The Gifted Program in Early Childhood

Discussion in 'Kindergarten' started by EBKLYN, Feb 2, 2007.

  1. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Feb 3, 2007

    Me? Going to bed? Nope, just had a couple of other matters to deal with.

    One can meet some astonishingly wonderful people here on A to Z.

    As to teachers not talking to each other much, I think you're right. It's an odd thing about teaching: for a people profession, its practitioners are amazingly isolated from each other during the workday. I mean, in most offices there are the so-called water-cooler moments - one has them, and one even has (some) choice in when one has them, and one pops one's head into someone else's cubicle en route to the copier, and so on... but each classroom is to a large extent its own domain.
     
  2. kimrandy1

    kimrandy1 Enthusiast

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    In my district, there is no IQ criteria for entrance into the elementary gifted program (called Talent Development instead of Gifted Education). It's based on teacher and parent recommendation, and grades play a minor role.
    Kim
     
  3. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Is it a big deal when kids get in?
     
  4. kimrandy1

    kimrandy1 Enthusiast

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    No, it's not really a big deal. The program is designed for fluidity, and because we have so many other programs where kids leave their classrooms, it's not considered unusual (remedial stuff, ESL, band and strings, etc.) It's called Talent Development because it's meant to take kids who are either gifted, talented or advanced and broaden those talents. Some kids who get into the program get in based on math skills, some because of reading/wrting, and some for other reasons. A kid is paired with a teacher who can challenge those talents, and an individualized schedule is invented for that child. For example, a 3rd grader with a talent in math may visit the 5th grade pre-algebra session in the afternoons, and a first grader reading on a high level may visit a fourth grade classroom for LA. Same can happen for music, sports, etc. Then, on top of that, we have two GATE teachers that do pullouts with kids of similar abilities (mixed grade groups) throughout the day and also work with teachers for individualization.

    It sounds confusing, and the hardest part is setting the schedule for each kid...and remembering which kid needs to go where and when! But, as a mom of two kids involved in the TD program, I'm very, very pleased. My 2nd grader goes to a 4th grade classroom for LA and also gets pullout twice a week. My 1st grader goes to 2nd grade for math and gets pullout once a week for LA. My 2nd grade also goes to the art teacher once a week during her workshop time to get some mentoring there.
    Kim
     
  5. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    I'm cheerfully jealous - sounds wonderful! Especially since pullout's common, which presumably means that these kids aren't also expected to do the same things that everyone was doing while they were away (one of the big shortcomings of many pullout programs).
     
  6. KinderCowgirl

    KinderCowgirl Phenom

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    We also do not use I.Q. to determine G/T status. If they are tested at 4 years old it is a verbal test that takes about 45 minutes to complete and covers all kinds of higher order thinking skills. If they are identified in Kinder, there is a formula used to decide that includes observations, Stanford scores (supposedly that is why we have to administer that Standardized test in January) and an non-verbal Standardized test that measures spatial reasoning.

    We do have a separate G/T class beginning in Kinder at my school.
    I think there are pros and cons. I think there are kids who just don't test well and therefore do not make the cut. I think it also polarizes the G/T kids more. But I have also seen "regular classrooms" where they have identified G/T students, but don't really do anything differently for them. It's important to remember too that gifted doesn't just mean working above grade level. These kids have extraordinary ability to see patterns in everything, they are creative and usually very inquisitive showing superior vocabulary and communication skills.

    I read that 30% of dropouts in America are G/T status. They are just bored with school and with the educational culture so concerned with the kids who are struggling to learn, they fall through the cracks. I think that might be what Kim was saying about standardized testing, they might naturally do well on it, but how much time do so many classrooms spend on testing strategies and the time actually taking the tests. I would think that would just bore students for whom it came naturally. I really didn't mean for that to be so long.
     
  7. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Cowgirl, you made perfect sense throughout - too long, your post most emphatically isn't. Thanks.
     
  8. EBKLYN

    EBKLYN Companion

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    I think we(teachers) have so many hats to fill, it is quite mind boggling to me as a regular PreK -5 license teacher to try and teach the three learning styles in my room. Much less to say teaching a would be or gifted student in my class. Now that's a challenge. Especially since I read up on the topic using the sites that TeacherGroupie recommended to me.
     
  9. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Ooops! I didn't mean to make matters worse!
     
  10. EBKLYN

    EBKLYN Companion

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    Can a gifted child exhibit behaviors of ADHD?
     
  11. EBKLYN

    EBKLYN Companion

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    Is it unheard of to have behavioral problems from a gifted child in a gifted class?
     
  12. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    I know a gifted kid - well, he's not a kid any more - with a learning disability. And another whose teachers used to joke about her having Asperger's.

    Behavioral issues in gifted classes? Sure, unless it's the sort of gifted class that throws out kids with behavioral issues (and that's not unheard of). Some kids' issues will be resolved by putting them in the gifted class, but sometimes either the class actually isn't appropriate or the issues are too big, or maybe some of each. But putting a gifted kid in a gifted class will not necessarily suffice to deal with the behavioral problems.
     
  13. EBKLYN

    EBKLYN Companion

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    Feb 4, 2007

    Good Morning,

    I know of a kid who fits alot of what of I am reading about on the sites that you recommended me. The more that I read on it makes me think that he knows that he doesn't belong there. He is very smart. He even looks down on other students when he sees me trying to explain something that they can't get and he got it. He is now in first grade, he is very articulate.

    I had him in kindergarten and the way in which he used to communicate with me was well above his years. He used to leave me wondering about him.

