Sunday, December 5, 2010

What To Say

I finally got to have the parent teacher conference with Gabe’s teacher (who I adore). He is doing really well in class. I had hoped to hear that. I had no doubts about his academic ability but I have been wondering about his emotional stability in school this year. His emotions can run very high and when he gets frustrated or disappointed he gets tearful. I get concerned, sometimes, that being in a class with older children (since he’s one of seven first graders in a second grade class) will not only make that come out more but that it will be more obvious to his classmates and that they’ll label him or pick on him for it. Lord knows I know how he feels. He got a double whammy of emotions between Rob and my self (at least he has a daddy who understands).

However, his teacher said she has seen great improvement in the last month and he hasn’t had any issues with being emotional lately. Yay!

I asked if he had any friends in class and if they could stick together, since she moves the seating arrangements around a lot. I hope that if she is able to do that it will help him. I know it would have helped me immensely when I was his age but I was shy and withdrawn as well as emotional and he is outgoing so perhaps it’s not as important for him. Gabe said there is one boy in his class, the only child in his class that he knew from school last year, that he said he would chose to be with if he could. Friends are good!

I was oddly disappointed in his test scores. Not because he didn’t do well but because he DID do well, just not as good as I know he can do. I should be super happy, and I am, I just wish that he had tested better for two reasons. 1) His test scores reflected a trait/quirk that I see in him at home. This whole “I know this material so I can fly through it and only half pay attention making super silly mistakes along the way”. 2) I want Gabe to receive materials that are at his level and challenge him. He already flies through his math homework, even second grade math is no challenge for him.

For instance, Gabe has been counting up to 200 and past since he was about 4-5ish. He’s always been great with numbers and naturally picks up math concepts. So when his scores showed that he counted up to 120 I did an internal eye roll. For his age 120 is just fine. For HIM it’s appalling. The other math test scores were similarly shy of what he is truly capable of doing with ease. I shared that with his teacher though and she really seemed to listen and not think that I’m the crazy mom who says her kid is so great when he’s really just average. Her main concern was that the second grade math homework was too hard and I was able to assure her it is not.

He tested closer to his abilities in reading hitting a grade 3 first month level and read 138 words per minute. Apparently your average first grader is expected to read 20 words per minute. So I guess no problems there.

Otherwise he is catching on quickly to new concepts that most of his classmates had exposure to last year when they were in first grade and he was in Kindergarten and that is a good thing to hear. I don’t want him to be struggling or frustrated simply because we think he can do these things. It’s nice to see that he really can AND is having a good time in his classroom.

The school still does not know what will happen with these first graders next year since this blended class is a first for them. Right now they are for the most part getting all of the second grade lessons. If they are simply moved on into second grade next year they’ll essentially be repeating a grade. Wait and see and hope for the best.

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