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Discussion Starter #1
Hi all,<br><br>
My dd is 7 and has been at the public school this year. She tested for the G&T program last month, and we haven't heard a definitive answer yet, but I don't think she got in. I talked to the office today and they wouldn't tell me for sure, but I got the impression she didn't qualify.<br><br>
Sooo, we're moving from an almost Title I school to a definitely Title I school, and she was super bored this year. She's an advanced reader and seems to be pretty good at math, but she's actually fallen behind where she was when I homeschooled her for Kindergarten. She's incredibly well-behaved and quiet, so she was just pretty much ignored all year, in spite of my numerous pleas to increase her reading and get her out of the most boring parts of her day. I am afraid it will be even worse next year.<br><br>
WWYD? Maybe I should ask this in the public school forum, because she is not clearly-definitely gifted, but she is definitely ahead of the curve, at least at these low-performing schools. I need ideas for her get more stimulation. Dh and I were discussing "after-schooling" her and trying to get her ahead enough that she would test higher, but I'm really not sure that would work. I think it would be interesting for her and she'd enjoy it, but it doesn't solve the problem of being bored all day at school.
 

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What test do they use to qualify for the gifted program. Are they IQ tests, ability tests...?<br><br>
Good for you for advocating for her. I was one of those bright but just missed the cutoff for the gifted program kids. I think those kids fall through the cracks alot. Bright enough that the regular classroom is often not challenging enough but not bright enough to qualify for more. There is a thread from several weeks ago that had a list started of ways to handle differentiating a gifted child's education. I would think some of the ideas would work for your daughter as well.<br><br><a href="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/showthread.php?t=1216292" target="_blank">http://www.mothering.com/discussions....php?t=1216292</a><br><br>
My guess would be that your two best options would be<br><br>
1.ask if your daughter can go to another classroom for the subjects she is ahead in. So perhaps moving up a grade for reading time.<br><br>
2. getting the teacher to provide differentiation in the classroom. Since you've already been trying to get harder work without success for her perhaps you can suggest that you provide the curriculum and the teacher just has to allow her to work on the curriculum you send in during that subject time.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thank you for the thread, there were some great ideas in there.<br><br>
The test was IQ based, so I don't know how much additional work would help, but I guess it wouldn't hurt.<br><br>
I wish, wish, wish I could homeschool her, but it's not in the cards right now.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>Fuamami</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/15393205"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Thank you for the thread, there were some great ideas in there.<br><br>
The test was IQ based, so I don't know how much additional work would help, but I guess it wouldn't hurt.<br><br>
I wish, wish, wish I could homeschool her, but it's not in the cards right now.</div>
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I would ask when/if she can retest in the future. I know in my school district it is not uncommon for kids to test into the program later. Sometimes all the pieces just aren't there to test well even when the ability is there.<br><br>
There are alot of pieces that go into testing and there is a reason that tests in slightly older kids tend to be more stable. A different mood, a different ability to focus on a given day, a willingness to guess and take risks on a given day, etc. all play into how well a child will do on testing.<br><br>
Most places discourage retesting for at least six months to a year.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>Fuamami</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/15393117"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Sooo, we're moving from an almost Title I school to a definitely Title I school, and she was super bored this year. .... but she is definitely ahead of the curve, at least at these low-performing schools.</div>
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Title I doesn't mean low performing, it means that a certain percentage of the parents are low income. Is the school low performing? What do they do with the extra money they get? Our school uses it for music and art programs as well as math and reading tutors for struggling kids. Our school peforms as well academically as the monied ones.<br><br><div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
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<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">I need ideas for her get more stimulation .</td>
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I'd schedule a conference with her new teacher early on and say that DD was bored last year, talk about where she is in math and reading, and ask her to be given different work. Some teachers are quite happy to accomodate kids.<br><br>
I'd also keep things interesting for her at home. Not in a "schooling after school" way, but just doing fun things, reading good books together, going cool places on weekends, etc. I see attending school as just one small part fo my kids education.
 

