Thursday, April 15, 2010

DIFFERENTIATED INSTRUCTION: "What exactly does it look like?" That's the question a teacher addresses in her blog on Edutopia. She suggests starting with what you know about the student, of course, but also suggests something that evidently isn't a widespread practice -- reading the student's files to find out about abilities and issues. (By doing so, she discovered that one of her students had a diagnosis of schizophrenia -- something that no one had told her, but, we think, something any teacher would like to know.) She also offers an example of differentiation from her own teaching practice. Read more.

RTI. Education Week's Teacher Sourcebook site contains an interview wtih Richard Allington on RTI as it applies to achieving full literacy. In the opinion-studded interview, Allington covers mistakes that schools make in implementing RTI, criticism of "packaged reading programs," and guidelines for interventions. Read the interview.

IEPs. This week's Special Ed Advocate continues the coverage of IEPs begun last week, this edition emphasizing recent changes to the law. Also covered: IEP team meetings and attendance, and functional performance/functional goals in IEPs. Find Special Ed Advocate.

2e IN MANHATTAN. An organization in New York City offers after-school, weekend, and summer camp programs for 2e children, according to an article in the National Examiner. Find out more.

BUBBLE WRAP COMPETITION. We posted awhile ago on this contest, where middle-school students get to show their creativity by coming up with an invention using Bubble Wrap. The 15 semifinalists have been announced; see them and their creations here. One of the inventions is intended to help dyslexic children or others with visual processing issues learn how to play chords on a guitar; another is an educational game to help children learn to spell. Finalists are to be announced May 4th.

MIRROR NEURONS DO EXIST. Scientists have recorded mirror neuron activity in the human brain, proving their existence. Mirror neurons fire not only when we perform an action, but when we observe other performing that action. These neurons are critical to empathy, and, according to one of the study's authors, may be subject to dysfunction in conditions such as autism. Read about the study.

2e MANUAL. The Idaho Department of Education has released a manual titled "Twice-Exceptional: Students with Both Gifts and Challenges or Disabilities" to provide awareness and assistance to those who work with Idaho's 2e students. Some of the material in the manual was previously published in 2e Newsletter, much was contributed by experts familiar to readers of 2e Newsletter. Download the manual. Way to go, Idaho.

LINDA SILVERMAN IN MICHIGAN. Linda Silverman is scheduled to present at three different locations in Michigan later this month -- Grand Rapids on 4/26, Bay City on 4/28, and Novi on 4/30. The topic at all three locations: the visual-spatial learner -- understanding and reaching kids who learn differently. Find out more.

UPCOMING 2e EVENT, CHICAGO AREA. The Illinois Association for Gifted Children, along with Lake Forest School District 67, is sponsoring "Outside of the Box Gifted: Recognizing and Supporting Diverse Gifted Populations," to be held June 22-23 in Lake Forest, Illinois. Speakers will include Linda Silverman, Elizabeth Mika, Elizabeth Nielsen, Dennis Higgins, Rosina Gallagher, Cathy Risberg, and Laura Paull. For more information, contact Laura Paull,, or visit

UPCOMING GIFTED EVENT, MINNESOTA. The Hormel Foundation Gifted and Talented Education Symposium is to be held June 13-17 in Austin, Minnesota. The event is for educators, psychologists, counselors, administrators and parents, and is made possible through a Hormel Foundation grant in collaboration with the Minnesota Department of Education and Austin Public Schools. For complete information, visit the Austin Public School District Website and access symposium information located under Gifted and Talented Symposium 2010.

MARCH/APRIL 2e NEWSLETTER IS OUT. Paid subscribers to 2e: Twice-Exceptional Newsletter should have received the most recent issue within the past few days. If not, let us know. (Please note that the newsletter is by subscription and is different than the complimentary monthly briefing.)

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