NYC Gifted and Talented Program and Testing


Gifted programs vs. general ed
November 17, 2017, 5:16 am
Filed under: NYC Gifted and Talented Program | Tags:

Is there a difference between a gifted program and general education?

Many gifted programs in New York City work at an accelerated pace. Unfortunately, in a general education program there may be slower learners and a lot of times the teachers are pressured to bring the slower learners up to speed. In a gifted program you rarely have that case because all of the kids are performing at or above grade level, so therefore the pace of the program can be very rapid and the teacher doesn’t feel like he or she is leaving kids behind because all of the kids are pretty much at the same pace.

I would also say in many instances, and you would need to check with your local school district depending on where you live, many of the teachers are certified in gifted education, which means they have a deeper knowledge of gifted every education and how it all works. Many of these teachers want to be gifted teachers so they have an excitement, not only for teaching, but also for teaching gifted or advanced students which adds index to layer of, I would say extra layer of credibility to the teachers who actually teach in many of the gifted programs. But you want to check your local school to see if the gifted teachers are certified or what type of extra education the teachers may have.

The next question is, “Shouldn’t I just let her,” I guess her child, “be a kid in a regular class without all that pressure?”

Well, I don’t think there’s a lot of extra pressure in a gifted classroom. I wouldn’t worry about that. If your child does qualify to be in the gifted program chances are they’ll be able to handle the level of work that’s in the program. What you want to do, certainly before you choose a gifted program, you want to go visit the schools, tour the programs, see if it feels like a good fit for your child, but it’s not like because they’re in a gifted program they’re going to be under a lot of pressure to perform that’s that different from being in a general ed classroom. It’s just that they’re going to be working at a different pace that is the pace they can handle and that they love to learn in.

I mean there’s nothing worse than when you have a gifted child in a general ed classroom whose very, very bored because they’re doing lessons that they already know and understand. Like if you’ve got a child who’s, let’s say a kid in first grade and she’s reading at a second or third grade level, and they’re just learning how to decipher and decode basic words that child’s going to be bored. It’s really more about getting your child in a class that’s at the right level for their intellectual capabilities. That’s what you’re looking for so if your child qualifies I wouldn’t worry about them feeling like they’re under a lot of pressure.

 



Folding laundry and preparing for the OLSAT test
November 6, 2017, 11:05 am
Filed under: NYC Gifted and Talented Program | Tags:

Did you know that something as simple as sorting laundry helps develop your tot’s higher order thinking?

Sorting laundry into different colors requires that your child arrange items into different categories, classify them into groups and compare what goes together and what doesn’t. These skills are very commonly assessed on OLSAT test that your child will take for admissions into the NYC Gifted and Talented Program.

When children use their minds to evaluate what they see, hear or read and then make decisions, reach conclusions or solve problems based on their analysis of that information, that child is using higher order thinking or cognitive skills. The OLSAT test evaluates how well children think in many different ways.

Here are three types of questions that assess a young child’s higher order thinking skills.

  1. The child has to decide which picture doesn’t belong. Four of the insects have wings, so they go together. The snail can’t fly so it doesn’t belong and that’s our answer.
  2. In another type of question, the child has to decide which of these figural images doesn’t belong. This type of question can be very tricky. Here all the small black boxes are set in corners except for the middle picture. That’s our answer because it doesn’t belong.
  3. Other OLSAT questions require a different kind of sorting. The child must choose one picture on top that goes with one picture on the bottom. The pig goes with the cow because they’re both farm animals.

Sorting laundry is just one of the ways you can teach your child the skill of classifying in everyday life. You can start today with Testing Mom preparing your child for the New York City Gifted and Talented exam.

 



Guidance for parents preparing kids for the OLSAT test

How preparing for the OLSAT scored this child a seat at citywide G&T program!

A story from one NYC mom

I just have to get this off of my chest:  if my sister-in-law shares one more story about every “lady” (and I use that term loosely) and their weekly escapades on “The Real Housewives of Atlanta,” I might go bonkers.  Doesn’t she have more important things do to with her valuable time than to watch these chicks cat fight and pull out each other’s weaves?  Seriously, I’ve seen enough Jerry Springer to last me a lifetime (and I’ve made my penance for that)…please, forgive me, for I have sinned!

I mean, can’t we talk about something more intellectually stimulating than who wore the faux leopard-print dress? I simply could care less. On the other hand, if you want to tell me about the new philanthropic idea you’ve come up with to help the children in India, I’m all ears – start talking! That’s why today I’m here to talk about things that make a difference (and I promise you, there will be no talk about Kenya’s new eyelash extensions – spare me the agony!)

My goal of this blog has always been to offer guidance to New York City parents who find themselves alone and confused on the heretofore unfamiliar road known as OLSAT and NNAT-2 test prep – and to prepare and expose children to the concepts necessary for their entry into the NYC gifted and talented program. All of the other extras that come along with your membership are just my gift to children everywhere to make sure they have the knowledge and power that they all rightfully deserve.

Try this OLSAT practice question: Point to the picture that shows this: Cindy has dived off the board but she has not yet hit the water.

But, don’t take it from me, here’s what this Park Slope – Brooklyn mom recently emailed me:

“We began preparing our daughter for the OLSAT test 8 months ago. The task to prepare for the test seemed overwhelming and confusing. We were even more discouraged when the schools we wanted to apply to told us there is no preparation possible for the test. Then we came across TestingMom.com and it offered us a clear and focused path to building the underlying skills our child needed for the test. The resources and various material on TestingMom.com, were instrumental in our daughter scoring in the 99th percentile and getting a citywide seat at BSI – Brooklyn School of Inquiry.”

When I read such inspiring emails from dedicated parents I get thrilled to know there are so many engaged parents in NYC who want the best education for their kids!

