Gifted and Talented Testing for children entering K in New York

Yelena - posted on 12/28/2010 ( 6 moms have responded )

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I just looked at the gifted and talented test for K and I am very upset. All they seem to have is what is different and what belongs on this test. Black circle white square, white circle (-------) choose one. Now my son does this without a problem but my concern is that he already reads chapter books, writes, loves science and math. Why do they not test children on those things when they are entering school. I think that this test is so simple and I feel like any child can get through on those questions. Have you experienced this with your schools? I dont know if I should just keep my child in private school because of lack of education!

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Amy - posted on 01/07/2011

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My son's school worked much the same way. It frustrated me at the time, too. When I approached his teacher about how they challenge the readers, she looked at me funny and said "he doesn't strike me as a reader." Uh, well, he's been able to read for a year now...

Kindergarten did nothing to challenge my son academically. In first grade, they started "reading switches" so he was always placed in the "advanced" group. The ALP education starts in the 3rd grade. I suppose I'm satisfied. It's been tough to find material he enjoys, as he doesn't like fiction (though this year he's started to like a couple series!!), and finding science books on his reading level (5th +) AND level of scientific understanding was hard. But we're getting there.

Even if the school is not doing what you think it should be doing, just keep in mind that you can always supplement at home! Being ahead of the other kids academically is a great leadership opportunity, too! Hang in there!

Jane - posted on 01/06/2011

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In Colorado, GT is not determined until 3rd grade and that's because kids can be very advanced at a young age but peak in 2nd or 3rd grade. Testing a child in Kindergarten is not going to determine whether or not they will truly be gifted later in life.

Kristin - posted on 01/04/2011

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We live here in an excellent school district in Texas. They usually start out testing the kids with easy stuff, then progress to harder stuff to see how well the child can do. It if is a good tester, he or she will use a variety of tests and approaches to determine how advanced the child is.

Laura - posted on 12/29/2010

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Yelena, the test may seem easy to you and your son, but from what you describe it seems to be covering basic concepts that kids his age actually learn in Kindergarten. These tests are generally designed as a base measurement tool for school systems. If your son "aces" the test, the information provided will tell the school administrators that your son qualifies for G/T programs. Many kids of similar age may not have a firm grasp on these concepts because they haven't been taught them before entering school. So try not to be too upset, those are the expectations set by school systems as determined by "No Child Left Behind". Standards are generally set to a minimal level, unfortunately.

The G/T program my daughter has gone through from the beginning is also a total classroom structure. Kids from all over the school district tested into the class starting in 2nd grade. The same kids then go from grade to grade as a unit through 6th grade. The teachers for these classes have specialized training and the curriculum used is generally a grade advanced. While it is true that some of these kids could have difficult behavior, especially if kept in a standard classroom, most G/T teachers know how to keep these kids challenged and learning. I know my daughter was never bored and she loved the G/T program in grade school. She is now in Honors classes in middle school. She loves school, too!

Before becoming too discouraged, I suggest contacting your school district's administration and ask questions about the test (How is the information from the test results used?, for example). Use the opportunity to gather more specific information about G/T programming in the public schools. You can ask what kind of methods/formats are used, what curriculum is used, are there expectations on social and emotional maturity, etc. Write down your questions and the answers so you can refer back to them when deciding the best course of action to take.

Private schools are certainly an option, especially if finances are not a concern. Be aware, however, that in most states private institutions do not have to adhere to the same standards as public schools. While this can free schools up to have higher standards, it can also allow for more lax standards, too. Make sure you do your homework when checking out these schools. The same questions asked of public schools can also be asked of the private ones too.

Finally, your son didin't magically develop his understanding of the things he knows--I suspect you had a big hand in educating him! Consider it a pet peeve of mine--moms who do not take the credit due to them for the hard work they put in to teaching their kids basic concepts as they grow. Kids are sponges and are capable of learning "stuff" quickly and earlier IF they have someone playing the educational games with them and teaching them things in day-to-day situations. If you are not satisfied with the educational systems available to you, you could always consider homeschooling! Each state's laws are different so you would have to check about requirements and restrictions, but this IS another option for you. You can often find and purchase the same curriculum used by your state's schools or you can reasearch other curriculum. Hope this helps and good luck!

Yelena - posted on 12/29/2010

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This is my concern. In New York they have gifted classrooms in the private schools which are full day classrooms. I just know from friends that are teachers that these rooms are usually tougher because the kids are all board with what they are learning so it is hard to keep control of the group. I have to really start focusing on what is best for him.

Pamela - posted on 12/29/2010

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Many gifted children may not yet read to a level at kindergarten to take the test administered after the 2nd grade. The picture screening tests are used for most younger chhildren and it seems as if he won't have trouble with them. Most districts will test again as the child ages with a standard intellegence test. Instead of the testing, you should focus on what they do for enrichment for those identified as gifted. There is a great variance on this from a couple of hours of pull-out time to a separate school. Investigate what is available. Frequently public schools are not funded to a level to adequately deal with gifted children.

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