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Prepare your child for the Gifted and Talented Test

NOVEMBER 2013

Prepare your child for the Gifted and Talented Test – What a Parent Needs to Know and How Fastrackids® can help:

As a parent in New York, you are well aware of the disparity and lack of quality education in schools. The number of first-rate schools seems to dwindle each year and being zoned for an underachieving school is a distressing and frustrating dilemma for parents. Here is where the NYC Gifted and Talented Test comes in. The test allows a child with a high score to be placed in an advanced class in your zoned school or even a better school outside your zone, where your child can find the proper academic environment for learning. Clearly, the competition is intense for the limited number of seats for the Gifted and Talented Program.  As such, the best strategy is to ensure that your child is well prepared for the Gifted and Talented Test.

So, what does the Gifted and Talented Test cover?

The current test consists of two combined parts: the NNAT2 and the OLSAT. To get a passing score, your child  must do well on both tests to enable admission into either a District Program or a City Wide Gifted school. Admission does not depend on your child’s ability to memorizing and relaying material, instead, the test is interested in assessing whether your child has learned to critically think and analyze problems. Essentially, the test requires your child to master 5 of the 6 learning objectives classified by Bloom’s Taxonomy (fig. 1) and demonstrate their applications.

According to Bloom’s Taxonomy, memorization is the most basic starting objective. It challenges students to practice higher modes of thinking such as comprehension (understanding), application (using knowledge in new situations), analysis (critical thinking) and evaluation (judgment). The Gifted Schools and Programs are keen to recruit students who are at the “creating” stage, which represents a higher level of potential.

Now you may be wondering: How does a parent prepare their child to think in complex and abstract ways?  The key is to focus on teaching outcomes verses memorization. There are indeed a select number of question-types (sequencing, patterns etc.) offered on this test, but if your child’s exam preparation is solely geared towards learning how to solve these particular types of questions –your child will be at a great disadvantage. During the test-although the question-types will be the same- the questions themselves obviously will not and when the scenario changes your child will struggle to apply the solution, because they will not recognize that the problems are fundamentally the same.

Fastrackids® is an amazing  resource for developing your child’s Gifted and Talented abilities. The best strategy is to start early- think beyond test prep and aim to develop your child’s innate learning abilities.  FasTracKids offers the “best rated” programs that serve as precursors to our G&T prep course: A) Fastrackids® Explorers/Discovers Advanced Pre-K Program (ages 2.5 to 5) and B) Fastrackids® Core Program (ages 3 to 7). Both of these programs have been independently researched by Wellesley College’s  National Institute on Out-of-School Time and has shown to promote knowledge enrichment, application of knowledge, leadership/personality development, creative development and speaking skills. Your child will develop a solid foundation supplemented by our 14-week Gifted and Talented (G&T) Program designed to expose your child to the test material as well as ways of thinking and analyzing. We teach our students metacognitive strategies that help them look past the surface of a problem and identify its inner organization, thereby getting them to figuring out a solution from a place of understanding. And like all of our other Fastrackids® program, our G&T Program employs a Montessori approach to teaching that is devoted to instilling a drive to explore learning. In our G&T classes, we employ multisensory based learning. A typical 1.5 hour class is divided between solving workbook problems, smart board activities, logic games and engagement through relaying real-life examples. Choosing to involve Fastrackids® in your child’s G&T preparation process is to your advantage. We cannot stress enough the importance of engaging your child to think dynamically and critically. At the end of the day, your active interest in your child’s early education is the biggest factor in providing a meaningful and successful academic career. We encourage parents to investigate the long term benefits of holistic early-learning that diverges from short-term memorization. Think of the Gifted and Talented Program as not only a means to better school prospects, but also as an opportunity to teach your child invaluable learning skills. Most importantly, call us for a free trail class and see for yourself.  Fastrackids® makes learning fun and accessible. Your child will love the learning experience that Fastrackids® provides!

TAXONOMY.311142745_std

Bloom’s Taxonomy (fig. 1)

Resourses:
Gifted & Talented Admissions Website:
http://schools.nyc.gov/Academics/GiftedandTalented/default.htm

Fastrackids Research Study:
http://www.fastrackids.com/researchstudies

Bloom’s Taxanomy:
http://www.ucdenver.edu/faculty_staff/faculty/center-for-faculty-development/Documents/Tutorials/Assessment/module2/index.htm

 
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