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  1. #101
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    Quote Originally Posted by Strider View Post
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    Bump. Any updates from parents of Westmount kids?

    Question for those who applied for Kindergarten at Westmount ( @ganesh , @Penis McNickels ), were there any strong indications that steered you to have your kids tested for giftedness?

    On the fence with whether we should have our 3.5 year old kid tested. It seems hard to benchmark at this age without blatantly obvious signs (she's not reading novels or playing chess or anything like that), but she seems ahead of her peers in terms of language skills, memory, and inquisitiveness (and behind in physical development). I also can't tell if it's just parent bias either.
    Based on the intake this year, you either have to be from the mainland or score in the high 130s to low 140s to get in. There are many kids in the mid 130s who have siblings at Westmount already (which isn’t a factor apparently) that did not get in. Many upset parents that have their kids going to different schools. We had both our kids tested at 3.5-3.75 years of age. Second kid has been slower to the benchmarks set by kid #1, but scored magnitudes higher than #1. What you see may not reflect reality.

    Quote Originally Posted by Buster View Post
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    This explains about 99% of the "gifted" kids I've encountered - along with a healthy dose of humble bragging.

    We either need to be more realistic in general, or re-define what the word means. I've met maybe 1 or 2 people in my life I consider to be truly gifted.
    Just because you are “gifted” doesn’t mean you are a high achiever. I don’t really care about the label other than the fact the school will cater to my kid’s learning levels. In grade 1, my son took the standard reading comprehension tests and was reading, comprehending and answering questions at a grade 5 level. You can call that bragging. I call it a fact of his life.

    At Westmount, they breakup the kids and group them for math and language arts. Same kid also finished grade 2 math in December and then completed grade 3 by the end of grade 2. In grade 3, he finished grade 4 and moved on to concepts from grade 5 and 6 based on his interest.

    They are still kids and do stupid kid things like going down the bobsled track and killing themselves. They are special needs. Just the opposite spectrum of what people think of when you say “special needs.” As I have said before, I would rather a normal kid. Some days it’s fucking hard.

    The main thing I care about is that my child is engaged and wants to go to school. He has never come home and said he is bored at school. Boredom begets behavioural issues.

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    Quote Originally Posted by benyl View Post
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    Just because you are “gifted” doesn’t mean you are a high achiever. I don’t really care about the label other than the fact the school will cater to my kid’s learning levels. In grade 1, my son took the standard reading comprehension tests and was reading, comprehending and answering questions at a grade 5 level. You can call that bragging. I call it a fact of his life.

    At Westmount, they breakup the kids and group them for math and language arts. Same kid also finished grade 2 math in December and then completed grade 3 by the end of grade 2. In grade 3, he finished grade 4 and moved on to concepts from grade 5 and 6 based on his interest.

    They are still kids and do stupid kid things like going down the bobsled track and killing themselves. They are special needs. Just the opposite spectrum of what people think of when you say “special needs.” As I have said before, I would rather a normal kid. Some days it’s fucking hard.

    The main thing I care about is that my child is engaged and wants to go to school. He has never come home and said he is bored at school. Boredom begets behavioural issues.
    I'm not disputing your kid's objective performance or any other kid's objective performance. I don't know them.

    What I do dispute about these "gifted" programs is the actual standard deviations that students in these programs represent. I'm willing to bet that the vast majority of these kids seem super smart because we are conditioned to recognize relatively minor deviations from the top of a normal curve. In other words, a child that can perform math/language/etc in advance of other students is by definition less common. But they are still common. Further, I suspect in the nature-vs-nurture department, these 1 (even 2) standard deviation kids that get labelled as "gifted' are the result of other confounding factors like interest/exposure/tiger-parenting, etc. Kids who are truly on the tails of the normal curve are rare, and we would only meet a few of them in our lives (also by definition). And yet half of my friends complain about the difficulty of raising a "gifted kid". Either I'm exceptionally good at picking friends with smart kids, or there is significant parenting "bias" regarding their kids and whether being smarter than most kids they know actually indicates a significant deviation from the top of fat part of the curve.
    Last edited by Buster; 07-10-2019 at 09:00 PM.

  3. #103
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    Quote Originally Posted by Buster View Post
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    I'm not disputing your kid's objective performance or any other kid's objective performance. I don't know them.

