Kinder Screening: Peabody Picture Test & Bracken Basic Concept Scale - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 25 Old 08-16-2012, 08:44 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Dd was recently screened for kindergarten and we received her scores on the Peabody Picture Vocabulary Test and the Bracken Basic Concept Scale.  They gave us the "typical" range (85-115), but they didn't explain the scores any further.  A google search has not helped me to interpret her results either.  Does anyone have knowledge of these tests so that I could better understand where my daughter is at right now?   She scored a 116 on the Peabody and 118 on the Bracken.

 

I am interested because we tried to get her admitted to kinder early, but it was absolutely forbidden based on her birthday (January).  Now that she's been screened and placed in a split K/1 classroom, I found out that the teacher is perfectly willing to give her first grade work if that's where she is at.  So I asked her if that is the case if she would recommend kids to skip kinder or (after a year of doing first grade work) skip first grade and she said she would absolutely recommend skipping if she felt it was appropriate.  So, I guess I'd just like to know what my dd's scores mean at this point.

 

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#2 of 25 Old 08-16-2012, 10:17 AM
 
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You've been given what looks like scores where the average is 100 and the standard deviation is 15, such that 2/3 of the population falls in the range 85-115.  Scores of 116 and 118 are then 86th and 88th percentile. 
 

Generally a grade skip requires an IQ test of >95th percentile and associated achievement test scores, along with a host of other behavioral assessments.  The Iowa Acceleration Scale is generally considered the gold standard for assessing the appropriateness of a skip (my state actually requires it).  It is a point system for things like IQ and achievement, plus other things like whether or not the school and parents support it, if the kid is bigger than average, etc.

 

The tests your DD took appear to be more screening tools, though, and they aren't the right test to say much about the appropriateness of a skip. 

 

My DS (skipping 1st for now) had about the same age-normed percentile score on the Peabody Picture Vocab test the month before starting kindergarten as he did on the Vocab subtest on the WISC (part of IQ) 8 months later.  The WISC uses 10 subtests to make up the IQ, though, so this is only one piece.

 

It sound great that you have such a flexible teacher!  Honestly, having a teacher who can consistently challenge is better than a skip.  Skipping is a bandaid.

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#3 of 25 Old 08-16-2012, 10:47 AM
 
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They seem like very basic, school readiness tests and aren't likely to tell you much more than that. They don't look like tests you'd get much in the way of IQ/ability from. It's doubtful that even with more information, those scores alone will be enough to accelerate her. 

 

Keep in mind that even if she does all 1st grade work in the combo class, they may be hesitant to accelerate her. Typically, schools want to see a child a full year ahead academically of the grade they skip into. For her to promote to 2nd grade after this coming school year, it may not be enough that she complete the 1st grade curriculum. They may want to see that she's actually 3rd grade level or higher (and not just in reading but in writing and math ability too.) Your DD may have surpassed those levels now but if she doesn't show that in the next year, they may still question the decision to accelerate. Much may also depend on how many kinders are doing the 1st grade work along with her. If she has a decent group of advanced kids, they may decide on a gifted cluster instead.

 

My eldest did a mid-year skip from K to 1st and is now heading into an early college program at 15. Geofizz is correct in that acceleration is a sort of band-aid. I don't know any skippers for whom acceleration itself was enough. It has been fantastic for my DD but we rejected a skip for DS who has done much better with high flexibility and specialty programming. 


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#4 of 25 Old 08-16-2012, 01:44 PM
 
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Agree with both the above posts. Percentile-wise your dd's scores do not look like they are in the range that would support grade-skipping, but that the tests not designed to predict future academic success or measure academic potential, or anything of the sort. They are designed merely to measure readiness for KG. A basic form of in-level testing. She has above-average mastery of pre-K material and that's all you know. To consider grade-skipping what you want is either or both of IQ testing and out-of-level testing showing that she has a similar level of mastery of material a year ahead of her age-grade.

 

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#5 of 25 Old 08-16-2012, 04:35 PM
 
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Again, agree with above posters.

 

Having given similar tests- here they are used screeners. The Peabody is fairly heavy on vocabulary/language and the Bracken often shows what prior knowledge a child has learned. 

 

Your DD scored slightly above the average range on both- showing she has fully mastered material for her age (both tests are usually age normed so she would be compared to other 5.5 yr olds). But she is not so far outside the 'standard' range  to not be able to fully integrate in a K/1 classroom. On any given day her score on that test could vary a few points (they should be able to tell you the variance for those tests if you ask the assessor) so she may have scored just a bit higher/lower if she took it again.

 

As a teacher- her scores show me that she has a strong vocabulary& language skills for her age (Peabody) and  she is coming in to Kindergarten with a solid foundation of basic skills (Bracken).

