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    Joined: Apr 2019
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    Ive been attempting to advocate for my advanced reader in the classroom. At this point I think hes probably more than 2 grade levels ahead 99th percentile. In addition to being skilled, he reads a lot.

    I dont have any evidence that hes learning anything at his ability level regarding reading at school. He often runs into ceilings. His classroom library has books that are mostly on grade level, some above, some below. Hes read a lot of the books already & cant find more that interest him. Last school year, he was required to use AR starting at grade level and move up one notch with each book (2.0, 2.1, etc). He wasnt reading at his ability until the end of the school year.

    Ive been asking his classroom teacher for opportunities to stretch his reading interest and ability. I also asked the teacher in his gifted pull out program. The regular classroom teacher says that shes teaching a range of abilities, some as low as 1st grade level, so its hard to address him as an outlier. The gifted teacher tells me that some of the gifted kids are gifted in math and are grade level or below in reading, so its hard to have gifted reading projects for the group.

    Maybe Im not communicating clearly enough. Or maybe I need to ask for things more specifically. I thought it was standard to ask for differentiation, but Im not getting much response.

    Any advice or ideas?

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    A few ideas...

    Document everything! If you have not been keeping a reading list, you may want to start now. It can be anything from a spreadsheet to a simple spiral-bound notebook, or a journal. Jot the date, title, author, and whether the book is fiction or non-fiction. If there is a reading level associated with the book, make note of that. Optionally jot any thoughts/reflections on how well the book was liked, and/or any new vocabulary words.

    Make sure your child has a good dictionary to use at home when reading, and encourage looking up unfamiliar words.

    Discuss what he is reading, ask questions, anticipate what might happen next, suggest thinking of alternative endings, prequels, sequels, etc.

    To provide stretch outside the classroom, consider the crowd-sourced reading lists in this Gifted Issues Discussion Forum, in the Recommended Resources Forum. Children's magazine subscriptions may be another idea.

    Have you seen the "Advocacy" thread? It is a brief roundup of crowd-sourced parent tips and experiences over time on this forum. http://giftedissues.davidsongifted....y_Advocacy_as_a_Non_Newt.html#Post183916

    Be aware that "differentiation" only means that something is different, it does not ensure that the difference provides a better fit to your child's educational needs, readiness, or ability. Be especially alert to differentiation which consists of punitive grading. http://giftedissues.davidsongifted.org/BB/ubbthreads.php/topics/230047/Buzzwords.html#Post230047

    Reading is wonderful, it is great to support and encourage it!

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    I would talk to the teacher about moving his AR level up. Easy to ask them to base it on his aptitude testing rather than grade level.

    We have liked the AR testing based on aptitude. It has allowed us to give her more difficult books with assurance that we are not pushing it too far for her to comprehend well.

    We usually just buy our own books on Amazon. You can ask the teacher for recomemendations. Our school sent a good reading list by grade level. I just found the right level for our child and was able to get some good suggestions. Fortunately, our kid is getting into YAF (Ender's Game/Hobbit) level that I know a lot better than kids book.

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    It sounds like you're doing a great job advocating for your child's educational needs, but are facing some challenges due to the diversity of abilities in his classroom. Consider setting up a meeting with both teachers and perhaps even the school principal or a guidance counselor. In this meeting, discuss your concerns and ask for specific strategies or resources that could be used to challenge your child at his reading level. You may also want to explore additional options outside of school, like advanced reading programs or clubs, online resources, or local libraries. It might also be beneficial to have your child tested for gifted programs in your district, if that hasn't been done already. This could open up more tailored opportunities for his learning.

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    Thanks for these replies… although almost 2 school years later.

    He is and was identified as gifted in reading.

    We didn’t get anywhere that school year with adding reading differentiation in class.

    As he advances in grades he has more freedom to choose books and they’ve stopped using AR.

    He hits ceilings still… the elementary school library is limiting, they give away books as reading prizes and they’re too easy/immature for him.

    We utilize our public library to the max!

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    I understand your frustration and concern for your advanced reader. It's incredibly important to ensure that every student is challenged and engaged at their appropriate level. It sounds like you've been proactive in advocating for your child and seeking ways to support their advanced reading abilities within the classroom.

    While it's unfortunate that the current resources and strategies in place aren't fully meeting your child's needs, introducing free textbooks could be a viable solution. These resources often offer a wide range of topics and difficulty levels, allowing your child to delve deeper into subjects that truly interest them and challenge their reading skills, you can find some of them here (https://en.openprof.com/wb/subject:physics)

    When approaching the teachers again, you might consider emphasizing the flexibility and adaptability of these textbooks. They can be integrated into the curriculum to provide tailored reading experiences for students at different levels, without adding significant burden on the teacher. Additionally, highlighting the benefits of personalized learning experiences for both advanced and struggling readers might resonate with educators.

    In addition to suggesting free textbooks, you could also propose alternative approaches, such as independent study projects or mentorship opportunities with older students who share similar interests. Collaborating with the school library to access additional resources or seeking out online platforms that offer advanced reading materials could also be beneficial.

    Ultimately, persistence and clear communication will be key in advocating for your child's educational needs. Keep emphasizing the importance of differentiation and individualized support, and don't hesitate to explore various avenues until you find a solution that works for your child and their educators.


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