Monday, December 29, 2014

Imaginational Overexcitability

("Heavenly Nostrils" cartoon by Dana Simpson can originally be found HERE)


Gifted people often demonstrate some of Dabrowski's Overexcitabilities.  One of the categories is called Imaginational Overexcitability.  While in pre-school, my son had an imaginary friend named, Jelly-lo.  My child was a quiet boy while Jelly-lo was incredibly naughty.  My son was able to experiment with the world by talking about Jelly-lo's bad behavior and then asking about consequences.  While in the primary grades, my boy lived in a world of mice.  During his playtime, he was a teacher of a classroom of mice, and he blew a whistle to bring the imaginary class to order,  These mice played with my child and his real friends while on the playground at school, and the mice also went on adventures with my son and his real grandpa. Read below to see if any of Dabrowski's descriptions have made an appearance in your family's life.

IMAGINATIONAL OVEREXCITABILITY
Imaginational OE reflects a heightened play of the imagination with rich association of images and impressions, frequent use of image and metaphor, facility for invention and fantasy, detailed visualization, and elaborate dreams (Dabrowski & Piechowski, 1977; Piechowski, 1979, 1991). Often children high in Imaginational OE mix truth with fiction, or create their own private worlds with imaginary companions and dramatizations to escape boredom. They find it difficult to stay tuned into a classroom where creativity and imagination are secondary to learning rigid academic curriculum. They may write stories or draw instead of doing seatwork or participating in class discussions, or they may have difficulty completing tasks when some incredible idea sends them off on an imaginative tangent.

(This post was written by Tawnya Sherman)

See more about overexcitabilities at this website.


Sunday, December 14, 2014

AAGT 41st Annual Gifted Conference - Feb. 5 & 6, 2015


Arizona Association for Gifted and Talented (AAGT) is inviting all those interested in gifted education to their Annual Gifted Conference at the Black Canyon Conference Center in Phoenix, Arizona on February 5 and 6, 2015.

Enjoy two full days of learning, networking, and gifted education synergy! 

Their theme this year is ‘Advancing Gifted Education’ and that is what they aim to do. Sessions on differentiation, technology integration, the common core standards, social/emotional needs of gifted individuals, and much more will be offered, as well as a special strand for teachers of AP courses (Friday only). 

Click HERE to register.

Book Series Review - The Mysterious Benedict Society



A fabulous book series that appeals to all ages!

The Mysterious Benedict Society
by: Trenton Lee Stewart 

When she spots the advertisement in the newspaper, Reynie Muldoon’s tutor, Miss Perumal, suggests that Reynie try for the school.  Reynie is an orphan living at Stonetown Orphanage.  He is very bright and the advertisement calls for gifted children to apply for special opportunities.  Reynie agrees to give it a try.  The testing process is rather odd but he passes all the tests.  In the end, only four children are chosen from the hundreds who tested.  George “Sticky” Washington is a rather shy boy with a great memory. Kate Weatherall is a gifted athlete who carries a large bucket of objects with her.  Constance Contraire is a girl with a strong personality and a quick wit.  The four of them finally meet Mr.  Benedict.  He tells them that something very strange is going on and he needs gifted children to help.  The children must agree to help or they leave.  Reynie realizes that all the children are loners; orphans and runaways with no one to really miss them.  The children agree to work with Mr Benedict and then he lets them know what is going on.

* The Mysterious Benedict Society -- B.L. 5.6   A.R. 18 pts
* The Mysterious Benedict Society and the Prisoner's Dilemma -- B.L. 6.3  A.R. 15 pts
* The Mysterious Benedict Society and the Perilous Journey -- B.L. 6.1    A.R. 19 pts.

Click HERE to visit the website about the book series.

Sunday, November 9, 2014

"Executive Functioning Skills" Lecture - Thursday, 11/13/14


Guest Lecture Series
Executive Functioning Skills
Thursday, November 13, 2014 
from 6:45-8:00 p.m. 
at the Greenfield Elementary School Library

Join us to learn methods for helping our children learn organizational skills.  Discover strategies to help our children tackle projects without so much emotional drama that often comes with giftedness.