 

In fact, a K/1 should be a great place for her socially and academically. Remember that at that age (5-7) there is a wide wide range in abilities that are considered a normal variance. Some K kiddos come in to with reading skills and are comfortably reading at a 1st grade level or higher, others are still mastering letters/sounds. So in a K/1 class you will have non-readers to kids that are reading chapter books. Same with  Math skills and writing-- you will see kids learning counting/patterning to doing multi-digit +/-. Writing simple sentences to whole multi-page stories. The kids in K/1 will also be a good social range that your DD will fall solidly in the middle (most kiddos would be 5.5 to 6.5 at the start of the year with a few old/young for grade).  K/1 splits are often placed specifically with strong K kiddos that will work well independently (which is needed for a split). Also many  teachers that teacher splits are adept at differentiating- which is a good good thing.

 

It sounds like you have a great teacher that will differentiate. A great teacher can really really make a difference regardless of grade.

 

Take this year and see how it goes. Reevaluate in the spring to see if a skip is applicable. I second the use of the Iowa Acceleration Scale if and when you get there.

 

Also, your state may have an age requirement for 1st (I know many states now do). 

 

 

Enjoy this fall- sounds like you have a good plan in place and an accommodating teacher!

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#6 of 25 Old 08-16-2012, 08:05 PM
 
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It seems that the prior posters answered your questions pretty well, but I have one for you.  What motivated you to try to get her admitted to K early in the first place?  At face value, I'd agree with the others that a child who is in the upper 80s percentile wise in terms of ability and achievement really isn't a candidate for a grade skip.  The Iowa Acceleration Scale that someone mentioned earlier has been updated since my dd13 skipped, so it may have changed, but at that time, they were looking for a composite score on an IQ test in the 98th percentile minimum for a skip.

 

On the other hand, as a parent of a second child who is both gifted and learning disabled, I do know that those screener type of tests aren't the be all end all of the child's ability.  Honesty, even individual IQ tests aren't perfect in that regard either.  If you really feel that she is more able than the 86-88 percent of children her age, you can certain pursue more testing later.  It might be worth giving it this first year of school, though, and seeing how well they can meet her needs and how much she stands out from the rest of the class.  My one who skipped was consistently well beyond pretty much the entire grade of kids for most of her elementary experience (she skipped 5th) and was still easily in the top 5% of the grade into which she skipped.  IMHO, that's generally the right type of kid to skip: one for whom there is no way to really meet the needs in grade level, not just a top student in grade level who has peers.

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#7 of 25 Old 08-17-2012, 04:52 AM
 
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It seems that the prior posters answered your questions pretty well, but I have one for you.  What motivated you to try to get her admitted to K early in the first place?  At face value, I'd agree with the others that a child who is in the upper 80s percentile wise in terms of ability and achievement really isn't a candidate for a grade skip.  The Iowa Acceleration Scale that someone mentioned earlier has been updated since my dd13 skipped, so it may have changed, but at that time, they were looking for a composite score on an IQ test in the 98th percentile minimum for a skip.

The first edition (which I got through my university library) has it at 95 percentile, so 130 on the scale of the tests above if they were IQ tests. On the third edition, you need 10 points on the AAAA section to complete the IAS. IQ is 2 pts for IQ 115-129, 4 for 130-144, and 6 for 145+. The remaining points come from grade level achievement > 95 percentile for a variety of subjects or half the points for >90 percentile, and above-level tests at 75 percentile, or half the points > 50 percentile.

Which means, if the OPs scores are indicative of IQ or achievement (and they're not), then extraordinary achievement in academic skills taught in first grade would probably squeek the child over the line.

Even though people throw around "yeah, my kid skipped" as if it were no big deal, it is. In our case (and in the case of my own education) this reflects a failure of the school the meet the child's needs. I would have been thrilled with a K/1 class with a flexible teacher willing to include my DS in the first grade instruction. We would have still had a problem with math, but that then would have been less dramatic. Because of redshirting in our district, DS will be the youngest boy by at least 6 months. He's already been socially excluded from kids his age as well as the kids in his receiving grade.
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#8 of 25 Old 08-17-2012, 06:02 AM
 
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  If you really feel that she is more able than the 86-88 percent of children her age, you can certain pursue more testing later.  It might be worth giving it this first year of school, though, and seeing how well they can meet her needs and how much she stands out from the rest of the class.  

 

Agree with everyone who suggests that you see how she does this year and re-evaluate. If you believe a skip is the most appropriate "solution" (and it's not clear yet that there is a problem), then you will have time to investigate all of the school regulations for grade acceleration and marshal your resources to support your arguments - such as getting the teacher and resource staff and principal onside, compiling a portfolio of schoolwork and report cards and obtaining further IQ test results. 

