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Edmodo is a safe, educational social media learning tool.
I love it for several reasons:
1. It is private- kids can only join when given a unique join code by their teacher.
2. Once the students join, you lock the group and the code is no longer valid.
3. Parents can see their own child's progress by the join code on the side bar of their child' account. Parents can only view their own child's information, grades and messages and assignments you post to their child or directly to the parent.
4. SMALL GROUPS! An excellent way to create differentiated assignments in your classroom.
See my presentation below for general information and samples of small group assignments.
visit www.edmodo.com for more information, or go to YouTube to see how others are using this great teaching tool.
Thank you to all who attended my presentation. If you haven't already done so, please fill out the session evaluation on the CUE website. You need to navigate through the schedule. This session was on Friday at 10am. http://2013.cue.org/
Thanks for making the hike across the parking lot to the Hilton Hotel and finding your way through the maze to Oasis 3...a bit cavernous.
In response to your requests, I've added the Reading Response journal. Print these pages back to back as the cover of the journal.
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See the bar to the right to view my May 2012 post for the documents that accompany Pyschedelic Synergy. Above, I've included a PDF version of my Power Point presentation. All the links are active. Have fun exploring and expanding your repetoire.
There are several documents that you can use for yourself or your students to ignite your creativity.
Please comment or contact me to share what you have learned or if you are interested in writing a guest blog post. Share with your colleagues....pass it forward. I look forward to hearing from you.
Let folks know you are an expert.
Make sure you update your Linked In profile with current job expertise and solicit recommendations and endorsements.Do your homework.
Go to Ezinearticles.com and do a search for the keywords that describe your area of expertise.
Go to the I-Tunes Podcasts and do a powe search using your keywords. You will find hundreds of podcasts on your topic.
Sort the results by popularity and subscibe to the top ones.
Search YouTube for "how to" on the same keywords.
If you have a website, think of your "elevator pitch". If you had
seconds with a CEO in an elevator, how would you "sell" your site? This should be tied into the home page of your website. This is the first thing that people see.
Homework: Look at other sites and see what you like and what you don't.
Find your target market.
Start by visiting the Google keyword slector tool. Google: goodgle keyword tool on Google. It should be the first listing.
Once you are on the tool, enter afew keywords that relate to your site and you will quickly get a list of related words and phrases.
You can also visit http://directory.big-boards.com
and search for the same keywords.
Your website should have a SEO (search engine optimization) tool and you can then enter related keywords. This way, people can find your site more easily and your ranking should improve. Visit their site and right click and select "view source". Notice a few lines of code that say "meta name". You should find teh line of code for the site description and the code for the keywords being targeted.
You can open a word document and start pasting the keywords from your favorite sites.
Visit other sites that are related to your business or the topic you write about. Visit
Try using Google Alerts to search for yourself. That way, you will know everytime you or your site is mentioned somewhere else online.
What makes a great website?
Generally, value comes from:
1. Updated content
2. Value items
3. Resource tools (podcasts, videos, blog posts, news feeds, quotes, documents or lesson ideas, etc.)
Enable the comment tool so that people can be part of the conversation.
Caution: I like to be able to approve or trash comments before they are posted.
You won't believe how many people troll blogs just to post links to their site selling prescription drugs or other retail sites.
April 6, 2006 PURDUE UNIVERSITY
Study: Gifted children especially vulnerable to effects of bullying"All children are affected adversely by bullying, but gifted children differ from other children in significant ways," says Jean Sunde Peterson, an associate professor of educational studies in Purdue's College of Education.
"Many are intense, sensitive and stressed by their own and others' high expectations, and their ability, interests and behavior may make them vulnerable. Additionally, social justice issues are very important to them, and they struggle to make sense of cruelty and aggression. Perfectionists may become even more self-critical, trying to avoid mistakes that might draw attention to themselves."
