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?” 😉

Kinder Solves Sudoku

The Kinder students continued to work on Sudoku puzzles today.  We did one together on the interactive board, then they worked on some St. Patrick’s Day Sudoku on paper, and then they moved to the iPads.  I had them try out a new Sudoku app, as the one I previously mentioned, “Sticker Sudoku”, is no longer available in the app store.  This time, we tried “Lola’s Fruit Stand.”  Unfortunately, the trial was short, because the free version does not have all of the levels.  You may want to ask your child if they think they would like to continue playing that game to see if it is worth getting the full version at home.  In the meantime, I will keep looking!

One interesting outcome today was to see the students choosing different Sudoku apps based on difficulty.  I had one student who tried the one I have on my iPad, which is harder, and he struggled through, so I really praised him for his hard work.  Some of the others felt more comfortable sticking with the easy ones.  I would recommend to parents to watch this video about mindsets (this for the parents only – not the kids) to see what you can do to encourage your child to embrace challenges.  I try to incorporate what I learned from that video into my classroom.