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DL Ruf 2009 October 2010

In This Issue
Grouping Students by Ability
Lost in Lexicon
Save the Words
In Minnesota: MCGT CHAT Night
In Minnesota: Super Science Saturdays
In Minnesota: Gifted and Talented Youth Week
Keeping Up With Dr. Ruf


We hope all of our readers are enjoying a vibrant and invigorating autumn. Here in Minnesota, our deciduous forests are ablaze in reds and yellows. It's perfect weather for outdoor activities like hiking and biking.


We do want to thank those of you who participated in the NAGC survey. I know your responses will prove to be very helpful to NAGC.


Sincerely, Kathy Hara, Editor

Grouping Students by Ability

A phrase often used by Dr. Ruf is this: "Grouping children by age makes as much pedagogical sense as grouping them by height." Here's another favorite: "Put children in classrooms where what they are ready to learn is already being taught."


As simple - and even as inexpensive - as this sounds, we believe this approach is the best for educating children of every intellectual range.


According to an article in USA Today, grouping students by ability is an old idea becoming new again, with school districts from Alaska to Maine relying less and less on age to determine grade level. We hope we will see more and more districts adopt this practice to meet their students' needs.   


Lost in Lexicon


Lost in Lexicon: An Adventure in Words and Numbers, is a fantasy adventure for students in grades 5-8. The author hopes it will serve as a reminder that there's more to childhood than video games, iPads, and computers. The story involves two 13-year-old cousins who are staying with their eccentric old great aunt for the summer. It's an idyllic life except that their aunt won't allow them to watch television or use computers in the evenings. The reader will be challenged with language, math, and other elements as the cousins begin an adventure to help find Lexicon's missing children.

The author, Pendred (Penny) Noyce, is a physician, educator, and writer. Her father, Robert Noyce, was co-inventor of the integrated circuit (computer chip) and one of the founders of Intel.


"There's nothing inherently wrong with pixels, in moderation" says Noyce. "It's when kids overlook the beauty and the magic of language and numbers that they lose out on what makes childhood such a wonderful time - and that's a crime that I think we can all solve together."


You can download the first three chapters of Lost in Lexicon on Dr. Noyce's website. There's plenty of other interesting things to find on the site, as well. There's a games page with a fun and challenging Pong-type of arcade game, there are rules for playing some new (non-computer) games, and a few recipes for treats such as Punctuation Trapping Chocolate Chip Cookies (wrap these cookies well to keep them away from ravenous commas and exclamation points!).  In addition, there are several blogs written by the author and by some of the books' characters.  

Save the Words

All I can say about this site - www.savethewords.org - is to check it out. I didn't realize there could be that many words I've never heard of before. And they're all up for adoption.

In Minnesota: MCGT CHAT Night

The first CHAT night of the 2010-11 school year is tomorrow, Thursday, October 7, from 6:30 to 8:00 p.m. at Falcon Ridge Middle School, 12900 Johnny Cake Ridge Road in Apple Valley. It is sponsored by the Rosemount-Apple Valley-Eagan MCGT Chapter. The topic will be gifted girls and teens. The evening's facilitator is Megan Bearce, MA. MFT, who specializes in working with gifted girls, teens, and women. 


In Minnesota: Super Science Saturdays

Anyone can be a scientist, engineer or inventor at The Bakken Museum!


Discover Galvanism and what the buzz was about in the turn of the 19th century when people were experimenting with animating the dead with the new technology of the day--the battery.  Learn about Mary Shelley's inspiration for Frankenstein and the scientist, Aldini, whose īmoving deadī made many wonder if electricity was the answer to life itself!  Check out demonstrations with electricity that will make your muscles twitch!

Every Saturday the museum features hands-on science activities, experiments and challenges from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Activities are included with the cost of general admission. 

In Minnesota: Gifted and Talented Youth Week

Governor Tim Pawlenty, at the request of the Minnesota Council of Gifted and Talented (MCGT), has declared the week of October 30 to November 6 Gifted and Talented Youth week. 


This coincides with MCGT's annual conference, which will take place Saturday, November 6, at the downtown Minneapolis campus of The University of St. Thomas.  The keynote speaker this year will be Dr. Edward R. Amend,  a clinical psychologist at Amend Psychological Services. Dr. Amend focuses on the social, emotional, and educational needs of gifted and talented youth, adults, and their families. Dr. Amend's keynote address will be "What is Giftedness - Myths and Assumptions."  In addition to the keynote, there will be breakout sessions on a variety of topics for adults, full day and half day classes for kids in kindergarten through seventh grade, and an array of interesting exhibits and information.  The conference is open to non-members. Registration is required.


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.

TI Logo Reflection

Home of the Ruf Estimates™ of Levels of Gifted Online Assessment. Don't leave your child's education to chance! Find out today what your child needs to succeed in school. For more information, go to www.TalentIgniter.com.

Deborah Ruf
Educational Options
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