What are your thoughts on "GIfted and talented" programs

Discussion in 'Childhood and Beyond (4+)' started by Lougood, Sep 7, 2013.

  1. Lougood

    Lougood Well-Known Member

    One of my girls came home with a referral for GT testing, they are in second grade. At the beginning of each school year they send home a form to fill out of you'd like to refer your child for testing. I might be a little jaded on the whole thing, so I've always said I wouldn't test them. I remember when I taught third grade I thought the whole GT program was definitely lacking...to me, it was just another label. So I'm debating two things right now. One, do I even worry about it, or not. I feel like most of the teachers differentiate small group instruction enough, and I don't see how labeling them would make much of a difference. And second, do I refer the other twin? Normally, if I knew they were at different levels, the thought wouldn't cross my mind "just because they are twins". My problem is I know academically they are the same. The one that was referred for testing is my more outgoing child who likes to shine, while the other is equally as bright, but doesn't really care if you know it. So, to test or not to test, and one or both?
  2. Danibell

    Danibell Well-Known Member TS Moderator

    One or both is a hard one for me, I'm not quite there yet so I'm not sure what I would do. I would think if they are both there academically, then the school would have recommended they both be tested. I'm not sure though. Are they in the same classroom? Can you put a call or email in to the teacher and ask how the second twin didn't meet the requirements for testing?

    My oldest child tested into GT in second grade as well. For him, they definitely stepped up the workload in third grade. So much that it almost overwhelmed him, he had between 2-3 hrs of homework per night! It was ridiculous and I considered pulling him from the program completely. The homework wasn't anything leftover from school work, it was all new stuff every night. Social studies paper, math paper, and ELA words every night.

    Anyways, the homework load settled down by christmas, I suspect I wasn't the only parent who sent a couple of unfriendly emails to the teacher. I know the GT students are all in one classroom so the entire class does the same work, but I can't actually compare it to how the other grade classrooms are since I only have the one child in it.

    I don't see a problem with it, I don't consider it a "label" as such, and if it pushes my child a little bit more then I see that as a good thing. My husband was very bored in school, and as a result, he never ever did homework, never studied, and cruised by with a solid B average. I think if he'd been pushed a bit more he would have applied himself a bit more.
  3. sharongl

    sharongl Well-Known Member

    Unless she is bored in school, I wouldn't necessarily bother. Our school pretty much stopped doing GT for a couple of reasons. One was lack of funding for a dedicated teacher. Another was that the parents who pushed for it didn't necessarily have gifted kids, just kids that worked really hard because they were pushed. Instead, they do small group reading instruction at the reading level, same with spelling. Last year they started ability grouping for math, so they can catch those kids as well.

    I will say, my kids were very happy to finally get to Middle school where they could have Honors Math, and really be challenged in math for the first time.
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  4. rrodman

    rrodman Well-Known Member

    I was in a GT program as a kid, and it was a good thing for me. Something about being told I was smart made me perform to a higher level. I can't say mine, in a rural, small school, translated to tougher academics, but it did serve to put me with peers who were also in the GT program. I wouldn't hesitate to have my children tested if recommended. For Jack, I'm debating requesting it.
  5. Lougood

    Lougood Well-Known Member

    Thanks! They are not in the same class and I suspect the one who was referred for testing was done so by her teacher, but the note home only states she was "referred by a faculty member." However, she also has the better teacher this year. ;) I don't think the other's teacher is likely to refer or identify anyone, she seems like she can barely keep up with her work load...that's a whole different post. And there are no real requirements, it's pretty subjective...which is why I can refer my own child if I want.

    If I knew for sure there would be real services that meet their needs if they qualify then I would consider it more, but with leveled reading, math, and spelling groups I just don't know. Especially if it just means more homework.
  6. Lougood

    Lougood Well-Known Member

    This is how I feel, which is why I'm leaning towards not testing. Thank you!
  7. 4lilmonkeys

    4lilmonkeys Well-Known Member

    My DH and I were both in GT all the way up until high school, and then we moved into advanced placement/honors classes. I enjoyed them and I never felt that I was pushed to perform. I think it was good for my personality, because when I'm bored I tend to slack off and take short cuts. My GT teacher wouldn't let me get away with it and I think that helped me perform better in high school.

    On the flip side, DH hated it. He was also in MENSA in college and hated that too. He's the opposite of me and will slack off when he's pushed to perform, so when given that extra pressure he pushed back and then just quit altogether.

