Gifted Bulletin Board

Welcome to the Gifted Issues Discussion Forum.

We invite you to share your experiences and to post information about advocacy, research and other gifted education issues on this free public discussion forum.
CLICK HERE to Log In. Click here for the Board Rules.

Links
DITD Logo

Learn about the Davidson Academy’s online campus for profoundly gifted students living anywhere in the U.S.

The Davidson Institute for Talent Development is a national nonprofit dedicated to supporting profoundly gifted students through the following programs:

  • Davidson Fellows Scholarship
  • Davidson Young Scholars
  • Davidson Academy
  • THINK Summer Institute
  • DITD FaceBook   DITD Twitter   DITD YouTube
    The Davidson Institute is on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube!

    How gifted-friendly is
    your state?

    Subscribe to the Davidson Institute's eNews-Update

    Who's Online
    0 registered (), 0 Guests and 181 Spiders online.
    Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
    Newest Members
    Clara Tim, markhogue, John Henderson, wm97, oliviazimmerman
    10844 Registered Users
    October
    Su M Tu W Th F Sa
    1 2 3
    4 5 6 7 8 9 10
    11 12 13 14 15 16 17
    18 19 20 21 22 23 24
    25 26 27 28 29 30 31
    Page 1 of 2 1 2 >
    Topic Options
    #197385 - 07/29/14 03:51 PM New here, acceleration questions
    Tigerle Offline
    Member

    Registered: 07/29/14
    Posts: 602
    Loc: Europe
    Hi all, some time lurker, new poster. blush

    I've always loved the depth of the discussions here, but never thought to join as we are not in the US, thus not eligible for DYS, and more importantly, rather felt that while our three children were very bright and most likely gifted, they were certainly nowhere near HG+...

    However, we recently had our oldest son, 7 going on 8, a rising third grader in a catholic elementary, tested for possible entry into a gifted program starting in fifth grade (self contained classroom in a public college prep school, cutoff 130). He was given a European version of the WISC, using extended norms, and scored an FSIQ of 154.
    I literally felt a bit faint when I saw the number. The tester said that without using extended norms, he would have hit the ceiling at 147. Not sure how these numbers compare to scores on the original WISC but they must be somewhere in between the 99.9th and the 99.99th percentile, so, maybe, EG? No idea whether at this point it really matters either way.

    Concerning the gifted program, the tester's opinion was it wasn't a question of if but rather when, as she felt that DS7 (who was entered early with a bday just a few weeks after the cutoff) should probably be accelerated again and either skip into 4th now or directly into fifth grade of the gifted program in a year.

    My gut reaction was no way! (Full disclosure: I am the survivor of a very badly handled grade skip in elementary school myself).

    DS7 is somewhat socially awkward, very much the little professor/geek type, he has sensory issues, anxiety, rigidity, OEs, tics, struggles with impulse control, self-regulation, perfectionism, the works (he had a full ASD eval at 4 but scored nowhere near the cut offs. The one subtest he completely bombed was social comprehension which the tester said was par for the course for the HG+ population who want logic in all walks of life and have a hard time dealing with the messiness of emotions and relationships, but who have non of the mind blindness of Kids with ASD). He is finally integrated in the class and has friends, he'll hang out at the soccer pitch making up elaborate fair play rules and a complicated carding system ( 0he even tells stories about joining in and scoring goals, but I have a feeling that is wishful thinking rather than reality), he joined the choir and was part of the school musical - first kid on the left in third row but STILL! He gets C grades in PE, is very uncoordinated but has finally found some confidence in swimming and judo. He worries about having a new teacher, new subjects and generally about not keeping up in third grade, for heavens sakes...

    I actually think that his 2e tendencies have sort of "masked" his real LOG to us so far. I mean, some of the math and physics issues he discusses with DH (math and physics teacher in a college prep) are beyond me, but I always figured that was about my abysmal math and science classes at my languages-heavy Latin school rather than about his advanced understanding. And mostly we focus on his socio emotional development at home.

    Except for the one subtest mentioned and average digit span backwards (which kinda fits as not only is he uncoordinated but also needs about 20 reminders to put his socks on in the morning), his test results do not show any weaknesses. Well, duh, it's all between the 97th ant the 99.9th percentile. Of course. His report card, received today, says social and academic conduct is great only he does not keep track of his stuff and needs reminders to hand in assignments (see socks, putting on of, above) and he prefers doing his extension work to finishing finishing his compulsory work. Again, duh...

