Friday, 7 December 2018

Presentations -- Part 2

Here are a few of the things that we did... This Week In Gifted!


Last week a few of the Wednesday morning students presented their Communication Mini-Research projects.  This week all of the other students presented theirs.  We learned about:
  • Morse Code
  • How bees, bats and seals communicate
  • The Rosetta Stone and hieroglyphics
  • Computer coding (with a focus on Java Script)
  • Communication Technology (with a focus on how text messages are sent and received)
  • The history of emojis
  • How the Enigma Machine works
  • Sign Language
  • Braille
  • How Radios work
  • The Commercial Code / Telegraph Code

A sampling of slides from a few different presentations

All of the presentations were created in PowerPoint (with the exception of one student who used Google Slides).  Many of the younger students had not used PowerPoint before, but they quickly became pros!  Students uploaded their PowerPoint presentations to the school district portal.  It is my first time using the portal this way and it worked well.  You child *should* be able to log on from home and show you their project.  If you try following the instructions below and they don't work -- don't panic!  It may be that students don't have access from home.  Just shoot me an e-mail if this is the case.
  • go to
  • click on 'Portal' in the top right of the menu
  • the student will be prompted to sign in with their usual school district username and password
  • once in the portal, click on the class, then select 'Assignments' from the top menu
  • click on the lone assignment listed there
  • now you have the option of previewing the slide show (none of the transitions will show up in preview though which will make your child unhappy--trust me) or downloading the presentation.  If you have PowerPoint on your computer then downloading is the best option because then all of the animations and transitions will work.
After each presentation, audience members asked questions of the presenters and gave appreciations for what they thought the presenters did well.  All of the classes did a good job with this, but the Wednesday afternoon class particularly impressed me with their thoughtful appreciations of each others' work.

Thom(p)son X 2

Last week Mrs. Thomson visited the Wednesday afternoon class and this week she dropped by the Tuesday afternoon and Wednesday morning groups.  Susan Thomson is the Director of Instruction for Student Services and the Gifted Program is part of her portfolio.  She was able to take in many of the student presentations this week.  Students also shared with her some of the other things we have been learning about including having her participate in the storytelling activity 'When Suddenly!'

Last Class

This week was the last week of classes for the Gifted Program in 2018.  Classes will resume the first week back in January.  We will dive into making radio!

Friday, 30 November 2018

Presentations -- Part 1

When Suddenly...

This week the Tuesday and Wednesday afternoon classes participated in the storytelling game "When Suddenly..."  As a group we build a story sentence by sentence.  One person starts it off and ends their piece with the words "when suddenly..." and that's where the next person takes over.  You really have to be on your toes, keeping track of what has already been said and then moving the story forward from there.  We recorded the stories, and will be doing more of this in the future with an eye to doing some audio editing to really jazz up the stories.

Double Trouble

The Wednesday afternoon class had a guest in the classroom, Mrs. Thomson.  Yes, that's right!  It was Thompson and Thomson.  Susan Thomson is the Director of Instruction for Student Services, and the Gifted Program falls under her purview.  She dropped by to see what the students were up to.  They showed her how to decrypt a Scytale message and then shared with her the work they were doing on their communication mini-research projects.

Baby Talk

We've been looking at the myriad of way that we communicate with one another and this week we watched a short video with two babies having a conversation.  The students picked out the different ways the babies were interacting -- they were doing many of the things that we do, we just couldn't understand what they were saying.  Some of us think that they had a big plan to break into the fridge...  (link)


In the Wednesday morning class we started on the student presentations.  We learned about how bees communicate, the history of emojis, the importance of the Rosetta Stone, and the Commercial / Telegraph Code.  More presentations from all of the classes next week!

Thanks for checking in to see what we've been up to... This Week In Gifted!
I'll leave you with a photo from Social Time in the Wednesday afternoon class.

Saturday, 24 November 2018



This week the students learned how to encrypt and decrypt using scytales.  A scytale is a transposition cipher -- letters in the message are rearranged.  Scytales were originally used by the Ancient Greeks and especially the Spartans.  They involve a cylinder with a strip of paper (parchment or leather back when they were originally used) wrapped around it.  A message is written on the scytale, when the paper is unwound the message is just a strange jumble of letters.  Here is an example from Wikipedia explaining how it works (
To encrypt, one simply writes across the leather:
       |   |   |   |   |   |  |
       | I | a | m | h | u |  |
     __| r | t | v | e | r |__|
    |  | y | b | a | d | l |
    |  | y | H | E | L | P |
    |  |   |   |   |   |   |

so the ciphertext becomes, "IryyatbHmvaEhedLurlP" after unwinding.

