Mrs. Haynes May 2016 GE News

Gifted Education News for Rice Lake Elementary

Cognitive Abilities Test (CogAT) results HAVE BEEN MAILED!

if your child tested and you did NOT get results yet or you need clarification on the information, feel free to get in touch with me. Look below for tips about how to communicate with your children about these results.


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.

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

Pull Out Groups

This month I will be wrapping up the last pull out group of the year for the 3rd-5th graders! I have loved getting to know and work with these wonderful students throughout the year!


At the end of the month I will be doing a short 4 session pull out with a small group of Kindergarten, 1st, and 2nd graders. Students are informally identified for this group based upon class work observation. Students pulled for this group are NOT formally identified for GE services and future service is not guaranteed. These groups will focus on three main concepts:

  • Strategies
  • Effort
  • Attitude

We will talk about how SEA impact their success and work to identify their strength areas and their growth areas. Students invited to this group will receive a parent letter at the start of the group.

Summer Schoology Options are Coming!

I am currently working on creating a course in Schoology that provides all kinds of creative and critical thinking activities and links for students to engage in over the summer! Any student that has participated in GE this year will automatically be placed into this course. If you have a student that has NOT participated in a GE pull out this year but you would like them to have access to this course please feel free to let me know! Look for more details in the last newsletter of the year next month.

Feedback opportunity

I would still love your feedback around some of my goals as I start to plan for next year! Please click on the link below for a short survey to provide your feedback. You will be given the option to provide your name at the end, but responses can be submitted anonymously.

Follow me on Twitter!

I have enjoyed being able to share updates and photos of what is going on in the world of Gifted Ed at Rice Lake! You can find me through @altoerin where I have been using #RiceLakeGE, #RLRoadrunners, and #ThursdayThinker to share out many of the great things happening in our GE community!

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.


May 10th, 2016

6:30-7:30 PM

Advocating for Your Gifted Child Gifted Child

materials from past presentations