    What I do dispute about these "gifted" programs is the actual standard deviations that students in these programs represent. I'm willing to bet that the vast majority of these kids seem super smart because we are conditioned to recognize relatively minor deviations from the top of a normal curve. In other words, a child that can perform math/language/etc in advance of other students is by definition less common. But they are still common. Further, I suspect in the nature-vs-nurture department, these 1 (even 2) standard deviation kids that get labelled as "gifted' are the result of other confounding factors like interest/exposure/tiger-parenting, etc. Kids who are truly on the tails of the normal curve are rare, and we would only meet a few of them in our lives (also by definition). And yet half of my friends complain about the difficulty of raising a "gifted kid". Either I'm exceptionally good at picking friends with smart kids, or there is significant parenting "bias" regarding their kids and whether being smarter than most kids they know actually indicates a significant deviation from the top of fat part of the curve.
    That's basically all wrong.

    This isn't even a recent phenomenon. Back when formalized teaching started happening, teachers right away noticed that some children were way, way ahead of the pack. And some way, way behind. This even cut across cultures - the same thing was noticed all over the world.

    You actually have to get assessed, BTW. Yes I'm sure your friends like to use the term randomly.

    Having said that, Calgary does have a higher per capita rate. As it turns out, being an engineer does require higher intelligence. And Calgary has a lot of technical talent in that regard. And despite what some people say, intelligence is somewhat inherited (and mostly inherited from the mother...)
    Last edited by suntan; 07-11-2019 at 09:14 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by suntan View Post
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    That's basically all wrong.

    This isn't even a recent phenomenon. Back when formalized teaching started happening, teachers right away noticed that some children were way, way ahead of the pack. And some way, way behind. This even cut across cultures - the same thing was noticed all over the world.

    You actually have to get assessed, BTW. Yes I'm sure your friends like to use the term randomly.

    Having said that, Calgary does have a higher per capita rate. As it turns out, being an engineer does require higher intelligence. And Calgary has a lot of technical talent in that regard. And despite what some people say, intelligence is somewhat inherited (and mostly inherited from the mother...)
    "teachers noticed"

    That's your evidence? Of course they noticed this. The issue isn't that there is a normal curve. It's that we suck at identifying where people actually ARE on the curve. And we regularly err on the side of too far towards the tails. We suck even more when it's our own kids.

    Assessing kids - not something I trust a great deal. This is also a cottage industry, which leads to similar errors. It is, ultimately, goal-seeking. If we create the artificial impression in the public that even kids only one standard deviation away from the top of the curve are "gifted", then we can create a "gifted" infrastructure, and this requires tests to determine "giftedness". At best it's circular logic. Even taking IQ of small children requires significant skill from the actual tester - given the volume that these assessment are being utilized, that alone creates a massive confounding factor for aggregate analysis, never mind the reliability of the test for an individual student.

    I think it more likely that the "gifted kid" stuff is simply a market like any other.

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    Compound that with the fact that coding kids gets the school more funding and you have a perfect storm of stupid.

    That being said, I’m all for educating kids differently to lead to best outcomes for all.

    Pretty contrary to the boards current position of treating everyone the same, like how they put severely autistic kids in class with everyone else now rather than having dedicated special needs classes.

    I really don’t have much faith that the CBE knows whether they are coming or going in terms of consistent policies.
    Last edited by killramos; 07-11-2019 at 10:38 AM.
    Originally posted by Thales of Miletus

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    On the subject of assessments, as always, there's different quality. Some assessors will try very hard to make sure your kid meets the GATE criteria while others are more unbiased.

    Anyone who wants thier kid assessed I can't speak highly enough about the ISE program at the university of Calgary. Way more than IQ, it helps identify strengths and weaknesses and is a great tool to advocate for your kid in the crowded school system.

    We never did persue Westmount.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Buster View Post
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    "teachers noticed"

    That's your evidence? Of course they noticed this. The issue isn't that there is a normal curve. It's that we suck at identifying where people actually ARE on the curve. And we regularly err on the side of too far towards the tails. We suck even more when it's our own kids.

    Assessing kids - not something I trust a great deal. This is also a cottage industry, which leads to similar errors. It is, ultimately, goal-seeking. If we create the artificial impression in the public that even kids only one standard deviation away from the top of the curve are "gifted", then we can create a "gifted" infrastructure, and this requires tests to determine "giftedness". At best it's circular logic. Even taking IQ of small children requires significant skill from the actual tester - given the volume that these assessment are being utilized, that alone creates a massive confounding factor for aggregate analysis, never mind the reliability of the test for an individual student.

