Thursday, January 22, 2015

Finding a School, Gifted Ed Support, More Myths, and More

SCHOOL RATINGS AND 2e come together in an article at the Huffington Post by the mother of a twice-exceptional child. The mom thought the highest-rated school in her district would be the one she could count on, but that was not the case. She found another school in the district more suited to her family's situation -- but after a big cost in time expended and personal stress trying to deal with the first school. Read the article.

SUPPORT FOR THE GIFTED comes from unexpected places. A piece at the site InsidePhilanthropy.com describes the support John Malone (chairman of Liberty Media) and his wife have given through the Malone Family Foundation to schools that serve the gifted. According to the website, "Between 2000 and 2012, the Malone Family Foundation gradually took a total of 49 schools under its wing, providing perpetual endowments that each school uses for scholarships for talented and qualified students in grades 7 through 12." Among the schools that receive support are some you'll recognize. The foundation also supports education research on gifted students. Read more.

READING AND THE BRAIN. An article in District Administration magazine highlights how problems or under-activity in certain areas of the brain can make some students struggle with reading. The article also offers ways to help struggling readers and describes how some interventions can change the physiology of the brain, changes that show up in brain imaging. Find out more.

MISSED THIS AT THE TIME, but a blog entry at Gifted Parenting Support on blogspot offers five misconceptions about gifted students. Since we've been exposing lots of myths lately, we thought we'd better point to these as well. Our favorite: "Gifted students are already where they should be." Find the blog.

THE IMMUNE SYSTEM AND THE BRAIN. Perhaps you're familiar with PANDAS, an auto-immune disease caused by a strep infection that manifests, in part, through tics and OCD-like behavior. An article in The Globe and Mail explores the connection between the immune system and disorders such as PANDAS, autism spectrum disorder, depression, and others. If this connection interests you, find the article.

COMPETITIONS. Two competitions that might be of interest to gifted creative types are now open. Discovery Education and 3M have announced the opening of the 17th annual Discovery Education 3M Young Scientist Challenge, a national science competition for students in grades 5-8. Through the program, students have the opportunity to work closely with a 3M Scientist Mentor, compete for $25,000, and earn the title of "America's Top Young Scientist." Find out more. Separately, Cricket Media and the Smithsonian's Lemelson Center for the Study of Invention and Innovation have announced the call for entries for the Spark!Lab Invent It Challenge. The Challenge, now in its fourth year, offers children across the world the opportunity to showcase their creative thinking on a global stage, with the opportunity to receive an official patent filing, among other awards. Individual students, entire classrooms, schools, and other organizations serving children between the ages of 5-21 are encouraged to participate. Find out more.

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