Explorer Newsletter

December 2018

Dear Families,

With the first round of report cards out and our first snow day already completed...that must mean we are well into the year. Thank you for all of your continued support. Individualized Learning Plans (ILPs) were sent home this year via postal mail. ILPs are a living document that should reflect your child's GT supports. Ms. Richardson and I draft these (with input from the students) to reflect the current synopsis of programming. If you would like to meet to further discuss these plans, please email Dr. Lyons or Ms. Richardson. Or if you are happy with the current ILP, please sign and return the ILP.

This newsletter has some great articles, events in the area, opportunities and recognitions.

We wish you the best this season has to offer and hope that time with those close to your heart may make the cold days warmer!!


Ruth and Tricia

De-Escalating: Helping Gifted Children Identify Their Emotions and Regain Control - By: Sarah Young

It’s the week before winter break. Utter chaos reigns. Every day there is a condensed schedule, an assembly, or other interruptions that distress my anxious, perfectionist, or autistic gifted kids. In the 3.5 minutes before students come pouring into my classroom adorned in ugly sweaters and crazy hats, I receive an email that says: Matthew is crying on the floor uncontrollably because he didn’t make math competition. Help. Read More

How to Discuss Books with your Kids (even when you haven't read them) By: Elissa Brown and Michele Joerg

Many gifted children are voracious readers who may pick up books you haven’t had time to read yourself. Parents often struggle with ways to support learning at home that is aligned with their child’s schooling, and impediments such as cost, scheduling, and time can further impact a parent’s involvement. The questioning model sidesteps these challenges, allowing you to support your child’s comprehension and critical thinking skills in your car, at home, on the subway, at the dinner table, or even just on your couch. Continue Reading

A December Reading Challenge for Kids by Iva-Marie Palmer

As the year’s end rolls in and holiday excitement takes over, there’s no better feeling than taking some time out and getting cozy with a book. This December, take the opportunity to celebrate your year in reading. (See one of the suggestions below for a one way to do this.) Send a thank you into the universe for the wonderful adventures you’ve had with books, and enjoy these challenge ideas while you get ready for a brand-new year filled with reading. Read More and download a copy of the December Reading Challenge


Tuesday, Dec. 4th, 6pm

28 Main Road South

Hampden, ME

Are you watching kids scroll through life, with their rapid-fire thumbs and a six-second attention span? Physician and filmmaker Delaney Ruston saw that with her own kids and learned that the average kid spends 6.5 hours a day looking at screens. She wondered about the impact of all this time and about the friction occurring in homes and schools around negotiating screen time—friction she knew all too well.

Maine Digital Festival

Saturday, Dec. 8th, 10am-1pm

76 Community Drive

Augusta, ME

  • Scratch (Pre-registered Workshop): Love games? What to learn how to make your own?
  • Painting with Python (Pre-registered Workshop): Learn to create your own animated works of art using the Python programming language! This session is recommended for students in middle school or older
  • Hour of Code (Activity Room)
  • Code-a-Pillars (Activity Room)
  • Code Your World with 4-H (Activity Room)
  • Dot & Dash (Activity Room)

Learn more and Pre-register here: http://www.projectlogin.com/events/maine-digital-festival

Science Lecture Series - Kristy Townsend, Ph.D. Remodeling in Our Brain and Nervous System: Connections to Obesity and Diabetes

Thursday, Dec. 20th, 7pm

University of Maine, Planetarium, Orono, ME, USA

Orono, ME

Obesity and Diabetes are currently global pandemics. Obesity, and most cases of diabetes, stem from an energy imbalance whereby we take in more calories than we burn. This simple energy equation is actually quite complex at the physiological level, and involves brain communication with organs and tissues such as the gut, adipose (fat tissue), muscle, and pancreas. This talk will explore how our body maintains metabolic health, how our nervous system remodels in order to regulate hunger and energy expenditure, and what the research evidence tells us about healthy fats in our diet and on our bodies. More Information

Makerspace Event and Tech Sale

Saturday, Jan. 12th 2019 at 10am-1pm

30 Venture Way

Bangor, ME

Makerpsace: Our Makerspace features hands-on activities throughout the center, along with Maine-based creators and inventors who will display their creations. Feed your imagination and ingenuity at this special hands-on event, designed for kids & adults (recommended for youth age 7-99)!

Tech Sale: Challenger will have its very first electronic-themed mini-flea market. Professionals & amateurs will have tables of second-hand items that are “all-things-electronic” for people to purchase. Be inspired by the makerspace activities to purchase items to continue the build/test/tinkering at home! (Don’t forget to bring cash)

More Information and to register

Jack Kent Cooke Young Scholars Program - Calling 7th Grade Students

The Cooke Young Scholars Program is a selective 5-year, pre-college scholarship for high-performing 7th grade students with financial need. It provides comprehensive academic and college advising, as well as financial support for school, Cooke-sponsored summer programs, internships, and other learning enrichment opportunities. To learn more and apply click here

Family Math Brainteaser (courtesy of NCTM)

Moving Matches

The following isosceles trapezoid is composed of 7 matches. Modify the position of three matches in order to obtain two equilateral triangles. Puzzle provided by Paulo Ferro - solution is posted at the end of the newsletter

Mrs. Richardson is offering maker space sessions during recess at Weatherbee.

This is on a monthly rotation.

Grade 3 - November & March

Grade 4 - December & April

Grade 5 - January & May

The Maine Educators for Gifted and Talented (MEGAT) held their Annual Fall Conference

Dr. Lyons presented a session on identification and assessment. This year there was a student creativity contest. We had 6 students from RSU 22 participate!

Congratulations to Ellie, Jordan, Nina, Aubrey, Alex, and Lucas for participating!

Congratulations to Ms. Richardson!

She has officially completed all of her coursework for her Master’s Degree in Gifted Education from the University of Southern Florida! She will graduate this month. We are so fortunate to have such a dedicated teacher be a part of the Explorer Staff!

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