NYC Gifted and Talented Program and Testing


Tips and tricks for the NNAT-2 test
October 11, 2017, 4:31 pm
Filed under: nnat test, NYC Gifted and Talented Program | Tags: ,

Is your child taking the NNAT-2 test for the New York City Gifted and Talented?

If your child is going to be taking the Naglieri Nonverbal Ability test, or NNAT any time soon, you’re probably a little worried. What is this test like? How will my child do? What if my child isn’t good at spatial reasoning, or puzzles?

The NNAT is a visual spatial reasoning test that is used as one of the two tests to screen kids for the NYC Gifted and Talented Program. The test takes about half an hour. It’s multiple choice and no reading is required. For each section of the test, children start out with easier questions and they keep going until they miss four, or five in a row.

A pattern completion question that we would expect a second, or third grader to be able to answer. Here, the child has to figure out which square belongs in the empty box to complete the puzzle. The answer is D.

Can you imagine asking a young child to handle a question like this for the very first time on a test where the results are so important? Practice really helps.

For older children, the NNAT-2 questions are much harder, because kids need to figure out what a design on the bottom will look like when folded and then rotated like the design on top. The answer is C.

If your young child is taking the NNAT test and you’d like to learn more about the kinds of questions that will be asked visit TestingMom.com for free practice questions.



Teaching risk taking part of school success at NEST
October 4, 2017, 5:49 pm
Filed under: NYC Gifted and Talented Program | Tags: ,

The principal at NEST encourages students to take risks of failure

The trend continues throughout the city and the rest of the US to encourage kids not only to take risks but also encourage kids in the experience of failure. It seems the pendulum has swung swiftly into the other direction from everyone gets a trophy for just showing up to encouragement of risk taking which in turn leads to failure. NEST is the latest example of incorporating this type of teaching throughout the school to it’s 1,700+ student population. Here are a few of things that have been introduced at NEST+M to create a culture of perseverance of fail and try again and students seem to be responding.

  • The library is equipped with 3-D printers and laptops to transform the way students work and interact within a library setting.
  •  Students have their own publication using a popular software product called InDesign. The students select all the writing passages and the artwork that are within the magazine.
  • Instead of traditional methods of teaching to younger grades, the school utilizes student’s talents to give talks and presentation on a variety of topics.
  • In the middle school program the students are taught robotics and this teaches both computer programming and math skills with this specific program.

Most schools today are still slow to adapt to these additional skills that are impertative for all students to learn. Many parents are familiar with teaching a child “grit” which helps a child with perseverance and passion for the long-term and not short-term satisfaction. These are the types of things that seem to be finally entering our schools and helping kids to feel less entitled than their previous not-so-grateful millennials.  Here are a few tips that parents can help their child at home to develop grit:

  • Instead of praising your child that he or she is “smart”, rather focus on the child’s hard work or effort to finish or complete a task (i.e. homework, reading a book, working on a challenging project, etc.)
  • Most parents don’t want their child to experience any frustration. Believe it or not, frustration your child experiences leads to a sense of achievement that a child needs to successfully accomplish a task. None of like to wait but having your child experience frustration is a pathway to long term success.
  • When your child fails congratulate him or her! Ask him or her how they feel about the failure and what might they change next time to make sure they aren’t going to fail again. It’s a good lesson for parents to teach although it’s difficult for some parents to have this conversation with their child.


NYC Gifted and Talented Information Sessions
September 27, 2017, 12:52 pm
Filed under: NYC Gifted and Talented Program | Tags: ,

All districts to host NYC G&T Info. Sessions

You can get to know all about the NYC Gifted and Talented program during the upcoming information sessions in October through November. They can tell you all about the OLSAT and NNAT-2 tests along with any other questions you may have about admission requirements for the G&T program for New York City.

Here are some tips and tricks about the NYC Gifted and Talented Program:

  1. There are two types of G&T programs, District and Citywide. True
  2. Students must take the G&T Test to participate in G&T. True
  3. Students must score a 90 or higher on the G&T test to get a G&T application. True
  4. There is no guarantee that a student will get a gifted and talented offer letter, regardless of their OLSAT and NNAT-2 scores. True
  5. The gifted programs in NYC give admission priority with siblings currently enrolled in those programs.  True

As with last year, these sessions are now held at the district level and parents can do one-stop shopping to learn all about the G&T program, universal pre-K and kindergarten admission requirements.

If you can make one the sessions below the DOE does request you RSVP here.

