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post #21 of 60
Quote:
Originally Posted by SunKessed View Post
I do think you sound very dismissive of a potentially serious problem.

4 weeks if plenty of time for a kid to adjust to grade 1. So by the second conference - that should no longer be an excuse as to why you didn't want him to get any help.

And if you're really working with him alot - and he's still behind in reading - then he sounds like he really does need the extra help.
I am find this a tad judgmental. I am sure the OP knows her own child and whether his reading is a "potentially serious problem" or not. If he is able to read instructions, then it can't be that bad. Children learn to read at different speeds, and often boys are on the slower side. As for adjusting to 1st grade, again, some children take longer than others to adjust to school life, and I don't think she has said anywhere that she doesn't want him to get help, just that for the time being they were helping him at home. I am sure the OP is very open to her child getting help, but I [personally] see no reason why that help can't be given during class-time rather than recess.
post #22 of 60
Sorry if that sounded judgemental.

I'm just a bit confused as to why she seems more concerned about her son missing 1 recess than the fact that at 2 meeting in a row his teacher has expressed concern over his reading level that she has dismissed.
post #23 of 60
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bunnyflakes View Post
I think that from the first meeting on you seemed very unwilling to work with the school on anything by "demanding" that he never, ever miss recess. You are taking away the teacher's right and ability to handle her own classroom, which is looked down on. Also, if this private school is making enough money, they do not have to follow your demands and might just let your family go, which is something I would be worried about.

I think it is in every parents best interest to work with teachers. I am a teacher, so I know this firsthand. So many people in this forum have to practically beg their DC's teachers to meet with them, so when you have a teacher reaching out to you to help your child, that is wonderful.
Hmm. Maybe the teacher misunderstood our conversations,and walked away from the meeting feeling that we are unwilling to work with the teacher.

Though it's been many,many years since I taught in a classroom, I try to be sensitive to the teachers needs/wants/expectations. I certainly hope I didn't come across as otherwise. Afterall, we clearly stated-twice- that if *she* felt he needed extra help, to contact us-which she did not.

I didn't say that we *never* wanted him to miss recess-just for school work related issues. We made it clear(we thought!) that if he was misbehaving, then certainly he should lose a recess.

Before school even started, we made it clear, that we viewed our dc's education as a team effort. We did say that while we knew ds was behind in reading, our first priority was to help him have a smooth transition into school. Academic success is very important to us-our two older dc are proof of that-getting straight As.

If for one minute, we felt that ds wasn't progressing smoothly in all areas, we would be doing everything possible to help him-along with the school. And, this is what we have stated to the teacher(repeating again).

FTR-we highly value reading success-we are all readers in our family. However, we also know that dc pickup reading when they are ready(given they have been read to a lot, and are in an enriching environment-which describes ds's situation), much the same as a dc learning to walk.

Thanks, for giving a teacher's pov.
post #24 of 60
I guess the first thing I'd want is more information. Is this an ongoing issue (e.g. he's missing recess several times a week) or was this a one time thing?

At my school (where I work) all of our kids receive one on one reading testing before conferences with a teacher. Mosts of those tests are done by classroom teachers, but when a teacher has concerns about a child they might ask someone else, special ed, ELL, reading specialist, other grade level teacher etc . . . to do the testing so they have a second opinion. Unfortunately, as one of the people who is often asked to do this, finding time is hard. We don't schedule any kind of "regular" enrichment groups during recess (an exception might be if the social worker was pulling a group of kids to work on social and play skills, and did it in the context of recess, or like last year I had a child on my caseload who had medical reasons why she couldn't go out and play so I met with her during recess) but that means that I've got a block of available time then when I can't teach, so sometimes I might need to pull a child to do that assessment at recess time to get it done. If I'm in that situation I might take into account a parent's wishes, but I've also got a lot of factors to keep in mind as far as other children's needs, and other demands on my time.

