You are here:Home > Directory of Tests by Location > Washington > WA State - Lake Washington School District First Grade Gifted and Talented Testing
If you are in the Lake Washington School District with a child in First Grade you have an opportunity to recommend that they be assessed for the District Gifted and Talented Program.

Children are assessed using the
  • CogAT (Cognitive Abilities Test) - an aptitude test designed to measure cognitive skills (sort of like an IQ)
  • ITBS (Iowa Test of Basic Skills) - an achievement test designed to see if your child has above grade level math and reading competency.

Gifted children usually do well on these tests without preparation but to give your child the best opportunity of achieving at the highest level they are capable of you might like to

  • expose them to questions similar to those they'll see on the test
  • teach them higher level thinking skills which they may not be exposed to in the classroom.

Lake Washington tests children a grade ahead of the grade they are in. Your child will be given the ITBS based around the Grade 2 curriculum and the CogAT which was normed on children a year older on average than your child. This is a good thing. Testing gifted children using a grade level test identifies lots of children in the upper percentile rankings and limits ones ability to differentiate between those children. Using an above grade level test means that the most difficult questions are more difficult and fewer children will get them correct. This gives a wider spread of scores at the top enabling differentiation.

Assuming that you've got a highly capable child you probably don't need to do much to prepare for the ITBS. Your child is probably already reading above grade level and doing above grade level math. If you're concerned we recommend Spectrum Test Practice and if you're really concerned The Critical Thinking Company's ITBS Test Prep Bundle. The Spectrum book gives you a selection of reading and math questions similar to what they'll see on the test so you can see how they'll do. The Critical Thinking Company bundle contains books which review Grade 2 curriculum in Language Arts and Math so that you can teach your child everything they need to know.

ITBS® Prep Bundle for Grade 2 (Critical Thinking Company)

For the CogAT the choice of what will work best for your child is a little more complex. Our top picks for virtually every child are Building Thinking Skills Level 1 and the Thinking Skills for Tests Set. Building Thinking Skills has sections on verbal and non-verbal reasoning. Thinking Skills for Tests has 9 sections covering verbal, non-verbal and quantitative reasoning. Unlike Practice Tests there is a complete parent book with information about what is being tested and how to work with your child to improve their skill level.

We also love the miniLUK Combo Set. It's a bit more expensive than the other two for the amount of use you'll get out of it. If you've got younger children it is well worth the investment.

The LUK Learning System was designed in Germany to build children's cognitive skills through adaptive play. The miniLUK Advance Complete Set is included in the list of recommendations below (together with the controller used with the books which is sold separately). This series of books will be particulary helpful with the nonverbal questions on the CogAT. Unlike many of the other titles recommended here it can be done independently (your child even checks their own answers using the controller).

Building Thinking Skills Level 1 Thinking Skills for Tests miniLUK Advance Combo Set

Next on our list are three small books focusing on different areas.

  • Primarily Logic for logic - deductive logic is the skill you use in any test situation when you don't know the answer to effectively narrow your choices and increase the probability of guessing correctly. It's an important skill to teach
  • Visual Discrimination for additional non-verbal reasoning exercises formatted more like those on the actual test.
  • Early Patterns in Mathematics for quantitative reasoning.

Primarily Logic Visual Discrimination Early Patterns in Mathematics

The Primary Levels of the CogAT are administered orally
with instructions and questions read to the children and the pacing determined by the test proctor. For able children practicing listening skills may be the most important thing to do. The Thinking Skills for Tests Set provides some practice in this. For children that need more work we recommend.

Mind Benders Verbal is a collection of deductive logic puzzles. Dr. Dooriddles A3 is a collection of associative reasoning activities. These are both designed to be done orally. They are not illustrated and there will not be questions exactly like these on the test. They are very helpful, particularly for a fluent reader who may not listen to instructions as carefully as they could, for practicing listening skills and learning that it is just as important to listen when the questions are easy as when they are hard – if you don’t hear the question you can’t answer it. These are great titles to have in the car to read to your child at traffic lights to practice listening and thinking in less than perfect environments. Smart Snips is a set of exercises completed with scissors. You read the instructions and your child follows along and creates something. Look! Listen! Think! is a more traditional set of memory exercises.

