Wednesday, October 14, 2015

#ExpressYourself #Chocolate, #TeddyBears and Zombies

It's Wednesday. Hump Day? Well yes but no....It's time for the Express Yourself Weekly Blog Hop. I'll be playing catch up today since I've missed the first two weeks of October. I can't believe it's the middle of October already. Where has the time gone?

Sept. 28 - Oct. 2: 

What is my favorite kind of cookie &/or cake?

I love anything with chocolate except for German Chocolate Cake. I can't stand anything with coconut in it. Coconut tastes like cardboard. No taste what's so ever. I hate that. I don't like mild chocolate, either. The darker the chocolate the better. 

Oct 12 - Oct. 16: 

Zombies are busting through your hideout, you only have one exit, with little to spare, what 3 items do you grab?

My computer, cellphone and Honey Joe. Honey Joe has been my teddy bear since I was nine years old. He protects me from the monsters so I might need him to help me escape. Besides, I wouldn't dream of leaving my childhood bear behind the lines with zombies. He's been a great support for me during the good and bad times of my life. The photo on the right shows him and his wife, Honey Jane, reading one of my books. They really enjoyed it.

Where's Allison? #gifted #Indianapolis #nonprofit


I can't believe it's been a few months since I've last blogged. I'm so sorry to my fans for the hiatus. So much has changed since I last blogged to my fans. I've been quite busy. But I'm back now.

So what have I been up to, lately?

I'm so glad you asked.

Aside from working on my studies for my PhD in Education work, I have been busy with a new educational venture. Seven weeks ago, I started a new nonprofit organization called Mountain Springs Academy. It's mission is to transform the educational experience in order to empower gifted students. We achieve this by working with parents, students and educators. You can learn more by visiting our website at The students also have a blog at The blog is maintained by the students. They can also be found on Facebook at We are working on joining other social media sites as well.

Next month is NaNoWriMo. I'm very excited about this because I have several writing projects I need to work on. I'm currently working on Lies and Deceit, book 2 of the Children of the Shawnee series. I have other novels that need to be written as well as some children's books and shorts.

Well see you next time, my fans.

Sunday, August 16, 2015

#WUWA: PhD and Writing

I've survived another quarter of graduate school! 

All has been quite on my blog for a couple of weeks. Not a sound. I hope my readers haven't give up on me. This past quarter of PhD work about killed me. I don't know if you can die from studying so much but I'm pretty certain I was almost there. LOL. The last few months have been chaotic for me with school, writing, etc. I'm so glad I'm on a two week break. I needed it. 

So if you haven't heard or don't already know, I've been working on my PhD in Education at Walden University. I just finished my first year. I loved it! I can't believe I'll be attending my second residency this quarter. Where has the time gone by?

Just because I'm in graduate school doesn't mean that I'm not writing. In fact, I'm working on the sequel to Calico (Children of the Shawnee: 1). I'm excited about this book. The sequel is titled Lies and Deceit. It's not a book you want to read if you haven't read Calico. The story picks up a few months after the ending of the book. 

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

#ExpressYourself: Writing, Music and More

It's hump day! Happy Wednesday! I've been busy these past few weeks working on my manuscript for Camp NaNoWriMo. My goal this month was to write 100,000 words. I'm up to 80,000. Lord, help me. I have 20,000 words to write in two days. AAAAAHHHH. 

So since I've been busy writing I've missed a few days of posting. I have two Express Yourself entries for today. Gotta make up for the one I missed last week. LOL. 

July 20 - 24

Name 2 favorite places/spots you like to hang out at.

Oh this one is easy! I like to go camping with my friends and family. Any park will do. The more secluded the better. I love to just sit in the forest and let my imagination fly. 

My second favorite place is the Indy Reads Bookstore. This independent bookstore in Indianapolis is the hangout for all my NaNoWriMo buddies in Indianapolis. We have monthly meetings where we encourage each other to keep on writing. Here's a pic of us at our last gathering at Indy Reads. 

July 27 - 31 

Share a few songs from you WIP playlist. 

Hmm, I normally don't write with music but there are some moments in my writing time that I will chose to listen to a song. It usually happens when I'm having a hard time with a certain scene. 

My current manuscript is a bit more paranormal than the first book of the Children of the Shawnee series. I wasn't planning on it but all of a sudden I ended up having a time traveler in the book. An adult version of Black Buffalo travels from 2015 to 1774 where he is only a few years old. No my math isn't off. He's an immortal shaman. I decided he was going to be singer after listening to this song. The lead singer with the curly hair looks like my character. 

