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pinkpanther pinkpanther is offline
 
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gifted assessment
Old 11-15-2007, 07:10 AM
 
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I am a high school teacher of gifted/talented kids. (I teach AP math courses at a public magnet school.) My oldest DD has been referred for G/T testing twice (both times by her teacher). Both times she has been short one point on the matrix of multiple criteria to qualify for further testing (an individual IQ test). She scores 4/5 for gifted characteristics and 9/10 points for performance/creativity. However, my highly verbal, non-visual kid gets no points for the aptitude portion because her NNAT score is only in the average range. DD will take the OLSAT in the spring, which could also qualify her for services. Our system uses the OLSAT/NNAT exclusively for screening, so we have no other options.

Does anyone have any experience with these tests? DD's teachers are convinced that she's gifted and not just a high achiever. My husband and I feel the same way. She writes complex stories with advanced vocabulary and detailed drawings and she has taught herself (at age 8) how to multiply 2-digit numbers. We are very frustrated!


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Nnat
Old 11-15-2007, 01:08 PM
 
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can be a problem if she is not visual/spatial, which is why we've started using other criteria and don't weight that any more than the others.

We use NNAT, CoGAT, a reading rubric that is completed by the classroom teacher, a writing sample, and a problem solving question. They have to score "gt" on five of the seven (CoGAT counts as three - verbal, quantitative and non-verbal are all scored individually).

I have had at least one student who has visual issues who could NOT do NNAT - she had a "lazy eye" (I'm sure there's some medical term for this, but that's what her parents called it... and that's all I've ever heard it called), where the muscles are weak and hard to focus. She wore bifocals in third grade... she could NOT manipulate those patterns visually. I spoke with a teacher who had the same condition, and then her classroom teacher and I both wrote statements to our selection committee as to why that score was so low, in our opinion. They decided to place her temporarily for two years and then re-evaluate based on performance in the program.

If it is a physical vision problem, you might consider having her doctor write some sort of statement as to her visual ability. If it's just a "not a visual learner" (like me...) then there are a couple of things I could suggest. FIRST, tell her to slow down, and look at every single option/answer - consider size, color, pattern, EVERYTHING before she selects an answer. Some are tricky!

Second, see if you can find some books or websites with similar type problems/patterns to solve and work with her explaining what sort of thing you'd look for - WHY that is the correct answer, etc. This will help her know what to look for when she is taking the test. Often, when kids do not do patterning/logic/visual problems, they have no idea HOW to go about finding a correct answer for NNAT.

Hope that helps...
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Regarding the OLSAT
Old 11-15-2007, 01:35 PM
 
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what has your experience been? I suspect that DD will do much better on the OLSAT than she did on the NNAT. She's very good with vocabulary, reading, mathematical reasoning, etc.

Her weakness is definitely visual/spatial, and it's not a vision problem. I have talked to her about how to look for patterns, but it's hard to find matrix problems. She's much better on the figural sequencing. I think that she does have a tendency to pick an answer before she really looks at all of the choices carefully. Practice would definitely help.

I guess my real issue with the school system/state is that the identification process seems to place highly verbal kids with lower spatial abilities at a disadvantage.
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Olsat
Old 11-16-2007, 07:51 AM
 
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We stopped using OLSAT simply because of time constraints. I was the only tester for elementary and giving OLSAT, CoGAT and NNAT took forever! AND, I have to hand score and it's a bugger to score since the verbal/quantitative/non-verbal are all mixed up (where as CoGAT is in three separate tests).

The reason we chose CoGAT over OLSAT is because we felt our ELL populations did better with CoGAT. English speaking students scored about the same on both tests... however, we noticed that the ELL students (who'd scored high on NNAT) also scored high on CoGAT, but often would have lower scores on OLSAT... hence our reason for feeling it was a language issue.

hope that helps... You might try Bright Minds website, they have some materials for Creative/Critical thinking
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The ELL focus
Old 11-16-2007, 08:49 AM
 
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frustrates me. I understand the need to identify gifted ELL students, but isn't it possible that matrix tests could potentially place highly verbal kids at a disadvantage in this process? You have not addressed this issue. The CoGAT is not an approved screener in our state.

Yes, we have two of the Bright Minds books, but they have very little to prepare one for matrix type questions. Figural sequencing--yes, but matrix questions--no.


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disadvantages
Old 11-16-2007, 10:06 AM
 
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I agree... I don't think there's any "one" test that works for everyone. One advantage in Texas, we don't have specified tests we have to give, each district is allowed to choose the test or tests they feel are best suited for their population.

In the end, even without the "numbers" our selection committee has the option to place a child in GT (or in our case, we also have a "talent pool" - didn't quite make it to GT type thing, but they're still served with GT students).

Our selection matrix consists of NNAT, CoGAT, Reading Rubric, Writing sample, problem solving, teacher inventory, parent inventory, grades, etc. IF a child meets the criteria (scores high enough), it's a given they're in; however, if they miss by one or two (or as in the case with my visually impaired child I mentioned previously), the committee can still choose to place them in GT or Talent Pool based on their interpretation of the results, teacher recommendation, doctor's statements, etc.

As long as your state requirements are rigidly limited - your only alternative is to work to change the state requirements...
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Ugh...
Old 11-16-2007, 10:33 AM
 
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That's a bummer. The state of AL is pretty rigid when it comes to gifted screening. They won't even accept private testing anymore. (They will look at it as a referral only.) It can be hard even to get a child considered for screening. Our older DD (the one with the average NNAT score) has been referred twice by her teacher. Our younger DD will go through "child find" next year as a second grader, but we don't want to wait that long because we feel early identification is important. Because my DH and I are doing the referring, we have to attend a school board committee meeting in January to "prove" that DD needs to be screened. I am collecting data at home, and DD's teacher is doing the same thing at school. At least I've learned some things about the process now, like the fact that I have to TELL the GATE teacher that DD has SAT achievement scores from the school she attended last year. They didn't even look at my older DD's school records before her first screening.

It's good that your system has some discretion in placement. My older DD is in an advanced reading class since kids are grouped by ability, but she is unchallenged in other areas.
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OLSAT all mixed up!!!
Old 05-21-2009, 06:53 AM
 
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Hi there! I'm trying to score the OLSAT and my scoring key only breaks it into parts...Do you know which questions would be considered verbal and nonverbal? I can't find this information in our DFA or in the Norms book.
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Old 05-23-2009, 09:32 PM
 
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As a parent of a gifted child I do not place a whole lot of faith in the OLSAT alone. Our DD scored a 99 on that test (had already been referred for testing prior to that) and ended up two months later when the school psychologist tested her, with a full scale of 131. Its 1:30 AM so I'll have to get back on here tomorrow when I am able to be more coherent and remember the name of the specific test they use. Have you thought about having her privately tested?

Nancy
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Old 05-15-2017, 02:15 AM
 
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Our students prepared with using Beestar's GT program. Overall they did really well for the tests and I think that Beestar's program prepares them well. The program is also focused on spatial thinking and is aligned pretty well with what is expected.


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