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-   -   7 year old first grader when do schools test? (http://www.mothering.com/forum/51-learning-school/1403193-7-year-old-first-grader-when-do-schools-test.html)

peaceful_mama 05-31-2014 12:01 AM

7 year old first grader when do schools test?
 
Had a whole post, the internet ate it because I forgot to log in first!

Here's the short version.

DD, 7, is just completing first grade. She would be a straight A student if given letter grades.

Just listening to her read at home, I would say she is at or very near her older brother's level, he tested a few months ago at 3.0 to 4.6 range.

Her math skills are also A level work, but more on par with her class, I think.

Would a school possibly refuse to test her because she has compliance problems in class? She flat out tells me she is bored with some of the work, and most of the problems do seem to occur during the repetitive activities that she tells me she doesn't like. The other pattern I see is possibly when the enrichment work is more challenging for her, she gets upset over not immediately being able to get it right. (That's more rare than the other.)

Her current school does not offer a "gifted program" but her teacher uses some time with a para assigned to her kids who are behind to do "enrichment activities" with my daughter and a few others.

Linda on the move 05-31-2014 07:56 AM

What kind of test to you mean? Do you mean an IQ test to establish if she is gifted?

How schools handle gifted education (and testing) is entirely up to them. While there are federal requirements for education for special needs child, there aren't any federal requirements for gifted education.

I would ask the school your question.

Many gifted kids have behavior issues related to boredom. How does she approach problem solving? Is she a creative thinker?

moominmamma 05-31-2014 11:14 AM

Like Linda I'm wondering what kind of testing you're wondering about. On the assumption that you're talking about IQ tests, here are my thoughts.

Testing varies incredibly by school and district. My district doesn't do any testing unless they are unable to understand a child's needs and provide appropriate accommodations without it. So I have kids who have been grade-skipped and radically accelerated without testing, and I have one who was tested because it appeared he might be both gifted and learning disabled, and they wanted to be able to provide funded assistive technology. Our district doesn't have a gifted program (and I doubt such a program would have worked well for my eldest kids anyway) so there was no need to "test in" with the right scores.

I think it's worth noting that it is pretty normal for a typical 1st grade classroom to have huge range of reading levels, because the point at which fluency clicks for kids varies a fair bit in ways that aren't entirely related to IQ. I know gifted kids who didn't start reading fluently until well past the "normal" age, as well as some kids who are not gifted who were unusually advanced readers at age 6 or 7. A lot of that variability evens out by age 9, and usually primary grade teachers are adept at differentiating language arts instruction for different levels.

Generally speaking behavioural issues shouldn't be a factor in considering kids for giftedness testing. Sadly sometimes those factors can play into teacher biases and have some effect, though it can go either way: quiet well-behaved gifted kids who never complain may be assumed to be getting an appropriate education already, or disruptive immature kids may be expected to overcome those issues before being given increased academic challenge.

If you think your dd may be gifted, I would ask yourself whether her current education is inappropriate, and if so, whether having an IQ score as 'proof' would create opportunities that wouldn't exist through the usual channels (the usual channels being ongoing discussion and advocacy concerning enrichment/accommodations with her teachers and principal). If you haven't had those conversations with the teacher yet, that's the route to go first, imo.

Miranda

whatsnextmom 06-01-2014 10:38 AM

If the school has no gifted program then there really isn't much use in having them test her. Most schools can't afford to do a formal IQ test. They use a variety of cheaper, often group administered tests which rarely tell you anything you don't already know. If there is no program isn't likely that they plan to test at all. You can request testing in writing and in many states, they must comply but it could take them a year to follow through.

"Bored" is a sometimes difficult to figure out. Yes, kids who are advanced can feel "bored" when the material is below level but kids who are perfectly challenged, kids who are struggling... they can feel bored too. Filling out worksheets, writing vocab words over and over, doing math drills... these are pretty boring activities. I can safely tell you that every child in school is "bored" at some time. What you need to determine is if what she's doing at school matches what she is doing at home. Is she saying she's "bored" in math at school but then coming home and trying to teach herself multiplication? Is she reading novels at home but limited to bland early readers at school? Is she writing her own stories, using advanced vocab that is often spelled correctly whereas at school she's got a spelling list she could have passed 2 years ago? These are just examples. Kids show their abilities in a lot of different ways. Just pointing out some things to look for in determining whether your child is within grade level range academically (and remember, in the average population of any grade you'll have a variance of abilities a year ahead and a year below what is being taught... reading can be more than a year) but perhaps in an uninspiring academic environment or if the environment is appropriate for her age but she's well outside the norm.

If I were you, I'd let her start 2nd grade and see how it goes. She'll have a new teacher. While second grade is still a "learn to read" grade, it's also a grade where it's normal to have several kids reading novels and ready for some higher level math. In our experience, there was more ability grouping in 2nd where 1st was largely full grade education. If she continues to be "bored" ask her for specifics as to why. Then you can talk to the teacher about enrichment or subject acceleration.

peaceful_mama 06-01-2014 10:09 PM

I haven't dealt with this before. I am referring to whatever they might do to determine if she qualifies for gifted ed programs or any other accomodations.

Our current school does not offer a gifted program. They are open enrolled, and we are considering moving. We moved last year. At our previous school, it appeared a lot of children tested into the gifted program and moved at the end of second grade. Occasionally first, but usually second.

