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Extending a child with average IQ.


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#1 whatnamenow

Posted 12 December 2012 - 10:43 PM

ok so i have a slightly evened out family DS is intellectually impaired, DD1 is G & T while DD2 is average IQ but.... she is showing a real love of learning particularly when it comes to maths.  DH is studying to be a maths and science high school teacher so technically we have the skills to help extend her but i am wanting advice on whats reasonable for us to expect the school to help us with extending her.  

We are working on the maths workbooks that they use at school and have got her 2 grades above current ( but i am wary doing this because its the books they are going to be using so she will then just be doing the same work) her teacher this year has been fantastic providing extra worksheets and advanced work for her.  Just wondering if a) thats reasonable to expect next year and b) some suggestions as to how we can continue helping her at home.  The school doesnt have a good rep for formally fast forwarding students.

#2 José

Posted 13 December 2012 - 02:01 AM

You don't mention what age your child is,?  I'd be looking to do problem solving type activities at home. E.g. Australia won 4 medals at the Olympics what are the- or maybe what are 6 -possible combinations e.g. 4 gold, 3 gold 1 silver, 3 gold 1 bronze etcetc. Another e.g. might be a picture of a simplified dart board. John threw three darts and scored 90. what numbers did the darts hit? Maybe 30, 30, 30. or 60,  15, 15 etc.
I used to own a great little flip book with these types of activities but can't remember what it was called. Hopefully someoneeelse will have an idea where such activities can be found.

#3 2bundles

Posted 13 December 2012 - 06:07 AM

I agree with pp. I wouldn't be doing workbooks.

Extension is not merely doing the next year level work. Just use real life opportunities to teach new concepts. Don't even worry about what year they will be taught, you will get a feel for whether she is ready. You don't say how old she is, but for example, DS in yr 4 is doing fractions and multiplication, so we throw him multiplication problems outside 10x10. We have showed him how to use common denominators to calculate fractions etc.

Maths is such a great subject to extend, because the understanding is so much more important than the learning.

#4 Franny and Zooey

Posted 13 December 2012 - 06:19 AM

What about a musical instrument, music and maths are related.  My DD has loved learning violin.  I also think the best learning at home is done by reading widely.

#5 barrington

Posted 13 December 2012 - 06:23 AM

Honestly, I would ditch the workbooks.

At home, just try and use Maths in real life situations.  Help with measuring items for baking, will we fit this couch through the door if we move it, how many days until her birthday (and then convert to weeks etc), learn sudoku.



#6 BadCat

Posted 13 December 2012 - 06:37 AM

Rather than getting her ahead of year level where she will then be bored in coming years because she's not learning anything at school, seek out lateral extension.   Find things that expand on the knowledge she has rather than teaching new things.

If she is in senior primary I can recommend getting hold of a Maths Olympiad book and work through questions from it.  The junior division uses stuff they should have learned at school and asks them to use it to solve quite difficult problems.

In my experience schools are rarely keen on accelerating students but will often help students to extend laterally.

#7 leisamd

Posted 13 December 2012 - 07:05 AM

I second the music lessons.

Also, I'd do more work on maths depth, rather than speeding through grades.  Things like the Life of Fred series  - http://lifeoffredmath.com/lof-elementary.php , problem solving/logic books like this one - Primary Grade Challenge Math or Lollipop logic

Then there's other 'living' maths books like the one's written by Greg Tang, Marilyn Burns or Cindy Neuschwander

One thing I love is to use manipulatives like cuisenaire rods - here's some videos for ideas http://www.educationunboxed.com/

Things like tangrams, abacus, pattern blocks...

Honestly, there is so much you can do to enrich a maths education rather than just speeding through the books...

#8 leisamd

Posted 13 December 2012 - 07:07 AM

Oh, I forgot to add - what about Khan Academy, lots of free interesting math videos - http://www.khanacademy.org/math/arithmetic

#9 baddmammajamma

Posted 13 December 2012 - 07:18 AM

I would also ditch the workbooks!

