Wednesday, March 25, 2009


I have always enjoyed reading poetry (although not always understood all of the poems I've read) and had a chance to write some different types in high school for English class. My son really got into a poetry unit (learning some different styles) in his gifted pull out class and even presented us with a folder of all the poems he wrote which I'll be keeping for sure. He is into reading Jack Perlutsky and Shel Silverstein (which I highly recommend) as a result of his exposure to poetry in that 2 hour a week class. I remember a few years ago I tried to get him to read poetry and he wouldn't do it...not sure why really...perhaps it was because "mom" was suggesting it.
My husband and dad both write and have written poetry. My dad has written some recently and has been doing more since becoming retired. I'd like to direct you to a poem he wrote yesterday and posted on his blog. You can read it at It really does a great job of expressing how I've been feeling lately which is nice so I don't have to write more than I have to.
Thank you Dad,

Monday, March 23, 2009

Try it : Crayon physics

My husband and son spent a lot of time this weekend playing a really neat game called Crayon Physics so I thought I'd share it with you all. I remember seeing it mentioned on a GT discussion board, but didn't check it out. My husband told me about a guy at his work who told him about it and before you know it we had it on our computer. It starts out easy like most games and gets more difficult as you go. You use basic principles of physics to get a red ball (I think it is really Newton's apple) to hit a yellow star. There are barriers along the way and you use a crayon to draw ramps, levers, etc. to help you get to the star. I'm not much of a physical science person so I think I'm on the 7th or 8th task, but my son and husband are past the 38th one. We even laughed a bit when things didn't the ball flying a different way or a shape falling down. I know it doesn't sound funny, but just try it to see what I mean. There is a free demo version at

Friday, March 20, 2009

Additional information on March 17th meeting

Since the podcast was up from the meeting I decided to take a listen for my AMEN (which I faintly heard) as well as get more information on the direct comments made about gifted children so I can share them with you. Let me again say how pleased I was for the postive and thoughtful comments made by the educators in the room.

Mike Owens, Associate Secretary of Education, mentioned that we should make sure that gifted students (who get 4's or 5's on the DSTP) are still challenged and engaged in school.

Courtney Fox, Delaware's teacher of the year for 2008, commented that one of the barriers facing the progress of gifted education could be some schools' reluctance to loose higher end students for testing reasons. It also sounded like she was saying that these students should be recognized along with those in special education. (This idea is not new as people in PA and other states with Gifted Individual Education Programs already know.) Please feel free to go to to check out the podcast to which I'm referring.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

"Back to School" meeting thoughts

So I followed through with going to last night's "Back to School" meeting at the Tatnall building in Dover. I have to say that I was pretty impressed with the turnout and the discussion was quite interesting. It was an open dialogue night to give feedback on the series of ideas on the Governor's education agenda. Most of the people in the room were teachers, paras, state board of ed. people, or other folks involved with education. They ranged from southern to northern school districts which was nice.
A good part of the discussion revolved around the rewarding of educators who serve in at-risk schools. This of course won't happen until the state budget is sorted out so it is nice to have it recorded, but it could be awhile until things develop.

The DSTP was a topic I thought could have been discussed more. I totally agreed with another mom in the room who said that too much time is taken to deal with testing and that teachers were just teaching to the test. So when she commented I gave a big AMEN! I think that a lot of the teachers there didn't really agree or were just keeping their mouths shut. It would have been nice to see more of them speak up on that. Anyway the replacement test for the DSTP hasn't been purchased yet although they did indicate that some of it could be administered via computers. It also would be given at different times (like at the beginning and end of the year). The main thing is they want to check for progress over the course of the year. Gifted students were mentioned during the meeting two or three times which I thought was a major achievement. The State Teacher of 2008, Courtney Fox, who teaches 1st grade in the Brandywine School District and also teaches a self contained gifted class mentioned the needs of her students. (I have to go back to the podcast and write in more detail later).

The last topic of discussion involved cutting regulations to give schools the chance to innovate and give them more control in the decision making. With this comes the last topic of the state allowing districts and schools more funding discretion, but holding them accoutable.

With all of this writing, my brain is starting to hurt. So I'll leave it to you to check out the Lt. Governor's website (mentioned in a previous post) where the podcasts and notes from all of the meetings are located. Let me know if you hear the AMEN!
Thanks for reading and please share comments and concerns you have on these topics. Also note that you can make suggestions on the Lt. Gov. website ....wouldn't it be great if more voices were heard on gifted education?

Friday, March 6, 2009

Additional "Back to School" briefing

I just went to the Lt. Gov. website and on the calendar of briefings they list one on March 17th from 6:30-8:30pm which covers all four topics. I'm thinking this is the one for me. :)


Changing of the guard and education in Delaware

While reading the Delaware State News yesterday (Thurs. March 5th), I came across an article entitled Markell Lays out Education Agenda. I just wanted to share some points that I found interesting and how they could benefit gifted education. The first major point is that the state is going to scrap the current DSTP and find an alternative test that would measure progress of each child during the school year. This sounds good but I'm wondering will more time be used to administer tests since they want to check throughout the year? Will it actually allow teachers to teach and not just to the test?

The second point made in the article was wanting to give school districts more flexibility to innovate and offer teachers additiional rewards for excellence. The article didn't really go into depth on what they mean by flexibility. I guess I'm just going to have to try and attend one or more of the "Back to School" briefings with citizens to find out. I urge you to do the same and put forth your questions and concerns for your children's education.

Here are the dates and times of these briefings:
Monday, March 9th from 1-3 at the Tatnall Building, Dover
Topic: Rewarding great teachers and those who volunteer to serve in at-risk districts
Wed., March 11th from 7-9pm at the Tatnall Building, Dover
Topic: Replacing the DSTP with a better system for measuring performance
Tues., March 17th from 11-1pm at the Tatnall Building, Dover
Topic: Allowing districts and schools more funding discretion
Thurs., March 19th from 11-1pm at the Tatnall Building, Dover
Topic: Suggestions for Additions to the agenda

To make the discussion more open and accessible, the Lt. Gov. created a website where people can participate. Go to for more information.

Thank you for reading and feel free to share any comments here.

Sunday, March 1, 2009


Perfectionism can be an issue for many people (gifted or not). I myself am a recovering perfectionist. As I've gotten older this behavior has improved, but I still see it popping up at times. :) Do you overcommit yourself, have a hard time making choices or delegating work to others, like to be in control, are frequently dissatisfied with your work, or procrastinate? These are just a few behavioral signs of perfectionism (the more items that describe you- the more likely it is that perfectionism is a factor in your life). There is an extended checklist in a book called Freeing Our Families from Perfectionism by Thomas S. Greenspon, Ph.D. to help you see ways in which perfectionism is expressed.
Some people can be perfectionists about some things and not others. I,for example, am particular about measurements in baking and checking over things that I write for correctness, but not so much on keeping my house tidy. You can have a mild, moderate, or extreme case of perfectionism. The main thing about it is that it can affect the way you perform at work or at home (it can slow you down), it can affect the people around you, and it can affect how you feel about yourself as a human being.
There are many resources out there to help you and your family deal with perfectionism. The book which I have mentioned earlier is a major help for families (it breaks it down really well with steps on how to recognize perfectionism, how we become perfectionists, and how to work together to deal with it.
Another book by Thomas S. Greenspon for kids aged 9-13 is called What to do When "Good Enough" Isn't Good Enough: The Real Deal on Perfectionism. Miriam Adderholdt also has a book for kids called Perfectionism: What's Bad About Being Too Good?
All of these books are published by Free Spirit Publishing (
Please feel free to share your experiences and comments.
Thank you,