Category Archives: testing

What You Should Know about Talent Searches

The Talent Search model can determine the level of content a student needs to be challenged & pace of instruction – was originated by Dr. Julian Stanley at Johns Hopkins in the 70s. (Corwith, PHP 09/19, NAGC) Talent Search begins with above level testing, assesses abilities as compared to intellectual peers, and finally offers educational opportunities to students beyond what they may have at their local schools. They are research-based assessments that provide an early indication of intellectual ability of students with exceptional mathematical &/or verbal reasoning abilities that can aid in the determination of educational placement.

Talent Search centers are located around the U.S. (as well as in Europe and other countries with slightly different requirements) including Center for Talented Youth (CTY) at Johns Hopkins University, Talent Identification Program (Duke TIP) at Duke University, Center for Talent Development at Northwestern University, Belin-Blank Exceptional Student Talent Search at the University of Iowa, and the Center for Bright Kids, Western Academic Talent Search at the University of Denver. Centers offer above level testing at various times throughout the year for grades 3 to 9 and most offer summer, weekend and online education programs for qualifying students.

Why test above grade-level? Above grade-level assessments compare students with their intellectual peers rather than age or grade peers. Talent Searches are able to provide schools (with permission) and families with information pertinent to individualized education plans. Although different centers use different tests (SAT, ACT, PSAT), the inclusion of sub-tests can help facilitate choosing coursework, college majors, and even career choice.

Talent Searches provide an overall view of a highly-able student’s abilities often missed by standardized testing which can inform educational decisions for both at school and out of school opportunities. Students who qualify are offered placement in prestigious programs offered through the sponsoring universities & gain access to scholarship opportunities. Top scoring participants are invited to regional Recognition Ceremonies. Participating in a Talent Search assessment also provides students the opportunity of experiencing above-level testing.

Talent Search assessments can provide schools (with parental permission) with pertinent data on a student’s abilities that many schools may not be able to obtain due to budgetary restrictions. Schools can determine the need for acceleration, placement in gifted programs, or match students to available programming. Since a Talent Search benchmarks student performance against other high-ability same age/grade peers, schools have context on student learning and growth. (Corwith, PHP 09/19, NAGC)

Each Talent Search center (U.S.) has a website and most cover a specific geographic area. Other universities have Talent Searches which are referenced below. A good source for information on Talent Searches is NAGC or your state gifted organization. In Europe, parents can find information on the European Talent Support Network  In Ireland, parents can go to CTY Ireland . A transcript of this chat can be found at Wakelet.

Global #gtchat Powered by the Texas Association for the Gifted and Talented  is a weekly chat on Twitter. Join us Thursdays at 8E/7C/6M/5P in the U.S. and Fridays at 2PM NZDT/Noon AEDT/1 AM UK  to discuss current topics in the gifted community and meet experts in the field. Transcripts of our weekly chats can be found at Wakelet. Our Facebook Page provides information on the chat and news and information regarding the gifted community. Also, checkout our Pinterest Page and Playlist on YouTube.

Resources:

Talent Search Opportunities

Future Career Path of Gifted Youth Can Be Predicted by Age 13

One Parent’s Journey through Talent Search

Johns Hopkins Center for Talented Youth (CTY): Talent Search

What We Know about Academically Talented Students (pdf)

Northwestern University’s Midwest Academic Talent Search (NUMATS)

Belin-Blank Exceptional Student Talent Search (BESTS)

Talent Search: A Driving Force in Gifted Education

What Is The Duke TIP 7th Grade Talent Search, and Why Do It?

Talent Search Programs at Universities

The Talent Search Model: Past, Present, and Future (pdf)

Opening New Doors for Your Top Students (pdf)

How to Keep Kids Excited about Learning: A Guide for Adults

Above-Level Testing

Talent Search (pdf)

Alternative Assessments with Gifted and Talented Students (affiliate link) via @prufrockpress

Handbook for Counselors Serving Students with Gifts and Talents: Development, Relationships, School Issues, and Counseling Needs/Interventions (affiliate link)

Center for Bright Kids Academic Talent Development

Disclaimer: Some resources contain affiliate links.