 

You don't mention whether the school offers any kind of programs for high achieving or gifted students once they are in the elementary grades. Personally, I'd be more interested in exploring those kinds of accommodations for an advanced student rather than advocating for an immediate full grade acceleration into 1st or 2nd grade.

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#9 of 25 Old 08-17-2012, 07:31 AM
 
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Even though people throw around "yeah, my kid skipped" as if it were no big deal, it is. In our case (and in the case of my own education) this reflects a failure of the school the meet the child's needs. 

 

This may be true in your case but I'd be hesitant to say this about all schools. In many cases of acceleration, keeping a child in their age grade is totally unrealistic even under the best of circumstances. In the case of my eldest, giving her the work she needed in the younger grades would have meant total isolation for her. It also wasn't just an academic misfit but a social one too. I'm very proud of our local district and their flexibility. I don't see my DD needing to skip as a "failure" on their part. They tried everything... seriously, everything. I see it as DD being a very different creature.. 

 

I do agree that it's a "big deal" when it's happening though. There is a lot to navigate through. It's funny, when it happened, I got all sorts of flack for it from people outside the situation. Now that DD is a successful 15, people act like it's nothing. I've actually had people say "who can't skip 1st grade. First grade is easy!" Acceleration is not the ideal for all kids and personally, I'm never one to suggest advocating for it without trying other measures first. Seems like the OP has a great opportunity in the next year with a flexible teacher and a combo class to see what it really is her child may or may not need.


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#10 of 25 Old 08-17-2012, 08:02 AM
 
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This may be true in your case but I'd be hesitant to say this about all schools. In many cases of acceleration, keeping a child in their age grade is totally unrealistic even under the best of circumstances.

We're using the word "failure" in different ways.  Maybe it was a poor choice on my part.  DS was a reading group of 1 and he went to second grade for math as a kindergartener.  The school couldn't keep him in grade, because they were unable to accommodate him.  Putting him in a room of kids up to 18 months older (and more like 30 months for math) than him is the better academic fit.  He'll muddle through in art and PE, but the age difference is going to be a significant barrier for my child.

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#11 of 25 Old 08-17-2012, 08:48 AM
 
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The first edition (which I got through my university library) has it at 95 percentile, so 130 on the scale of the tests above if they were IQ tests. On the third edition, you need 10 points on the AAAA section to complete the IAS. IQ is 2 pts for IQ 115-129, 4 for 130-144, and 6 for 145+. The remaining points come from grade level achievement > 95 percentile for a variety of subjects or half the points for >90 percentile, and above-level tests at 75 percentile, or half the points > 50 percentile
 

 Not to drag this too far OT, but the version we used with dd13 did give points for an IQ in the 115-129 range as well (84th-97th percentile), but clearly stated that this type of child was only to be considered for a skip if s/he was one who had missed the K entry deadline by days or maybe weeks and who was achieving very highly.  The manual stated that, when looking at a true skip for a child who was not the very oldest in grade due to a just missed K cut, a 130 (98th percentile)+ was necessary.  I believe that the form did not lay out all of this as fully as the manual, though they were meant to be used together.  The couple other things that I remember the manual noting were immediate disqualifications for consideration were the child not wanting the skip and having a sibling in the receiving grade.  An IQ below 130 was an immediate disqualification as well in the manual unless, like I said, the child was really close to the cut (like an Oct 2 bd in K at six when, had he turned 5 on Oct 1, he would have been able to start the year prior). 

 

I don't know that I 100% agree with everything in the IAS (I do know someone whose kid skipped into the same grade as an older sibling and for whose family it has worked & my dd skipped the transition year/last year of elementary, which they say is not ideal, and she was already the absolute youngest in grade pre-skip, which again is something they say isn't best, although not a definite "no.").  OTOH, I'd tend to stick more closely to their recommendations early in the child's school experience b/c you have less time into it to see how the child can or cannot be accommodated.  I, like others, viewed a skip as a measure of last resort b/c nothing else we had tried worked and we had tried it all: subject acceleration, GT class for part of the day every day, me going in and pulling her out to teach her for part of the day, partial homeschooling, a charter school...  It has been a much better fit both socially and academically post-skip.  I do absolutely believe that there are situations where that is the case and skipping is the right choice.  I just wouldn't immediately go there unless there was something extremely obvious going in that said it was necessary. 

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#12 of 25 Old 08-17-2012, 10:14 AM
 
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We're using the word "failure" in different ways.  Maybe it was a poor choice on my part.  DS was a reading group of 1 and he went to second grade for math as a kindergartener.  The school couldn't keep him in grade, because they were unable to accommodate him.  Putting him in a room of kids up to 18 months older (and more like 30 months for math) than him is the better academic fit.  He'll muddle through in art and PE, but the age difference is going to be a significant barrier for my child.