Deedee Aboroa is an exemplary ALP teacher at Quartz Hill Elementary, and she has mastered techniques for working with gifted students.  She will share with us her understanding of how effective organizational skills can empower our gifted kids as they develop awareness of their own thinking and their own behaviors.

Open to everyone.

Co-sponsored by Gilbert Supporters of the Gifted and the GPS Gifted Education Parent Council.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Guest Lecture Series 2014-2015



http://www.gilbertgifted.org/images/GSG%20web%20site%20button%20logo%204.jpgGilbert Supporters of the Gifted,
with the GPS Gifted Education Parent Council,
present their 2014-15 Guest Lecture Series:


All Guest Lectures are open to parents with gifted students of all ages in the valley.  Guest lectures will take place at the Greenfield Elementary Library from 6:45-8:00pm.  Come to connect with other parents and learn from experts about helpful parenting strategies that focus on the gifted child’s development.

11/13/2014 -- “Executive Functioning Skills”

Join us to learn methods for helping our children learn organizational skills. Discover strategies to help our children tackle projects without so much emotional drama that often comes with giftedness.  Deedee Abaroa is an exemplary ALP teacher at Quartz Hill Elementary, and she has mastered techniques for working with gifted students.  She will share with us her understanding of how effective organizational skills can empower our gifted kids as they develop awareness of their own thinking and their own behaviors. 

1/15/2015 -- “Social Communication/Conversations ”

Are you ever concerned about your gifted child’s verbal and non-verbal communication skills in social settings?  Come hear Katherine Varga, a certified Speech Language Pathologist, share strategies that can help strengthen your child’s “SQ” (Social Quotient).  Kathy Varga, as a member of the 2012 GPS Gifted Education Vision Committee, advocated for the social developmental needs of the gifted child.

4/9/2015 -- “Nonverbal Giftedness/Visual-Spatial Learners”

Your child has been identified as a “Visual-Spatial” or “Non-Verbal” Learner.  What does that mean?  How do these children learn?  What learning strategies work best for them?  Come to our concluding guest lecture of 2014-15 to find out.

In addition, the Arizona Association for Gifted and Talented will present:
Parent Day on Friday, February 6, 2015 from 8:30am-5:30pm at the Black Canyon Conference Center in Phoenix.  More information at www.arizonagifted.org

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Earth and Science Exploration Day at ASU - October 25th



Be sure to attend the Earth and Space Exploration Day this month on Saturday, October 25, 2014 from 9:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m. on the ASU Tempe campus (ISTB 4).

Earth and Space Exploration day is a free annual fall event hosted by ASU's School of Earth and Space Exploration, an academic unit of the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences.


This event features special science-related activities for students age five and up, families, educators and anyone interested in exploring Earth and space alongside real scientists. Explore ISTB 4's Gallery of Scientific Exploration with its variety of interactive exhibits and enjoy a 3-D astronomy show in the Marston Exploration Theater. Visitors can also see a replica of Curiosity rover, explore Tempe Butte on a guided field trip, pan for gold, dig for meteorites, bring rock samples for Dr. Rock to examine and so much more!  For more information, visit the event website 

Monday, October 6, 2014

Seeing the Forest for the Trees - By Stephanie Newitt

Dr. Amy Serin of the Serin Center was the keynote speaker at the September, AAGT Parent Institute.  She had these thoughts to share regarding parenting gifted kids to help us as parents see the forest for the trees.

Dr. Serin began with some biology and a look at brain cortical thickness.  This is the area of the brain that among a variety of cognitive abilities plays a key role in attention and perceptual awareness.   She shared with us a study that was conducted comparing the cortical thickness of children with typical intelligence to that of children with IQs in the 120s-130s.  The study found that in the group of gifted children, the cortex thickened at about age 11 years, but that the cortex thickened years earlier for children of typical intelligence.  