Peterson and Karen E. Ray, a doctoral student in counseling psychology, surveyed 432 gifted eighth-graders in 11 states. The students were asked if they had experienced bullying behavior, such as name-calling, pushing, hitting and other physical violence, or teasing about family, grades or appearance.
The researchers found that 67 percent of gifted students had experienced bullying by eighth grade, 16 percent defined themselves as bullies and 29 percent had violent thoughts. Interviewed students described depression, unexpressed rage and school absenteeism as responses to bullying.
Should bullying be something we should pay attention to as parents and advocates for gifted children?
Find out what information is out there and find ways to support gifted students.
As an educator and an advocate for gifted students, I have been spending the better part of the last 12 months gathering research on this important topic.
We need to work on several fronts. What works?
Comforting the victim, for certain. But our gifted kids know this changes little.
As educators and advocates we need to work on educating and empowering the BYSTANDERS. The bully may very well need counseling as well to deal with what issues drive him/her to bully others.
Here are some great resources that teachers can use in the classroom. I have been using some of my ELD (English Language Development) time each week to do some bibliotherapy.
Bibliotherapy is where you use books to help people. Some of these books already come with discussion questions in the back. They are a great springboard for kids to share their experiences and to do role-playing.
BULLIES ARE A PAIN IN THE BRAIN by Trevor Romain is a little book filled with illustrations and great discussion points. You can read and share several pages with a group of students and stop and have a class discussion.
The book has a page of "Do's and Don'ts" for dealing with bullies. For example. "Do use your best judgement and instincts. Don't believe that names the bully calls you are true." It contains a chapter on myths about bullies. It discusses some of the reasons bullies act the way they do.
One of my favorite series is by Erin Frankel. She has written three books titled: Dare, Weird, and Tough!
Weird is written from the point of view of the victim. She doesn't know why she is targeted and doesn't know what to do.
It gives a wonderful insight into her feelings of self-doubt and self-consciousness and the lowering sense of worth.
DARE! is from the point of view of the bystander.
It gives insights into how a nice kid can get dragged into joining in on the bullying.
It also shows how fear and intimidation play into the bystander becoming a victim as well.
Erin Frankel shows how the bystander can feel guilty and powerless and at a loss of what to do.
There are about 10 discussion pages in the back of the book that a teacher can use with a discussion group.
TOUGH! by Erin Frankel is the same story as Dare! and Weird! but told from the point of view of the bully.
The back of the book shows frank talk about why the bully wants to change.
It also has different activities you can do with your classroom- for example, starting a Kindness Club.
Page 38 has discussion questions to use while reading the book.
This is one of my favorites. Just as gifted kids get bullied for being weird or different, children with learning difficulties are special targets of bullies as well.
This is a true story of Patricia Polacco's childhood struggle with dyslexia.
She was a very late reader and was horribly bullied.
I haven't been able to read this one aloud yet without tearing up.
The class discussion that followed this book was awesome.
We talked about how we could help someone who was struggling with learning and came up with a "lunch bunch" of student volunteers to help tutor struggling students.
Just Kidding hits the issue of teasing. The main characters are boys and the teasing revolves around recess and after school sports activities.
It has great discussion activities and a recommended reading list at the back of the book.
Trouble Talk is similar to Just Kidding, but deals with harmful gossip, lying, rumors and sharing others' personal information in order to gain status and gain attention.
Some highlights from the highlights for discussion:
"No offense, but...."
Do the words "no offense" make what Bailey said to Keisha any less insulting? Why or why not?
Have you ever had anyone say "no offense" to you before saying something negative about you?
How did that make you feel?
Say Something is a book that really informs the bystander about how important his/her role is in putting a stop to bullying.
There are tips at the back of the book such as:
1. Say something to the person who is getting teased. Just saying "Hi" to someone that you usually don't hang out with makes a difference.
2. Say something to the bully. Don't become part of the fight. You might try: "I don't want to hear that" or "Knock it off" or "That's not OK".
My Secret Bully hits a topic we don't often talk about...when a close friend is your bully.
