September 23, 2008


September 22, 2008
A mind once stretched by a new idea never regains its original dimension.
~Oliver Wendell Holmes

10 Common Gifted Education Myths

Dear Friends,

I hope everyone has survived the spending frenzy of la rentrée and that the children are getting settled into their new classes and schools. Already, however, some people are concerned about the bored or frustrated child, here's a related article from the US to pinpoint that the problem is quite common: Brightness at Risk

This coming year, with your support, we hope to continue to help parents understand the emotional,
educational and social needs of gifted children; and encourage dialogue with schools, organizations and professionals. We also hope to continue building on some of the children's activities we started last Spring.

Please feel free to give us your input by emailing us your suggestions, ideas, contacts and resources. If all goes well, by late this year or early next year we will hopefully be able to function officially as an association loi 1901 and will have the means to collect dues, qualify for free or discounted space rentals and work on fundraising and grants to actualize some of our goals. (More info to come on that subject.)

So, don't sit back and watch it all happen from your desks, if there's something that you're excited about please come forward and help as little or as much as you can. If you have contacts with influential people in the arts, big companies, universities, professionals... people who can contribute ideas, resources; people who can give inspirational lectures and demonstrations to children who have leadership, math, science, poetry, sports, artistic, musical and writing abilities -- we want to hear from them, and you.


Date: Thursday October 9, 19h30-22h00
Guest speaker: Pilar Rincon
Psychologist, specializing in Cognitive Development,
Gifted Education,University of Connecticut

Must RSVP by Friday October 3rd, Subject: IQ Testing
Mme Rincon is coming back again to talk about IQ tests, namely the Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children (WISC) developed by David Wechsler for children 6 and 16 years-old. Mrs Rincon is Colombian and speaks French. She presented in English last December, with a little help from us.

At this meeting we're going to look at basics of IQ testing, what these tests measure, what the scores mean and what you should expect from the psychologist after the test. We know that IQ tests are the focus of much controversy, yet so long as the tests are taking place we still need to understand what it is supposed to tell us about our children. There are many parents who walk away with one final number and no explanation whatsoever of what took place during the test, what the subtest scores mean and what the test is able to say or not say about the child.

Understanding test results can help parents learn about potential learning issues as well as the child's strengths and weaknesses, which in turn might help the family make important decisions for their child. --
"Remember, IQ tests are best seen as predictors of academic achievement. An IQ score only tells us how a certain child has performed on a certain test at a certain time, and says little about that child's true potential. Children can be gifted in many ways that are not measured on IQ tests." ~ Parent's Guide to IQ Testing and Gifted Education, by David Palmer.
Reading background on IQ testing:
Frequently Asked Questions About Testing;
Why Should I Have My Child Tested?


Date: Thursday December 4, 2008 19h30-22h00
Guest Speaker: Pilar Rincon
What are the factors that help or hinder a child from realizing his/her potential, and what parents
can do to help. This will be a follow-up to the IQ Testing presentation.

Date: Friday October 3, 2008, 19h30-22h00

James Webb, in this DVD, talks to parents about how, "frequent breakups of families, the fast pace of technology, the information explosion, and other changes in today's evolving world make parenting more difficult. Learn more than two dozen strategies to set successful limits, avoid power struggles, minimize sibling rivalry, promote self-esteem, and more." Must RSVP by Monday September 29th. (Subject: Parenting DVD Oct. 3) Providing there's space, you are welcome to attend even if you've already seen it once.

Note: For those of you who would like to see the first two DVDs: Is My Child Gifted? Do Gifted Children Need Special Help? please email me and we can arrange for a showing on Tuesday morning September 30th at 09h30-12h00 (Must RSVP by Sunday September 28, Subject: Is My Child Gifted, Sept 30)


Watch here for more information on the 2nd annual Paris Spelling Bee to be held in the Spring of 2009. Please come forward asap if you can help me out with the preparations, practice sessions and mock competitions so that we can help our bees prepare for the main event. Help asap!, Subject: '09 Paris Spelling Bee.