 

Oh yes, that is true. It sounded more like the school was not putting out the effort to make his grade work in the first place. What you described is why we didn't accelerate my DS who was already the youngest in his grade in a heavy red-shirting district. He's 11 going into 7th grade this year with a large chunk of kids (mostly other boys) who have already or close to turning 13.... and that is with no skip. He's in a special math class for which there will be older 14's. Unlike DD, DS notices every difference between him and his older peers and takes it personally. Thankfully, we had other options with him and he's not as desperate for academic challenge as his big sister. 

 

Good luck to your son in the coming school year!


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#13 of 25 Old 08-21-2012, 02:03 AM
 
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This is such a great, informative and nuanced discussion about grade skipping, it should be made into a sticky!

 

DS, with a birthday within three weeks of the cutoff, has been admitted into first grade (first year of formal schooling where I live) a year early - not on the strength of formal testing, but on a day's observation by the school, in which he showed that he could easily have taken part in first grade instruction as an (already accelerated) kindergartner, so on the basis of out-of-level achievement if you will. Interesting that this is the kind of "grade skip" (in essence, it is a skip) the IAS would have approved even if his IQ were lower than the 130-144 range (we do not have formal scores, so are merely presuming that he would be likely to score in the 130-144 range, but confident he'd at least score in the 115-129 range).   

His elementary does not have splits but has offered in-class differentiation and has already made noises about further acceleration as an option. I am very wary with a child that will be already the youngest in his grade, and will advocate for the school to use all options for in-grade differentiation and subject acceleration to the fullest before I consent to look into a grade skip. I am a survivor of a very badly handled grade skip myself (in my case, I'd also call it a failure on the part of the school to even try to accomodate me in grade, even though I suppose a grade skip would at some point have been inevitable).

Thus, I second all the PPs who feel you should first try out everything the school has to offer regarding in-grade differentiation and subject acceleration with the 1st graders. It is great that they are open to all sorts of accomodations including the grade skip, but you really can't tell at this point whether it is the only, or even the best option for your child.


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#14 of 25 Old 08-22-2012, 08:05 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thank you so much for this discussion, ladies!  I really appreciate all the information that has been shared.  I agree that a grade skip is not the best option, but our school district has nothing in the way of gifted or talented programming until middle school age.  Where I grew up, I was placed in what our district called the "challenge program" and it was fabulous.  They used IQ scores and performance to decide who was accepted into this program.  They even had one day a week pull out for those that didn't make it into the full time program.  But nothing like that exists here.  No gifted clusters, no pulling out and as far as I know, no subject acceleration either, but I will definitely ask about that if the time comes for me to advocate for her needs. 

 

A pp asked why I was trying to get her into early K and the reason is that I could see already that she was academically and socially ready for it.  On top of that, my dh and my MIL both started kinder early (late October and December birthdays respectively) and both had great experiences.  Both were happy to be on the younger end entering college and the work force- it served them well.  So when I saw my dd exhibiting pre-reading and writing skills, counting and adding, demonstrating the ability to pick things up quickly, and effortlessly taking on the leadership role among her peer set, I felt that she was ready.  Not to mention that I was at my wit's end with her behavior at home due to my inability to satiate her constant need for stimulation- especially when tending to a newborn.  We hit a dead end with the school system and sent her to preschool where she didn't learn anything new, but had a lot of fun socially.  At least it was entertaining!  Meanwhile at home she taught herself to read.  But we still had nearly another year to go before kinder! 

 

Then we got those scores and it just sort of reinforced the idea in my mind that she was so ready for kinder last year.  Honestly, being around slightly older kids brings out the best in her.  If she's around peers or younger kids, her natural leadership qualities lean into the bossy realm.  But around older kids, I see her being more balanced as well as honing her problem solving and negotiation skills. 

 

I agree with all of you that I'll need to take the wait and see approach.  Hopefully this teacher will follow through on what she said at open house and truly attend to the needs of all the kids as best she can- letting those that excel move forward and advocating for whatever seems most appropriate at the end of the year.  I would just hate for her to go on to first grade having already mastered all those skills, being bored, and essentially wasting a year.  Perhaps she could be put into another split level class if they have one, but that is no guarantee.  I'm just a firm believer in advocating for the needs of gifted children instead of just letting them sit in a mainstream class, bored.  I was that kid until I got into the challenge program and I know from my own experience what a waste it was and how much happier I was when I was surrounded by kids performing at my level.  I agree that a gifted program of some sort would be best b/c it's not just about the level of the work, but also the depth and the motivation shared by the students.  But without that as an option here, making sure the level of the work is at least appropriate seems my best bet.


