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Identifying Gifted Students in Your School

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1 Identifying Gifted Students in Your School
This presentation is being given to help you, as teachers, to help you more accurately identify gifted students and to help you “think outside the box” in looking for these students. Please look at the first page of your handout packet to see why we are discussing this today. (go over the issues) The issues: As of August, 2008, about 36% of Leon County students qualify for free or reduced lunch. However, only 3.6% of students identified as gifted qualify for free or reduced lunch 40% of our students are classified as African American. However, only 5.2% of students identified as gifted are African American. Susan Barnes, Coordinator ESE Support Services

2 Florida’s Definition of Giftedness
One who has superior intellectual development and is capable of high performance. Florida’s definition only considers intellectual giftedness--not academic, musical, artistic, or athletic talents.

3 Criteria for Gifted Eligibility
Need for a special program, A majority of characteristics of gifted students according to a standard scale or checklist, and Superior intellectual development as measured by an intelligence quotient of two standard deviations or more above the mean on an individually administered standardized test of intelligence. While most people are aware that there is a minimum IQ score for gifted placement, Florida actually has three criteria for gifted placement, and all three must be met for eligibility.

4 Minimum Intellectual Scores
WISC-IV, SB-V, and most other IQ tests: IQ=130+ (SD=15) This represents intellectual functioning at or above 98%ile (top 2%). Leon County Schools currently has about 5% of its population identified as gifted. Other districts have as few as <1% to as many as 12% identified as gifted. Our incidence of giftedness has been declining for the past several years as has our rate of referring students for gifted evaluation.

5 Plan B Gifted Eligibility
Florida allows districts (at their option) to adopt a different set of criteria for gifted placement for students of under-represented groups. Currently, those groups include: Students with limited English proficiency (ELL) Students from low SES families Leon County was among the first districts to adopt a Plan B. Because there seemed to be inequity in terms of some groups being represented in the gifted population in Florida, a law was passed to allow districts to develop a Gifted Plan B. We are proud that we have this plan in place and encourage you to take advantage of it. This is not an “easier” way to be classified as gifted; it is a “different” way to become eligible as gifted.

6 Students with Limited English Proficiency
Are those who are: Currently enrolled in ELL (ESOL), or are Within their two-year probationary period after dismissal from ELL. Two groups of students are considered ESOL for Plan B purposes.

7 Students From Low SES Families
Are students who are qualified for free or reduced lunch As a Title I school, a large number of your students are on free or reduced lunch, and are therefore eligible for consideration for Plan B gifted eligibility.

8 Screening for Gifted Three elements are required for gifted screening (to determine which students to send on for a psychological evaluation): IQ screening Documentation of gifted behavioral characteristics Documentation of need for the program (statement of need) In order to refer a student to a school psychologist for intellectual evaluation, the student must meet the three elements on the screening form.

9 Screening for Gifted Intellectual screening:
School administers the K-BIT2 (or other district-approved intellectual screening instrument) Students who achieve a score of 125+ have met this screening criterion. When a teacher, parent, or community member refers a child for gifted screening, the school’s referral coordinator administers the K-BIT II. Teachers from the ARC are also available to come and help conduct K-BIT II screenings.

10 Screening for Gifted Behavior Checklist:
Teacher Checklist (Behavioral Characteristics of Gifted Students) A student who earns 36+ points has met this screening criterion. A second consideration in the screening process is evidence of characteristics of giftedness. We use a easy-to-complete checklist to document characteristics of giftedness (see handout). A teacher should know a student well (the district suggests after about six weeks) to complete this.