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I'm really seeing a pattern in that in seems like it's the verbally gifted/early readers who are the ones terribly bored in school. I was one of those kids too so I can empathize. I also just missed the cut-off, most likely because of my weaker math skills.<br><br>
My kids are bright on the verbal stuff, but their gifts are in mathematics, the complete opposite of their mother. They aren't bored because 90% of early elementary school is verbally based. They have become great readers in K-2, reading at a level 1-2 years ahead even though they aren't verbal at all...My kids were late talkers. The downside is that their gifts aren't being developed and they have asked about why more math isn't being taught in their class, but I have taken some of that responsibility upon myself. I know that my kids will shine in high school when they can take classes like physics and calculus.<br><br>
The only consolation I can give is that once all the kids are expected to be reading well the curriculum gets much less boring for the early readers. Then all the kids are reading to learn and this is much more satisfying and intellectually stimulating. Also, the math starts to get more challenging and this might not be so simple for a verbally gifted child.<br><br>
Just missing the cut-off is a difficult place to be. The top 2% of kids are removed then the smart kids who are left are considered the 'nerds' and they can't even call themselves gifted, just a 'good student'. You can tell I have some baggage from my past!
 

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On the issue of qualifying for the gifted program, once you have the results of her IQ testing, you may want to consider whether they are accurate. IQ tests are not infallible. The OLSAT is fairly notorious for being problematic as a gifted identifier. If the program relies on the full scale WISC IV, rather than the GAI (General Abilities Index), it may be excluding gifted students. If she was not assessed privately, you may want to consider that as your next step, just to be certain that she hasn't been missed.<br><br>
On the issue of keeping her engaged in school, if you have identified all your schooling options and this school is the best one, then I agree that you should speak with the teacher and principal. You may want to avoid the use of the term "bored" - educators get a little defensive when they hear it. Explain that you want her to remain interested. You are concerned that her quiet personality means that she isn't showing what she's capable of doing or what she needs. Alert them to what she's achieved in reading and math and that she seems to be losing ground a little in some areas, possibly because she needs some extra challenge to keep her engaged. Discuss different options for differentiated work.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>Linda on the move</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/15393377"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">I'd schedule a conference with her new teacher early on and say that DD was bored last year, talk about where she is in math and reading, and ask her to be given different work. Some teachers are quite happy to accomodate kids.<br><br>
I'd also keep things interesting for her at home. Not in a "schooling after school" way, but just doing fun things, reading good books together, going cool places on weekends, etc. I see attending school as just one small part fo my kids education.</div>
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This.<br><br>
I was in AP classes throughout school and was bored in school sometimes, but....oh well. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/shrug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="shrug">: I dealt with it, I found interesting things to think of, I thought about various other ways to use the lessons being covered, I doodled, I wrote letters to people; I still got all my work done and never got in trouble. Learning how to quietly occupy oneself is actually a pretty good skill, even for a little kid IMO. I did all sorts of interesting, enriching things with my family so I wasn't bored with life...just bored for *parts* of the day in school - other parts were not boring, and I loved being at school. Being bored isn't necessarily a bad thing, so long as you have constructive ways to deal with it. I also believe that school is just one piece of a BIG puzzle.
 

