Monday, February 16, 2009

From the Week of February 15th

PRIZE-WINNING POET... AND DYSLEXIC. A 19-year-old student at De Anza college is featured in the school's weekly online newspaper this week. The article describes the young woman's work and thoughts about disability. Read it.

OPPORTUNITY FOR ALTRUISM. PeaceJam and the Pearson Foundation are sponsoring a Global Call to Action Challenge to encourage young people to commit themselves to service projects that benefit their communities. The winning team is promised a visit from Nobel Peace Laureate Rigoberta Menchu Tum. Deadline: June 30th. More details.

GIFTED EDUCATION PRESS QUARTERLY. The Spring edition is online. One article is on "creative reading," ways to motivate students. And Joan Franklin Smutny, a member of 2e Newsletter's Editorial Board, contributed an article outlining ways to help gifted girls and young women "reclaim ownership of their lives and future" and avoid settling for "a smaller life than the one their gifts call them to." Find the Quarterly.

AN IB STUDENT (AND FOOTBALL LINEBACKER) spotted a spelling error in a statewide test administered in Kansas, according to the Associated Press, the use of "omission" in place of "emission" in a writing prompt. The 30 teachers who developed the test missed it; so did participants during testing in 50 high schools last spring; in fact, no one apparently spotted the error but a single student, Geoffrey Standford (or maybe Stanford; the AP article spells his name both ways). Read the article (and look for spelling errors.)

AD/HD MAVEN David Rabiner, Ph.D., alerted his fans (including us) to an article in the journal Science about a study to determine whether working memory training alters brain chemistry. (It does.) If you know a bright kid with attention difficulties, this article might be of interest to you, but there are several caveats: (1) The training used in the study was the initial-caps Working Memory Training product developed by Cogmed. (2) Rabiner, as he discloses in his alert, is a paid consultant for Cogmed. (3) The lead researcher is also the developer of the Cogmed product, as nearly as we can tell. Find the Science article. Find an interview with the researcher; Rabiner suggests that because of the complexity of the article, laypeople like us might find the interview helpful.

WIKIPEDIA AND 2e. The free online encyclopedia now carries an an entry for "twice exceptional." About time. Read it.

THE BIG NEWS OF THE WEEK in U.S. education is the signing of the economic stimulus bill, which provides a major increase in education spending. You may read Wrightslaw's initial interpretation here; see the NCLD summary here; find CEC's reaction here; and hear an Education Week chat on the topic here.

2e IN BC. The British Columbia, Canada, Surrey Leader just published a story about a young man's dual diagnosis during third grade, when he (and his parents) discovered that he had auditory processing problems (which explained certain difficulties in school) but also that he was a profoundly gifted visual/spatial learner. As with any parents of 2e kids, his were relieved by the discovery -- but the hard work was just beginning. Read the story, including about the establishment of the G/LD Network BC.

THINK SUMMER... and summer camp. US News has published a list of summer programs for kids with AD/HD. Some specialize even further, for example in behavior issues or in Christian clientele. Find it.

COLLEGE RESOURCE. US News also reported on initiatives to identify,fund, and disseminate information about programs to help young people with LDs go to college. Thanks to recent federal funding, says the article, the number of programs is expected to expand dramatically. Read the article.

Chicago's ComEd utility company are sponsoring the third annual "Shoot the Moon" contest for high school students. Entrants will write an essay about a teacher who has inspired them to "shoot for the moon" and succeed in science. The winner gets an all-expenses-paid trip to Space Camp in Alabama, and the winner's inspirational teacher will also win a week-long trip to adult Space Camp. Deadline: March 27. Details here.

THIS WEEK'S HUMOR. If you're a teacher, what do you do with a high school student who won't stop texting during class? Have her arrested. Smoking Gun carries the story.

HUMOR II. The Frazz comic strip on February 19th progresses quickly from A.D.D.D.D in the first panel to visual/spatial learning in the third panel. Enjoy it.

HUMOR III. On February 20th, the jovial comic janitor (and gifted musician and philosopher) Frazz revealed to a Bryson Elementary student what he (Frazz) had as a kid. Was it AD/HD? Find out.

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