    The tester said flat out "with his score, he won't stand it through fourth grade without another skip". Still, I just do not see him in fourth grade this fall, or in fifth grade across town, almost an hours bus ride away, next year. (we were planning to move closer anyway but not for a few years yet). The gifted program would be a self contained classroom in a public college prep school, cutoff 130, but skewing somewhat higher as the parents of high achieving MG kids tend to prefer the regular college prep program. They do have an excellent reputation and apparently do great with multiple grade skippers.

    We picked his current school for its emphasis both on community and rigour and the school skews highly on both SES and achievement. Apparently his class works way above grade level. Differentiation consists of extension work rather than different work (as in "finish your regular work first", so, meh...but the school works for him for other reasons: open ended assignments, lots of projects, lots and lots of worship, with services at the end of every half term that need to be prepared - I think DS finds it soothing, and I have to say it's all very well done. The high standards seem to be mostly achieved through insane amounts of homework - at least other parents complain of up to three hours daily and of feeling like unpaid after school tutors. DS polishes his homework off in a weary sort of way and I rarely get to see it. Altogether I would describe his attitude towards his academics as mostly politely bored, except for a few meltdowns during some mind numbing revision time at the beginning of the year, but he loves the school for all theses other aspects.

    Having gotten the report rather late, I have not been able to set up an end of year conference but his second grade teacher will be around next year for any questions I may have on how he actually presents in school and what shed recommend.
    His third grade teacher will be the vice principal, apparently very experienced and competent, but I do not know her at all. I do not know who to approach first for advice and advocacy - old teacher, new teacher, old school, potential new school? Should I ask to do their best to keep him engaged for another two years, by giving him higher level material now? Or to help him prepare for a skip - presumably also by giving him higher level material now?

    Thanks for reading my novel! Any and all thoughts appreciated...

    Tigerle

    Top
    #197549 - 07/31/14 09:39 AM Re: New here, acceleration questions [Re: Tigerle]
    indigo Offline
    Member

    Registered: 04/27/13
    Posts: 4291
    Welcome!

    Sorry to hear you had a bad grade skip yourself. The standard for considering a grade skip is the Iowa Acceleration Scale (IAS), which identifies and encourages discussion of many aspects likely to influence the success of a grade skip.

    For advocacy, you may wish to read the Davidson guidebook, Advocating for Exceptionally Gifted Young People.

    Do you have info on preparing for a meeting? Lots of good advice has been shared on other threads recently as it seems several families have scheduled meetings. Some of the tips were -

    - Research state laws and the school or district policies and practices. This information is often found online. You may wish to print and put this in an advocacy ring binder to refer to over the years as the laws and policies/practices may change over time.
    - Have any test results and other pertinent facts available to share (milestones, reading lists, other accomplishments/achievements)
    - It is good to have them speak first. If asked to speak first, you may simply wish to thank everyone for attending and summarize that you are all here to share information and ideas about how to best meet your child's educational needs... and that you would like to hear from them.
    - Agenda
    - Know who is in the meeting, and their role(s)
    - Stay calm
    - Know what you are asking for
    - TAKE NOTES including Who-What-Where-When-Why-How of differentiation, so you can summarize in an e-mail afterward [Some families announce they plan to record the meeting and then do so, rather than taking notes.]
    - Use active listening (rephrase what has been said, and put it in a question form) to clarify understanding
    - Be open to receiving the school's data/observations.
    - Listen to any proposals they may make, ask appropriate probing questions, such as how a proposal may work, how the proposal may help your child, the schedule/frequency of service delivery, etc
    - Do not be forced to make a decision if you need time
    - Summarize next steps & time frames, and/or need for a follow-up meeting
    - Thank everyone for their time & interest
    - After the meeting, write a summary (points of agreement, etc) and share it, possibly by e-mail

    Top
    #197612 - 08/01/14 01:09 PM Re: New here, acceleration questions [Re: Tigerle]
    Tigerle Offline
    Member

    Registered: 07/29/14
    Posts: 602
    Loc: Europe
    Thank you for that list, that was very helpful.
    As we live in Europe, the IAS won't come into play - in fact the whole process would be nothing as standardized and sophisticated. Parents can request acceleration, the teachers' conference can grant it if they feel the child shows the maturity and achievement to succeed in the higher grade. The first semester counts as trial period. No standardized testing required or even generally requested, let alone administered by the school! So, it all comes Down to the teachers and principal.