Some able students are used to getting everything correct without having to think too hard and to make things interesting they over think. If your child is like this you might like to work with them on identifying the answer that most people would find correct. MiniLUK is great for this but there is no magic fix. You'll need to spend time with your child looking at the possibilities and asking "Why is this one wrong?" or "Why might most people choose a different answer?" rather than simply "Which is the correct answer?" For good math students a book that makes this point clear is Math Analogies.
This is a frustrating book for an able mathematician because there are an infinite number of answers to any question but there is one obvious one).

Math Analogies Book 1 miniLUK Advance Combo Set

Some children rush and make silly errors. With children like this it's worth giving them exercises that teach them the value of slowing down and focusing so that they can draw on that skill when necessary. Logic Puzzles like those in Primarily Logic and Mind Benders are good for this. In these puzzles every word matters. Perhaps surprisingly another exercise which is highly beneficial for many children is doing the proof reading exercises in Editor-in-Chief. These have the added bonus of working on reading comprehension and grammar. With all of these books the child can also learn to check and self-correct. In Editor-in-Chief there are a given number of errors to find and you're not finished until you find them all. In Mind Benders if you make a mistake the puzzle won't work out and you'll have to start again.

Mind Benders Book 3 Editor In Chief Beginning 1 Primarily Logic

Some children are bilingual, or from homes that are not culturally American. These children benefit from work on language basics. It might not be obvious to you but my child from a culturally New Zealand home, who speaks only English, still thinks that a holiday is when you go away to the beach even though we live in America where holidays are celebrations and when you go away it's a vacation. It's even more complex for bilingual children. Some of the connections they make with verbal analogies may not be what is expected.

Analogies for Beginners and Think Analogies are excellent titles for learning how analogies work and practicing with verbal analogy pairs. Think Analogies is a Gr 3-5 book but we recommend it here because it has pages at the end with simple illustrations and instructions for a game to be played with them matching analogy pairs. The art work is not dissimilar to that on the CogAT and the game provides plenty of opportunity to discuss the language your child will need to be familiar with. If your child has had limited exposure to traditional American childhood activities then a book like our Spelling Helper may be useful.

Melissa Forney's Picture Speller for Young Writers Analogies for Beginners Think Analogies A1

Some children like algorithms. They have a mindset that has them approach each problem in a particular way and work from start to finish. In many of the math CogAT problems this isn't the best thing to do. For example if you're asked which is larger 107/5 or 102/4 (this is a parent level problem for illustrative purposes) you don't need to reduce the fractions to see that the later is the larger number. A child who works the long division will run out of time on the test. With these children you want to work on a variety of problem solving exercises using different strategies and teach them to think first to see what they're really being asked and the most efficient way to do that. Two books we like for this are Primary Grade Challenge Math with an obvious math focus and Are They Thinking?

Primary Grade Challenge Math Are They Thinking?

Finally a note on levels.
The CogAT is a test of reasoning skills. It’s not like a spelling or a math test where if you know the words or the facts you can get 100% and there is little advantage is learning more difficult words or practicing more difficult math problems. There is no defined curriculum for the CogAT. An average child taking the CogAT is not expected to be able to answer the most difficult questions on the CogAT. That's why our suggestions include titles that are notionally for higher grades. A child who has prepared at this higher level is more likely to be able to answer the most difficult questions on the test.

Thank you for reading this far. If you'd like help in narrowing the options for child please contact Helen

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Mind Benders Verbal Mind Benders Verbal

Grade(s): K-2
Activities: 78
Pages: 32

Deductive reasoning puzzles teach children logic and improve reading comprehension and test scores. This level differs from the others in the series in that it is designed to be done as a read aloud. The majority of testing of children prior to 3rd grade is done orally. This is a great preparation for the listening and reasoning skills required for test taking.

Our Price: $9.99
Thinking Skills for Tests Thinking Skills for Tests Set

Grade(s): Pre K-2
Pages: 120 (two books with 60 pages each)

Nine core thinking skills form the base of verbal and non-verbal reasoning and logic and are commonly tested in primary level testing for school and gifted program placement. This title presents questions in a format similar to that of many commonly used tests. The Workbook presents the questions without words just as a student will see them during a test. The Instructor/Answer book provides a script for presenting the questions and additional information for building on the skills.

