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Nau mai, haere mai.

Welcome to the home of the New Zealand Gifted Awareness Blog tour. The blog tour runs in June each year to coincide with New Zealand's Gifted Awareness Week, this year June 13-19th. The  Blog Tour aligns each year with the theme of Gifted Awareness Week.

The theme this year is Belonging - accepted, included, connected


The New Zealand Gifted Awareness Blog Tour is an opportunity for you to have your say about being or supporting a gifted child, about gifted education, about support or the lack of it from government, or about the way forward as you see it. Most people write opinion pieces, often as a call to action. One or two have written poems. Some share their research. Young people sometimes share experiences, encouraging others to seek out similar opportunities. Members of Parliament have always contributed in varying numbers and at least one of them reads a selection of the blogs each year. You’ll probably be able to tell which one, if you read the political posts.
Keen to contribute a blog? Here's how...

We would love to help you get your voice out there and heard...or is that read...? Hmmm...anyway, if you'd like to contribute this year, then complete the 'I want to blog!' form, or check out the 'how-to' section to find out more about the process. We welcome blogs from everyone: those who are experienced bloggers, as well as those with little or no experience. If you run into any problems, please feel free to email Vanessa, the blog co-ordinator.

 

Colour coding of blog post images

You will notice that there is a strip of colour to the left of the thumbnail images for each post. These indicate the following:
 
      • Green - posts which have been written by gifted children
      • Red - posts which have had more than 500 views during the blog tour period
      • Yellow - posts which relate to government viewpoints and policies, open letters to Parliament, and other posts created for lobbying purposes
      • Purple - these are not blogs, but have been a significant part of the discussion during the period of the Blog Tour

 

Please share widely

Please share the blogs widely: to friends, family, educators, specialists, MPs...anyone you think might be interested and/or could benefit from reading them. The New Zealand Gifted Awareness Week hashtag is used for sharing blogs, so please feel free to include #NZGAW in your posts, tweets, emails, etc. The blog tour will have a presence online through Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.

      • Like the New Zealand Centre for Gifted Education page on Facebook
      • Follow @NZGiftedEd on Twitter

 

Start the Tour

 

Practical Resources to Help Educators in Supporting Gifted Learners to Develop Their Sense of Belonging by Vanessa White on behalf of the New Zealand Centre for Gifted Education.

This presents an overview of the 2016 New Zealand Gifted Awareness Blog Tour and includes supporting resources for responding  in practice, to the key ideas which have emerged through these blog posts in relation to gifted learners and their sense of belonging. Read more...

 

Let's Make Differentiation the Norm by Elaine Le Sueur

Differentiation is becoming a natural part of a teacher’s work because technology is forcing us to personalise learning for the students in our care. We need to be able to draw on a range of strategies and methods and to adapt them as needed to help able students to harness the learning power of their brains. Read more...

  

Belonging Acrostic by Tracy Riley

Engaging with like minds...where will this acrostic poem lead...? Read more...

 

Breaking the Boundaries by Melinda Gindy

Belonging. The very essence of the word conjures a sense of need; an innate desire for connection. For some, it may bring about a positive feeling and yet for others, undesirable emotions surface. Read more...

 

Three Key Ingredients: knowledge, willingness, and understanding by Cathryn Bjarnesen

Belonging, acceptance, inclusion and connection……. These are all fine goals that we wish for our children BUT for a few gifted children, these goals will only ever remain as ideals. Being gifted, but with a learning disorder, a twice-exceptional (2e) child is...Read more...

 

Getting education right for gifted and talented students - Imperative for the survival of humanity! by Emma Scobie-Jennings

...In order to find viable solutions to the issues facing us, we need creative innovators to develop solutions and lead systematic societal change...For today's students to succeed in this ever-changing world, they need to be able to think like entrepreneurs: to be resourceful, flexible, creative and global. Read more...

 

Twice Exceptional Learners: Spikey Profiles by Catherine Watts

We can't afford to waste a brain. We can't afford to waste the brains of our diverse learners - our gifted learners, our children with Autism Spectrum Disorder, ADD, our twice and multiple exceptional students - who in many classrooms, are still required to fit into the 'one size fits all' model. Read more...

 

Belonging: Homeschool Style by Lucy Perin

...one burnt out mum, one very anxious and one 'shy' child later, we made the very considered decision to leave mainstream education and strike out on our own - homeschool style...We have different groups of people with whom we can work and play alongside...At times their sense of belonging is almost palpable. I relax. It is okay. They have peers. They are accepted. Read more...

 

Why Gifted Kids Can Feel Like Misfits – And What We Can Do About It by Carol Bainbridge

Gifted kids can feel like misfits. They can feel as though they are not accepted by others and may feel disconnected. Why is that? I recently had a discussion with my son, who provided me with some insight. Read more...

 

Sometimes it’s Better to Receive…by William Pellegrini

While picking up one of my children from high school, I heard her call a friend a genius. Now, typically I wouldn’t pay attention to something like this since it’s such a common phrase it really holds no meaning other than a random compliment (or sometimes sarcasm, which is what I was actually hearing). Read more...

 

Zero Educational Support by Michelle Eenkhoorn

I’m writing this straight after my last blog while it’s fresh in my mind. If you read my last blog you’ll know how I feel about the lack of understanding when it comes to gifted children. This isn’t just in family and social relationships. Kindergarten, creche, daycare and beyond too. Read more...

 

Belonging as Parents by Rebecca Watson

When I first considered writing this blog, and thought about this year’s theme from a gifted child's point of view, the obvious question for me was - “what would it be like to feel different, to think different, to try and fit in when the fit just isn’t quite right?’ But then I started thinking…Read more...

