First, thank you to those of you who took the time to visit me at QE or Trumbauersville. I really appreciate it! For those of you who had wanted to stop in at Parents’ Night but didn’t have a chance to, please let me know. I’m happy to answer any questions you might have. I also shared the following helpful resources on those nights:
- Two articles on helping your advanced learner to be successful – (Developing_your_childs_habits) (What's a Parent to Ask?)
- The Gifted Kids’ Survival Guide - A book written for children under 10 who have been identified as being gifted. (Great gift idea!)
- Digital Resources
Hoagies’ Gifted – (They have a very useful Facebook page as well!)
Pennsylvania Association for Gifted Education (PAGE)
Unwrapping the Gifted – a terrific blog for parents, teachers, and advocates of gifted education
Twitter – If you are a Twitter user, you’ll find dozens of gifted-centric educators and organizations to help you (try @TheGiftedTechie – that’s me!)
I also attached a little bit of “homework” for you. I’d like to collect a bunch of “anecdotes” from you all to share with the students. I’m looking for moments from when the students were younger when they might have said or done something that might have taken you by surprise. I’m hoping that by sharing these each week, we’ll start to have the students recognize in themselves what you as parents have noticed all along.
I didn’t want to overwhelm you with too many resources too quickly, so if you are looking for help, support, or are just looking for more information in a particular area, please let me know!
In other news:
We are currently wrapping up Cycle 3. After briefly meeting the students during Cycle 1, we spent Cycle 2 going through typical “first day” procedures, meeting some new faces, and starting the year rolling. During Cycle 3, we began to talk about Multiple Intelligences. This year, we are going to focus on identifying our types of “smarts” and use those to guide our work throughout the year. Ask your son or daughter what their surveys said about them!
Here’s the plan for upcoming cycle dates:
- Cycle 4 – Multiple Intelligences (continued). Fall workshop menus go home
- Cycle 5 – Workshop menus due, topics TBD
- Cycle 6 – Fall workshops begin
Now that we have begun to develop our routine, please be on the lookout for the students’ folders. If you’re used to seeing the feedback charts come home, you’ll notice that the new “reflection charts” are quite a bit different. Ultimately, I’m looking for more student reflection as to how SI connects to their learning overall. You’ll notice that these are NOT due every week, though we will be journalling in them each week in class.
Finally, take a minute to reacquaint yourself with the SI homepage and Edmodo. Once students start to receive homework (they haven’t had any yet!), I will remind them of the importance of staying in the habit of checking in our website for homework. Also, I’ll remind them to make sure they stay in touch with me via Edmodo on the days we don’t meet. Other than checking Edmodo to stay informed, there is no “work requirement” attached to it. However, if students do have a question, the quickest place to get an answer is to ask me on Edmodo rather than wait a few days until our next meeting time.
Note: While I am asking all Gr. 3-5 students to take on this responsibility, I will leave it up to the discretion of the first and second grade students’ parents to decide if this would work for your son or daughter. Younger students will still use and have access to Edmodo in class, but checking in at home is up to you to.
This brings me to my last topic…
You may hear me speak this year about self-responsibility, challenging oneself, and becoming a self-advocate. These are skills that are critically important for gifted learners. Being “bored” in class should be a signal to a student that they need to communicate their needs to their parents and teachers. If they are not being challenged, they will need to use their voice and work with their teachers to find a way to challenge themselves and continue to grow.
These skills take time to develop. In SI, students who may not be used to being challenged academically may suddenly find themselves being challenged to reflect and learn from mistakes. This is completely ok! SI is a place where taking risks and making mistakes are not only ok, but encouraged and expected! As Thomas Edison once said:
“I’ve never made a mistake. I’ve only learned from experience.”
Thank you for reading!