Google Science Camp

The summer is flying by, and some of you may be at the point where you are looking for a new activity.  Well, you are in luck! Google started their online Science Camp this week, and it’s free!  “Ocean Week” is this week’s theme, followed by “Space Week,” “Nature Week,” and “Music Week.”  Don’t worry that you missed the first couple of days, because all of the videos and activities are available online.

Google Science Week


By the way – don’t forget to fill out this Padlet about what you have learned so far this summer!  I really want to hear from you!

Want to See Something Gross?

There’s a reason your parents and teachers ask you to wash your hands regularly.  Click on the picture below to find out what you might have growing on your hands if you don’t wash them.

image from:

image from: This is Colossal

Speaking of looking at gross things very closely, you can get an up close and personal view of a variety of bugs when you go to this page.  Some are even a bit pretty – in a scary, please-don’t-ever-show-up-in-my-house kind of way!

Have You Learned Something New this Summer?

I love to learn and summer often gives me the time and opportunity to try new things. For example, my daughter learned how to sew last semester, and now she is teaching me!

I would like to hear about things you are learning this summer, so I decided to make a Padlet to find out.  Click on the Padlet below to add your note to the wall.

If you are struggling to find something new to learn, head over to this site to learn more about yourself and what interests you!

Parenting Articles

1 of the 24 suggested books from the Huffington Post for your child to read this summer

1 of the 24 suggested books from the Huffington Post for your child to read this summer

I’ve been collecting a few links over the summer that I thought might interest parents:

10 Things Parents/Guardians Should Do Now – I particularly like #4 and #5!  (If you are interested in #5, I highly suggest you check out this post I did on a neat new product that uses stickers to make electrical circuits!)

How to Get Into Harvard – Bottom line?  “Make your children interesting!”

Brainteasers and College Readiness –  Here is a link to some brainteasers if you need a supply!

Check out this list of 24 Books That Will Captivate Your Kids This Summer from Huffington Post.  I have not read any of them, but I definitely want to try some out!

Are you a parent of a girl?  I encourage you to check out this post I did on my professional blog recently.

If you read anything that you think would be good for me to share with other parents, please e-mail me the link!

Kid President Has a Television Show!


Many of the students in my upper grades are familiar with Kid President, whose short, inspirational videos I’ve shown in the past.  He now has a television show on the Hub network.  If you are like me, and haven’t heard of Hub, you can go to this link to find out which local channel it is, based on your zip code and service provider.  Or, you can view the episodes online.  Here is a link to the full episodes, which are about 22 minutes long.  So far, there are three episodes: Heroes, Families, and Dreams.  These are great to watch with the family – funny and very motivational! In case you are new to Kid President, you can also visit his website, where there are links to the previously mentioned short productions.  The favorite for the students seems to be his Pep Talk.

The Kid Should See This

The Kid Should See This

For this week’s blog update, I thought I would share with you an awesome website that is a collection of videos a mother has curated to “connect kids, parents, and teachers with smart, conversation-starting videos – about science, art, music, nature, and more – that probably weren’t made for kids, but are still perfect for them.”  “The Kid Should See This” recently got updated, and I love the new look along with options for finding videos.  If you are looking for an educational website for your curious child, this is definitely one to bookmark!

Also, I want to congratulate our two winners from last week’s “Make a Theme Park Ride” contest for our online Edmodo class: Anna for “The Sparking Spur”, and Athasi for “Kittyana Jones.”  You can see the blog post I did about our winners here.  Next week, I will announce the winners of our Theme Park Mascot contest!

Summer Learning Opportunities

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I hope everyone is enjoying your summer so far!  I have been happily sleeping late and devouring books in between doctor’s appointments and cleaning my closet:)

I plan to post to the blog once a week this summer.  This week, I wanted to direct you to some of the posts I’ve been doing on my professional blog, as they are all about fun ideas for “avoiding the summer slide.”

I also want to give you some links to the projects from our first week of our online class, Make a Theme Park, for 3rd-5th graders.  This week, the students designed rides for their theme parks.  Here is the link for the Family entries. And, here is the link for the Individual entries.  I love the creativity!  As Joey Hudy, our celebrity guest judge for the week says, “Don’t be bored! Make something!”

