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    #191307 - 05/15/14 11:01 AM skills acceleration
    cammom Offline
    Member

    Registered: 07/11/13
    Posts: 299
    For lack of a better phrase...

    DS7 has taken several standardized tests since beginning kindergarten. I'm finding that his results on these tests are indicating rapid skill development.

    For instance, he took a reading test a year ago that put his reading about 2 years above grade level. He took the same format reading test this year, that placed him four years above grade level.

    We don't have a lot on math except the WJIII achievement that is placing him 8+ years above grade level and in the 99.99 percentile. Caveat: I've heard that the WJIII may be scoring a bit high in math for younger kids, and I'm sure that there are learning gaps.

    Any "been there, done that" parents? What are your experiences with your kids who test so far out of grade level? Especially down the road when they get to 3rd or 4th grade? I keep waiting for DS to slow down a bit, and instead he seems to be getting faster. I'm excited for him, but I'm getting a bit anxious about whether "regular" school can meet his needs in the long term.

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    #191313 - 05/15/14 11:30 AM Re: skills acceleration [Re: cammom]
    mecreature Offline
    Member

    Registered: 03/14/11
    Posts: 358
    Our story is just about the same as yours.
    DS is11 and in 5th grade. He is finishing up his first year at a new school.

    4th grade was was suppose to be the year they were worried about showing improvement. He was subject accelerated 2 years starting in 2nd grade. They ran out of curriculum at the end of 3rd grade. He ended up raising his Math and LA MAP scores at roughly 4 times the normal growth his 4th grade year. He was already way into the 99%. I guess we were cheating by having him do AoPS pre-algebra and Caesar's english 1 and 2 his 4th grade year to keep him moving in a good direction.

    I am not sure it slows down. The public school will swear to you that it will but they were starting to figure it out. I can go on and on about meetings, accommodations, high ability grouping. It never seemed to pan out.


    Edited by mecreature (05/15/14 11:39 AM)

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    #191317 - 05/15/14 11:46 AM Re: skills acceleration [Re: cammom]
    Zen Scanner Offline
    Member

    Registered: 07/13/12
    Posts: 1478
    Loc: NC
    Our local HG program has as part of the core description of HG learners that they typically advance 1.5 to 2 years per each year of regular school.

    Which is why I find "accelerated" being used interchangeably with "grade skipping" a bit frustrating.

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    #191380 - 05/15/14 07:06 PM Re: skills acceleration [Re: cammom]
    cammom Offline
    Member

    Registered: 07/11/13
    Posts: 299
    Zen Scanner- I think that's about right. I keep expecting DS to slow down, but he seems to be speeding up.
    I am grateful for the Singapore math. The word problems are challenging- there is no easy work around for not thinking "mathematically." We are working through the fourth grade now, and I bet a lot of bright high school students who have not been using Singapore math would find these word problems tricky.

    I have been unprepared for the reading acceleration- four years growth in one year of school, and it's not even his strongest subject! Now, he's thirsting for "high level" books and is trying (so far, so good) to get through a Jules Verne novel (at age seven!).

    Zen Scanner- We are not going to grade accelerate. I don't think that a one year acceleration will effectively meet his needs and he is classic "gifted" (the difficult traits that you read about online- he has about 75% of them). In first grade, we're already dealing with one or two kids at school who call him a "freak." It might turn into a bullying problem if he is thrust in with older children.

    On a good note, we have applied for Davidson Young Scholars with qualifying achievement and IQ scores. I am hoping we get a positive response. I would love to take DS to the summit to make friends and have fun.

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    #191383 - 05/15/14 08:04 PM Re: skills acceleration [Re: cammom]
    slammie Offline
    Member

    Registered: 02/17/14
    Posts: 161
    good luck with getting into DYS! I hope good news is heading your way.
    I don't have much to add since we are just starting go down the rapid learning path ourselves but I keep hearing the "don't accelerate too much, you don't want DD at a place where there is nothing left to teach" mantra at school.
    I'm also seeing very rapid trajectory of growth in our DD. But like you, DH and I decided against advocating for a grade skipping even though this is what we originally thought was best for DD, simply because they would have to continue to subject accelerate anyway.

