Issue #3 December 2020
From the Board
Hello NAGT Community,
Is it possible that 2020 has been both the longest and the shortest year possible? Somehow, we’ve finally made it to December, and though we may just be barely hanging on, it’s time to start looking ahead to better and more social days!
One of the reasons that I wanted to be a part of this group is that I wanted to connect with other parents of gifted children. I love to learn from the experience of others, and I felt like this would be the perfect chance to make that connection.
This year, as you know, has been filled with hurdles and obstacles preventing us from making the same connections that we might make in normal times. However, I’m so proud of the opportunities that NAGT has given us that have allowed us to connect this semester, albeit virtually!
This semester alone, we’ve met many times to dive deep into our fall book study book, When Gifted Kids Don’t Have All the Answers, which has led to many revealing, helpful and fun discussions about the joys and challenges of raising gifted children. If you haven’t been reading along with us, I’d encourage you to get the book and check out our conversations on Facebook. We also hosted a virtual panel discussion with gifted specialists from the district, where they offered tips and suggestions that parents can use with their gifted kids. We’ve offered opportunities for our gifted children to exercise their creativity to benefit NAGT. And this month, you have probably noticed our special 12 Days of Gifted Guides that are in your inbox each day, filled with gifts, games and resources to help us make it to the end of the year!
I, for one, am looking forward to the upcoming days when we can meet face-to-face to share ideas and challenges in raising our gifted kids! I’d love to know what gifted topics interest you most! What types of events and panels would be most beneficial to you in the coming months? Are you interested in dealing with the emotional side of giftedness, sending your gifted child off to college, or managing the challenges of a twice exceptional child? We want to plan programs that will benefit you, so please send us your thoughts at email@example.com!
Vice President, Programming and Events
Ongoing and upcoming events of the month:
Our last Book Study Discussion will be on December 7 (Monday) at 7 p.m via Zoom. We will discuss the last chapter of the book, "When Gifted Kids Don't Have All the Answers." If you haven't read that far into the book or even started the book, don't worry! We'll have lots to discuss, including how to create safe learning environments for gifted kids. Here is the link to the Zoom meeting: https://nisdtx.zoom.us/j/85393645680
12 Days of Gifted Guides is a fun and helpful email series featuring fun activities, gift ideas and resources. The first email was out on December 3rd. It will be sent every school day until the end of the semester!
Be on the lookout for Spring 2021 events coming to your inbox soon!
NAGT was proud to host a Zoom panel discussion with GT specialists from our district on October 26 . Thank you to NISD gifted specialists Caitlin Andrews, Kelly Barrett, Kirstie Cooper, Lisa Degnan, Shelly Moses, Stacy Pickett, Marissa Randolph, and Kristy Schluter for sharing their expertise in educating our gifted students. They provided great insight into our kids. If you missed the discussion, the recording will be posted on the NAGT Facebook page. Thank you also to the parents who joined and shared comments and questions!
We kicked off our fall virtual book study on October 5. The book we selected is "When Gifted Kids Don't Have All the Answers" by Judy Galbraith, M.A. and Jim Delisle, Ph.D. We had a great conversation and discussed the first chapter of the book at the kick off. If you missed it and would like to hear our discussion, you can watch our recording. You can also purchase the book on Amazon via NAGT website so that NAGT can get a little money back to invest in projects that benefit our GATES community.
We discussed chapters 2-4 of the book, "When Gifted Kids Don't Have All the Answers" on November 4. During the discussion, we talked about identifying gifted kids and the emotional side of giftedness. Our third book discussion of the season on November 16 covered chapters 5-7 of the book.
We also held our Halloween Drawing & Writing contest in late October.
CONGRATULATIONS to Caitlin Andrews from Lakeview Elementary for winning #NAGTSUPPORTSME campaign!!
And thank you to all who participated! We loved seeing your creativity!