    Andrew has been tested every year since second grade and never tested well (he doesn't in general). He is very similar to DH and so we never placed any emphasis on it. Once he ended up in 6th grade, he was placed in AP classes based on his performance instead of test scores. Now, in junior high he's taking MORE AP classes, doing well and getting college credit for some of them (the perks of living near a major university!).

    We will probably take the same approach with the little boys. If they're tested, great. If they get in, we'll be thrilled and if they don't, we won't worry about it. Our experiences make me think it's all about personality. I don't think it's the full story of who a child is or isn't, but there's nothing wrong with giving it a chance and seeing where it leads.

    (hopefully that made sense...I shouldn't watch ID and type at the same time)
  8. Lougood

    Lougood Well-Known Member

    I actually went to a "vanguard" school as a child where you had to test to get in. I loved it. I was definitely challenged and had a great education. But, that school was entirely devoted to GT. I find the programs with in the schools here to be very little more than just labeling for funding. There often times aren't enough GT certified teachers so not all the kids get a GT teacher, who will also non-GT kids in the class b/c of other certification needs like ESL. It's kind of a mess. :(

    I guess I don't know for sure until they are tested. Maybe have them tested and go from there?
  9. Lougood

    Lougood Well-Known Member

    :lol: Made perfect sense! :lol:

    You make a very valid point. And the funny thing is I think the one who was referred would be like your DH and the other would enjoy it like you. Ha!
  10. cheezewhiz24

    cheezewhiz24 Well-Known Member TS Moderator

    I don't want my kids to be perennially bored the way DH and I were in school. I feel school wasn't a big challenge until the last 2 years of college and that was a bit of a shock. I was in an elementary pullout program for reading and really enjoyed it. I would have them tested to see if it is something they would benefit from. Do you think the GT program in your area is a worse education than the general ed?
  11. rissakaye

    rissakaye Well-Known Member TS Moderator

    It totally depends on what it gifted/talented means for your school. I'm letting them go ahead and test Sarah.

    For us, they really don't do g/t till 3rd grade for a few, but mostly 4th is when it starts. My kids' school does MTSS reading and math times which is just extra focused time where they do enrichment in addition to the regular reading and math times. That's when the g/t kids go to their group. You also don't have to be labeled g/t to get to go to that teacher. Sarah has been going since 3rd, but won't be doing the testing till later this fall. G/T kids go to the teacher 5 days a week. The other kids go 4 and it's kept to a very small group.

    To get to join the group you have to have at least 95th percentile in math and reading for at least 2 years. Then you go to the group with the g/t teacher. That teacher then watches for more of the out-of-the-box and creative thinking that our program seems to emphasize. It also works on research skills, public speaking and learning about current events. The g/t teacher will then evaluate how well the kids do with the projects that group works on in their room. If they continue to do well, then the g/t teacher, classroom teacher, counselor and parents then decide together if we want to continue with just plain enrichment or do the testing. Our testing consists of the child doing a project under the guidance of the g/t teacher and presenting it to the group. It's all done mostly in school. The only homework Sarah has ever had from that group is once she had to find a current events article to present to the class.

    Personally, I was a bit hesitant about it because it doesn't seem to add much other than a label to Sarah. She would still get to go with the enrichment group even if she doesn't do the testing. But she loves her group and her teacher. My dh also really thought that we should let her do it because Sarah tends to be very quiet and self-conscious. He thought it could be a good boost to the self-esteem to get the official label.

  12. KCMichigan

    KCMichigan Well-Known Member

    I would do a few things before I agree to test or not test.

    1. Ask what test. Some state have specific testing and others are allowed to chose evaluation methods. Testing can be pure IQ and cut-off or a combination of a rubric from achievement testing/teacher suggestion/or an independent test. Sometimes 'shyer' kiddos are less likely to get suggested for testing and/or not do well if there is a portion on leadership/participation portions of consideration.I would absolutely see what and how they test.

    2. What does the program look like. Programs will vary. We moved a lot and there was pull-out programming and push-in from my experiences in Elem. Middle and High was no extra testing needed- but teacher suggestion and results of statewide assessments for Honors/AP/etc.

    3. Will it change anything? If you think it will enrich their education, go for it. If you think it wont, maybe defer a year (or two) until you think a tangible benefit is likely.

    4. Consider what you would do if one got in and one did not. Or one was offered pull out and one was offered a self-contained GT room.

