How to get my "unfocused" son into the gifted & talented program in 3rd grade?

Discussion in 'Elementary Education' started by thesub, Sep 15, 2011.

  1. thesub

    thesub Comrade

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    Sep 15, 2011

    I am not a pushy mom and I am very happy with my 3rd-grader. I do think he is really smart and his imagination is wonderful and he may benefit from being around the smart kids in the G&T program, just my opinion.

    He is hearing-impaired with low muscle tone. There are aides in the class (who DO NOT HOVER around him ) He is ok in studies.
    He gets fidgety in class, rubs his hands together and flails his arms when he is excited - all coming from his low muscle tone. His 2nd grade teacher did not recommend him to the G& T program because he was unfocused. His Terra Nova scores were 57 (math), 67 (English?), 80 in reading. I guess he lost interest in the test and did poorly.

    With all these issues, do such kids get into the G&T program? I am trying to tap into his innate smartness. How do I make him focused and get a better score in math?

    Please...again I am not being pushy but just curious if he can be a better student.

    Thanks so much,
    thesub
     
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  3. 3Sons

    3Sons Enthusiast

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    Sep 15, 2011

    I see two potential issues.

    First, most schools have some kind of testing requirement for the gifted program. My middle son is highly imaginative, but he simply doesn't have the sheer brainpower of my older son (he's not dumb, just average overall. He has other qualities which are quite wonderful, though).

    Being gifted does not necessarily mean being a "good student". My older son is not nearly as good a student as my middle son. So your end goal of wanting your son to be a better student may not be advanced by your method, even if you succeeded (that said, it depends on your school's program: they might be admitting only "good students" regardless of giftedness).

    If I might ask, what gives you an indication of his giftedness? Most parents have various anecdotes that give something of a indication of their child's giftedness.

    If your aim is for him to be a better student, I think there are more effective ways to accomplish this than to try to get him into the GT program, even assuming he is gifted.
     
  4. thesub

    thesub Comrade

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    I do think my son's school admits only the good students, ie, those who do well in class & are well-behaved, get great scores in state testing.

    My son can put random issues together and find a connection, makes witty conversation and if he is in the mood, he can dash off a long, well-reasoned essay on Star Wars and his take on the different movies. His sister seemed average compared to him and yet got into the gifted program. He definitely is more imaginative than her but she is hard-working, focused and disciplined. So I am trying to channel his "talents' outside the class and get him to apply himself to his classroom lessons.

    I bring this up only because it may be easier in 3rd grade to get into the gifted program than in the 7th grade when it is the middle school and there are more students competing.

    Btw, is there actual evidence that these "gifted & talented' kids get into better colleges than their regular friends?

    Thanks,
    thesub
     
  5. 3Sons

    3Sons Enthusiast

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    I think it's *very* typical that good students get moved to GT much more easily than students who are more difficult to handle.

    I wouldn't bother with trying to get him into a GT program for college admissions. While AP classes help, a pull-out program before HS I don't think does. You might try to figure out from other parents what the typical path is and whether GT programs are viewed as a precursor to AP or Honors classes in any sense. Keep in mind that even if ES pull-out GT kids get into better colleges, it may well be that they're simply identifying -- not doing anything which makes a particular kid more likely to get into a good college.
     
  6. KinderCowgirl

    KinderCowgirl Phenom

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    How does he do academically? My thought is if he is already struggling a bit, maybe a more stringent program would put alot of undue pressure on him. There are certainly GT kids who are unfocused (there's a lot of literature on GT underachievers).

    The process really seems to vary across the country. Our kids get in purely on test scores (we test them at 4-years old and then the standardized testing in Kinder)-there are teacher and parent recommendations but they don't hold much weight in the equation. However, to remain in the program they are expected to be able to hold a certain grade point average and keep behavioral issues to a minimum. Students can be put on growth plans and exited out after infractions in either of those areas. I've taught GT kids with Asperger's, Dyslexia and ADHD-believe me, they come in all variations! ;)
     
  7. thesub

    thesub Comrade

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    Sep 15, 2011

    Kindercowgirl..

    he does average on academics, ie excellent scores in reading and re-telling assignments but wildly varying scores in math (100% in some tests and 70% in some).