What does this mean to parents of gifted children?  This means, that biologically speaking, gifted children will struggle with their ability to self-regulate until about the age of 11 years old.  Combine this with their heightened curiosity and there is no wonder that young gifted children get distracted on their way to complete simple tasks such as feeding the dog or turning in homework. 

What can we as parents do to help our children who are still developing self-regulating abilities?
·         We can look at them and their development through the lens of giftedness. 

·         Don’t “should” your gifted child.  We tend to do this because we want THEM to make our lives easier.  Don’t look at typical kids to be the standard of a gifted child’s development.
·         Modulate expectations based on your gifted child’s needs.  Which executive functioning (self-regulating) trait does your gifted child have difficulty with?  Shifting activities?  Regulating their intense emotions?  Their overexcitibility
·         Motivate your gifted child, not with logic, but with rewards that will activate the dopamine levels in the brain.  Be aware of your gifted child’s developmental stages and identify their asynchronies.
·         As parents, we may need to BE the frontal lobe – giving direction and structure – while the brain of our gifted child is developing.  An example of this is that it is time for your gifted child to clean up her room.  You can break it down for them and give the direction to gather dirty clothes first, then help them with a short list of items they will gather together and put away (dolls, cars, etc.) 


·         Don’t parent based on parental entitlement.  Parent based on your child’s genuine needs.
·         Model self-soothing behavior and discuss with your gifted child why you chose this behavior and how it helped you.  Train your child to use appropriate self-soothing behavior also.  This can be as simple as when a project is frustrating, you get up and take a short walk in the fresh air.
·         When parenting your gifted child, empathize, discuss (but don’t focus on logic), distract, and put the situation into perspective.  Use humor. 

To illustrate this point, I remember when my 11 year old son was very frustrated that I had asked him to pick up the fallen citrus in the backyard.  “But I just did it last week!  I shouldn’t have to do it again!” he balked.  I let him know I understood, and that I was just thinking about him.  Since his older brother was about to mow the lawn, I thought he would prefer to pick up whole citrus as opposed to cut up pieces of fruit.  He repeated his mantra of frustration.  I then looked at him, and in a voice of empathetic frustration, said, “Well, then, you should take it up with the trees and tell them they have no business dropping fruit when you just picked up their mess last week!”  My son smiled, rolled his eyes, shook his head … and got his garbage bags and gloves.  
·         Dr. Serin continued … Regarding bullying.  Are you as a parent succumbing to victim mentality?  Be sure to not project a victim mentality on to your child.
·         Regarding self-regulating / executive functioning skills, Dr. Serin recommended the book -   Smart but Scattered: The Revolutionary "Executive Skills" Approach to Helping Kids Reach Their Potential by Peg Dawson and Richard Guare.

I highly recommend the annual AAGT Parent Institute to any parent of a gifted child.  Each time I go I’m reminded I’m not alone in this journey of parenting gifted children and I also bring home little nuggets of knowledge and skill that elevate my perspective.  I arrive home with greater peace – I remember that I love the panoramic view of the forest.

If you weren’t able to attend the AAGT Parent Institute this year, then please be sure to come to the Gilbert Supporters of the Gifted quarterly guest lectures.  Come to the GSG guest lectures and you will feel like you are not alone in this journey,  you will take home your own nugget of knowledge to raise your parenting perspective, and you just might find your own peaceful view of the forest.

MARK YOUR CALENDAR!  The next GSG Guest Lecture is Thursday, November 13th. 

If you liked this article, then you will really enjoy our November topic:  Ideas to help Gifted Children with Executive Functioning Skills.

SEE YOU ON NOVEMBER 13TH!

AAGT's Silent Auction - Ending October 12, 2014

Here is some information about Arizona Association for Gifted and Talented's Silent Auction.  They have some great things up for auction and you can supported gifted and talented education too!


