Working Smart 4-7 Professional Development Session

I wanted to take this opportunity to thank the teachers that attended Monday’s session.  I appreciated your positive feedback and I would like to provide you with some extra information that I wanted to include but forgot or rushed through.

 1.  Thank you for being advocates for these students.  They do need you to ensure they reach their potential.

2.  The open ended resource book I referred to is:

Open-ended Maths Activities by Peter Sullivan and Pat Lilburn.   Oxford University Press, Victoria.  2005

3.  Counting on Frank, Rod Clement.  Angus &Robertson 1990 was the book I mention as being excellent for basing mathematical investigations around.   Please check out the link at the PEAC Website on

4.  Competitions

I briefly mentioned this at the end.  I do think that this is an area that could be explored between some of your schools.  I know some schools already are involved in such competitions as debating and chess.  I would love to hear from anyone who is supportive of the idea of establishing some other academically based competitions between your schools.

Please email me if you want any information from the session electronically.  I hope you all have a great term.


Working Smart K-3 Professional Development Session

Thankyou for attending the session yesterday.  I wanted to take this opportunity to reflect on the session and provide you with some further information.  The session was so rushed and I again tried to include too much.

 I’ve gone back over my notes and here are some comments I wanted to include.

1.  I think the gifted and talented students in your classes and schools are lucky to have you as advocates.  Your attendance at such sessions indicates that you do think that these students need assistance to reach their potential.   

2.  Parents are partners.  Your acknowledgement of a student’s  giftedness is a relief to parents who really only want support and understanding. 

3.  I spoke about Literature to use with teaching Mathematics.  Here is a link which provides heaps of books that are suitable.

4.  The link for the information on K and PP students is at

And finally I forgot to mention and promote the GIFT Network that we have up and running.

This is a network of K-3 teachers interested in sharing ideas to cater for the Gifted and Talented students in their classes.  We had 40 teachers attend last time and it would be wonderful to see you there next time.  The next meeting is on Tuesday September 11th, 4 – 6pm at Mount Claremont PEAC Centre.  A flyer promoting the meeting will be sent to schools on Friday.  Have a great term.

Symmetry Ideas

images2.jpg            Simages1.jpgimages1.jpgymmetry is a wonderful area of Maths that has so many possibilities for students to explore.

I really love the Soup ‘N Such Activity.  The full details of the activity can be found at

Another great activity involves the students using their understanding of symmetry to design their own corporate logo.  The website offers student activity sheets so this would be easy to give to students.  The details can be found at

Maths Boxes

picture-011.jpgMaths Box List of EquipmentI’ve mentioned this idea at PD I’ve presented before and it always gets a really positive response.  The idea is not mine, having found it somewhere on the net, source unknown. 

The basic idea is to grab a box (I’ve used a shoe box) and fill it with loads of equipment and materials that a student might find useful in answering a mathematical question.  These students often ask the most wonderful questions about an experience during maths and we don’t always have the time to hunt down the piece of equipment that could be useful to them in that moment of time.

The students absolutely love the maths box and often come up and say, ‘Could I please have the maths box for a minute, I think there’s something in there that might help me work this out.’

Use your imagination to fill it with all sorts of bits and pieces.  You’ll be surprised with what the students will find useful.  I have attached  a document which lists some of the materials for you to include.  Remember to include more sophisticated equipment such as a protractor and compass. These students are very capable and not afraid to experiment.

Links from the GIFT Network

mod5bcartoon_3.gifHere are the links that I referred to at today’s session.  If any of them lead you to interesting things please feel free to use this forum to share your discoveries.

The first link is PEAC’s website.  There are great links under the Teacher section.

The Department of Education’s website has a fantastic section on Gifted and Talented Education.  The page which I showed you that had a list of activities based on the old TAGS file is at:

The website from Queensland that I mentioned which focussed on some nice ideas, particularly for K and PP was at:

Thankyou for your positive feedback on today’s session.  I plan to update and work a little more on this blog in the next few days and publish some of your feedback.  I do think we overdid the content a bit.  I’m sorry if it felt a bit overwhelming for some of you.  You have provided me with some excellent feedback to help me plan the next network meeting which will be geared to more meet your specific needs.  It is hard to contain our enthusiasm though when we meet colleagues who show such commitment for the gifted and talented students in their classes. 

A special thankyou to Chris for the information on identification.  This topic is always welcomed by teachers who seek tools to validate judgements. Well done too to  Jane for sharing her experiences with us.  Setting up school based programs is an area which is gaining more interest and I’d be really interested to hear what other schools are up to.  Please feel free to use this forum to describe your work. 

The date for the next GIFT Network Meeting is

Tuesday 11th September

 at Mount Claremont PEAC Centre, 4 -6 pm.