Monday, March 2, 2015

Gifted, Gifted Ed, Education... and Playgrounds

GIFTED ED: NEBRASKA. Want a glimpse into how gifted ed funding can be disrupted at the state level? Nebraska's gifted ed program, already funded at levels below neighboring states, faces some funding changes. Currently the state provides all of $54 per gifted student per year. Read more.

GIFTED ED: WHAT KIDS WANT TEACHERS TO KNOW. That's the message at a blog at the Center for Teaching Equality. The blogger says that kids want teachers to know that 1) some concepts are tough, (2) there's pressure in being labeled as gifted, and 3) gifted kids sometimes feel used. Find the blog.
GIFTED ED: DOING IT AT HOME. The Gifted Homeschoolers Forum has published a new book, Educating Your Gifted Child: How One Public School Teacher Embraced Homeschooling. The author is the blogger of Crushing Tall Poppies, which we sometimes point to from this blog. Find out more. Separately, GHF has made available a new brochure on "gifted cubed" -- gifted, LD, and of color. The downloadable brochure, intended to be shared with schools, service providers, or others, covers identification, meeting needs, and special considerations for raising and teaching gifted-cubed children. Find the brochure, and good going, GHF.
GIFTED: A PRIMER. A Miami Beach psychologist (who can communicate with clients in English, Spanish, and Hebrew) answers FAQs about testing a child for giftedness and what the results might mean. If you're early in your gifted/2e journey, read more.
EDUCATION: ESCUELA NUEVA. A New York Times article describes how an approach to schooling in Columbia that involves collaborative learning-by-doing -- with a democratic bent -- is being successful at educating children, especially in rural areas. Some of the principles are similar to those used in "deeper learning" schools in the U.S. that perhaps reflect educator John Dewey's feelings about experience being the best teacher. Find out more.
EDUCATION: UNSCHOOLING. An article in The Washington Post describes one family's approach to "unschooling." The father in the family, author of the book Home Grown, describes the unschooling community this way: "The commonality I see is that they all really believe that children learn best when they are immersed in the community in their environment. Many see a structured school environment as something of an artifice and they believe there are better opportunities for our children to learn outside of the school." Read more.
EDUCATION FOR BOYS. In response to a recent article on educating boys versus girls, informed readers offer all kinds of opinions for bridging the gap in achievement. If you have opinions on gender differences in K-12 education, you might find the variety of thoughts in these letters interesting. Find them.
AND FINALLY, THIS, nothing at all to do with gifted ed. Early Childhood Education Zone has released "The 50 Best Playgrounds in America." The organization says: "From playgrounds incorporating a spirit of adventure, to the belief that all can play equally and without restraint, this list highlights some of the most diverse playgrounds from around the country." The group looked at hundreds of playgrounds before narrowing the choices down to 50. Criteria such as design, accessibility, educational programming and options for unstructured play were all evaluated while creating this list. Find the list and see if it contains a playground you know. (Not on the list: the just-opened and still-being-completed play area called Maggie Daley Park inside Millennium Park in Chicago's downtown. If you visit Chicago with kids, check it out -- it's amazing.)

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