I had problems writing a scene the other day between Calico and Chief Big Deer. It was a pretty dramatic scene where he delivers words of wisdom to her. I just couldn't piece this scene together. So I went to YouTube and looked for some Shawnee music. I found this wonderfully talented men, listened to their music and wrote the scene. It turned out to be very dramatic. 

Monday, July 27, 2015

LTW: Motivating the #Elementary #Gifted Student

Motivating the Elementary Gifted Student

            The gifted population in America often struggles academically, socially, and mentally while in the public school system. These struggles are often seen in gifted students as early as the second grade. One of the reasons gifted students struggle is motivation. Shunk, Meece and Pintrick (2014) define motivation as “the process whereby goal directed activities are instigated and sustained” (pg.5). Long (2013, September) found gifted students need to be intellectually stimulated or they will become bored in class (pg. 1). Most educators struggle to keep their gifted students engaged within their classroom.  Theroux (2014) found not all motivational theories will work well with every gifted student (pg. 1). Educators need to implement different motivational strategies frequently (Theroux, 2014, pg.1).
Classical Conditioning
            Classical conditioning is the process in which a stimulus is presented to the student in order to elicit a response (Shunk, Meece, and Pintrick, 2014, pg. 22). A response will not occur if the learner does not see a link between their response and the stimulus that was given.  Gifted students will not respond if they have “checked out” of the learning environment.  A gifted student will “check out” of a learning environment when their minds are somewhere else (Long, 2013, September). This usually occurs when the student is unmotivated.  Unmotivated gifted students will operate within classical conditioning whenever they are seeking attention. Theroux (2014) found gifted students who are bored would frequently seek attention through positive, negative or passive attention seeking behaviors depending upon their preferred attention seeking style (pg. 1. See figure 1).

Figure 1
Operant Conditioning
            Operant Conditioning is a motivational behavior theory that is like classical conditioning. In both Operant and Classical Conditioning a stimulus is introduced and a response is gleaned from the reaction of the student. Schunk, Meece and Pintrich (2014) found motivated behavior can be increased or decreased depending upon the consequences of the student’s reaction (pg. 25). Unlike Classical Conditioning, Operant Conditioning stipulates that a student’s reaction to a stimulus can be changed through reinforcements or punishments (Shunk, Meece and Pintrich, 2014, pg. 24). Reinforcement is given to increase the likelihood that the behavior exhibit will appear more frequently (Shunk, Meece and Pintrich, 2014, pg. 24). Punishments are used to decrease the likelihood of the behavior’s occurrence.
             Educators who work with the gifted population can use Operant Conditioning to encourage proper behavioral management. A student who turns in all their homework on time may receive a sticker or stamp on their paper would be an example of positive reinforcement.  Theroux (2014) cautions educators to sparingly use rewards and punishments as a behavior modifier when working with the gifted population (pg. 1). The goal of the educator should be to develop intrinsic motivation within their gifted students. Theroux (2014) argued rewards are only effective in gifted students when they are unmotivated or engaged in an activity that is lower than their abilities (pg. 1).  Rewards should never be increased for increased expectations (Theroux, 2014, pg. 1).  Negative reinforcements occur when a reward is removed. A reward is removed once the desired behavior is effective (Theroux, 2014, pg. 1).
             Bad behavior may be countered by punishment by removing either a positive or negative reinforcer (Schunk, Meece and Pintrich, 2014, pg. 24). For example, a student talks excessively in class. The teacher decides to reward all her students with a sticker except for the student who has been talking. This would be a punishment because the educator has removed a positive reinforcement from that student. See figure 1 for more examples.

Long, C. (2013, September). Are We Failing Gifted Students? neaToday. Retrieved from   

Schunk, D. H., Pintrich, P. R., & Meece, J. L. (2014). Motivation in education: Theory, research,    and applications (4th ed.). Columbus, OH: Pearson/Merrill Prentice Hall.

Theroux, P. (2014). Intrinsic Motivation. Davidson Institute for Talent Development. Retrieved  from

Sunday, July 26, 2015

#WUWA: Surviving Camp NaNoWriMo

This upcoming week is the last week of Camp NaNoWriMo. It's been a great writing month for me. I've had some enlightening moments with my plot and characters. Even though, I had planned my story out the characters have decided that there needed to be a few changes. I'm liking it so far. I think by the end of this week I should hit my goal of 100,000 words. I really don't think Lies and Deceit is going to end at 100,000 words. It's looking like it will be another epic probably the size of Elsa. Elsa turned out to be around 200,000 words. We'll have to see what happens.