    5. Would you have access to a GIEP? If so, what would it entail? Such a document may also enable you to make sure that both DDs are getting an education that they would benefit from-especially if one DD has a teacher that may or may not make sure your DD is working at her level.

    I would say that labels are just that . They are not good or bad to be honest, they are what people make of them. Sometimes labels can provide supports that are otherwise not available, sometimes they come with stigma or preconceived notions. My DDs have had lots of labels since they were small, some of which they still carry and some that no longer apply-- I try to think that a label is not them and labels do not have to be static.
  13. Lougood

    Lougood Well-Known Member

    No, I don't think it's worse, but I'm not sure there is much of a difference. Unfortunately, from what I've heard from others, the main difference here is more homework. So I have to ask if it's worth it. There doesn't seem to be a lot of funding for it at the elementary level, and not many certified teachers in our district. I would not question it if they were referred to test for the school where I went, I would do it in a heartbeat. But my experience with in school programs and what they offer is limited to my teaching experience in a different district and what others have told me about this one.

    I'm going to email the teachers on Monday and ask for more information. I think DH and I decided we will go ahead with the testing (and will test both of them) and then see what happens. Even though I have yet to see a real bonus to it, I can't really see the harm at this point.
  14. Lougood

    Lougood Well-Known Member

    Thank you guys! Good info and stuff to consider. I love coming on here when I have a dilemma! :)
  15. AmynTony

    AmynTony Well-Known Member

    We had Ian tested into gifted because he was unbelievably bored in 1st grade - he probably would have tested into in K but the twins were in the same classroom and I didn't want Abby to feel slighted (she is academically on course, while Ian's been ahead since he was 2). It was the best thing for him! He went from talking in class and getting up and running around and getting sent to the principals office (I was mortified) to paying attention, helping his classmates out. We are a tiny school district (less than 1000 students K-12) so our gifted program falls more into the realm of special projects geared toward the kids interests (at least on the elementary school level). He gets out of class for 45 minutes 3 days out of every 12 day cycle. He studied frogs in depth, gets additional educational computer time and gets one on one time with the librarian (since its only him at this age). The work he misses he can bring home for homework but he generally finishes it before the end of the day. That's just my story on it - its been really good for him.

    ETA - he does get a GIEP
  16. rubyturquoise

    rubyturquoise Well-Known Member

    All four of mine were recommended for testing and were in the pull-out program here. (My boys are about 10 years older than my girls.) They started doing a new thing where there is a GT class in 4th grade (just 4th grade) and they were in that--it did result in more homework, but that teacher set a high bar and I think the challenge was good for them. I was never challenged (except in math), and having things come too easily can result in laziness.

    However, I'm going to address a different aspect. I found one of the valuable things about the pull-out program here was getting a chance to socialize with other kids of similar abilities and interests. Other than the new fourth-grade program, it's completely random whether you land in a class with any of these kids (one of mine had not twice running), and since they barely get any time to socialize these days, what with almost no recess and assigned seating at lunch, almost all socializing is with the classmates seated immediately around them. It's been quite good for them to have a chance to socialize with other kids who have strong, dedicated interests and the ability and desire to research them. If you're the only one in your regular class like that, it can be isolating.
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  17. KCMichigan

    KCMichigan Well-Known Member

    I will say that growing up the G/T programming was pull-out enrichment (versus compacting or accelerating) and I really enjoyed it. I remember doing an in-depth projects. I did a small scale model of knightly armor for a horse in the Renaissance time. (model horse & lots of tin foil!!) and did a whole article and mural of the Great Chicago Fire. We also did a lot of small group discussions on world problems- we talked about pros/cons of exposing tribes in South America to modern people (and this was back in the 80s). I still recall debating it!

    That said-- many GT programs look different. There is no set guidelines or funding federally. Currently, my state offers no funding nor programs. There are a few pockets of programs here and there and some private schools.

    It is important to also look at qualifications and how the area runs entrance to programs (self-contained, pull out or in class support). I know where we lived last, they had self-contained GT programs for 1-5th that were in high-demand by parents. Redshirting was common and a lot of angst popped up every year when 'old for grade' kiddos did well academically in class- got referred, but did not get accepted in to the GT class. They used achievement testing (vs IQ or a variety of sources) for placement and when compared to 'age' peers (vs grade peers), they were not functioning beyond grade level. Some areas go pure IQ testing. Some areas, GT falls in the Special Education umbrella and GIEPs are available. Confused yet?

