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In This Issue
Dyslexic Advantage
Puzzles for Kids
Meltdown to Mastery
Spatial Skills and Creativity
Buddha Board
In Minnesota: MCGT Annual Conference

Keeping Up With Dr. Ruf
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Fall is definitely in the air. This is a great time of the year to get outdoors and take in the beauty and aromas of the changing season.

Here at Educational Options and TalentIgniter, we are still busy with Pearson Education's normative testing project, having filled our quotas and progressing with the testing itself. We also are poised to add new content to TalentIgniter over the coming year.

We wish all our readers a happy autumn!

Best wishes,


Kathy Hara, Editor         



Dyslexic Advantage

Most people would view dyslexia as a learning disability. But Fernette and Brock Eide have been studying the positive aspects. They learned from Professor Julie Logan's work, for instance, that one-third of successful entrepreneurs in the United States are dyslexic.  


The Eides have written a book, The Dyslexic Advantage: Unlocking the Hidden Potential of the Dyslexic Brain, about some of the cognitive strengths of being dyslexic. They have also set up a website and webinars which are dedicated toward increasing awareness, education, and research into the strengths and talents of dyslexic people. One must be logged in to access the Dyslexic Advantage website, but the sign up is just a few steps, and the webinars are free.


Sparticl logo
Got teens who are interested in science? Here is a new web and mobile service for teens, a collection of the very best the web has to offer in science, technology, engineering, and math or STEM. Sparticl includes answers to science questions, images, videos, games, and hands-on activities, all curated by a team of experts.  


It's also a place where teens play a critical part - ranking content, sharing it, and recommending new content, all the while earning points and badges. Sparticl is created by the award-winning National Productions division of Twin Cities Public Television, and is made possible with the generous support of 3M.


By the way, this is designed for teens, but this "senior" intends to spend some time browsing this content-rich and beautifully designed site. So . . . what are you curious about? 


Puzzles for Kids

Gifted kids tend to really enjoy working out puzzles. So we were happy to get word from Babysitting.net about a recent post to their website - 21 Blogs Featuring the Best Puzzles Kids Can Make or Solve. The blogs range from making jigsaw puzzles to finding logic puzzles like Sudoku or challenging brain teasers.


While you are on the site, do check out the list called "Babysitting Guides," which will lead you to more fun activities for kids.



The first CoderDojo was established in Cork, Ireland, in 2011. Since that time, it has grown by leaps and bounds, and now there are "dojos" all around the world - including the Twin Cities.  


It is a movement around running free, not-for-profit computer coding clubs and regular sessions for young people. At a CoderDojo, kids aged 8 to 17 learn how to code, develop websites, apps, programs, games and more. Dojos are set up, run by and taught by volunteers. In addition to learning how to code, members meet like minded people, show off what they've been working on, listen to guest speakers, tour technological facilities, and so on. CoderDojo makes development and learning to code a fun and sociable experience. CoderDojo also puts a strong emphasis on open source and free software, and has a strong network of members and volunteers globally.


In addition, parents are welcome to join CoderDojo as mentors.  


Meltdown to Mastery


Meltdowns to Mastery - Helping Educators Show Children New Paths to Mastery. This is the title of a blog written by Dr. Susan E. Craig. Although her goal is to "help teachers and caregivers empower children with disabilities or who have been traumatized at an early age," her blog addresses issues faced by every parent. She writes about a wide range of subjects, and gives parents great ideas about helping children master their own lives.


Spatial Skills and Creativity

Do you have a child who loves taking apart clocks and radios and other appliances around the house? A new study recently published in the journal Psychological Science says this may be an indicator of future creativity or innovation. In Douglas Quenqua's article, Study Finds Spatial Skill is Early Sign of Creativity, he discusses how spatial relations skills can relate to future success in STEM fields.  

Buddha Board

We were intrigued by this product, which is new to us. It's the Buddha Board. It is based on the Zen concept of living in the moment. You simply paint on the surface with water and your drawing will come to life in bold design. Then, as the water slowly evaporates, your art will magically disappear, leaving you with a clean slate and a clear mind. Could be the perfect gift for the budding artist!

In Minnesota: MCGT Annual Conference
Online registration is now open for the 2013 Annual Conference of the Minnesota Council for Gifted and Talented. The conference is Saturday, November 16, at the Minneapolis Campus of the University of St. Thomas. This year's keynote speaker is Dr. Ann Robinson, Professor of Education and founding Director of the Center for Gifted Education at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock.


Dr. Ruf will present a session on "Levels of Giftedness - How Unusual is Your Child?"


Go to www.mcgt.net for more information. Registration deadline is November 4.

Educational Options

EO LogoVisit www.EducationalOptions.com to learn about how Dr. Ruf's 4-Step Process will empower you to get your bright child's needs met. The website also includes many articles written by Dr. Ruf and others about gifted issues; categorized lists of books recommended for those seeking more information about their gifted children and themselves; Dr. Ruf's speaking schedule; an archive of this monthly newsletter, beginning in 2006; and more.                 
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TalentIgniter invites you to browse the many features offered on its website, including the following:

  • Dr. Ruf's TalentIgniter Blog.
  • The Parents' Picks section (with recommendations for parents of eager little learners, starting at infancy will have more age groups to be added as we find volunteers to send in their ideas to us! Please contact us at support@talentigniter.com if you have products and resources to recommend.) 
  • Book Recommendations for people wanting to learn more about gifts, talents, and how to develop both!
  • Detailed insider information about the Ruf Estimates Kids IQ Test 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!  
  • Self Esteem Test for Children and Self Esteem Test for Teens, filled out by the child with feedback for the parents.  
  • Milestone Tracker, a free online method to keep those precious memories and details of your child's growing years.   
  • A free resource, Ed Planner is your assistant and guide in planning and tracking your children's education for Grades 1 to 12. It will help you maximize your children's achievements as well as increase their chances of qualifying for highly selective colleges.  
5 Levels of Gifted: School Issues and Educational Options
5 Levels coverFormerly titled Losing Our Minds: Gifted Children Left Behind), 5 Levels of Gifted, published in 2005 by Great Potential Press, combines four years of data gathering from 50 families
78 children 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. 
Keys to Successfully Raising the Gifted Child
Keys ebook cover
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., Keys to Successfully Raising the Gifted Child is for parents who are new to the idea that their children might be intellectually advanced or gifted. This ebook 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. 

Deborah Ruf

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