  

The Little Girl That Could by Tina Harlow

Once upon a time, in the mountains high, lived a little girl who decided to try. She joined a group to learn to run and with her friends had lots of fun. But as time passed...Read more...

  

The Often Forgotten Third Corner of the Triangle...and What to Do About It! by Rosemary Cathcart

Gifted learners, and their parents/families need to feel a sense of belonging, but..."there is a third party here who also needs to feel accepted, included and connected – the teacher. We don’t often think about the position of the classroom teacher..." Read more...

 

Life With a Gifted Brother...Do I Belong Here? by Caitlin Watson

It’s weird having a gifted brother because he always makes us late for stuff and I don’t know why? My brother is gifted and his name is Sam, he is 8 (turning 9), and likes coding. He goes to the gifted class in Lincoln, and this is where he is learning to code. Read more...

 

Together They Laughed by Cameron

A poignant poem about belonging, written by Cameron, aged 11. Read it here...

   

The Poetry of 'Belonging' by Gemma

This beautiful, eloquent and sobering poem is written by 12 year old Gemma who attends MindPlus. Her words are a powerful reminder of what it means to provide spaces where children and young people feel they belong, and why MindPlus is so important for so many students...Read more...

 

Belonging to MindPlus by students at MindPlus Wellington South

A group of students at Wellington South MindPlus have come up with this fabulous statement about what it means to belong in the Mind Plus programme. Read this blog to hear the voices of our gifted student's expressed. Read more...

 

Harambe’s Legacy by Elaine Le Sueur

Harambe is a kiSwahili word meaning working together or sharing. The recent tragedy at Cincinnati zoo has prompted an outpouring of social media response that saddens me. The human tendency to...Read more...

 

One Day at a Time by Michelle Eenkhoorn

Life as a young Mum comes with its own extra set of challenges. You are immediately categorized and judged. “Her life is over” “she’s too young” “she will have no idea what she’s doing” sound familiar? Wait till you’re a young Mum with a gifted child. Read more...

 

Ponderings on Belonging by Sue Barriball, NZCGE

I have been pondering the concept of belonging for several weeks as we at NZCGE have been preparing for Gifted Awareness Week. Deep in my psyche, the experiences of not belonging have surfaced, particularly those from childhood. Read more...

 

Walk a Mile in My Shoes by a child and his Mum

A conversation with a young gifted child; a story that this child wants shared, and a Mum who is his voice to empower him to be able to do this. The importance of belonging, and the consequences when this is not a reality. Read more...

 

Belonging Changed My Life by Greta

Hi I’m Greta and am currently a year 12 student at Wellington East Girls. From the age of 7-10, I attended a programme just for gifted kids, Gifted Kids (GKP). It was an incredible experience... Read more...

 

A Message on a Post-It by Madelaine Armstrong Willcocks 

Not long ago in my MindPlus class, we were talking about being gifted and what that means for us. Instead of talking, one student quietly wrote on a post-it ‘I don’t really feel like I fit in at school’ and stuck it on the wall. Read more...

 

Belonging: A Place of Sanctuary on Sprite's Site by Jo Freitag

Sprite’s Site is a place of sanctuary for many:

  • Lobsters holding their Lobsterfest without fear of the Wicked Lemon Wedges
  • Pumpkins hiding from the Halloween carvers
  • Read more...

 

Are We Failing Our Gifted and Talented Learners...and Teachers? by Justine Hughes

Gifted and Talented education has long been a passion of mine but over the past few years I've become more and more concerned about how we are catering - or not as the case may be - to their diverse individual needs due to a range of factors. Read more...

 

2e - A Mum's Experience by guest blogger for Leith Occupational Therapy

This post is a follow on from a fabulous blog by a twice-exceptional eight year old who presented his perspectives on the needs of gifted and twice exceptional children for a workshop run by Massey University earlier this year. Now it's his Mum's turn to share her views. Read more...

 

Through Their Eyes: Exploring What Inclusion Means for Gifted Learners by Vanessa White

Inclusive education...we've all heard the mantra; the imperative to create inclusive learning environments for all students. Don't get me wrong...I absolutely agree with this sentiment...but...Read more...

 

Invitation by Elaine Le Sueur

Belonging is a circle that embraces everything, but what does it mean to belong? What are the signs that help us to know that we belong somewhere or tell us clearly that we don’t belong? Read more...

 

The Gifted Qualification Outside the Classroom by Mary St. George

Many teachers consider studying gifted education, but have niggling doubts, asking themselves, “Shouldn’t I take a paper which will benefit the whole class?” Explore a range of great reasons why it’s well worth taking gifted education papers. Read More...

 

9 Things the World Must Understand About Gifted Children by Celi Trépanier

Three years have passed since I wrote the popular post, 8 Things the World Must Understand About Gifted Children. Sadly, not much has changed for gifted children – they are still very much misunderstood. Read more…

 

What do You Mean by This Belonging Thing Anyway? By Andrea Delaune

As an early childhood educator, I am confronted on a daily basis with the concept of 'belonging' as a part of our national curriculum Te Whāriki (New Zealand Ministry of Education, 1996). Within this document, belonging is encapsulated as a concept in which children should...Read more

 

Developing Strong Social Networks By Maureen Neihart

As a group, gifted children tend to have good social skills and make friends as easily as other children. But sometimes gifted children struggle with friendships because they differ from typically developing children in three ways. Read more...

 


 

 

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Please note that the perspectives expressed in blogs are the views of the author/s and may not be reflective of the views of the New Zealand Centre for Gifted Education. 

 
 
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