    A great resource is Hoagies Gifted Education Page. It goes through a lot of testing variations, programs, rights, gifted kids and learning disabilities, individual state funding, etc. Characteristics of GT kiddos (especially those quiet ones!). Great source of information.

    I wish wish wish that teacher education programs offered a mandatory course in GT. It would help with identification, support, and resources for GT kidds. It would also debunk common myths/untruths to GT.

    It is likely that parents that filtered through GT programs will have kiddos that will qualify. Our current schoo doest have GT at Elementary level (it is just sort of Honors and AP at the secondary level) but it l does a good job (though varies by teacher) in differentiating. My girls have been working in reading, writing, spelling groups with a small group of their grade level peers at the level they are at. Math groups on friday also places kids in differentiated groups.
  18. KCMichigan

    KCMichigan Well-Known Member

    I agree with this. Most of my DDs day to day friends are from their academic differentiated groupings from school. They both were glad to find like kiddos that shared passions they have and loved similar activities that may or may not be age-typical. The fact that they also made friends outside of their age range in school clubs like Math Pentathalon & Science Fair (voluntary in our school) .That said-- I also really like that they have friends from places like dance (current obsession), Space Camp, Girl Scouts, and other areas.
  19. Utopia122

    Utopia122 Well-Known Member

    GT here is not identified until the 4th grade, but both of my girls are in what they call the "talent pool" which means they scored greater than 96 percentile in math or reading or both on the STAR test, which I believe compares kids to their same aged peers nationally who have also taken the tests. They must score this level on the test to be considered, so teacher recommendation only will not get you in if you don't score at that percentile. Until I came to this district GT has always been somewhat of a joke....kids identified early then left in the GT program when they no longer qualify, no special curriculum, etc. However, since I've been here, it's an excellent program. Allison qualified last year, and Sarah did not qualify until this year. This district has a GT coordinator who pulls the talent pool kids out once a week and does some really awesome things with them. Accelerated Reading is a huge part of the curriculum here, and kids are encouraged to read books and earn AR points and in return earn special prizes. However, their primary school only has tests for levels through the third grade. My girls are in the second grade reading 4th and 5th grade level books and if it wasn't for this coordinator, they would not be receiving Ar points for the books they are reading because their school doesn't have those books in their testing library. Because they are in the talent pool, they get to read those higher level books, then write the GT coordinator a short essay on the book and earn their AR points for those higher level books. The GT coordinator also has a special curriculum for them that they do in school. They don't have extra homework per se.....I think Allison brought home one extra thing maybe two last year that she had to do, but she loved being in her class and looked forward to the special things they did every week. If your district does not have a good GT program, it is an absolute waste of time, but if they do have a good program, then your child will benefit. It all really depends on what the district has in place. Allison being in the program first caused Sarah to work that much harder in order to qualify...which was neat to see. Sarah wanted to be in there so bad with her sister that she began reading all the time just so she would score well on the next test they gave. She ended up beating Allison on the last test and now she gets to be a part of the program, too.
  20. KCMichigan

    KCMichigan Well-Known Member

  21. rubyturquoise

    rubyturquoise Well-Known Member

    That's really interesting to me, because my daughters complain all time about cloze testing and how much they hate it.

    I am also not a fan of AR, for these reasons, and particularly for the discouragement in reading non-AR books. I have told my daughters they can participate or not, as they choose. One likes it, one does not. The one who likes it is a very fast reader. The other does not have her speed, but she is a deep and thorough reader. Both test at the same level, they just have different styles.
  22. sharongl

    sharongl Well-Known Member

    I have been in schools where AR worked and where it didn't. In one school, kids were allowed to choose whatever books they wanted, and the teacher or librarian would monitor to make sure that they weren't too hard or too easy--there it worked. In my kids school kids were placed on a level, and had to stay there until the teacher told them they could move up--also the librarian had to "teach" kids one at a time to do AR, so not all kids were even allowed to do it in 1st grade. Needless to say, I was thrilled when they stopped it. I was even happier when they brought in a new librarian who actually allowed kids to take any book out of the library--until then, only 4th and 5th graders were allowed to take out chapter books, 3rd and under were only allowed picture books--regardless of reading ability!

