Gifted and Talented
Look Up and Friend
Reason to Celebrate
This is Stay Home Because You're Well Day!
Trivia Question of the Day
Science- How many pairs of ribs do human beings have?
Yesterday's Answer: 100
Mathematical proof that 1+1=2 takes 162 pages to explain in the three volume work “Principia Mathematica".
Student Tip of the Week
11/30/15 - 12/04/15
Asking for Help: Getting Past the Obstacles
When we're struggling with something, it's natural to turn to others for help. Helping each other is all part of the giving and receiving that makes up good relationships.
Getting help sounds simple. But it's not always easy to do. Sometimes we stand in our own way without realizing it.
Certain beliefs or ways of thinking can make it hard to see opportunities for help. Here are some examples of the kinds of attitudes that can stand in the way — and ideas on how to get past them.
Obstacle 1: Believing That Needing Help Is a Sign of Weakness
Asking for help shows maturity and confidence. It's a sign of strength, not weakness. You know what you need and you're not afraid to reach out for it.
Obstacle 2: Thinking You Don't Deserve Help or Support
Everyone needs help now and then. No one can — or should — handle everything alone. Accepting help can strengthen friendships and relationships. Everyone feels good when they can support a friend.
Be choosy about who you ask to help, though. Share your feelings or a problem with someone who listens and cares — not someone who judges, criticizes, or blames you. Most of the time we can guess which way people might react. But on rare occasions, they catch us off guard. If you do get rejected, it's not because of anything you did. It's what's going on with the other person.
Obstacle 3: Not Speaking Up to Ask for Help
Sometimes you're lucky enough to have people in your life who see what you need and offer to help before you ask. Usually it's a parent or a close friend. But sometimes when we need help, we have to ask. The best approach is to be clear and direct, like saying, "I'm having trouble with this. Can you help me?"
Obstacle 4: Waiting for Someone Else to Make the First Move
It's not always easy for other people to see when we need help. Maybe we're putting on a cheerful face to mask the problem or giving off a vibe that we don't want to talk. Don't wait for someone to read your mind or notice what you need. Ask.
Obstacle 5: Giving Up Too Easily
If help doesn't get us what we expect right away, it's tempting to give up. But getting help takes ongoing effort. It might take multiple attempts.
Why Asking for Help Is Important
None of us can go it alone. The people who believe in us remind us that we have what it takes, that we matter, and that we're loved. But sometimes we just have to reach out and ask for that help. Our friends and family love us, but they can't always know what we want, especially if we are putting a brave face on things.
Because it can be hard to reach out for help, don't hesitate to reach out and offer support to another person if you think he or she needs it. Giving and receiving help are great life skills to learn. They help us learn character qualities like empathy and generosity, as well as understand other people better.
Teacher Tip of the Week
11/30/15 - 12/04/15
Inappropriate Instruction for Gifted Learners
- Instruction for gifted learners is inappropriate when it asks them to do things they already know how to do, and then to wait for others to learn how. Many advanced learners regularly complete assignments calling on materials, ideas and skills they have already mastered. Then they wait for peers to catch up, rather than being pre-assessed and assigned more advanced materials, ideas and skills when they demonstrate competency
- Instruction for gifted learners is inappropriate when it asks them to do "more of the same stuff faster." Reading more books that are too easy and doing more math problems that have ceased being a challenge are killers of motivation and interest.
- Instruction for gifted learners is inappropriate when it cuts them loose from peers and the teacher for long periods of time. Asking a highly able student to sit at a desk in the back of the room and move through the math book alone ignores a child's need for affiliation, and overlooks the fact that a teacher should be a crucial factor in all children's learning. It also violates the importance of meaningful peer interaction in the learning process, as well as in the process of social and emotional development.
- Instruction for gifted learners is inappropriate when it is structured around "filling time." Highly able students are often asked to go write a play, complete a puzzle, or do classroom chores because they have completed required tasks that take others longer. It would be difficult to defend such practices as a high-quality use of educational time.