    I think it more likely that the "gifted kid" stuff is simply a market like any other.
    Yeah hey you really have zero idea what the assessment is like. It's done by psychologists, not some Kumon lady. I will tell you it costs a few thousand dollars and takes a few days to do.

    It is very difficult to game, if that's what you're trying to say.

    And actually, er, um, human intelligence follows a normal curve quite closely.

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    Quote Originally Posted by suntan View Post
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    And actually, er, um, human intelligence follows a normal curve quite closely.
    Indeed.

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    Quote Originally Posted by benyl View Post
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    Based on the intake this year, you either have to be from the mainland or score in the high 130s to low 140s to get in. There are many kids in the mid 130s who have siblings at Westmount already (which isn’t a factor apparently) that did not get in. Many upset parents that have their kids going to different schools. We had both our kids tested at 3.5-3.75 years of age. Second kid has been slower to the benchmarks set by kid #1, but scored magnitudes higher than #1. What you see may not reflect reality.

    Just because you are “gifted” doesn’t mean you are a high achiever. I don’t really care about the label other than the fact the school will cater to my kid’s learning levels. In grade 1, my son took the standard reading comprehension tests and was reading, comprehending and answering questions at a grade 5 level. You can call that bragging. I call it a fact of his life.

    At Westmount, they breakup the kids and group them for math and language arts. Same kid also finished grade 2 math in December and then completed grade 3 by the end of grade 2. In grade 3, he finished grade 4 and moved on to concepts from grade 5 and 6 based on his interest.

    They are still kids and do stupid kid things like going down the bobsled track and killing themselves. They are special needs. Just the opposite spectrum of what people think of when you say “special needs.” As I have said before, I would rather a normal kid. Some days it’s fucking hard.

    The main thing I care about is that my child is engaged and wants to go to school. He has never come home and said he is bored at school. Boredom begets behavioural issues.
    Thanks, I hadn't even considered intake as a factor of whether or not to apply. What led you to have the first one tested at a young age? Any distinct signs that they were ahead of or different from their peers?

    Quote Originally Posted by Buster View Post
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    What I do dispute about these "gifted" programs is the actual standard deviations that students in these programs represent. I'm willing to bet that the vast majority of these kids seem super smart because we are conditioned to recognize relatively minor deviations from the top of a normal curve. In other words, a child that can perform math/language/etc in advance of other students is by definition less common. But they are still common. Further, I suspect in the nature-vs-nurture department, these 1 (even 2) standard deviation kids that get labelled as "gifted' are the result of other confounding factors like interest/exposure/tiger-parenting, etc. Kids who are truly on the tails of the normal curve are rare, and we would only meet a few of them in our lives (also by definition).
    I share your cynicism on labels and assessment and thoughts on the role of nurture-vs-nature. Simply exposing a child to certain concepts beforehand would greatly increase their performance on an assessment. To that end, I could go online and buy a WPPSI-IV Test Prep kit and have my kid study sample questions. But doing so could result in pushing a 1 standard deviation kid into a label and potentially setting her up for failure.

    On the other hand, the regular public school system inevitably caters to the lowest common denominator and doesn't have a framework to deal with "gifted" kids, so an unassessed/unlabeled gifted kid would be left unengaged and bored or destructive.
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    my oldest probably should have been in some form of advanced learning class. She already is doing advanced math classes and such, and she gets damn near perfect "straight A" report cards and is bored AF in class it seems.

    I really should get her IQ tested, would be interesting to see what it is for shits and giggles. But, while she is great in school, she is way behind in other areas like physical co-ordination, social skills, etc. Her world is also very binary. She has come a long way in those regards, but there is still considerable growth to achieve to catch up with her peers. But Jesus Christ, if she ever gets to be in charge of a military power, y'all are fucked. I'm safe, but you all should be digging bomb shelters! She has a crazy good mind for strategy!
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    Quote Originally Posted by spikerS View Post
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    my oldest probably should have been in some form of advanced learning class. She already is doing advanced math classes and such, and she gets damn near perfect "straight A" report cards and is bored AF in class it seems.

    I really should get her IQ tested, would be interesting to see what it is for shits and giggles. But, while she is great in school, she is way behind in other areas like physical co-ordination, social skills, etc. Her world is also very binary. She has come a long way in those regards, but there is still considerable growth to achieve to catch up with her peers. But Jesus Christ, if she ever gets to be in charge of a military power, y'all are fucked. I'm safe, but you all should be digging bomb shelters! She has a crazy good mind for strategy!
    A full "psychoeducational assessment" would benefit so many kids, your daughter included. Can really help you understand thier abilities and lack of ability and help them in school and elsewhere. IQ is a small part of it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Strider View Post
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    Thanks, I hadn't even considered intake as a factor of whether or not to apply. What led you to have the first one tested at a young age? Any distinct signs that they were ahead of or different from their peers?
    Wasn’t our idea. Everyone who met him was impressed with his language skills. We thought it was normal and didn’t think anything of it. Someone suggested we get him assessed.