    Anyway, to get back on topic, GT changes in every district as the others have said. In some places it is great, in others not worth it.
  23. akameme

    akameme Well-Known Member TS Moderator

    What is "cloze"?
  24. Utopia122

    Utopia122 Well-Known Member

    Ack....I was picked apart :) I can take it. Seriously though, there is no perfect program to pick GT kids. Someone is always going to dislike they way kids are picked, the programs attached to it, etc, etc. It boils down to whether or not you feel your children will benefit and if it is a good fit for them. If you choose not to do it in 2nd, there will always be another year down the road where you can probably decide to pursue that for your child. Like I said, if it is a good program in place at your school, it will benefit them, but if the program is not good, its a waste of time.
  25. Chrissy Nelson

    Chrissy Nelson Well-Known Member

    We have a high ability program. In first grade Zoe's teacher recommended she go into the program because her reading and math were off the charts. they looked at Allison and she was high as well and recommended her. My on,y hesitation was the parents that had their kids in that class felt they were "special" and the parents who did not have their kids in that class mocked those that did.

    In the end it came down to the fact school was too easy for both the girls and it was to challenging at all. We decided in 2nd grade to give the High Ability class a shot. This meant they would be in the same class. The way the program works is it was half 2nd and 3rd graders in one room but they did one higher grade level work. They would also do some math higher if needed (one boy was doing 6 th grade math). So the kids were learning more on an individual level instead of a class level. They would also get more projects to do as well.

    They are in 5 th grade now and we are still doing the HA program. I am happy we put them in it. I think socially it does out them I a different class and kinda " nerds" them out. But it is what it is.

    I also prefer the term High Ability to Gifted and Talented.
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  26. Chrissy Nelson

    Chrissy Nelson Well-Known Member

    I do not know what they use to test kids here, but there are parents that will fight to get their kids in the program. Especially if a smiling was in and the other does not test in. It is kinda nuts.

    I would see if the kids are getting "bored" in school and you do not want to go into the program if the teacher could work with maybe some more challenging work. We did not want to switch Zoe mid year so she was given a separate challenging spelling list than the rest of the class and the teacher would teach her and 1 other kid separately. Also would give her different math sheets to prepare her for her next year.
  27. Babies4Susan

    Babies4Susan Well-Known Member

    Our school does not label it "gifted and talented". They call it the MAGNET program and the children in it go to a completely different school than our "home" district school for grades 2-5. It's a third through fifth grade program and the grades are somewhat comingled working on at least some things together. My neighbor's niece is currently in the second year of the program, so I often ask her mom (my neighbor's SIL) about the program. Plus she knows of twins where one of them is in the program with her daughter, and the other is not, so she's going to put me in touch with her if/when the time comes I want some advice on that.

    I have twin girls who just started second grade. They are absolutely not equal academically. One of them is very advanced, and I have no doubt that she'll be recommended to test for the MAGNET program, which they do in second grade. I am pretty confident my other daughter will not. While she is completely on track, she's just not like her sister. Her strengths lie in other areas than academics.

    So I will have the choice of separating them to different schools for third through fifth grade. In the end, I am pretty confident that I will send L to the MAGNET program, if she tests into it. She loves school, loves learning, loves to do extra homework, and loves to work on projects. All of this is the way our MAGNET program works. I know it is something she's going to want to do. And I do not want her to get bored with school. My biggest hang up will be the daughter who does not test into it. She sometimes gets caught up in her sister being "smarter" than her. We absolutely never compare, but when you have one DD who can get through a Nancy Drew book in one day or less, and the other who reads perfectly fine for 2nd grade, but could never do that, they sometimes just figure it out on their own. :(
  28. Chrissy Nelson

    Chrissy Nelson Well-Known Member

    I think that you cannot hold one child back just because they are twins. I think you need to find the others stong points and play to that. For example Allison loves to dance and does ballet. We have been trying to find what Zoe is into and have honestly signed her up for everything. So far we have not found her "thing" so this week we are putting her into guitar.

    Even though they were born at the same time they are still different kids and have different abilities and likes. If they were born in different years I would not hold one back just because it was not fair (KWIM). It is hard though because they are twins and other people compare them all the time. I always hear "Why doesn't Zoe dance" like we are punishing her :unknw: .

    Side note, my girls brought home a Nancy Drew book the other day and loved it :)
  29. KCMichigan

    KCMichigan Well-Known Member

    :grouphug: Not picking you apart!

    AR & STAR are not G/T specifically-- they are support & assessment programs schools use. I just happened to not like them (GT aside) in general! I do A LOT of assessment in my field and really have some strong opinions on certain tests/programs/assessments. Sorry- didnt meant to get on my soapbox :rolleyes: I just really really dont like AR or STAR! Yours is the first school I have heard of that have it as an identifer for G/T. We did use it for Child Study as a screener- a series of below expected scores (or above expected scores) often led to further investigation/assessment.