    I know the school has grade skipped children in the past and is generally open to it, in fact it was explicitly mentioned as an option by the principal after they had met DS7 at orientation day and heard him read. The question came up again at the beginning of second grade, when DS had meltdowns in the morning over stultifying revision periods! but the teacher and I agreed that he'd just found his feet socially, just overcoming his many anxieties....academically, sure, he'd be just fine....she said she'd also offered to send to third grade for single subjects but he refused to go due to anxiety. Of course, I know all the research and just how beneficial a skip can be and that kids tend to do so much better socially that one thinks, and I never know just how much I am projecting my own negative experiences. Possibly a subject for another thread...

    Still, as far as math and science are concerned, DH points out he'd be just as under served in fourth grade as in third, ditto for reading and drawing, and for everything else involving motor skills such as writing, PE and crafts and socio-emotional development he's probably just right being the youngest in third. So, if anything, we'd bring up a skip directly into fifth at the new school.

    But as I still don't know whether I want even that, I am still really conflicted what to ask for - try to keep him happy for another two years by going wide and deep? Or try to prepare him for a successful skip by compacting and telescoping? Or let's just let him show us where his development is leading?

    Has anyone experience with radical acceleration for a kid that is Struggling with anxiety and self-regulation, among other stuff? I know that at this point, DS would point blank refuse (probably even have a meltdown over it), just as he is adamant he wants to attend the school his papa teaches at....

    I rarely let his anxiety dictate our choices for him, and usually I am right and with support, he emerges successful. This one is trickier.

    Top
    #197623 - 08/01/14 04:06 PM Re: New here, acceleration questions [Re: Tigerle]
    ndw Offline
    Member

    Registered: 11/29/13
    Posts: 314
    Welcome Tigerle. I completely understand how complex your situation is. If only there was a magically easy way to see the "right path" forward. We are in the position of having been offered a second grade skip to our DD 13 and have some of the same concerns re the balance of academics and emotional/social concerns.

    First of all I actually saw lots of positive elements in your post.

    You have a wonderful son with amazing ability. Despite his challenges he isn't ASD. He has been able to navigate the rigours of the school environment and find friends and join in. He got a great report card. The comments about executive functioning are not unexpected and they will improve. Lots of helpful sources out there. Try Smart but Scattered but remember he is a highly gifted 7 year old. What is going on in his head has to be way more interesting than where he put his socks! And of course the extension work is more to his taste. There is a clue for you.

    It is always intriguing to watch how much more organised and engaged my DD is when the "work" is actually interesting to her. Still, don't expect organizational miracles. We have worked hard on those but having a more appropriately challenging school setting helped her learn those necessary skills. We have seen an amazing growth in that area in the last year.

    As to all your choices, it is good you have some idea of what is available to you. Short of cloning our kids and running randomized trials, we will never know if the option we didn't choose was the better one. Best to stay flexible. Choices are rarely set in stone although, of course, undoing a change or making a new one is traumatic.

    In situations where there is appropriate support, acceleration works well. Note that having the right support is essential as you have experienced. I am sorry you had a difficult time in elementary school. No wonder you have an additional layer of concern and anxiety about making a good choice for your son. It is also important to look closely at the individual and address their needs as well as their gifts. When considering an option keep that firmly in mind as you evaluate different programs, do they see my whole child not just the gifted bits.

    Be wary of any setting that places undue expectations on your child. Whatever grade they are in, they need to be "normal" for that grade in the expectations of their performance. They shouldn't be expected to succeed in every way, every day but allowed to struggle and even fail. We have heard a few disturbing comments in our exploration of different educational settings that place a tremendous burden of expectation on accelerated individuals which don't meet our desire to have a child who is appropriately challenged and learning not cruising.

    It is so hard. I know. I now need to apply some of what I have written to us as we are considering all educational options this week. Sending you the best of luck. You know the people here get "it" which really is a big help.

    Top
    #197625 - 08/01/14 04:33 PM Re: New here, acceleration questions [Re: Tigerle]
    ndw Offline
    Member

    Registered: 11/29/13
    Posts: 314
    Tigerle, I just read some of your second post.

    We have done curriculum compacting. It was a good option especially as preparation for a full grade skip. In fact it happened prior to our DDs first grade skip by virtue of being in an accelerated yr 2 class. She skipped hallway through that year into year 3 because we changed schools and towns.

    This time her whole science class is being compacted, year 9 and 10 science in one year, and will do yr 11 chemistry next year. That means she would stay with her cohort in that subject. Our problem is that she is already at yr 11 level in math. A full grade skip would enable her to fit into a yr 11 timetable and take additional subjects.

