Tuesday, March 3, 2009

From the Week of March 1

2e STUDENTS IN NEW YORK CITY will have a new option next fall with the planned opening of The Lang School, a multi-age (3rd/4th/5th grade) "schoolhouse." According to founder and Executive Director Micaela Bracamonte, the school's provisional charter has been filed, board members are signing on (including our friend Amy Price, Executive Director of SENG), and families have started enrolling for September. You'll be able to read more on The Lang School in the next issue of 2e Newsletter. For information in the meantime and until the school's website is up (soon), email Ms. Bracamonte.

EDUCATIONAL ASSESSMENT is the topic of a three-part series of articles in the Toronto Star, where a reporter follows an underachieving 13-year-old student and his mother through the process. The three parts: "Identifying Problems," when issues become apparent; "Map of a Mind at Work," about what happens during assessment; and "Portrait of a Learner," where the family receives and reacts to the results of the assessment. Following the story are some thoughtful reader comments, including one from an obviously 2e young woman named CRussell. Find the articles.

AD/HD: SUBJECT OF THE ARTS. The play "Distracted" opened in New York City this week. The play, as you might guess from the title, is about AD/HD, and whether to medicate a child who has it, according to a review in The New York Times. The reviewer calls the play "
a work of value for those whose limited attention spans have kept them from focusing on the continuing cultural and medical debates about limited attention spans." Read the review.

GIFTED AND... STONED. We don't know if substance abuse is an official second exceptionality for a gifted child, but a midde school teacher recently blogged about a high-ability student, "Spicoli Boy [a reference to a Sean Penn movie character] sitting in a dazed stupor" in one of her classes. Humorous but serious at the same time, this educator's blog entry highlights the probability that recreational drugs may sabotage more gifted kids than we think, although the student's family circumstances certainly seemed to contribute. Read the post.

SUMMER CAMP (AND MORE) FROM BRAINWORKS. If you're in the Dallas, Texas, area and have a 2e child, you might be interested in learning more about Brainworks, a 28-year-old organization that works with 2e children (and adults). According to founder Carla Crutsinger, Brainworks also offers free monthly workshops on 2-relevant issues. And the summer camps? Eight one-week camps are scheduled throughout June, July, and August. Find out more about Brainworks.

NEW ON HOAGIES' -- a "Twice-Exceptional Students in College" page. Find it.

DIFFERENTIATED INSTRUCTION. Parents of gifted and twice-exceptional kids advocate for it. Edutopia, in an on-line article posted on March 2nd, provides a teacher's tips on some ways to make it work -- for example, by "meeting students where they are" and allowing for do-overs. Read the article. (While you're there, you can also add your input to Edutopia's own poll on renaming NCLB.)

PARENTS' GUIDE TO RTI -- that's what the Wrightslaw Special Ed Advocate is offering in this week's edition. The newsletter promises to cover the issues, benefits, and concerns for RTI, along with the RTI process. The parents of any child with a learning challenge will probably find the basics of RTI useful. Read Special Ed Advocate.

THE TEEN BRAIN. Yes, we shudder, too, when see those words. A recent article published by the Dana Foundation in Cerebrum notes that the teen brain is "primed to learn" and "primed to take risks." The author, a psychiatrist with the National Institute of Mental Health, looks at teen behaviors from a neurobiological point of view. Read the article. Also found in Dana Foundation publications, pointers to something we missed: An article in the Boston Globe about your brain's "default system" -- what happens when you're not thinking of anything in particular -- and how its activity can, perhaps, predict schizophrenia. (Okay, not specifically about 2e kids but interesting just the same.)

KINDLE AS ASSISTIVE TECHNOLOGY. Amazon's new version of its Kindle electronic book reader has a feature that allows it to read out loud, potentially bringing easier access to hundreds of thousands of works for those with reading difficulties. The Wall Street Journal, however, reported that Amazon will allow authors and publishers to decide whether their works may be enabled to use the "out loud" feature. The reason? Publisher/author contracts treat text rights and audio book rights differently. Read more.

MORE ITEMS as the week passes...

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