Scytales from the Tuesday afternoon class.

Wordlink and Pass the Koosh Ball

The Tuesday and Wednesday afternoon classes each played Word Link; a game where you start off with a word and then the next person says a word that goes with it and the next person says a word that goes with the new word and so on.  For example you might start with the word bear --> stuffy --> nose --> cold --> ice --> hockey etc.  It is always interesting to see where you end up!

The Wednesday morning class played Pass the Koosh Ball.  Students stand in a circle with one person in the middle with their eyes closed.  The kids in the circle pass a ball from person to person until the person in the middle says "Stop!" and then a letter.  The person who has the ball at this point has to pass it along and then name off 5 words that begin with the letter.  If they can't do this before the ball gets back to them, then it is their turn in the middle.  5 words doesn't sound like much, but when you are under pressure it is amazing how hard it can be!

Communication Mini-Research Project

Students continued to work on their research projects.

Thanks for stopping by to see what we've been up to... This Week In Gifted!

Recess with the Wednesday morning group.

Friday, 16 November 2018

Communication Research

Here are a few of the things we've been doing this week (and last!) in gifted.


Last week the grade 4s and 5s learned how to encipher and decipher keyword ciphers.  They used letter frequencies to decipher keyword ciphers when the keyword and keyletter were unknown to them -- a pretty challenging task!  They then put these skills to work playing the game Rogue Computer.  

My favourite student quote last week came from a student in the grade 2/3 afternoon class.  The students were working on deciphering Caesar Ciphers in order to solve the clues in the game Desert Oasis.  It's pretty challenging work when you don't know what the shift is and have to use letter frequencies.  To no one in particular a student said, "This is hard!"  I waited and watched.  "This is hard!"  Again, I waited and watched to see if the student was hitting his limit and needed intervention before frustration took over.  "This is HARD... but it is so much FUN!"  Yes!

This week the students were introduced to a new cipher -- the Pig-Pen.  They were able to decipher the message on the board in short order!

Students in the Tuesday afternoon class tackling the Pig-Pen Cipher

The Wednesday afternoon class at work on the Pig-Pen Cipher

Body Spell

This week the Wednesday morning class played the game Body Spell.  Students were in two teams and each student had letters drawn on their hands and feet.  They were then given a word that they had to spell with the letters on their body -- crazy!  They handled the small 4 and 5 letters words quite well and easily progressed to the 7 letter word they are spelling in the photo below (the letter on the sideways foot is a 'T').

Communication Mini-Research Projects

This week all of the classes started doing research on topics related to communication.  These will be small projects just to whet everyone's appetite before we get into our bigger radio project.  Some of the topics students are investigating are: hieroglyphics, the Rosetta Stone, the Enigma Machine, American Sign Language, Braille, Morse Code, the telegraph, the history of emoticons/emojis, communication in different types of animals (bees, seals, whales...), codes used in WWII, computer coding... It's going to be fun sharing what everyone has learned!

Thanks for stopping by to see what we've been up to... This Week In Gifted!

Monday, 5 November 2018


Here are a few of the things that we did this past week in Gifted.

Snap Circuits

The Tuesday afternoon group at Trout Creek is enjoying building more complex circuits with our Snap Circuits kit during social time.

This circuit uses a solar cell, resistors, a simple LED, a 7 segment LED display, motor, speaker, resistors...

Keyword Ciphers

The Tuesday group also learned how to encipher and decipher messages with the keyword cipher.  The rest of the groups will be spending time on that this week.

Halloweeen Hijinx

The usual students did not show up for the Wednesday (Halloween) classes.  Instead there was Minnie Mouse, a cowgirl on a horse, a grim reaper, a dark fairy, a demon (sorry Skyler -- I couldn't remember the full name!), the Childlike Empress, Spider Girl, and a mummy.  Yikes!  Also, Julius Caesar took over teaching the class (he does know a lot about Caesar Ciphers after all.)

The morning gang at social time.
Love those creepy fingers!

