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    #8837 - 02/13/08 08:45 PM Re: Disappointing news about testing... [Re: Grinity]
    Just ducky Offline
    Junior Member

    Registered: 02/06/08
    Posts: 21
    Loc: Indiana
    Okay, seriously, allergic to elementary teachers??? We are ALL wonderful beings and we ALL love our jobs and do them equally well. There was a mold made and it was perfect!!!

    All kidding aside, I won't go as far as saying that migraines and gifted go together, but it makes sense. The same as my "nurse abuser" needs some extra TLC. I know that she is often "sick" because someone needs to give her some special attention. (And yes, she is often making herself physically sick.) The same way, I have a very emotional, very "highly talented" (I'm trying to practice that phrase since it is our new term you know) that I can watch his wheels turn and almost see him get frantic in front of my eyes.

    Sometimes it may be because the challenge isn't there, but (don't be upset with me here) most of the time he stresses when I throw something out there that is a true challenge and stretches him. I truly believe that he is afraid of not being perfect and making a mistake.

    Hopefully if we get a program going in the primary grades we will be over that by 4th grade. However, somewhere those kids have to learn that they aren't perfect and it is okay to make a mistake. That is probably going to be in a classroom where they are being challenged.


    He is beginning to relax, but this year my other really top notch boys have pulled him in socially. I will forever be indebted to those young men because they have offered something that NO teacher could. Every child needs a friend and he just didn't fit. Somehow, they made him fit and he is one of the guys.

    I like the phrase "work with" the schools. I can tell you that the other approach may get what you want, but in all likelihood it will not be delivered in the way you want it. None of us like to have the kid that the parent has made life a living nightmare for someone before us. (Been there/ done that and it is not fun.) Yes, you need to get what is right for you child, but PLEASE try the semi-calm approach first. I DO not even want to have your child (perfect fit for my class or not), if I know that you are the parent ogre.

    One last thought, and this is gifted child or not, do find out what might be going on at school. There are so many factors having nothing to do with the educational aspect at all. Is someone bullying your child? I have fourth graders that are petrified of one of our sixth graders. He is Soooooooooo much bigger than they are and he bosses them around. Not really mean, just domineering. Is the teacher there? Having just been gone (for only two days), I had some major complaints from parents about kid complaints they never have gotten before about not wanting to come to school. The list is endless. Kids (and teachers) can be cruel. Please check.....you DO have a problem.

    Kriston, today I am not allergic to those elementary kids. They just make me sick.
    (Literally!!! The flu is going around, along with strep, and a bunch of other unnamed germs. My students' absences have been unreal!! In fact, we have truly been nurse (AB)users this past couple of weeks!)

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    #8840 - 02/14/08 02:51 AM Re: Disappointing news about testing... [Re: Just ducky]
    Grinity Offline
    Member

    Registered: 12/13/05
    Posts: 7207
    Loc: Connecticut
    Originally Posted By: Just ducky
    The same way, I have a very emotional, very "highly talented" (I'm trying to practice that phrase since it is our new term you know) that I can watch his wheels turn and almost see him get frantic in front of my eyes.

    Sometimes it may be because the challenge isn't there, but (don't be upset with me here) most of the time he stresses when I throw something out there that is a true challenge and stretches him. I truly believe that he is afraid of not being perfect and making a mistake.


    I'm not upset with you Ducky, I think that this is a good observation. My son too would 'show' lots of signs of stress when finally I started Afterschooling him and getting him some information that was at his 'readiness level.' So I had a ringside seat. Also, in early el. I'd get reports of wild 'age-innapropriate' behavior during the 1% of the time they would give him an assignment that he didn't feel he could do. ((Crying or Deer in Headlights or telling the teacher "No, my way is better" all highly innapropriate in a 2nd grader. Usually to a writing prompt, or being asked to edit a writing assignment.))

    But I don't think that this is a different stress than the headaches and tummyaches of "I don't want to go to school." I think it's all part of the same "Poor Fit" package. I call it the Goldilocks problem: When a child is so used to everything being easy and boring, challenging work really scares them. Everything becomes "too easy or too hard" and it takes a while to find the "just right" in level and pace.