From what I am hearing from her teacher, who has been excellent at keeping me "in the loop" probably 80% of her refusals are related to not wanting to participate in an activity she considers to be boring or repetitive. The other 20% are varied, peer-related stuff, not wanting to stop something she is absorbed in, maybe 5% of the time, probably less, it is actually being challenged and being upset over it being difficult.

She doesn't argue about going to school and seems to enjoy it. She LOVES art day.

She is limited to simple readers and stories at school and mostly chooses to read Magic Tree House and occasionally other chapter books at home. She does sometimes read simpler picture books and likes to be read to, but mostly chooses chapters--like I said, big fan of Magic Tree House.

She willingly does her homework and it appears to be easy for her.

She does have an extra 5 spelling words beyond the simple list. maybe 1-2 times she misspelled a word on the regular list. The extra words actually challenge her, but are not graded, which is good, IMO.

She does some challenge work with a para, like I said, which takes her out of most of her reading time. It includes reading and writing activities mostly and some things that challenge logical thinking skills. She enjoys that.

Writing stories is her absolute favorite, probably because it can be as complex as she wants it to be, and she gets to draw, which she also loves.

Her teacher is really great about challenging her and about holding her accountable for her work at any level. (She has to finish any work she pouted over having to do before she can start her much-loved art projects on Friday.)

I mostly wanted to know if this was the year to reconsider our options or to ask a district we might move to about what might qualify her for a gifted program.

peaceful_mama 06-01-2014 10:11 PM

adding for clarity, I think she is challenged more than 5% of the time with her "enrichment activities", but from what I am hearing from her teacher, she typically isn't pouting and upset at that time. It changes though, she goes through great times and not so great times.

She did not get drawn for the classroom where they are testing out having all of the students' reading and writing curriculum on IPads and individualized to their level.

I am leaning toward just seeing how 2nd grade goes if we stay in this house rather than moving them to their assigned school, especially since school is out for that district right now and I won't be able to look into anything until August anyway.

And there is my older son to consider, who is thriving and has made friends here. I think it would be beyond unfair to move him if it wasn't because we were moving to a different area and it's unavoidable. I guess it might be an option to open enroll one or two and not all 3...

whatsnextmom 06-02-2014 12:17 AM

All I can tell you is it's district to district. When my eldest was in elementary they didn't routinely test students period. DD was given a grade skip and subject accelerations based on demonstrated ability. She wasn't tested until 8th grade and only because the high school she was moving to wouldn't accept her into the highly gifted program without a particular test (and she'd have to wait a year if the high school tested her.) She took the test and qualified. No biggie. DS tested in 2nd grade because there was a gifted program at his school.

You'll have to contact the school and ask for testing or look into the schools you are considering moving her to to find out what their policies are.

meowmix 06-04-2014 06:07 AM

I think it varies by school but our school tests in 2nd grade (for the third grade year) whether or not students qualify for gifted programs. We have a gifted teacher in our school who pulls the kids from certain subjects to teach them separately. DD2 qualified for this and she enjoys it a lot. The next level for the gifted program is to transfer to another area school to their gifted program where the whole curriculum (and class) is gifted students. It seems neat, they do a lot of great things. But the switch in schools seems stressful, I mean, they would have to leave all their friends in their own school. Plus, the curriculum is pretty rigorous and even my DD1's friend, who is in the school, seems sometimes stressed by what she has to do. I thought about seeing if DD2 would qualify (you have to specifically ask for them to test for placement eligibility into the other school) but DD2 did not want to change schools and, since it's only elementary school, I didn't pursue it.

meowmix 06-04-2014 06:16 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by whatsnextmom (Post 17648513)

"Bored" is a sometimes difficult to figure out. Yes, kids who are advanced can feel "bored" when the material is below level but kids who are perfectly challenged, kids who are struggling... they can feel bored too. Filling out worksheets, writing vocab words over and over, doing math drills... these are pretty boring activities. I can safely tell you that every child in school is "bored" at some time. What you need to determine is if what she's doing at school matches what she is doing at home. Is she saying she's "bored" in math at school but then coming home and trying to teach herself multiplication? Is she reading novels at home but limited to bland early readers at school? Is she writing her own stories, using advanced vocab that is often spelled correctly whereas at school she's got a spelling list she could have passed 2 years ago? These are just examples. Kids show their abilities in a lot of different ways. Just pointing out some things to look for in determining whether your child is within grade level range academically (and remember, in the average population of any grade you'll have a variance of abilities a year ahead and a year below what is being taught... reading can be more than a year) but perhaps in an uninspiring academic environment or if the environment is appropriate for her age but she's well outside the norm.
.

I love this. It's so true! And sometimes all it takes is a good teacher to make a "boring" school year more fun. My son was always bored at school. But he struggled with academics. He thought just schoolwork was boring. Luckily he had good teachers and an involved mom :) so he was successful. Now we're homeschooling.
DD2, otoh, would breeze through her easy spelling list because she is a fantastic speller. She would ask me to print out math work sheets and actually does want to learn math beyond what she gets at school. And, while she does not like chapter fiction books, she loves fact based books and devours them. She would get mad when she wouldn't get homework and tell me what to assign her. LOL
You'd think she would be bored in school but nope! Her teacher adores her and is fantastic. Her teacher has held tea parties for her kids, has taken my DD2 out to dinner and to get a class pet. She has just been an all around great teacher for her this year. Sometimes a good teacher is what makes learning a great experience at school, not necessarily WHAT is being taught but WHO is doing the teaching.


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