    Our DD also has physical issues that make handwriting and sports challenging. She uses a computer to write a lot of the time as well as another adaptive technology like a Livescribe pen and her ipad to record classes. PE was awful last year as the teacher was so unsupportive. Her teacher this year is great and just gets her to participate to her level. Is all non competitive. DD loved martial arts like your DS but had to stop because of additional physical problems and it makes her sad.

    Our DD is anxious about the grade skip, not academically as she gets that is actually good, but because of her friends. She is not changing schools and she will see them at breaks but she wants them in her class. I think she particularly worried about who to work with if there are group activities. All this and she knows some of the older kids. At the level she is going to, there would be no guarantee of having friends in her class anyway due to subject choices and timetabling.

    If the school can manage it then compacting in place can work well, especially as a bridging step. We have found in our science and math kid that going wide has been less satisfying than when combined with going forward at the same time. New material building on old is what DD enjoys but she craves novel information.

    Top
    #197633 - 08/02/14 06:52 AM Re: New here, acceleration questions [Re: Tigerle]
    indigo Offline
    Member

    Registered: 04/27/13
    Posts: 4291
    Quote:
    As we live in Europe, the IAS won't come into play
    Please know that IAS is a set of publications which can be utilized anywhere. If local schools are not utilizing it, they may not be aware of it. Parents can help raise awareness, both in the USA and elsewhere.

    Quote:
    I am still really conflicted what to ask for
    This may be when the exploration, fact-gathering, and discussion of collected items following the IAS checklist may be most helpful. It helps replace feelings with facts, moving from subjective to more objective decision making. It also helps document aspects considered at this point in time.

    Quote:
    he is adamant he wants to attend the school his papa teaches at
    Is that the school he would skip into the 5th grade at? Student preference is one element taken into consideration in the IAS.

    Top
    #197649 - 08/02/14 09:02 AM Re: New here, acceleration questions [Re: indigo]
    Tigerle Offline
    Member

    Registered: 07/29/14
    Posts: 602
    Loc: Europe
    Originally Posted By: indigo
    [Please know that IAS is a set of publications which can be utilized anywhere. If local schools are not utilizing it, they may not be aware of it. Parents can help raise awareness, both in the USA and elsewhere.

    Quote:
    I am still really conflicted what to ask for
    This may be when the exploration, fact-gathering, and discussion of collected items following the IAS checklist may be most helpful. It helps replace feelings with facts, moving from subjective to more objective decision making. It also helps document aspects considered at this point in time.

    Quote:
    he is adamant he wants to attend the school his papa teaches at
    Is that the school he would skip into the 5th grade at? Student preference is one element taken into consideration in the IAS.

    Interesting idea - I checked the IRPA website and while A nation deceived is available in translation, the IAS is not. I might try to get ahold of a copy, try to gather what I can and sort of use it as a jumping off point for a meeting. I cannot imagine the school would shell out for a manual AND a translation, and while I am sure all his teachers read English, expecting them to understand and work with a professional publication (and I guess you'd have to have a working knowledge of the US school system) would almost certainly overwhelm them. And I want them happy, not freaked! smile
    DHs school is another public college right adjacent to his current elementary. No self contained gifted program, but some enrichment. It would be more of the same till 12th grade - high standards geared towards the bright/MG cohort, but lockstep teaching and peers if lucky. No support for grade skippers - the gifted program explicitly talks about offering support with writing skills and executive function, as they regularly serve grade skippers and children who never were able to develop good organization or study habits because of being able to Coast their way right through to 5th grade. Parents of HG+ kids I met at info night are happy. Frankly, I want him there, whether it's after 3rd or after 4th grade, it sounds like it might work well for him and I need him to keep an open mind at least.
    Basically wanting to go where his papa is is still separation anxiety - he's known the school since he was a toddler, negotiating all the time whether he really needed to go to preschool since he could just as well go in with DH. When he was little, he loved playing with the lab materials, and since he's been old enough to sit still, DH has stowed him away in the occasional AP class - it's saved us the occasional child care headache. I should have taken him for the info night at the gifted program, while they talked at the parents they whisked the kids away for STEM fun and they all trooped back in with shining eyes at the end....only, which gets us right back where we started at, he's only seven and can't stay up till 9.30 the way the 4th graders could, LOL. Maybe I can arrange for a visit in 5th grade or so, the school is across the state line and they have slightly different vacations.
    But whatever I arrange, I have to tread so carefully with DS because I know that at this point, both the idea of the non-papa school and the idea of a skip would majorly freak him out.


    Edited by Tigerle (08/05/14 04:44 AM)

    Top
    #197654 - 08/02/14 09:43 AM Re: New here, acceleration questions [Re: Tigerle]
    Tigerle Offline
    Member

    Registered: 07/29/14
    Posts: 602
    Loc: Europe
    Edited to say that there is a post in between here that got lost in moderation somehow...