Our Silent Auction Offers Something for Everyone!!

Bidding opened at 8am on Saturday, September 27th, and closes at 9pm on Sunday, October 12th.

We are offering a new component of our 2014 Parent Institute.
Here are the details of our Silent Auction!  Please share this information with your friends and family.  Anyone can bid on these items!

Support Arizona's Gifted and Talented!

The silent auction went live at 8am on Saturday, September 27th, 2014, and closes at 9pm on Sunday, October 12th.

There are more than 50 items up for auction including:
  • Children's Party Packages
  • Travel Opportunities
  • Culinary Experiences
  • Entertainment
Check back daily for new offerings!

AAGT Workshop: Communication for Gifted and Twice Exceptional Families - Oct. 15, 2014

Here is some information we received from AAGT about a free workshop they will be offering on Wednesday, October 15th.  Read on for more details.

You're invited to our workshop!
Wednesday Oct 15th, 2014 6pm-8pm in Glendale
Communication for Gifted and Twice Exceptional Families
Marriage and Family Therapist and gifted advocate Bob Yamtich has offered to put on a workshop about Communication for Gifted
and Twice Exceptional Families.
Gifted children have dual longings: to be contained and inspired by an authority figure, and to be respected and engaged with as an equal. The ability to be a humble authority requires self-understanding and empathy. Strategies inspired by Nonviolent Communication (NVC) can help, as all involved identify their needs, empathically hear the other, and clearly self-express what they are asking for. We will consider how gifted over-excitabilities (OEs) impact the needs involved in empathy and communication. NVC offers a process for rigorous exploration of feelings and needs which allows an analytical mind to connect with both emotional wisdom and practical requests. The gifted desire for autonomy and freedom is supported by clearly distinguishing what is joyful to contribute from what seems like a demand or obligation. Families can use the skills of discussing levels of willingness to make, hold, and renegotiate agreements with clarity and care. Problem solving, including reconnecting after a conflict, becomes more clear as people distinguish between needs and the strategies to meet needs. Compassion increases as people have a sense of being heard. The workshop includes an introduction to NVC, live practice, and tools for further work.

The workshop is free and is for parents and their kids to attend together. Space is limited so register now to secure your spot!
Email jmcgarry@azgifted.com to register.
When
WEDNESDAY
OCT. 15, 2014
From 6pm to 8pm
Where
WEST CAMPUS ASU
4701 W THUNDERBIRD ROAD
Glendale, AZ 85306

Monday, September 22, 2014

2014 AAGT Parent Institute - Registration and Breakout Sessions Schedule

REGISTER NOW for the Parent Institute and Children's Super Saturday
Registration is still open for the Parent Institute and Children's Super Saturday event this week on 9/27/14.


This event is perfect for parents and teachers alike!  Teachers in attendance will receive PD hours.

The K-2 grades classroom is now full.  We do still have room if your child is in grades 3-5 or 6-8.

Enriching Gifted Students for 40 Years
AAGT's Parent Institute and Children's Super Saturday is a one day event geared towards the needs of Arizona's parents of gifted and talented children. Our goal is to advocate, educate, and communicate on behalf of gifted learners in the state of Arizona. Your day starts with a dynamic keynote speaker and continues with breakout sessions based on parents' needs. Also provided is an on-site enrichment program for K-8 students to attend while their parents are in sessions. (NOTE:  there is a separate registration fee per parent and per child)

The Parent Institute is $25 per adult.  OR purchase our Package and get your Registration AND 1-year AAGT membership for $40.  Save $10!

Children's Super Saturday is $25 for your first child and $10 each for additional children. NOTE: The K-2 group is now closed.  We have reached maximum number for the K-2 group.  