    I have a question re: singapore math. Do you buy the text books for your DS or just the practice and challenge word problems? I purchased the textbook for DD last summer and I found I didn't need it. TIA.

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    #191556 - 05/17/14 08:50 AM Re: skills acceleration [Re: cammom]
    cammom Offline
    Member

    Registered: 07/11/13
    Posts: 299
    slammie- I really detest when schools say that we should slow down acceleration so that teachers have something to teach. It sounds like convenience for the school and not in the interest of the student.

    I bought the Singapore math word problems. DS is working on the fourth grade now- some are quite challenging, some less so. The challenging problems are worthwhile- DS kind of melts down on the hard ones, which tells me that it's pushing his analytical skills. (he's perfectionistic and throws a fit if he can't instantly "solve" a problem, preferably in his head).

    Anyway, I didn't buy text books because DS knows (is on his way to knowing) most elementary school level calculation. I want him to be able to use it in applied word problems.

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    #191559 - 05/17/14 12:33 PM Re: skills acceleration [Re: slammie]
    aeh Offline
    Member

    Registered: 04/26/14
    Posts: 3993
    We have used Singapore Math from EarlyBird Kindergarten all the way up through Primary Math 6B, and are now using Discovering Math. For the first level I used, I bought the textbook, and have not done so since. We use only the workbook. The only place where this was a bit tricky was when they introduced bar diagrams, and I kind of had to infer their use from the first item of the problem set in the workbook. I have referenced the textbooks once or twice at other levels, mainly because someone later gave me some stray textbooks, and since I had them, I figured I might as well check to see if we were following the model. For the secondary level books, we have used the textbook, but not the teacher's guide, workbook, or test bank book. I bought them on approval, and did not find them to be necessary.

    From our experience, grade acceleration does not necessarily amp up the peer social issues. It depends a lot on the child, the receiving classroom(s), and the amount of acceleration (really, the age difference between your child and the others). It is possible to become viewed fondly as the class pet, if the age difference is larger, or if there are particularly caregiving kids in the group. While not exactly the ideal peer social situation, it isn't exactly bad, either.

    Also, at some point, it may be that so little time will be spent in the home classroom that it will become de facto grade acceleration.

    And, BTW, anyone who thinks it is possible to run out of things to teach is giving you a pretty accurate picture of how little they know.
    _________________________
    ...pronounced like the long vowel and first letter of the alphabet...

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    #192940 - 05/31/14 10:22 PM Re: skills acceleration [Re: aeh]
    MegMeg Offline
    Member

    Registered: 03/14/10
    Posts: 615
    Originally Posted By: aeh
    Singapore Math . . . For the first level I used, I bought the textbook, and have not done so since. We use only the workbook.

    Just to add another data point, I was cursing myself for having just ordered textbook + workbook when I read this. And at first it seemed true for us to. But now we've switched to using just the textbook and not the workbook, and that's working for us too. The textbook seems to be largely redundant with the workbook, but with a few worked examples in a kind of show-and-tell style, and then only a few problems for the student to work. I'm finding this quite useful to buzz through a lot of material quickly and see what she gets and what she doesn't. The stuff that she doesn't, it's easy enough to make up a few more problems on the fly for her to do. Plus, the textbook is in color and looks and feels more fun. So this is working for us so far. May change when we get past material that she already partially grasps.

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    #192943 - 06/01/14 01:23 AM Re: skills acceleration [Re: cammom]
    ColinsMum Offline
    Member

    Registered: 09/19/08
    Posts: 1898
    Loc: Scotland
    Yup, btdt. Ours hasn't slowed down, but what has definitely happened is that he's much better at 10 than at 7 at taking his learning from whatever's around rather than needing a teacher to do it all for him, so in that sense it's fine - at least, for us with a really excellent school it has been. This is going to depend hugely on school and on child's personality, though. Do you trust your school?

    Reading I really wouldn't worry about. My immediate reaction is to wonder what it even means for a 7yo to be 4 years ahead in reading. I know there's an argument for that being wrong, but I do still think there's a case for saying that once your kid can read and enjoys reading all future reading skills will take care of themselves, given plenty of material.

