11 January 2020

It's Five O'Clock Somewhere

In my current role, I oversee testing throughout the district. If it's required by the feds, the state, or by us, it's in my wheelhouse. This includes gathering data for student placement in our Highly Capable (HiCap) program. For kindergarten and first grade students who are nominated, we use the Peabody Picture Inventory as one of the data points. I schedule time with teachers to go and work with individual students to complete the testing.

There is a spiral bound book that we use. Each page has four pictures, like the one shown below. I say a word like laughing and then the student either points to the picture or says the number underneath the picture. There are sets of 12 pages and we keep going through the test until the student misses 8 or more in the set. Then, I score it so the committee can consider this information, along with a host of other data points, to determine placement.

I love doing these tests...and students are always very engaged. I always spend time chatting with the kids prior to starting the testing. Even though not all nominated students are identified for highly capable services, they are all very bright and they have different things to share than other students their age. One first grader turned out to be so mature, I wondered if we should grab a beer and talk about the economy instead of looking at the picture inventory.

The tweet below comes from this day two years ago (full list here) when I was doing this testing, and it is a story I have told many times.


I don't know if his parents would have appreciated his oversharing as much as I enjoyed it. I will say that he has not been the only student I have tested that associated the term beverage as something that is the exclusive province of adults. While this has absolutely no bearing on the testing or its outcome, it's just been an observation for me about how students pick up vocabulary.

One thing I am hoping to do in the next year or so is expand our identification of students for HiCap in grades K - 2. Right now, we are in compliance with state law...but that is also a very low bar. We don't have an identified program and because identification is dependent upon nominations, we are no doubt missing many students who don't have an advocate. That has to change. I don't know what that will look like just yet, but it's on my radar.

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