What can you tell me about the "gifted program" for kids around age 10?
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Thread: What can you tell me about the "gifted program" for kids around age 10?

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    What can you tell me about the "gifted program" for kids around age 10?

    I got a call from my daughter's teacher ( one of my twins )... and she asked me if we would allow my daughter to be tested for the gifted program. I don't know what that really means. though I can figure it out basically.

    And for those who read my thread about my daughter who really is an advanced reader but has not been asked to go in that program, this is her sister who was asked about the gifted program.

    At first glance this sounds awesome.

    But here is the thing... my daughter who has not been asked to be in the advanced reading program, really is the better student. She gets better grades. She has ALWAYS tested higher in the PSSA'a ( Pennsylvania standardized tests ).... and she loves school more than her sister, who was just asked to test.

    I will allow my daughter to test for the gifted program, but knowing that her sister really is the one with better grades, this feels rather wrong for our family. I don't want animosity between them. The one that did not get asked KNOWS she has always had better grades and she isn't shy about telling everybody that.

    But other than working at a higher level, I wonder how big a deal this really is in 5th grade anyway.

    Honestly, the one who was asked is a pretty solid student in her own right, but I was totally surprised ( almost shocked ) when the teacher called and said that she believes that my daughter is "gifted". If the other daughter had been asked to test I would not have been shocked, but just pleasantly surprised.

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    Senior Member Morrwyn's Avatar
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    Re: What can you tell me about the "gifted program" for kids around age 10?

    When I was in school I was a "gifted" kid. They didn't test us or anything thing, in fact I'm not really sure how we were selected. It might have been grades or what the teacher thought or other test scores.

    But as for compering the two girls, I don't really think that you should penalize her because her "smarter" sister didn't get chosen. With the program we had both I and my best friend were in there. We were both smart but she chose to show that off, she chose more to project her "smartness" and almost rub in other kids faces. Her mother constantly bragged about her and really coached her and supported that attitude. The thing is through, she never went out of her way to learn things just because or to really think outside the box. She just took what the teacher told her, didn't question, and ran with it.

    Myself, though, my grades weren't as good as her's. And a lot of times I couldn't be bothered to pay attention in class because I was bored. I would read ahead in books while we were reading out loud and get in trouble because I didn't know where we were when I was called on to read. Or I would be called on to do a math problem and be told I was wrong because I didn't show my work they way they wanted even though I would get the answer right. I once automatically got and A+ on a book report I didn't do because my teacher didn't want to read through a summery of a 500 page book. I was constantly learning things on my own and questioning things that didn't make sense to me. I was basically considered a trouble maker even though as we found out later through standardized testing that I was much smarter than this supposed "perfect" student.

    Her teacher see something that you don't see, maybe because you too focused on your "smart" girl or maybe just because you judge her intelligence in a different way. You need to support both of your daughters and teach them to except that they won't always get what the other has and that it's okay because they are different people with different strengths and weakness.



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    Re: What can you tell me about the "gifted program" for kids around age 10?

    I'm not. I specifically said I would let her test. And who said I don't support both daughters?

    I find it interesting that people always assume the worst if every single detail isn't laid on the table. Why not assume the POSITIVE?
    Last edited by Papa Deuce; 10-23-2011 at 12:38 AM.

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    Senior Member ThoseWordsAtBest's Avatar
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    Re: What can you tell me about the "gifted program" for kids around age 10?

    I was in a gifted program in school, and look at me now!

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    Re: What can you tell me about the "gifted program" for kids around age 10?

    So my elementary school best friend tested into the gifted program. I was okay with that because the principal, my teacher, and my mom were all planning to move me ahead at least one year. They decided not to because I would struggle socially even more so than I already did with my own age group. Then I was pissed(read: jealous).

    I was bored to tears through middle school but high school rolled around and making my way into advanced courses was not only possible, it was a cake walk. I ended up at the same level as that best friend. So no, I don't think it's a huge deal. High school and extracurriculars is what will get them ahead with scholarships, college level courses already completed, etc.

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    Senior Member spotted nikes's Avatar
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    Re: What can you tell me about the "gifted program" for kids around age 10?

    I was in a gifted program in 6-8th grades. The only thing I remember is that we had an art class where we were supposed to make something out of clay. I was trying to make a horse's head, and at the last minute screwed it up, so I squished it all up, smoothed out some edges, and when the teacher asked me what it was, I told her it was abstract art. She gave me an "A". Either she thought I was "gifted", or she was thinking "They don't pay me enough for this". I think I was gifted at "bull$hitting"...art?...not so much.
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    Re: What can you tell me about the "gifted program" for kids around age 10?

    Quote Originally Posted by spotted nikes View Post
    I was in a gifted program in 6-8th grades. The only thing I remember is that we had an art class where we were supposed to make something out of clay. I was trying to make a horse's head, and at the last minute screwed it up, so I squished it all up, smoothed out some edges, and when the teacher asked me what it was, I told her it was abstract art. She gave me an "A". Either she thought I was "gifted", or she was thinking "They don't pay me enough for this". I think I was gifted at "bull$hitting"...art?...not so much.
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    Re: What can you tell me about the "gifted program" for kids around age 10?