The Life of Fred series is awesome -- very "outside the box" presentation, fun, and great for engaging maths minds. Ditto the Khan Academy.

Check with your local G&T association to see if there are any maths-based camps or workshops over summer, where your daughter can hang out with other budding mathetics.


#10 HRH Countrymel

Posted 13 December 2012 - 07:20 AM

Stop doing the work books - you are just setting your child up for boredom and frustration in the future at school.

As pp's have mentioned there are lots of great resources out there - my nephew loves those 'Fred' books.

But practical maths as part of your daily activities are the best thing to include.

Recipes, measuring... "I am going to make a double batch of biscuits can you help me times everything by two?"  or "How many sausages do we need? I want two, daddy wants three, your brother wants 2 etc.."

And I also second the musical instrument - an interesting aside when my friend was at uni (medicine) there were enough people in their year group who had studied at a high enough grade in music that they formed an orchestra!

#11 leisamd

Posted 13 December 2012 - 07:28 AM

Oh I also thought, my library runs things like free lego and chess clubs?  I know there are online lego clubs too...

and puzzles!

Edited by leisamd, 13 December 2012 - 07:34 AM.


#12 LiveLife

Posted 14 December 2012 - 11:25 AM

QUOTE (charlottesmum04 @ 12/12/2012, 11:43 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
ok so i have a slightly evened out family DS is intellectually impaired, DD1 is G & T while DD2 is average IQ but.... she is showing a real love of learning particularly when it comes to maths.  DH is studying to be a maths and science high school teacher so technically we have the skills to help extend her but i am wanting advice on whats reasonable for us to expect the school to help us with extending her.  

We are working on the maths workbooks that they use at school and have got her 2 grades above current ( but i am wary doing this because its the books they are going to be using so she will then just be doing the same work) her teacher this year has been fantastic providing extra worksheets and advanced work for her.  Just wondering if a) thats reasonable to expect next year and b) some suggestions as to how we can continue helping her at home.  The school doesnt have a good rep for formally fast forwarding students.



firstly, why do you think your DD2 is average IQ (do you have that tested?) my instant reaction was you already have another child who is G &T (and I assume Iq tested) and siblings usually test within 10 points of each other (I acknowledge this is not the case with your DS but I assume there is a condition/diagnosis affecting this).  Whether people are for or against working ahead in the curriculum it is very fair to say that many children with average IQs just simply couldnt work 2 yrs ahead regardless of what their parents tried to do with them.  SO if she isnt yet tested my advice is to test her

FWIW  I have a year 2 DD with Iq tested as gifted and she works about 2 yrs ahead in maths.  this is supported easily by the school (ie year 2 class gets out year 2 maths book and does place value exercise on hundreds and thousands, DD gets out year 4 maths text book and does place value exercise on decimals etc etc).  I am not anti workbooks or teaching the curriculum ahead of schedule like the others here but I wouldnt be using the same texts the school uses.  I always chose a different system.  Ie different text book (google maths for the gifted child, they are cool books) and different online program (school did mathletics, we chose another).  This means they get quiet a good exposure to the curriculum (two different authors, 2 different online programs) and if your DD can blitz all of that then I am all for going ahead in the curriculum --> some people go on and on about enrichment and sideways extension but some kids just want to learn new things like decimals, square roots etc and there is nothing wrong with that.  It probably is a concern if all you are doing is the basic curriculum from one text only and no enrighment at all before moving onto the next text in the series.  Its interesting that people say "stop text books and do practical application of the topic" yet working two years ahead is exactly what these books do.  In year 2 the text books teach multiplication but do every day maths on simple concepts in addition.  In year 4 texts they teach decimals but do every maths of doubling a recipe.  the year 4 books contain sudoko, tangrams and other snippets of puzzles too--> so sometimes having the advanced textbook is the inspiration you may need to sideways enrich too.

Edited by LiveLife, 14 December 2012 - 11:26 AM.