    He had serious behavioral issues, enough so much that I had to have him evaluated. The evaluating team all kept expressing to me how very smart he was. The end result was that he was assigned a paraprofessional. I was told that he can't be considered for gifted because of his behaviors.

    Now that I reading up more on the gifted child, I am wondering should I have a discussion with his first grade teacher about assigning him to a gifted class next year?

    I still see him exhibiting some of those behavioral problems in this class now.
     
  14. Ladybug

    Ladybug New Member

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    We have a gifted program that starts in kindergarten.

    Our requirements for the gifted program have gone up in the 4 years I have been at my school.
     
  15. EBKLYN

    EBKLYN Companion

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    Welcome Ladybug,

    In my school the gifted requirement standards seem to be getting lower and lower to me. But the funny thing is that a behavioral child who may verry well in the true sense may be gifted is not allowed in.

    What I would like to know is why is it okay for a regular teacher to have a child with behavioral but a child that is gifted is deemed to be placed in a gifted class as long as the student doesn,t have behavioral issues?

    According to what I am reading these children are only different in an academically way but they may have some of the same issues that a child who is not gifted has.
     
  16. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    There's a widespread misunderstanding that gifted kids have to be ahead of the curve in practically everything but age. If a kid is operating on an eighth-grade level cognitively, it can be hard sometimes to hold onto the fact that the kid is still only seven years old. (I bet there is no gifted kid who has never heard, "If you're so smart, how come you can't ___", where the blank is filled by something that, as often as not, has nothing to do with giftedness per se.)

    And not everyone who works with gifted kids is also good at coping with behavioral issues.

    There's also sometimes a covert expectation that being put in a gifted class is a reward for something rather than simply accommodation to a particular need, and many people resist rewarding someone who acts out.
     
  17. clarnet73

    clarnet73 Moderator

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    I was in gifted starting in 1st. (We didn't have it in K in my district)

    1st and 2nd were pull-out a few hours a week (either 1 AM or 1 PM consistently), taught by an itinerate gifted teacher who moved around to different elementary buildings. These were "studies" that we'd do for several week to a month or more on various topics. The only one I remember we getting to go to a recording studio and making an audio tape of us singing (I think we'd been studying music or something)... I still have it. :) We usually didn't have to make up what was missed, although we were supposed to be able to figure out what the concept was anyway.

    3rd-6th, we went to our gifted center of 3 hrs one AM or PM a week, with kids in our grade from several different schools. Our parents were responsible for picking up and dropping off, so they did a carpool as soon as we knew who was in it. Similar to 1-2 program, we did different "Studies." Each of the teachers would teach a different unit, usually they lasted a semester or so, so we'd be able to get REALLY in-depth with it.

    I remember doing:
    *poetry (a lot more in-depth with writing, understanding, appreciating, different types, etc. than we'd get in regular curriculum)
    *storytelling
    *Voyage of the Mimi (both 1 and 2 in different years)
    *Architecture
    *botany
    *hands-on-equations (Algebra when we were in I think 4th)
    *Latin (all year in 5th, we had an option to take it for HS credit at the HS starting in 6th, but very few of us actually wanted to)
    *computers (good 'ole Apple IIe's before they were everywhere... we made stationary, created puzzles, etc)
    *Future Problem Solving (international competition... option to extend through after school through jr. high/HS if you wanted to and he really thought you were good at it... I did)
    *Time Capsule
    *a Nations project where we created our own counties in groups, and wrote about its political structure, government, made maps, history, etc.

    I LOVED going to Encore. It was the one point in the week where i WASN'T different. Yes, I was one of those "Square pegs." Always have been. Encore was fun because we got to learn TOTALYL different things that were really enjoyable. They didn't really have homework, they were just for fun. And it was WAY better than being in the regular class with kids who didn't know anything and pretending I didn't know the stuff they were teaching. ;)

    Starting in 7th, all the "gifted" stuff was just part of your regular curriculum... we were divided into "mini schools" in 7th and 8th, and each mini school had "groups" of about 10 kids... 4 of them were "high reading" and 2 of those were also "high math." In 7th, that meant prealgebra and 8th meant algebra I for HS credit... aside from those 2 classes, there really wasn't anything that was a "gifted" program in until you took Honors classes in HS.

    On a side note, I didn't qualify for GT in IL even though I did in TN because I didn't take the IL 8th grade tests to qualify me... so when I oved up here in 10th grade, I took all honors and AP classes, but still couldn't take the Gifted class. I didn't have room for it in my schedule anyway. ;)
     
  18. colleen

    colleen Rookie

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    That is so sad.... I really think if that is the case it is because the so-called "regular students" are getting worse all the time. Maybe that is only my perception, but I am shocked at what I see in my area. Then again, I went to Catholic school for 9 years and was taught proper English, etc. :(
     
  19. Lesley

    Lesley Habitué

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    In my children's district for 'honors' there version of gifted the child has to have an 'A' in the class, have a certain number or higher on state tests and a teacher recommendation. For elementary it begins in 5th grade, the middle school 6-8, high school is AP (where you leave those classes only if you want to) However to leave the program in 5-8, if the child has a 'C' at any time-I mean anytime, mid term or grading period, they are 'demoted' to regular classroom immediately without regard to the student or comments from the teacher.

    Now when we lived in SD, once a child is in the gifted program (beginning in 2nd grade on) they are moved to a central school building (it is just one of the 'regular' schools with classroom reserved for the gifted and talented group) and all the kids in the district have their gifted and talented classes together by grade level. They are not removed due to grades, as once your talents (or once you are 'labeled'-don't like that word) it never goes away' so you are in until you decide you don't want to be there. I really liked that system.
     

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