GiF will host its first Science and Invention Day in 2009, date to be set at a later time. We need volunteers, science teachers, scientists, inventors, mathematicians and sponsors to help with planning and working with different teams of children who will embark on different journeys, depending on the child's interest. We also need speakers to come and give lively discussions on a host of topics to our young scientists and inventors in meetings or workshops leading up to the actual event next Spring. Please email: Subject: '09 Paris Science Invention Day, asap if you have any information, resources, contacts, and suggestions for a venue for the final event in March/April.
Our goal is to encourage and instill problem solving and critical thinking skills in children as well as developing an appreciation for the presence of science and math in their everyday lives. We would encourage children to express this appreciation through traditional means but also through art and dance. This sounds quite ambitious for a new organization, many questions remain, but we can start small and then build from there.
(So far, we have one volunteer, Karen , who taught Science in the US before moving here)
Saturday October 18/ Sunday November 23/ Sunday December 14th 14h30-17h30*

Karen has agreed to take on a small group of children, 8-16 years -old, maximum of 6-8 children. There will be at least 4 obligatory* meetings between October and March. The first three obligatory meetings are listed above.
Karen says that, "Each child will choose their own area of interest and will develop an experiment to test/answer their own question. The developmental age, maturity and sophistication of the child will determine the scope of the work done. Going through the whole process will require tenacity and strong interest, as well as willingness to be guided and occasionally redirected. Children must be interested in working on their own at home. The process will take place over a span of several months. Younger children will need to be self-directed…they’re going to be working on their own ideas and their own experiments…and must be able to think for themselves, using what we do as examples for how to proceed. Rest assured that all participants will receive support and guidance as they work through their individual projects. " If you are sure you're child would like to commit to this atelier, Please RSVP by October 4th, Subject: Science with Karen,so that we can start the preparations asap.. If we have more replies than we can accommodate, we will try to establish other ateliers. Again, it depends on our volunteers and resources.

For those of us with children aged 3-6 years old-
How about meeting this coming Sunday 28 September, 10am, at the Palais de Decouverte? For those who haven't been, it is a small science museum with some good hands-on exhibits and demonstrations. We could meet at the cafe inside at 10am and then visit the exhibits and hopefully catch one of the demonstrations -static electricity, rat school (nice!), earthquakes etc. It will depend on the schedule on the day. The museum is on Ave Franklin D. Roosevelt in the 8th, not far from the Champs Elysee. Their website is if you need more info.
If there is enough interest, we could try to do something once a month. Perhaps you have a suggestion of somewhere your kids loved, or somewhere you've been meaning to take them. It doesn't have to be science related of course. Just anything you think would be fun. If you are interested in meeting up this week, or if you have some ideas, please contact Subject: Mini Mad Scientist Sunday Sept 28.

Embracing Challenges in Learning
Saturday 27th September 2008

Forest International School,
Mareil-Marly, 78750, France

Forest International School Educational Services In association with ADDISS
(Attention Deficit Disorder Information Support Services, UK)

An intensive and comprehensive one day course combining lectures, workshops
and discussions for teachers, parents and professionals working
with children

Seminar topics include:
Working with Pupils with Behavioural, Emotional and Social Difficulties
Fintan O’Regan – Independent Educational Consultant and one of the
UK’s leading experts on ADHD, Behaviour and Learning

Dyslexia and Other SpLD- Practical Solutions in Everyday Situations
Lee Pascal- One of the UK’s leading experts on Dyslexia and study skills

Enhancing Learning Through Inhibition of Primary Reflexes
Gwyneth Jeyes- Primary Movement Therapist, EASIE programme

Fees: Full day (lunch included) 90€ or 35€ per seminar for individuals. Different
fees apply for schools and organizations and concessionary rates are available.
Please book early as places are limited.

Participants will receive CPD (Continuous professional Development) Certificates.
Parking available on site. The venue can be reached by suburban trains from Paris.

For more information or to book a place at this event contact Ruta Gouriou
Tel. E-mail