Breakout Sessions for the Parent Institute

Session 1  10:10am -11:10am

1. The " ABC's" of Gifted Preschoolers and Kindergartners
   Presented by Daisy Robledo

2. Building Bridges with Your School & District
   Presented by Stephanie Newitt & Kristina Park

3. Why Can't My Kid Catch a Break?
   Presented by Angela Lahman

4. Passion Based Learning. The new "PBL".
   Presented by Diane Hale

 
5. How Parents Can Help Gifted Children Be Better Learners
   Presented by Nathan Levy

Session 2  11:20am-12:20pm

1. Engaging and Challenging the Gifted Preschooler
   Presented by Sarah Torrilhon, Kelley Gmelich &  Amie Miksta

2. The 21st Century Classroom
    Presented by Karen Mensing & Megan Bird   

3. Being Gifted in Today's World
  Presented by Krista Gibson

 4. C.H.O.I.C.E.S: 6 Foundational Principles to Empower Children
   Presented by Amea Isom

5. Understanding Legal and Educational Options
      for Your Twice-Exceptional Child
   Presented by Dr. Sally Logerquist & Dr. Susan Jackson


Session 3      1:20pm - 2:20pm

1. Video Games - Blessing or Curse for Your Bright Child?
   Presented by Otto Siegel    

2. What a Year it Was: Two Tales of Adventures in Homeschooling
   Presented by Leslie Ferre & Jennifer Bowers

3. Being a Voice For Gifted Learners
   Presented by Erica Bailin

 
4. The Elementary Gifted Mind
    Presented by Janet Spicer

5. They Say My Child is Gifted... How do I know What She Needs in        School? 
    Presented by Dr. Dina Brulles

To see further description of the breakout sessions, please visit our website  

Dr. Amy Serin - AAGT Annual Parent Institute Keynote Speaker

The AAGT Annual Parent Institute is fast approaching!  It will be held this Saturday, 9/27/14 at Grand Canyon University.

Here's some information about the keynote speaker, Dr. Amy Serin.

"Seeing the Forest for the Trees - answering your most common questions about parenting gifted children."
In this presentation, Dr. Amy Serin, a Pediatric Neuropsychologist who specializes in the treatment of gifted children, adolescents, adults, and families, will address parents' most common concerns when parenting gifted children.  Using her trademark humor and ability to connect with audiences, this heartfelt discussion will have something in it for every parent, including cutting-edge neuroscience treatments for gifted children, how to address problems with executive functions, what to do about common situations such as bullying and being left out of peer interactions, and the latest on what we know about gifted brains and how to translate this into better parenting. 

To find more out more about  Dr. Amy Serin,   View Her Website

Friday, September 19, 2014

Mark your Calendar! Sept 27, 2014 - Parent Institute & Children's Super Saturday!

Mark your calendars for the Parent Institute and Children's Super Saturday on September 27th at Grand Canyon University.  The event is hosted by the Arizona Association for Gifted & Talented (AAGT).



The AAGT website states:

AAGT’s Parent Institute and Children's Super Saturday is a one day event geared towards the needs of Arizona’s parents of gifted and talented children. Our goal is to advocate, educate, and communicate on behalf of gifted learners in the state of Arizona. Your day starts with a dynamic keynote speaker and breakout sessions based on parents’ needs. Also provided is an on-site enrichment program for K-8 students to attend while their parents are in sessions. (NOTE: there is a separate registration fee per parent and per child) 

The Parent Institute is $25 per adult. OR purchase our Package and get your Registration AND 1-year AAGT membership for $40. Save $10! 

Children's Super Saturday is $25 for your first child and $10 each for additional children.

Click HERE to register.

Click HERE for the general AAGT website.

Monday, September 8, 2014

Gifted 101 Meeting

One of the most important themes to take away from a Gilbert Supporters of the Gifted meeting, is that information creates understanding and power.  As parents, if we are informed about the characteristics, the strengths, the frequent behaviors, and the weakness of our gifted children, then we can facilitate more success in the home and in school.  There is a support system here.  You are not alone.  Feel free to view some of the documents that were passed out during the initial Gifted 101 meeting on September 4th.  We hope to see you again on November 13th.









