GIFTED vs. BRIGHT
The Great "Gifted vs. Bright" Debate
I fully believe that every child is gifted in one way or another! One child can replicate a challenging song on the piano after hearing it one time. Another child can retell a movie plot as though he had written it himself. One child can design and plant a thriving garden while another child sings like an angel. While one child has an uncanny ability to cook, another child has memorized all of the countries in the northern hemisphere. Those are all very special talents and gifts.
In the public school system, however, "Gifted" programs focus exclusively on the higher challenge needs of children who excel in math or language arts on standardized tests. The primary identification for GIFTED and High Achiever is the STAR test which is given in the spring. (First graders can be identified using the Negliari which involves visual and mental dexterity with patterns.) Oftentimes, these students seem to be able to apply new information across the curriculum. They are able to manipulate ideas, problems and new concepts with great dexterity. The important thing to remember, at least in my mind, is that identification doesn't guarantee that a child will perform "above grade level." The identification is just a tool for parents, children and teachers to better grasp the learning needs of the student who has been identified. The following "parental guides" have been kicked around for quite some time. I thought they might be a helpful tool as you try to determine the learning style of your own child.
The Bright Child The Gifted Child
knows the answers asks the questions
is interested is highly curious
is attentive is mentally and physically involved
works hard plays around, yet tests well
answers the questions discusses in detail, elaborates
is in the top group is beyond the group
listens with interest shows strong feelings and opinions
learns with ease already knows
needs 6-8 repetitions for mastery needs 1-2 repetitions
understands ideas constructs abstractions
enjoys peers prefers adults
grasps the meaning draws inferences
completes assignments initiates projects
is receptive is intense
copies accurately creates a new design
Great Info on Gifted Kids
San Juan Unified School District
1301 Mc Claren Dr.
Carmichael, CA 95608