Our Price: $22.98
Analogies for Beginners Analogies for Beginners

Grade(s): 1-3
Activities: 238
Pages: 33

Introduce young children to verbal and figural analogies. Each page gives students an example of the type of analogy that is being introduced and then provides visual or verbal problems for them to solve.

Our Price: $14.95
Spectrum Test Prep Grade 1 Spectrum Test Prep Grade 1

Boosts confidence and helps learners improve test scores by offering children the preparation they need for standardized tests.

Our Price: $9.99
GATE Test Prep Bundle for Grade 2 GATE Test Prep Bundle for Grade 2

The GATE Test Prep Bundle for Grade 2 contains our top picks to use in preparation for Gifted and Talented testing of your highly capable child.  This is also a great selection for all round enrichment.  Skills covered include Verbal Reasoning, Non-Verbal Reasoning, Quantitative Reasoning, Logic, Creativity and Test Taking.

Publisher Price $158.27
Our Price: $139.99
You save $18.28!
Building Thinking Skills Level 1 Building Thinking Skills Level 1

Grade(s): 2-3
Pages: 370

Building Thinking Skills®
teaches non-verbal and verbal reasoning. These skills are rarely explictly taught in the classroom but are essential for academic excellence and success on any assessment test. In print for over 30 years this is a world-wide top seller. Also available in software - a game like presentation of the same exercises.

Our Price: $29.99
Dr. DooRiddles A3 Dr. DooRiddles A3

Grade(s): 2-3
Activities: 120
Pages: 42

Dr. DooRiddles develops students' fluency and understanding of word meanings and associations as it improves their spelling, vocabulary, reading, and problem-solving skills.

Students carefully read through clues in each riddle, analyzing connections within and between clues to figure out what is being described. Solving the riddles requires students to evaluate homonyms, synonyms, homophones, prefixes, roots, and suffixes in order to deduce and spell whole and partial word answers.

Our Price: $10.99
Math Analogies Level 1 Math Analogies Level 1

Grade(s): 2-3
Pages: 48

Understanding analogies and the ability to reason analogically are important problem-solving skills. There are few resources to assist children in the explict use of analogous reasoning with quantitative and spatial information. This series fills that void.

Our Price: $11.99
Thinking Skills & Key Concepts Thinking Skills & Key Concepts (Second Grade)

Grade: 2
Pages: 160, color

This book uses powerful lessons to develop thinking skills important to academic success while teaching the key kindergarten common core concepts. Enhance cognitive development through discussion and observation. Students develop analytical skills as well as deductive and inferential reasoning skills as they work through the exercises.

Our Price: $21.99
Thinking Skills & Key Concepts Thinking Skills & Key Concepts: Teacher's Manual (Second Grade)

Grade: 2
Pages: 192
Format: paperback, reproducible

Parent/Teacher Resource Manual to accompany student book. Does not contain questions. The Parent/Teacher resource contains teaching notes. It is highly recommended for new parents learn how to work with their child to develop higher order thinking skills.

Our Price: $22.99
Visual Discrimination Visual Discrimination: Exploring and Solving Picture Patterns

Grade: 2-6
Pages: 36
Reproducible for single home or classroom use

Developing the ability to recognize visual patterns builds visual discrimination and critical thinking skills necessary for academic achievement. 30 reproducible worksheets of increasing complexity. Each worksheet provides the student with the task of examining pictures to identify patterns and sequences.

Our Price: $8.95
Primarily Logic Primarily Logic

Grade(s): 2-3

Seven different thinking skills—relationships, analogies, sequences, deduction, inference, pattern decoding, and critical analysis—are presented in a format designed to appeal to an early elementary child.

Our Price: $14.95
Mind Benders Book 3 Mind Benders Book 3

Grade(s): 3-6
Activities: 60
Pages: 48, perforated

Our best-selling deductive thinking puzzles develop logic, reading comprehension, and mental organizational skills that are vital to achieving high grades and top test scores in all subjects. They’re also great for developing real-life, problem-solving skills.

Our Price: $10.99
Think Analogies A1 Think Analogies A1

Grade(s): 3-5
Activities: 48
Pages: 56

Think Analogies® clearly, easily, and effectively teaches students how to analyze and classify analogies by relationship, category, and structure. Also available in a software format as Think Analogy Puzzles A1

Our Price: $12.99