    And this is why I like processing things I this way: I realize that I cannot, at this point, plan/ask for a skip, because it would freak DS out if he realized. So while I will check with the gifted school for what they recommend and how we can keep our options open till the very last minute, I will have to ask his teachers to plan for how to keep him happy and engaged for another two years, getting out the 4th grade material if need be - and if they are afraid they will run out of material to teach him, we'd have a solution for that, too.
    The tester, who has decades of experience, insisted we need to keep an eye on things, as disengagement happens fast and takes a long time to undo. So I'll have to talk about that with the teachers, too - how to tell if things are disintegrating in time to act.


    Edited by Tigerle (08/02/14 09:44 AM)

    Top
    #197689 - 08/03/14 12:39 PM Re: New here, acceleration questions [Re: Tigerle]
    Tigerle Offline
    Member

    Registered: 07/29/14
    Posts: 602
    Loc: Europe
    Ndw, t hank you so much for your supportive thoughts. You are right, ewe do have a lot to be thankful for, and I am proud of how well DS has managed in school so far - socially I mean, and in PE, his areas of challenge.
    I do get that whatever is going on in his mind (usually we know exactly what it is because he lets us all be part of it, one of those kids who never shuts up) is more interesting than socks! DonT I know it. My DH hates it when I go off in my head (I sometimes do it during conversations even, which must be disconcerting to say the least) but it is just the most interesting place I usually have access to. Hey, I learned it in school wink. I would probably be concerned about ADHD if we did not see complete focus and organization in projects he is engaged in. He can be like a preteen then, super helpful and committed. Though a lot of the time I am afraid he comes across as a very immature and badly behaved 7 year old, constantly goofing off, bothering his sister, never shutting up, touching everything, messing about. Then spouting some crazy advanced math, just because it came up in his a head...from what I hear, he is very well behaved in school though, one of the more focused kids in class. Maybe he just holds it together very well and then needs to let out all that compressed mental energy. He does best when he has a stimulating mental experience first (we can occasionally drive him to math and science enrichment classes for gifted kids, he loves those) and gets to pla y in sand and mud or other intense sensory stuff after. We try to spend a lot of time outdoors when on vacation, but it's not enough, we can tell he'll start spinning his wheels and will go into overdrive.
    There is no question he will need the gifted program to thrive, and I like how they talk about supporting kids who have not been able to develop study skills due to being able to Coast all through elementary, or who need writing support due to being younger. Even if we do not accelerate again, he'll start fifth grade at 9.

    Top
    #197691 - 08/03/14 12:54 PM Re: New here, acceleration questions [Re: Tigerle]
    Tigerle Offline
    Member

    Registered: 07/29/14
    Posts: 602
    Loc: Europe
    Mon, that is an interesting question because it has NOT been done, or not in a productive way. Of course I know what he likes about school and even know better what he complains about (the mind numbing words of the week, mined numbing arithmetic problems) but I have never asked him what his ideal school situation might be like, what he'd want to change to make school perfect. Though he has mentioned he'd like it to be more often like the gifted enrichment classes we can occasionally drive him to...hmmm. Thought. If he got out of some of the mind numbing homework, we might be able to do more of this.
    He does not do too badly at making ties. With girls that is, he very quickly establishes contract with those, both older and younger, but has a much harder time with boys. Well it'll come in useful as a skill some time in the future, I expect. It is the anxiety I'd be afraid of, kicking into full gear as he realizes how many things will be changing. As mentioned above, I think he could not handle preparing for a skip now, whether into 4th grade immediately or into fifth in a year. Put the idea on the back burner, ask for more differentiation and enrichment at his current school, quietly talk to folks at the gifted program about entry options and, if we have to, act fast next summer...


    Edited by Tigerle (08/03/14 12:55 PM)

    Top
    Page 1 of 2 1 2 >


    Moderator:  M-Moderator, Mark D. 
    Recent Posts
    Full time in person learning-accommodati
    on for ADD

    by aeh
    Yesterday at 12:28 PM
    Grading practices
    by aeh
    10/18/20 12:49 PM
    The Politics of Gifted Education
    by Eagle Mum
    10/18/20 05:42 AM
    How can teachers challenge a more academically adv
    by Kai
    10/17/20 07:16 PM
    Montessori vs. dedicated gifted school
    by ojojojoj
    10/14/20 09:28 AM
    Davidson Institute Twitter