FORWARD MATTERS - The Newsletter of Guilford County PAGE


Newsletter - November 2016

Let's Get Creative:
Creative Thinking Webinar

Guilford County PAGE is encouraged by the more than 180 people from across Guilford County, North Carolina, and the U.S. who registered for the recent creative thinking webinar hosted by Kathryn Haydon, founder of Sparkitivity.

During the webinar, participants learned a definition of creativity (solving problems in a novel or meaningful way), the importance of creative thinking to success and happiness, and how to identify a child’s creative strengths and spark creativity at home. Webinar participants learned, for example, that in 2001, Bloom’s Taxonomy’s levels of thinking was modified, putting creativity as the most complex.


Webinar participants learned creativity can be taught, practiced, and developed. Two important thought skills, divergent (i.e. brainstorming) and convergent (selecting), practiced in conjunction are the key to creativity. At the conclusion of the webinar, participants crowd-sourced ideas for inspiring creativity, including setting up “invention spaces,” exploring the art of Andy Goldsworthy, reading “creative” books (like Not a Box), and coding with Scratch. Click here for additional relevant blog posts, including how to use family brainstorming to plan a vacation.

Those who registered for the webinars received a visual recap of the webinar content as well as a compendium of crowd-sourced ideas from both webinars. If you did not register for the webinar, but you would like to receive this email, please contact and include Creative Thinking Webinar in your subject line.

Stay tuned for our spring #creativethinking webinars!

Benefits of Creativity

Sketchnote by Sylvia Duckworth
  • “Creativity is now as important in education as literacy and we should treat it with the same status.” – Sir Ken Robinson
  • “Don’t ask kids what they want to be when they grow up. Ask them what problems they want to solve and what they need to learn to be able to do that.” –  Jaime Casap, Google Global Education Evangelist
  • “Before the internet there were two important things to teach: content and skills, like writing. Now there’s a third skill which is to build out your network to the world.” – Alan November, former teacher-turned-author
  • “What I’ve found working with families over the past 35 years is that families need to change the way they relate to one another…We need to do things together that reduce stress, create calm and foster personal connection, even if it’s just taking a walk outside and talking about what you see around you.” – Elaine Fogel, author of 7 Strategies for Raising Calm, Inspired and Successful Children
  • “All of the top achievers I know are life-long learners. Looking for new skills, insights, and ideas. If they’re not learning, they’re not growing and not moving toward excellence.” –  Denis Waitley, author of Seeds of Greatness

GCS Superintendent's Survey and Transition Team

GCS parents, be sure to participate in the nine-question, anonymous online survey from Superintendent Sharon L. Contreras, Ph.D., who recently announced her 80-person transition team. Please be sure to include what you like about AG services and what could be improved along with your thoughts on other programs, including the ARC Balanced Literacy program. The survey ends on Dec. 5, 2016.

Last Call: "Ace the College Application" with Susan Goodkin

Through December 15, 2016, Guilford County PAGE members receive an $80 discount on the “Ace the Application Webinar.” Susan Goodkin's recorded webinar walks you – and your high school student – through everything you need to know to create a stand-out college application. When you purchase webinar access, you can listen and re-listen at your convenience. Click here to learn more and register.
The webinar covers:
  • Writing a great common application essay - includes a discussion of each prompt
  • Crafting persuasive "why here" essays
  • Drafting powerful resumes, activity lists, and honors lists
  • What colleges want to see in recommendations
  • How to prepare for and shine in college interviews, and more!
About Susan Goodkin
Susan is a graduate of Harvard College, Harvard Law School and Oxford University, where she was a Rhodes Scholar. As a national college consultant, Susan helps students across the country get into their dream colleges. Susan also writes and lectures nationally on the college application process. 

What We're Reading Now

Success without stress: While some well-intentioned gifted parents may seek out tutors, advanced classes and extra studying to help their children succeed, research suggests a “backdoor” approach is not only more effective, but it’s less stressful. Check out “Helping Children Succeed – Without the Stress” from The Atlantic.

Creativity is the key: TED-talk sensation Sir Ken Robinson recently singled out conformity and compliance as problems with today’s education system. Learn why he believes “creativity is a central element” to education in this thought-provoking KQED News Mind/Shift blog post.

Inquiry-based learning holds promise: Education is all about inquiry-based learning, which has shown great promise with gifted students. But, what is it exactly? Check out what Edutopia has to say on the topic.

Learning through failure: Have a budding scientist in your household? Can she imagine herself as a scientist? Learn  how “exposure to struggling stories led to significantly better science-class performance than…achievement stories” in this KQED News Mind/Shift article.

Expert Guidance:    AP High School Prep

From Susan Goodkin, California Learning Strategies Center

Colleges like to see students challenge themselves by taking AP classes and doing well on the AP exam. If your child is in an AP class that is not adequately preparing him or her to excel on the AP exam,  or if your child wants to take an AP exam in a subject that isn't offered in his or her high school, check out edX High School Classes. edX has classes to help students prepare for a variety of AP exams, including Physics 1 and 2, Calculus AB and BC, and Microeconomics/Macroeconomics. Click here for more information.

You might also want to check out these free classes that will help prepare your child to take AP Biology, French and Calculus classes.


Guilford County Schools is hosting a series of events beginning in January to assist your AG student in making the transition to middle and high school.  Take a look at the following events in your area!

AG Transitions to Middle School:
Tuesday, January 17, 2017, 6-7pm
Sternberger Elementary, Greensboro
Millis Road Elementary, Jamestown

AG Transitions to High School:
Thursday, January 19, 2017, 6-7pm
Southwest Middle, High Point
Northwest Middle, Greensboro

GCS Choice Showcase:
Saturday, January 21, 2017, 9am-12:30pm
Greensboro Coliseum

Welcome to AG:
Thursday, February 2, 2017, 6-7 pm
Montlieu Academy, High Point
Morehead Elementary, Greensboro

Welcome to AG:
Tuesday, February 7, 2017, 6-7pm
Northwood Elementary, High Point
Jefferson Elementary, Greensboro

GCS is also hosting the following information session on prepping for the ACT.

Preparing for the ACT:
Wednesday, February 8, 2017, 6-7pm
Page High, Greensboro

Thursday, February 9, 2017, 6-7pm
Ragsdale High, Jamestown

For additional events, visit the CGS Calendar.

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PO Box 167
Oak Ridge, NC 27310

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