Book Just Released on Raising a Gifted Child
What should you realistically expect from a gifted student, from the child’s teacher and school, and from yourself as a parent? Where can you find great resources to provide the best education possible for your young person? What are the many conventional and unconventional ways to educate a bright student?
Written in a very easy-going style, it is chock-full of real stories of gifted kids. One of my favorite parts of the book is the chapter titled Specific Subjects. Here, one can find a multitude of resources to either encourage or reinforce student strengths in language arts, math, science, social studies, foreign language, fine arts, technology, and thinking skills. There also is a whole chapter on nurturing creativity.
If you find the information on this weekly blog helpful, you also will appreciate the information available in this book.
Whales—A Fascinating Topic for Young Gifted Kids
Just as many children love learning about dinosaurs, they also love to learn about whales. Although there are many different types of whales, the information here focuses on the North Atlantic Right Whale.
Right whales were so named because early whalers considered them the "right" whale to hunt. In the early centuries of shore-based whaling, right whales were virtually the only large whales the whalers were able to catch for three reasons:
- The right whales often were found very close to shore where they could be spotted by lookouts on the beach.
- They were relatively slow swimmers so the whalers could catch up to them in their whaleboats.
- Compared to other species of whale, right whales killed by harpoons were more likely float, and thus could be retrieved by the whalers and towed back to shore.
Tale of a Whale
, from Smithsonian Education, has great information for teaching and learning about the North Atlantic Right Whale. Using the lessons provided, students experience work that is similar to that of real whale researchers by identifying an individual whale according to patterns of callosities and also identifying migration patterns. There also is a link to the New England Aquarium Web site where students can learn more about whale research and play an interactive whale identification game.
For background information and more photos, check out
Chemistry Resources for Gifted Kids
National Chemistry Week is October 19–25. There are some great resources available for students during this week of celebration or anytime during the year. The mission of National Chemistry Week is to reach the public, particularly elementary school children, with positive messages about chemistry. The theme of this year’s National Chemistry Week is Having a Ball with Chemistry. The focus is to show how chemistry plays a big part in all kinds of sports and games.
The education section of the American Chemical Society Web site
has numerous resources for students in kindergarten through graduate school. There also are programs available for educators and scientists. If you look at the bottom of the page, you will see that the site is available in numerous languages. Poke around on the Web site and you will find
activities, puzzles, and games;
interviews with chemists from a kid’s point of view (great for learning about potential careers);
information on Project SEED, which is a summer research program for economically disadvantaged students to experience what it’s like to be a chemist.
Rohm and Haas (a company that develops innovative technologies and solutions for the specialty materials industry) and The Franklin Institute (a leader in the field of science and technology learning) have teamed to produce a set of seven online videos
that address the theme of this year’s National Chemistry Week. The videos explain how science has impacted a variety of kids’ favorite sports, like bicycling, snowboarding, hockey, and basketball. The videos show how a combination of physics, chemistry, and materials enable participants’ abilities to improve and also increase safety. This is a great way to see how science is applied to the sports industry. The videos will be available online beginning October 19.
Terrific Science: Empowering Teachers Through Innovation
provides a large selection of fun activities to support this year’s National Chemistry Week’s theme of Having a Ball with Chemistry. These include activities about topics such as the Speedo LZR Racer® swimsuit that was the hit of the 2008 Beijing Olympics, impact and puncture testing of sports helmets, the importance of iron in our bodies, the chemistry of heat packs applied to sports injuries, and the effectiveness of sunscreen products.
Understanding Economics for the Gifted
Well, if nothing else, the financial crisis we’re experiencing is raising our awareness of economics. We’re all trying desperately to better understand what is happening—where we have come from and where we are going. We should view this as a good teaching opportunity, especially for middle and high school students. There are excellent resources that are available to help. Remember that very bright students often can handle content that is intended for older students. Bright middle school students, or even upper elementary children, may benefit from material that is intended for high school. If you look at the Economics Classroom link below and click on resources, you also will find economics lesson plans for students as young as in kindergarten.
The Annenberg Foundation
has created a series of free online videos
for both teachers and students including
—Twenty-eight half-hour video programs that explore the fundamentals of economic history, theory, and practice, including microeconomics and macroeconomics, through interviews with Nobel Prize-winning economists. The series features Milton Friedman, Paul Samuelson, John Kenneth Galbraith, Walter Heller, and others. In each program, case studies of major economic events show how economic theory relates to the real world.
Inside the Global Economy
—Thirteen one-hour video programs offer a multinational perspective on how the global economy and market affect individuals, businesses, and industry. The series features 26 case studies, with follow-up analysis, from more than 20 countries, balancing widely held American views with opinions from around the globe and inviting comparison of the strategies used in international economics today.
The Economics Classroom: A Workshop for Grade 9–12 Teachers
—Eight video workshops and associated print and Web site information is intended to assist high school teachers in developing strategies to effectively teach the fundamentals of economics and personal finance. This site also provides a number of classroom-tested lesson plans and links to a variety of useful additional resources.
Etymology for Gifted Students
Etymology is the study of the history of words. It explains when a word entered a language, from what source, and how its form and meaning has changed over time. It is fun, interesting, and helps to build vocabulary.
This Web site takes words from mythology, explains their meanings, and helps students understand the influence of those words on today’s vocabulary. This is accomplished through interactive exercises and worksheets.
Students can search the origins of their names and that of friends and relatives.
The system explained in these books can be used at home or at school to teach the Greek and Latin roots of words. It is a valuable system for students in elementary school through high school. The system helps students develop their vocabulary and enables them to recognize roots that will help them decipher the meanings of new words.
Students improve their mastery of the English language and acquire the keys for understanding thousands of words by studying Greek and Latin word parts (prefixes, root words, and suffixes).
Each of these books build understanding of vocabulary and help boost SSAT and SAT scores.