vote.
They had found out about the election when one of the Pork Barrelling Pigs gained 3D status and took up residence on the farm belonging to the family of country kid Evelyn

Image Jo Freitag

Oinker (the Pork Barreller) informed the folk at Sprite’s Site that almost all the 2D inhabitants of Sprite’s Site had a 3D doppelganger over at Personas, profiles and portraits blog https://jofreitag.wordpress.com/

Since Sprite’s Site has been declared an area of sanctuary the Persona Dolls have been welcomed into the community.

But there was considerable debate about whether the Persona Dolls should be allowed to vote as it could be implied that they were being given permanent resident status for Sprite’s Site.
Some were afraid that the Persona Dolls would take the jobs which rightfully belonged to the Sprite’s Site characters and cited the recent post for the Hoagies Gifted July blog hop: All things Science where the Persona Dolls had posed for the illustrations as an example.
Others thought they would not do their share of the work and would just be doll/dole bludgers!

However, when Evelyn and her grandma produced cakes and gingerbread men for the cake stall, the Persona Dolls were welcomed warmly.
The dogs all hoped that they would also provide a Barbie Queue for the sausage sizzle!

Image Jo Freitag

Image Jo Freitag

Miranda quickly acquainted herself with the policies of the various candidates at https://spritessite.wordpress.com/2014/11/28/donkey-votes/  and proceeded to hand out the how to vote cards.

Image Jo Freitag

Image Jo Freitag

Gifted Awareness Week Australia 2016



This week 13 – 19 March 2016 it is Gifted Awareness Week in Australia
For details of the events for the week see the AAEGT website page at

The folk at Sprite’s Site are celebrating by holding a rally together with the Persona Dolls from the Personas, Profiles and Portraits blog.
The Persona Dolls will be holding their own tea party after the rally.
Recently the Persona Dolls participated in a presentation given by Jo Freitag for the OZ eLive webinar conference.
Gifted Awareness Week was mentioned during the webinar and also resources for Cultural Diversity Week 12-20 March 2016 http://www.multicultural.vic.gov.au/  and Harmony Day  http://www.harmony.gov.au/celebrate/do-it-yourself/#03

A recording of the session can be viewed at https://sas.elluminate.com/drtbl?sid=2008350&suid=D.51092091ED4B4597AC051BB74A41CD

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

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.

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

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/


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/


Back to Base

Image Jo Freitag

Image Jo Freitag

“Where on Earth have you been?” Sprite demanded “You haven’t been here since last month and I was getting worried.”

“I have been preparing a presentation for the OzeLive online conference next weekend” I said http://australianeducators.ning.com/


“Also Australia is celebrating its first Gifted Awareness Week in March so I have been compiling a special edition of the Gifted Resources newsletter”
For details of the events of Gifted Awareness week


“Well you missed out on participating in the Hoagies Gifted February Blog Hop about Testing” Sprite said “Retweet said it was really excellent. You should go and read all the posts at http://www.hoagiesgifted.org/blog_hop_testing.htm           

“I thought maybe you were spending all your time with Sprite Doll and had forgotten about me”

“Actually” I said “I have been spending time with a whole set of dolls”.
I have made a set of six three foot tall dolls representing the profiles of gifted students in Neihart and Betts Revised Profiles of the Gifted and Talented.http://www.ingeniosus.net/wp-content/uploads/2010/11/PROFILES-BEST-REVISED-MATRIX-2010.pdf 

And I have created a new blog about the persona dolls at https://jofreitag.wordpress.com/

Photos Jo Freitag

Photos Jo Freitag

For the set of persona dolls I had to make a second version of the Sprite doll.
None of the dolls in the set have faces so that they can represent the aspect of giftedness without also showing any racial or ethnic characteristics. The first version of Sprite had an embroidered face and she was not in the same scale as the other dolls in the set.

Photo Jo Freitag

Photo Jo Freitag

”Wow!” said Sprite.” A Doll of a Doll of Me! It is like multi dimensions or parallel universes or something.
I do like Sprite doll Number 1’s blue boots though. Could you give me a pair like that too, please?”


Photo Jo Freitag

Photo Jo Freitag

My friend Judy Murcutt rang and told me she would be bringing me a teddy bear which had the same base as the persona dolls I am making. She said I could take it apart and use the frame to make another doll.

But, as with Felicity, when the bear arrived it was far too beautiful to deconstruct.
So I named her Bearnice and wrote her into the story.

Bernice’s story

There’s a bear in there!

