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 I am most easily reached by e-mail at dawn.phillips@marion.kyschools.us  However, I can be reached by phone at the individul schools.  Please see the Important Information page for a copy of my schedule with phone numbers included.


Reason to Celebrate

This is Mutation Day (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles)!



Trivia Question of the Day

Music: What's the only group to claim two of the top ten best-selling singles of the 1970's?
Yesterday's Answer: The right to run for President



Fun Fact

During your lifetime, you'll eat about 60,000 pounds of food, that's the weight of about 6 elephants.



Student Tip of the Week

9/26/2016 - 9/30/2016

Increase The Agility Of Your Unconscious Thought

Every day we spend time in conscious thought. Yet what most don’t realize is the vast majority of your thoughts are unconscious! Your body works efficiently on your habits so as to minimize effort in all scenarios.

This means that in order to maximize one’s intelligence, you should apply effort towards increasing the agility of your unconscious thought. How is this done? Don’t block emotionally challenging thoughts, and don’t run away from obstacles in general. Overcoming a problem with your conscious thought is a sign you’ll be able to do it more effectively in the future.




Teacher Tip of the Week

9/26/2016 - 9/30/2016

Independent Learning Strategies

An overview of the way independent learning strategies can be introduced into a school's educational strategies

INDEPENDENT LEARNING STRATEGIES facilitate parts of a differentiated curriculum.. Emphasis is placed on student negotiation and modification of tasks, and on students pursuing these tasks with greater independence.

This can be achieved by

  • preparing in advance options for the students to select as part of a unit's work (with options set at variable levels, involving different skills and appealing to different learning styles),
  • encouraging students to choose the option they felt was most relevant - with this involving teacher input to facilitate student awareness of the match between the options and the student's talents and needs,
  • encouraging students to suggest and pursue variations to the suggested options if they can present them as viable options to the teacher,
  • encouraging students to work in groups if appropriate to the task (and, where this is done, encouraging cooperative group skills),
  • encouraging students to seek out appropriate resources independently, and
  • encouraging students to seek out and utilise working environments conducive to the task (for example, the "recital performance" based task involved moving outside and the analytic discussion based option involved moving to another room or an "independent learning centre" - see below).

Independent learning strategies can be utilised with appropriate students in primaryor elementary schools as well as those in high schools.

Fostering students' independence in shaping their learning empowers them and increases the motivation and enthusiasm they bring to the process and to individual tasks. They become engaged in and responsible for their own education and this flows through to the way they view life as a whole.

Independent Learning Centres

An "independent learning centre" is a flexible space with appropriate resources where students can pursue independent projects or learning. Key elements of an "independent learning centre" (ILC) are:

  • a space for one or more groups or individuals to work in relative harmony (at higher discussion/noise levels than a library),
  • suitable furnishings and resources (tables, computers, sound equipment, lock-away spaces, etc) to encourage flexible and relatively spontaneous use,
  • a coordinator to handle ILC "bookings" and overall management,
  • a teacher roster (perhaps at half teacher loading, supplemented by appropriate parent volunteers) to allow for necessary supervision and, where appropriate, assistance - the coordinator may try to link students using the ILC with ILC rostered teachers and parents with appropriate skills (particularly with interdisciplinary projects), and
  • an understanding amongst the teaching staff that the ILC is there as a resource area for individuals or groups to flow into - this may develop over time.

Independent Learning Centres and other independent learning strategies can be utilised in primary as well as high schools.






Parent Tip of the Week

9/26/2016 - 9/30/2016

Friendships - How To

We've seen that an essence of stress for our gifted children is feeling estranged. Many elementary age gifted children report that they feel different from their classmates and usually think that the problem is their fault. Our gifted children have fewer opportunities to experience understanding and empathy.

Who is a peer to a gifted child in what setting? We may be concerned that our Child does not have any real friends, however, friends may not be chronological peers.

Many influences complicate their chances for finding friends. They make up intricate game rules and create complex play. They may come across as bossy because they can see how to organize the play and they're creative and want to express their new ideas. Finding that one best friend can be an extremely disappointing search. Now, what you can do to help your children with friend making!!

Again - alter your expectations. Their need for many friends might not match your hopes of having a popular child.

For our gifted children to find good friends, they usually need to "go out of the box" of the immediate neighborhood or classroom. Because, in some ways, they are developmentally advanced from their age mates, they are sometimes required to tolerate unreasonable restrictions if the are trying to match their chronological ages.

A really important factor in developing satisfying social relationships for gifted children is that these children understand and accept that other children usually do not intend to be mean, rejecting, or uncaring, but they simply do not have the same reality that they do. Generally, I define giftedness as capacity of consciousness, the depth and breadth to which a person processes experience and information. A favorite analogy to describe the relative vast consciousness of gifted people is to relate them to a television set: Most people would get about five 7, some are wired for cable, and profoundly gifted people would have the consciousness of a satellite dish. They pick up signals and make connections that other people cannot even imagine exist. When our Children are hurt because they think that other people just don't care or interpret other people's indifference as an intended attack on them, the TV-satellite dish analogy can help them understand that it's not that other kids don't care, but that others just don't see and feel the same way.

Gifted children fare better if they appreciate different friends as components of a best friend. Let them know that you have different friends for your different interests and needs. You can proactively help find components of relationships. Search for friends by interest and activity match. One person can be their favorite for computer games, another to collaborate on science experiments. A neighbor may be great to join for sports.

As often as comfortable, recognize your Child's social sensitivity and skill, "Sammy seemed happy when you asked him if he wanted to have the first turn; no wonder he likes to come over and play." What we recognize - good or bad - becomes reinforced in some way.

Ask your child: What do you look for in a friend? How are you with these qualities? What are some things you might try to make friends?

Then you can write down your child's ideas and brainstorm plans that your child might be able to actually try some Ideas. Building a relationship around a somewhat structured activity can give a burgeoning relationship some buttressing.

Gifted children's minds are a place to try out new experiences. Mentally walk Children through experiences; review other possible behaviors and anticipate consequences. You can role play social situations. Let they "try out" how they might act when confronted with making a decision on what activity to select in play. Let them experience the impact of their own behaviors.

Participate in lessons or interest groups where there are no age or grade limitations can open peer possibilities. Look at classes at the science museum.

Mentors or tutors might help. Call the high school and ask if there is a student who shares your child's interest - chess, endangered species, rock and roll - however esoteric that might be now. The drive to get them together - and potentially for child care - might develop into a good match to allow your Child to experience a cooperative relationship. I've particularly heard about developing wonderful self confidence in relationships ensuing from a tutor in a special interest, although this tutor might be a generation older.

Surrogates isn't the term, but some supplements might strengthen a gifted children's peer relationships. Our adolescents can especially find acceptance and solace in their, music. One highly gifted adult told me that music was the first thing he could relate to. You've heard of music therapy and then there's art therapy. Some Children can connect to art or their own artistic expressions. Any creative self-expression helps our Children define and confirm their self and to a degree, facilitate being able to relate to others. How many gifted people grow up with their cat or dog as their confident? There's pet therapy too, especially useful to help children gain trust in themselves and others.

The Platinum Rule We want our Children to respect other people's differences and to have enough coping options to interact with all types of people. Our Children can learn much from participating in and observing various situations. Different experiences refine what they value, and give them ideas of what they want and don't want to be. Rather than applying the "Golden Rule," it is often more appropriate to consider the "Platinum Rule." That is, instead of treating other people as we would like to be treated, caringly try to understand and give what the other person wants and needs.