* Middle school admissions will be discussed

DISTRICT LOCATION DATE & TIME

 District 1

 P.S. 15 Roberto Clemente
333 East 4th Street
Manhattan, NY 10009
 Tuesday, November 14, 2017
5:30–7:30pm

 District 2

 M.S. 260 Clinton School Writers Artists
10 East 15th Street
Manhattan, NY 10003
 Wednesday, October 25, 2017
6–8pm

 District 3

 Joan of Arc building
(P.S. 333 Manhattan School for Children)
154 West 93rd Street
Manhattan, NY 10025
 Tuesday, October 24, 2017
5:30–7:30pm

 District 4*

 The Tito Puente Complex
240 East 109th Street
Manhattan, NY 10029
 Tuesday, October 3, 2017
5:30–7:30pm

 District 5*

 P.S. 092 Mary McLeod Bethune
222 West 134th Street
Manhattan, NY 10030
 Wednesday, October 11, 2017
5:30–7:30pm
 District 6*  J.H.S. 143 Eleanor Roosevelt
511 West 182nd Street
Manhattan, NY 10033
 Tuesday, October 17, 2017
5:30–7:30pm
 District 7*  P.S. 065 Mother Hale Academy
677 East 141st Street
Bronx, NY 10454
 Thursday, October 19, 2017
5:30–7:30pm
 District 8  P.S. 119
1075 Pugsley Avenue
Bronx, NY 10472
 Tuesday, October 24, 2017
5:30–7:30pm
 District 9*  P.S./I.S. 218 Rafael Hernandez Dual   Language Magnet School
1220 Gerard Avenue
Bronx, NY 10452
 Tuesday, October 10, 2017
5:30–7:30pm
 District 10* P.S. 306/ The Bronx School Of Young Leaders
40 West Tremont Avenue
Bronx, NY 10453
 Tuesday, October 3, 2017
5:30–7:30pm
 District 11* Michelangelo Middle School (J.H.S. 144)
2545 Gunther Avenue
Bronx, NY 10469
 Tuesday, October 17, 2017
5:30–7:30pm
 District 12*  Mott Hall V
1551 E 172nd Street
Bronx, NY 10472
 Tuesday, October 10, 2017
5:30–7:30pm
 District 13  P.S. 133 William A. Butler
610 Baltic Street
Brooklyn, NY 11217
 Wednesday, October 25, 2017
5:30–7:30pm
 District 14  P.S. 257 John F. Hylan
60 Cook Street
Brooklyn, NY 11206
 Thursday, October 19, 2017
5:30–7:30pm
 District 15 P.S. 024
427 38th Street
Brooklyn, NY 11232
 Tuesday, October 24, 2017
5–7:30pm
 District 16* P.S. 308 Clara Cardwell
616 Quincy Street
Brooklyn, NY 11221
 Wednesday, October 18, 2017
5:30–7:30pm
 District 17* Dr. Jacqueline PeekDavis School/ Ronald Edmonds Learning Center II
430 Howard Avenue
Brooklyn, NY 11233
 Tuesday, October 3, 2017
5:30–7:30pm
 District 18* P.S 66
845 East 96th Street
Brooklyn, NY 11236
 Wednesday, October 18, 2017
5:30–7:30pm
 District 19* P.S. 013 Roberto Clemente
557 Pennsylvania Avenue
Brooklyn, NY 11207
 Thursday, October 19, 2017
5:30–7:30pm
 District 20 Franklin D. Roosevelt High School
5800 20th Avenue
Brooklyn, NY 11204
 Wednesday, October 25, 2017
5:30–7:30pm
 District 21 P.S. 215 Morris H. Weiss
415 Avenue S
Brooklyn, NY 11223
 Thursday, October 19, 2017
5:30–7:30pm
 District 22 P.S. 222 Katherine R. Snyder
3301 Quentin Road
Brooklyn, NY 11234
 Wednesday, October 18, 2017
5:30–7:30pm
 District 23* P.S. 156K Waverly School of the Arts
104 Sutter Avenue
Brooklyn, NY 11212
 Tuesday, October 10, 2017
5:30–7:30pm
 District 24 P.S. 110
43-18 97th Place
Queens, NY 11368
 Wednesday, October 25, 2017
5:30–7:30pm
 District 25 I.S. 025 Adrien Block
34-65 192nd Street
Queens, NY 11358
 Tuesday, October 24, 2017
5:30–7:30pm
 District 26 P.S./I.S. 266
74-10 Commonwealth Boulevard
Queens, NY 11426
 Wednesday, October 11, 2017
5:30–7:30pm
 District 27 P.S. 306 New York City Academy for Discovery
95-16 89th Avenue
Queens, NY 11421
 Wednesday, October 25, 2017
5:30–7:30pm
 District 28  P.S. 182 Samantha Smith
153-27 88th Avenue
Queens, NY 11432
 Tuesday, October 17, 2017
6–7:30pm
 District 29*  Springfield Gardens Educational Campus
143-10 Springfield Boulevard
Queens, NY 11413
 Tuesday, October 10, 2017
5:30–7:30pm
 District 30  P.S. 149 Christa Mcauliffe
93-11 34 Avenue
Queens, NY 11372
 Tuesday, October 24, 2017
5:30–7:30pm
 District 31*  New Dorp High School
465 New Dorp Lane
Staten Island, NY 10306
 Wednesday, October 11, 2017
5–7:30pm
 District 32  P.S. 376
194 Harman Street
Brooklyn, NY 11237
 Tuesday, October 24, 2017
5:30–7:30pm

Gifted and Talented programs are one way that New York City supports the educational needs of exceptional students. To participate in G&T admissions, sign your child up to take the OLSAT and NNAT-2 tests. Students who get a high enough score on this test will have the chance to apply for G&T programs.



