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    Joined: Dec 2005
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    Originally Posted by sydness
    How do you fix an under achiever? Push 'em? Make big red x's on problems?
    You figure out what her 'readiness to learn' level is and give her work in that zone. Expect excuses, tantrums, whatever - your job is to rekindle that desire for learning - it will be messy. Pretty much be prepared to smile and ignore all the rotten verbiage that gets dredged up when a child starts to become excited again. In your location you can bring her to the Eli Whitney Center for afterschool programs on her level that are fun. You can order used middle school or high school level textbook in her favorite topic area for cheap and make hunting for inacuracies part of the fun. You can do online classes like G3 or A3. It takes time and work, and cotton for the ears - but it can be done!

    What you can't do is 'parent' her into working hard on academic material that is so far below her 'readiness to learn level' that it actually shames her.
    http://www.hoagiesgifted.org/analogies.htm
    look at the Elephant analogy.

    Love and More Love,
    Grinity


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    Originally Posted by Grinity
    I call this the 'Goldilocks Problem' - when a child is seriously underplaced for a long long time, then everything is 'too easy' or 'too hard' - finding the just right level to learn is very difficult indeed. It takes slow careful 'supported pushes' to get a child out of this

    I love that--although I'm sure DS wouldn't appreciate being called Goldilocks wink

    Originally Posted by Sydness
    I actually DO think my little one has a LD of some sort and talked to the Spec Ed teacher about it and was told "A child reading at DD5's level, doesn't have a LD)! So, I never thought to go there with DD9!

    That's just plain ridiculous. Of course a child can read early and still have a learning disability. The sticking point in terms of services is that criteria varies from state to state. In my area, for instance, a child could be found to have a disability but not in need of special education because they are able to access the regular education curriculum.

    Originally Posted by Sydness
    She thinks everything is easy, and tells me it is too easy, yet gets answers wrong!

    If she is underachieving, I fear it may be too late for her to recover.

    If she really needs the extra practice, how can I knock her down a notch without hurting her self-esteem so she will take her time and open her mind and allow others to teach her.

    Does your DD get more accurate/careful as the difficulty of a task increases? When my DD is doing work that she doesn't have to use any concentration to complete, she underperforms and makes tons of careless mistakes. She is significantly more successful when the work is difficult for her. HOWEVER, she has to be part of a group in which others are also doing this type of work (even if the group is via an internet based class)in order to buy into it. She was always very uncomfortable with doing work that was different than what everyone else was doing. Is there anyone else in her class/grade (since the school nixed accelerating her to the next grade) that could be involved in an appropriate instructional group? Was the nix on acceleration a philisophical, we-don't-do-that-here decision, or was it due to the errors in her work?

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    sydness Offline OP
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    Taminy! YES! I think it is the weirdest thing! DD9 was given challenge homework in Math...She told me about it and she acted like she won a prize claiming that "They called it harder work, Mommy, but really it's easier!" I looked at it...It was much harder. She did it all correctly and quickly.

    Another weird thing she does - In her summer workbook (Singapore Math 4B)

    There was a question: circle the higher fraction...
    Number 1. a. 1/4, 3/5 b. 2/6, 7/8

    Number 2. a 3/6, 6/9 b. 5/20, 6/10

    I don't remember the actual fractions, but you get the idea.
    So, she was trying to combine each set of fractions to see which set was higher, a. or b.

    Do other children do this? She makes very simple problems into very hard problems...and gets them wrong.! I was thinking it's because she attended Montessori through second and never learned how to follow directions in a workbook. But she does it with other things too!

    At dinner, a comic magician who had told us some funny jokes, asked her what color an orange was. She couldn't answer. It was so ackward. My smart, 9-year-old daughter could NOT tell the man what color and orange was. So, DD5 answered. She was a little weirded out that her big sis "didn't know!"

    I also overheard my daughter talking to her friend. Her friend had seen Harry Potter 8, something which my DD9 is going to do soon. The friend was telling DD9 what happens in the end (spoiler) and my daughter is listening and nodding her head. My daughter is a Harry Potter Fanatic! She knows EVERYTHING about Harry Potter. She read ALL the books and say the first 6 movies. She is writing Harry Potter Book 8 for goodness sake!

    But she let the girl tell her all the details in the last movie without ever saying that she already knew them. Is that polite? Should I be proud that she is letting the girl next door feel proud of herself for knowing "more" about a subject and/or bragging about it?

    Because I am proud of her for considering other people's feelings.

    OR should I be concerned that she is hiding...and lonely. As I said before, the other girls adore her...but she adores nobody (except her 13 year old cousin, who, well, has her own life).

