Monday, January 26, 2015

Annual Gifted Education Conference - February 5 and 6, 2015

AAGT - Arizona Association of Gifted and Talented

Are you interested in advancing gifted education in your school and community?  Then come to Arizona's own premier conference on gifted education in February, hosted by the Arizona Association for Gifted & Talented.  AAGT’s theme this year is ‘Advancing Gifted Education’ and that is what they aim to do. Sessions on differentiation, technology integration, the common core standards, social/emotional needs of gifted individuals, and much more will be offered, including a special strand for teachers of AP courses (Friday only) as well as a special strand of classes for parents.  We look forward to seeing you there!

For additional information visit 

Sunday, January 25, 2015

2015 SciTech Kickoff Event - January 31st

The University of Arizona and COX Communications have joined forces to host a FREE CONNECT2STEM event that is guaranteed to inspire. The official kickoff for the 2015 Arizona SciTech Festival, the event features activity zones that will allow guests to touch synthetic cadavers, explore real space equipment, learn the science of creating video games and more.

For more information about the kick-off event, visit -

The Arizona SciTech Festival runs February - March each year.  More details about the 2015 SciTech Festival can be found at

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Gilbert Public Schools EXPO - Sat., January 24th.

From the Gilbert Public Schools Facebook page:  

Just a reminder about this great event on Saturday, January 24th. Please come out to support your schools and see what's happening in the classroom! You can register to win a Chromebook, have fun at our photobooth, find out about the great new campaign for GPS and hit up the food trucks! Hope to see you all! Please share this will your friends and neighbors.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Balancing Social Media and Screen Time

“Balancing Social Media and Screen Time”
by John Aldava, PhD.
Licensed Psychologist

Dr. John Aldava joins Summit Center after over 13 years at Kaiser Walnut Creek working on the Child & Adolescent Family team as a Licensed Clinical Psychologist. Dr. Aldava has past experience with Contra Costa County’s Children’s Mental Health department, and as an instructor at JFK University in graduate psychology.

A common issue raised in my office for children and teens is the modern day challenge of a screen time which may include gaming, computers, social media, tv, and movies. The real issue seems to be one of balance as the screens start to take up too much time and take away from important things like interacting with people (in real life), physical activity, sleep, and nutrition. I see screen time as being dessert. If you eat too much dessert, there is no room for dinner. Dessert is good idea, but we can’t live on dessert alone.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Guest Lecture 1/15/15 - Social Communications for Gifted Students: Strategies to Help Strengthen Gifted Children's "SQ" (Social Quotient)

Parent Connections: As parents, we cannot control what happens on the playground. We cannot force kindness and friendship at school. Parents can only have direct input when it comes to relationships in the family and in the home. Care givers can make homes a place of safety and love. If our gifted children have deep roots and a strong foundation with family members, then our children will not be left with feelings of isolation. We must show our gifted children that they are unique and they are loved. 

We all like to receive love in different ways. Coming home to a clean kitchen may show that your husband loves you. Your mom may like to talk about how much fun you had as a child while growing up in her home. Your brother may do flips when given tickets to a football game. How does your child most like to receive love? Gary Chapman, author of multiple books describing the 5 Love Languages, suggests that in order for your child to truly feel accepted and loved, you must speak to the child’s primary love language. 

Using the links and documents below, discover how you can best show love to your gifted child. You must create a healthy relationship now, so that when your gifted child needs to talk about his feelings of isolation, perfectionism, anxiety, or depression, you are his trusted listener. 

1st → Take the 5 Love Languages test online and note the results 

2nd → To better understand each need, look at the descriptions of the love languages in the The Five Love Languages of Children

3rd → Look at the 50 Ways to Love Your Child for how to express love, and decide to implement strategies immediately

Guest Presentation: Social Communication for Gifted Students by Kathy Varga, M.S., CCC-SLP

Are you ever concerned about your gifted child’s verbal and non-verbal communitcation skills in social settings? Tonight Katherine Varga, a certified Speech Languange Pathologist, shared strategies that can help strengthen your child’s “SQ” (Social Quotient). Kathy Varga, as a member of the 2012 GPS Gifted Education Vision Committee, advocated for the social developmental needs of the gifted child. You can view her presentation at the link above. 

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Guest Lecture - "Social Communications/Conversations" 1/15/15

Mark your calendars to attend our next guest lecture.

Thursday, 1/15/15
7:00-8:00 p.m.
Greenfield Elementary Library

Katherine Varga will be sharing strategies that can help strengthen gifted children's "SQ" (Social Quotient).  

Educators can receive certification hours for attending.

Hope to see you there!

Monday, December 29, 2014

Imaginational Overexcitability

("Heavenly Nostrils" cartoon by Dana Simpson can originally be found HERE)

Gifted people often demonstrate some of Dabrowski's Overexcitabilities.  One of the categories is called Imaginational Overexcitability.  While in pre-school, my son had an imaginary friend named, Jelly-lo.  My child was a quiet boy while Jelly-lo was incredibly naughty.  My son was able to experiment with the world by talking about Jelly-lo's bad behavior and then asking about consequences.  While in the primary grades, my boy lived in a world of mice.  During his playtime, he was a teacher of a classroom of mice, and he blew a whistle to bring the imaginary class to order,  These mice played with my child and his real friends while on the playground at school, and the mice also went on adventures with my son and his real grandpa. Read below to see if any of Dabrowski's descriptions have made an appearance in your family's life.

Imaginational OE reflects a heightened play of the imagination with rich association of images and impressions, frequent use of image and metaphor, facility for invention and fantasy, detailed visualization, and elaborate dreams (Dabrowski & Piechowski, 1977; Piechowski, 1979, 1991). Often children high in Imaginational OE mix truth with fiction, or create their own private worlds with imaginary companions and dramatizations to escape boredom. They find it difficult to stay tuned into a classroom where creativity and imagination are secondary to learning rigid academic curriculum. They may write stories or draw instead of doing seatwork or participating in class discussions, or they may have difficulty completing tasks when some incredible idea sends them off on an imaginative tangent.

(This post was written by Tawnya Sherman)

See more about overexcitabilities at this website.