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Home of the Ruf Estimates
of Gifted Online Assessment
January 2011
In This Issue
The Bard Online
Global Virtual Meeting in Gifted Education
Explore New Worlds - Read
Experiment in Class Size
Math and Science Video Lessons
Pear Notes
Keep Grammar Alive
Discover Online
Keeping Up With Dr. Ruf

Thursday, January 20, 7:00 p.m., presentation to the New Prague Chapter of MCGT at New Prague City Hall.

Saturday, January 29, 2011, Fourth Global Virtual Meeting on Underachievement (See article in this issue)



The more I browse the World Wide Web, the more I wonder how I get anything else done at all! There is so much great information to be found, so many opinions to consider, so much art to see, so many wonders to behold . . . well, you get the idea.


Like television, spending too much time on the computer can be detrimental, especially for children. But I hope that what I've included here will pique some particular interest that will benefit you and your family!

And please feel free to let us know about a great site you have found!


Oh, and one other thing: If you enjoy this newsletter, you may also enjoy our Educational Options newsletter, which contains completely different information. You may sign up for that newsletter by contacting us, or you may simply visit our newsletter archive on our Educational Options website.




Kathy Hara, Editor

The Bard Online


The Folger Shakespeare Library, located on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC, is home to the world's largest and finest collection of Shakespeare materials, as well as to major collections of other rare Renaissance books, manuscripts, and works of art.  The Folger serves a wide audience of researchers, visitors, teachers, students, families, and theater- and concert-goers.


Part of the Folger's mission is to advance the understanding and appreciation of Shakespeare's writings and make its collections accessible to all students and to the general public.  This has been beautifully accomplished, at least in part, through their website. I certainly recommend this site for all our readers, but especially want to point the younger set to their Shakespeare for Kids section.  Your child will enjoy some quality surfing time.

Global Virtual Meeting in Gifted Education


On Saturday, January 29, 2011, Dr. Ruf will join with Mary St. George of New Zealand as speakers for the Fourth Global Virtual Meeting in Secondlife. The topic is "Underachiever."

, by the way, is a free 3D virtual world where users can socialize, connect and create using free voice and text chat.


Roya Klingner of the Bavarian Centre for Gifted and Talented Children has organized these global events with the purpose of sharing knowledge and experience about gifted education for students, educators, teachers and parents. She has given us the following information on how to sign up for this virtual meeting, which will take place at 9:00 p.m. CEST/8:00 p.m. UK (please check for the correct time in your time zone):


1. Please create an avatar in secondlife (http://secondlife.com/whatis/avatar/?lang=en-US)
2. Send your avatarīs name to


3. To participate in this meeting you need a headset.
4. The meeting will take place in (http://slurl.com/secondlife/Degar/229/86/59)


Explore New Worlds. Read.


Read.gov is a must-see site from the Library of Congress. Their recent campaign employs Curious George to encourage parents to read to their children. There are special sections for kids, teens, adults, parents and educators. And there are many other resources, including a Young Readers Center, author webcasts, booklists, and contests. The current contest invites children in grades 4 through 12 to write a letter to a favorite author about how that person's book affected the student, with awards to the writer and the writer's school.


After your kids have browsed this site, have them tell you the definition of the writing term "exquisite corpse!"

Experiment in Class Size


While reading this article from the New York Times, my thought was that here is an experiment doomed for failure. But then I could be wrong. Read this article and form your own opinion. And then, together, let's see how it turns out!


Math and Science Video Lessons

 Do your kids need some extra help with some of their school subjects? The Khan Academy provides over 1800 video lessons explaining aspects of math, science, humanities and other topics.  Subjects range in complexity from basic addition all the way to college subjects, allowing learners to fill in almost any of their "gaps" with the content on the site. The content is made in digestible 10-20 minute chunks. There are segments on banking and money, and even segments on Paulson's bailout. Just for fun, there is also a segment of random logic puzzles and brain teasers.

 Developed as an open source project, the site's mission is to provide a free, world-class education to anyone, anywhere. In fact, they are actively seeking others to translate lessons into all the world's languages!


Pear Notes


I previously mentioned items and software that have been designed for students and others who need to take notes. Pear Notes is software designed for the Mac. The student can record a lecture, type in notes, integrate PowerPoint, Keynote or PDF slide presentations into those notes by dragging and dropping, and then easily find everything later.  

Keep Grammar Alive

Here's an article found on the Games for Educators website that discusses some fun ways to help improve students' grammar. These games can be played as part of a school curriculum or with parents at home!


Discover Online


Astronomy photoYou may have heard on the news that a supercomputer is going to compete against some of Jeopardy's best players in that answer-and-question game.  Discovermagazine.com, an online magazine about science, technology, and the future, talks about what happens when a supercomputer plays Jeopardy.  In another article,  the author of the "Bad Astronomy" blog posts the top 14 astronomy pictures of the past year. Those two articles by themselves make this site worth a look, but there's a lot more!

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TalentIgniter invites you to browse the many features offered on its website, including the following:
  • Dr. Ruf's Talent Igniter Blog
  • The Parents' Picks section (with recommendations for parents of eager little learners, starting at infancy with more age groups added weekly!)
  • Book Recommendations for people wanting to learn more about gifts, talents, and how to develop both!
  • Detailed insider information about the Ruf Estimates of Levels of Gifted Online Assessment, the inventory parents fill out to know how to help their own young children thrive.
Keys ebook cover
Keys to Successfully Raising the Gifted Child

You know your child is gifted. But how does that impact day-to-day life and your role as a parent?

Written by Deborah L. Ruf, Ph.D., and Larry A. Kuusisto, Ph.D., this ebook is for parents who are new to the idea that their children might be intellectually advanced or gifted. The book addresses important parenting issues, including what to actually tell your child about his or her giftedness, how schools approach learning differences, best ways to provide emotional support, sibling rivalry, and more.

The book delivers lots of provocative information that will lead to hours of good discussion, debate, and further investigation and research by group or class participants studying the gifted and talented.

The book is available for purchase at www.TalentIgniter.com/products.
5 Levels of Gifted

5 Levels cover5 Levels of Gifted: School Issues and Educational Options (2005) (formerly titled Losing Our Minds: Gifted Children Left Behind). 5 Levels of Gifted, published by Great Potential Press, combines four years of data gathering from 50 families with nearly 30 years of research and experience in the field of giftedness, individual differences, and high intelligence. The book is aimed primarily at parents and vividly describes the upper 10 to 15 percent of the intellectual continuum in human beings from birth to adulthood as manifested in their behaviors, thoughts, accomplishments, and test scores. She introduces the concept of Levels of Giftedness and makes it very clear how many factors contribute to a person's intellectual levels and achievement.