Monday, February 23, 2009

From the Week of February 22nd

2e BLOGS. We've recently come across two blogs by moms of 2e children. One,, is about family experience with a 2e child along with pointers to favorite books, some pics, and favorite quotes. The other,, is also about life with an unique child; however the blogger's goal is to concentrate on twice-exceptionalities in posts each Tuesday. Check them out!

TEACHING AGITATED KIDS is the topic of a two-part article
by a Harvard neuropsychologist at the SharpBrains site. Part 1 offers tips on setting a good mental and emotional stage for successful learning; capitalizing on the relationship between learning and feelings; and using humor. Part 2 covers helping students overcome stress by: identifying impediments to success; using the "language of success"; and focusing on the process more than the product.

MEET'EM WHERE THEY LIVE. Those of you who teach bright kids know how important digital media are [is?] to them. To keep up, and to learn about incorporating tools such as Google, MySpace, CNet, and YouTube into the curriculum, teachers in San Francisco will get training from vendor companies on the use of digital media in the classroom. According to The New York Times, the Bay Area Interactive Group is hosting the training, and if it's successful the group will host other groups locally or around the country. Find out more.

PERSONAL MEMORIES. We received a press release today noting that a special book is 40 years old -- The Very Hungry Caterpillar. This item has nothing to do with giftedness or exceptionalities, just with the memories of reading a great story to receptive kids.

STANDING FOR, NOT AT, ATTENTION. The New York Times reported on a Minnesota school's experiment with desks that allow students to either sit or stand, at their choice. The purpose: to allow students to fidget when they need to or to find a position that helps them pay attention. Read the article to find out what teachers and students think about the desks.

ACTION-BASED LEARNING. Waldorf schools use it. Now NPR's "Morning Edition" features a school that promotes learning though physical movement -- learning times tables while jumping rope, for example. The story also relates how various educators use exercise in the classroom to keep young brains alert and to enhance attention. A side benefit: distracted brains seem to benefit most. Read the article.

PRESIDENT OBAMA, according to the LA Times, put the spotlight on education during his address to the US Congress on Tuesday, February 24th. One goal of the President: to make the United States the world leader in college graduates by 2020. Expect to hear a lot more about education and money over the next weeks and months. Education Week, if you can weasel into the site, just issued a special update on schools and the stimulus. Pay attention; we might quiz you in the next Briefing from 2e Newsletter. (Non-US subscribers will be exempted from the quiz. However, you have the option of inciting a healthy global competition by urging your governments in Canada, Australia, and New Zealand to adopt Obama's goal and to see who's really best education-wise.)

CHAT. The title of Education Week's online chat for Wednesday the 25th is "Disruptive Innovation in Education," and it covers the idea that schools should customize learning to better meet the needs of individual students. If this sounds good to you as the parent or educator of gifted or twice-exceptional children, perhaps you want to check out the site and submit questions beforehand, or go after the chat is closed to see the transcript.

ASPERGER'S ACHIEVER. A UK psychiatrist and professor has offered the hypothesis that Charles Darwin, author of On the Origin of Species, had Asperger Syndrome. The professor notes Darwin's extraordinary attention to detail and difficulties with social interaction. The professor is quoted in an article in the UK Telegraph: "It is suggested that the same genes that produce autism and Asperger's syndrome are also responsible for great creativity and originality." Read the article.

HIGH-END SUMMER ENRICHMENT. A press release alerted us to "The Greatest Minds of 2009," an August experience for pre-college students that is billed as "The Ivy League in 3 Days" and an "academic rock concert." Attendees meet and hear prominent university and government speakers. The event is expected to host 250 attendees. Application required (of course). One catch: A $1695 tuition, although organizers say that Greatest Minds has committed to ensuring that every qualified student can afford the event, and that aid and scholarships are available. More information.

REBRANDING NICB. The New York Times published an article about suggestions to rename the No Child Left Behind Act, printing both high-minded suggestions (
Quality Education for All Children Act) and less reverent possibilities (All American Children Are Above Average Act). Read the article. Or, go to an Eduwonk site and read some clever suggestions in a renaming contest being held there. (Based on our preference for education geared to individual strengths and challenges, we posted our suggestions: T'EACH, or To Each According to His/Her Needs; or T'EACH and FR'EACH, the second part being From Each According to His/Her Abilities. It's not Marx, it's Mark's.)

ASPIE SUMMER CAMP. The University of North Carolina at Greensboro is offering its second annual "Dream Camp" for children and adolescents with Asperger's. There are three non-contiguous, one-week sessions costing $400 each or $1000 for all three. Find more information.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Thanks for noticing my blog, and my small contribution towards 2e understanding!

I love the things you find and highlight, and am happy to be among them. :)