    Grinity said this...(how do you do that quote thing?)
    What you can't do is 'parent' her into working hard on academic material that is so far below her 'readiness to learn level' that it actually shames her.

    This may be the advice that saves us! My husband seems to think we can just expect more out of her and she will make less mistakes. Hmmm..It seems like an easy solution, but I am the one with her all day. I am the one noticing the patterns in her work and I am convinced at this point that no amount of "pushing" or rewards with keep her from making careless mistakes.

    It seems like she gets and 85% on her tests I give her at home no matter how hard. When I show her that she got one wrong...she quickly corrects it.

    If I take a chunk out of this rectangle, what is the perimeter of what's left...She did all the math to determine how long each side was, but when she added them up (in her head) she forgot a side.

    It blew me away! When she saw it was wrong, she said..."OH! I forgot to add the 12." She knew right away...And then smiled...as if to say "See, I didn't REALLY get it wrong!"

    UGGGGGHHH....I'll look into that testing...:)...

    I'm so torn, because I think I am still hoping that I can ignore this and make her be a "normal" child.

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    sydness Offline OP
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    ps. The decision to not skip 4th grade math was because skipping anything isn't allowed...ever. They didn't care what her tests looked like...or her work...When I asked if her CMT scores would matter when they came in, the VP said "I'm sure she got the whole thing right. But our teachers are qualified to alter the curriculum in the classroom she is supposed to be in."

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    Originally Posted by sydness
    ...(how do you do that quote thing?)

    You can use the buttons, or use the quote button and then make note of how it appears in the box (vs. when it is submitted) on either side of what you've quoted.

    Originally Posted by Sydness
    Taminy! YES! I think it is the weirdest thing! DD9 was given challenge homework in Math...She told me about it and she acted like she won a prize claiming that "They called it harder work, Mommy, but really it's easier!" I looked at it...It was much harder. She did it all correctly and quickly.

    Another weird thing she does - In her summer workbook (Singapore Math 4B)

    There was a question: circle the higher fraction...
    Number 1. a. 1/4, 3/5 b. 2/6, 7/8

    Number 2. a 3/6, 6/9 b. 5/20, 6/10

    I don't remember the actual fractions, but you get the idea.
    So, she was trying to combine each set of fractions to see which set was higher, a. or b.

    I used to just think that DD12 just wasn't concentrating or "trying" when she would make careless errors, but in some of our conversations this year I realized that she really didn't understand work that was below her level. It wasn't so much that she was offended at being given easy work (although that happened at times too), it's just that she couldn't imagine what the teacher could possibly be looking for because the answer seemed so obvious that it felt like it must be a trick (perhaps why your DD didn't answer when asked what color an orange is), OR, she knew she was supposed to elaborate on the answer, but she couldn't deconstruct and explain a response that was completely fused into a simple phrase in her mind. Other posters have written of similar issues to the one you described with the fractions--deciding what doesn't belong or interpreting a direction (inferring what is not explicitly stated or asked for) is a big problem for students who see multiple possibilities and are wired to reject the one that seems too obvious to be the actual intended answer. I always did worse in my hs and college classes when given a multiple choice test, than I did in classes that used short answer or essay formats. I can recall arguing over lost points on almost every mc test because my interpretation of what was being asked made sense with the wording, but didn't match the teacher intent. I was overjoyed to get past my prerequisite classes and leave those tests behind!

    This year DD confessed to me that she was starting to write answers on her test to make the test itself more interesting to her. She said it as if she was doing something subversive and stated that her teachers would probably get mad. Of course, her teachers didn't get mad and she started getting higher grades because she was finally starting to show some thought. If your daughter is a "pleaser" or afraid of getting in trouble or disappointing the teacher, it's possible that she isn't showing what she is holding back because she is trying to do what she thinks is expected rather than employing her creativity.

    As far as the math, I have a very similar DD, especially if asked to "show her work" on problems that aren't at all challenging to her. With my own students, I hand math tests back with circles around problems with errors. If a student can correct their own errors I do not make them continue to work on the same material, but we do have a conversation about standardized tests, which can only judge on the original work. We might even talk about the difference between what their grade would be in other situations compared to the grade they are going to recieve with their corrections. My hope is that it will help them become increasinly aware of the types of errors they make so that they can start to adjust their approach to test taking.

    It can be frustrating to see errors happen, but it helps to be aware that the reason that it is frustrating has to do with other peoples' interpretations based on myths that gifted children would get 100% on everything. In other words, it is less about your daughter than it is about other people. You'll still want to coach her.

