What to do with child working multiple grade levels ahead? - Mothering Forums

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Old 02-16-2012, 11:10 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I just received my daughter's test scores today and I am overwhelmed at what to do about them.  She turned 9 in November and she is currently in grade 4.  She is starting to act out in class and not bother doing her school work, which we know is not on par with her abilities, so we paid for complete psycho-educational testing.

 

The psychologist did not give me a number IQ but she said it is in the 98%.  She is working 2-4 grade levels above in every subject.  The psychologist said that the acting out in clas is because she is not being challenged at all and she recommends placement in a full-time gifted class.  That isn't available at our school and the enrichment they've been giving her isn't enough.  For example, she's in grade 4 so they give her grade 5 spelling but she is working at a grade level of 8.7 in spelling so the grade 5 spelling isn't really anymore challenging for her than the grade 4 spelling.  Same with math and reading.  I wish I could pull her out and homeschool but she loves the social aspect of school and I am in school full-time so I can't.

 

Any ideas of what we should be doing for her to help her be challenge? She is just so bored in class and wants to be actually learning.


Shawna, married to Michael, mommy to Elijah 1/18/01, Olivia 11/9/02, and Eliana 1/22/06
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Old 02-16-2012, 11:16 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Just adding in case anyone asks - they tests they used for Olivia are:

 

WISC-IV (Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children - Fourth Edition)

WJA-III (Woodcock-Johnson Tests of Achievement - Third Edition)

WRAML-2 (Wide Range Assessment of Memory and Learning - Second Edition)

 

We (the parents) and teacher also completed:

 

Achenbach Child Behaviour Checklis

Conners Third Edition


 


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Old 02-16-2012, 12:10 PM
 
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Time for a meeting with the school. They have the psychologist's recommendations. They need to respond, to address the issues identified, to work with you to come up with a plan. Perhaps changing schools would be an option if there is a congregated gifted class elsewhere. Perhaps subject acceleration and enrichment beyond the scope of what she's getting, or grade-skipping. Differentiation within-class. Perhaps a combination of a few different things.

 

Miranda


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Old 02-16-2012, 12:14 PM
 
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Accommodation can be very difficult in the beginning but by 4th and 5th grade should be easier. In our area, 3rd grade starts offering more open-ended curriculum. By 4th grade, language arts is largely reading self-selected material and writing papers on them. All my kids needed was to not have restrictions placed on what they chose. Instead of worksheets, the kids all did a great deal of prompt writing. This was great for my children as they were just given the same subject as the whole class but could write at any level of depth. They were always pre-tested in spelling on Monday with the grade level words but they only had to do the homework on the words they missed and if they missed none (which was usually the case) they were given a list of vocabulary building words with no grade level attachment. Math was a little trickier. Both had subject accelerations in math and because one child was grade skipped and one child was in a school with accelerated academics, it was more like a 2 year skip. Both could have gone further in math but these accommodations were enough to keep them happy until middle school when they could really move at their own pace and level. They didn't get accommodations in history or science until middle school but that was OK since those subjects were taught largely through open discussion and individual projects that involved a lot of personal research. They could go in as much depth as they wanted. 

 

I recommend not focusing on what LEVEL work she's being handed and request more open-ended work that she herself can bring to her level. If she turns in an essay that is 8th grade level in skill, ask that it be graded as such so she's getting the input she needs to improve. Like I said, math can be harder. Certainly ask for a subject acceleration and find out if the school has access to any online math learning programs for 5th grade (if that is the highest grade offered at the school.)

 

If she's in a school where 4th grade is still a lot of worksheets, well, you will have a tougher road I admit. Hopefully that is not the case though.


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Old 02-16-2012, 12:57 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Her school goes until 8th grade (private school) and her classwork still seems to be a lot of sit and do this workbook, sit and read this exact story so we can all discuss it, etc.  I do not personally like her teacher so this should be an interesting meeting.  I called the school on another matter and mentioned that when I get back (my father is ill and I am going to stay and help my mother out for awhile) I need to meet with the school regarding testing that Olivia had done (we did it privately) and she said she wasn't sure how they would handle that with a gifted child so I am a little nervous that they are not going to have any suggestions or ideas. 

 

Edited to add:  My son has special needs and major learning disabilities and they have been great working with his needs and all his testing.  I just think they haven't had as much experience with the other end of the spectrum


Shawna, married to Michael, mommy to Elijah 1/18/01, Olivia 11/9/02, and Eliana 1/22/06
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Old 02-16-2012, 01:47 PM
 
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Honestly, the 98th percentile is something that statistically they would see four times over in a student body of 200. They should have some ideas and some experience. Now, obviously every child is different and they should be individualizing things and getting creative, not just rolling out something that worked for other kids. Your dd seems like a very high achiever to be several grades ahead across all subject areas. But I wouldn't borrow trouble. They may have some great suggestions.

 

That being said, I think it's worth going into a meeting with a few ideas of your own. Whatsnextmom's suggestion of simply looking towards more open-ended work rather than focusing on level is excellent. Another possibility would be allowing her to "test out" of units of study (say, spelling lists, or grade-level math work) if she demonstrates an acceptable level of proficiency already at the outset, and instead to have a set of enrichment activities, alternative self-directed workbooks or research projects that she can work on during that time. If the school is more of the closed-ended worksheet style, they may be more amenable to grade skipping or subject acceleration -- i.e. rather than thinking outside the box, just putting her in a more advanced box or two.

 

Good luck! It sounds like you've got a lot on your plate right now. I'd try to just focus on your time with your parents and think of your dd's school situation as long-term project that you will be starting work on when you get back. With information and discussion things will likely improve, though it may take trying a few things. Try not to be too pessimistic.

 

Miranda


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