Mrs. LeClaire's April 2016 GE News

Gifted Education News for Fernbrook Elementary

Cognitive Abilities Test (CogAT) results to be mailed in late April or May

For formal identification through the end of elementary school, we are looking for results in the 96th percentile or higher in one or more of the three areas of the assessment. Although students are regularly identified with the CogAT, there are other ways students can be invited to participate. MAP test scores from this spring will also be used to identify students who will be invited to participate in GE for one school year.


Feel free to get in touch with me after you receive your child's test results if you need clarification.

What should I tell my child about being formally identified to receive gifted services?

  • Explain that he or she did very well on the tests.
  • Show that you are happy or pleased, but limit your expectations to current learning. Say: "it sounds like a good opportunity for you. I hope you like it." and NOT: "you should really be able to make something of yourself now."
  • Tell her or him that the program is designed for kids who learn particularly well and that you are proud of him or her.
  • Tell your child that the school was finding kids that need extra enrichment to think about subjects deeply and explore subjects in different ways. Your child may find more students with similar interests in the program.
  • Go ahead and talk about it with your child. Ignoring the identification, or avoiding the subject when it comes up, will make them think it is an embarrassment, or that he/she is.
  • Although your child has been identified for our gifted pullout program, remember that not all aspects of a gifted child are necessarily advanced. they may excel in one content area, but struggle in others. Your child's emotional, social, or physical development may or may not be similar to children the same age.

What should I tell my child about NOT being formally identified to receive gifted services?

  • Explain that the Cognitive Abilities Test is only one way to participate in GE pull-out classes.
  • Tell your child the GE teacher will also look at MAP test scores and other data to see who should participate in classes.
  • Remind your child that "smart" doesn't necessarily mean high test scores.
  • If your child has taken the test before, look at previous scores and focus on areas of improvements.
  • Explain that experts in the area of gifted education cannot agree on an actual definition of giftedness. So... he/she may not be labeled "gifted" for school, however that doesn't mean he/she is not advanced in some way. It may be that school can't or has difficulty testing his/her area of advancement.

What about siblings?

  • Focus on the individual differences and achievements of all children.
  • Show each child that he or she is valued – that many different qualities are extremely desirable and valued (such as humor, spirit, honesty, loyalty, effort, caring). Acknowledge the feelings of brothers and sisters. The feelings are real, whether they are jealousy, anger, rejection, admiration, confusion, or inferiority. Talking it out is better than suppressing or ignoring it.
  • Discuss what “gifted” means – it is an educational term, not a value judgment.


Remember this is not a competition where a child “wins” being identified for the Gifted Program and “loses” if not identified. A child is the same child as before identification.


  • Save the majority of your praise for the gifted child in private; focus on effort not innate ability. Reinforce all children in public.
  • Make sure you give each child as much one-to-one time as possible; don’t let the gifted child’s talent take up all your time.


*Based on the work and writing of Judy Galbraith, author of various works on the social and emotional needs of the gifted

3-5 Verbal Pull Outs

The next round of pull out groups have all started now. This round of groups will focus on provided enrichment in the verbal/language arts area. The schedule for these sessions will be adjusted to accommodate testing to the best of my ability!

2nd grade Enrichment pull-out Groups

Now that I've completed the 2nd grade higher order thinking skills push-in lessons, I've started an enrichment pull-out group for math and reading. I sent a letter explaining what we are doing in the groups home with students who are participating. K-2 students are not "officially identified" as gifted. We are using observational data to place students in these groups. Please let me know if you have questions about any of these groups.

Mrs. Wald is working with K-1 students in pull out groups for math.

Ten Strategies for Parenting Gifted Children

  1. Listening. Listen attentively and actively to your child. Respect your child’s feelings.
  2. Perspective. A sense of humor goes a long way in parenting, as in life. It is very important to maintain a healthy perspective on the ups and downs of daily life and our children’s experiences, as well as our own.
  3. Attunement. Stay attuned to your child’s world. Pay attention to the various factors that might be affecting his emotional, social, behavioral and/or academic functioning.
  4. Clarification. Clarify everyone’s expectations-your own, your child’s, the school’s, and others’, such as extended family members’. Are the various demands being placed on the child well-defined, fair, and flexible? If not, think together about ways to improve matters.
  5. Information. Seek information about high-level development. Pay close attention to sources that provide insight into the particular kinds of support that your child requires.
  6. Exploration. Expose your child to a wide range of extracurricular opportunities for play, exploration, and learning in response to his individual abilities, interests, and needs.
  7. Consultation. Consult with professionals and other parents to explore possibilities such as alternative learning opportunities in your child’s school, within the community, and beyond.
  8. Advocacy. When necessary, advocate for appropriate learning options that will suit your child’s individual needs and levels of advancement in different areas.
  9. Co-operation. Work with educators, other parents, and members of the community to create as rich and engaging a learning environment as possible for your child and others.
  10. Awareness of Special Needs. Be aware of your child’s special needs, whether these relate to gender, ethnicity, disability, or specific talents or abilities, and be prepared to offer support.

While all of these perspectives are important, parents should also realize that they can best strengthen a child’s learning spirit and help sustain her drive to mastery by respecting her choices, nurturing her independence, and allowing that sometimes the most valuable learning of all is that which happens serendipitous-ly through the many experiences of daily life with friends, neighbors, classmates, and family members.

Matthew, Dona J., Ph. D & Foster, Joanne F., Ed.D, Being Smart about Gifted Children, pp. 318 & 319, Great Potential Press, Inc, 2005.

GE Monthly District Parent Forums

Join us for monthly Gifted Education parent meetings. The purpose of these meetings is to provide parent support for students participating in gifted education needs based classes. There are monthly meetings throughout the year with various topics – see schedule below. These sessions will be facilitated by several of our #279 Gifted Education Teachers. All meetings will be held at Oak View Elementary and will be from 6:30-7:30 pm. Childcare for children 4+ and a light snack will be provided.


April 12, 2016

6:30-7:30 PM

Not Just Gifted? Twice-Exceptional Children, Organization Issues


May 10th, 2016

6:30-7:30 PM

Advocating for Your Gifted Child Gifted Child

materials from past presentations

Young Scientist Roundtable 2016: An enrichment opportunity for ALL families

FREE participation in each month’s Young Scientist Roundtable is funded by Gifted Education 279

"The Nation's Electrical Grid" - Dr. Massoud Amin, University of Minnesota

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

7—8 p.m.

Dr. Massoud Amin

Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering

University of Minnesota

“Critical Infrastructure of Cyber Security”

Our daily lives and public safety depend on power and electric grids, but potential adversaries could use cyber vulnerabilities to disrupt them on a massive scale. Critical

infrastructures such as banking and finance; oil/gas/water pipelines; transportation; food/agriculture; health services; manufacturing and telecommunications are all at

risk. Dr. Amin has been working with the security of such systems, in order to guard against threats. At this YSR, he will discuss technologies which protect critical infrastructure

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CurJGL_aqYA