Archive for category Testing

Importance of Self Advocacy

Originally posted on Ramblings of a Gifted Teacher

I teach middle school children. I love their spunk, jokes, personality, and stage of life. Middle school children have a lot of insecurities. They have to deal with their hormones changing and figuring out life as a middle schooler. I believe the more I am with middle school children the more I understand them.

One aspect of middle school children is the fact they complain. Sometimes the complaint is valid, and sometimes it is just to voice an opinion. When it comes to them knowing they need to have a chance at being challenged more because they are either bored, or feel they can do the next level of work middle schoolers can be hesitant. They don’t want to be seen as “that kid.” So we need to teach them it is alright to want to be challenged, and want to help come up with a solution.

I feel it is important to to teach gifted children to ask and question the right people at the right time and place about their education. It should start with a conversation with their parents. They need to talk to their parents about why they feel they should be accelerated or able to do independent studies to be more challenged. The parent should help to gather some information with the child. They should compile a list of issues they have. Try to stick with aspects that can proven with test scores, home work scores, or project scores. Helping the child know themselves is a great place to start.

After that conversation the gifted child should talk to the school councilor. Talking with the school councilor they can ask for a career placement survey to see what their personality matches. It would be a good thing for students to also know their learning style. The school councilor can help with as well. A great resource that can be used is a document from Richard Felder and Barbra Solomon on learning styles and strategies. During this meeting the student could ask for their cumulative record. Most schools have it in electronic form. It should have all the state test scores, and gifted screening scores in it along with grades cards. This data would be good to use and to know for the student and councilor to determine the best route for change. If the councilor is unwilling to share it, then a parent needs to step in and ask for it.

For self advocacy to be taken seriously the student should have good character. The student should take their education, and their work they turn in seriously. If they are just complaining they are bored just to complain self advocacy could be difficult. They may have to be more intervention with the gifted intervention specialist helping the student.

For self advocacy to be effective the student must have support from parents, teachers, and the school councilor. Once everyone has bought into the fact that the student is ready to be tested, or a committee formed for acceleration of whole grade or subject.

Many times when a student says their bored it can be a complaint. Many times it a cry for help. As a teacher you need to investigate it. Is the student bored because they don’t like the content, or is it because they already know the content. As educators we can down play when a student is crying for help. We don’t always know the answers. We have to genuinely listen to our students.

What do you do to teach gifted children it is alright to self advocate?

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Selection of Gifted Children for Gifted Services

Part 3 of 3 of the Gifted Nomination, Gifted Screening, and Selection for Gifted Services

As was mentioned in the previous post, students who scores a 129 or higher (Superior Cognitive Abilities) are automatically placed in gifted services. If a student falls into the Creative Thinking Abilities category then we have to further test.

In our district we use two different checklists that the State of Ohio allows us to use. The first is the GATES (Gifted And Talented Evaluation scale. The GATES is a checklist done by the classroom teacher(s). The score for this must be 83 or higher to be placed in a gifted program. We also use the SRBCSS (Scale for Rating and Behavior Checklists of Superior Students) to help screen students. The SRBCSS checklist is also done by the classroom teacher(s) and to qualify for gifted services a student must score 51 or higher.

The gifted department will test 100% of the students in 2nd and 5th grade, but the additional screening will only happen generally to about 25% of the students. This additional screening is always based on their CogAT test scores.

Once the gifted department gets all the scores parents are notified if their child has qualified or not for gifted services. There is also a letter that goes out to indicate there needs to be more testing. Then final list of students who qualify for gifted services a letter goes out to parents and teachers to let them know their child/student has qualified for gifted services.

If you have a question about the whole process of how a student gets into a gifted program please let one of the gifted intervention specialist know. They can answer all your questions.

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