TAGT offers so many great resources for the GT parent. As a busy parent, it can be hard to find time to locate resources you may need, or maybe you're just at a loss as to where to search. TAGT Pulse, a weekly newsletter, is a benefit you can receive as a part of your membership! The newsletter is an aggregated newsbrief delivered weekly to TAGT members, consisting primarily of short summaries of current events relevant to G/T education, association news, events, and member information. You can catch up on previous content with the best of 2019 Pulse at https://www.txgifted.org/pulse
- Audrey Womack
Gifted to Gifted
Question of the Month:
What is one activity you suggest for learners when they are feeling overwhelmed to help them calm or refocus?
"We’re living in unsettled times where one of our most powerful and influential brain systems: our attention can be impacted and thus, create an overwhelmed feeling within us. Therefore, incorporating mindfulness during this time can help each of us, kids and adults, to survive, and even thrive.
Mindfulness practice helps restore attention so you can regulate your emotions. In as little as 8-10 minutes a day 3 to 5 times a week, you can see evidence of lower levels of overwhelming stress.
With your child, try this 5-minute mindfulness by Dr. Mark Bertin:
1. Lie down somewhere comfortable. Close your eyes..
2. Start to notice how your body changes with each breath you take. Put a hand on your belly. Or if you want, put a stuffed animal there.
3. Each time you breathe, your belly moves. Breathing in, one, breathing out, one. (Repeat for nine more inhales, and nine more exhales.)
4. Now, shift your attention to your day. Breathing in, focus on your breath as your belly goes up. Breathing out, focus on something that went well today.
5. Now, picture something about yourself that makes you proud. Breathing in, focus on your belly moving. Breathing out, picture something that makes you proud about yourself. If nothing comes to mind, that sometimes happens. If that’s how you feel, picture what you’d wish for yourself instead.
6. Finally, bring someone to mind who makes you happy. Breathing in, notice your belly move. And now, breathing out, picture someone who makes you happy.
7. As you come to the end of this practice, take a few deep breaths, and start to wiggle your arms and legs. Pause and decide what you’d like to do next in your day.
8. It’s normal to have thoughts that make us feel scared or bad. We should never ignore anything important, but it’s useful to focus on the rest of our lives too. Take a few minutes every day to notice what has gone well.
Read more and listen to the audio practice on mindful.org."
--Kelly Barrett, the GT specialist from Justin Elementary
1. Close your eyes. Take a big, deep breath in. Wait 3 seconds. Now take a deep breath out. Do that 5 times.
2. Now think of a person that matters to you. List 5 things about him or her in your brain.
3. Now stop. Let’s take 3 deep breaths in and out.1...2….3…..
4. Open your eyes and see the beautiful world around you for 10 seconds. And now, you are done!”
--Nathan, 5th grade, Justin Elementary
Legislative Information and Election Results
A lot has happened since our last newsletter. We want to make sure that you are as informed as you can. While many of you probably are aware that Joe Biden will take over the White House in January, we'd like to bring to your attention quite a few things happening on our home front. Please follow the links below to find the election results of your county.
For NISD, there were three school board positions on the ballot and the winners were Steve Sprowls, Lillian Ruach, and Jennifer Murphy.
For the bonds and VATRE, you can see all the updates here. None of the bonds passed nor did the VATRE. This means that there will be additional discussions moving forward to make the best decisions for our district in light of these results.
We will keep you updated, as more information becomes available.
The "What ____ Means to Me" Contest
If you haven't signed up for your 2020-21 Membership, receive $5 off your Family Membership with paid entry into the contest!!!
Winter break is coming and Northwest ISD is comprised of a lot of families who celebrate with a wide variety of holiday activities and traditions. NAGT invites you to showcase not only your talents and abilities, but also your personal holiday and/or winter break experiences. You can write a story, or a poem, or a song, or a dance. You can draw a picture, or paint a painting, a sculpture, a photo project, or a comic strip. You can create a short video, or an experiment, or a mathematical equation, or a coding project, or a presentation. This is all about you. Get creative and have fun! The contest ends on 18th. For more information about the "What _____ Means to Me" contest, please visit our website.
If you or someone you know has the resources to provide a Corporate Sponsorship for one of our annual costs or programs, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
See the attached files for an opportunity to support NAGT by opening an account with our bank BBVA.