5 Dollars

My life as an at-home momma of 3 amazing kids...it's kind of like shoveling snow in a blizzard.

Friday, September 15, 2006

Parent/teacher conferences

It's hard to believe, but the first grading period is already over! Keithen and Kaylee are already 1/4 of the way through the school year. We had parent/teacher conferences yesterday with both of their teachers.

Keithen has improved since the beginning of the year, but he still has some work to do. It's not that the classwork is too difficult for him. Academically, he's doing great, with "Mastery" scores in all the standards assessed. The problem he is struggling with is developing good study habits and making wise use of his time. He is too easily distracted and too slow to finish things. He is probably the slowest in his class at getting things completed.

Thanks to a suggestion from Mandie, I've asked his teacher if he could keep Sudoku puzzles in his desk. When he goes back to school after the intersession break, he'll be allowed to do puzzles if he finishes his work in a timely manner. I'm hoping that the incentive to work on his puzzle book will inspire him to work quicker.

I also think we are going to have to start taking away his glasses and booklight every night at bedtime. He's been known to turn the light back on or find another light source or a different book if we take just the light and book away. When we take his glasses too, well....if he can't see anything then he might as well go to sleep! We've discovered that there does seem to be a correlation between the nights he sneaks in extra reading time and the days he isn't staying on task in school.

His math skills are evidently very impressive and he's a wiz at regrouping with both addition and subtraction. He's currently reading "Goblet of Fire" and is over 13 chapters into it, mostly just from the time he's spent reading on the school bus every day.

We'll be meeting with his teacher again at mid-term of the next quarter in order to see how he's doing and if he is still making progress. I'm a little sad that the boy who has always been "the star student" in school is struggling some this year. But, I also know that what he's experiencing is very normal with changing schools and trying to adapt to a gifted program where the work is actually challenging for the first time in his school career.

The kids in his class made a big picture of a pond and lots of pond creatures and animals that was on display. Along side it were reports they had done on mammals, fish and reptiles. I said, "that's my son!" when I read his mammal report that said, "mammals feed their young their breast milk" and "humans are mammals." Yep! That's my boy!

Kaylee is doing fabulous in Kindergarten. She's very well liked by her classmates and has a lot of friends. She does need to work on how she handles little upsets in her day. If something doesn't go perfectly for her, she doesn't always recover well from it. And if someone else makes her mad, she doesn't always remember to show them respect and use nice words with them. We talked with her teacher about allowing her the chance to draw something if she needs to calm down. She was already planning on creating a "recovery area" for kids who have had an upset to go to in order to collect themselves. She said that made a lot of sense and she'd be sure to put paper and drawing supplies there.

Until shortly before Kindergarten started, Kaylee would rarely agree to use scissors to do anything other than cut a straight line. If she needed something more complex cut out, she would always come and ask me to do it for her. Now, according to her teacher, she is probably the best cutter in her class. The example she showed us of lines that Kaylee had cut were nearly perfect, right along the dotted lines. I am wondering if her switch to bifocals has helped her have more confidence and coordination with the scissors.

She knows her numbers up to 10. She got all of her capital letters right on her assessment and only had trouble with "g" on the lower case list. She is one of the very few children in the class who consistently know all of their letter sounds. That surprised me! I figured that she'd be quite average in that area, but she's actually at the head of the class! (I guess it's just really hard for us to judge what normal is after Keithen. He entered Kindergarten reading at around a first grade level and was reading 3rd to 4th grade books by the end of that school year.)

I asked about her handwriting because lately I've seen her mirroring some of her letters, specifically lower case "e" and lately her numbers. It's a new mistake and not something that she has done all along. Her teacher hadn't noticed her doing it, but she says a lot of the kids have recently started flipping letters. Maybe their brains are just too full at the end of the quarter? She's going to watch when they return and make sure that it doesn't continue.

The main thing she needs to learn right now is her address, phone number and birthday. Honestly, she was having such trouble with counting until a couple of months ago that I had never worked very hard on her. I was afraid to press learning those things when she couldn't count past 6 in sequence!

So.....all in all good reports for everyone!


  • At 9:34 AM, September 16, 2006 , Blogger Granny said...

    What a wonderful idea to let him do puzzles if his work is done.

    I'm sure a lot of the problem with very bright kids is boredom and this teacher is willing to deviate a little.

    Good reports and Ruby is adorable in your other post. It's a perfect costume.

  • At 2:19 PM, September 16, 2006 , Blogger dakotablueeyes said...

    Doesn't she look cute. lol
    Kaylie has her grades already. A in Math and Reading and a C in spelling and language. So we are working hard on those. I don't know how to help with language, no work ever comes home and no book so how can I help. Gonna write the teacher and ask. Our conference isn't until next month


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