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    #170589 - 10/08/13 05:45 AM Re: Slacker Mom but maybe that's ok? [Re: glexchick]
    Bostonian Offline
    Member

    Registered: 02/14/10
    Posts: 2600
    Loc: MA
    What is "test prep"? There is no gifted education or ability grouping in most Massachusetts schools, and the mediocre Everyday Math is a commonly-used curriculum. Anything my children do beyond this, such as

    EPGY
    Singapore Math
    MOEMS
    math classes at Chinese school
    IDEA math
    being quizzed on math by the parents (often they ask for it)

    may boost their scores on the SAT taken in 7th grade compared to students who get nothing but Everyday Math. Are these activities
    OK but buying a Kaplan SAT preparation book illegitimate?
    _________________________
    "To see what is in front of one's nose needs a constant struggle." - George Orwell

    Top
    #170590 - 10/08/13 05:53 AM Re: Slacker Mom but maybe that's ok? [Re: Bostonian]
    KADmom Offline
    Member

    Registered: 03/11/13
    Posts: 690
    Originally Posted By: Bostonian
    What is "test prep"? There is no gifted education or ability grouping in most Massachusetts schools, and the mediocre Everyday Math is a commonly-used curriculum. Anything my children do beyond this, such as

    EPGY
    Singapore Math
    MOEMS
    math classes at Chinese school
    IDEA math
    being quizzed on math by the parents (often they ask for it)

    may boost their scores on the SAT taken in 7th grade compared to students who get nothing but Everyday Math. Are these activities
    OK but buying a Kaplan SAT preparation book illegitimate?


    Good point.

    Top
    #170593 - 10/08/13 06:27 AM Re: Slacker Mom but maybe that's ok? [Re: glexchick]
    HowlerKarma Offline
    Member

    Registered: 02/05/11
    Posts: 5181
    The difference is that in the one case, the activity has merit and is worthwhile in an educational sense-- both appropriate and even, I'd argue, necessary for the child in terms of holistic academic development.

    In other words, EPGY, etc. aren't specifically targeted methods of producing higher test scores.

    I think that most parents here would NOT view the complete Barron's series of SATII prep books as a good "plan for afterschooling" at least so far as it goes. KWIM?

    Yes, enrichment probably does lead to higher test scores as well-- but it also leads to HG+ children who are more fully engaged, more fulfilled, learning to embrace challenge, etc. Shouldn't the focus be on learning in an appropriate environment? Why the focus on "scoring well" which is precisely what those test prep booklets are targeted toward? Have you examined one of those lately? They are NOT about "mastering the challenge" by a long shot. No. They are about "how to game this particular system" in order to look better than you really are.

    That's not a message that I think that most perfectionistic gifties need to hear-- they are already prone to imposter syndrome.

    I guess I have pretty firm opinions on this subject, being in the middle of having those test scores REALLY, REALLY matter with a HS senior-- believe me, that comes soon enough. No need to put that on a 5th or 6th grader's plate. The entire industry is suspect, IMO-- and for evidence, just see "SAT alarm" thread for details about that.

    What IS true is that if you're bright enough and well-educated enough, these things really will still take care of themselves. Like I said-- a few practice tests just to get a feel for the level of stamina needed and the format. That's enough.



    _________________________
    Schrödinger's cat walks into a bar. And doesn't.

    Top
    #170601 - 10/08/13 06:52 AM Re: Slacker Mom but maybe that's ok? [Re: glexchick]
    epoh Offline
    Member

    Registered: 10/31/11
    Posts: 954
    Loc: N. Texas
    Originally Posted By: glexchick
    Are the MAP tests the ones they take on the computer? Where if they answer things correctly, the questions get harder? I am very suspicious of those kinds of tests with gifted kids. Won't take 'em long to figure out if they answer 8 in a row wrong the test is over and they get to go back to reading Harry Potter or whatever.


    Yes, the NWEA MAP tests are computer based... however, they are pretty short and the entire class typically does them at the same time. They all have to answer the same number of questions, just the difficulty level changes... so purposefully getting the answer wrong doesn't result in a shorter test, just a lower score.

    We've always explained to DS9 that these type of tests are what show the teacher where he's at, so it's important to always do your best, otherwise things will never get more interesting at school! So far so good.
    _________________________
    ~amy

    Top
    #170605 - 10/08/13 07:10 AM Re: Slacker Mom but maybe that's ok? [Re: Bostonian]
    Dude Offline
    Member

    Registered: 10/04/11
    Posts: 2856
    Originally Posted By: Bostonian
    What is "test prep"? There is no gifted education or ability grouping in most Massachusetts schools, and the mediocre Everyday Math is a commonly-used curriculum. Anything my children do beyond this, such as

    EPGY
    Singapore Math
    MOEMS
    math classes at Chinese school
    IDEA math
    being quizzed on math by the parents (often they ask for it)

    may boost their scores on the SAT taken in 7th grade compared to students who get nothing but Everyday Math. Are these activities
    OK but buying a Kaplan SAT preparation book illegitimate?


    Look just down the coast at New York City, where professional tutors are hired to coach toddlers through a rigorous pre-K selection, to get a look at the extreme end of test prep, and its consequences.

    Also, it would depend entirely on how many hours those additional resources you described are taking up. If the kids are just doing an hour or two a day, and they're still finding plenty of time to play afterwards, no worries.