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You have to push the school harder or change schools. It should be far easier to accomodate for proven achievement than it is giftedness. There are accomodations she should be able to get whether she tests gifted or not. In-class differentiation and subject acceleration are such. She may or mat not need them long term. She may just need the reading until 3rd grade when the curriculum stops being about LEARNING to read.<br><br>
Do yourself a favor, don't use the word "bored" in your negotiations. It's just about the worst word you can use. It puts everyone on the defensive and in truth, pretty much every parent in the world could use it in some subject, some area, some chore, ect. Instead, set-up a formal conference, bring her kindie work or anything you have at home and then share the emotional price of being asked to do so much work below level. The school will respond much better to a child who is depressed, becoming distant and unhappy in school than one that is "bored."<br><br>
I don't know that after-schooling will make a difference outside just give her more work. If it was an IQ or ability test, it's doubtful you could change ther results no matter how much work she did. If it was an achievement test, you could in theory change the results but she I'm guessing she would have already tested advanced on that sort of measure.<br><br>
Testing is imperfect. We've known kids who tested on one measure as bright then gifted on a different measure. Do you happen to know what she took?<br><br>
What sort of gifted program do they have? If it's pull-out, you might be better off without it (not all are created equal.) If it's a cluster, you can advocate for DD to be placed in that cluster as there will be unidentified kids in the class too. That said, check how the clusters are made. Often they put high-achievers in a different class than the gifted to allow them a chance to be class leaders. This might actually be more beneficial to her. Worth looking into either way.<br><br>
I couldn't tell if you'd already moved schools or going to. Title I isn't neccessarily bad for your child. Our local schools are almost all Title I including the schools my kids attend. We have a high military population as well as non-native speakers. Much of both groups qualify financially. Title I means more money for the school and more resources for those that need it. It hasn't effected my kids education at all.
 

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I would reserve judgement on "these title 1 schools" until you have a chance to see the new one, TBH. My kids' school not only is title 1 but is currently under sanction for failure to make AYP and get what--they have some of the best teachers and support in the district (IMO)! My neighborhood school (in a very wealthy neighborhood) constantly wins awards for being the top scoring school, but I'd still rather have my kids in the school they're in now, even if our special program went away.<br><br>
That being said, the first place you want to start is with the teacher, asking them what they do for kiddos and using the magic word differentiation. (at least, this is what the buzzword seems to be around here) A lot of elementary schools around here have HIGHLY differentiated reading instruction (no more everyone reading from the same stupid boring book taking turns, like it was when I went to school). My kids were all early self taught readers and they've been more than adequately challenged at school because of the excellent teachers AND the extra training that everyone received in reading instruction. There's a huge focus on reading instruction and differentiation in teacher education right now. If your kiddo is ahead in math, however, that can be a glaring problem, since (IMO) the elementary teacher educational system is NOT very strong in preparing people to teach and differentiate with math instruction, and math instruction in particular seems to get really stupidly political and power struggle-y for some school districts in regards to curriculum.<br><br>
So when you meet the teacher (try to get a real appointment if you can--because you're not going to be able to really talk to the teacher at open house), I would start off by asking how/if/when they start to work on differentiation or how they support kids that are ready to learn more and those who need extra support. Do they welcome parent volunteers to help with some of this (running book clubs, challenge work in math, being an extra pair of hands) assuming that you are available to help. I know some people think that you shouldn't mention it, but I do think it's a good idea to tell the teacher that your DD was tested and did not quite make the cutoff this year, but you are still concerned about her being challenged in the classroom because of her class last year. But be open to what s/he says in regards to how they manage different levels and abilities in their class.<br><br>
You might also find it interesting to ask the principal what they have in place to help both struggling learners and children that are going full steam ahead. S/he will be able to tell you about resources they have at the school beyond the teacher, how the teachers are trained, if they do networking/instructional support through the year, ect. But the principal isn't going to teach your child, and it's rare that they'll move your child without some time in class and unless there is a huge problem (unless the school is very small and that won't upset class balance/numbers).
 

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I was interrupted before I finished my earlier post.<br><br>
The other piece, besides what the teachers and you can and should be doing, is your dd. Even at this age, I'd start involving her in some of the problem-solving for keeping her interest in learning. Listen to her frustrations, let her know that you support her and explore different ideas with her for solutions in the classroom and at home for continued learning.<br><br>
As she grows older, place more responsibility on her to manage her own boredom and negotiate with her teachers. It's really tough at this age, and she can't be expected to take this on now. Frankly though, if the school won't keep her engaged in class and you can't take on her education yourself, then it's better to foster an attitude of independence, resourcefulness and resilience in her education. It's not easy, but over the years, you'll see the payoff and be thankful.
 

