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    Topic Options
    #99750 - 04/19/11 07:30 AM Re: No skip... OK. What to ask for? [Re: Iucounu]
    Justin
    Unregistered


    FYI Lucounu- if you do MAP, get a promise/commintment in advance that it will be untimed for your ds. We were told nothing in advance so it wasn't like we were promised anything, but at our school they did tell dc to guess and get out once the last of the older kids left. It was essentially a timed test, 45 mins, due to scheduling. It clearly didn't hurt dc much as they had pretty good scores, but still. If you think the results are going to be used to translate your ds' ability to the teachers/staff, then I'd be sure to get a solid commitment that he'll actually be allowed to do what he can on it without being kicked out. He'll do great.

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    #99760 - 04/19/11 11:02 AM Re: No skip... OK. What to ask for? [Re: Iucounu]
    kcab Offline
    Member

    Registered: 10/02/07
    Posts: 1603
    Loc: Sparta, apparently
    Originally Posted By: Iucounu
    After further thought, I think the desire for MAP testing may go deeper than mere comfort. In the school's position, I wouldn't feel good about accelerating someone, grade- or subject-, without some assessment of readiness based on the curriculum, which the Woodcock Johnson couldn't possibly provide. I'm hoping for the best.
    I think this is very likely. I wanted to say too, that our experience was like pushing against a wall and getting nowhere for awhile. But, once the school sat up and took notice, they tore down the wall and started pulling us along themselves. Here's hoping that your school has reached a similar threshold.
    _________________________
    kcab

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    #99794 - 04/19/11 05:03 PM Re: No skip... OK. What to ask for? [Re: Grinity]
    Iucounu Offline
    Member

    Registered: 06/02/10
    Posts: 1457
    Originally Posted By: Grinity
    I do disagree that the MAP testing is a bald attempt to undo the testing data. I think it's more likely to translate unfamiliar language (IQ-speak) into familiar 'we can work with that' language.

    For example, if they are going to skip him, wouldn't it be nice to skip him into a classroom that had many kids similar to your son in MAP test scores? Maybe they would look at the MAP testing and decide that a single skip wasn't enough and to suggest a skip of two or three grades - whatever it takes to get some readiness level peers near by.

    Well, that does seem far fetched, but, it's possible!

    Love and More Love,
    Grinity


    Thank you! Anything's possible. Today went very well. We met with the school psychologist about the MAP, and the kindergarten teacher as a pre-meeting for Friday's TAT meeting. I really continue to like both of them, and today almost wanted to hug them. The school psychologist was very kind, and volunteered up-front that the MAP was simply to make it easier to make proper recommendations for acceleration of some type, which was likely to be her recommendation, as our son was obviously more highly gifted than they'd realized before. She also made it sound like even if our son bombed the MAP for some reason, it wouldn't be a deal-killer at all.

    The kindergarten teacher was incredibly nice. She started out unable to speak for a moment, with tears in her eyes, and said that after reading our tester's report she finally understood our son. She seemed quite upset at the possibility that she had contributed to any unhappiness for him this year. I told her I thought that given all of the difficulties of teaching our son, and the information she had to work with, I couldn't fault anything she'd said or done; that in retrospect I thought this first year in the school system had gone pretty well, keeping in mind that the kindergarten year is not all about academics anyway; and that I am very thankful for all the extra time she'd spent on him.

    I feel a lot better.

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    #99795 - 04/19/11 05:05 PM Re: No skip... OK. What to ask for? [Re: ]
    Iucounu Offline
    Member

    Registered: 06/02/10
    Posts: 1457
    Originally Posted By: Justin
    FYI Lucounu- if you do MAP, get a promise/commintment in advance that it will be untimed for your ds. We were told nothing in advance so it wasn't like we were promised anything, but at our school they did tell dc to guess and get out once the last of the older kids left. It was essentially a timed test, 45 mins, due to scheduling. It clearly didn't hurt dc much as they had pretty good scores, but still. If you think the results are going to be used to translate your ds' ability to the teachers/staff, then I'd be sure to get a solid commitment that he'll actually be allowed to do what he can on it without being kicked out. He'll do great.


    Thanks very much for this. I was able to read it on my phone before the meeting with the school psychologist today, and got a promise that our son would be apart from the herd with special instructions not to rush him at all, and that he's to have all the time in the world. I have also prepared him to resist if someone tries to cut his time short.