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#15 of 25 Old 08-22-2012, 01:13 PM
 
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All of your reasoning sounds very reasonable to me.  I don't think that anyone would disagree with challenging a child to his/her readiness level and I am in favor, like your dh and mil, of being the youngest in grade for kids when it is a good fit for that particular child.  Both of mine started as the youngest in grade too.

 

Where the "wait and see" comes in imho is not in waiting for a major flop of a schooling experience.  It is more a "wait and see" if your child appear to be gifted or appears to be gifted enough to be out of the norm by so far that she needs something beyond what a reasonable teacher can provide in a typical classroom.  The testing they've done thus far doesn't indicate giftedness, but, like I said earlier, I have a twice exceptional child who is really out of the box and for whom a group test was a poor estimation of her ability.  Repeat individual IQ tests have placed her in the highly gifted (99th percentile and well above) range.  The verbal abilities that you mention and reading by age four or five without significant instruction might lend toward the thought that these tests weren't the most accurate for your dd. 

 

Again, I think that it depends on the demographics of your area, but from what I recall of elementary school, for a child whose greatest gifts are in the language arts realm, it should be possible to make it work in grade level for a child who is reading, say Magic Treehouse books by mid-late first grade and writing & spelling at a similar degree of advancement.  There were a reasonable number of kids at that level of functioning in both of my dds' 1st grade classrooms.  If, on the other hand, you wind up with a first grader next year who is reading the Harry Potter series and writing and spelling at a similar level of advancement, there are less likely to be other kids with whom she can work on projects and expect equal contributions. 

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Again, I think that it depends on the demographics of your area, but from what I recall of elementary school, for a child whose greatest gifts are in the language arts realm, it should be possible to make it work in grade level for a child who is reading, say Magic Treehouse books by mid-late first grade and writing & spelling at a similar degree of advancement.  There were a reasonable number of kids at that level of functioning in both of my dds' 1st grade classrooms.  If, on the other hand, you wind up with a first grader next year who is reading the Harry Potter series and writing and spelling at a similar level of advancement, there are less likely to be other kids with whom she can work on projects and expect equal contributions. 

 

 

Yes, I think demographics can play a huge role.

 

My DDs school had 4-5 kiddos reading Magic Tree House in  their 1st grade class by mid-year or even one or two when the year started. When school started only my DDs were checking out the never-ending Rainbow Magic Fairy series from the school library, but by Mid-year a few other kids were too (mostly girls- a few boys were reading Geronimo Stilton)-- and it was nice since all the girls could all talk about the 9 billion books in the series....

 

Yet, when talking to another teacher friend of mine. She had no students at that level in her 1st grade class-those books were not even on her radar. She said once a few years she gets a kid at Magic Tree House, but not very often at all.

 

****

 You also have to look at the age range.....1st grade in our area is 5.75- 7.25 yr olds at the start of school. That is a wide wide developmental range....But there is a big academic difference from a standardized age-normed test from a  5.75 yr old reading Magic Tree house and a 7.25 yr old reading the same book. Same grade- but 18 month developmental difference, which at that age is huge.

 

Some areas would have 1st graders that were starting at age 6.5 to 7.75. It depends on cut-off date, tendency to red-shirt,etc.

 

So logically, an area with older K students (all are 5 and some would be 6 or 6.25) is much more likely to have a lot of incoming readers than an area like that has a Dec.1st cut off date and incoming Kindergardeners can still be 4.75 at the start of the school year.

 

A K/1 class is likely to have kids from age 5-7 at the start of the year.

 

***

 

 

Each school will have its own make-up, but so will each cohort of students. Hopefully the OP will have a solid group within the K/1 class. I would be very surprised if not more than a few of the K/1 kiddos are reading fluently. K/1 splits tend to be the kids that are at/ahead of grade level due to the complicated nature of balancing two grades they place kids that will be successful.

 

The fact OP school does such K readiness testing is great- many schools do much more basic screening (DIAL) and/or nothing at all.

 

 

Edited to add the portion in between the  stars*

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#17 of 25 Old 08-22-2012, 06:23 PM
 
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I would be very surprised if not more than a few of the K/1 kiddos are reading fluently. K/1 splits tend to be the kids that are at/ahead of grade level due to the complicated nature of balancing two grades they place kids that will be successful.

I do also find that what constitutes "reading" varies by the person defining it.  The OP hasn't said what her dd is reading, so it could be level 1 early readers or it could be Junie B. Jones (I must admit to hating the series myself, but I do know many early elementary girls with whom it is pretty popular).  We've never done a split grade class, but I hope that your estimation is right for the OP's sake!

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Thank you so much for this discussion, ladies!  I really appreciate all the information that has been shared.  I agree that a grade skip is not the best option, but our school district has nothing in the way of gifted or talented programming until middle school age.  