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I just wanted to add the title I does not mean that the kids are not high achievers, it just means that they are from low income homes. Our title I school was actually the most stable compared to other schools in our city because of the additional title I funds-- they were able to hire a librarian 1/2 and a vice principal, art teacher, etc. while the other schools were making cuts.<br><br>
Gifted kids can be low income. A school is a lot more then the statistics.
 

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Depending on how their gifted program works, it might or might not help anyway. Talk to her teacher about differentiation; she should get work that engages her. It is not all that hard to give a gifted reader harder books and appropriate assignments.<br><br>
My daughters go to a Title I school; I have occasionally found the school frustrating for various reasons, but they've mostly done a very good job of accommodating their learning differences.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Thank you for all the responses! I really appreciate them.<br><br>
First, I would like to say that I know that Title I schools aren't necessarily any worse. My friend's kids go to a great Title I school.<br><br>
But this one is not so great. Because of its zoning, it has a very high transiency rate, they have lower parental involvement, and it rates WAY low. I know testing isn't everything, but it is something. I have heard negative things about the culture of the school from my in-laws, whose child used to attend there, but I guess that could have changed, or could have just been their impression.<br><br>
Anyway, I really appreciate the suggestions to talk about differentiation. Dd's current teacher is just NOT skilled in this area. Tigerchild mentioned "everyone reading from the same stupid boring book taking turns" and that is actually what happens in her classroom. Every. Single. Day. This was one area where I really wanted to push her teacher more, but dd was against it because she would have been the only child not sitting on the rug reading "If You Give a Pig a Pancake" out loud while following along with your finger, and it made her uncomfortable to be singled out like that.<br><br>
Ollyoxenfree, I agree that I need to encourage her to advocate more for herself, too. I am working on this. But we're starting small, like getting her to be brave enough to ask to take her jacket off so that she doesn't get a stomachache from being hot all day. Or going to the bathroom, or getting a kleenex, or just sticking up for herself a little tiny bit in the classroom. I don't think she's ready for the burden of asking for better reading material.<br><br>
The4ofUs, I agree that a little boredom doesn't kill you, and can be constructive. But an entire day of mind-numbingly easy assignments can, and seems to be depressing for my dd. I think it can also sap one's ability to learn, because they never have to develop the skills. I'm speaking from experience here.
 

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Someone posted an idea on another board that I really liked and think applies in your situation. Whether the classroom/school works well for a child depends on a lot of things including personality and drive, but what this other mom mentioned was that how "rare" the child is within the school population can make more of a difference than how gifted the child is.<br><br>
For instance, a child whose IQ is in the 95th percentile might do fine in a regular classroom or a p/t GT pull out class in a school where there are a lot of high achieving and/or high ability children. The same child, in a school where the majority of the kids are avg, will stand out tremedously and will need a lot more than the typical classroom fare.<br><br>
A child in the 99th percentile will need significant GT enrichment in most schools and might even do well with a grade skip, but in a school for gifted kids might be fine staying right at grade level.<br><br>
Following this line of thinking, your dd might need a lot more than the std classroom fare even if she isn't quite gifted depending on what the rest of the school population looks like.
 