Images courtesy of Pixabay and Pixabay   Pixabay License

Graphic courtesy of Lisa Conrad.

Common Terminology in an Uncommon Field

With little experience with the concept of gifted education prior to their child being identified (unless they participated in a program themselves), most terminology is new to parents. Many teachers also have limited exposure to gifted education prior to beginning their teaching careers.

Unique terms such as overexcitabilities or the idea of perfectionism in very young children can be confusing at first. Also, terms such as cluster grouping, self-contained classrooms versus full-inclusion classrooms, and acceleration may be new to many.

Perhaps the term ‘gifted’ itself is the most controversial term in gifted education. Many educators and some parents would prefer not to use the term. Others have decidedly opposing ideas about the word’s definition. Unfortunately, this has at times slowed how the field of gifted education has responded to actually helping gifted children grow and develop their potential abilities.

What are some general education terms that are also useful in gifted education? Terms such as universal screening, pre-assessment, curriculum compacting, scaffolding, and differentiation are used universally in both fields. It’s important to understand general education terms to be a successful advocate. Educators appreciate a willingness by parents to learn the terminology and be able to engage in intelligent dialogue.

Learning the jargon or terminology aids in a parent’s understanding of what will be discussed in meetings with teachers and school personnel regarding their child’s education. Intelligently conversing with educators will gain their respect for parents and ultimately benefit the relationship for all stakeholders; especially the student.

What resources are available for learning the lingo of gifted education? Gifted organizations such as the NAGC and state websites generally provide a list or terms for both parents and educators. Resources and links to these organizations can be found below. A transcript of this chat may be found at Wakelet.

Global #gtchat Powered by the Texas Association for the Gifted and Talented  is a weekly chat on Twitter. Join us Thursdays at 8E/7C/6M/5P in the U.S. and Fridays at Noon NZST/10 AM AEST/1 AM UK  to discuss current topics in the gifted community and meet experts in the field. Transcripts of our weekly chats can be found at Wakelet. Our Facebook Page provides information on the chat and news and information regarding the gifted community. Also, checkout our Pinterest Page and Playlist on YouTube.

 Lisa Conrad About the authorLisa Conrad is the Moderator of Global #gtchat Powered by TAGT and Social Media Manager of the Global #gtchat Community. She is a longtime  advocate for gifted children and also blogs at  Gifted Parenting Support. Lisa can be contacted at: gtchatmod@gmail.com

Resources:

CO: The Principal’s GT Handbook – A Consolidated Resource (pdf)

NAGC: Glossary of Terms

Frequently Used Terms in Gifted Education (pdf)

Gifted Education Glossary of Common Terms (pdf)

Understanding Your Gifted Child From the Inside Out: A Guide to the Social and Emotional Lives of Gifted Kids  (Prufrock – aff. link)

PAGE: A Glossary of Terms for Gifted Education

Acronyms, Terms, and Other Things We Need to Know

Davidson Gifted: A Glossary of Terms Used in Educational Assessment

Different Uses of the Term “Gifted”

Your Guide to Education Lingo

NAGC: Administrator Quick Guide to Gifted Education (pdf)

Dictionary of Educational Jargon

Sprite’s Site: Stories of the OEs

Reforming Gifted Education (GPP)

Davidson Gifted: The Underachievement of Gifted Students: What do we know and where do we go? (2000)

Emotional Intelligence in Gifted Students

Sprite’s Site: The G Word

Acronyms, Terms, and Other Things We Need to Know

Image generated at Wordcloud.com by Lisa Conrad.

Graphic courtesy of Lisa Conrad.

 

Performance-Based Assessments

 

Performance-based assessments provide a more realistic way of assessing skills which reflect real world lived experiences. Students need to be prepared for workplace environments that don’t rely on standardized evaluations. Employers seek out those who can demonstrate the ability to apply their skills and utilize their knowledge-base to identify and solve problems. Students need to be prepared to meet these challenges. Performance-based assessments showcase or measure a student’s use of higher order thinking and their ability to create products and complete processes.