    Originally Posted by Sydness
    ps. The decision to not skip 4th grade math was because skipping anything isn't allowed...ever. They didn't care what her tests looked like...or her work...When I asked if her CMT scores would matter when they came in, the VP said "I'm sure she got the whole thing right. But our teachers are qualified to alter the curriculum in the classroom she is supposed to be in." [

    That's frustrating! Perhaps you might approach it by asking for a clarification meeting and bringing along copies of your district's standards. You could say something like, "Thanks for meeting with me. I really appreciate your willingness to do the extra work to provide advanced instruction in the classroom, but this is a little bit new for me and I'm not sure I have a clear sense of what you mean. Can you help me understand what DDs math will look like in the classroom? Which grade level standards has she already met? [you could pull out the standards at that point and ask them to highlight standards they think she's met]. What will she work on when other students are learning those standards for the first time and who will instruct her on the skills that are new to her? What materials do you use for that? I'm trying to picture this in a way that doesn't leave her just trying to learn on her own, especially since I know she needs guidance on interpreting the questions/directions even when she understands the actual math"

    If they are unable to highlight the standards, or what they have highlighted doesn't match what you see, request that they test her to ceiling and schedule a follow up meeting with you to look at what they find. You might even have your daughter join you at the end to go over her test so that she can make corrections on any concepts she actually does know.

    I can't promise that school will be receptive, but if it's of big concern it might be worth a try.

    Last edited by Taminy; 07/27/11 08:56 AM. Reason: spelling
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    Hey - Sydness, check out
    http://giftedissues.davidsongifted.org/BB/ubbthreads.php/topics/107980.html#Post107980

    Also - my son was always sure that the questions were too easy (orange) and 'making mistakes' by souping things up to be more what he would expect any normal person to be asking any normal child (the fraction example)

    Ideally you'll be able to hire a tester who is willing to come to school meetings, do an 'in class' observation, and make recommendations that they will listen to.

    The argument stopper to 'Our teachers are fully trained to differentiate' is - ok, the teachers are great, but my child learns best with academic peers who share her readiness to learn level. It's too lonely for such a social child to be by herself so much of the time.

    And it's very admirable that your dd has social skills strong enough to allow her to support her friend over HP8, and YES this is a great example of the personal cost to HER from being in a poor fit academic environment. She thinks you want her to be just like the girls in her classroom - otherwise you else would you and the school adult have put her there???? She expects you and the other adults to be wise enough to know where to put a school child. She knows she is different, and since she is placed where she is placed she is getting the message every day that she had better hide it and make the best of it because that is what you and DH and the other adults want (on purpose!)

    Don't try and verbally explain or defend yourself - change the parameters of her life. Even if it's only on the weekends and summers if that is the best you can do, she needs regular contact with peerish children and adults who expect her to be who she is.

    ((You may print this out and show DH and the school adults.))

    Love and More Love,
    Grinity


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    sydness Offline OP
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    I signed up for the HP Yahoo group. Sounds like fun...I'll have to watch the movies to catch up...

    I'm just not convinced that she is gifted...needing more maybe...but I don't know about gifted...although I was sure when she was a baby...I guess once I know for sure I will be able to fight harder.

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    Originally Posted by sydness
    I'm just not convinced that she is gifted...needing more maybe...but I don't know about gifted...although I was sure when she was a baby...I guess once I know for sure I will be able to fight harder.
    How unusual would she have to be before you 'felt' like she was gifted?

    Top 10%? Top 5%? Top 3%? Top 0.1%?
    My DH used to think that as long as there was someone that he knew at one moment of his life that was 'smarter' than himself, that he couldn't possibly be gifted. Everyone has their own definition of giftedness, so it makes sense that whatever definition you choose it will be wrong to most other people.

    Those are all real cut offs used by real programs somewhere or other. Try reading Ruf's 5 levels of giftedness while waiting for that test date...it might help.

    I myself define gifted as 'having special educational needs that are different enough from local peers that there is a low likelihood of having those needs met in a regualar classroom without significant modification.' So yeah - if she is not having her needs met at school, than for my purposes, she is gifted, by definition.

    Love and More Love,
    Grinity



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    Good reply Grin!

    I was just about to say the same thing about Ruf's levels. Sydness, keep in mind that there is a range of giftedness...
    and there is asynchrony, and there is 2E, etc.

    Also, do a search on this board for "gifted denial"

    And finally, "if it walks like a duck..."

    - EW

    p.s. if you are still not convinced, re-read Grinity's definition.

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    maybe she is a duck. lol

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