#13 Overtherainbow

Posted 14 December 2012 - 11:55 AM

I'd look at the Australian curriculum for Maths a deep understanding of Maths concepts at her year level and then progress from there.

Student books are not going to deeply teach you r child and a teacher who does just the book would be failing your child.  A teacher should r able to extend your child through asking problem solving that requires a deep understanding of the concept.

Unless you have had your child tested, be careful about placing them in a box.  I have one with a very high IQ (tested) and it's easy to assume my others are low in comparison, yet both are achieving well above the class average.

I also agree, extend in other ways like music or languages so they are being challenged, gaining skills and not becoming bored in future.  Academics are only one aspect of life.

#14 whatnamenow

Posted 22 December 2012 - 09:52 AM

sorry for not jumping back on everybody, newborns tend to suck the time out of you.

DD has been formally tested and came back smack in the middle of average range, we don't mind that as average is well average. Due to DH's study/work the workbooks are around the house so stopping her working through them isnt going to happen.  She is 10 and in going into grade 5 next year.  We do try and extend her through everyday activities/discussions ( although i do find that harder to do than with her sister who's G & T interests tends to lead to social/political discussion)  Her grade 4 teacher was fantastic at streaming maths and english for the class and pushing them further ahead as much as possible to challenge them. I guess my more question was how could i help her.  As i said i was never much for maths and find it so much easier helping extend my other DD as her interests align with my interests.

Thanks for the links, will take a look at them and see what we can do.  I just love the fact that she loves learning and dont want to waste the opportunity.

Oh and DD starts singing and clarinet lessons in the new year.  Music is something else that was important to me ( and something i showed talent in) so its important to me that they be given opportunities in that direction as well. ( and have the rarely used violin in other DD's room to prove it. We tried to get her interested we really really did.)

Oh one more thing...  DS and G & T DD both were tested by private educational psychologists where as this DD was tested through the school.  Is there a chance her test could be off?

Edited by charlottesmum04, 22 December 2012 - 10:00 AM.


#15 José

Posted 22 December 2012 - 10:13 AM

I would think the school test has the same likelihood of being off as the testing done privately. If there was any doubt about the accuracy of the test it would have been reported to you. I think the important thing is to target a person's current level. I don't think you can say Fred's IQ is 130 therefore he should be learning algebra.  You look at a person's current level of achievement and interest and go from there.

#16 whatnamenow

Posted 22 December 2012 - 10:50 AM

QUOTE (feliz6 @ 22/12/2012, 10:13 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I would think the school test has the same likelihood of being off as the testing done privately. If there was any doubt about the accuracy of the test it would have been reported to you. I think the important thing is to target a person's current level. I don't think you can say Fred's IQ is 130 therefore he should be learning algebra.  You look at a person's current level of achievement and interest and go from there.


That was mostly our thoughts too, just happy that she is interested in learning.

Just had a look through the Life of Fred books.  I thought they looked interesting so i showed DD a few of them to try and gage which books to maybe get.  She was not interested.  Her first words to me was thats the story mum where's the maths.  

She does like puzzles so maybe i will just encourage those.

#17 Expelliarmus

Posted 22 December 2012 - 10:51 AM

Having an aptitude for mathematics is not the same as being G&T. I don't know why anyone would assume that because a child can use maths workbooks 2 years ahead they are higher than average IQ.

In fact it is easy to appear 2 years ahead via workbooks because what they provide are more of the same and practice in learned mathematical concepts. They provide the instructions for the next step in the learning area and a set of similar problems to practice on.

To be working at an extension level in mathematics the child needs to be able to apply the learning in new contexts - so take the skills learned and use them in a new way instead of in the same way as illustrated in a workbook.

There is no reason to 'stop' her working through the workbooks as extension in the New Curriculum is lateral - it will be having her apply the learning in new contexts and that will include problem solving exercises (applying the learning in new contexts), peer mentoring (you have a new level of skill when you can demonstrate the skill to others) and the development/creation of problems for others to solve.

I think the best course of action is the links etc that others have already given and the music lessons already undertaken.