    During the afterschooling, I told myself over and over: Yes, he has lots of feeling right now, but if we weather this storm now, together, he won't be stuck doing this alone away at college. I remembered that all through 3rd and already in 4th grade, his friend has been used to sitting down to 30, and then 45 minutes of homework afterschool, EVERY schoolday. ((I'm not a big fan of homework, but at least it can be a sign that the child is developing some experience with effort+academics)) My son didn't get to gradually 'ramp up' his 'bottom power' but was infrequently being asked to exceed it, and yes, looking very stressed. The big difference is that after the time with me gradually streching himself, he looked proud and pleased. This never occured with the daily 'I'm too sick'stress.

    Sylvia Rimm has a wonderful book that was my guide, "Why bright kids get poor grades" about underachievement and perfectionism and rescue. My only complaint is that it's aimed at an ND audience, and so she spends 8/9th of the book pointing to parent behavior and coaching change, only to sneak in at the end that , of course, all these signs and symptoms can also be seen amoung the highly gifted kids who are truly underchallenged in the regular classroom.

    I agree that having a peer group is key, but for whatever reason, some kids have a much better chance at finding their peers in classes with older kids. My son was able to find some other brigh bored boys to hang out with and really enjoy in 4th grade. By the end of the year he had partners in the 'no work ethic' club. At your school I can't imgaine it happening, but most other places, a kid who isn't highly adaptable, is going to need friends and academic challenge - neither is dispensible.
    _________________________
    Coaching available, at SchoolSuccessSolutions.com

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    #8847 - 02/14/08 04:26 AM Re: Disappointing news about testing... [Re: Grinity]
    incogneato Offline
    Member

    Registered: 10/25/07
    Posts: 2231
    Loc: up in my head.......
    Gee, I need to start getting up earlier. smile

    Just Ducky,

    I am so sorry. I was trying to make a funny and I didn't mean it to be at your expense. It refers back to much earlier posts when Kriston was telling us about a very bad experience with her son's teacher which resulted in her home schooling.

    You are obviously an excellent teacher and I wish you were at my child's school.

    I firmly believe we should work with the schools to to have our children's needs met, that's what I'm currently doing. I have the greatest respect for teachers, it's a hard job.

    On the other hand, I also believe exceptional and highly gifted children seem to be the last group of outside the norm kids to have their different learning needs met in school. I think we have far to go in this respect and I plan to make my mark, so to speak, in the process of improvement.

    Incog

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    #8861 - 02/14/08 08:56 AM Re: Disappointing news about testing... [Re: incogneato]
    pinkpanther Offline
    Member

    Registered: 10/19/07
    Posts: 175
    Okay, so here's the latest after talking with the psych friend. DD's VIQ was 140, her PIQ was 119, and her FSIQ was 134. There's definitely a discrepancy there which totally explains DD's low NNAT score and the reason she was denied entrance into GATE. The phych asked me what the school cutoff was, so I explained how it all worked (130+ on individual test or 17 out of 20 points on a matrix for schools that screen, like ours). He was very puzzled at the school's reasoning for using only a nonverbal screener because he said a verbal score is a much better indicator. He said we should consider asking the school to do the WISC or have it done privately.

    Here's the rub. My friend doesn't want to produce a writeup of her WASI because he's our friend and it would not be ethical. I completely understand this. He said that he's given 900+ WASI's, so he feels very confident that these scores are an accurate reflection of her abilities. He's definitely concerned for DD and on our side in all of this, but he also wants to do the right thing professionally.

    So now what we need is hard core evidence for the school. Whether that's in the form of writing samples or private testing results, I don't know. Then there's still the OLSAT in the spring. I just don't know the right way to approach this. My friend can definitely recommend someone to test DD privately if we choose that route.

    DH and I are having lunch today...there will be lots to talk about.

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    #8864 - 02/14/08 09:17 AM Re: Disappointing news about testing... [Re: incogneato]
    Kriston Offline
    Member

    Registered: 09/19/07
    Posts: 6145
    Loc: Midwest
    Yes, 'Neato's joke was completely at the expense of one particular teacher, JD! She was the reason we're practicing "emergency homeschooling" this year.

    She made my gentle attempts at advocacy a referendum on her teaching ability. How does a parent deal with it when the TEACHER makes it personal? So unprofessional! I apologized to try to get the train back on the tracks, and she ignored my apology. Meanwhile, my son's acting out got worse as he grew more unhappy. We saw no good solution to this impossible situation, and we pulled him out for HSing. It was highly unpleasant, so we laugh to keep us from crying/punching something/having a nervous breakdown.

