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DL Ruf 2009 October 2009

In This Issue
Experts Online
Virtual NAGC Convention
For Homeschoolers
In Minnesota: Young Scientists Roundtable
Keeping Up with Dr. Ruf . . .

Experts Online, Sunday, October 25, to Friday, October 30. Submit questions and watch for the answers.

Dr. Ruf has published an article in the latest issue of Roeper Review, How Personality and Gender May Relate to Individual Attitudes Toward Caring for and About Others.
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We welcome our new readers from Iowa! Dr. Ruf and I had a stimulating couple of days at the Iowa Talented and Gifted (ITAG) annual conference in Coralville, Iowa, October 5 and 6. The hospitality was wonderful, and we met a lot of enthusiastic people who are committed to meeting the needs of Iowa's gifted students.

We wish everyone a Happy Halloween. I think this was my kids' favorite holiday. Besides all the candy, it's great fun and so creative to be working on costumes and jack-o-lanterns!

Best wishes, Kathy Hara, Editor

Experts Online

Dr. Ruf will be answering questions on the upcoming installment of the Florida Gifted Network's Experts Online.

Although future sessions of Experts Online will be available only to members of FGN, Dr. Ruf's October session will be free and open to the public. Participating is easy - just email your questions to experts@floridagiftednet.org!

Dr. Ruf's answers will appear on the FGN forum between Sunday, October 25, and Friday, October 30. Simply log on during this time to view your answers.

Virtual NAGC Convention

I have previously mentioned in this newsletter that NAGC (National Association for Gifted Children) is having their annual convention, Gateway to Gifted, in St. Louis November 5 to 8. But I only recently discovered that NAGC is offering a Virtual Convention, too, for those who cannot attend.

News about budget cuts, teacher furloughs and funding caused NAGC to package access to the NAGC Convention Saturday sessions in a convenient and inexpensive format.

You may register for the NAGC Virtual Convention from now until noon on Friday, November 6. Then a full day of content-rich sessions will arrive on your desktop on Saturday, November 7. From sun up to sun down, "virtual attendees" will have access to 17 convention sessions live, in real time. Those who register to participate virtually will also be given access to an online portal in which they can discuss topics, post documents, etc. in order to reach out to fellow attendees in advance of the live webinars.

Go to the Virtual Convention website to learn more about the session line-up, computer requirements, and featured speakers, and also view a 4-minute informational video.

For Homeschoolers

We know that more and more families are moving to home schooling options for their gifted learners. Here are just some reminders about websites which can help you in this journey:

The Homeschool Diner offers a "full menu of articles, curriculum ideas, and links to online resources. You'll also find helpful suggestions, friendly advice, and a little homeschool humor, on the side." If you are just beginning to contemplate homeschooling, you will find plenty of help with "Homeschool Basics," which are "Hot Off the Grill." Then you'll be off and running.

MyHomeSchoolPlan will help you create, schedule and record your home school activities quickly and easily. The heart of the program is the schedule. Add a one-time activity or create recurring activities (like practicing a musical instrument), add to one student or multiple students (like a field trip). You can also log how much time was spent, and, if you have an assignment or test, the points. This is a flexible, simple tool that allows you to spend more time with your kids, not your computer.
In Minnesota: Young Scientist Roundtable

At least 10 years ago, in my previous job as a suburban newspaper reporter, I covered a wonderful event for students featuring a top scientist from NASA. The scientist had been invited by the Young Scientist Roundtable. I was recently reminded of this program.

Young Scientist Roundtable was founded in January, 1992, by Wayzata Public School District parent volunteers Dr. Vinod Padhye and Loni Gradick.  Their plan was to introduce children of all ages to the wonders of science by inviting scientists from a wide array of disciplines, who volunteer their time, to share their areas of expertise in monthly evening presentations. Each month since that time, a different area of science, such as medicine, physiology, astronomy and physics, is presented by an expert from the scientific field.  Students are encouraged to ask questions following the presentation and to attend the "Teen Roundtable" which follows the formal presentation.  At the "Teen Roundtable," students can talk with the scientist in a smaller, informal group setting.

There is no charge to attend the Young Scientist Roundtable and no reservations are needed.  Students in grades Kindergarten - 12 and their parents are invited to attend.  Most of the monthly programs are held at the Wayzata Central Middle School Auditorium, and the programs are videotaped for showing on ED's TV, the West Metro Educational Cable Channel.
The next event will be on Tuesday, November 10. Mr. Casey Carlson, Mechanical Engineer at ReconRobotics, Inc., will present Mobile Robots: Where Did They Come From and Where are They Going?  For more information and schedules go to the Young Scientist Roundtable website.

5 Levels of Gifted: 5 Levels cover
School Issues and
Educational Options

Dr. Ruf's book, 5 Levels of Gifted: School Issues and Educational Options (2005) (formerly published as Losing Our Minds: Gifted Children Left Behind), is available through Great PotentialPress.

Deborah Ruf
Educational Options