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DL Ruf 2009 July 2009

In This Issue
National Parenting Gifted Children Week
Indoor Activities
SENG 2009 Conference
Creative Writing Contest
Plan Ahead for NAGC Annual Convention
Keeping Up with Dr. Ruf . . .

Iowa Gifted and Talented Association Annual Conference (ITAG)- October 4, 5 and 6, Iowa City/Coralville, Iowa, Keynotes and Presentations.

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It's hard to believe that summer is already half over. But I hope everyone had a great Fourth of July and is enjoying fine weather and the outdoors.

For rainy day activities, I've included a little information below about indoor activities. And adults may wish to check out Dr. Ruf's latest blog, How Gifted Kids Learn to Read.
Best wishes, Kathy Hara, Editor
National Parenting Gifted Children Week:

The week of July 19 to 25 has been designated National Parenting Gifted Children Week.

Parents of Gifted Week logoWe encourage you to use this week to advocate for the needs of our gifted and talented children. Possible activities include reaching out to your local media by writing letters to the editor or inviting reporters to cover advanced summer programs. For more ideas of what you can do, look at the National Association for Gifted Children (NAGC) website.  

Supporting the Emotional Needs of the Gifted (SENG),
co-sponsor of National Parenting Gifted Children Week, is devoting each day during the week to different important topics that highlight some the challenges in teaching and raising gifted children. Additional fact sheets, articles, and background information on the needs of gifted children are available in the parent section of the NAGC website.

And if you belong to Facebook, or have considered signing up for it, visit the National Parenting Gifted Children Week's Facebook Page.

Indoor Activities:

Over the past six months or so, we have been advised by readers about educational games and learning tools that may appeal to our bright children. Here are some of those items:

An educator suggested Quizmo Flip Books, found at Creative Kidstuff, to help kids learn basic math facts. The flip books can be used in conjunction with an electronic box which contains all the answers and which rings bells when the player answers the questions correctly. For math, there is the Math Madness Flip Book. It contains 464 questions, which start with elementary addition and go through the whole grades 3 to 8 curriculum. Other flip books include Brain Power Puzzles, How Things Work, Kids' Know-It-All Quiz, and Super Spelling. 
A grandmother of a gifted 4-year-old clued us in to the Ducks in a Row game, which led us to its manufacturer, ThinkFun. The company wants "to encourage children everywhere to realize their full potential by challenging their minds to push farther, probe deeper and think more creatively through game play." ThinkFun offers a range of award-winning games for children in important stages of growth and learning. As for Ducks in a Row, said our reader, "It's a strategy game that takes patience and memory and lots of visual planning; it can go on for hours among two players. A great introduction to chess."

Speaking of chess, after a previous newsletter article about the top ten games for gifted children, a University of Minnesota professor pointed out the absence of "The Complex Game of Chess." "Chess is played by over 500 million people throughout the world," he said. "There are chess academies and active scholastic chess programs for gifted and talented learners in a host of countries, including the U.S.A., the Ukraine, Turkey, Iran, and Israel. It is true that chess is normally played between two people. However, modifications can occur so that more than two people can play. For example, a team of learners and/or family members can play against a team of other learners and/or family members in a game of chess. Chess is a clear example of a game that can be played by and challenge even the most gifted of learners and family members."

Chess can also be played between one person and a computer. The organizer of "chess nights" for a local gifted organization recommended Fritz computer software as a good chess learning program. As you play, the computer will tell you if it was a good or bad move. Another software version for learning chess is Chessmaster. Both Fritz and Chessmaster have many versions, and can be found online at www.wholesalechess.com
SENG 2009 ConferenceSENG Summit Logo

The SENG (Supporting Emotional Needs of the Gifted) 2009 Annual Conference is in Orlando, Florida, this year, July 17 to 19.
This conference is for . . .
. . . parents of gifted children
  • Answers to your concerns about depression, anxiety, underachievement and more...
  • How to become the best advocate for your child...
  • A place to connect with others facing the same hopes and challenges!
. . . professionals working with gifted children and families
  • Strategies to help you be a trusted, valuable partner...
  • What you can do to give every child the chance to fit in and reach their potential...
  • How you can support their parents creatively...

Visit SENG's website for more information about this important conference.
Creative Writing Contest

Torrance Contest NAGC, in conjunction with the Scholastic Testing Service, Inc. (STS), The Center for the Gifted at National-Louis University, the NAGC Creativity Network, and the Torrance Center for Creativity and Talent Development, is pleased to announce the Torrance Legacy Creative Writing Contest for student writers in grades 4 through 12.

Accepted genres for submission are poetry and short stories. Poetry submissions must focus on either The Wonder and Wisdom of Nature or What Do You See in Nature and How do you Respond to It? And short stories must focus on one of the following creative themes: Singing in One's Own Key, Shaking Hands with Tomorrow, What is Magic or The Flying Monkey.
Deadline for submissions is August 24. Check out the information on the NAGC site.     
 Plan Ahead for NAGC Annual Convention

The NAGC's 56th Annual Convention, Gateway to Gifted, will be in St. Louis this year on November 5-8. You'll find all the information on the NAGC website to make your plans.
Losing Our Minds
Dr. Ruf's book, Losing Our Minds: Gifted
Children Left Behind, is available through Great PotentialPress or Barnes & Noble.

Click here to learn more.

Deborah Ruf
Educational Options