Monday, February 13, 2017

I'm Gaming The System

This has been a very busy week for me.  I set up the answering machine for the Chicago Project, since I don't expect my future clients to have internet connections.  Then all of my book sales completely stopped and I spent all week panicking about how I'm going to pay for the Chicago Project.  At the end of the week, my email was deluged with parents reporting their test scores because apparently tests happened across the country, meaning that test prep season just ended, which is a big relief and I stopped panicking.

It's going to take me a while through all of the emails.  In the mean time, it is true that little girls are behind little boys in visual spacial skills simply because they play less with Legos, and little girls are almost always ahead of boys in verbal skills, and this has a bit to do with brain development and a bit to do with reading preferences.  None of this is going to matter in a year so stop worrying, unless you have to spend another year correcting a score deficit to reach your eventual goals.

I found this website that reviewed in this way:  I think this would be a good example of parents who "game" the system and why it is so important to peruse identification of minority and English language learners...

I couldn't agree with this person more, provide by "game the system" he means properly prepare your children to be strong academic performers at the highest level, which I consider one of the parent's biggest responsibility.  If the author of that website bothered to read any of my articles, he might have discovered a bit more about what gifted and talented really means and my plan for minority students.

Test Prep Math has been on the market for more than a year.  I'm going to start adding subchapters on the right to Chapter 4 - How To Create A Gifted Mathematician.  These sections are going to describe what you can do with a graduate of Test Prep Math, and you will be quite stunned to find out what they are capable of.  I think of Test Prep Math as the First Foundation.   I am alluding to Asimov's foundation series, one and only one winner of the Hugo award for best science fiction series of all time, part of the 4 author reading series I created entitled "Star Wars Doesn't Contain A Single Original Idea". Anyway, there's a Second Foundation hidden in Test Prep Math that I hinted at but didn't fully reveal. You're about to find out what it is.


  1. My child is taking NNAT2 very soon. The only section he get about 50% wrong on a bad day is analogy. What can I do to help? I got test prep/practice test books but it doesn't seem help a lot.

    1. Sure, here's what you can do. a) you can spend a long time discussing the problem before you're ready to solve it (you of course can just ask non-leading questions) b) you can do 10 of them and then analyze the ones marked incorrectly to figure out the root cause of the mistake, whether is testing behavior or thinking behavior, or c) you can just go into the test with a 50% performance and hope for 99%. Those are the 3 things I did.

  2. Hi, I REALLY need help with damage control here. My kids will retake the test as a 4th grader and 1st in which 95% is needed in Reading and Math to get into GAT. I am one of those parents who starting "late". My son scored 99th percentile on the NNAT2, reading and math achievement test in Kindergarten. Unfortunately, we moved districts so he didn't get to attend the GT program. THEN, we moved back and he retook in 3nd grade..and scored 90th percentile on reading and math which made him ineligible. He's going to take the test in 4th grade and his sibling just took it in Kindergarten and scored 55th percentile in Reading, and 80th percentile in Math with a 99th percentile in NNAT2; needless to say she didn't get into the program. (Because of traveling she was home-schooled but not really). I KNOW she can achieve more if taught properly.
    So now I'm having less than a year to prepare a 4th grader to take the test (who always scored 99th percentile on NNAT2, but getting lower on R & M every year), and a 1st grader to take the test (99 on NNAT2, and 50th Reading, 80th Math). Should I just focus on Reading and Math for them, ignoring other subjects? What books recommended for my 4th grader for Reading and Math? He HATES reading on his own..but enjoys me reading. Is that enough? He gets bored with the Thinking Skills Books. Bored with any workbooks honestly. My 1st grader doesn't though so she'll be "easier" to teach. What's your "RX" for damage control in this case?

    1. This is totally doable. I've been waiting 7 years for this question. My whole blog is about this situation so start reading it backwards for motivation. Let's take the 4th grader first. I'm the world's authority on 4th grade boys with attitude. First of all, yes,you should focus exclusively on reading and math. Secondly, you need vocabulary workshops grade 4 maybe 5, reading comprehension, probably grade 5 but maybe 4. To stay at the 99th percentile in math, he'll need to work at a 5th grade level, so there you go. In terms of attitude, workbooks are boring. I didn't ask because I already know. (They actually get a bit fun in a few years.). My solution is a computer. Want computer time on Saturday, then get your work done all week and your extra Saturday work etc and you might earn an hour of time. Some day I'll do a reasearch project to determine whether the PS 4 is in fact the secret to academic success. I'm brining up the computer because you sound pretty normal. Feel free to email me. Read the articles on GAT parenting skills. I"m assuming the tests that they have to do well on are standaridzied tests like the ITBS. You probably don't want to hear this from me but the NNAT is easy. There's no race to get to 99 percent, and you only have to do it one year to get the ball rolling. Now' s as good a time as any.