Think about it: would you put your four-year-old on a 10-speed bicycle without first teaching them how to pedal a small bike with training wheels? Would you throw your five-year-old into the pool and tell them to swim without first teaching them the basics of water safety? I certainly hope not!  So why on earth would any halfway-conscientious parent send their child into a life-changing test like the OLSAT and NNAT-2 with no exposure to the topics involved or the questions asked – it’s like putting your child on a mountain bike without a helmet, or in the pool without a lifeguard: they’re going to get banged up during the process, and quite possibly mentally scarred as well. No parent should want their young child to embark on such a brutal – and ultimately doomed – endeavor.

Classification is a big component of the OLSAT test.

Here’s a good video on how to teach your child about classificationl



NYC gifted and talented seminars in October
October 20, 2016, 3:50 pm
Filed under: NYC Gifted and Talented Program | Tags: ,

Our friends at Testing Mom (home of the free practice questions for gifted and talented) are hosting two live seminars for parents in October. One will be on the Upper East Side and the other midtown west near Penn Station. Both seminars cover the same material so you only need to attend one.

If you’re a parent to a preschooler or early elementary school-aged child and feel overwhelmed or confused by the NYC gifted and talented program eligibility testing and admissions process, you can hear from a team of NYC experts. They do ask that due to the topic children should not attend these sessions. You can register below:

 



NYC Gifted and Talented Testing Overview

NYC Gifted and Talented Testing Overview

Here’s a great overview from our friends at TestingMom.com (home of the 100 free practice questions for gifted and talented and private school admissions to help your child prep for these tests with tons of sample questions.)

If you are reading this, then you are a parent or a grandparent in NYC who is trying to find the best possible school for your little one. There are so many options in New York – private schools, gifted and talented programs, general education – it can sometimes feel overwhelming, especially if your child is just 4-years-old!

In NYC, you have 3 possibilities when it comes to a free gifted & talented education for your young child. Children take different tests to qualify for these programs:

Citywide Gifted and Talented Programs

Children will take the Verbal Portion only of the Otis Lennon School Ability Test® (OLSAT® test), which counts for 50% of the child’s composite score (Following Directions, Aural Reasoning, Arithmetic Reasoning for Levels A, B, C or K – 2nd grade), and the Naglieri Nonverbal Ability Test® (NNAT®2 test), a non-verbal test, which counts for 50% of the child’s composite score. The question to your right is a practice question for the Pattern Completion subtest for the NNAT®2 test.

Your child will be given a nationally normed percentile rank for the OLSAT test and a percentile rank for the NNAT2 test. Then, these two scores will be combined into a single percentile score that will be normed against other NYC students. A child must score at the 97th percentile or above to be eligible for these programs. In the last few years (due to space limitations), only children who score in the 99th percentile have gotten into these programs. The only exception to this is siblings of current students who are admitted with 97th percentile or above.

District Gifted and Talented Programs

Children will take the Verbal Portion only of the Otis Lennon School Ability Test® (OLSAT® test), which counts for 50% of the child’s composite score (Following Directions, Aural Reasoning, Arithmetic Reasoning for Levels A, B, C or K – 2nd grade), and the Naglieri Nonverbal Ability Test® (NNAT®2 test), a non-verbal test, which counts for 50% of the child’s composite score – a child must score at the 90th percentile or above to be eligible for these programs.

Your child will be given a nationally normed percentile rank for the OLSAT test and a percentile rank score for the NNAT2 test. Then, these two scores will be combined into a single percentile score that will be normed against other NYC students. A child must score at the 90th percentile or above to be eligible for these programs.

For the Naglieri Nonverbal Ability Test® (NNAT®2 test), all of the questions are “puzzles” involving shapes and figures that require visual-spatial reasoning to solve.

 



Gifted and talented program headed to district 16
March 28, 2016, 4:55 pm
Filed under: NYC Gifted and Talented Program | Tags:

New Gifted and Talented Program coming to Brooklyn

Well, the parents in Bed-Stuy are breathing a sigh of relief after it was recently announced a new G&T program will be heading their way in fall of 2016 school year for elementary schools. In the fall of 2017 school year their will be a new gifted and talented program for middle school students. This area has already been underrepresented when it comes to gifted and talented programs. This chancellor suggested the program for the elementary school start under a new model for 3rd grade students instead of kindergarten level. Although, most parents want their talented tots to start the program as early as possible with some even demanding their be a new pre-K G&T program introduced in all five boroughs.  It looks like the vote will take place in April as to whether or not the plan moves forward with the initiation of this new G&T program for the students in this district.



Countdown has started for NYC parents!
December 14, 2015, 2:56 pm
Filed under: nnat test, NYC Gifted and Talented Program, OLSAT Test | Tags:

Well, the countdown has started for NYC parents who are anxiously awaiting testing day for the gifted and talented entrance exam starting in a few short weeks. The talented tots start making their annual pilgrimage starting Jan. 9, 2016 to line up one-by-one to take the OLSAT test and NNAT2 test at designated schools across all five boroughs. Last year alone over 30,000 pre-K to 2nd grade students took the test and almost half were the 4-year-olds vying for a coveted seated in one the top kindergarten gifted and talented programs sparingly sprinkled throughout the city. During the holiday-winter- Christmas break from school parents will begin the final push to make sure their child gets enough sleep and drinks plenty of jumpy juice on test day to make it into the 99th percentile. Although, even at the highest percentile ranking of 99 does not guarantee a seat in the program (why that would make it too darn easy!). At 99th percentile the child is then placed in a pool with over 1,500 kids who are attempting to get a citywide seat that has approximately 250-300 available each year. The children are radmonly selected from the pool of 99s so hope your child gets in top 100. Welcome to the city of hard knocks if your kid doesn’t make the cut!