Teacher recommends GATE, but I'm not sure - Mothering Forums

Forum Jump: 
 
Thread Tools
#1 of 12 Old 12-27-2012, 09:37 AM - Thread Starter
 
limabean's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 9,607
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 11 Post(s)

My DS is in 3rd grade. He's young for his grade (late October birthday, so he just turned 8) and is very bright. I wouldn't call him gifted, in that the regular curriculum is meeting his academic needs, IMO -- I don't feel that he's being underserved in his regular classroom. He enjoys school a great deal, but also enjoys sports, playing with friends, family time, etc. 

 

If he were to go into the GATE program (my state's gifted program) in 4th grade, he would stay at the same school but would be in a GATE-specific class. His current teacher said that the 4th grade GATE teacher is very tough, and that being in that class would entail doing lots more work/projects than being in the regular 4th grade class. My DS loves soccer and baseball, and it's already tough to fit in practices for those activities with his current homework load!

 

Also, he's young for his grade and like I said, I don't feel that his needs aren't being met by the regular curriculum. So I'm leaning heavily towards not enrolling him in the GATE program next year, but DH feels that it's an academic advantage we shouldn't pass up.

 

My DS does have a fairly easy time in school, and gets 100% on nearly all his assignments, but I still don't feel that he's "skating by" or not being challenged. I just don't want him to go from having lots of academic confidence and enjoying school, to struggling for average grades in the GATE class. 

 

I'm sure some of you have struggled with this -- how did you and your DH come to an agreement? What did you decide to do, and how is it working out? 

 

ETA: My DS has taken the GATE test, but we haven't gotten the results yet so this could all be a moot point (I'm sort of crossing my fingers for that, as terrible as it sounds). 


DH+Me 1994 heartbeat.gif DS 2004 heartbeat.gif DD 2008 heartbeat.gif DDog 2014
limabean is offline  
#2 of 12 Old 12-27-2012, 12:28 PM
 
whatsnextmom's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Posts: 1,955
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 19 Post(s)

You know, GATE isn't for everyone. Much depends on the particular program offerings and the personality, learning style and drive of the individual participating. It could very well be that this program isn't a fit for your DS but if he's getting 100 percents on everything easily, it's worth exploring options... maybe he could get a little more differentiation within the regular class? Then again, if he's in sports and other activities, maybe he's getting his challenge needs met in other ways. It's worth keeping an open mind, go in and check out the class he'd be in, talk to other parents.

 

My eldest found GATE classes very frustrating. She does much better in high achiever classes with older students (so full grade and subject acceleration has been the best option for her.) The high achiever classmates don't always match her ability but they match her focus and drive.... or they stay out of her way. Now, my youngest has loved every GATE program he's been in. Like your DS, he's naturally young for grade. He loves project based learning and the regular tangents that would pull the class in different directions. The programs available to us have been a very good fit for him. Then again, neither of my kids were in gifted programs that piled on extra work. Both my kids test in the same percentile... they are just very different kids and have had access to very different programs.

 

I think for your DH's sake, more research on the particulars of the program is necessary. I'd also keep an eye on your son. You want him to have experience working through challenge without drowning him. I know for myself, I had a massive confidence crash in college when I went from getting high grades with no study at all to being in very challenging classes with peers who understood how to learn far better than myself. Your DS has years to figure that out.. doesn't necessarily need to be in 4th grade, just something to keep an eye on.


Married mom of two, DD 17 and DS 13.
whatsnextmom is online now  
#3 of 12 Old 12-27-2012, 02:54 PM - Thread Starter
 
limabean's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 9,607
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 11 Post(s)

Thanks so much, whatsnextmom -- your post is very insightful. I hadn't considered the thoughts you presented in your last paragraph -- thanks for pointing that out. 

 

I definitely intend to give this the consideration it deserves, especially since DH has a different viewpoint that is as valid as mine. Previously, we were on the same page regarding this issue, or at least I thought we were. Now that I think about it, I had voiced my doubts last year (when DS's teacher told us that she wouldn't be surprised if his 3rd grade teacher recommended him for GATE), and although DH didn't outwardly disagree with me, he just kind of said, "Mmm hmm" rather than heartily agreeing with me. So maybe he always felt this way and just chose not to get into a debate about it until it was a reality rather than just a possibility. 

 

Anyway, thanks for your reply! 


DH+Me 1994 heartbeat.gif DS 2004 heartbeat.gif DD 2008 heartbeat.gif DDog 2014
limabean is offline  
#4 of 12 Old 12-28-2012, 09:53 AM
 
Geofizz's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Running with the dingos!
Posts: 8,000
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2 Post(s)

Go an observe the teacher!  See for yourself if it's a good or a poor fit. 

