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"A" student does not mean gifted

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"A" student does not mean gifted
Old 10-20-2007, 12:46 PM
 
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How do you get parents to understand this? I have to deal with a parent next week who wants to know how her child can make straight A's and not score high enough on a test to qualify for GT... How do you all answer this question?


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tough one
Old 10-20-2007, 04:59 PM
 
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That's the hardest thing for me to understand and to get across to other teachers/parents. We have a section in my handbook from our state department in MS that gives a list of comparisons of the "bright" child and the "gifted" child. Here are a few:

The bright child is interested, the gifted child is highly curious.
The BC works hard, the GC plays around but tests well.
The BC is in the top group, the GC is beyond the top group.
The BC learns with ease, the GC already knows.
The BC listens with interest, the GC shows strong feelings and opinions.
The BC is a good memorizer, the GC is a good guesser.
The BC needs 6-8 repetitions for mastery, the GC needs 1-2.
The BC answers the questions, the GC discusses in detail, elaborates.
The BC enjoys peers, the GC prefers adults.
THe BC grasps the meaning, the GC draws inferences.
The BC completes the assignments, the GC initiates projects.

I don't know if this will help explain the difference in a child that makes straight "A's" and doesn't pass the test and one who passes the test and may or may not make straight "A's". I think gifted children have higher level thinking skills and creative thinking skills. This explanation might not satisfy the parent though. As I said, this is a tough one. Also, in my opinion, straight "A's" doesn't mean the same thing everywhere. In some classrooms, there aren't as many "higher level" questions and activites as in others, therefore, you could make an "A" for Ms. B and not for Ms. C, because Ms. C's class might be more challenging. Of course, this might offend the parent and make her think you're suggesting her child isn't really that smart, that her teacher just isn't challenging her enough. I wish I could help you more! I'm curious to see what others have to say on this.
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Academics vs. ability
Old 10-20-2007, 07:10 PM
 
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Thanks for the suggestion, I have a list like that I can use; however as you stated a parent might not understand. When I spoke with her yesterday I tried to explain making A's doesn't mean high scores as these tests aren't so much things you can learn, they're more logic/reasoning type questions. Also doesn't help that her brother did qualify when he tested.

Thanks again for the suggestions, I'll let you know how it goes....
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Bright v Gifted
Old 11-16-2007, 08:10 PM
 
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I'm new at this this year, but I've already encountered this multiple times, from teachers as well as parents. The important thing, I've found, to highlight is that being labeled gifted does not predict success. "Gifted" students think differently (reference aforementioned list... which is GREAT) and need specially designed instruction due to this. Having the successful learner skills of task commitment, revising work, completing work on time, accuracy, study habits, etc is more important in the long run. A student who is a high achiever has special needs to be met, too, just not as a gifted student. High achievers need to be challenged (through differentiation, for example) in order to maintain their interest and love for learning.

In the same breath, I try to teach my gifted students that they have great and powerful minds, but that it doesn't do the world any good if they can't express their ideas, share their work in a neat way, and make others want to understand their ideas.

Don't know if that helps...!
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