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Have you looked into the book "teaching the gifted child in the regular classroom?" It's not cure but it can certainly help. I gave the book to my DD's 3rd grade teacher. She loved it and took it to the rest of the teachers. The school ended up bringing in the author for a workshop and now use many of the practices outlined in the book throughout the whole district. As it turns out, it's not only good for gifted children. Like I said, it's not going to solve all your problems but it may be of help.<br><br>
Something I did was to start some of my own volunteer programs in the school. I offered to do reader's theatre twice a week with "advanced readers" which gave time for the teacher to focus on those in more need. I ran a before school strategy game club that attracted high ability kids to connect with my own kids. I eventually started tutoring low readers to give the teacher more time with the advanced kids (not kids who were behind enough for services but still not at grade level.) This made working with the school in my kids behalf much, much easier.<br><br>
As for school test scores, it's helpful to look at your child's demographic and how they score. You should be able to look up the state test site, then school and then plug in your demographics (though I'm not sure every state offers this.) For example, my DD's middle school has a "warning" from the state for low test scores. However, DD's demographic scores very high! GATE/high achiever kids are very well tended at this school even though overall the scores are low (largely due to the high ESL population which isn't particularly fair in my book.) My DS's school tests high average but DS's particular class tested the highest in the state last year. It's just interesting to see how it works when broken down.
 

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<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">This was one area where I really wanted to push her teacher more, but dd was against it because she would have been the only child not sitting on the rug reading "If You Give a Pig a Pancake" out loud while following along with your finger, and it made her uncomfortable to be singled out like that.</td>
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Ugh, that sounds miserable.<br><br>
I think you should resign yourself to occasionally making her uncomfortable. Quiet kids do get overlooked very easily, because they're not making trouble. She deserves better than that.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>connieculkins</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/15393931"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">I'm really seeing a pattern in that in seems like it's the verbally gifted/early readers who are the ones terribly bored in school. I was one of those kids too so I can empathize. I also just missed the cut-off, most likely because of my weaker math skills.<br><br>
My kids are bright on the verbal stuff, but their gifts are in mathematics, the complete opposite of their mother. They aren't bored because 90% of early elementary school is verbally based.</div>
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This is so true. Being ahead of the class in math in kindergarten is almost irrelevant because they spend so little time on it, and most of that seems to be fun games and hands on activities with manipulatives.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>whatsnextmom</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/15399920"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Have you looked into the book "teaching the gifted child in the regular classroom?" It's not cure but it can certainly help. I gave the book to my DD's 3rd grade teacher. She loved it and took it to the rest of the teachers. The school ended up bringing in the author for a workshop and now use many of the practices outlined in the book throughout the whole district. As it turns out, it's not only good for gifted children. Like I said, it's not going to solve all your problems but it may be of help.<br><br>
Something I did was to start some of my own volunteer programs in the school. I offered to do reader's theatre twice a week with "advanced readers" which gave time for the teacher to focus on those in more need. I ran a before school strategy game club that attracted high ability kids to connect with my own kids. I eventually started tutoring low readers to give the teacher more time with the advanced kids (not kids who were behind enough for services but still not at grade level.) This made working with the school in my kids behalf much, much easier</div>
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Great ideas/suggestions! Great that the teacher & school were receptive to these things, too. What did you do in "reader's theatre," and what games did you do in the strategy club? The book sounds interesting.
 

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<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">Great ideas/suggestions! Great that the teacher & school were receptive to these things, too. What did you do in "reader's theatre," and what games did you do in the strategy club? The book sounds interesting.</td>
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There are some great reader's theatre script books you can pick-up at teacher's supply stores. There are some freebies online too. I have a theatre background so I pulled out some theatre games to start each session. We'd go through any interesting vocabulary, talk about characters, work on projection. We'd do expression exercises like taking turns saying "I didn't say Minnie stole my blue pen." Each word you put emphasis on completely changes the meaning of the sentance. At the end of each year, I'd pull out some Shel Sylverstien and Jack Prelutsky poetry and let the kids in small groups turn them into their own reader's theatre to perform for class. The kids loved the program and it got all the strong readers out of remedial phonics lessons. While I chose, higher than grade level material, you don't want it go too high because you need to allow for expressive oral reading... a skill in itself that many 1st through 3rd graders haven't mastered yet even if advanced.<br><br>
Strategy game club involved chess, checkers, gobblet, tic-tac check, math games like count down, boggle, speed card games like blink... I know, not all strategy games but they attracted quick minds and were a fun way to start the morning.
 
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