Often this type of bullying is triggered by jealousy.
Gifted kids are very talented and have a lot of potential and are often recognized for their achievements.
This makes them a special target for this type of bullying.
Their bullies may begin using social isolation as well as personal verbal jabs. This is called "relational aggression ...acts of emotional bullying hidden among tightly knit networks of friends.
The character in this story begins having physical reactions to her bullying such as headaches, stomach aches, depression and anxiety This is a good platform for discussing more hidden physical effects of bullying.
Bully by Patricia Polacco touches on cyber bullying and the use of social networking and texting to bully.
It discusses peer pressure and social isolation as well.
It has discussion points about the need to be yourself and the need to fit in.
Another theme is loyalty and friendship.
The story leaves it up to discussion where one of the main characters is trying to decide whether to change schools or change to a new school district to leave her bullying issue in the past.
This is an option some parents and students have had to face.
Bullying is an age old problem that doesn't seem like its going away any time soon.
However, more schools are creating anti-bullying programs and are increasing awareness about the problem.
More school districts are creating anti-bulling policies in place to protect students and are holding teachers accountable for taking action against bullies.
Especially important is to have a clear policy on cyber-bullying which takes place outside of school walls but has a definite impact on the well-being of the student and directly affects the student's academic performance, educational experience and emotional well-being.
If you are unclear about the policies and procedures your school district has in place regarding bullying, please contact your local school district office and ask to see their policy. You can be an advocate for your child.
Gifted people are multi-potentialed. They are interested in many things and often quite talented in many things. This can create many stresses.
Gifted youth may ask themselves:What do I focus on?
What do I spend my energy on?
How do I choose between the different things that I am passionate about?
Do I have to specialize?
How do I find time to do all the things I love?
These questions are especially difficult for young gifted people as they are still exploring their different areas of passion and still need time to decide what they truly excel at and most importantly, discovering the thing they truly love.
Add the components of working with their parents to find good coaches, teachers, mentors and support in the form of friends, family and fellow geeks. Now layer on the complexity of naysayers, saboteurs, bullies and jealous friends. The mix starts getting pretty thick.
How does a budding talent deal with the stress of being really good at something? Yes, your passion can be a source of great joy but it isn't always easy. Success comes at a cost. It takes time, energy, sacrifices and resources to truly develop a talent. Just watch any interview with a talented actor, top level athlete or virtuoso musician.
Dream Big is one of my favorite presentations for conferences and parent meetings.
It is a blend of my personal experiences as an elite athelte and gifted scholar and a conglomeration of several terrific books that I've read on the topic that I wish I had access to in my youth. Here are some books that I recommend: Peak Performance For Smart Kids
by Maureen Neihart, Psy. D.
Dahlkoetter, J. (2008) Your Performing Edge
Urlinger, S. (2005) Mental Training for Peak Performance
Here are some documents and resources that I've put together to help parents of gifted and talented students to reach their potential. I have much more.
I am available to present at your conference or to a parent group.
I am located in the Los Angeles Area.
My email is: firstname.lastname@example.org
Enjoy the resources below. One of my favorites is the progressive muscle relaxation technique.
As a collegiate athlete, I often had a hard time winding down after hours of practice, followed by hours of studying. Learning progressive muscle relaxation saved my life! I coudl finally get some desperately needed quality sleep.
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Most people hate change. I'll admit, I can be one of them. This July I lost my dream job. After 17 years of teaching the GATE Resource Room, our program was terminated and I was placed back into the regular classroom. This had a major snowball effect on my life.
This definately had an impact on my role as president of PAGE. I've reflected that many of our members have suffered the same fate as I have. Our meeting attendance has been dwindling for the last five years with one GATE program after another eliminated or watered down, or worse yet, the funds completely swept.
So, this had left me with the task of picking up the pieces and trying to figure things out.
Of prime importance, PAGE can not and will not die. As long as gifted kids exist, someone needs to continue advocating for them. After speaking with the PAGE officers, we decide that in this digital age, our website needs to be a major means of professional development.
