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Home of the Ruf Estimates
of Gifted Online Assessment
October 2011
In This Issue
TalentIgniter Introduces New Product
Performance Trends of Top Students
Educating the Profoundly Gifted
Help Astronomers Explore the Universe
Perennial Math
Dead Sea Scrolls Go Digital
National Bullying Prevention Month
Keeping Up With Dr. Ruf

Besides her years of expertise as an educational consultant, Dr. Ruf also is well established as a national and international speaker on all issues of giftedness.  


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Dr. Ruf will be presenting at the 58th Annual Convention of the National Assn. for Gifted Children (NAGC) in New Orleans November 3-6.


Dr. Ruf will speak to Parents of Bright and Gifted Children in the Tipp City area of Ohio (near Dayton) Thursday evening, November 10.


Dr. Ruf will conduct all day workshops for educators in the Beavercreek City Schools, Ohio, on Friday, November 11.  


Dr. Ruf will present a breakout session on Levels of Giftedness at the MCGT Fall Conference on Saturday, November 12.   


Dr. Ruf will conduct a workshop on How to Encourage Your Gifted Child to Listen to Parents and Teachers in Westwood, CA, November 22.  For more information contact kathy@educationaloptions.com


TalentIgniter is pleased to announce the launch of the Self Esteem Test for Children.  


Based on the Harter Scales by Susan Harter at the University of Denver, Colorado, this online test will help you determine how your child feels about areas in his or her life. See below for examples of the test and results, and read the following article to learn more!  




Kathy Hara, Editor





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SETC QuestionsExample of Question Page

Self Esteem Test for Children



SETC results 

Example of Results

Self Esteem Test for Children 






TalentIgniter Introduces New Product


Is your child feeling good about him or herself? An unhappy or depressed child doesn't have the emotional energy to learn at his or her optimal level or to get involved in activities that will develop his or her talents. On the other hand, good self-esteem leads to strong confidence. If you discover that your child's view of self is not positive, you can help to change things and clear the way for success!


Mother Child StudyingTalentIgniter is now introducing the Self Esteem Test for Children (SETC) that will help you find out how your child compares to other children on self-confidence. It's an affordable online assessment that children in 3rd through 8th grades complete privately online, and it measures the child's self-perception in the areas of scholastic competence, social acceptance, athletic competence, physical appearance, behavioral conduct, and global self-worth. After the child has completed the profile, a brief interpretation and recommendations are provided to the parents, school counselor, or other mental health professional.  


Because TalentIgniter is a site dedicated to discovering and igniting talents, we provide information that typical school-based or therapeutic treatments might not consider, so you can help clear the way for your child's success.

Check out the TalentIgniter website for more information. And watch for our Self Esteem Test for Teens and Self Esteem Test for Adults, coming soon!


Performance Trends of Top Students


The Thomas B. Fordham Institute, in partnership with the Northwest Evaluation Fordham StudyAssociation, has published its latest study, Do High Flyers Maintain Their Altitude? Performance Trends of Top Students. This is the first study to look at the performance of America's highest-achieving students over time, and the results are troubling: many of these students struggle to maintain their high performance over the years.


"It is my hope that this report debunks, once and for all, the absurdity that high-achieving students will do fine without appropriate services delivered by teachers trained in gifted strategies," said an official with the National Association for Gifted Children.

Educating the Profoundly Gifted


So after reading about the Fordham study, the next question is, how do you teach the highest-ability students? How do you teach, for instance, a 10-year-old who has already worked on T-cell receptor research at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center?


Here's an article by Katherine Long from the Seattle Times, Educating Gabriel, 13, an off-the-charts prodigy. Gabriel is an example of a Level Five child, as Dr. Ruf describes through case examples in her book 5 Levels of Gifted: School Issues and Educational Options. Children with Gabriel's interests and abilities exist in larger numbers than people realize, but the majority of them do not find the support, mentoring and flexibility that his school district provided. Take a look and consider how our society could make it easier for more Gabriels -- and Gabrielles -- to emerge from the age-paced classroom.


Help Astronomers Explore the Universe


Scientists are constantly studying galaxies, including our own, in order to understand how they form and evolve. Part of that study involves classifying the galaxies. That's a difficult task with the numbers of galaxies being studied, so computers are being used in the process. But looking at an image and noting any oddities is a uniquely human ability that computers can't duplicate.


GalaxySo in 2007 the Galaxy Zoo was launched, inviting anyone to look through a data set made up of a million galaxies imaged with the robotic telescope of the Sloan Digital Sky Survey. Within the first year, 50 million classifications were made by almost 150,000 people.  


The originators of Galaxy Zoo have now designed Galaxy Zoo 2 and are inviting the public to view more images and answer more complex questions in the classification process. The website has posted papers and projects that have used the data from the original Galaxy Zoo, and the site also offers a library about galaxies and astronomy pulled from all over the Internet, an astronomy glossary, information on the space missions and telescopes used in the research, blogs, forums and more.   


By the way, if you like this, look for the Moon Zoo link on the website!


Perennial Math


Between November and March, students in grades 4 through 8 can set up teams and participate in the Perennial Math competition. There are five monthly tests, each test has five questions, and each test takes 30 minutes to complete.


A team can register up to 30 students. If a school is not participating, students may register individually.


Perennial Math is directed by Dr. Sylvia Dean, a gifted specialist in Huntsville, Alabama, who has coached and coordinated robotics, math and technology competitions for more than 20 years.

Dead Sea Scrolls Go Digital


Dead Sea ScrollAbout a year ago, I visited the Minnesota Science Museum in St. Paul to see the fascinating exhibit of the Dead Sea Scrolls, which includes the oldest known biblical manuscripts in existence.  Now it is possible for anyone, anywhere, to view these ancient scrolls in even greater detail.


The Dead Sea Scrolls Digital Project, developed by the Israel Museum in partnership with Google, allows the viewer access to searchable, fast-loading, high-resolution images of the scrolls, as well as short explanatory videos and background information on the texts and their history. Five complete scrolls from the Israel Museum have been digitized for the project so far.


National Bullying Prevention Month


This October is the sixth annual National Bullying Prevention Month. This event was originated by PACER, an organization that was founded in 1977 by parents of children and youth with disabilities. In 2000, the PACER Center noticed an increase in bullying situations against children with disabilities, and so began to compile resources for bullying prevention. Ultimately, PACER realized that it was important to design these resources for all children.  


National Bullying Prevention Month is dedicated to raising awareness of bullying prevention through events, activities and education. PACER's website offers its resources for parents, educators, teens and kids, and will also offer one-to-one assistance by phone or email with regard to bullying situations.


"This is a very real and painful issue that kids are facing," says Julie Hertzog, director of PACER's National Bullying Prevention Center. "But they don't have to face it alone, and bullying can be prevented if we all work together to change the culture."


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Newsletters from Educational Options

If you like this newsletter, you may wish to subscribe to our Educational Options Newsletter, as well. Issued once a month, this newsletter contains completely different content from the TalentIgniter Newsletter. To subscribe, simply send an email to Kathy@EducationalOptions.com, and write "Subscribe to Newsletter" in the subject line.
To see the Educational Options Newsletter archives, visit our website at http://www.educationaloptions.com/newsletters/newsletters.php.

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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. It's so much more than just a kid's IQ test! 
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.