    He started talking at about 9 months. Full sentences at 11 months. Wrote his own name at 15 months. My bias was that I just thought other kids were stupid. Haha. Memory recall was nuts. 18 months, he could name 50-60 Thomas the trains. Yes, I bought a lot of trains.

    He has an incredible sense of justice and fairness. Followed the rules, but would attack any kid who didn’t. Gravitated to older kids because they could communicate. Kids his own age simply grunted. Full bore convos on super heroes and trains at 2 based on books that were read to him. He still doesn’t watch TV. Last Summer, he read all the Harry Potter books in 4 weeks.

    The signs were everywhere, we just didn’t notice. Other people did.

    The hard part for us was that we would put him in preschools and he would last a day or two, get bored and cry. He was a serial dropout of so many programs. Tried Montessori, Waldorf, normal preschool, Chinese school, Korean school...

    The staff kept him fully engage at the on site assessment at Westmount. He came out beaming. On the first day of K, we were afraid he wouldn’t go in and cry. He walked right in and didn’t look back.

    I hate talking about him cause it feels like boasting. But, if I can help one parent who’s having a hard time with their kid, it’s worth looking like I’m boasting.

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    You find a place where your kid can thrive and that's all that matters. My kid rose the short bus to find that Fuck what other adults think about you.

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    Quote Originally Posted by benyl View Post
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    Wasn’t our idea. Everyone who met him was impressed with his language skills. We thought it was normal and didn’t think anything of it. Someone suggested we get him assessed.

    He started talking at about 9 months. Full sentences at 11 months. Wrote his own name at 15 months. My bias was that I just thought other kids were stupid. Haha. Memory recall was nuts. 18 months, he could name 50-60 Thomas the trains. Yes, I bought a lot of trains.

    He has an incredible sense of justice and fairness. Followed the rules, but would attack any kid who didn’t. Gravitated to older kids because they could communicate. Kids his own age simply grunted. Full bore convos on super heroes and trains at 2 based on books that were read to him. He still doesn’t watch TV. Last Summer, he read all the Harry Potter books in 4 weeks.

    The signs were everywhere, we just didn’t notice. Other people did.

    The hard part for us was that we would put him in preschools and he would last a day or two, get bored and cry. He was a serial dropout of so many programs. Tried Montessori, Waldorf, normal preschool, Chinese school, Korean school...

    The staff kept him fully engage at the on site assessment at Westmount. He came out beaming. On the first day of K, we were afraid he wouldn’t go in and cry. He walked right in and didn’t look back.

    I hate talking about him cause it feels like boasting. But, if I can help one parent who’s having a hard time with their kid, it’s worth looking like I’m boasting.
    But is he doctor yet?

    Originally posted by Thales of Miletus

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    Quote Originally Posted by killramos View Post
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    Compound that with the fact that coding kids gets the school more funding and you have a perfect storm of stupid.
    Especially when those additional funds aren't spent exclusively for that child.
    ---

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    Quote Originally Posted by ExtraSlow View Post
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    You find a place where your kid can thrive and that's all that matters. My kid rose the short bus to find that Fuck what other adults think about you.
    IMO, there are as many successful regular program kids than there were out of the people I went to GATE with. Some have gone on to be heart surgeons, others have gone to be construction workers and bar managers. If your kid needs to the special attention, by all means, please go find the right environment for them. But there is a difference between smart and gifted, and I worry sometimes that parents and teachers confuse the two.
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    Enjoying being a fly on the wall of someone who was in GATE seeing everyone discuss it. Sidenote.. you parents are paying thousands to get your kids assessed to go in? Times sure have changed

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    Quote Originally Posted by riander5 View Post
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    Enjoying being a fly on the wall of someone who was in GATE seeing everyone discuss it. Sidenote.. you parents are paying thousands to get your kids assessed to go in? Times sure have changed
    Nope, $500 and it covered by most health insurance plans.

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    The ones that are "thousands" would cover additional topics like testing for autism, ADHD, sensory processing disorder and other neurological disorders. If you just want IQ, that's a much simpler test.

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