I am sending an all-points- bulletin to our PAGE members and readers to submit guest blog posts and share materials that we can use with gifted students. The idea is to make the PAGE site a brain trust of sorts.
So, dear reader, I am waiting and listening. Please email me your blog post and supporting docucments. If you would like me to add your photo or a link to your site, add that as well.
I love you, brain. You are beautiful.
I vividly recall about 10 years ago, sitting in a teacher inservice watching a video clip on neurochemical activity in the brain. We learned about seratonin, addiction, ADHD, the importance of sleep, novelty and the brain, the importance of hydration and the brain. Fascinating stuff!
I was fortunate to work with an adminstrator who was in love with the brain and in love with learning. She was always taking risks and worked hard to convince teachers to try new things as they related to learning and the latest brain research. She encouraged kids to have water bottles on their desks, she asked teachers to plan for exercise breaks for the kids with cross- body movements, she established cross-age classrooms where kids were grouped by their learning readiness, instead of chronological age.
What do effective brains have in common? Read about it here: http://www.sharpbrains.com/blog/2007/08/22/10-habits-of-highly-effective-brains/
What about the gifted brain?
A common issue with gifted folks is MULTIPOTENIALITY.
This is being good at many things and being interested in many things.
The iss ue with this is having the energy, time and sometimes, money, to pursue all of those things with th passion you want.
This young lady speaks eloquently to that.
http://youtu.be/IAX6jrldSuY (Video where she speaks about Multipotentiality)
Endorphins, Seratonin, Dopamine- oh my!
What happens to your brain on exercise?
Why do I say "on" exercise?
Because exercise is a powerful "drug" in keeping your gray matter fit!
Endorphins- the big E.
Endorphins are released within 30 minutes of the start of physical activity in order to bind to opioid receptors in your brain's neurons, according to Bryan Mawr College.
Seratonin- is a mood enhancer and assists in regulating sleep and appetite.
More seratonin means less depression.
Dopamine- related to coordination and muscle memory. It also lifts your mood.
"I like to say that exercise is like taking a little Prozac or a little Ritalin at just the right moment," says John J. Ratey, MD, an associate professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School and author of A User's Guide to the Brain
. "Exercise is really for the brain, not the body. It affects mood, vitality, alertness, and feelings of well-being."
Stephen C. Putnam, MEd, took up canoeing in a serious way to combat the symptoms of adult ADHD
(attention deficit hyperactivity disorder). Then he wrote a book, titled Nature's Ritalin for the Marathon Mind
, about the benefits of exercise
on troublesome brain disorders such as ADHD, a neurological/behavioral condition resulting in hyperactivity and the inability to focus on tasks.
Putnam cites studies of children who ran around for 15 to 45 minutes before class and cut their ants-in-the-pants behavior by half when they got to class. As with most exercise, the effects were relatively lasting -- smoothing out behavior two to four hours after the exercise.http://www.webmd.com/fitness-exercise/guide/train-your-brain-with-exercise
Read more: http://www.livestrong.com/article/101972-chemicals-brain-stimulated-exercise/#ixzz1xVH76Pbb"Using sophisticated technologies to examine the workings of individual neurons — and the makeup of brain matter itself — scientists in just the past few months have discovered that exercise appears to build a brain that resists physical shrinkage and enhance cognitive flexibility. Exercise, the latest neuroscience suggests, does more to bolster thinking than thinking does.
So many ways to grow
You can visit Twitter and try these hashtags to find discussions and resources about the brain:
To learn something new:
#wired (the coolest stuff in technololgy)
Pinterest is kind of cool- you can see "idea" boards of things that other people like. It is very visual and you can then link to the sources for more information.Can you be too good looking?