11 Behavioral Characteristics
Learning Characteristics Large Vocabulary: Has unusually large vocabulary for age/grade level; uses terms in meaningful ways; has verbal behavior characterized by “richness” of expression, elaboration and fluency. Widely Informed: Possesses a large storehouse of information about a variety of topics (beyond the usual interests of youngsters his/her age); has quick mastery and recall of factual information. Complex Thinker: Has a rapid insight into cause-effect relationships; tries to discover the how and why of things-asks many provocative questions (as distinct from informational or factual questions); wants to know what makes things (or people) “tick”. Reads Extensively: Reads a great deal independently; prefers subjects beyond the interest of others the same age; does not avoid difficult material; may show preference for biography, autobiography, encyclopedias and atlases. This slide and the next three list the behavioral descriptors of giftedness on our gifted behavior checklist. Since you have a copy of the entire checklist as the second page of your handout packet, we don’t need to take the time to read these. Note, however, that characteristics in the areas of learning, motivation, creativity, and leadership are included for you to rate.

12 Behavioral Characteristics
Motivational Characteristics Highly Involved: Becomes absorbed and truly involved in certain topics or problems; is sometimes difficult to encourage to move on to other tasks; is internally motivated; perfectionist, self-critical; self-assertive, stubborn in beliefs. Often Bored: Is easily bored with routine tasks. Independent: Prefers to work independently; requires little direction from teachers; needs little external motivation to follow through in work that is initially exciting. Judgmental: Is quite concerned with right and wrong, good and bad; often evaluates situations, events, people and things. Takes Risks: Exposes oneself to failure or criticism; willing to take a guess; non-conforming; accepts disorder; is not interested in detail; does not fear being different. (just show quickly)

13 Behavioral Characteristics
Leadership Characteristics Self-confident: Is self-confident with others the same age as well as with adults; seems comfortable when asked to show own work to the class. Self-Expressive: Can express him/herself well; has good verbal facility and is usually well understood. Sociable: Seems to enjoy being around other people; is sociable and prefers not to be alone. Domineering: Tends to dominate others when they are around; generally directs the activity when others are involved. (just show quickly)

14 Behavioral Characteristics
Creativity Characteristics Curiosity: Displays a great deal of curiosity about many things; is constantly asking questions about anything and everything. Fluency: Generates a large number of ideas or solutions to problems and questions; often offers unusual “way out,” unique, clever responses. Flexibility: Takes different approaches to ideas; manipulates ideas (i.e., changes, elaborates upon them); able to shift categories; manipulates ideas into unique and original categories; generates a variety of kinds of ideas. Originality: Highly imaginative; offers unusual responses; expresses opinions freely; has a keen sense of humor. Elaboration: Embellishes upon an idea; embroiders a simple idea or response to make it more detailed; expands upon things or ideas. (just show quickly)

15 Screening for Gifted The final element required in gifted screening is a statement of need from a teacher. (no notes)

16 Statement of Need Statement of Need. Based on teacher observations, the student’s classroom performance, and success or failure of interventions used to meet the student’s needs in the regular classroom setting, indicate why this student needs gifted services. __________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ Date completed:________   Teacher completing:  ________     This statement should indicate why the child needs gifted services, not why s/he might benefit from it. The teacher should state what interventions have been tried to date. Since gifted is considered a special education category in Florida, another requirement for placement is a documented need for the program. We require the teacher to complete the statement of need which is at the bottom of the gifted screening matrix. Here you, as the teacher, explain what you have observed, what you have done to try to deal with the child’s giftedness, and why you think the child NEEDS gifted services. While many students would benefit from the program, this is not a statement of potential benefit; it is a statement of need.

17 Screening Summary If the student meets all three of the screening criteria, the student is then referred to Student Services for a psychological evaluation conducted by a LCS school psychologist or a LCS contractor. Students who do not meet these criteria but are believed to be gifted may be referred through the IAT. Parents may also seek private testing at their own expense. (self explanatory)

18 Use of Gifted Plan B Plan B is here for you to use! Based on the relative incidence in our population, we seriously under-serve gifted students who are Limited English Proficient (LEP) or who are from families with Low Socio-economic Status (SES). Plan B will be eliminated when a new DOE gifted rule is adopted. Use it, because you will lose it later! A new gifted rule is currently under consideration by DOE, and if it is adopted, there will be no more Plan B. We encourage you to utilize this alternative route for gifted eligibility because it WILL go away, possibly as soon as this year.