Teaching reading helps with NYC gifted and talented test prep

As parents, we all want our children to be voracious readers.

Reading is the basis for so many academic skills, and reading often can increase your child’s vocabulary, attention span, and even his or her IQ! And of course any early reading you practice with your child will be of great assistance to those tough questions on the OLSAT test given for the NYC gifted and talented test. 

When their children are too young to read on their own, most parents read books to their children. Bedtime stories are an age-old tradition, and they are a great way to spark an early interest in — and love for — reading in your child.

I want to talk about an activity that can help your child gain even more from reading. Dialogic reading is a technique that makes reading more interactive: instead of just reading a book or chapter from beginning to end, you and your child have an ongoing conversation about the story as you read. The technique varies based on your child’s age and the type of book you’re reading; you should also keep track of what questions spark his interest and how well he’s responding to what you say.

After every page or two, you’ll want to use the PEER (Prompt, Evaluate, Expand, Repeat) sequence, which consists of the following:

  • Prompt your child to say something about the story: Ask an open-ended question about the plot, or ask why or when something happened. You can also ask your child to reword what happened, or to predict what will come next. You can even ask her to tie the story into something in her own life (for example, “Do you remember when we went for a hike in the woods, like the characters in the book did?”).
    • If you are reading picture books with a young child (2 to 3 years old), you can ask her what a certain picture is, or craft a what/where question (“What color is the car? Where is it going?”). You can also create a sentence and have your child fill in a blank (“Look at this car. Its tires are black and the hubcaps are ___________”).
  • Evaluate his response: If your child gets an answer right, give him positive reinforcement. If he’s wrong, don’t explicitly say so; rather, gently correct his answer (“It did seem like Mr. Smith went to the store on Tuesday, but actually it was Wednesday. They made that part tricky.”)
  • Expand on your child’s answer: This can be done either by adding more information to your child’s response and/or rephrasing what she said. (“Yes, the farmers did go to the market, and they also went for a hayride after that”).
  • Repeat your initial prompt: Here, work the expansion you just added into the prompt. So, for example, ask your child when the hayride occurred, or who went on it.

This technique isn’t just fun; it is a great way to put your child’s reading skills on the fast track. In a study, researchers found that children whose parents used dialogic reading for four weeks scored 6.5 to 8 months farther ahead than children who were read to in a standard fashion.

Part of making your child a better reader is helping her become a better listener! Watch the video below:



“Journalist” from Alt-right Publication Attacks Testing Mom!
September 11, 2017, 1:54 pm
Filed under: NYC Gifted and Talented Program | Tags:

Uninformed reporter attacks a company whose mission is to help children

I was browsing online and found this article from the alt-right Federalist publication. The journalist (I use that term loosely in this case) was in full fledged attack mode against Testing Mom and the way they market their program. This reporter was basing her whole assumption of this incredible program based upon a few subject lines and marketing tactics she claims that “scare” parents into submission. I really take issue to this attack with absolutely no statement offered from Testing Mom in the article.

I assume this “journalist” did her due diligence and asked TestingMom.com about their program and what they stand for. Although, I saw no statement from Testing Mom in this article. As the Testing Mom tag line states: Involved Parents. Successful Kids.  Yes, that’s what it’s about: Parent Involvement! Study after study concludes that regardless of socio-economic status IF a parent is involved in a child’s education that child will have more success vs. a child who has no parent involvement.  The journalist also didn’t even mention the community service work that Testing Mom does with underprivileged kids in the S. Bronx in NYC. They sponsor a program called H.O.P.E. (Helping Our People Excel). This program provides tutoring to these kids who are vying for a seat in the NYC G&T program and they had great results this last year!

The article insinuates (not so subtlety) that anyone who uses test prep programs like TestingMom.com (or others) is a neurotic helicopter parent who needs to take a Valium and stiff drink to leave it “up to chance” their child will succeed.  In other words, free-range parenting when it comes to a child’s education should be acceptable.