    So no, not you! So not you! Oh, SOOOOO not you! If you had been my son's teacher, we'd be baking you things every week to say thank you for the amazing you're doing! Not yanking our kids from the classroom.

    P.S. I also agree that the challenge=deer in headlights is an accurate assessment of a common situation. You're not likely to get argument from anyone here about that! It's one of the reasons we all want our kids to be challenged early in pre-K/elementary school. How else will they learn to deal with challenge in a healthy manner?
    _________________________
    Kriston

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    #8877 - 02/14/08 11:43 AM Re: Disappointing news about testing... [Re: Dottie]
    Grinity Offline
    Member

    Registered: 12/13/05
    Posts: 7207
    Loc: Connecticut
    Hey! Dottie's book can't be any worse than my new book club's current fiction selection. I have to highlight just to see where I've read....

    But on I press!


    PinkP,
    Congrates on the scores, I guess the question is, can he get you an appointment with a collegue this week and can he choose one who can get the write up done within 2 weeks? Sorry about the money, but in the face of her physical health, - just say "GO!"

    A verbal score of 140 is solidly above the Moderately Gifted Range. I say that because WISC or SBV 145 on VIQ is Davidson YSP's version of PG, and 140 is only 1/3rd of a Standard Deviation away from that, no matter what the full scale score says.

    I also think that part of what made school hard for my son around 2nd grade was his 'spiky' profile, 99.9 on VIQ, but much lower on PIQ. I think it meant that he could notice that many children who couldn't 'think' as well as he could, could 'do school' better than he could. Very confusing - From his 2nd grade teacher's point of view it was: "He must just not be trying, because he stumbles on the worksheets but rescues me time and time again during class discussions."

    So I say, do not delay - kiss your hopes of normality and your money good-by. Not sure that the school will accept the score, but I predict that you will feel much more grounded. Think of it as training expense in your unpaid job as parent, if that helps.

    Smiles,
    Grinity
    _________________________
    Coaching available, at SchoolSuccessSolutions.com

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    #8911 - 02/15/08 04:40 AM Re: Disappointing news about testing... [Re: incogneato]
    Just ducky Offline
    Junior Member

    Registered: 02/06/08
    Posts: 21
    Loc: Indiana
    Neato,
    As I get ready to head out the door, let me assure you that there is no need for apology. I know exactly what you are talking about. We all either had or still know teachers exactly like the one described. For me it was fourth grade (ironic that is now what I teach) and a little of third. Fortunately, in fifth I had a wonderful teacher that made my light bulb come on a little brighter. She made me want to learn and probably had the most influence in my wanting to become a teacher.

    You know this is almost ironic, too, because a dear friend called last night asking for advice for his fourth grade teacher daughter. Some parents apparently had complained to the principal and the teacher was ripped apart because of it. She was told how awful she was, with no advice. I think, partly because of reading all that you all have written, my advice was very quick to come.

    The one thing that I commend all of you on is that it sounds like you always start with the teacher. THAT is the number one thing to me. It never gets passed on exactly by the principal, so I truly admire the parent coming to me first. I had an issue a few years ago that the order came from the superintendent to move the child. (It involved some family issues more than teaching issues, but it floored me!! My principal had asked me a question about the two girls earlier, but I knew little else and then I get a message from the super's office to move one of the girls. My choosing, but one was to be moved. Had the parent at least come to me that might have been a little easier. Here I am moving a student from my room and really have no clue about the dynamics. Fortunately, I had enough insight from listening to the girls between themselves that I made the right decision. I know that, because the other girl's dad later told me that had I made the other choice in the move, he would have been at the super's office.)

    My point being, you all seem to make the teacher the FIRST contact. I appreciate that for my colleagues. I am not saying that you should not move to the other levels. In these situations the administration MUST know what is going on.

    I also truly believe that the higher ability are the last group that WE consider. They are the ones that give us the least concern when it comes to the measurable consequences (STATE TESTS) of our jobs usually. That doesn't mean that it is right. With our new mandate here in Indiana, I know that my colleagues are getting worried. The announcement I made this week does have them thinking. We are currently on the chopping block for below state average passing scores on ISTEP+ so everyone is focused there. Then I announce the complexities of the new LAW for high ability. The first question, are you willing to go back there to teach because we aren't sure we can do ALL of this. (I am not sure we can either and it worries me.) However, THEY are not going to hire someone, UNFORTUNATELY, to help us at the top. (Forget how much help, albeit not working, that we have for remediation and special education.)