    Maths: make sure there is challenge; the nominal grade matters hardly at all, it's all about hard problems.
    _________________________
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    #192946 - 06/01/14 04:18 AM Re: skills acceleration [Re: cammom]
    madeinuk Offline
    Member

    Registered: 03/18/13
    Posts: 1453
    Loc: NJ
    My DD basically taught herself using the SM books for 1st thru 5th grade ones. We bought the textbooks, work books and the 4th/5th challenging questions. I specifically did this because I wanted her to do the drills. The SM drills are not at all onerous. She would sometimes ask questions but it was so infrequent that I cannot recall even one example now.

    There was an adjustment to learning from the AoPS style text and I did work with her intensively for the first couple of weeks after which she seems to have adjusted and I am needed infrequently. Of course, I show interest and talk things through with her every so often because I do have no small amount of concern that she may be whistling along just skimming the surface, so to speak.

    So far my fears have been unfounded and am very impressed with the AoPS discovery based approach and my DD's apparent absorption of the material so far. The only niggle that I have with AoPS is that all 'virtual classroom' sessions are held at hours convenient to West coast folks. If a student keeps up with the recommended reading and prep work, the classroom sessions, though enjoyed, are really just gravy.

    Quote:

    Reading I really wouldn't worry about. My immediate reaction is to wonder what it even means for a 7yo to be 4 years ahead in reading. I know there's an argument for that being wrong, but I do still think there's a case for saying that once your kid can read and enjoys reading all future reading skills will take care of themselves, given plenty of material.

    Maths: make sure there is challenge; the nominal grade matters hardly at all, it's all about hard problems.


    ^^^ I fully concur with the above.

    IMO, once reading proficiency has been acquired a child is only limited by their natural curiosity, time for reading and access to materials that allow interests to be followed.


    Edited by madeinuk (06/01/14 04:26 AM)
    _________________________
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    #192947 - 06/01/14 04:48 AM Re: skills acceleration [Re: slammie]
    madeinuk Offline
    Member

    Registered: 03/18/13
    Posts: 1453
    Loc: NJ
    Originally Posted By: slammie
    good luck with getting into DYS! I hope good news is heading your way.
    I don't have much to add since we are just starting go down the rapid learning path ourselves but I keep hearing the "don't accelerate too much, you don't want DD at a place where there is nothing left to teach" mantra at school.
    I'm also seeing very rapid trajectory of growth in our DD. But like you, DH and I decided against advocating for a grade skipping even though this is what we originally thought was best for DD, simply because they would have to continue to subject accelerate anyway.

    I have a question re: singapore math. Do you buy the text books for your DS or just the practice and challenge word problems? I purchased the textbook for DD last summer and I found I didn't need it. TIA.


    We went for a skip for social reasons primarily. And we had heard about a 4th grade teacher who had had gifted kids herself so was exactly the right fit at a critical juncture. There was a lot of puerile girly drama that our DD escaped by jumping ahead into a cadre of girls who enjoyed reading some of the books our DD had already read and had already gone through that phase. IMO, a single acceleration will never address our kids' capacity to learn and we ourselves will not be doing another one unless acutely indicated.

    Instead, we have taken our DD to kid enrichment activities at a local university ( again for social reasons - and thank God because she finally met a girl like her there) and also we have allowed her to grow her reading and Maths independently.

    I have never understood a teacher impeding progress by not letting a kid read whatever the heck they want to read within obvious age-appropriate content driven bounds.
    _________________________
    Become what you are

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    #192955 - 06/01/14 09:40 AM Re: skills acceleration [Re: cammom]
    22B Offline
    Member

    Registered: 02/10/13
    Posts: 1228
    Originally Posted By: cammom
    We don't have a lot on math except the WJIII achievement that is placing him 8+ years above grade level and in the 99.99 percentile. Caveat: I've heard that the WJIII may be scoring a bit high in math for younger kids, and I'm sure that there are learning gaps.

    I'm one who's said I think the scoring comes out high, e.g. in your earlier thread.
    giftedissues.davidsongifted.org/BB/ubbthreads.php/topics/187603/Woodcock_Johnson_III_Achieveme.html

    But in any case, a score of 145+ (in math) indicates that multi year acceleration is warranted (in math). If your school won't do it, you'll have to figure out how to do it yourself (and there are many good suggestions in this thread).