 

As for projects, DD is finding that projects make it easier to fit in homework instead of nightly assignments, as she can plan her time around her activities.

 

Our family has found that a teacher's or class's reputation is not a good predictor of my kids' fit with that teacher and class.   The only way to see if a teacher is going to work is to observe.  Plan to observe a few different subjects over quite a bit of time.  Also observe a general ed 4th grade classroom for comparison.

Geofizz is offline  
#5 of 12 Old 12-28-2012, 12:38 PM
 
whatsnextmom's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Posts: 1,955
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 19 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Geofizz View Post

 Also observe a general ed 4th grade classroom for comparison.

 

This is good advice. Regular 4th grade is quite a jump in expectations in our area. You don't want to look at the GATE program expectations comparing them to 3rd grade. 


Married mom of two, DD 17 and DS 13.
whatsnextmom is online now  
#6 of 12 Old 01-06-2013, 11:39 PM
 
Viola's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2002
Location: Nevada
Posts: 23,391
Mentioned: 3 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 4 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by limabean View Post

If he were to go into the GATE program (my state's gifted program) in 4th grade, he would stay at the same school but would be in a GATE-specific class. His current teacher said that the 4th grade GATE teacher is very tough, and that being in that class would entail doing lots more work/projects than being in the regular 4th grade class. My DS loves soccer and baseball, and it's already tough to fit in practices for those activities with his current homework load!

So my younger daughter got tested for our GATE program.  In our situation, GATE is just a weekly thing that last for a few hours, but there is also SWAS, School Within a School, which are these magnet programs of GATE specific classes that take place in specific schools.  My daughter was tested for this program and accepted and they were a little concerned because she had a number of tardies and absences in 2nd grade and I had to explain them, and they gave me the, "this is a tough curriculum, you can't miss days, you can't be late, this is a big commitment" etc.  They don't want people to start the program and drop out.  My daughter has complained about hating school for years, so I figured it's fine, I'll send her to this other school. It's a 3 & 4 mixed grade class for two years, then they'll move to the 5 & 6 grade class.

Personally I think the workload is fine, in spite of all their cautions, but I don't know how it will be for you. The only thing is my daughter is accelerated verbally but not really in math.  Some of the math I found to be very complicated.  I mean fun, actually, but involving algebra, so my 8th grader and I would try and help my younger one with her math, and my older daughter would set up algebraic equations to solve stuff, but I tried to help her just come up with concepts.  My 3rd grader was very angry and resistant, saying she is not smart enough, yada yada, she doesn't want to be in SWAS, but she throws temper tantrums over the smallest of things, and she's complained about hating school for awhile, and she actually does seem to like this class and the kids in it well enough.  She just hates doing things she doesn't want to do, but way beyond the rest of us.  I do think she felt badly about the math, but honestly, I feel that this was just trying to establish a baseline and I told her it was fine if she couldn't do it, just explain that to the teacher.  The teacher needs to know what she can and can't do.

Anyway, I'm not sure why I'm explaining our situation which isn't really indicative of yours other than the fact that we got similar warnings and there are more projects, but I think the projects have been pretty decent so far, with set deadlines and rubrics.  They often work on projects in class, they get to use laptops and work independently and in small groups and move around between groups.  And some of the kids who did start out in the program quickly decided it wasn't for them and went back to their old schools.  The GATE admins may not like it, but it seems to happen frequently.  

Viola is offline  
#7 of 12 Old 01-07-2013, 03:37 PM - Thread Starter
 
limabean's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 9,607
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 11 Post(s)

Thanks Viola -- I appreciate any input, so I'm glad you shared your experience! I hadn't thought of the angle that they could stress the toughness of the program just to encourage families to take it seriously and view it as a commitment. 

 

My DS looooves projects, much more than typical weeknight homework, so he could be a good fit for a more project-based GATE program. If he passes the evaluation, I'll have to take the advice I've received here and go observe some classes and talk with the teacher before making a decision. 


DH+Me 1994 heartbeat.gif DS 2004 heartbeat.gif DD 2008 heartbeat.gif DDog 2014
limabean is offline  
#8 of 12 Old 01-16-2013, 12:20 AM
 
meemee's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Norther California
Posts: 12,783
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 22 Post(s)

i loved dd's 4th grade teacher. dd didnt care for her that much. 

 

it was her first year at GATE for which she had been on the waiting list since second grade. 

