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!

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!

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?” 😉

Sometimes It’s Fun to Go Batty

Did you know that Texas Parks and Wildlife is sponsoring a “Bat Loco Bash” in San Antonio every Tuesday night until August 13th this summer?  If you’ve never had the chance to view the bat colony that lives under I-35, then this would be a great (and FREE) event to try out!  Here is the official Bat Loco website with information about the times and place.  This is a fun family activity!

And if your family enjoys that, then you might be interested in seeing even more bats as they leave their tunnel for their nightly dinner at the Old Tunnel Wildlife Management Area near Fredericksburg.  Our family has done this a couple of times, and we are always astounded by the sheer number of bats!  On Thursday-Sunday evenings, you can pay to enter the lower viewing area and receive an educational presentation.  It’s definitely worth checking out!


For The Musically Inclined…


This week, I have a few links for those of you who enjoy adding a bit of music to your life:

Singing Horses – click on each horse to turn its unique sound off or on

ToneMatrix AudioTool – Create your own music by coloring in the boxes

WeaveSilk – Create calming music as you draw

Also, if you would like to experience some live music, you might be interested in the Mozart Festival at Incarnate Word this Friday, July 26th or Bradley’s Summer Music Festival on Saturday, July 27th.

I hope that, so far, your summer is “hitting all the right notes!”

So Much to Do, So Little Time!

Summer has been busy around our house, and I’m already well aware of the fact that we are not going to accomplish half of what I had planned for these couple of months before the new school year envelops us.  Despite that, I am always finding new things to add to the list – usually more than what I have crossed off the list so far!

I’m always on the lookout for what might interest the GT families of our community.  Here are a few resources I’ve collected in the past week that you might want to try:

Happy July!

I hope that everyone enjoys the 4th of July holiday this week.  It’s difficult to believe we are already beginning the 7th month of this year!  I’ve collected a few nuggets over the past week that might interest you as you look for ways to spend your time this month.  First of all, if you happen to be looking for a special gift for a young person in your life, you might want to check out this blog post that I did last Friday on my professional blog.

Also, if you want a great resource for educational videos, you might want to head over here to “The Kid Should See This,” where a mom posts a collection of videos that she finds for her own children from all over the internet.

You can click on the infographic above for some ideas to “Exercise Your Noodle” this summer from Kids Discover.

And, finally, I’ve embedded a very cute “Dog Goldberg” video below.  It’s a commercial, but definitely shows the joy of creativity and invention.  For more about Rube Goldberg machines, you can visit this post on my professional blog.