Some resources for gifted/classical test “prep”
This is some information from Helen at www.thinktonight.com which sells some books that could help your child feel comfortable taking the gifted or classical test. I’m not calling it test prep per se (because then we’d be like freaky new yorkers) but hey, what can it hurt to have your child practice answering some questions in advance so they know what they’re doing that day? At the very least I’ve found them fun to do with my son since they’re more like brain teasers than actual school work. Use your best judgement to see what makes sense for your own child. Unfortunely none of us know what actual test is used, nor are true test-prep materials actually available for sale.
My top picks for testing before Kindergarten are
Building Thinking Skills Primary and the interlocking cubes that are used
with it (attribute blocks are used too but they can be made out of colored
cardboard) for verbal and non-verbal reasoning. Done with a parent scribe
who talks the exercises through with a child this really builds vocabulary.
There is an easier level of this called Building Thinking Skills Beginning
but most Pre K children being tested are ready for the Primary level so long
as the parent remembers that they’re not expected to be reading the
questions or writing the answers. It’s a read aloud for preschoolers.
BambinoLUK system (books can be purchased in two or three book sets if the
entire set looks like too much. Controller is needed). In addition to the
cognitive skills this was developed to teach the design encourages
concentration, perseverance and independence. Unlike my other suggestions a
child can use this completely independently after they’ve been introduced to
http://www.thinktonight.com/bambinoLUK_s/283.htm – the product
http://www.thinktonight.com/How_to_Play_LUK_s/288.htm – how it works
Can You Find Me? Pre K and Can You Find Me? Pre K for logic riddles
requiring listening and identification of a picture solution (a common way
that pre school tests are presented). Even if the Pre K looks simple it’s
worth doing because many of the questions during testing will be simple and
it’s important for a child to understand that they need to give the correct
answer – the one that most children who answer correctly will choose –
rather than a “smart” answer that they could justify. That’s a fun thing to
do with a parent but not during testing.
For Preschool readiness (and some tests) a math book is also a good idea.
The Beginning 2 or Level A are the most likely to be suitable. Beginning 2
develops understanding of numbers up to 20. Level A corresponds to a
typical kindergarten curriulum.