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    #192959 - 06/01/14 11:26 AM Re: skills acceleration/Singapore math [Re: aeh]
    greenlotus Offline
    Member

    Registered: 02/17/14
    Posts: 582
    What would you suggest if we were starting mid grade school level on Singapore Math? Are we going to find that there are concepts we don't get because we didn't start from the beginning? I was going to give the kids the assessment and then order both the work and text books.

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    #192965 - 06/01/14 12:50 PM Re: skills acceleration/Singapore math [Re: greenlotus]
    aeh Offline
    Member

    Registered: 04/26/14
    Posts: 3993
    I would definitely start from the assessment, and pay attention to any items they get wrong, because it may be that you will be able to give them a quick lesson on one or two points, and then move to the next level. I would not worry too much about coming in in the middle. There is a certain amount of slow spiraling in SM (although always at a qualitatively higher level). I started with 2B for my #1, and k for my #2. I did notice that it was easier for #2, having previous familiarity with the teaching style, but in terms of gaps, there was no issue starting with 2B for #1. (Plus, I think #2 is more naturally math-minded, anyway.) My sibling's child, if I recall, began with 3B or 4A, (coming out of a very traditional drill-and-kill curriculum) and settled into it after a brief adjustment period.

    One of the patterns I noticed about Primary Math was that every grade started off with place value, which allowed for a very brief review of the basic arithmetic taught up to that point, mixed in with increasing amounts of mental math, which helped to keep the review-ish material from being boring, as the mental math tricks were kind of fun (if you like math tricks, which I do). Of course, these topics are placed there largely to combat summer losses; since we school year-round, our kids usually zipped through the first couple of units.

    Another aspect I like is the subtle review of skills through the following several units, by writing practice problems that are ostensibly for a new topic, but have review of past skills woven into them.

    All this to say, although of course it is always easiest to begin and end with the same curriculum, I think that, after the initial adjustment period (mostly to the pedagogical/problem solving approach), it will work out fine to begin with the middle grades material.

    And to an earlier post: I would agree that it's possible to use only the textbook, as it has problem sets in it also, just not the occasional little fun puzzles or coloring math pages. You just have to use your own paper; my kiddos liked the workbook style.
    _________________________
    ...pronounced like the long vowel and first letter of the alphabet...

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    #193438 - 06/04/14 03:58 PM Re: skills acceleration [Re: cammom]
    Kam Offline
    Junior Member

    Registered: 06/04/14
    Posts: 2
    We are new to accelerated learning. Our DD7 has learned roughly 2 years of math this year. She's in a program for gifted kiddos but seems to have outpaced the others in her class in math. We have been meeting with the school to figure out what is best. We do not want her with kids that are 2-3 years older but there is no one in her class ready for 4th grade math.

    As a side note, she began working on an online math group because her teacher was having difficulty keeping her challenged

    I am really hoping for some ideas

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    #193566 - 06/05/14 02:44 PM Re: skills acceleration [Re: Kam]
    Quantum2003 Offline
    Member

    Registered: 02/08/11
    Posts: 1432
    Maybe I am reading your post incorrectly but I am not sure why at this point she would need to be with kids who are 2-3 years older rather than just 1 year older in your current gifted program. Since she is already 7, I am assuming that she must be going into at least 2nd grade in the fall so the 4th grade math would be at most 2 years ahead. If she is in a program with gifted kids who are presumably at least a little advanced themselves and has outpaced the other gifted kids by one year, it may be best to simply accelerate her by one year in the same gifted program so that she does math with kids who are one year older. In our district, acceleration is not allowed unless the student is advanced enough to be accelerated into the gifted program, which works one year ahead with enrichment. You definitely don't want your DD to end up in a regular class with mediocre or poor students who are 2-3 years older.

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    #193570 - 06/05/14 03:08 PM Re: skills acceleration [Re: cammom]
    Quantum2003 Offline
    Member

    Registered: 02/08/11
    Posts: 1432
    "Skills acceleration" is quite normal for GT kids. Part of the problem is that elementary levels are rather arbitrarily divided into 6 levels (K-5). Both my 5th graders jumped several grade levels in a single year in reading in early elementary. DS probably jumped about a half dozen reading levels in less than a year while DD jumped about four reading levels within that time frame.