Robin McMaster has an interesting blog on the brain and creativity:http://brainbasedbiz.blogspot.com/2011/05/seize-day-power-up-creativity.html
The 2012 stuff is cool:
1. How belly fat affects your brain- who knew? (April 2012)
2. The brain on celebration- I love this one. I will have a future post on perfectionism that speaks to this.
3. Mind games and self talk
4. What do looks have to do with success? December 2011
Why I love my job:
1. I get to meet tons of people.
2. For some of those people, I am priveleged to be their voice for advocacy- whether that is a teacher, a parent or a student.
3. I get to connect people.
4. I learn about new resources all the time.
5. I get to create road-maps for the future.
6. The future always surprises me.
A GATE program is most effective whena coordinator is designated to administer the many aspects of the program.
In a tight economy, one of the most necessary expenditures of GATE funds is the services of a qualified and knowledgeable GATE Coordinator. Research shows that the quality and effectiveness of a program will depend on the knowledge, skills, creativity and dedication of the coordinator.
We are the conductor of the symphony. We orchestrate the talented musicians and help them develop their talents. We serve as a liason between the school gifted program and the district office. We assist teachers and school site administrators in differentiating instruction.
We assist teachers in developing appropriate interventions for struggling or at-risk gifted students. We work with parents, counselors and teachers in this regard. Our district has a referral form for at-risk or under-achieving gifted students. http://gate.emcsd.org
It is part of our Identification Tool Kit.
We provide training in differntiating instruction, so teachers will be able to:
-design lessons that emphasize higher order thinking and questioning skills
- incorporate depth and complexity into the study of the core curriculyum
-facilitate acceleration for advanced students both within the classroom and by single subject acceleraton to a higher grade level in a specific subject
-provide opportunities for independent study in areas that interest them
-design assessments that encourage choice in student projects and products
GATE Coordinators provide education and support for parents of gifted students. Many hold a number of parent meetings in which we share information on a topic related to gifted education. Often these topics center around the social and emotional needs of gifted children and the challenges and joys in parenting gifted children.
Coordinators serve as a liason between parents and the district.
We point parents in the direction of good resources and provide contact information for key personnel both within and outside the school district.
Some coordinators organize a mentor for students with specific interests.
We arrange field trips, such as docent led tours of museums and college campus tours.
We contact local universities, colleges, and museums for opportunities and experiences available to students who are advanced in areas not taught within the schools.
We oversee enrichment and acceleration options and make sure the students' needs are continually met. We plan for next steps for students who are radically accelerated (ie a third grader taking high school classes or a seventh grader taking college classes).
We seek out resources and opportunities in the community that cost little, but require someone to find them and make them available and known to parents and schools.
We provide professional development for our teachers and administrators about the academic needs of gifted students but also their affective needs through newsletters, web sites, staff development, email and provide information about conferences related to teaching gifted students.
GATE Coordinators write a district GATE plan which serves as a road map for the program and holds us accountable to the state and our community, as we strive to meet the diverse needs of our gifted students.
Coordinators maintain the district GATE website. We compile reports from evaluations from parents and students.
We coordinate and collaborate with other local districts and colleges to pool resources and provide jointly funded GATE events and professional development opportunities.
For example, some coordinators may be invited to train teachers in another district, or two districts may share the expense of hiring an expert to come and do training.
Recently, PAGE (Professional Advocates for Gifted Education) paid for Dr. James Webb to come out and speak to GATE parents and PAGE sent out an invitation to all parents and teachers in the San Gabriel Valley through their GATE Program coordinators. Asusa Pacific University , a local private university, hosted the evening event. PAGE invited APU graduate students taking course work in gifted education to attend the event. Over 200 people attended the event, during a torrential rain storm.
This is just one idea of how you can really stretch your resources in strained economic times. One event could reach teachers, parents, and college students in the field. We even had a few pediatricians and psychologists attend!
This morning I read a comment in a GT discussion thread I am following in Linked In..."How to charm gifted adults into admitting their giftedness."
Really interesting discussion that has sprouted into several equally interesting side points.