 

This isn't necessarily a bad thing. Sometimes, schools without programs are forced to take a more individual course with kids like this. My eldest didn't have a gifted program until 5th grade and that's when things started to sour. In fact, she has never liked gifted programs nor felt like they met her needs... even the high school highly gifted program. Some programs are great fits. My DS loves his but he's also getting the personalized education on top of it. With many schools, it's either/or and gifted education is "one size fits all." A good teacher, a flexible staff... that's really what gifted kids need.

 

We hit a dead end with the school system and sent her to preschool where she didn't learn anything new, but had a lot of fun socially.  At least it was entertaining!  

 

Keep in mind that learning and growth happen in all aspects of development. You may not have seen academic growth specifically from what she was doing at school but she had a good social experience, learned that school can be a positive place, that other adults can be trusted... not to mention all the other preschool stuff like sharing, taking turns, expressing your needs to a non-parent, dealing with difficult personalities, plus all the fine and gross motor strength gained from outdoor and indoor play. Preschool may not have been a waste at all.

 

 Hopefully this teacher will follow through on what she said at open house and truly attend to the needs of all the kids as best she can- letting those that excel move forward and advocating for whatever seems most appropriate at the end of the year.  

 

Good luck to her in the coming school year. Stay positive!


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#19 of 25 Old 08-23-2012, 06:25 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Yes, I think demographics can play a huge role.

 

My DDs school had 4-5 kiddos reading Magic Tree House in  their 1st grade class by mid-year or even one or two when the year started.

 

...

 

You also have to look at the age range.....1st grade in our area is 5.75- 7.25 yr olds at the start of school. That is a wide wide developmental range....But there is a big academic difference from a standardized age-normed test from a  5.75 yr old reading Magic Tree house and a 7.25 yr old reading the same book. Same grade- but 18 month developmental difference, which at that age is huge.

 

Some areas would have 1st graders that were starting at age 6.5 to 7.75. It depends on cut-off date, tendency to red-shirt,etc.

 

So logically, an area with older K students (all are 5 and some would be 6 or 6.25) is much more likely to have a lot of incoming readers than an area like that has a Dec.1st cut off date and incoming Kindergardeners can still be 4.75 at the start of the school year.

 

...

 

I would be very surprised if not more than a few of the K/1 kiddos are reading fluently. K/1 splits tend to be the kids that are at/ahead of grade level due to the complicated nature of balancing two grades they place kids that will be successful.

 

Our town is a huge mix of socioeconomic classes.  At this particular elementary school, I believe about half the children are classified as low income/disadvantaged.  We're a title I school and have been failing NCLB for the last two years.  When I toured the school last year and observed the kindergarten class (not a split, not the same teacher since this classroom is new this year), I felt like I had stepped into the inner Seattle school that I used to work at- that's how diverse it is.  We tried to get her into a different school that has a reputation for working well with gifted students, but petitions are only entertained if there is space and the numbers are simply too high at every school.  The cut off here is August 31st- hardly any states have a December 31st cut off anymore.  I'm not sure about the tendency to red shirt.  I know in Baltimore (where we were for her 3 year old preschool), that was huge and highly encouraged, especially for boys.  I don't seem to hear a lot about it here, though.  I think that everyone in her class is at least 5 and the 1st graders at least 6, with a few turning 7 shortly.    So yes, a range of 5-7 at the extremes, but more likely just over 5 to just under seven.

 

As for how they placed the kids... I'm not sure.  The only information they would give is that they screen the kids (with those 2 tests and some other forms of evaluation) so that they can make every class as mixed as possible.  Their goal is to create a similar hererogeneity in each classroom.  I took this to mean that every class would have a mix of low, middle, and high and assumed her split class would be no different.  Based on what we saw at open house, it looked pretty much that way to me.

 

 

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I do also find that what constitutes "reading" varies by the person defining it.  The OP hasn't said what her dd is reading, so it could be level 1 early readers or it could be Junie B. Jones (I must admit to hating the series myself, but I do know many early elementary girls with whom it is pretty popular).  We've never done a split grade class, but I hope that your estimation is right for the OP's sake!