    I am sure that your DS is really ahead in math, but I would not conclude that he is 8+ years ahead based on WJIII "grade equivalents" because their standards appear much much lower than standards/curriculum at decent schools. Personally I have to say that the WJII spits out rather goofy grade equivalents unless you have a child who is within a standard deviation either way. You have to ask yourself whether your 1st (or 2nd?) grader is ready for the 9th grade (or 10th?) math curriculum in your district. If not, then start at a level where your DS has clearly mastered all the standards. Many districts provide online an overview of the curriculum/objectives for each grade. Start at the next grade up until you find where your DS places, then approach the school for assessments to qualify for an acceleration a grade lower than where you think his knowledge/skills end.

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    #193580 - 06/05/14 05:00 PM Re: skills acceleration [Re: cammom]
    mykids Offline
    Member

    Registered: 01/29/13
    Posts: 75
    I think a lot of the good academic resources have been well covered, so I will not repeat them. I will say, we did run into a "hitch" if you will around the end of 3rd grade in which peers and sports played a larger role than I would have anticipated. As much as he wanted to continue to be extremely accelerated, he also wanted to be in class and play sports with peers. I will spare you the multi-year saga, but I would examine the personality of your child and determine whether he is a kid who is happily "defined by" engaging in academics alone or if he is into sports, peers, art etc. as well. This may play a role in how you continue to accelerate and decide whether to go "broader" or "deeper" in his academics.

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    #193683 - 06/06/14 12:45 PM Re: skills acceleration [Re: Quantum2003]
    Kam Offline
    Junior Member

    Registered: 06/04/14
    Posts: 2
    She just turned 7 and is technically going into 2nd grade. The kiddos in the 3rd grade are not working a year ahead. They are given 3rd grade math "with more meat on it". The kiddos moving into 4th rade math are 9-10ish. DD is working at various levels in various subjects, its only math that is higher, so she could not be moved a full year ahead. Some parts of her math -like geometry are farther ahead. Her teacher really struggled this year because unless DD is constantly challenged, she may or may not complete the work.

    The school is not sure if she should be in the higher math because she wont always do the work in class. My feeling is that if they want her to do thenwork she will need to be challenged and be in a reasonable peer group.

    Friends have suggested partially homeschooling her, others have said a hybrid of in class and online. For homeschooling, her school is 1 of 2 here that will accept students of her age- its 20 miles from our house 1 way. So we would need to work it out carefully. And. I feel it is good for her to be with peers.
    Thanks

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    #193698 - 06/06/14 01:36 PM Re: skills acceleration [Re: cammom]
    Ivy Offline
    Member

    Registered: 02/08/14
    Posts: 337
    Originally Posted By: cammom

    Any "been there, done that" parents? What are your experiences with your kids who test so far out of grade level? Especially down the road when they get to 3rd or 4th grade? I keep waiting for DS to slow down a bit, and instead he seems to be getting faster. I'm excited for him, but I'm getting a bit anxious about whether "regular" school can meet his needs in the long term.


    (Warning: cynicism alert) The reason schools think that gifted kids slow down or level off later in grade school is because by that point they've managed to bore the advanced kids into a stupor. So it can be a real outcome... but the question is whether it's the desired outcome. Any school or teacher who said such a thing to me would raise a major red flag. Because what I hear is "we do such a terrible job with our brightest kids that they end up looking average."

    We pulled DD (then 9) out of regular school* and into an environment where she could go at the pace that made sense for her and she's been flying ever since. At this point she (now 11) will be in her first high school classes in the fall and a community college class the year after.

    This is what schools are really afraid of when they argue against acceleration by complaining they won't have anything to teach in the following years.

    * Well, it was an accelerated magnet, but operated very much in regular school mode.


    Edited by Ivy (06/06/14 01:54 PM)
    Edit Reason: Added note for accuracy

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    #193706 - 06/06/14 03:02 PM Re: skills acceleration [Re: Ivy]
    puffin Offline
    Member

    Registered: 12/11/12
    Posts: 2035
    My son's teacher got all the first grade kids up to the same level in reading by stopping instructing and assessing once they reached that level. Bingo -the lower end kids advanced a whole year on paper and the ahead ones only six months. The top group sat on the same level while the groups below caught up.


    Edited by puffin (06/06/14 03:05 PM)

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