Field Recorders and Movies

In preparation for our radio project, the Wednesday morning group learned how to use the three H1 Zoom recorders that we have as well as a voice recorder on the mini-iPad.  These are all portable audio recorders.  Students experimented with interviewing each other and getting a sense of how far away to hold the recorders from their mouths.  All of the classes will be getting a chance to work with the field recorders in the weeks ahead.

In addition, the morning class made a short silent movie.  The Dark Fairy (aka Sage) suggested making the movie since we had all of these characters in their amazing costumes.  It was a collaborative effort and came together really well!

Thanks for stopping by to see what we've been up to!

Saturday, 27 October 2018

Code Breakers

Here are a few things we did... This Week In Gifted!

Deciphering When You Don't Have The Key


Do you understand the text above?  Using the Crack a Caesar Cipher tool on the website, as well as an understanding of letter frequencies, all of the students this week got practice deciphering long messages encrypted with the Caesar Cipher.  Interested in trying to crack the message above?  Just copy it, open up the  Crack a Caesar Cipher tool (you may have to enable Flash) and paste the text into the 'CIPHERTEXT' window.  Use the 'Letter Frequencies' button to help you to decide where to set the cipher wheel.  Then in the 'plaintext' window enter the first 3 deciphered letters and press the 'Decrypt' button.  If you get gobbledygook, then you didn't set the wheel to the correct key.  Delete the plaintext and reset the wheel to a different spot (based on letter frequencies).

Wednesday afternoon code breakers.

Kids on the Radio

We also listened to part of this interview.  It was conducted and produced by elementary students at Brant Avenue Public School in Guelph, Ontario.

Each week we've been talking about radio, and for the past two weeks we've listened to samples of radio created by kids.  All this in preparation for creating our own radio show!

Thanks for stopping by to see what we've been up to.

Saturday, 20 October 2018

Caesar Cipher

Here are a few of the things that students did... This Week In Gifted!

The Caesar Cipher

We continued to learn more about the Caesar Cipher.  Students made their own cipher wheels and learned how to encipher and decipher messages with specific shifts (for example, a shift of one means that a = B, b = C, c = D etc, while a shift of 3 means that a = D etc.)  When it comes to deciphering messages, students identified tips to speed up the process such as; take good guesses when a word is partially deciphered and for longer messages decipher all of the instances of the same letter at the same time.

If you haven't been told what the shift is, sometimes you can figure it out by looking at the short words; this is especially helpful if there are any 1 letter words in your message as they will probably represent the words "a" or "I".  What if there are no 1 or 2 letter words in your message?  Some of the classes learned about analyzing letter frequencies.  The most frequently used letters in the English language are e, t, a, o and i.  If the most frequently used letter in the enciphered message is a K, perhaps it represents one of those four letters?

The Wednesday afternoon group hard at work with their cipher wheels.

All this enciphering and deciphering of messages can be time consuming (and makes some of us go a little cross-eyed).  If only there was a way to speed up the process...  this is where computers come in!  The students were introduced to the Crypto Club website; a great resource designed for kids to teach them about the world of cryptography.  We investigated some of the different tools they have to help you encrypt and decrypt Caesar Cipher messages.


We also talked a little more about radio this week; where do we listen to radio? what sorts of things can you hear on the radio? and what would kids like to hear on the radio?  Later this year we will be producing a radio show, so we'll be exploring topics related to radio most weeks.

Fun in the Sun

One of the perks that the Wednesday morning class has is that we get to have recess together and we usually have the whole playground to ourselves!  So I'll leave you with a few images from this week's recess.  

Thanks for dropping by to see what we've been up to.

Thursday, 11 October 2018

Top Secret Communication!

Well, you've probably heard the news by now.  This year's theme is... (drumroll please)

The students did a great job of figuring out the clues and tying things together.

Clue 1: the weird beeping sound in the 'Welcome Back' video
Most students realized it was a form of communication with many recognizing that it was Morse Code or a binary code (dots = 0 and dashes = 1s).  Kudos to the students who went above and beyond and decoded the message which said "This is Morse Code"!

Clue 2: the Far Side cartoon of the man trying to find out what language the duck spoke
This has to do with the idea of language as one of the key ways that humans communicate.

