Our Amazing Location- Part 1

I cannot be happier with the location for our school. It has double doors (double security!), three HUGE classrooms, common area, eating area, fenced playground on the woods and I LOVE it.

Here are a few pictures of the three classrooms. Each classroom has access to a bathroom inside the room, sink area, windows, and plenty of space!!

I will post some more pictures this weekend.

classroom1

classroom2

classroom2a classroom3 sink area

Connectagons!

I think I just like saying the name of this toy!

One of my favorite AIG teachers (thanks Diane) recommended this game. She uses it with her before and after school kids and said they loved them. I think it looks like a great mulit-age toy and would be easy to take along on trips or store at your house. It has high reviews and there is even some cool you tube videos with instructions and structures you can make with them. They have several different sets: butterflies, under the sea, and just regular octagons.

The toy is sold by Hearthsong and I love lots of the toys on this website (check out the fairy homes if you have a girl).

On My Soapbox- Lack of Understanding

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Recently I read a great short article titled “How to Raise a Genius” about academically gifted young children. I thought the author () in a few words really described some of the characteristics of gifted children.

I was in awe of the comments at the end that readers had made towards the content and author. Sometimes I get caught up in my adventure and research about academically gifted children that I forget the discomfort and lack of understanding that some adults have about what it means to be a gifted child.

Maybe it is the word “gifted” that makes it offensive?

Let me clarify- all children have gifts and unique characteristics (as do adults). Everyone has strengths and weaknesses.  Some gifts are in arts, music, sports, academics, or a combination.

However, if one wrote an article about learning difficulties would they be criticized as much?  I am not saying one is better than the other or even comparing them with gifted children- just pointing out that is you are not educated in the characteristics and behaviors of gifted children then you cannot be so condescending. I am not educated in parenting children with learning difficulties so I could not begin to tell someone they are right or wrong in an article written about it.

This is my opinion and I am stepping off my soap box for today. But don’t worry I keep it close to my desk and will be back on it soon!

Photo by Thinkstock/Getty Images

On My Wish List

This recommendation comes from one of my favorite academically gifted websites (I will blog about his website soon).  He does a great job explaining the game and uses pictures. Over the years many of my gifted students have recommended the game to me. We definitely put it on our wish list for the holidays.

Thanks Ian Byrd from byrdseed.com for this recommendation.

quirkle gifted game recommendation

One of my best friends also highly recommended this toy! After I wrote this post she wrote me about the toy: Qwirkle is a good game of strategy. There are wooden blocks with six different shapes in six colors. Using the blocks, players try to score the most points by building lines that share the same shape or color. The player with the most tiles that share something in common (color or symbol) plays their pieces and wins points. The game is over when all the tiles have been played and all the points have been tallied.

Board Game for Beginner Programmers!

robot turtles

I hope I am not losing readers by now with all my game recommendations. But I am really enjoying looking at all the games and ideas that parents have told me about the past week. I especially love that this one was on Kickstarter.  The parent reviews are high and it looks fantastic for any young child that has the mind or desire for programming or coding. Reading through some of the reviews it does seem like a game for preschool to younger elementary age gifted children.

So HAPPY!!!

We have a location for the school! This has been the biggest obstacle and today we got the call that we have space. I cannot express the excitement that I feel right now to be one step closer to offering this opportunity to children. I love the space and feel that it is perfect for us!! Pictures to come…

Oh and my shirt today makes me laugh. The picture is terrible but it has been a long few days worrying about the location. I wanted it so badly that I think I have worried myself to insomnia! But I am so happy!!!!

selfie

New location:

107 Quade Dr
Cary, NC 27513

Zooleoretto

More ideas for gifted children! This suggestion comes from a parent of a gifted child.
One board game we really like is called Zooloretto. We have the “mini” version and hope to graduate to the larger ones. Its great for strategic thinking but also has the appeal of the animals and trying to get a “daddy” and “mommy” animal in your zoo so you can get a cute little “baby” animal. We play this as a family frequently! 
zoolo1
(Fantastic full parent review: http://fathergeek.com/zooloretto-mini/)
 

Children Love Science!

I am really loving the suggestions from my friends! This comes from my friend, Sherry.
Another “toy” that Ruby got for her birthday last week was a microscope. The key, for us, was getting the accompanying book “Greg’s Microscope” which really explained the fun you can have with one and how they work. Once she understood that, she’s wanted to use it all the time.microscope

I always wondered…

What if the students got frustrated with the amount of standardized tests?

What would happen if all the students protested?

What if they didn’t show up? 

Well, some Colorado students did just that.

http://news.yahoo.com/thousands-high-school-students-skip-colorado-state-tests-231126434.html

standardized testing, academically gifted

PS- I thought these were the interesting statements from the article:

Critics say the tests do not represent what is taught in state high schools, and that preparing for them wastes valuable classroom time and stretched resources.

“Practically no teachers or students were involved in the passing of this legislation,” Chaya Wurman, one of the organizers and a senior at Boulder’s Fairview High School, said in a video statement.

“We’re being tested on things that we have never learned before, or haven’t learned in years,” she said, adding that many students believe they would not do well on the tests.

Random Confession

I have a very random confession… Part of my “quirkiness” (if there is such a word?) is data. I LOVE data and analyzing it. When I was in the gifted classroom, I loved this part of our job. Seeing how the numbers related to real students and how it all fit into what we were doing with them was very cool.

Well, now that I have the blog, I can check my stats every day. They have a button for it! What??! I try not to obsess too much and just review it once a day. But some days I slip and check it twice a day. 

And guess what? I just realized I have internationals view of my blog!! One is my aunt- but hey she is still international!