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Gifted & Talented in New York City


Pre-K Teachers within the New York City Department of Education complete evaluations about their students in the spring months to determine if students are eligible to be entered into the lottery for placement into a Gifted & Talented school or program.

Alternatively, the top 10% of second graders in each school are eligible to be enrolled in a Gifted program 

Sample Indicators Listed on the DOE Nomination Form



Young children seek meaning. A child’s curiosity is driven by their need to understand what they experience and notice. Young children’s intent to make sense of what they observe and experience is typically evidenced by their questioning and telling us about their observations. Young children find ways to understand their experiences and explain the phenomena they notice. Their curiosity helps them to explore their thinking about the world around them.

* Is curious about new experiences, information, activities, and/or people
* Asks questions and talks about the environment, people, events, and/or everyday experiences in and out of the classroom
* Creatively expresses ideas verbally and non-verbally
* Enjoys expressive language - plays with words and asks about meaning of words
* Gives reasons for things, using the word “because....”
* Asks questions about why something happens, how something happens, and what will happen in the classroom and beyond. Asks questions beginning with “why,” “when,” “what” or “how”


Play and Child's Approaches to Learning

Young children love to express themselves and engage in creative activities such as dance, music, as well as imaginative and creative play. Children’s play is children’s approach to learning. It is through the act of play that children explore, discover, and develop their sense of self and others. Play is the vehicle for children’s sense-making, inquiry, experimentation, and self-initiated acquisition of knowledge.


* Talks about experiences or interests, tells stories and/or talks about events with detail in any language
* Exhibits a sense of accomplishment when solving a problem or at completion of a task
* Explores books alone and/or with other children
* Plays with objects and manipulatives via hands-on exploration in and outside of the classroom setting
* Engages in pretend/imaginary play
* Engages in active learning and moves around when learning and exploring
* Shows persistence and interest in working through a problem or challenge
* Engages in artistic expression, e.g. music, dance, drawing, painting, cutting, and/or creating


Relationships and Interactions

For young children, learning is a social event. While children can play and engage in solitary learning experiences, all children benefit from positive social interactions that support their growth and learning. Positive relationships and interactions with adults and peers impact children’s overall development and progress.


* Initiates/participates in activities involving other children
* Talks about how to do things with other children — tells ideas and listens to other children’s ideas
* Helps others and shows a sense of empathy
* Enjoys playing alone (enjoys own company) as well as with other children
* Talks about everyday experiences in and outside of school with peers and adults
* Understands and talks about their unique self, e.g. interests, favorites, identities
* Expresses feelings and emotions both verbally and non-verbally


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