Gifted Child Not Performing to ability in school

[deleted account] ( 3 moms have responded )

Both my 10 yr old and 8 yr old are in a "Gifted Program" in school. They are in what are called in our school "Gifted Cluster" classrooms, so basically they are w/other gifted children or children deemed of Gifted ability but were not accepted into the gifted program. They also have middle to lower learners in their classroom (they have to, based on No Child Left Behind). My older one is your typical Gifted Child, emotional (crys at the drop of a hat), very sensative, follows direction to a T, straight A's, anal about her work, very friendly, yet quiet, athletic and sort of dorky at times (I think that is just her age), scores high on standardized testing, reads on a 6th grade level. My younger one is free spirited, has to be told a million times to do something,scores high on standardized testing, yet in school she lacks focus, hides her undone work from the teacher, lies, will hand in less then acceptable work in her classroom and has even failed her regular classroom tests from time to time on stuff she knows. Her teacher and I struggle to get her focused and to take her work seriously, yet when she goes to her Gifted class (one day a week she spends the entire day w/the Gifted teacher in a class w/only gifted students)she hands in all her work on time, scores high on

tests, focuses (matter of fact her Gifted teachers says, my daughter will often go off and work alone at a table when she can work w/others in a group). Why is she so different in her Gifted classroom then in her regular classroom? Her regular classroom is a gifted endorsed teacher and she is in a gifted cluster. Is she not being challenged enough (her teacher is new and only been teaching gifted cluster for 2 yrs, where her Gifted Teacher has been doing it for over 20 yrs. Is this typical for a gifted child? I would think my oldest is the typical gifted child. I will admit when my older was offered to test for Gifted I was not surprised, but when they offered to test my younger one I was very surprised and surprised again when my younger one scored Higher on her IOWA tests then her older sister. I would like to find out if others have had this problem and what they did to get their Off Track Gifted Child back on Track and focused. I just don't understand performing to high ability in her Gifted Class, but not in her Gifted Cluster classroom. I am tired of talking to her over and over about the lying, the hiding of work, the incomplete work, the test grades. It seems it goes in one ear and out the other.

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Joanna - posted on 10/27/2009

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Hi Dee!!! Sounds like the little one is the 'typical' gifted child, if there is such a thing. It is pretty common for them to not get straight a's, to be completely forgetful and disorganized and to not perform as well in a traditional school setting. She is probably bored. She probably could care less about grades. Is she lying about her assignments, or is it possible that she is just forgetting?? My kid forgets. He does the work, and forgets to turn it in. Or he comes home, and forgets what he is supposed to do. He aces all of his tests, but gets f's on homework for not turning stuff in that he has done. He does not give his all in his regular classes, because he is bored with them. He loves his gifted classes though. Is her teacher willing to maybe email you the daily or weekly assignments so that you can make sure that she is doing them at home?? Since it is a gifted cluster class, and she is certified in gifted education, she should understand your daughter and work with you to help her.

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thank you Elizabeth. Last yr she was in a very busy classroom. Her teacher last yr was also gifted certified and had been teaching for many yrs. We didn't seem to have the problems last yr that we are having this yr. Her classroom last year was more stimulating I think, they were constantly working on something, but I also know it was very chaotic in there, no sooner did they start something the teacher was okay, we are done, lets move on to this just put your work up and finish it later. This yr is different, she is expected to work as a second grader, get her work done and handed in, in the time aloted. I think while last yr was an awesome classroom for her, it kept her busy and her brain constantly working, she was never bored. At the same time, it was also detrimental in her learning to be organized and work in a timely manner. In her once a week gifted classroom, they work on several things at one time, but when given an assignment it is very detailed and usually takes them the rest of the day to finish it on their own. I know she performs to her best in that class bcz she can take her time, and the work she is given interests her. I think in her regular classroom, even though it is a gifted cluster the work is too simple (bcz she does have some children in her class that only perform at grade level or lower). She doesn't bother to read directions on the work given and races through it. We have tried to explain, even though you think you know what you are suppose to do, read the directions as they may have something more specific they want you to do. Ex: she was suppose to only circle the root word, but she circled it and then colored in the circle. This is not following directions, while it shows her creativity unfortunately not all teachers will appreciate that later in school yrs and she will be marked off for not following. I am hoping as she matures she will realize the importance of not always rushing into her work thinking she knows, and that no matter how boring to take her time and do it right the first time. My older daughter is more mature (always has been) and has the ability to see and adapt to her classroom. Work may be repetative and boring, but she follows the directions and does it right, bcz she understands, do it right the first time then she can move on to more enjoyable things. I guess all we can do at this time is to continue to work with her and hope she starts to realize the benefit of focusing and staying on task and not rushing through her work no matter how boring. I appreciate your input.

Elizabeth - posted on 10/26/2009

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Some children who are gifted in this manner get board with the traditional learning setting and are unwilling to do things the way that teachers want them to because they have a different way to learn. The only thing I have been told to do is to work with them all the time to get them to comply when they need to, like when they are at school. You may want to see if there are any special programs you can put your child in to work on this. My son is this way and is going to be tested too get into a school when he turns three for children who are gifted but refuse to do things in the manner that in typical schools they want the child to do. He has not yet reached school age so getting him in this I am hoping to avoid the problems that could occur. Because your child is older it may take more effort and there may be programs outside of traditional school that could help.

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