It is the first day of the new school year and you, dear teacher, are meeting your class for the first time.
And one of the students is a bear – a very much alive bear in a folk art dress, jacket and apron, with an engaging smile and an intelligent sparkle in her eyes, carrying a basket of gingerbread men.
It must be a mistake of some kind. No teacher could be expected to teach a bear! You check with the admissions officer and are told “Oh, that is Bearnice.”

“What am I supposed to do with her?” you ask.

“You need to make sure she learns all that she is expected to learn in your grade this year”

“But she doesn’t speak the same language as we do!”
“You have taught students who have English as a Second Language in the past.”

So now you have a few options.
You could ignore Bearnice altogether – maybe she will just go away. But you wouldn’t do that, would you?

You could assume she must really be like all the other students (maybe she is just dressed up as a bear and when she is comfortable enough in the class she will remove the disguise) But in your heart you know that is not likely to happen. She really is a bear.

You could find out more about bears in general and Bearnice in particular. Learning about her needs, interests, abilities and passions may show you why she was put in your class.

You can learn from her and find out what you can do to help her fulfil her potential and complete whatever mission she has. Maybe she has something to contribute that could save the planet!

And here is the Message contained in the Story.
Some gifted or 2E twice exceptional students seem to be so different from the other students in the class.
You may have difficulty communicating with them for many different reasons.
They may be a long way ahead of the class in some areas and have gaps or weaknesses in other areas.
When you get to know the student personally you may find that they have specific areas of interest and specialized knowledge and a sense of being on a mission.

Spoiler Alert: Bearnice has an amazing wealth of knowledge about bees and a passionate interest in preserving the world’s bee populations!

The Memory Elephant in the Room


Photograph Jo Freitag 2015


Since the arrival of Edward the Autonomous  I have decided that I will definitely create a set of six persona dolls to represent the six students in Betts and Neihart’s Profiles of the Gifted and Talented and I will create a separate blog for the persona dolls. (More about all that soon in another post)

Then I decided to add the 5 Dabrowski dogs and the Perfectionist Poodle to the set.
My search for soft toy dogs or patterns to make them showed me several expensive options and then led to a large white dog with a Christmas hat and scarf for $3 sitting in a basket of toys at the back of an Op Shop. I did not buy him when I first saw him; but the more I thought about him, the more I thought he would be suitable.
So the following day I phoned the shop and yes, he was still there. So I took a bus ride to collect him.

On the way I passed another Op Shop and I spotted an elephant rocker sitting outside the shop. It did not have a price tag on it and I know that rocking horses can be very expensive. I went in and asked the price of the elephant.
“Elephant?” said the lady “I didn’t know we had an elephant!” (Just like when I found Felicity) She suggested a very reasonable price and I carried home my Memory Elephant as well as the white dog!


Edward the Autonomous


And now there are three!

My friend Judy Murcutt brought me another doll last week. Judy has been helping me to locate materials and work out methods for creating persona dolls. She asked several of her friends who are keen on craft work and has been given new leads. One of them gave Judy a doll frame which had been standing in her garden to scare away possums. She thought I would be able to take it apart and see how it had been put together and she did not want it back.

I was able to see how the doll had been put together and have repaired and clothed it and it has become Edward, a sensitive botany and animal loving gifted boy. Edward is a little professor who dresses in a rather old fashioned manner, plays the recorder and other instruments and reads classical literature. Although quiet and peace loving he is very interested in knights, Arthurian legend and life in mediaeval times. That is a leather bound copy of Ivanhoe he is clutching.
I am having a great deal of fun with these dolls and think there must be a divine purpose behind them because there have been so many amazing coincidences in the finding and making of all of them.
I am just waiting to find out where it is all leading and said jokingly that maybe I would end up with a full set of persona dolls representing Betts and Neihart Profiles of the Gifted and Talented.


I am half way there.

Sprite is definitely an example of the 2E Profile.

Felicity is either an example of the Successful Profile or the Underground Profile.

And Edward is a prime example of the Autonomous Learner Profile. Edward reads voraciously and can often be seen examining plants and insects with a magnifying glass. He loves science experiments. He is happy in his own skin and pursues his own learning at his own pace in his own distinct manner. It is very appropriate that he is wearing the ‘Do what is most sensible’ Brown Brogues. He would also be comfortable in the Investigative Grey Sneakers.

So now I need to create Vincent (Vince) the At Risk Profile graffiti artist, a Creative Profile character and either a Successful Profile or  an Underground Profile character.