 

 

As for reading, I don't know yet if anyone in the K part of her class is also reading, but I would assume that most of the first graders are (though you never know since this school failed NCLB- specifically in reading).  My dd is reading the leveled readers that I was able to get at the local library.  They have letter designations and she is fluently reading level E and works a bit harder to read F and G.  She can do it, but still gets discouraged by the length of the books and likes to stop after a few pages.  She started to read Magic Tree House #1 and can read the words, but again, gets discouraged by the length.  I've been reading her chapter books for years now so she gets the idea of stopping mid book and picking up where we left off just fine, but for some reason, doesn't want to do that herself.  She likes the satisfaction of finishing the book quickly, I think.  At any rate, according to the library, level E books are considered "middle 1" and level F and G are consider "middle to late 1."  So going off of this information I estimate her reading ability to be at a first grade level now and this is just with my encouraging her to read to me as often as I can convince her to do so (she prefers to read to herself).   I figure at school she'll read more frequently and improve quicker b/c you know how kids like to do things for other people more than for their parents!  lol.gif


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#20 of 25 Old 08-23-2012, 06:52 AM
 
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As for reading, I don't know yet if anyone in the K part of her class is also reading, but I would assume that most of the first graders are (though you never know since this school failed NCLB- specifically in reading).  My dd is reading the leveled readers that I was able to get at the local library.  They have letter designations and she is fluently reading level E and works a bit harder to read F and G.  She can do it, but still gets discouraged by the length of the books and likes to stop after a few pages.  She started to read Magic Tree House #1 and can read the words, but again, gets discouraged by the length.  I've been reading her chapter books for years now so she gets the idea of stopping mid book and picking up where we left off just fine, but for some reason, doesn't want to do that herself.  She likes the satisfaction of finishing the book quickly, I think.  At any rate, according to the library, level E books are considered "middle 1" and level F and G are consider "middle to late 1."  So going off of this information I estimate her reading ability to be at a first grade level now and this is just with my encouraging her to read to me as often as I can convince her to do so (she prefers to read to herself).   I figure at school she'll read more frequently and improve quicker b/c you know how kids like to do things for other people more than for their parents!  lol.gif

Its been a long time since my girls were K age so I looked up levels E-G books and many of them are online.  My guess would be that most of the K kids will not be reading that well coming in, but I'd expect that 1st graders who are working at grade level should be right about there or awfully close.  DRA level 10 corresponds with a level F apparently and DRA levels are pretty much set so level 1-9 is K, 10-19 is 1st, 20-29 is 2nd, etc. if, again, the kid is right at grade level.  The mixed K/1st seems like it will be a good thing in this instance so she, hopefully, has other kids who need a similar level of reading instruction, which shouldn't be basic letters and phonics.  OTOH, it is really unfortunate that they are taking the approach of not grouping the higher achieving kids all in one class.  I can only imagine that this is going to make it rather hard for the teacher to have K students who are really behind all the way up to very advanced 1st graders.

 

I can see as how being a lower performing district/school with no GT programming and no grouping could make it necessary to provide something more even for kids who aren't technically candidates for a grade skip per the IAS.  Honestly, I've often felt that one of the reasons we needed to skip my dd13, who is now a 10th grader, was not b/c she is profoundly gifted or anything but b/c our GT programming is, like a pp described, a one size fits all endeavor that tends to provide fairly well for the needs of bright, high achieving kids, but not gifted or highly gifted kids.  Are you likely to be at this school for her entire schooling?  That would be another thing to consider in regard to a grade skip at the end of K.  It might work well and be needed at a low performing school of this sort, but will that still be the case should you move into a high performing area later?  

 

I guess that you'll know better after this year as well and after you see how much her skills take off.  FWIW, my girls are currently in very high performing schools and, what I've seen as necessary in terms of the grade skip being successful long term for dd13 is the need for high level writing skills, really fast reading (not just reading above grade level, but being able to keep up with a high quantity of reading for all of her classes), social maturity to fit in with older kids and not stand out as younger and to be able to self advocate with teachers especially as she's gotten into high school, and work ethic (which really improved once the work got a bit harder post-skip so she wasn't getting A+s for simply showing up).  My one who is not grade skipped was reading as well as your dd at age 5.5 but she has ADD and possible dyslexia and reading speed and stamina for long books has always been an issue for her.  I can't imagine that a grade skip would have worked for her as a result b/c she wouldn't have been able to keep up with the quantity of reading expected.  She is doing very well with honors classes in grade level, though, and is taking Algebra I in 7th grade this year. 

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#21 of 25 Old 08-23-2012, 08:57 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks, Christa!  That is really helpful information!  All you ladies are really helping me to focus my thoughts on this matter and see what I might need to pursue further and what I need to just let be for now.  It's really a relief to feel like I'm on the right track.  So thank you.

 

As for what school she'll attend later on, that's a tough one.  We have moved 4 times in the last 9 years b/c of my dh (grad school, post doc, faculty position #1, and now faculty position #2).  Dh is settled in his job, loves it, and wants to stay indefinitely.  I am not in love with our location, but know that we will likely be here for the next 5 years.  So I'm looking at staying at this elementary school at least through 4th and likely 5th.  An possible move would occur, then, at the middle school level where everything changes anyway.  Your point about reading quantity is a good one and I guess there is little way to predict right now what kind of a reader she'll be.  Even the most gifted reader might not enjoy the quantity or content of the reading required in school.   But something to keep in mind, nonetheless. 