Many folks speak of the pain of hiding their giftedness and dumbing down to fit in.
I think it speaks to Emerson's idea of "be true to thineself" and "Know thyself".
But how can you know what it is to be gifted if you don't know where to look for information?
There are some really good resources out there.
Adults can search out organizations like MENSA. http://www.mensa.org/
Information about neuroscience and learning: http://www.learner.org/courses/neuroscience/
I like Hoagies gifted page, which has a section for adults, gifted kids and educators. http://www.hoagiesgifted.org/
You can also find your tribe by exploring your interests. For example, you may love model rockets or planes or flyfishing or archery or running. Find a group that shares thoses interests. I joined a running group four years ago and have since connected to several other running groups and people within the running community. It has been truly inspiring to meet so many interesting people. Many of them are philanthropic, creative, artistic, gifted, talented, generous and well storied.
This just in: June 5, 212: Serious EQ (Emotional Intelligence) here- Ohio Runner stops to help fallen runner in high school state track and field championships:
Isn't this who we all aspire to be?
If you are hitting a rough patch, it is OK to ask for help. Finding a therapist who specializes in gifted folks and their unique make up can be difficult. In the Los Angeles area, I know of Dale Stewart in Torrence 310-371-3543 whose practice is "Psychological & Counseling Services for Gifted Youth and Adults".
There is the Summit Center 925-939-7500 which specializes in gifted and talented and creative people. The co-founder is Susan Daniels, Ph. D, who co-authored the book "Living with Intensity".
Where DO all the gifted children go after they finish school? What happens to giftedness in adulthood? Often, they haven't developed their gifts for feel they haven't lived up to their potiential. "Sometimes they feel the pain of being different and not valued by others. Frequently they do not understand and value themselves." this site is full of resources and links. We can thank our friends in Australia for advocating for gifted folks. http://www.giftedservices.com.au/adults.html
Some interesting things on these blog posts about the nature of intelligence: http://www.giftedresources.org/jo/blog/?p=3342 http://www.giftedresources.org/jo/blog/?p=3216
How about those who are gifted and learning disabled? Gasp! Can you be both? Gifted AND learn differently. There is some wonderful information out there about visual spatial learners who operate in an auditory-sequential learning system. Some common characteristics of visual learners are: poor spelling, trouble remembering lists, see what they are learning in pictures, this link has many excellent articles you can share with parents and teachers:http://www.gifteddevelopment.com/Visual_Spatial_Learner/vslbks.htm
Here are some others that are very useful: http://www.giftedservices.com.au/visualthinking.html
I like Lesley K Sword's work: http://talentdevelop.com/articles/ITIPYTIW.html
Here is a site for developing creativity: http://talentdevelop.com/
How about the kiddos? In Los Angles, we have a wonderful program at Cal State Los Angeles called EEP. It is an Early Entrance Program at the university for students as young as 11 wishing to enroll in a full time college program. Students must live at home with their parents and their is a fairly rigorous screening process to make sure the program is the right fit for the child. The program is a nexus of about 100 students who meet weekly to get support and make friends with others like them. They have their own tribe. The director is Richard S. Maddox, Ed. D., he's been directing and orchestrating this program for over 20 years.The program was esxtablished in 1982. http://www.calstatela.edu/academic/eep/
The parents of the students are PEEPs and they have a support system for each other, as well as being an integral part of the success of this program.
Both the PEPP http://www.csulapeep.org/
and the Early Entrance Foundation http://www.earlyentrancefoundation.org/
support the EEP at CSULA. Program contact information:Contact information:email@example.com phone: (323) 343-2287
Check out their student newsletters as well.
GT folks are always "and", like everyone.
We are a compilation of many things.
We are a symphony.
"This above all: to thine own self be true,
And it must follow, as the night the day,
Thou canst not then be false to any man."
-Polonius, Hamlet by Shakespeare, Act 1, scene 3
Be true to thineself. Be proud of who you are. Find your tribe. You are not alone.