    Must go see my hacking, snotty nosed class!!! Wonder how many will be absent today?



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    #12653 - 03/28/08 06:17 PM Re: Disappointing news about testing... [Re: pinkpanther]
    pinkpanther Offline
    Member

    Registered: 10/19/07
    Posts: 175
    Originally Posted By: pinkpanther
    Okay, so here's the latest after talking with the psych friend. DD's VIQ was 140, her PIQ was 119, and her FSIQ was 134. There's definitely a discrepancy there which totally explains DD's low NNAT score and the reason she was denied entrance into GATE. The phych asked me what the school cutoff was, so I explained how it all worked (130+ on individual test or 17 out of 20 points on a matrix for schools that screen, like ours). He was very puzzled at the school's reasoning for using only a nonverbal screener because he said a verbal score is a much better indicator. He said we should consider asking the school to do the WISC or have it done privately.

    Here's the rub. My friend doesn't want to produce a writeup of her WASI because he's our friend and it would not be ethical. I completely understand this. He said that he's given 900+ WASI's, so he feels very confident that these scores are an accurate reflection of her abilities. He's definitely concerned for DD and on our side in all of this, but he also wants to do the right thing professionally.

    So now what we need is hard core evidence for the school. Whether that's in the form of writing samples or private testing results, I don't know. Then there's still the OLSAT in the spring. I just don't know the right way to approach this. My friend can definitely recommend someone to test DD privately if we choose that route.

    DH and I are having lunch today...there will be lots to talk about.


    DH and I decided to write a letter to the school/school system and see what we could get from them in terms of more testing. After a month of waiting for a response (I did nag a few times via email), they are offering to test DD9 with another screener, probably the RIST. I'm not terribly crazy about this choice because it's a very short assessment, but it does have a verbal component. Since the system screens, the gifted ed specialist gives the screeners, so that's why it has to be a B level assessment (i.e. nothing thorough mad). If DD scores high enough to place, we're done. If she doesn't, but scores high enough for further testing, they will do that but the psychometrist is booked up into June.

    DD is also taking the OLSAT/SAT next week. So, our other option is to opt out of the RIST and wait for OLSAT scores. The school gets the scores in late July or early August, and then they will look at her scores to see if she qualifies.

    I only forgot to ask one thing: If DD tanks the RIST or falls short in individual testing this summer, will they still look at her OLSAT scores? I can't imagine why the answer would be no, but I'll have to ask. If the answer is yes, then I guess we have nothing to lose by requesting the testing now.

    When I inquired about private testing, I was told that they could only use the results as a referral and not for placement. mad

    Is this progress? All of this is making me nervous/sick!



    Edited by pinkpanther (03/28/08 06:19 PM)
    Edit Reason: added part about private testing

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    #12661 - 03/28/08 08:12 PM Re: Disappointing news about testing... [Re: pinkpanther]
    Ann Offline
    Member

    Registered: 02/15/08
    Posts: 179
    Loc: painting the dining room
    Originally Posted By: pinkpanther
    I only forgot to ask one thing: If DD tanks the RIST or falls short in individual testing this summer, will they still look at her OLSAT scores? I can't imagine why the answer would be no, but I'll have to ask. If the answer is yes, then I guess we have nothing to lose by requesting the testing now.

    When I inquired about private testing, I was told that they could only use the results as a referral and not for placement. mad

    Is this progress? All of this is making me nervous/sick!


    PinkPanther Ė

    Iím sorry you feel nervous and sick Ė yuck! Hopefully their answer will be *yes* and you can request testing now. I really donít understand their position on private testing. Iím glad that you have the support of your DH.

    {{{hugs}}}
    Ann

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    #12683 - 03/29/08 08:54 AM Re: Disappointing news about testing... [Re: Ann]
    EandCmom Offline
    Member

    Registered: 11/09/07
    Posts: 516
    I wonder why they won't accept private testing? That seems strange. Maybe they just want results they are in control of?

    I understand your frustration and I am so sorry they are putting you through this. Hopefully you'll get some good news before too long!!

    EandC

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