    I was in all the gate programs all the way through until highschool where I was in gate and AP. I don't know how GATE works in your area, but in mine once middle school started and we had separate classes for each subject, there was a GATE class for each subject vs. a smaller focused group in elementary taught by a teacher with a assistant that can adjust certain subjects to individual pace.

    From what it sounds like is that both your kids are smart and while the other is held back from higher reading, she needs to retest. I suppose they are yin yang to each other if this daughter test better but the other gets nervous about it. I think if your daughter is up to the challenge then its a very good opportunity for her. I did enjoy it until I got older and wanted out for ulterior reasons. I do think the program is good for those who are over performing and are not receiving much benefit from the grade level curriculum. I was much happier being in a classroom that engaged and challenged me. In regular classes, I often sat in the back reading because I breezed through my work.

    These are things I remember from 10-13years old: we had good reading material and had highschool like group discussion on the nuances of the story. We didn't do basic things like having a weekly spelling list with a test, instead we did things like word webs where we try to spell a word the teacher picks, write a definition and a sentence for it. Instead of simple art watercolor, we did sculpture, photography, etc. Instead of a simple narrative, we learned about story structure and styling, also about poetry. We did extensive projects about cultures and other countries, watched bi weekly documentaries, did dissections in science. I believe this was around the time I was encouraged to learn Spanish and we had music classes once a week.
    Last edited by The_Monstors; 10-23-2011 at 06:14 AM.

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    Re: What can you tell me about the "gifted program" for kids around age 10?

    Quote Originally Posted by spotted nikes View Post
    I squished it all up, smoothed out some edges, and when the teacher asked me what it was, I told her it was abstract art. She gave me an "A".
    LOL. Why not? If it looked like you were sculpting with a purpose, I probably wouldn't have questioned it either. I mean Jackson Pollock makes paint spills, but it's worth millions.

    I made something similar. I threw paint spills and sat there for an hour listening to my CD player without question since I told the teacher I was trying to channel what the paint tells me. I ended up making something the next day in my last 10 minutes. It was genius apparently since it hung on our school hallway for years after I left.

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    Senior Member Zoopie's Avatar
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    Re: What can you tell me about the "gifted program" for kids around age 10?

    Being "gifted" is not just matter of grades.

    I have students who learn very well. They work hard, they have it easy, they understand fast, they have stellar grades. They are perfectly adapted to regular classes. I have students who learn very well. They get bored, they have it too easy, they understand too fast, they often have average grades because they are not stimulated enough. They might be happier in the gifted program.

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    Re: What can you tell me about the "gifted program" for kids around age 10?

    My best friends son is in the gifted program at their school. At first glance an outsider may not be able to see his intelligence....(and he struggles with adhd), as he forgets homework, loses books, easily distracted, etc. But he is VERY smart, and bc of that, not a great student. Which may not make sense, but he was SO bored in his "regular" classes, that he acted up a lot and got in trouble. In the gifted program, he does much better bc his brain is being stimulated the way it needs to be.
    It could be that your daughter would excel in the GP bc it would cater to her academic needs better.

    I think its great!! It shouldnt create animosity between the girls, bc I know you are supportive of both of them, which is tricky as a parent to do. But from your posts it sounds like you are supportive and involved, and that will make the difference. Find qualities of both daughters to praise, and remember to be positive about each of them around others, (This one was accepted into the GP! and this one is involved with this activity! Im so proud!) and they will be fine.

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    Senior Member Gofygure's Avatar
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    Re: What can you tell me about the "gifted program" for kids around age 10?

    I was in a gifted program for two years in middle school. It was an interesting setup; the kids from both grades were in the same class together, doing the same work, for a two hour block each day. That class was my favorite part of middle school. Everyone came out of it good friends and with our own little 'AGATE culture.' I didn't find the coursework any more challenging than usual, but I think all us geeky kids were relieved to have an outlet like that.

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    Senior Member Fuzzy Pants's Avatar
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    Re: What can you tell me about the "gifted program" for kids around age 10?

    At my school there were gifted classes that just consisted of twice as much homework of the same level of difficulty. So yeah, a lot of 'gifted' students didn't see the point of having twice as much mundane, easy work that wasn't going to stimulate them and would leave them even more bored than before.

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    Senior Member Charis's Avatar
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    Re: What can you tell me about the "gifted program" for kids around age 10?

    In the daughters department - I am not a parent - I can only recall how my parents did things with me and my sister. My parents encouraged what we were good at. I entered the gifted program and ended up being withdrawn from public school (for multiple reasons) with a major reason being public school was "too slow" for me (I only spent 15 months in high school and got into college before I could drive). My sister was also withdrawn (for different reasons) and she graduated in the same year she would have if she had stayed in public school. My parents encouraged my scholastic work - I received Merck Vet Manuals as birthday gifts (and that really was what I wanted), I had models of a heart and brains and made anatomical models in 4th grade. My sister had no interest in pursuing school more than she had too but is a gifted artist. My parents encouraged her art and she had a custom art desk as a birthday present and her room resembled an art gallery as a teen (track lighting and all).
    I write this to say - I would encourage each daughter the direction they enjoy and are good at. My parents were frank and somewhat gentle (mom more than dad) in telling us we each had our "gifts" and that we might not be "amazing" at everything. I tried art. I am horrible at it. My sister could sometimes barely keep her GPA a 2.5 - my parents set a min. standard (my sis had to pass school) and I had to have art/humanities credits but we aren't similar at all now and we weren't as kids.
    I'd go with encouraging each child to excel at what they enjoy and are good at (with min. standards).

