PARENT RECOMMENDATION FORM - "Things my Child Likes to Do"

  • Dear Parents:

    When thinking about gifted and enrichment programs, your child’s school performance will only tell us so much.  We would like to know about your child’s strengths, interests and creative activities outside of the classroom.

    This questionnaire was compiled at the Neag Center for Gifted Education and Talent Development at the University ofConnecticut, under the direction of Dr. Joseph Renzulli, a pioneer in gifted and talented education.  The questionnaire contains fourteen items.  Each one deals with a general type of interest or activity that you may or may not have seen in your child.  The interests or activities may stem from school assignments, but more often are extracurricular, club or community projects.  To help clarify the items, they include an example with each one.

    Please keep in mind that the example is tied to the general meaning of the item.  In other words, you should remember that you are describing your child within each of the general traits described, not the specific example.  It will, of course, be very helpful if you would write down specific examples of your child’s activities in the right hand column of the questionnaire.

    For the purposes of admission to GIST, this questionnaire is optional.  It would only be used as part of the identification process if your child was not admitted to the program and you decided to appeal.  We offer it as a way to help us know the students better.  Also, I have had many parents tell me that they found it a valuable and thought-provoking exercise which prompted deeper understanding of their child. 

    If you have any questions about how to proceed, please feel free to contact me at the email address below.  


     Mary Beth Mueller

    Gifted and Talented Program Coordinator







     "Things My Child Likes to Do"


    Your Name ___________________________________ Your Child's Name _______________________________________

    Child's Age ______________ Child's School _____________________________ Today's Date _____________________



    Seldom/ never

    Some times

    Quite often*

    Almost always*

    Examples from your own child’s life

    1. My child will spend more time and energy than his/her agemates on a topic of his/her interest. (For example: Joan is learning to sew and spends every free minute designing new dress patterns and trying to sew them herself.)






    2. My child is a "self-starter" who works well alone, needing few directions and little supervision. (For example: After watching a film about musical instruments, Gary began to make his own guitar from materials he found around the garage.)






    3. My child sets high personal goals and expects to see results from his/her work. (For example: Marcy insisted on building a robot from spare machine parts even though she knew nothing about engines or construction.)






    4. My child gets so involved with a project that he/she gives up other pleasures in order to work on it. (For example: Don is writing a book about his town's history and spends each night examining historical records and documents - even when he knows he's missing his favorite TV show.)






    5. My child continues to work on a project even when faced with temporary defeats and slow results. (For example: After building a model rocket, Sally continued to try to launch it, despite several failures and "crash landings.")






    6. While working on a project (and when it's finished) my child knows which parts are good and which parts need improvement. (For example: After building a scale model of a lunar city, Kenny realized that there weren't enough solar collectors to heat all the homes he had built.)






    7. My child is a "doer" who begins a project and shows finished products of his/her work. (For example: Mary began working on a puppet show four months ago, and has since built a stage and puppets and has written a script. Tomorrow she's presenting her play to the PTA!)







    * If your child scores in either of these columns, it would be helpful if you would write a specific example in the last column.  Use the reverse side of the page if necessary.




    Seldom / never

    Some times

    Quite often*

    Almost always*

    Examples from your own child’s life

    8. My child suggests imaginative ways of doing things, even if the suggestions are sometimes impractical. (For example: "If you really want to clean the refrigerator, why don't we move it outside and I'll hose it down— that will defrost it, too.")






    9. When my child tells about something that is very unusual, he/she expresses him/herself by elaborate gestures, pictures, or words. (For example: "The only way I can show you how the ballet dancer spun around is if I stand on my tiptoes on the record player and put the speed up to 78.")






    10. My child uses common materials in ways not typically expected. (For example: "I'll bring a deck of cards when we go camping. If it rains, we can use them to start a fire and if it's dry, we can play Go Fish around the campfire.")






    11. My child avoids typical ways of doing things, choosing instead to find new ways to approach a problem or topic.  (For example: "I had trouble moving this box to the other side of the garage so I used these four broom handles as rollers and just pushed it along.")






    12. My child likes to "play with ideas," often making up situations which probably will not occur. (For example: "I wonder what would happen if a scientist found a way to kill all insects, then went ahead and did it.")






    13. My child often finds humor in situations or events that are not obviously funny to most children his/her age. (For example: "It was really funny that after our coach showed us a movie on playground safety, he sprained his ankle while lining us up to go back to class.")






    14. My child prefers working or playing alone rather than doing something "just to go along with the gang." (For example: "I always misspell the first word in a spelling bee; then I get to sit down and do something I like.")







    * If your child scores in either of these columns, it would be helpful if you would write a specific example in the last column.  Use the reverse side of the page if necessary.