Transforming My Classroom

As you know, the staff is back to work at Hidden Forest.  We learned at our Convocation on Monday that our district is working on “Transforming the Future.”  Coincidentally, I had already dreamed up a few transformations I want to implement in the GT room for this year. They are probably not on the same grand scale that the district envisions, but I think the students will enjoy their altered learning space.

For a sneak peek at what’s in store, you might want to read today’s post on my professional blog, “Rows of Desks are SO Yesterday.”  Below is a picture of one of my works in progress, “The Genius Bar”, that I am going to set up in the classroom – a resource and collaboration area for the students.

Don’t worry – this is definitely not the finished product!

As you can see, I still have a bit left to do!

With only a few more days left until the beginning of school, I am sure that you are as busy as I am.  But I do want to share this resource with you so you can take a look at it during your “spare” time.  This is a list of “55 Best Back-to-School Articles for Parents.” It will probably will not surprise you to learn that I have not read all of these articles.  However, I did read “From Perfection to Personal Bests: 7 Ways to Nurture Your Gifted Child,” and I highly recommend it.  Please let me know if you see any others on the list that I should mention in a blog post.

I am not sure if everyone received the e-mail that I sent yesterday, but I want to let you know that I will, unfortunately, be unable to attend Hidden Forest’s “Meet the Teacher” this Thursday.  If you have any questions or would just like to chat about how to make this the best year for your GT child, please feel free to contact me at  Also, we will have our annual parent meeting at the beginning of October, which is a great time to find out more about the program.

I’m going to get back to my transformation project now.  Shhh!  Don’t tell the kids about the surprise 😉

Are We There Yet?

Can you believe that we have almost reached the end of our summer?  I imagine the students probably feel much like I do – sad to relinquish the freedom of less structured days, yet excited to embark on some new adventures.  I have been conjuring up some surprises for my students this year, so I hope they are ready for some new, fun challenges!

I know some of you may have students who are not in the GT program at this time, so I just want to remind you that I will be testing 2nd-5th graders the first few weeks of school.  If you have a child in one of those grade levels you would like have tested, please be sure to let me know A.S.A.P., as I will be sending out permission forms the first week of school.  (If your child was in GT at Hidden Forest last year in Kinder, 1st, 3rd, or 4th, he or she does not need to be retested.)  E-mail me at if you have any questions.

I recently read an article that I thought parents might like, called “10 Things to Stop Saying to Your Kids.”  I particularly like the first suggestion, as I think it’s something we all habitually say, and it does not have the desired effect on our children.  It reminds me of a post I did on my professional blog last year, called, “You Are Smart vs. You Must Have Worked Hard.”  These are great things to keep in mind, particularly if we don’t want our kids/students to always look for the easy way out.

If you are looking for something fun for your child to do during the last couple of weeks before school starts, you might want to check out this Young Game Inventors Contest.   I bet a lot of our students have great ideas for board games, and this is their chance to win a $10,000 savings bond along with other prizes.

This time next week, I will be back to work.  I don’t look forward to the early mornings, but I definitely look forward to all of the fun I am planning for this year.  I hope my students will be saying, “Are we there yet?” about our first GT class instead of, “Can we turn around and go home?” 😉


I’m not sure if any of you attempted to attend the “Bat Loco” extravaganza that I mentioned in last week’s post.  Our family actually arrived at the location about 20 minutes after the bats had already left!  Apparently, they have not been waiting until dusk lately, and last night they flew out about 7:25 PM.  We were slightly disappointed to miss the exodus, but there were Parks Department representatives there to answer questions about bats and give out information.  Also, the Cheesy Jane’s food truck was available, so not all was lost!

Next week, we are going to try to attend the Wednesday evening “Astronomy in the Park” at McAllister.  You can click here to get more information, including a map to where the telescopes are located in McAllister.  This is also a free event, and several astronomers set up their huge telescopes for different views of the night sky.  The last time we attended, we saw Saturn – and it looked exactly as though someone had drawn it on the telescope lens!  If you go, I recommend bringing bug spray and drinking water.

If you are interested in what can be seen in the sky in the next week, you might want to check out this site.  The Perseid Meteor Shower is supposed to be quite a show on August 12th and 13th.  Unfortunately – the best time to view the meteors in our area will be between midnight and dawn.

Some recent posts from my professional blog that you might want to read are:  Books for Gifted Kids, BotLogic, and AR Basketball.

I hope your kids are getting excited about school starting soon.  I know that I have some great ideas for the new year!