Many parents who live in districts that have gifted and talented programs (like New York City, Houston, Chicago just to name a few) have no other choice but to get into one of these coveted programs since their local school is sub-par. In some cases their child would have to enter the school through a metal detector and police screening. Not the type of environment I would want my 5 year old in by any stretch of the imagination. Maybe this reporter is lucky enough to live in an excellent school district or is privileged enough to afford some fancy private school for her kids.

Before attacking this company that only wants the best education for every child this reporter should do her homework. Or maybe she’s against homework too?

 



Moms and dads share OLSAT test prep secrets!

Parents Best Prep Tips!

I want to share a bit of “inside information.”  Over the years I’ve asked New York City moms and dads to share their best tip for working with their child when preparing for the OLSAT and NNAT-2 tests.  Here are some of my favorite answers – try what worked for them when you are working with your child.

Here’s what they said about preparing for the OLSAT test for the NYC gifted and talented program:

  • We always kept our test prep fun and playful by going to Brooklyn Botanic Garden in Park Slope to identify shapes, colors, categories and names of plants and flowers!
  • We worked on test-taking skills as much as we worked on the skill being assessed. It took a while for our son to understand that he really had to listen to and remember the questions being asked and that the pictures represented answer choices.  We taught him to listen to the instructions, look at all the answers, and eliminate what was clearly wrong.
  • At first, my son could only sit still and focus for about 10 minutes; every day we added a few more minutes to our practice until he could focus for almost an hour! We let him set a fun egg timer each time we worked – he got a kick out of setting the timer and hearing it go off.
  • We spent a lot of time working on our son’s listening and following directions skills because that was so important for test taking. We were able to do this while riding the 7 train from Flushing Queens into the city. He loved figuring out which train went where and how long it would take to get from Queens to the Upper East Side.
  • When questions were hard for my daughter, I talked through the logic with her so that she would ultimately know how to solve each problem.
  • I often pretended to be stumped by a question myself and let my child help me.
  • We played “school” and my daughter would teach me how to answer the various questions with her pretend workbooks. I was a “terrible” student so she had to work hard to explain things to me 😉
  • We did a bit of prep every day over a long period of time – just a little bit each day made a big difference. We saw lots of improvement over time.
  • During “Family Fun Time,” we had father-son competitions or contests between siblings using your questions, which my kids loved.
  • We played against each other – Every right answer would earn a point. Whoever got 30 points first won the game.  I made sure to answer some questions wrong, so my son would always win.  He loved correcting me when I made mistakes!

Keep the lessons fresh and fun is the big tip when preparing your son or daughter for the OLSAT test!

Of course, you can come up with your own to make sure you keep the lessons fresh and fun when preparing for the OLSAT test with your talented tot entering the NYC G&T program!



Things at PS 33 aren’t hunky-dory any longer
August 16, 2017, 2:28 pm
Filed under: NYC Gifted and Talented Program | Tags: ,

The school that once coined the term “NEST of the West” has fallen from grace with parents

Well, I’ve heard from 3 different parents over the past couple of months of their concerns on the direction at PS 33. The new principal, Cindy Wang, has now been there for 2 full years and things seem to be slowly crumbling piece by piece, at least that’s what I’m being told by these parents. These are the same parents who were so excited a few years ago when their talented tot started PS 33 kindergarten under the leadership of Principal Lindy. It seems now the tight ship that Mrs. Lindy ran is now entirely off course. I was told countless parents have pulled their child of these G&T program at PS 33 because they don’t feel it’s as academically rigorous as it once was. The gifted and talented teachers are being told to teach the same exact curriculum at the same pace as the gen ed program. Parents are left scratching their heads as to why they should schlep their kids across town to attend PS 33 when they could get an equal experience at their local gen ed school. Is the program at PS 33 really worth it? Some parents are now re-thinking their decision.

One mom that I saw outside of  Barnes and Nobel in Tribeca shared with me:

“The only reason I keep my daughter at PS 33 is because of the chess program. She loves it! If it wasn’t for that I’d pull her out immediately and go into our local school across the street.”

Another mom I spoke to at Shake Shack in Battery Park City (while slurping up a coffee milkshake) voiced:

“It’s really gone down hill since your daughter left and especially since Mrs. Lindy left two years ago. Not the same school it once was, that’s for sure!”

All the complaints I’m hearing are sad and I hope they aren’t true! But the parents I spoke to aren’t ones to complain unless there’s an issue and by no means would make up stories like this. It looks like with regime change comes with dumbing down the curriculum for all the gifted and talented students at PS 33. I suppose the bigger question is why have the G&T program at this school if there’s basically nothing different from the gen ed program? Seems like the principal is really out of touch with what the NYC Gifted and Talented Program is all about and why parents decided on PS 33 for their child.

Oh how Chelsea Prep parents wish the days of tough-as-nails Principal Lindy would return to the helm of PS 33 Chelsea Prep! Don’t know what you have until it’s gone.