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#22 of 25 Old 08-24-2012, 02:08 AM
 
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My DDs school had 4-5 kiddos reading Magic Tree House in  their 1st grade class by mid-year or even one or two when the year started. When school started only my DDs were checking out the never-ending Rainbow Magic Fairy series from the school library, but by Mid-year a few other kids were too (mostly girls- a few boys were reading Geronimo Stilton)-- and it was nice since all the girls could all talk about the 9 billion books in the series....

 

Yet, when talking to another teacher friend of mine. She had no students at that level in her 1st grade class-those books were not even on her radar. She said once a few years she gets a kid at Magic Tree House, but not very often at all.

 

****

 You also have to look at the age range.....1st grade in our area is 5.75- 7.25 yr olds at the start of school. That is a wide wide developmental range....But there is a big academic difference from a standardized age-normed test from a  5.75 yr old reading Magic Tree house and a 7.25 yr old reading the same book. Same grade- but 18 month developmental difference, which at that age is huge.

Now you're scaring me! DS is That Kid reading MTH before starting first grade, at 5.75...

I am still hoping he will find some peers at his school, and even though I feel guilty sometimes for choosing schools partly according to demographics, what choice do we have, trying to find the best envrionment for our kids? Though I have to say that it is mostly that the school sounded so much more flexible than the public school we were zoned for.

OP, I still tink your DD's teacher sounds great so far and that there are good options for challenging her at her level, including a possible grade skip, moving on rather painlessly with the first graders into second year at the end of this year.

Keeping our fingers crossed for you!


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#23 of 25 Old 08-24-2012, 07:48 AM
 
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Now you're scaring me! DS is That Kid reading MTH before starting first grade, at 5.75...

With the exception of my eldest, who was reading Harry Potter at 4, I don't think of my kids as having been that far off the scale in terms of reading, and yet the three younger ones were all quite capable with MTH and a bit beyond that level by the end of KG (age 5.5 - 5.75). I would stay hopeful. There are likely to be others at that level. And if not immediately, some will probably make the leap during the first term.

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#24 of 25 Old 08-24-2012, 03:30 PM
 
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 quite capable with MTH and a bit beyond that level by(age 5.5 - 5.75).
 
 
I would stay hopeful. There are likely to be others at that level. And if not immediately, some will probably make the leap during the first term.
 

 

 

Tigerle,

 

My kiddos were 5.75 going into 1st last year that had read/were reading MTH. MTH also goes from 1.3 or so reading level up to 3.0 as the series goes on.

 

No big deal for our school- there were a few others there too (though they were older for the most part). I was not happy nor unhappy at how the school handled reading. It was not my 'ideal' situation and they never did max out reading levels to see exactly where they were at-- but they did have books/kids/small groups that read chapter books together and discussed them (including Magic School Bus chapter books- 3.0 reading level and absolutely just right interest level). Several kids were at that level.

 

 

 

 

 

1st grade will start with kiddos in chapter books to letters-only readers. 

 

FWIW I have seen some well regarded schools make a mess of working with advanced students and some schools that are 'At-risk' do a fabulous job of meeting learners needs at all levels.

 

When it comes down to meeting academic needs-- it tends to be the school culture, the individual teachers, and the willingness of the school to meet individual needs. These traits can be found ( or not found) in schools everywhere. 

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#25 of 25 Old 08-25-2012, 02:41 PM
 
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With the exception of my eldest, who was reading Harry Potter at 4, I don't think of my kids as having been that far off the scale in terms of reading, and yet the three younger ones were all quite capable with MTH and a bit beyond that level by the end of KG (age 5.5 - 5.75). I would stay hopeful. There are likely to be others at that level. And if not immediately, some will probably make the leap during the first term.
Miranda

I have the highest respect for your judgement, like so many others who commented on your thread on grade-skipping your DD2, but are you sure you are adequately aware of just how far off your kids are any scale?orngtongue.gifbiggrinbounce.gifupsidedown.gif

 

But i am staying hopeful. Mostly on account of how committed the principal and teachers seemed to be to differentiation and flexibility at this school (unlike the principal at the neighbourhood school, who mostly complained about how much of a hassle it was when kids needed anything different or wanted to learn more).

 

It is so interesting, isn't it, finally sending your kid off into an environment where for the first time they will now actually be compared and assessed on their academic achievement and potential and it all stops being just guesswork, anticipation and apprehension? DS really did not have this at all before, not even in his K pullout program in preschool, which was super playbased and non-academic.


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