Performance-based assessments provide a way for students to be able to apply knowledge across multiple disciplines and increase their worth as productive and valuable employees. Students learn to be contributing members to group work and able to develop viable action plans in new situations on a timely basis. Performance-based assessments make students more responsible for demonstrating what they have learned.

What are some drawbacks of performance-based assessments? These types of assessments can be difficult to conduct in larger classes as compared to standardized testing. They are more costly and time consuming which can be problematic in tight budget environments.

We know that standardized testing can affect outcomes for marginalized groups of students, but that doesn’t necessarily imply that performance-based assessments are a superior alternative. In order to better meet the needs of diverse learners, how project-based assessments are designed and implemented is a better indication that greater equity will be achieved. Performance-based assessments can benefit diverse learners when paired with technology, customization, teacher collaboration and professional development for teachers and staff.

How can teachers create performance-based assessments for their students? They must first have a clear and definable understanding of their subject matter and then be able to identify goals they intend to assess. Teachers should set course standards, be prepared to identify students’ learning gaps, design the course, provide materials and implement educational learning plans.

Performance-based assessments become authentic when they are considered meaningful and students are engaged. Consideration should be taken that the product created or final activity provides a way for students to demonstrate their understanding of the subject matter. Authentic assessments such as presentations, portfolios, performances or projects must be open-ended and open to multiple potential outcomes. A transcript of this chat is available at Wakelet.

Global #gtchat Powered by the Texas Association for the Gifted and Talented  is a weekly chat on Twitter. Join us Thursdays at 8E/7C/6M/5P in the U.S. and Fridays at 2PM NZST/Noon AEST/1 AM UK  to discuss current topics in the gifted community and meet experts in the field. Transcripts of our weekly chats can be found at Wakelet. Our Facebook Page provides information on the chat and news and information regarding the gifted community. Also, checkout our Pinterest Page and Playlist on YouTube.

Head Shot 2014-07-14  About the authorLisa Conrad is the Moderator of Global #gtchat Powered by TAGT and Social Media Manager of the Global #gtchat Community. She is a longtime  advocate for gifted children and also blogs at  Gifted Parenting Support. Lisa can be contacted at: gtchatmod@gmail.com

Resources:

Performance-Based Assessment for 21st-Century Skills (Prufrock)

Performance-Based Assessment: Reviewing the Basics

Taking Teaching to (Performance) Task: Linking Pedagogical and Assessment Practices (pdf)

Stanford: What is Performance-Based Assessment? (pdf)

What is Performance-Based Learning and Assessment and Why is it Important?

Developing Assessments of Deeper Learning: The Costs and Benefits of Using Tests that Help Students Learn (pdf)

Authentic Ways to Develop Performance-Based Activities

Performance Based Assessment

Does Performance Based Assessment Produce Better Students?

Performance Assessment and Authentic Assessment: A Conceptual Analysis of the Literature (pdf)

Connecting Performance Assessment to Instruction: A Comparison of Behavioral Assessment, Mastery Learning, Curriculum-Based Measurement, and Performance Assessment (ERIC)

Fairness in Performance Assessment (ERIC)

Guidelines for the Development and Management of Performance Assessments (ERIC)

Developing and Implementing an Assessment Plan

Program-Based Review and Assessment (pdf)

Basic Steps of Program Assessment

Performance Based Assessment & Learning (YouTube 3:08)

Performance-Based Assessment: Meeting the Needs of Diverse Learners

Performance Assessment: A Deeper Look at Practice and Research

Cybraryman’s Assessments Page

Image courtesy of Pixabay   CC0 Creative Commons

Graphic courtesy of Lisa Conrad

Should Participation in Gifted Programs Be Conditional?

gtchat 12112015 Participation Conditional

 

 

Participation in gifted programs is often conditional for a variety of reasons. Criteria is usually mandated at the state level and based on IQ scores or other standardized tests. In all too many cases, participation may also be a reward for good behavior or grades.

