Monday, April 25, 2016

WUSD- Talent Development SPRING MEETING


When:  Monday, May 2- 6:00PM
Where: Riverside Middle School
Who: All parents are welcome to attend
What: District Talent Development update and short presentation on
“Self Advocacy”

The district Talent Development Staff will be present to answer any general questions regarding processes. If you have specific questions pertaining to your child, please contact your child’s teacher or Kathy Kennon:  WUSD Talent Development Resource Teacher

Tuesday, March 29, 2016


Find all of the information here!
UW- Madison Science Expedition

On behalf of the UW-Madison Science Expeditions planning committee, I’m delighted to invite you to the 14th Annual UW Science Expeditions campus open house April 1, 2 and 3.

UW Science Expeditions is a splendid opportunity to come visit your public land-grant research university and to experience science as exploring the unknown.

As a Wisconsinsite, you are a co-owner of this campus.

As a taxpayer (and even fourth-graders pay sales taxes), you are a co-funder of the research enterprise here.  

And it’s a pretty good enterprise:  UW-Madison is the 4th largest research university by budget in the United States.  (Notice that none of the other top 10 universities have cows on campus…)

Land-grant universities in general, and this one in particular, are remarkably welcoming places.  You can’t just stroll in to the NIH campus at Bethesda, Maryland; but here, we have over two dozen science venues that you can visit nearly any weekday.   

This weekend is a chance to get to explore many of those places.  We hope that UW Science Expeditions will make it easier for you to know, to navigate and to visit UW-Madison throughout the coming year.

This weekend I hope you’ll come to campus, talk with the researchers, visit the venues and chat with the outreachers.  I hope you'll get a chance to discover for yourself some of the special places, and get to know some of the splendid people, who make this campus an extraordinary space for everyone—anyone—who yearns to explore the unknown and to invent the future.

One more invitation—or rather, a request.  In my previous life, I was a plant virologist. I admire the infectious.  I’d be grateful if you’d please help spread the word about UW Science Expeditions by sharing this invitation with your family, friends, neighbors and colleagues.   

I’d be happy to respond to any questions or suggestions.

I’m looking forward to seeing many of you at UW Science Expeditions this weekend!

Tom Zinnen

Thursday, January 21, 2016

What to say to your child about being "gifted".....

This article provides parents advice on explaining giftedness to students.

What should you tell your child about being gifted? Whether identified as gifted, referred for evaluation, or placed in a “gifted and talented program," children quickly form impressions about all the fuss. Does this mean I’m really smarter than the other kids? Will they see me as different/better/weirder? Will I have to live up to even MORE expectations from my parents and teachers? What if I don’t want to be gifted anymore?
Parents themselves often struggle with how to understand giftedness and its effect on their child. It is even more difficult for a six-, eight-, or ten-year-old to grasp its full meaning, and place it in a context that makes sense. These children already know they are different, as do the other children around them. They have most likely weathered boredom and frustration in classes geared toward the average learner. They may have already experienced both positive and negative feedback about their interests, quirks, and academic talents. While the label of “gifted” provides some validation for what they already know about themselves, it can also create uncertainty, misunderstanding, and even anxiety.
Children look to parents to provide a framework for understanding what the term gifted really means. The following are possible explanations you might suggest to your child:
1. Gifted is just a word. It doesn’t mean someone is better than someone else. It was named a long time ago because people felt that it was a “gift” to be able to read well/solve problems quickly/paint beautifully/(you fill in the blanks). People might feel the same way about kids who can run really fast or dunk basketballs easily. It is a very fortunate thing when something comes easily to someone. But it does not make them better than anyone else. People are special for all kinds of wonderful reasons. Being gifted does not make someone any more special than the next person.
2. Gifted is a word given to kids who have different learning needs. (Yes, it sounds like jargon. But it is an accurate way of confirming and explaining why your child needs accelerated/enriched/differentiated learning instruction.) Everyone is different. Just like some people are taller or shorter than others, or more or less athletic, some people need a different approach in school to make learning more interesting.
3. You were found to be “gifted” because of some tests you took. We asked the school to give you these tests because you complained about being bored. We knew that if the testing labeled you as “gifted,” we could ask the school to give you more interesting work. We didn't care if you were gifted or not. We didn't care what score you got on the test. The only reason for taking it was to give you more choices in school. (Note: it is never a good idea to tell a young child his or her IQ score.)
4. Giftedness is something that is a part of you, just like your eye color or height. It doesn't come from how hard you work in school, and will not go away if you slack off. It is always there and gives you some great choices to do some really creative/intensive/interesting/(you fill in the blanks) things. If you work hard, you can achieve a lot. If you don’t, you will lose out on the opportunities your abilities have given you. Just like you can decide what clothes you wear or what haircut you get, only YOU can decide how to use your abilities.
5. Giftedness comes in all shapes and sizes. Some kids are really gifted with math. Some are great writers. Some are born leaders. Others paint up a storm. Occasionally, a few gifted children are good at many things; most are not. You have your subjects in school that come really easily to you, and have interests that you love. We hope you continue to put a lot of energy into these things. But you still need to work hard in those areas that are not easy for you.
6. Gifted children sometimes feel they are different from other kids. Even if you like how easy school is, it can be uncomfortable when you feel like you are different from a lot of the other kids in your class. It’s normal to feel this way. We can help you to figure out what to say if other kids make comments about your interests. We also can help you find things you do have in common with some of the other kids or help you find outside activities that school does not offer.
These ideas are just a few suggestions for starting a conversation with your gifted child. You will need to modify them to suit your child’s needs, and incorporate your family's beliefs and values. What is most important, though, is conveying that giftedness and achievements play no role in how much you love and appreciate your child.

Resource from:

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Schurz GeoBee

Schurz Elementary held the annual GeoBee this week! Congratulations to the first and second place winners! 

Douglas GeoBee

Douglas Elementary held the annual GeoBee last week. Congratulations to all participants! 

Monday, January 4, 2016

Spring 2016 Marquette University Engineering Program

The Spring 2016 Marquette University Engineering Outreach Program schedule is now available and online registration is OPEN!  Everything has been posted to the Engineering Outreach website.  On the link below you will find the Spring 2016 Engineering Outreach Program Schedule with course descriptions, grades, dates, and costs.  From this page you can access the online registration page.   


Do you have a future lawyer in your house? This is an opportunity you do not want to miss!

Game Night 
Friday, January 8, 2016 
Books and Company in Oconomowoc

This week, Judge Randy Koschnick will be “presiding” over the night. We will be doing a mock trial….gulp! All gifted kids ages 8 and up along with their parents/adult are welcome from Oconomowoc and surrounding areas.Please let me know if you will be attending by Tuesday, JAN 5!Any further information needed? Contact me!Janet Foust920.248.9409