19 Gifted Plan B To qualify for gifted under our Plan B, the student must have a total of 10 points on the matrix. Points are earned based on the results of: Behavior checklist Creativity assessment Academic achievement IQ test results Additionally, there must be a statement of need. Our district Plan B looks at gifted characteristics, the results of a creativity assessment and academic achievement. An individually administered IQ test may be needed to provide additional points on the Plan B matrix. The statement of need is also necessary.

20 Gifted Plan B All students have the “right” to qualify for gifted under “Plan A.” This means that the first step for any gifted referral should be completion of the teacher checklist and the administration of the K-BIT2. If the child qualifies for referral for a psychological, that then takes place. If the child does not meet the IQ screening criterion, you may then address Plan B. A school must begin the gifted screening process by giving the K-BIT. You cannot go “straight” to Plan B as this would be discriminatory and not give the child the opportunity to qualify under the regular gifted eligibility requirements. If the child does not do well enough on the K-BIT II for referral but seems a reasonable gifted candidate for Plan B (and is ESOL or on free/reduced lunch), the school should then proceed to determine if the child qualifies for gifted under Plan B.

21 Gifted Plan B Another time that you may try the Plan B route is when an able student does not score high enough on the individual intelligence (IQ) test to qualify. As an example, a student on free or reduced lunch scored high enough on the K-BIT II to be referred to a school psychologist for an intellectual evaluation. However, the student did not score high enough on this test to qualify as gifted. If the school still feels that this child is a good gifted candidate, they can proceed with Plan B procedures.

22 Component Evaluation Scoring System
(Points Awarded for Component Scores) Component 4 points 3 points 2 points 1 point Points Awarded Behavioral Characteristics of Gifted Students Total Score: _______ 36 – 54 II. Creativity Assessment Program Total Score: ______ Date given: ______ Grades 1 – 3 Grades 4 – 6 Grades 7 – 9 Grades 10–12 96 or above 102 or above 109 or above 113 or above 91 – 95 97 – 101 104 – 108 88 – 90 94 – 96 101 – 103 85 – 87 91 – 93 98 – 100 III. Academic Achievement Group Test Name: _______________ Date administered: __________ Total Battery * Percentile: _______ * See Referral Coordinator Handbook for scores to use when Total Battery Score is not reported. OR Percentile 96 – 99 90 – 95 85 – 89 80 – 84 Individual Test Name: ______________ Standard Score: _______ Area Score Used (check one): ____ Composite ____ Reading ____ Math ____ Written Language Standard Score 125 or above Standard Score 119 – 124 Standard Score 115 – 118 111 – 114 IV. Intellectual Ability Test Name: ______________________ Full Scale/Composite Score: _______ 127 or above 124 – 126 121 – 123 TOTAL (10 points are required for gifted placement. All four areas must be considered.) Note: at least one point must come from area IV.) With the change in Component IV, the effective minimum IQ for Plan B placement is now 118.

23 Teachers… Are the most critical element in identifying gifted students! Must realize that the student’s culture will influence what gifted behaviors will be observed and how they will be exhibited. Should be aware that giftedness is not necessarily manifested in academic achievement. While teachers are not the most accurate referral sources for gifted placements (parents and other students are actually better at this), you are the most critical element since you are the most likely person to make the referral. It is important to consider that a child’s background and culture may influence the way that he or she demonstrates giftedness. Also keep in mind that your gifted students may not be your highest achievers. If schools only look at achievement scores when they screen for giftedness, they will miss the gifted under-achiever, including the gifted student with SLD. They may also miss the gifted child who is not a proficient speaker/writer/reader of English.