Clue 3: the 'Theme! Theme! Theme!' radio ad
Many students thought that the person voicing the ad sounded like me, which is crazy of course, but I took it as a compliment.  The relevance of this clue will be seen later.

Clue 4: the garbled message
We all agreed that this was not another language, rather it was an enciphered message.  Some students pointed out that the message used a lot of letters that we don't frequently use in English.  We looked for patterns in the message and students noticed that WKHPH! showed up many times, often three times in a row, and deduced that it was the word theme!  So t is replaced by W, h is replaced by K etc.  Then we noticed that the top line in the message DXJXVW 31VW, 2018 was probably the date.  Another student noted that the letters were all shifted by 3 places.  Holy cow!  (or should I say KROB FRZ!)   We're well on the way to deciphering the message.  In fact, three students deciphered the entire message on their own before our class had our first meeting!  Way to go Noah, Meghan and Rowyn!

Clue 5: 'This Week in Radio History' mini documentary
The mini documentary mentioned the importance of radio in World War II, in particular it mentioned the coded messages that were sent to members of the French Resistance via BBC's Radio London.

So what will we be learning about this year?
  • Communication in general, including:
    • languages
    • communication devices
    • verbal and non-verbal communication
  • Secret Communication, including:
    • codes
    • ciphers
    • methods of decryption
    • steganography (hidden messages)
  • Radio
    • how radio works
    • recording and editing audio
    • interview techniques
    • we will be producing our own radio show!  
After reviewing the clues and revealing the theme for this year we got down to business!  Students learned how to encipher and decipher messages using a Caesar Cipher.  Students put their new skills to work creating enciphered words or messages for their peers to decipher. 

Enciphering and deciphering messages using the Caesar Cipher.  

We also had a little fun with non-verbal communication with some of the classes playing the charades game Heads Up or doing an emotion walk (communicating different emotions while walking around the classroom.)

Thanks for taking the time to read about what we did... This Week In Gifted!

Tuesday, 9 October 2018

A Moment in Radio History

Please check out the animation below.  Make sure that your audio is turned on (but not too loud!) and press the green flag and then the play button.  It's a flash animation so you may have to allow flash on your browser.  If it doesn't show up below, try this link.  If it still doesn't work, don't panic, we'll watch it in class.

Tuesday, 2 October 2018

Well This Is Confusing

If you read the previous post (here) you'll know that we left off with me waiting breathlessly to hear back from 'Theme! Theme! Theme!'  Well, I didn't have to wait for long.  A few days after filling in their questionnaire I received a letter with the following message:

DXJXVW 31VW, 2018


Yup, as clear as mud!  I tried to get in touch with the company, but when I went to their website, which I had been to just a couple of days earlier, this is what I got:


My first thought was "Great, I guess I'm on my own."  But now I realize that I'm not on my own -- maybe YOU can help me!  I've set up another form you can fill out if you have ideas about the message from 'Theme! Theme! Theme!'  Any ideas are appreciated!  Please note: I do not expect you to be able to solve this message!  The idea is to take some guesses as to what is going on. 

*Note: if you subscribe to this blog by e-mail, some of the images and multimedia in this post will not be visible.  Please go to to view the post in its entirety.

Sunday, 30 September 2018

Theme Conundrum

As returning students know, every year in the Gifted Program Classes we have a theme.  I often get asked what the new theme will be, but I always like to keep it under wraps until classes start.  I also get asked how I come up with the different themes.  Well, every year in the spring I start thinking about what the next year's theme is going to be. Usually I begin with a few ideas and I mull them over, just letting them percolate through my brain.  Along with the percolating I rework the ideas until I find something I like.  Usually by the start of the summer I have a pretty good idea of what the new theme will be, and then I start coming up with ideas for what we will do related to the theme.

This year was different though.  When summer started, I didn't have the foggiest idea what the theme would be.  I wasn't worried though, my process had worked in the past, it would work again.  But as July turned into August I still didn't have a theme that I was happy with!  As August was winding down I was beginning to get desperate.  Really desperate.  One night late in August I couldn't sleep -- the lack of a theme was making me crazy!  I crept out of bed and decided to go for a drive along the lake.  I rolled down all the windows on my souped up mini-van and turned on the radio.  After a few so-so tunes I heard an ad, an ad that was going to save my bacon!

You can listen to the ad below.