#18 leisamd

Posted 22 December 2012 - 11:02 AM

hmm, well if she's not into Life of Fred (I get the impression it's one of those love it or hate it things!) then maybe something like this Challenge Math book, I've heard this series is excellent.

#19 KatakaGeoGirl

Posted 22 December 2012 - 11:06 AM

My thoughts are, it is perfectly okay to be average!! In fact from my observations... the more middle of the ground of intelligence seems to make for a happier, less stressed and less anxious person.

#20 librablonde

Posted 22 December 2012 - 11:21 AM

I just enrolled my kids in Studyladder.com and it seems like a great site which allows my DD aged 8.5 to get extra practice across many subjects. It's aligned with the Aust curriculum. There's games and tests and extra worksheets to print out as well. My kids are totally loving it.

#21 kadoodle

Posted 22 December 2012 - 12:50 PM

Is she "sums or bust" or is she willing to be extended into areas other than arithmetic?  Because frankly, it's easier to enrich/extend a younger learner in applied maths and joosh them across into physics.

Things like teaching them to triangulate an area on a topographical map of your area.  Then fill it with water and work out the volume and weight.  Then figure out how long it would take to empty via various methods.  If you're feeling really mean, you can get them to work out the insurance costs and returns too.

I kept DD1 and DS1 (10 and 8) busy yesterday by getting them to work out the different rates on the electricity bill.  Then I got them to figure out the relative costs of grid vs off grid electricity use with solar, geothermal, wind and hydro power.

Figuring out how far different makes of car will travel over particular routes on one tank of petrol and how much carbon they'll release is a good learning exercise too.

#22 baddmammajamma

Posted 22 December 2012 - 01:05 PM

Just a side bar but:

QUOTE (charlottesmum04 @ 22/12/2012, 10:52 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Oh one more thing...  DS and G & T DD both were tested by private educational psychologists where as this DD was tested through the school.  Is there a chance her test could be off?


Yes, there is -- depending on what the qualifications are of the people who did the testing.

There can be (can be, not "is definitely") a big difference between someone who administers IQ tests as a signficant part of their day-to-day practice and holds advanced credentials versus someone who might have only had limited training in this particular area and has more of a generalist focus.

Heavily anecdotally based, this seems to be particularly true in cases of kids who aren't "straight forward test takers" (for instance, a gifted or very bright child who has undiagnosed learning issues/disabilities). A child with ASD, for instance, might have their abilities underestimated by someone who is not very well versed testing kids on the spectrum; likewise, a bright or gifted child who has an (un)diganosed learning disability might underperform on certain part of cognitive testing - something that a practitioners who "gets" twice exceptional profiles should be able to understand.

#23 LiveLife

Posted 22 December 2012 - 01:25 PM

I'm in camp retest if she is the only one tested publicly--> every G&T advocate I know says "never use a school psychologist for testing G&T kids"

#24 whatnamenow

Posted 22 December 2012 - 01:57 PM

kadoodle thats exactly the kind of help i am after.  Because i dont 'think maths' i struggle to come up with ways i can change what she is learning to challenge her.

BMJ taking that into consideration ( and the fact her IQ assessment was done during her prep year) do you think i should pay to get her assessed by the educational psych?  Her current primary school doesnt offer much formally for G & T but there is a local high school that has a G & T program.  She would need to apply for that in sept next year and while a formal IQ assessment is not a pre-req to get in it would help.

#25 baddmammajamma

Posted 22 December 2012 - 02:17 PM

If you can afford to do it without jeopardizing something else major, then yes, I would test if in your shoes.

Not that MY opinion counts for much! wink.gif

I have a daughter with an extremely high IQ. Her little brother (5) shows signs of being bright but not that "in-your-face" giftedness that she showed from infancy. I will be having him privately tested at some stage -- if for no other reason than to understand his relative strengths/learning styles.  As LiveLife points out, siblings tend to have IQs that are within a certain range of each other. I like having as much relevant info about my kids' wiring as possible (without subjecting them to countless assessments and tests, of course).




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