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    #99796 - 04/19/11 05:06 PM Re: No skip... OK. What to ask for? [Re: kcab]
    Iucounu Offline
    Member

    Registered: 06/02/10
    Posts: 1457
    Originally Posted By: kcab
    Here's hoping that your school has reached a similar threshold.


    I have a giddy feeling that this might be happening right now. Thank you very much.

    Originally Posted By: LittleCherub
    I think maybe schools tend to trust their own testings more than parents' own ones.


    Thank you! I think there's definitely that aspect to it, along with the need to place him in the school's curriculum. My wife thinks that the special ed. director is put out that the school did not identify him the first time, which might be part of it I guess. I can't fault the school for it.

    ETA: Thanks, La Texican, flower, Grinity. Unfortunately it does not look like BIQ is in the cards this year for money reasons. The testing was reasonably priced but still a burden to us, especially figuring in hotel and travel expenses (we are on a reduced income lately). Plus, the puppy I promised will cost us extra in the short term, even if the wife's plan, to convince him to convert to two kittens, works. We plan to attend next year for sure. frown


    Edited by Iucounu (04/21/11 07:56 AM)
    Edit Reason: Feeling bad about bumping my thread so many times recently.

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    #99799 - 04/19/11 05:48 PM Re: No skip... OK. What to ask for? [Re: Iucounu]
    La Texican Offline
    Member

    Registered: 07/10/10
    Posts: 1777
    Loc: South Texas
    Originally Posted By: Iucounu


    Thank you! I think there's definitely that aspect to it, along with the need to place him in the school's curriculum. My wife thinks that the special ed. director is put out that the school did not identify him the first time, which might be part of it I guess.


    Good. I really hope so. May reason prevail! Here here!
    _________________________
    Youth lives by personality, age lives by calculation. -- Aristotle on a calendar

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    #99837 - 04/20/11 09:27 AM Re: No skip... OK. What to ask for? [Re: Iucounu]
    flower Offline
    Member

    Registered: 05/11/10
    Posts: 281
    Just wanted to say congratulations on the scores!

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    #99860 - 04/20/11 12:31 PM Re: No skip... OK. What to ask for? [Re: Iucounu]
    Grinity Offline
    Member

    Registered: 12/13/05
    Posts: 7207
    Loc: Connecticut
    Originally Posted By: Iucounu
    The kindergarten teacher was incredibly nice. She started out unable to speak for a moment, with tears in her eyes, and said that after reading our tester's report she finally understood our son. She seemed quite upset at the possibility that she had contributed to any unhappiness for him this year. ...I feel a lot better.

    Wow - I had tears in my eyes just reading this post. Those are the moments to savor in life, aren't they?
    Hopefully the school psychologist was watching and storing the impressions as well so that your son can benefit in the future at this school.
    It is true that once the school 'takes ownership' of the information, you can expect things to start really happening.

    I feel better too!
    See you and the family at BIQ week after next, yes?
    Grinity
    _________________________
    Coaching available, at SchoolSuccessSolutions.com

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    #100099 - 04/22/11 04:41 PM Skip in the offing [Re: Iucounu]
    Iucounu Offline
    Member

    Registered: 06/02/10
    Posts: 1457
    (Thanks very much, La Texican, flower, Grinity. We are barely scraping by right now and can't afford to go to BIQ, but definitely are planning on it next year. The puppy option has been converted to two kittens. Hopefully we can find free ones.)

    Today's TAT meeting went pretty well. This time, there were nine or ten people in the room besides the wife and me, including (off the top of my head) the principal, vice principal, school psychologist, reading specialist, special ed. director, both school guidance counselors (the second one was new to the proceedings, but used to do GT coordination in the next town over), first-grade teacher, and K teacher.

    The MAP results came back pretty decently, though based on the time taken he seems to have sped through both days of testing. I guess he satisfactorily finished the end of the second grade reading/writing curriculum and near the end of their third-grade math curriculum, according to their tests. Not a barn-burner, but good enough to nullify arguments that he's not ready for any acceleration, I suppose.

    The plan they had come up with was:

    1. For the next three weeks, do a trial period of afternoon first grade after his morning kindergarten class ends. This period will just be to make sure that he can adapt socially and emotionally to the skip, and let him start making new friends. The school will start by having him with a cluster group of what sounded like what they suspect may possibly be MG first graders (which is why they picked that particular classroom, to make that possible). This same cluster of first graders will eat lunches with him outside the cafeteria for the first week, then sit with him in the cafeteria after the first week. This same group will also do first-grade work with him, I guess.

