NYC Gifted and Talented Program and Testing


Teaching reading helps with NYC gifted and talented test prep
September 16, 2017, 9:48 am
Filed under: tests | Tags: , ,

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: