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3rd Grade Comprehension

Jack Said:

My daughter is in 1st grade and it has been recommended that she be tested for a gifted program...?

We Answered:

(Side note - I don't know what SPDs are, but you mention clothing and food issues - I'll refer to these).

Start by asking your school how they plan to test your daughter. There are a myriad tests they could be referring to - but these will generally fall into two broad categories:

First, they may administer a *preformance* based test - this will be some assessment of her *demonstrated* ability in some way. Given she is already demonstrating 3rd grade reading level and 2nd grade maths level, there is no real need for any further performance testing.

Second, and hopefully, they are referring to an intelligence test (IQ assessment). These are designed to test *ability* - whether or not the individual is performing to the best of their ability.

There are 3 things to be aware of before you consent to an IQ test:

1) your daughter will be unable to re-sit the same test for typically 2 years. This is because she will remember the experience, have learned from it and be able to improve her result in subsequent tests. The idea in these tests is to evaluate how your daughter responds to novel (new) problems.

2) there is a variety of IQ tests and these have been designed with differing goals in mind. The creators of some have explicitly stated their IQ test is *not* designed for evaluating giftedness, yet psychologists will continue to look to that very test for that reason. Further - even those tests which *are* designed to assess giftedness vary. Some are very good at identifying very highly gifted children, whilst others are more appropriate for less gifted children. Beyond identification of gifted children, each test will provide insights into relative strengths and weaknesses, sensitivites and preferred learning styles - and again each test will differ.

3) the amount of experience that the testing psychologist has had with gifted children *can* affect the outcome of the test. Many psychologists will object to that statement saying if that were the case then the test would not be a fair assessment - it is designed to produce a result independently of the person administering it. However, consider the following: many people learn more instinctively when information is presented visually. (See "visual spatial learning style"). When asked a question, these people can often "picture" their answer, but can't find the words to describe it. Even when very young, they learn that if they remain silent whilst working out their verbal answer to a question, the asker often loses interest or another person answers first. Therefore they learn a technique to "fill in the time" while their brains translate their mental picture into cumbersome, sequential words - they give a minimal answer and/or say "ahhhhhh......" For the question: "what colour is the sky?" they might say "blue, ummmmm". The inexperienced psychologist will record that response and move on to the next question. The gifted child will have learned that the psychologist is only interested in simple answers and all subsequent answers will be given minimal thought. Had the psychologist waited, the answer may have continued: "ummm... except in the evening when there are oranges, reds, yellows and even purples. And of course, at night it's black. In fact, some people say it has no colour at all - it only looks blue because of the light passing through the atmosphere."

Therefore my recommendation is to a) find out which test, b) find out the experience level of the tester (with gifted children), c) read more about the test, and then decide.

The expectations during testing should not be overwhelming at all. The test should prove interesting for your daughter. Again, however, if your daughter is highly gifted and an inappropriate test is administered, it may well prove boring and she may not give an accurate indication of her ability.

Also - both you and your daughter should feel completely comfortable during the testing. Depending on the psychologist, you may or may not be in the same room. The psyhcologist may choose to visit you at home. They should certainly be flexible enough to stop the testing if your daughter does not willingly participate.

If your question meant "are the expectations [of being identified as gifted] overwhelming?" - the answer is that for some people it can be. However, overall most researchers, psychologists, and parents of identified gifted children seem to agree that the best you can do for a gifted child is to learn about giftedness and then combine that knowledge with your knowledge of your child.

Given her grades - and the fact that many highly gifted children *do* exhibit irritabilities resulting from sensory overstimulation (was this what you were referring to with food and clothes? These are classic examples...) - your daughter does sound moderately to highly gifted.

Lastly - if you are not happy with the school's choice of test or tester, you could choose to pay for an assessment yourself. In this way you will be more comfortable with the arrangements, but you will also own the report (sometimes 25+ pages) and be able to take that with you for all your daughter's educational environments.

It should be said, however, that some gifted children's needs are met completely satisfactorily - even without testing. For others, the independent, professional opinion on your child's giftedness can be very empowering and validating when negotiating educational provisions.

Eric Said:

An adaptation for a child who is physically impaired on a 3rd grade reading test on grammar and comprehension?

We Answered:

How are they physically impaired? Are they mentally impaired as well? we need more information!

Ivan Said:

3rd Grade Retention. Would you hold your child back a grade?

We Answered:

What was her teacher's recommendation? Do you know who her teacher will be next year whether she does or does not repeat? What is the school's plan of action?

Being a grade level behind in these areas doesn't necessarily mean your daughter needs to repeat. I think you should contact the school to see if there are any suggestions they have for you, or maybe a summer program you could use with her to catch her up a bit. Holding her back may still not resolve the problem if other steps aren't taken to differentiate instruction for her.

Eddie Said:

How can I motivate my 3rd grade boy to read more?

We Answered:

2 words... positive reinforcement...
offer him motives to read... if u do this, ill give ya this, or do this for ya... u get the idea.. its a proven pyschological factor that works!! give it a try!

Lillie Said:

Looking for High Interest Low Level Chapter Books for Sr.High Students Reading below 3rd Grade Level?

We Answered:

I think the publisher is called "Remedia Publications." I have MANY books that are written for students grades 7-12, but are at a level of reading below 3rd grade. There are books on science that have to do with reading, fucntional reading like the newspaper, TONS of things. Laubach reading also has what you are looking for (the spelling may not be correct). But once you get one of these catalogs, they keep sending them to you. My problem; I want to order ALL of them. They're really good.

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