Thursday, August 28, 2014

"Gifted Cluster Classroom" - Guest Lecture on Sept. 4, 2014


Gilbert Supporters of the Gifted (along with the GPS Gifted Education Parent Council) are hosting a free guest lecture regarding the "Gifted Cluster Classroom" on Thursday, September 4th at Greenfield Elementary School Library (2550 E Elliot Road, Gilbert, AZ).

Parents, grandparents, teachers, administrators and other interested people are invited to attend this lecture.  Spread the word to those that you think may benefit by attending.

Here's the schedule for the evening.  Please feel free to join us for whatever portions of the evening interest you.

6:00-6:30 p.m. - Gifted 101
If you're new to the world of giftedness, come and learn some of the basics.

6:45-7:00 p.m. - Parent Connections
Be an early bird and come meet other parents who may share your same concerns.

7:00-8:00 p.m. - Guest Lecture
Learn about the "Gifted Cluster Classroom" by hearing directly from a Gifted Cluster Coach and also from one of our Gifted Cluster Teachers.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Earth and Space Exploration Day at ASU - October 25, 2014


Mark your calendar for the Earth and Space Exploration Day on Saturday, October 25, 2014 from 9:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m. on the ASU Tempe campus (ISTB 4).

Earth and Space Exploration day is a free annual fall event hosted by ASU's School of Earth and Space Exploration, an academic unit of the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences.


This event features special science-related activities for students age five and up, families, educators and anyone interested in exploring Earth and space alongside real scientists. Explore ISTB 4's Gallery of Scientific Exploration with its variety of interactive exhibits and enjoy a 3-D astronomy show in the Marston Exploration Theater. Visitors can also see a replica of Curiosity rover, explore Tempe Butte on a guided field trip, pan for gold, dig for meteorites, bring rock samples for Dr. Rock to examine and so much more!  For more information, visit the event website 

Personal Note: I went to this event at ASU last year with my sons and their cousins and it was incredible.  I highly recommend it.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

AAGT's Parent Institute and Children's Super Saturday - Sept. 27th, 2014

Mark your calendars for the Parent Institute and Children's Super Saturday on September 27th at Grand Canyon University. 


The AAGT website states:

AAGT’s Parent Institute and Children's Super Saturday is a one day event geared towards the needs of Arizona’s parents of gifted and talented children. Our goal is to advocate, educate, and communicate on behalf of gifted learners in the state of Arizona. Your day starts with a dynamic keynote speaker and breakout sessions based on parents’ needs. Also provided is an on-site enrichment program for K-8 students to attend while their parents are in sessions. (NOTE: there is a separate registration fee per parent and per child) 

The Parent Institute is $25 per adult. OR purchase our Package and get your Registration AND 1-year AAGT membership for $40. Save $10! 

Children's Super Saturday is $25 for your first child and $10 each for additional children."

Click HERE to register.

Click HERE for the general AAGT website.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Arizona Future Problem Solvers (AZFPS) - Fall Workshop


Seeking a Program to supplement Arizona Career and College Ready Standards implementation? 

Take a look at Arizona Future Problem Solving (AZFPS)!!!

Arizona Future Problem Solving announces training workshops for Teachers, Parents, and AZFPS Coaches on August 16, 2014 from 8:30- 3:30 at the Herberger Young Scholars Academy at ASU West and in Tucson on August 23, 2014 PTBA. . Cost is $65 per person and $15 per person for additional people from one school/district.

The workshop will cover the Creative Problem Solving Process as used in the FPS Program, vocabulary, techniques, and tools for FPSP and how to incorporate the FPS model into an educational program K-12. Arizona College and Career Ready Standards are covered using the Future Problem Solving Program. Attendees will receive Gifted Endorsement and Recertification credit hours.

Contact Jennine Jackson, jenninebj@gmail.com, or 520 440.8865 to register.