    I agree that programs are so variable, it is hard to know unless you are in that area to give a firm opinion.

    Part of the issue is that GT "definition" is so differently defined. There is not a nationally federal set of laws for G/T and/or if G/T programming should be based on achievement, IQ, and/or a combination.

    Off topic, but many people would be surprised at how many kiddos are 2E (twice exceptional)- or Gifted and Learning Disabled at the same time. I can't tell you how many kiddos we have tested that struggled in school only to find out they were compensating for weak areas in tremendous ways. Many of them underperformed at school and were not the "A students" that come to mind when thinking of GT.

    Also a side note, statistically speaking,siblings often have similar IQ even if they have different achievement patterns. So chances are high that if one child in a family has a high IQ, the others do as well-- no matter how each actually performs in school. There are exceptions and the correlation is highest with identical twins- but still something to consider.
  30. sharongl

    sharongl Well-Known Member

    This!!!! I am actually having one of my kids tested for an LD in written expression due to the fact he didn't make it into the Honors LA program--despite having the equivalent of "A's" and an 8th grade++ reading level--that is as high as they test. He was diagnosed at 3 with an expressive language delay, but until now, it didn't affect his grades, therefore, they wouldn't do anything to help him. Now that it has kept him from the Honors class, it IS affecting his schoolwork :)
  31. KCMichigan

    KCMichigan Well-Known Member

    You go!!!! This is what happened to me in MS. I was in GT programming in Elem. and we moved around, I struggled with writing- but it was a pull out enrichment setting so I still did very well since it was a lot of creative problem solving, thematic projects, and discussion. In MS- my parents fought to have me placed in honors 8, which was literature based after a dismal year in general 7 that was grammar based. I was placed in Honors and though writing was never easy- I thrived with good teachers. But it was the BEST placement because of the nature of the class. Lots of advanced level reading and discussion. School did not offer academic type support because I was not 'failing', even though I had a huge gap between my achievement and academic levels for written language ( using the older discrepency model, it would have classified as a written language disability).

    Make sure you get some reinforcement information from www.wrightslaw.com and www.hoagiesgifted.com websites if you need to.
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  32. TwinxesMom

    TwinxesMom Well-Known Member

    Our ar is color coded the kids know what colors they are allowed to pick but have free choice otherwise.

    I believe gt is only really good if it can be done piece meal. Here if all levels don't test high enough they don't get into gt. ours starts at 4th grade and then middle school(6th) changes to ap courses which are much better. Ap allows the kids who are good in science to go to the high class but still have normal reading and math
  33. sharongl

    sharongl Well-Known Member

    Just a note about AR--the levels are based on word count--that is, how many words, and how long the words are, etc.--not really 100% on the formula.  As a result a book like To Kill a Mockingbird which is a Guided Reading level Z--8th grade, is listed as 5.6 for AR.  The Outsiders, also a Guided Reading level Z, is an AR level 4.7!  I don't think any of you want your elementary school students reading those books!  My boys are 6th graders, and level Z readers, and they aren't ready for the content in those books.  For a bit of a modern comparison, The Hunger Games Trilogy, also a level Z, is listed as 5.3 for AR.  This is another reason why many schools are moving away from AR--they don't consider content when leveling the books.
  34. rubyturquoise

    rubyturquoise Well-Known Member

    I'm not a fan of AR, but my fourth-grade teacher read "The Outsiders" to us, and we loved it. Possibly it was my third-grade teacher. Anyway, this would have been in 1976 or 1977. I went on to read it myself as well as several other books by the SE Hinton while I was in elementary school. I would not object to the content of "To Kill a Mockingbird" for my fifth graders, but I would expect to discuss the book with them and answer questions they might have, because they would need more historical context to appreciate it properly.
  35. rrodman

    rrodman Well-Known Member

    I agree with this. I read Of Mice and Men in the 6th grade. My dad gave it to me. It was a profound experience for me and shaped a lot of what I read going forward in a good way. I wouldn't trade that experience for me, and I would be fine with my kids having it. I'd have no issue with the content of To Kill a Mockingbird for a 10-11 year old. I think I may have read it around that age myself--maybe 12?

    ETA: We just read Call of the Wild to our five year olds. I think kids are more prepared to deal with "adult" topics than we give them credit for.
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