- Instruction for gifted learners is inappropriate when they spend substantial time in the role of tutor or "junior teacher." All students need to be colleagues for one another, giving a hand or clarifying procedures when needed. That's quite different from when advanced learners spend chunks of time on a regular basis teaching what they already know to students who are having difficulty. Some educators suggest that doesn't harm highly able learners because their test scores remain high. That begs the question of the extended learning these students might have garnered had the same amount of time been spent in pursuit of well-planned new ideas and skills.
- Instruction for gifted learners is inappropriate when it is rooted in novel, "enriching" or piecemeal learning experiences. If a child were a very talented pianist, we would question the quality of her music teacher if the child regularly made toy pianos, read stories about peculiar happenings in the music world, and did word-search puzzles on the names of musicians. Rather, we would expect the student to work directly with the theory and performance of music in a variety of forms and at consistently escalating levels of complexity. We would expect the young pianist to be learning how a musician thinks and works, and to be developing a clear sense of her own movement toward expert-level performance in piano. Completing word-search puzzles, building musical instruments and reading about oddities in the lives of composers may be novel, may be "enriching,"(and certainly seems lacking in coherent scope and sequence, and therefore sounds piecemeal). But those things will not foster high-level talent development in music. The same hold true for math, history, science, and so on.
Parent Tip of the Week
11/30/15 - 12/04/15
Creating a Reader-Friendly Home
A home filled with reading material is a good way to help kids become enthusiastic readers. What kind of books should you have? Ask your kids about their interests. If they're too young to have a preference, your local librarian can offer suggestions about age-appropriate books.
Here are some other tips:
Keep a varied selection. Collect board books or books with mirrors and different textures for babies. Preschoolers enjoy alphabet books, rhyming books, and picture books. Elementary-age kids will enjoy variety: fiction, nonfiction, and poetry, plus dictionaries and other reference books.
Kids can understand stories they might not be able to read on their own. If a more challenging book interests your child, make it something to read together. Younger kids can look at illustrations in books and ask questions as they follow along.
And don't limit reading material to books. Kids might also enjoy:
- magazines (for kids)
- audio books
- postcards, e-mails, and text messages from relatives
- photo albums or scrapbooks
- comic books
- the Internet
- beginning reading and alphabet games on a computer
- magnetized alphabet letters
- e-readers or e-books
Keep reading material handy. Keep sturdy books with other toys for easy exploration. Books near the changing table and high chair can be helpful distractions for younger kids at appropriate moments. Plastic books can even go in the bathtub. Keep books next to comfy chairs and sofas where you cuddle up so you can read after feedings and before naps.
Create a special reading place. As kids grow, keep age-appropriate books and magazines on shelves they can reach in their favorite hangouts around the house. Make these shelves appealing and keep them organized. Place some of the books with the covers facing out so they're easy to spot. Put a basket full of books and magazines next to their favorite places to sit. Create a cozy reading corner, and encourage kids to use it by setting up "reading corner time" each day.
Keep it appealing. Make sure reading areas have good lighting. Change the materials often — add seasonal books, rotate different magazines, and include books that relate to what kids are interested in or studying in school. Decorate the corner with your child's artwork or writing. Place a CD or tape player nearby for audio books.
Encourage kids to create the reading. Set up a writing and art center and encourage kids to make books, posters, or collages that they decorate with their own pictures and writing. Kids love to read things they've written themselves or to share their creations with family and friends.
Think About Atmosphere
Other ways to encourage kids to read:
- Give your child a special, cozy space, and quiet time every day to read or write.
- Limit time kids spend in front of a screen (including TV, computer, and video games) to help ensure that they have time for reading.
- Keep reading activities family-centered, and take an active role in guiding your child in reading activities and media. Even with today’s high use of technology, parents can decide how much print and how much media to allow into story time. Reading e-books doesn't have to mean sacrificing lap-time. Make sure to snuggle up with a story often, in whatever format.
- Read together. Offer to read a book aloud or ask your child to read to you from a favorite magazine. Make a habit of sitting together while you each read your own books, sharing quiet time together.