    If the enrichment is displacing all free play time, they're not on a healthy trajectory: paper

    Top
    #170606 - 10/08/13 07:11 AM Re: Slacker Mom but maybe that's ok? [Re: epoh]
    Sweetie Offline
    Member

    Registered: 06/05/11
    Posts: 669
    We don't have MAPS at our school but we do have STAR (the one on the computer to give you AR levels for reading and math and there is an early literacy test too).

    And...the test stops as soon as you hit the required number of wrong answers. It might not even start if you don't get the practice questions right. So some kids take the test for a long time and some kids take a few practice questions and are done and then anywhere in the middle.

    I do think my son wanted access to lower level books and didn't do the test to the best of his ability because his reading level came down from the year before at the start of this year and he read over 2 dozen chapter books with a range of levels of difficulty over the summer. So his reading shouldn't have gone down from a lack of summer reading.
    _________________________
    ...reading is pleasure, not just something teachers make you do in school.~B. Cleary

    Top
    #170611 - 10/08/13 07:40 AM Re: Slacker Mom but maybe that's ok? [Re: HowlerKarma]
    KADmom Offline
    Member

    Registered: 03/11/13
    Posts: 690
    Originally Posted By: HowlerKarma
    The difference is that in the one case, the activity has merit and is worthwhile in an educational sense-- both appropriate and even, I'd argue, necessary for the child in terms of holistic academic development.

    In other words, EPGY, etc. aren't specifically targeted methods of producing higher test scores.

    I think that most parents here would NOT view the complete Barron's series of SATII prep books as a good "plan for afterschooling" at least so far as it goes. KWIM?

    Yes, enrichment probably does lead to higher test scores as well-- but it also leads to HG+ children who are more fully engaged, more fulfilled, learning to embrace challenge, etc. Shouldn't the focus be on learning in an appropriate environment? Why the focus on "scoring well" which is precisely what those test prep booklets are targeted toward? Have you examined one of those lately? They are NOT about "mastering the challenge" by a long shot. No. They are about "how to game this particular system" in order to look better than you really are.

    That's not a message that I think that most perfectionistic gifties need to hear-- they are already prone to imposter syndrome.

    I guess I have pretty firm opinions on this subject, being in the middle of having those test scores REALLY, REALLY matter with a HS senior-- believe me, that comes soon enough. No need to put that on a 5th or 6th grader's plate. The entire industry is suspect, IMO-- and for evidence, just see "SAT alarm" thread for details about that.

    What IS true is that if you're bright enough and well-educated enough, these things really will still take care of themselves. Like I said-- a few practice tests just to get a feel for the level of stamina needed and the format. That's enough.





    I agree with this, particularly because that last paragraph.


    Top
    #170617 - 10/08/13 08:06 AM Re: Slacker Mom but maybe that's ok? [Re: glexchick]
    Quantum2003 Offline
    Member

    Registered: 02/08/11
    Posts: 1425
    Don't worry, Slacker Mom, benigh neglect can be a good thing! Sometimes it's wonderful to simply leave our kids alone to learn what they want when they want. The fact that your DD wants to take the Explore should be the deciding factor. MY DS & DD both took the Explore when they were 8 and again when they were 9. The actual test is two hours with 4 30-minute sections. We didn't do any prepping either time other than the sample questions that were provided. It's a pseudo-achievement test because a high-ability kiddo can score really high without studying the typical middle-school curriculum. I would not wait because you don't know where your DD stands and it may be too late next year. DS hit the ceiling on the Explore (99 percentile compared to 8th graders) in 4th grade so if we had waited until 5th grade, the ceiling effect would have obscured the results.

    Top
    #170620 - 10/08/13 08:19 AM Re: Slacker Mom but maybe that's ok? [Re: Bostonian]
    Val Offline
    Member

    Registered: 09/01/07
    Posts: 3290
    Loc: California
    Originally Posted By: Bostonian
    I am not too worried about this. Maybe Tiger parenting can raise my eldest son's chance of getting into Harvard from 5% to 10%. But if he does get in, he will have to handle difficult courses like Math 55 on his own, and he should be able to assess his own ability relative to that of his classmates.


    That's not the point. The point is that prepping hysteria and tiger parenting are creating significant problems for our society by turning learning into a status competition (and a rather vulgar one at that). Tiger parenting and prepomania are full of sound and fury and signify nothing.




    Top
    #170628 - 10/08/13 09:06 AM Re: Slacker Mom but maybe that's ok? [Re: glexchick]
    glexchick Offline
    Junior Member

    Registered: 04/01/09
    Posts: 16
    I have already said it but just wanted to reiterate, I really appreciate the thoughts. Now that you guys mention it, I now remember other Moms from the gifted class talking about prepping their kids for the test. I pretty much data dumped it because the idea was so dumb it didn't merit space in my brain (valuable commodity these days). But you know what, those kids were doing better than my kid grade wise, and all other things wise. Maybe Mom just lives in their a__ constantly.

    I really appreciate the advice on the explore test too, yes she is taking it because she asked me to take it and she understands that there will be some stuff she hasn't learned yet and she just shrugged that off. I also appreciate you guys explaining the upper level test concept to me. My son hits ceilings all the time because they keep giving him first grade academic tests...it doesn't really matter right now because his hard work is social and behavioral for now but at some point it will matter to him as well.

    I am doing algebra with her on KhanAcademy, which we both are enjoying. We just mess around with the mastery challenges and watch one or two videos a night. I do it with her which is fun for both of us. Not to prep for anything in particular but basically because we're all out of pre algebra to learn and she's got another year before it shows up in the curriculum, I think. (I hope).

    Top
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