    How do the special ed kids do in the G&T program???? How do they even get in - are they high-functioning students? I assumed special ed students are automatically excluded from G&T. In the G&T classes in our district, kids need to be logical thinkers and able to figure out what assignments they missed while they were in the G&T part. Do your special ed kids do the G&T program with the aides' help?

    PS: I sub in special ed classes with mostly autism students, so I have some idea of special ed students.

    Thanks,
    thesub
     
  8. bros

    bros Phenom

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    Sep 15, 2011

    Does he have an IEP?

    If so, you may wish to talk to the IEP team to see how he can get into the G&T program.

    What are his IQ scores on his most recent WISC?
     
  9. Toast

    Toast Companion

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    Does your son even have a desire to be in the gifted and talented program?

    I am asking this because as a child my parents believed that I was gifted and talented, but too unfocused to do the necessary work to show that I belonged in that class. (I was even thought of as the bright yet lazy under achiever)

    This wasn't true. I was average.

    However, my parents wouldn't accept that I was *just* average and for years made me feel as if I wasn't good enough because I didn't work my way into those classes. (And it didn't help that I had 2 siblings in gifted)

    Because of the way I was made to feel as if I was never good enough by my parents (unintentionally of course), this has provoked major confidence issues in me even as an adult.

    So, before you push him, be very careful. If he is in fact average and happy where he is, perhaps leave it alone. Gifted in elementary school really doesn't play a part in college admissions. Parent involvement at home is a big key to driving a child's success.

    Just something to think about.
     
  10. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Kids with challenges can screen for gifted programs. Please consider there is a difference between smart and gifted. Usually gifted programs are pull outs...can your son , if he qualifies, stand to miss academics in his classroom? Do you feel your child's needs are not being met thru the regular Ed program? You might benefit from reflecting upon your motivations for seeking ways to get your son into the program... Is this truly about his needs?
     
  11. FarFromHome

    FarFromHome Connoisseur

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    In two of the states I've been in, an IQ test is the first step. If their IQ was not high enough (I believe it was 130), they automatically would not qualify and would not do the additional testing. Gifted does not mean they are only the students with good behavior. I even had a friend growing up who caused a lot of problems in school, but was in the gifted program.
     
  12. EMonkey

    EMonkey Connoisseur

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    In the district I teach in every third grader is tested. I know a lot of districts and teachers judge on academic ability rather than being gifted. In the state I work in the school is required to give the test if asked by parents. In my second year teaching I had this very smart kid visiting my class every day. His teacher was refusing to test him because he would misbehave a lot (he seemed more to be seeking entertainment to me). His parents had requested the test and he ended up in the GATE program.
     
  13. thesub

    thesub Comrade

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    Sep 16, 2011

    Thank you all so much...lots to think about

    My son is average in class and he couldn't care less about the G&T program. Also, I doubt if he can figure out what he missed during the regular class if he is pulled out - again, he doesn't care what he misses in school work. He has not been tested for IQ so far, I think. But I am meeting the IEP team next week and will find out if they have any IQ score for him.

    Maybe I will just wait and see if he qualified in the 5th grade when he is more mature.

    Thanks again,
    thesub
     
  14. a_apple_z_zebra

    a_apple_z_zebra Rookie

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    Sep 16, 2011

    Gifted programs are designed to meet the needs of a population of students whose needs aren't being met within the general education classroom. Oftentimes, these are students who either have high IQ's and aren't being sufficiently challenged, or students who have particularly high-level abilities in a specific subject or skill and are not growing substantially in the general education classroom. So my question is, is your son growing and developing academically in his general education classroom? Are you seeing growth? Is he being challenged where he is now?

    Many students who benefit from being in a gifted program are those who are frustrated or complain of being bored in their general education classrooms, who have "peaked out" and aren't making substantial growth.
     
  15. bros

    bros Phenom

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    If he has an IEP or is in the process of testing for an IEP, an IQ test will have been performed and you should've been sent the results. Remember, the IEP team must reevaluate every three years minimum, but they can evaluate every 12 months if you request.
     

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