It was agreed, however, that multiple criteria must be used when identifying students for a gifted program. As Clinical Psychologist Dr. Gail Post of Gifted Challenges stated, “Ideally the program is geared to fit the child, not the other way around. Too often, students are expected to conform to the gifted program in place – there is no flexibility.” Jo Freitag of Gifted Resources listed possible considerations including, “Results of psychologist’s or achievement testing, teachers’ observations, parents’ information, etc., showing need for placement.” Antonia Duncan, Elementary GT Specialist in Texas added, “We use multiple criteria assessment. Tests include NNAT, COGAT, Renzulli, etc. Then, depending on age, also portfolios and teacher recommendations.”

When considering what age children should be assessed for gifted programs, the general consensus was – the earlier the better. Reasons included that signs of giftedness can appear very early and the need for services are based on those assessments. When a child is placed in an inappropriate educational setting, they can become frustrated, succumb to underachievement or even become disruptive in the regular classroom.

The idea of reassessing a child who was previously identified for gifted services was met with a resounding “No”! However, this is a fairly common practice in several U.S. states. If a child fails to consistently achieve at a certain level, they are removed from the program. As Valerie Lewis pointed out, this begs the need for states to come to the table with a universal definition of ‘gifted’. Most felt that the only reason for reassessment should be to offer more services; not less. Also, many experts believe that re-testing students already identified profoundly affects the racial/ethnic makeup of programs.

Should gifted services be considered a reward for grades or behavior? Just as it would never be considered for special education students to loose services for these reasons; nor should it be for gifted students. One would think that this wouldn’t even be a consideration; unfortunately, it happens more often than we’d like. As Jeremy Bond stated, “Education is a right to all. It should never be a punishment or reward. And scores should certainly not be the basis for either.” Krissy Venosdale, #gtchat Advisor, added, “A gifted program that can be earned thru good behavior is not a gifted program.”

What advice would you give parents facing denial of gifted services after identification? Parents need to be aware of state laws and mandates regarding gifted education. They should contact and work with their state gifted organization who often can refer them to advocates. It’s imperative that they gather data (test scores; outside testing) and as much information as possible; be prepared for all meetings with school personnel. And in the end, Jim Katzaman offered this advice, “Keep the kid’s happiness in mind. I was sad when son was recommended not to skip to 1st grade. He, on other hand, was relieved.” A transcript of the chat can be found at Storify.

Global #gtchat Powered by the Texas Association for the Gifted and Talented  is a weekly chat on Twitter. Join us Fridays at 7E/6C/5M/4P in the U.S., Midnight in the UK and Saturdays 13.00 NZDT/11.00 AEDT to discuss current topics in the gifted community and meet experts in the field. Transcripts of our weekly chats can be found at Storify. Our Facebook Page provides information on the chat and news & information regarding the gifted community. Also, checkout our Pinterest Page and Playlist on YouTube.

Head Shot 2014-07-14  About the author: Lisa Conrad is the Moderator of Global #gtchat Powered        by TAGT and Social Media Manager of the Global #gtchat Community. She is a longtime  advocate for gifted children and also blogs at  Gifted Parenting Support. Lisa can be contacted at: gtchatmod@gmail.com

Graphic courtesy of Lisa Conrad.

Links:

Houston School Board Considering Changes to Gifted & Talented Program

How Schools Decide a Kid Is Gifted

Admitting Students to Selective Education Programs: Merit, Profiling & Affirmative Action (pdf)

Why Should I Have My Child Tested?

Dear Teacher, My Gifted Child is in Your Class

Poorest Students Often Miss Out on Gifted Classes

Is Gifted Education Elitist?

Finding a Good Fit: Evaluating Gifted Programs

How Stereotypes Affect Gifted Children

Achievement Versus Ability

Columbus Cheetah, Myth Buster – Myth 5

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