 

here is why i have loved GATE very much. 

 

- the one outstanding feature for me was that the kids had been together for 2 years already. there is something to these kids being together for years together which doesnt happen at the nonGATE classes. there is a camaraderie and a watching out for each other - kinda a one big happy family feeling in the classroom. those kids knew who the problem kids were and watched out for them. so when dd entered the classroom she was surrounded by helpers and guides. the friendships in that class was very moving. one of the kids this year got into the spelling bee. his written test was last saturday and their teacher said to send out positive thoughts when they woke up saturday morning for him to do well. that's exactly what dd did and then there was this whole phone conversations with many to remind them to do the same. of course there was the 'bad' too. when sent to other classes for differentiation, the teachers always had to break up the GATE kids as they talked so much. which is so sweet.

 

- to be v. honest with you the extra work is not really that much. the challenge is not that much bigger. its just faster pace. towards the end the G kids get a little more than the other kids. in fact for your project loving son it would be a huge plus because it was more project work than worksheets. for my project work dd it was delightful time. yes we did have to help with some projects, however dd's favourite projects were where the teacher did not allow any parent involvment.

 

- sad but true - in our school the GATE kids get fabulous field trips. one or two every month. i feel sad for the other nonG classes because all kids deserve a bunch of field trips.  

 

- the teacher was tough. and dd didnt like that. but oh boy did she learn so much from her. i found out that almost all 4th grade teachers are a little harder on the kids - because of the jump from primary elem. school to secondary elem. school. she had to keep the kids to stay on task because the workload increadsed in 4th grade. not so much challenge work - but just more different kinds of task - like research, more writing, presentations, writing notecards for presentations, etc.  

 

- a word of caution about teachers - which i may just be preaching to the choir. dd's 3rd grade teacher was terrible with adults. she came across as v. rude and abrupt. she had a bad rap with the kids too who thought she was tough. i didnt much care for her at all. dd loved, loved, loved her. i was flabbergasted. 

 

btw i didnt realise how under served dd was till she started GATE. i really was in two minds. dd was happy where she was - but i knew she wasnt being academically challenged. she was just enjoying her classmates and the teachers and the easy work. GATE was still easy work - but way more interesting with deeper thinking. dd being the thinker she got a lot of critical thinking opportunities.  

 

if your son enjoyed wordle and those scary halloween snacks - i'm sure - even if he is on the young side (dd too is btw) - he sounds like he would actually enjoy GATE.

 

also who does he play with at recess? he is probably friends with many of the GATE kids already. u know birds of a feather flock together. 

 

ooh had another thought. GATE kids in future get far more opportunities than the others. what about middle school? 

 

a teacher from our middle school said GATE kids tend to do better at the middle school as they are already comfortable with the homework load. 


 treehugger.gif Co-parent, joy.gifcold.gifbrand new homeschooling middle schoolerjoy.gif, and an attackcat.gif 
meemee is online now  
#9 of 12 Old 01-16-2013, 09:27 AM - Thread Starter
 
limabean's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 9,607
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 11 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by meemee View Post

btw i didnt realise how under served dd was till she started GATE. i really was in two minds. dd was happy where she was - but i knew she wasnt being academically challenged. she was just enjoying her classmates and the teachers and the easy work. GATE was still easy work - but way more interesting with deeper thinking. dd being the thinker she got a lot of critical thinking opportunities.  

 

Thanks for your whole post, meemee. I'm starting to agree with the above. DS's comprehension and critical thinking skills have always been his strongest areas. He's a great problem solver and enjoys intellectual challenges. That sort of thing sounds like it's right up his alley, even though he is having a great time in his regular 3rd grade class. I'll have to keep in mind, too, that 4th grade would be a big jump in terms of expectations anyway, so if he ends up in the GATE program I'll try not to think that the only reason it's so much harder is because it's GATE. 

 


Quote:
Originally Posted by meemee View Post

if your son enjoyed wordle and those scary halloween snacks - i'm sure - even if he is on the young side (dd too is btw) - he sounds like he would actually enjoy GATE.

 

Awww, thanks for remembering that stuff about him! love.gif

 


Quote:
Originally Posted by meemee View Post

also who does he play with at recess? he is probably friends with many of the GATE kids already. u know birds of a feather flock together. 

 

Now that you mention it, yes, all his close friends also took the test. 

 


Quote:
Originally Posted by meemee View Post

ooh had another thought. GATE kids in future get far more opportunities than the others. what about middle school? 