What did I do?  Well what do you think I did?!!!  I filled in the 'Theme! Theme! Theme!' online questionnaire and breathlessly awaited their response.  Find out what they suggested... in the next post.

Saturday, 29 September 2018

Talking To Ducks

In my previous post many of you correctly identified that the beeping noise was some form of communication.  Gary Larson has this great Far Side cartoon that tackles the idea of communication:

It made me think about what languages I would love to be able speak; there are so many!  Being able to speak quack would definitely be handy.  It would probably be more effective than me yelling in Engish 'Stop eating my tomatoes!!!' to the duck that hangs out in my backyard.  I tried quacking, but I'm not a fluent quacker, and the duck just looked at me blankly as tomato dribbled out of her beak.

What languages do wish you could speak?  Let me know in the comment section below.

Monday, 24 September 2018

Welcome Back!

Hello Gifted Program students and families.  I hope the start of the school year is going well and that you are excited about our classes starting up soon -- I know I am! 

I recorded the video below as a little welcome.  Something strange happened when I was recording so there is a bit of a mystery to solve.

I thought it might help if you just had the beeping sound without my talking over it, so I've added it below.

And here's the form for you to send me your guess. 

Thanks for helping me to solve this mystery.  See you soon!

*Note: if you are receiving this post via e-mail, some of the multimedia may not show up.  You can go here to view the post online.

Tuesday, 12 June 2018

Year End Wrap Up Part 5 Projects

This is Part 5 in the series of Year End Wrap Up posts.

Scratch Projects

Students in grades 3 - 5 finished up the year presenting their projects to their peers.  Students had a great deal of choice on their topic, as long as it included flight.  A number of students decided to create flight games or animations in Scratch, a free coding program designed at MIT to introduce students to the concepts of computer programing.

I've embedded each of their Scratch projects below or you can view them in the Scratch Studio here.  A few things to note:
  • Scratch requires Adobe Flash, so you need to allow it in your browser (Chrome won't run it, as far as I can determine, so better to switch to Firefox or Internet Explorer).
  • To see the coding behind the game or animation, which I highly recommend you do, click the 'See inside' button -- you'll have to go to the studio link to do this
  • All of the students did a great job solving bugs in their programs and learning new code
  • Other non-Scratch related projects will be posted soon!


Gerry created this animation as a fun finale for his slideshows on RC planes and the history of flight.  Click the green flag to start the animation.

Anya created this animation as an introduction to her slideshow on space flight. Click the green flag to start the animation.


Iain created this game involving hot air balloons.  Click the green flag to start the game and then use the up/down arrow keys to move your balloon.  Can you beat the high score?

Sophie created this game with info on aircraft.  Press the green flag to start the game, the up / down arrow keys to move the plane and collect coins and avoid hitting the birds.

Ezra created this game involving jet airplanes.  Press the green flag to start the game and the space bar to keep your jet in the air.  Try not to hit the green blocks and other obstacles.  If you'd like some music to accompany you on your flight press numbers 1, 2, 3 or 4 on your keyboard once the game begins.

Oscar created this game involving blimps.  Click the green flag to start the game.  Use the arrow keys to move your blimp through the maze.  Your goal is to collect hydrogen tanks and to avoid the bad guys.

Wednesday, 6 June 2018

Year End Wrap Up Part 4

This is Part 4 in the series of Year End Wrap Up posts.

Float My Boat

The Thursday afternoon class had the challenge of trying out different boat designs.  They were given multiple sheets of 15cm x 15cm aluminum foil and asked to try designs with tall sides and short sides and to see what design did the best job of holding the most pennies before sinking.  Here's how they did!

If the slides didn't show up for you, try this link.

Year End Wrap Up Part 3

This is Part 3 in the series of Year End Wrap Up posts.

Paper Table Challenge
On the last day of classes the Wednesday morning class did the paper table challenge.  They were given 8 pieces of newspaper, one 8"x11" piece of cereal box cardboard, and masking tape.  The challenge?  To use those materials to make a table that is at least 20cm high that can support a textbook.  Check out the slides below (or follow this link) to see how they did!

Year End Wrap Up Part 2

This is Part 2 in the series of Year End Wrap up Posts.

The Wednesday morning class tried out the Marshmallow Challenge on the second to last class of the year.  The goal: support a marshmallow using only 20 sticks of spaghetti, 1 meter of masking tape and 1 meter of string--Go!

