Developing Math Talent by Susan G. Assouline, Ann Lupkowski-Shoplik.

By Susan G. Assouline, Ann Lupkowski-Shoplik.

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On the one hand, parents are well informed about 19 20 D E V E L O P I N G M A T H TA L E N T their children’s out-of-school learning experiences, personality, and general level of social-emotional development—in other words, they know their children best and are in the best position to notify educators about their children’s academic interests and needs. On the other hand, educators are in the best position to provide curriculum and instruction. Although many teachers initiate and advocate for a building- or district-level change in student programming, our focus here is on the parent who is advocating for an accommodation that will result in more challenging programming and curricula for a specific child.

I told Dr. Lance that I was not sure that I needed to have Alexis evaluated, but was considering the possibility that Alexis’s problems in school might stem from her needing more academic challenges, not from the possibility that Alexis had emotional problems. After I revealed more about Alexis’s school environment, the psychologist suggested that further evaluation would be helpful. The first part of the evaluation consisted of a series of surveys to complete, an interview with me and my husband, and a portfolio assessment of Alexis’s work.

The purpose of pretesting should always be diagnostic in nature. A pretest should help educators determine where instruction should begin. If a student earns 100% on a pretest, the educator needs to move on rapidly to a new topic. Pretesting should continue until the student has missed enough problems to have further instruction, but is not frustrated by the difficulty level of the assessment. For problems missed on the pretest, it is helpful if the teacher asks the student to rework the problem, showing all of his or her work.

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