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    #9686 02/26/08 09:57 AM
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    CFK Offline OP
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    I'm curious as to whether anyone thinks that a child can be EG/PG and function in a normal classroom without any acceleration. To me, that high LOG is synonymous with accleration, be it whole grade or subject. I understand how enrichment, going horizontal, is supposed to work, but it seems to me that one of the main characteristics of exceptional intellect is the rapid pace at which new skills can be learned and new information processed. Does anyone have a EG/PG child that is able to learn horizontally and stay within the limits of the grade curriculum?

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    Can they function? My guess is sometimes yes, mostly no.

    However, I don't think most PG/EG children would be able to achieve the level of learning they are capable of, even with a dedicated teacher.

    I believe my PG child has one of the best school situations available. She is in a school for the highly gifted. They have highly educated and trained teachers. They have specialists in many of their subjects, etc. etc. etc.

    However, even there some children have a need to move faster. My dd is moved up 2 grades in math. There is a great difference between HG, EG and PG. Combine that with the fact that not only are there differenct LOG but different gifts as well and it makes for a complex picture.

    We have children who are PG in music, art, math, reading/writing but are only HG in other areas. Even in her classroom (full of highly gifted children) their needs are vastly different from each other.

    I can't see how a regular classroom can be a place where a PG child can get all he/she needs to thrive. At the very best I think they are getting enough (when they are lucky) not to starve.


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    There are many great resources that can be used to expand the depth and breadth of elementary school mathematics. I'm not totally convinced that depth and breadth removes the pace issue, but I think these types of alternative should be explored before rushing into higher levels of math. I believe using an online program like ALEKS along with the following problem solving enrichment programs gives a nice balance of pace, depth and breadth.

    Art of Problem Solving - has a variety of resources that can be used to enrich elementary school math for HG/PG students.
    http://www.artofproblemsolving.com/

    Ed Zaccaro - I went to an Ed Zaccaro session at the TAGT conference this year. He has terrific resources for expanding problem solving for highly gifted elementary math students.
    http://www.challengemath.com/

    Math competitions - can provide some stimulating problem solving exercises and opportunity to work with like-minded students
    Mathematical Olympiads for Elementary and Middle Schools (MOEMS)
    Math Kangaroo Competition - grades 2 through 12
    Online Math League, part of AcademicLeagues.com

    I am in the process of working with the school to develop this type of a plan for my dd. I am making progress but we are not there yet.

    Summer

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    I think especially in math, you probably have to go up eventually. We've tried to go "deeper, not faster," but it's not easy to do with even one child. Trying to differentiate for a child this GT is very, very hard in a regular classroom. Even grouping is unlikely to help much, since fininding even one of these kids in a class is rare; finding two is statistically improbable.

    I think at least differentiation would be necessary, and frankly, I don't think most teachers are that dedicated to differentiation that they'd be willing to do what it would take. There are some fabulous teachers who are good at differentiation and use it consistently, but they are not to be found in every class...or even more than a few classrooms...

    And I guess I'd argue that good differentiation is going to result in a form of acceleration. Even if the child is physically in a same-age classroom, they're being taught as if they were in a higher-level classroom. If it's working, they're going to advance each year, getting further and further ahead of their agemates.

    (Of course, this sort of consistency in differentiation over so many years is rare in the extreme! Usually a kid is lucky to get one good year of differentiation. Two in a row is practically a miracle, from what I've seen!)

    So does that mean I vote a wimpy "no"? I think it might.


    Kriston
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    Dottie,

    The problem I am facing with dd (a problem I would guess your ds is also facing) is that just because the kids in their new class are older, doesn't mean they are better at math. The new class doesn't move any faster than the previous one did.

    In a year or so, my dd will be able to join the math team. I am hoping this is where she will finally meet some true peers in her biggest gift (math). Until then, I will have to continue to do enrichment out of school.

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    Originally Posted by Kriston
    I think at least differentiation would be necessary, and frankly, I don't think most teachers are that dedicated to differentiation that they'd be willing to do what it would take.

    I agree with you on this Kriston. That is why I try to provide the differentiation for the teacher as much as possible. Differentiation made easy.

    Summer

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    Oh, and while I think a verbal kid can have an easier time than a mathy kid, since even easy books still contain stories and let a child imagine, I don't think keeping a reader at a lower level of books than s/he can read is going to work for long either. If the child is denied access to the "big kid books" in the library (as mine was), it does "starve" the child, as bianca so aptly put it.

    Again, I think there's got to at least be some differentation, and that's the worst option available as far as I'm concerned.


    Kriston
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    Originally Posted by Texas Summer
    I'm not totally convinced that depth and breadth removes the pace issue, but I think these types of alternative should be explored before rushing into higher levels of math.


    Hmmm. Why do you think this? I'd like to hear more about your thought process here.

    I ask because I'm wrestling with this as I HS my child, and though I started there--ala "deeper, not faster"--I've sort of come to the conclusion that it's not really possible to go much deeper until the child gets past arithmetic.

    You can do more thought-provoking, logic-based problems (as in Math Kangaroo and some of the more challenging Singapore Math workbooks) and those are fine. But until you get past arithmetic, that's all just a gussied-up version of 2+2, from what I've seen. My DS still got bored with it and wanted to move faster.

    <shrug>

    Just wondering if you know something I don't know. (It wouldn't be a surprise if you did!) wink


    Kriston
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    Maybe, though Math Kangaroo starts in 1st grade...


    Kriston
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    I was writing this when the phone rang, and now I'm late to the party.

    This is exactly what we're struggling with - and I was up half the night worrying about it. DS7 is in a regular public school second grade. He says math takes him 10 seconds (and based on the homework, I don't think it's an exageration -- this week he was supposed to color and name the shapes, triangle, diamond, etc. I think he did that in kindergarten in his old school, and I don't think they've even looked at a number greater than 100). They allow differentiation, but only after he has done the required work. And it's not like DS is whipping through the required work either - he doesn't like it and delays. The teachers told us he wants them near when he's working - but he doesn't need their help. He just wants to tell them whatever new science theory he's thinking about while he whips off his spelling or math assignment.

    And I have no idea what our options are. I just came back from a visit to a small private school which is actually listed on Hoagies. It's nice that they have a problem of the week that all the children work on (grades k-8) and have all sorts of projects that would interest DS. But when I asked if he placed out of math, for example, could he go right to the extra problems and enrichment activities, the answer was no, he still has to do the work.

    So, in answer to your question, CFK, I don't know. I think DS can coast and sit there and do nothing for a year and accept the frustration and boredom, and basically check out. But what happens next year, and the next? And personally, I lose sleep over the fact that I make him go school all over again when he gets home (with EPGY and CTY, although not that often, as it turns out) because I am convinced he is learning nothing new academically in math or science this year. (To be fair, his writing and willingness to go to school have improved tremendously, and those were our goals for the year, but do I just accept that and let the rest slide?) This year has addressed the LD E of the 2E exclusively, and I don't think it's enough.

    So I am very interested in hearing the responses, as I have no idea what to do. And next year, if we continue with the distance learning math, he'll be at least a grade ahead of his third grade class. I don't want to hothouse him (I used to love to do just the enrichment stuff he loved - like museums, the library and books), but feel I have no choice. If he's not continually challenged, he'll feel he can't do it when faced with a challenge. (We've had a lot of I can't do this, it's too hard, ... Oh, that was easy!)

    So I'm intrigued by your response, Texas Summer. That may be the way to go. Is Aleks more in depth at grade level than EPGY or CTY? Would that be enrichment as opposed to CTY? It would certainly make things easier for DS if he did not need the accommodations they won't provide...

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