24 This may be a student who…
So….What do I look for? This may be a student who… Has a longer attention span Displays excellent memory skills Has keen powers of observation Displays ability with numbers Perseveres (when interested) Is concerned with justice and fairness (just read these quickly—these characteristics are all on the next handout)

25 So….What do I look for? Shows high intensity in studies
Has a wide range of interests Uses an extensive vocabulary Displays personal sensitivity Shows a high degree of creativity Tends to be a perfectionist Is good at jigsaw puzzles (just read these quickly—they are on the handout)

26 So….What do I look for? Has a preference for older companions
Has good problem-solving and reasoning abilities Displays a vivid imagination Shows compassion for others Makes judgments mature for age (just read these quickly, they are on the handout)

27 (From the work of Linda Silverman)
So….What do I look for? Has an excellent sense of humor Demonstrates unusual curiosity Has a high degree of energy Shows early or avid reading ability Tends to question authority Demonstrates moral sensitivity Appears to learn rapidly (From the work of Linda Silverman) (just read these quickly; they are on the handout)

28 Think Outside the Box! Students who are African American or who come from a background of poverty may not demonstrate gifted characteristics of the “majority” culture. Look for strengths in areas such as speaking, energy, social relatedness, spontaneity, and independence. Again, it is important to think about the fact that your students may not demonstrate “mainstream” characteristics of giftedness. Research has revealed that African American students and students from families with low incomes may demonstrate gifted strengths in speaking, energy, social relatedness, spontaneity, and independence. Think outside the box!

29 The Problem: The number of students identified as gifted in LCS has been steadily decreasing for the past few years. The proportion of African American and low SES identified as gifted is very low as compared to students in other race/ethnic groups.

30 “Universal” Screening
The district administration has decided that all students in grades K-5 will be subject to “universal” screening using a checklist of seven gifted characteristics. The checklists for each classroom (pre-populated with student names) will be ed to each elementary school in October and again in April.

31 “Universal” Screening
Teachers who have been using this checklist for the past few years report that it takes no more than two minutes to rate a whole class of students. It is suggested that a deadline be set for the checklists to be returned to a designated person in your school.

32 “Universal” Screening
Students who are rated as displaying four of the seven characteristics of giftedness on the screening checklist should be considered for referral. Those students are then rated by the teacher using the district’s gifted behavior checklist, and those scoring a 36 or greater and have a “good” statement of need should be screened using the K-BIT 2.

33 In Summary… Seek and ye shall find!
We are obligated to seek and identify gifted students just as assertively as we identify students who are disabled. Gifted students have special needs and require special education services. Seek and ye shall find! Under federal law, we are obligated to actively seek and identify students who have disabilities. Since Florida serves gifted under the special education umbrella, we have the same affirmative obligation to identify gifted students as they have special education needs . We know that you have unidentified gifted students in your school. Seek and ye shall find! Let’s look for another minute at our pilot project plan. We’ve accomplished step one and have mentioned that your students are exempt from the academic achievement requirement on the gifted screening matrix. In addition, teachers in grades 3-5 will be required to fill out a gifted screening form at the end of the first semester and then again at the end of the second semester. Please look at the third page of your handout packet to see how simple this will be. The district data center will generate these forms for you with your class list already on it, so you will not even have to write students’ name on it. You will consider each student and mark which characteristics you observe “most of the time” or “to a high degree.” Any student who shows four of the seven characteristics on this form should be referred for gifted screening. While the pilot project only requires this from teachers in grades 3-5, the data center will generate these for all grades. Research results suggest that you are actually more likely to identify gifted students in grades K-2. The final item on the plan specifies that students in Title I schools may be referred for assessment based on either of the K-BIT II part scores, not just on the full scale score. Students who are referred for testing using the non-verbal score will be administered a non-verbal IQ test by the school psychologist. To help you keep in mind the most common characteristics of giftedness, please accept this bookmark showing the characteristics we presented earlier. Keep it in your plan book or in another location where you can review it frequently. Thanks for your attention to this presentation. Remember, seek and ye shall find!

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