If the slides and not showing up for you, check out this link.

Monday, 4 June 2018

Year End Wrap Up Part 1

I'm in the process of adding photos and the students' projects to this site.  Here is part one in the series.

Straw Bridge Challenge -- Tuesday Class

Below are some shots from the last class of the Tuesday group.  They did the Straw Bridge Challenge.  The Challenge: build a bridge that spans 30cm and can hold a coffee can filled with golf balls.  You only have 15 straws and 25cm of tape.  Go!

If the slides aren't showing up, click this link.

Sunday, 6 May 2018

Field Trip 2018

This past week it was time for the annual Gifted Program field trip for students in grades 3, 4 and 5.  We hopped on the yellow school bus with our friendly bus driver Larry and made our way to Kelowna Airport for a tour of Southern Interior Flight Centre.

Link to photos from our trip (link).

We were welcomed by  Marc Vanderaegen, the flight school director.  Neal, one of the pilots at the flight centre was our host and tour guide, along with George Cann, operations manager at Okanagan Mountain Helicopter.  George had brought a training helicopter over to the flight centre so that the students could get an up close and personal look at the machine.  George explained the basics of how a helicopter works and then the students got to take turns sitting in the chopper and checking out the instrument panel and main controls.

After checking out the helicopter Neal showed the students one of the flight centre's single engine fixed wing aircraft.  The students got to sit in the cockpit and get a sense of what it is like to pilot a small airplane.

Neal and George shared their expertise with the group and answered our questions.  They each worked very hard to convince the students that (a) flying is a great profession and (b) that helicopters were better than airplanes (George) or (c) that fixed with aircraft were better (Neal)! 

The students were excellent guests; they were polite, well behaved and asked great questions!

Thank you to our chaperones; Rebecca Aubie, Heather Glynes, Kristin Maier, Terry McCartan (his 5th trip!), Julie Read, and Adam Schroeder.  It was great having them along! 


Thursday, 12 April 2018

Project Work

Here are a few things we have been doing this week in gifted.

Flight Lesson

Students were presented with the following slide show (link).   As we progressed through the slides the students were asked to come up with a hypothesis to explain why the things grouped under the 'Yes' column were grouped together.  As they were presented with more images they revised their hypotheses.  Eventually all of the groups figured out why the 'Yes' items were grouped together -- can you?  Go through the slides slowly and one at a time.

The above activity lead to a discussion about the different types of flight we see in birds.  I asked students to try and notice the different ways that birds fly as they are out and about this week.

Project Work

For the past month students have been busy on their projects.  The slideshow below shows some of the projects students are working on; there are a lot of students using the computer coding program Scratch to create games or animations, but there is also a lot of variety!  If the slideshow isn't showing up for you, or if you'd like it full screen, then click on this link.

Thanks for checking in to see what we've been up to this week!

Saturday, 7 April 2018

Spring Update

It's been awhile since I've posted here, so we are long overdue for an update!

This year the theme is flight and the students have been busy learning about different aspects of flight; from flight in nature to human made flying machines.

Last month the grade 3s, 4s and 5s started working on The Big Project!  Students have a lot of choice as long as their project tackles our theme.  Here are some of the projects on the go:
  • Comparing the characteristics of different paper airplane designs
  • Creating computer games with Scratch in which participants will learn about; blimps, or hot air balloons, or jets, or the history of flight.
  • Presenting research on butterflies in the form of a magazine
  • Recreating a newspaper from the late 1700s with stories on major advances in hot air balloons and parachutes
  • Creating a Scratch animation on space travel
  • Designing a luxury rocket
  • Sharing research on drones, other remote control airplanes, travel to Mars and more...
  • Producing a child's picture book about bees
  • Making a model of the Wright Brother's first successful powered airplane    
More on these projects in the upcoming weeks.

The younger students (Thursday afternoon class) have started a timeline on the history of flight as well as learning how to program with Scratch.  The timeline is below--click on the arrows to go through the timeline.  (If you received this post via e-mail, you may have to go here for the timeline to be visible.)

In the last couple of weeks, the students did some activities exploring Bernoulli's Principle.  This principle helps to explain how airplane wings and bird wing provide lift.  For photos of some of these explorations please check out the slideshow below or click on this link.

Thanks for checking out what we've been up to the last little while in Gifted!