 

His teacher said something about middle school -- something about how GATE kids are automatically eligible for ... can't remember what they're called at that age ... AP classes? Honors classes? Something like that. 

 

Anyway, I guess we'll find out in March whether he passed the test -- I'll update the thread when we hear back! 


DH+Me 1994 heartbeat.gif DS 2004 heartbeat.gif DD 2008 heartbeat.gif DDog 2014
limabean is offline  
#10 of 12 Old 01-16-2013, 10:31 AM
 
meemee's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Norther California
Posts: 12,783
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 22 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by limabean View Post

His teacher said something about middle school -- something about how GATE kids are automatically eligible for ... can't remember what they're called at that age ... AP classes? Honors classes? Something like that.  

yeah those things are there. esp. if your child is bright (gifted or not - though to be perfectly frank with you Lima i am not sure i agree with your assessment. dd is not a typical 'gifted' kid. not an early reader, not so much into information, doesnt know oodles and oodles of facts. but oh boy u should hear the connections she makes or the depth to which she discusses things - like morality, etc. so i do think ur son is gifted from whatever little u have posted about him that i can remember) and more of an all rounder like my dd is - they get more choices at school apart from just academics. dd is allowed two electives at her future middle school instead of one. so she will be doing band and woodwork. choices not available to nonGATE kids. 

 

they have better scholarships opportunities and study abroad opportunities as well as exposure to language in 6th grade instead of at high school - depending on the program. And also community service. 

 

find out what your school's criteria is for GATE entrance. in our school they take the test in first grade. those who pass automatically go to 2nd grade GATE. If they dont like my dd didnt pass - her star test scores the next year got her into GATE. however for some kids in first grade who didnt pass the teacher pulled strings and pushed the issue and so those kids got into GATE. i asked the teacher not to push dd for GATE coz i knew dd was going to be in a 2nd/3rd grade split class and that teacher was much better than her 2nd grade GATE teacher. and it did work out that way. that teacher and dd are now friends. he has retired and travels the world teaching english to elementary school kids since 4th grade and ever since he left he and dd have been in email contact exchanging pictures and updates of what they are upto.

 

dd still gets looks from students when she runs and hugs her 3rd grade teacher. the kids think dd is loco.  

 

one more thing. now that i remember. does your son feel like he fits in the crowd or does he feel different. dd has always felt different. alone. but with GATE she feels less alone than her regular class. 


 treehugger.gif Co-parent, joy.gifcold.gifbrand new homeschooling middle schoolerjoy.gif, and an attackcat.gif 
meemee is online now  
#11 of 12 Old 03-21-2013, 02:04 PM - Thread Starter
 
limabean's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 9,607
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 11 Post(s)

Update: He didn't get into the GATE program, which is fine by me. IMO, he's a good fit right where he is. 

 

His teacher and I discussed it at our conference last week, and she said that the 4th grade GATE class isn't a dedicated GATE class -- it's a class of 33 kids where about 10 of them will be GATE next year. So she could recommend him to be in that class if that's what we want, but I don't see the point of having a larger work load, extra projects, etc., since those were my very concerns with GATE. The teacher said she has the same concerns with my DS (because, although he's very bright, knows a ton, and loves to learn, his areas for improvement include time management and finishing tasks unprompted, which would only be exacerbated in the GATE class), so we agreed not to put him in that class for next year. 

 

Anyway, just wanted to give an update and thank you all for your input! 


DH+Me 1994 heartbeat.gif DS 2004 heartbeat.gif DD 2008 heartbeat.gif DDog 2014
limabean is offline  
#12 of 12 Old 03-22-2013, 11:23 AM
 
Viola's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2002
Location: Nevada
Posts: 23,391
Mentioned: 3 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 4 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by limabean View Post
The teacher said she has the same concerns with my DS (because, although he's very bright, knows a ton, and loves to learn, his areas for improvement include time management and finishing tasks unprompted, which would only be exacerbated in the GATE class), so we agreed not to put him in that class for next year.

 

Sounds like a good plan.  That really is an issue, my daughter has time management issues and spends way too much time on tasks, apparently. I think she gets that from me, procrastinate until  you have no choice, then whip something out.  Ugh.

Viola is offline  
Reply

Quick Reply
Message:
Drag and Drop File Upload
Drag files here to attach!
Upload Progress: 0
Options

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the Mothering Forums forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.
User Name:
If you do not want to register, fill this field only and the name will be used as user name for your post.
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.
Password:
Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.
Email Address:

Log-in

Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.



User Tag List

Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page


Forum Jump: 

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are Off