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    #168886 09/24/13 05:56 AM
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    Mhawley Offline OP
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    I've heard several times recently from other parents, DS's grandparents and teachers that DS, Kindergarten, might "level out" by second or third grade and no longer be as advanced as he is currently. Wondering if others have heard of advanced kids "leveling out" and what your thoughts are about why this occurs.

    Mhawley #168889 09/24/13 06:23 AM
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    It was hashed out pretty good recently:
    http://giftedissues.davidsongifted.org/BB/ubbthreads.php/topics/167414/Plateauing.html#Post167414

    I think it boils down to:
    Kids who drove themselves to where they are aren't going to "level out" unless school goes to extraordinary efforts to hold them back.

    Mhawley #168891 09/24/13 06:29 AM
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    many people have a perception that any kid that is advanced in any area has been drilled by his/her parents for early success in reading/math/whatever. however, if a kid legitimately learns concepts faster it is less likely that "levelling out" will occur - unless they are placed in a stifling learning environment where (for a whole host of reasons) they might learn to dull their spark.

    my DD5 was certainly in one of those bad environments last year, and i barely recognized her after about three months of school. i firmly believe that she would have "levelled out" if we'd left her there - and i suspect the administration would have loved to have been proven "right."


    Every Sunday it brooded and lay on the floor. Inconveniently close to the drawing-room door.
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    Originally Posted by Zen Scanner
    It was hashed out pretty good recently:
    http://giftedissues.davidsongifted.org/BB/ubbthreads.php/topics/167414/Plateauing.html#Post167414

    I think it boils down to:
    Kids who drove themselves to where they are aren't going to "level out" unless school goes to extraordinary efforts to hold them back.

    On the other hand, there are plenty of educators that think they are doing everyone a huge favor by doing just that.

    I mention that because you should be alert for signs that this is taking place.

    Turning a PG child into a metaphorical bonsai tree is a strange thing, but it has certain hallmarks.

    "S/he needs to learn to..."

    * follow directions (perfectly)
    * take pleasure/pride in accomplishments and just relax (or some variant thereof)
    * be more "normal" (meaning, interact with agemates in the ways that NT children do)


    Those are all real warning signs, in my estimation. Couple any of the above statements from a classroom teacher with school refusal or complaints about boredom, and it's worth investigating.


    Schrödinger's cat walks into a bar. And doesn't.
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    The Davidson article on plateauing is excellent. Here is another discussion of leveling out:
    1) http://giftedkids.about.com/od/schoolissues/i/even_out.htm
    and
    2) http://giftedkids.about.com/b/2006/08/09/leveling-of-abilities-in-third-grade.htm

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    Yes, the phenomenon of trying to hold gifted kids back is real and may be widespread. Posts on this thread gave some good overt signs to watch for.

    Other indications may be more difficult to detect, because they may not consist of a direct statement to the gifted child or the parents of the gifted child but may have to do with the treatment of the gifted child relative to the rest of the class.

    Making the gifted differentiation consist of work done in isolation, as though a punishment. One example may be assigning math worksheets to be done in a corner, while the rest of the class gets to play math games with manipulatives and earn rewards.

    Grading policies such as allowing children performing below a certain threshold to redo their work while children performing above the threshold are denied access to the redo opportunity.

    Informing select groups of students as to when a test, quiz, or in-class performance assessment is scheduled, possibly even giving them a study sheet as prep, while withholding this information from other students (presumably the gifted).


    While the examples in the above roundup may not seem fair or equal, some defend such policies, practices, and programs as "equitable" and "just". The concept of equity has been compared to a golf handicap: providing an advantage to those who are less skilled, talented, or accomplished so they may compete with those who may be more skilled, talented, or accomplished.

    Gifted pupils may be collateral damage, their academic needs ignored, mocked, minimized, invalidated.

    Parents may wish to be alert that such policies, practices, and programs may lead to the development of social/emotional difficulties in gifted kids. For example, invalidating the academic needs of gifted pupils may serve to create perfectionism, underachievement, mistrust, negativity, social isolation, a sense of futility and frustration in their gifted children. Gifted children may see they are in a no-win situation which clearly favors others, and unwittingly employ maladaptive behaviors to become "less than" in order to cope and/or to receive a modicum of acceptance/support from the system which has provided invalidation.

    Mhawley #168901 09/24/13 09:20 AM
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    I *almost* wish the leveling out thing was true... then some of our problems might have magically disappeared by now!


    ~amy
    Mhawley #168942 09/24/13 01:11 PM
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    Mhawley Offline OP
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    Thank you everyone for this great info. For my DS, the school has a great plan in place for reading, however for math, I have concerns. They have created a separate folder of extra worksheets that he can do after he has completed the main worksheet. I'm not a fan of this approach, but went along with it initially. Today I recieved an e-mail from the teacher in response to my questions re: whether DS has completed any of these advanced worksheets. The teacher's response was "DS has his folder in his desk, but so far has not completed any. He seems to want to do what we are doing in class - if he finishes work or centers early, he may choose to do those. I am not pushing him to do those however because I think that interacting with his peers is just as important and so far that has been his choice. I'm sure that he'll get to the folder eventually." In the 4th week of school the class has just begun working on counting to 10 and DS is adding negative numbers for fun at home. Any thoughts re: how the school can challenge him without making it seem like he is being punished in the classroom by having extra work?

    Mhawley #168943 09/24/13 01:32 PM
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    Originally Posted by Mhawley
    Any thoughts re: how the school can challenge him without making it seem like he is being punished in the classroom by having extra work?
    It seems the current choice is advanced work OR being part of a group? There ought not to be a dichotomy; The practices of pairing advanced work with social isolation and pairing unchallenging work with social inclusion are the problem. Each child needs work at his/her appropriate challenge level and pacing AND also true peers (intellectual peers, not just chronological age peers) if the child is to thrive in the learning environment.

    In order to challenge a child without making it seem like a punishment, the teacher/school/program would cluster group children. A cluster group may include students from the same classroom, a combination of students from multiple classrooms, or students from various grade levels, who are similar in ability and readiness.

    By cluster grouping, the school is not forcing the child to choose between academic challenge OR social inclusion. Cluster grouping provides both appropriate challenge level curriculum and true peers.

    Kids need both
    - appropriate challenge
    - academic/intellectual peers

    Here's a post including reasons which some schools have given for not cluster-grouping children by similar level of ability and readiness. sick These are examples of working against the continued growth and mental health of the gifted pupils.

    Mhawley #169014 09/25/13 06:19 AM
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    Can you request that he be able to do the advanced worksheets instead of the main worksheets? Ask if they can give him the end-of-the-year test. If he does well, ask if he can skip the math worksheets on the topics that he already knows, and just do the advanced one. Differentiation shouldn't equal more work.

    In first grade this year, they are supposed to be giving my twins end-of-chapter quizzes BEFORE the chapter starts, and then substituting differentiated work for them if they already know what is being taught. Still waiting for that to happen; but it is supposed to start soon. (I have been told to be patient - they have to learn the class routine first.)

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