Thursday, 19 June 2014

Stanley's Tree

For Stanley’s 7th birthday he wanted to do something a little bit different...he wanted to plant a tree. "There are too many trees being chopped down," he told me. "Planting a tree is good for the environment." So yesterday Stanley, his brother Jack, and a couple of friends went to the Esplanade and planted two Pseudopanax ferox trees.

As Stanley gets older he will be able to go back and visit his tree. They tried to get a tree that is almost the same size as him. That way he can go back every year and see which has grown the quickest - him or the tree.  The lady who is in charge of landscaping around the playground area, Janine, gave the boys some information about the trees. She showed them the right way of planting and watering trees, and lots of information about planting trees in winter. 

The boys cheered with hot chocolate. (Stanley is the one on the left). They had a wonderful time. What a terrific idea Stanley!

Wednesday, 18 June 2014

It's Gifted Awareness Week!

I found this a number of years ago in a Tall Poppies magazine. It always makes me smile and reminds me why I love to work with students who 'think outside the square.' You can find copies of Tall Poppies in the parent's section of our Library...

“25 Things I’ve learnt from my children (honest and no kidding).”

  1. A king-size waterbed holds enough water to fill a 3 bedroom house about 4inches deep.
  2. If you spray hairspray on a nylon duster and then run over it with roller blades, they will ignite.
  3. A 3 year old’s voice is louder than 200 adults in a crowded restaurant.
  4. If you hook a dog leash over a ceiling fan, the motor is not strong enough to rotate a 42 pound boy wearing Batman underwear and a Superman cape. It is strong enough, however, if tied to a paint can, to spread paint on all four walls of a large room.
  5. You should not throw balls up when the ceiling fan is on, using the fan as a bat. You have to throw the ball up a few times before you get a hit. A ceiling fan can then hit a ball a long way.
  6. The glass in windows (even double glazed) doesn’t stop a ball hit by a ceiling fan.
  7. When you hear the toilet flush and the words uh-oh,” it’s already too late.
  8. Brake fluid mixed with bleach makes smoke. And lots of it.
  9. A 6 year old can start a fire with a flint rock even though a 36 year old says they can only do it in the movies.
  10. Certain bits of Lego will pass through the digestive tract of a 4 year old.
  11. ‘Play dough’ and ‘microwave’ should not be used in the same sentence.
  12. Super glue is forever.
  13. No matter how much jelly you put in a swimming pool you still can’t walk on water.
  14. Pool filters do not like jelly.
  15. VCRs do not eject toasted toasted sandwiches even though TV commercials show they do.
  16. Rubbish bags do not make good parachutes.
  17. Marbles in petrol tanks make lots of noise when driving and are very expensive to remove.
  18. You probably do not want to know what that smell really is.
  19. Always look in the oven before you turn it on. Plastic toys do not like ovens.
  20. The average response time for the fire brigade is about 20 minutes.
  21. The spin cycle on the washing machine does not make earthworms dizzy.
  22. It will however make cats dizzy.
  23. Cats throw up twice their body weight when dizzy.
  24. The mind of a 6 year old is a wonderful and amazing thing.
  25. 60% of people who read this will try mixing the bleach and brake fluid.
Updated from Rosemary Cathcart, 2005

There are a number of things happening around the country as part of Gifted Awareness week. These include:

*  Rose Blackett, educational Psychologist, teacher and parent was interviewed on Radio NZ on Saturday. You can hear Rose online here:

* Our local gifted network group 'CenGATE' is now hosting 2 meetings a term: the first is open to parents and caregivers. If you would like to go on the mailing list for this (meeting dates, upcoming events, minutes from meetings etc) please email me:

* There is also a blog tour as part of gifted Awareness Week: Blog Tour 

Tuesday, 17 June 2014

Exciting event for gifted Education next April

A major announcement for gifted education in this country!
Who are the Columbus Group? They are a group of ten leading figures in the gifted field.  Collectively and individually they have made huge contributions to our understanding of gifted children. Their names resonate throughout the literature on giftedness. The definition of giftedness they wrote continues to be amongst the most influential ever written.
And now they are coming to New Zealand - all ten of them! They have chosen us for their first-ever presentation outside the US, which will be in the form of a two-day symposium. This is a huge honour for our country, and a unique opportunity for all of us interested in this field.

A symposium, as you will know, generally consists of a series of panel discussions, with opportunities for questions from the floor, guided by a moderator. That's the format we'll be following too. But we're sure you'll all want as much direct contact with the individual panel members as possible. In conferences, this usually involves "break-out" sessions with individual presenters. But the problem with that is that having to choose between sessions often means you miss some of the people you really want to hear. So what we're hoping to do is to have a "French lunch". That's to say, the lunch break will be two hours long. Everyone will be seated at a table. Delegates will stay at the same table for the full lunch period. One presenter will sit at each table and engage in discussion with you. Then, at pre-arranged times, the presenters will change tables. The aim is to allow you to have at least some direct interaction with as many of the presenters as possible - hopefully all of them!
  1. The dates are Monday and Tuesday, 13th and 14th of April, 2015. This is the second week of Term 1 holidays next year. The time frame is yet to be precisely finalised, but we are looking at a full day on the Monday and at finishing around lunchtime or early afternoon on the second day.
  2. The venue is Auckland Normal Intermediate. This is a centrally placed school, basically next door to the old Auckland College of Education. Closer to time, we'll send you maps and information about local motels, etc.
  3. Earlybird bookings will become available as soon as costs have been finalised. This information will come first to you as mailing list members.
Bookings for this event are bound to be heavy, so we're inviting those interested to join our mailing list for more detailed information and priority access to earlybird bookings when these open later this year. To join, simply email us at
We look forward to hearing from all of you!!!
REACH provides the Certificate of Effective Practice in Gifted Education
Endorsed by the Institute for the Study of Advanced Development (US)