    2. Inside the first-grade classroom, they will work on lining up enrichment activities for him.

    3. There will be a follow-up meeting at the end of the trial period to discuss how it went and make further recommendations.

    4. If everything goes well, the principal will (I guess, since it's required by local school district rules) get permission from the superintendent for a skip to second grade at the end of this year.

    5. There will be another meeting at the end of the school year to address any further issues or concerns, and finalize plans.

    6. Next year, they will work to add in-class enrichment for him so he's not bored by the reading, math, science etc. available normally. His team of other gifties/high achievers will do projects with him, etc. to delve deeper into subjects; he may do book reports and the like; etc. They also mentioned more problem-solving for math.

    We have some obvious questions (e.g. about whether he will be allowed to learn new math topics past the second-grade curriculum, how his need for a faster pace will be addressed, etc.). It was just so nice to hear the school acknowledge finally that he has special needs, especially keeping in mind that this is just the first step, that we didn't want to argue against their ideas, and actually went in with the idea of just being receptive if they offered a beginning along these lines (Grin, sorry, I know it's not so Machiavellian). They are doing their best, this is just the first rough draft, and they seem very open to change and discussion. We are also sending in our DYS application in the morning, and hopefully will be accepted before the next meeting after the trial period, thus might have extra expertise available to help.

    One thing the principal said was startling. He said that he had the feeling that, similarly to their policy in the district against double retention, there would be no further possible skip until our son leaves the school (which goes up to 5th). He also said he had concerns about the school's ability to provide advanced enough materials in the last year or so (I didn't mention that that might be a good time to leave for the middle school, which seems like it might get around the no-double-skip rule). I'm unconcerned about such things right now; I just want to improve his school experience next year as much as possible, we can push for further changes as necessary, and we have established a beachhead.

    I think that a lot of the school teachers and administrators here are coming from an egalitarian mode of thought about education, which I can appreciate for its basic good-heartedness while not agreeing totally on every point. I do cringe at the idea of other kids' lives being rearranged to help my kid, although I understand the reason for it and am highly grateful that the school cares enough to make such recommendations. I am hoping that out of all of this comes a greater awareness of the differences of gifted kids in my school, and I also hope that this may be the start of gifted services in my town. All of the people at the meeting, especially the person with GT experience who seems really on the ball and very passionate, seem to be focused on doing the right thing.

    We're feeling really grateful to the school and everyone here (thank you!). We don't expect everything to go perfectly right away, but we finally feel like there's real hope.
    _________________________
    Striving to increase my rate of flow, and fight forum gloopiness. sick

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    #100167 - 04/23/11 04:00 PM Re: Skip in the offing [Re: Iucounu]
    st pauli girl Offline
    Member

    Registered: 01/29/08
    Posts: 1917
    That's great news! Yep, I think a skip brings in all kinds of staff to your meetings. smile

    That is wonderful that they are planning to do something right away. I think the trial is a pretty good idea. It will give an idea if your DS will fit in with next year's group. One thing to remember, though, that even if your child gets paired with a kid who has similar MAP scores and even similar LOG, that's no guarantee that they'll get along. It's possible, of course! Hopefully, though, that will be an improvement to be in a group of kids working at a similar level. When my DS skipped into second, he was grouped for math with another kid with similar MAP scores, and it worked well for the academic piece, even though they were unlikely to ever be friends.

    For now, since they're offering something that sounds pretty good and they're starting to see that your DS has special needs, I'd try to overlook some of the stuff about what you'll do in the future. Principals tend to want to do long-term planning, and with some of the HG+ kids, it really makes no sense to do anything than plan for what works in the short-term.

    As for math, we had difficulties getting appropriate math for our kiddo after the skip. They seemed to think that skipping to 2nd would be enough. Some ideas: pretests, and if your kiddo tests out, then he can either join the 3rd grade class or do Aleks or EPGY online in the classroom.

    Very good news that there's someone with GT experience. While you're waiting on your DYS application, you can let the school staff know that there is a free site for educators, with e-lists and lots of other information about teaching GT kids: http://www.davidsongifted.org/edguild/

    I think all in all this is great news. Congratulations on your advocacy!

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