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    Re: What can you tell me about the "gifted program" for kids around age 10?

    [QUOTE=Charis;1089106......
    I write this to say - I would encourage each daughter the direction they enjoy and are good at. My parents were frank and somewhat gentle (mom more than dad) in telling us we each had our "gifts" and that we might not be "amazing" at everything. I tried art. I am horrible at it. My sister could sometimes barely keep her GPA a 2.5 - my parents set a min. standard (my sis had to pass school) and I had to have art/humanities credits but we aren't similar at all now and we weren't as kids.
    I'd go with encouraging each child to excel at what they enjoy and are good at (with min. standards).[/QUOTE]


    Therein lies the irony. The one who gets better grades REALLY wants this. The one who got offered - and whose grades are not quite as good - to test isn't even all that excited, though she said she will do it if picked.
    Last edited by Papa Deuce; 10-24-2011 at 11:56 AM.

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    Re: What can you tell me about the "gifted program" for kids around age 10?

    Quote Originally Posted by Papa Deuce View Post
    Therein lies the irony. The one who gets better grades REALLY wants this. The one who got offered - and whose grades are not quite as good - to test isn't even all that excited, though she said she will do it if picked.
    Is there a way to for the daughter who wants it to also test?

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    Re: What can you tell me about the "gifted program" for kids around age 10?

    Quote Originally Posted by Charis View Post
    Is there a way to for the daughter who wants it to also test?
    I have told her that is she wants it, she needs to ask for it herself. Take the initiative.

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    Re: What can you tell me about the "gifted program" for kids around age 10?

    I would read ahead in books while we were reading out loud and get in trouble because I didn't know where we were when I was called on to read.
    That's me, right here. Could not STAND the slow readers (I was reading by age 2-2.5)

    Or I would be called on to do a math problem and be told I was wrong because I didn't show my work they way they wanted even though I would get the answer right.
    Me again

    I was constantly learning things on my own and questioning things that didn't make sense to me. I was basically considered a trouble maker even though as we found out later through standardized testing that I was much smarter than this supposed "perfect" student.
    I think we're sisters.

    Her teacher see something that you don't see, maybe because you too focused on your "smart" girl or maybe just because you judge her intelligence in a different way. You need to support both of your daughters and teach them to except that they won't always get what the other has and that it's okay because they are different people with different strengths and weakness.
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    Senior Member Shell's Avatar
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    Re: What can you tell me about the "gifted program" for kids around age 10?

    I'm sure the gifted programs vary a lot from area to area, but I remember mine in 4th-8th grades as being great. It wasn't just more work of the same level, it was small classes with teachers that wanted to individualize the program for each student. Much more freedom to decide what books to read, what to focus on in science, more student led projects, minimal standardized testing/multiple choice testing, more integrated projects (as in, a book report might require a written report, an oral presentation AND an artistic/graphic component). We had an economic team that did Jeopardy style competitions against other schools and took field trips that were more "academic" than the general trips to the art museums etc. More independent learning was required and more initiative was expected of the gifted program students.

    What I think a lot of people miss the point on is that often the "gifted" kids that the teachers want to get into programs like this are actually the ones getting mediocre grades (because the work is easy and dull so they skip homework for more interesting pursuits), acting out in class (they are bored), or otherwise minor level troublemakers. Students who just don't fit the "teach to the test" and "one size fits all" mold. It does not mean that the students asked to join the gifted class are the smartest students, it means they are the ones most likely to benefit from and to excel in the gifted program's format. Generally, being good in one or two subjects isn't enough, typically it requires someone who is well above so-called grade level in all subjects and shows the desire to go beyond the required work.

    If the daughter with better grades want to test, I agree that she needs to ask for it. That alone is part of showing she's eligible (if that makes sense).

    The one that was asked to test, you say doesn't love school as much as her sister? Well, the gifted program might be what she needs to make her love school more. I HATED the regular classes and was a world class troublemaker and pain-in-the-rear to every teacher and sub EXCEPT the gifted class teachers-- because the regular classes were frustratingly dull and slow moving so I spend hours a day trying to entertain myself in my head or on paper while stuck at my desk.

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    Re: What can you tell me about the "gifted program" for kids around age 10?

    Well, to follow up, no test has been given yet, but my other daughter did ask to be tested, and the counselor agreed to have her tested. My daughter asked 3x to be tested ( asked her teacher, and got no response ) so she chose to go to the school counselor on her own. I am very proud of her for standing up for what she believes in. But I also told her that if she doesn't pass the test - well, I told both of them - then that is the end of it for this year. They can try again next year when the get to middle school.

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