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DL Ruf 2009 November 2010

In This Issue
Leonardo's Basement
Free Admission to National Parks
Davidson Fellows Scholarships
Think Summer Institute
Stone Soup Magazine
IN MINNESOTA: 2010 School Options Fair
Keeping Up With Dr. Ruf
Friday, November 5: Workshops with teachers and parents, Yellow Medicine East Schools, Granite Falls, MN.

Saturday, November 6, at noon: Book Signing at MCGT's 2010 annual conference in Terrence Murphy and Opus Halls on the Minneapolis campus of the University of St. Thomas.

Radio interview on Life Matters at ABC Australia regarding highly gifted children.

Blogs by Dr. Ruf and Kathy Hara
Gender differences in eligibility for gifted programs.

Giving kids what they need when they need it.

Sex differences call for different educational treatments.

Student IQs and teacher evaluations.

The other achievement gap, Part 1

and Part 2.


If you haven't visited the Educational Options website lately, you may wish to do so. We have revamped our books section. Besides adding new recommended books, we have also organized all the selections into the following categories: Schooling Topics and Homeschooling, Intelligence, Careers, Life Outcomes, Other Learning Issues (Twice Exceptional, Visual-Spatial, Dyslexia, etc.), Gender Differences, Personality Differences, and Journals.


We also want to say how much we appreciate the comments we have received from readers letting us know how much they enjoy the Educational Options Newsletter. We have also started sending out a TalentIgniter Newsletter, which contains completely different articles. Each newsletter will be published once a month, approximately two weeks apart. Please feel free to subscribe to this second newsletter, which you may do at www.TalentIgniter.com. And please feel free, also, to send these along to anyone you feel may find the information useful.


Sincerely, Kathy Hara, Editor

Leonardo's Basement


 About 12 years ago, 12 grade school students at a Minneapolis Public School (Barton Open)  asked parents to organize an after-school club for hands-on learning. They wanted to work and play with peers who shared their interests in active learning, and they wanted the opportunity to choose and direct their own projects, create and build solutions to problems, go on field trips and to do so in a spirit of play and fun. They wanted activities they could best describe as "not like school."

A year later this resulted in Leonardo's Basement, an innovative educational organization where girls and boys ages 6 to 16 can design and build their creative ideas, mixing art, science and technology. Leonardo's Basement provides exciting building experiences for over 600 children a year and they introduce their programs to thousands more at neighborhood and community events. Programs include after-school, Saturday and summer classes, and more.

[Editor's note: Usually I would post an item like this as "In Minnesota," but I thought this creative enterprise deserved a broader audience.]




Karen Rogers, Ph.D., Professor of Gifted Studies in the Department of Special Education and Gifted Education in the College of Applied Professional Studies at the University of St. Thomas in Minneapolis, Minnesota, is directing a new study titled PROJECT2EXCEL. Funded by a Javits Grant, this five-year study is  designed to change the way educators look for, serve, and support learners who are "twice exceptional" - gifted but also have various additional exceptionalities, including but not limited to attention deficit disorders, autism spectrum disorders, behavioral and emotional disorders, and learning disabilities. These children are frequently overlooked for gifted services.

Dr. Rogers, who has written Re-Forming Gifted Education: How Parents and Teachers Can Match the Program to the Childsays the intended outcome of this project is an improved system for supporting and educating twice-exceptional kids so that their academic giftedness can be developed while their learning deficits are addressed through the use of appropriate educational interventions.


Free Admission to National Parks

Thursday, November 11, is Free Admission Day to our National Parks and Wildlife Refuges.  Some sites administered by the Bureau of Land Management will also be included. For information, go to www.nps.gov/findapark/feefreeparks.htm, www.fws.gov/refuges, or www.blm.gov/wo/st/en/prog/Recreation/BLM_Fee_Free_Days.html.

Davidson Fellows Scholarships

Applications for the 2011 Davidson Fellows Scholarships are available online. Young people under the age of 18 have the opportunity to earn a $50,000, $25,000 or $10,000 scholarship in recognition of a significant piece of work in the categories of Science, Technology, Mathematics, Music, Literature and Philosophy, or a project that represents Outside the Box thinking. The application deadline is March 2, 2011.


Think Summer Institute

If you are browsing the Davidson Institute website, you might want to look at their Think Summer Institute. Applications are now available. 


The Think Summer Institute will run July 9 through July 30. Students can earn six college credits at this three-week residential summer program on the campus of the University of Nevada, Reno. To qualify, students must be 13 to 16 years old during THINK. The first of two deadlines is January 12, 2011. Applications will be accepted and reviewed on a space-available basis until the second deadline of February 9, 2011.

Stone Soup Magazine

Stone Soup Magazine is a literary print magazine by and for young children, from ages 8 to 13. They have been publishing student work since 1973, and have probably helped some budding writers and artists get their first start. They invite submissions by mail, and will also consider the work of illustration artists and book reviewers.

Their website provides a sample copy of their magazine. Their website also offers a blog, a forum, and parent, teacher and curriculum sections. In addition, they have an archive of children's writing, and you can sign up for their newsletter.
IN MINNESOTA: 2010 School Options Fair

Minnesotans are invited to participate in the Fourth Annual Minnesota Council for Gifted and Talented (MCGT) School Options Fair on Saturday, December 4 - from the comfort of your home or office!

 Based on positive feedback from past participants, this year's fair will be a teleconference/online event. MCGT is seeking to expand its reach both to schools and parents, and to that end they will be using interactive teleconference tools. These tools will allow each participating school the opportunity to give a brief presentation, as well as give parents the ability to ask questions either live or via email or text message. In addition, a recording of the fair will be made available online for those unable to attend live.

There will be two sessions, with one focused on primary grades K-8 from 8:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m.; and the second focused on secondary grades 6-12 from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.


For more information and to participate, visit MCGT's website.


The deadline for registering for ECEA's EXPLORE test through Northwestern University's Midwest Academic
Talent Search (NUMATS) is December 20.  This test is a great opportunity for gifted and academically talented children to take an above-grade-level achievement test to see how they are doing compared to other top students their age nationwide. NUMATS also provides families with academic recommendations and information about special programs for GT children.

The ECAE (Edina Center for Academic Excellence) test site will be at South View Middle School in Edina for the January 22, 2011, EXPLORE test. While students are testing, there will be a nearby room with refreshments available for parents, and ECAE representatives will be on hand to discuss gifted education and answer questions about ECAE programs.


For further details, please visit ECAE's 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 Potential Press

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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