I also wanted to comment, that in theory I hear where you're coming from when you say that you aren't worried yet because his reading skills aren't impacting his self-esteem. However, waiting until a child's self-esteem is impacted is IME waiting too long. Reading problems can't be remediated overnight, and if you wait to start addressing them after the child's self-esteem is impacted then you're going to have many months of the child suffering while you wait for the gap to close with remediation. Being proactive and helping the child before the issues become problems makes much more sense. A first grade teacher who is committed to her students, and who has had the experience of seeing happy confident first graders struggle in 2nd is going to feel anxiety about helping kids avoid those struggles.

I'd probably wait and address this at conferences next week, unless your child suddenly starts telling you about this every day, and then I'd start by saying "Henry came home from school last week and said ____. Can you tell me more about that?" My response would depend on what the teacher said.
post #25 of 60
Quote:
Originally Posted by Momily View Post
I guess the first thing I'd want is more information. Is this an ongoing issue (e.g. he's missing recess several times a week) or was this a one time thing?

At my school (where I work) all of our kids receive one on one reading testing before conferences with a teacher. Mosts of those tests are done by classroom teachers, but when a teacher has concerns about a child they might ask someone else, special ed, ELL, reading specialist, other grade level teacher etc . . . to do the testing so they have a second opinion. Unfortunately, as one of the people who is often asked to do this, finding time is hard.
This is a good point. When my ds had his last reading assessment it was just before recess and he had to stay back to finish it while the others in his class went out to play. This didn't please him, and I think it had a slight impact on this test results, the assessor noted this, because he wanted out of there. Thankfully he was still above grade level.
post #26 of 60
I'm going to have to support the mom here. While I do understand the perspective of the posters who've expressed concern about children falling behind in reading, recess is not the time to play catch up on academics in my opinion. There is good research that shows that kids who get more physical activity are better able to concentrate in class. Taking away recess is just going to make it harder for him to concentrate and learn what they want him to learn.

If they have some sort of a reading recovery or literacy lab program it should be taking place during the regular classroom reading time and kids who need that extra help should go to that classroom rather than stay in their regular reading class at that time.

OP, some private schools pride themselves on working ahead in all areas. Do you think that this is one of those schools where the expectation is that he be advanced in all areas? Have they given you any test scores for him in reading (MAPs, DIBELS, SRI Lexile)? As the parent, I'd want to know where he falls in terms of national expectations for a child his age/grade, rather than just what the particular school wants.
post #27 of 60
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by SunKessed View Post
I do think you sound very dismissive of a potentially serious problem.

4 weeks if plenty of time for a kid to adjust to grade 1. So by the second conference - that should no longer be an excuse as to why you didn't want him to get any help.

And if you're really working with him alot - and he's still behind in reading - then he sounds like he really does need the extra help.
Well, after working as a teacher years ago, and teaching my older two dc how to read. I think I am very qualified to determine if ds has a *serious* problem.

Maybe four weeks is enough time for many dc to adjust to a completely different lifestyle-but I know it wasn't enough time for our entire family. Even the principal said it would take time to adjust-especially for our youngest.

At the second meeting-which was a real conference- the extra help that was being offered,was only one time a month.

I am positive, that I could do more with him at home than that.

Again, I will state, that ds is making a lot of progress. I would maybe worry if he was still reading sentences like: The cat sat on dad. But, he is not. He is reading books like _Nate The Great_.

Aside from me defending how well ds is doing,it is the lack of communication from the teacher, that is bothersome.

It seems odd, that conferences are next week, and she could have just waited till then to talk to us, but instead just kept him inside on a beautiful day-for a reason we clearly stated objection to.
post #28 of 60
As someone else suggested - was that maybe an extra evaluation that was done?

Maybe they wanted to have more information when they next talked to you because you dismissed their offers of help the first time.
post #29 of 60
Quote:
Originally Posted by Momily View Post
At my school (where I work) all of our kids receive one on one reading testing before conferences with a teacher. Mosts of those tests are done by classroom teachers, but when a teacher has concerns about a child they might ask someone else, special ed, ELL, reading specialist, other grade level teacher etc . . . to do the testing so they have a second opinion. Unfortunately, as one of the people who is often asked to do this, finding time is hard. We don't schedule any kind of "regular" enrichment groups during recess (an exception might be if the social worker was pulling a group of kids to work on social and play skills, and did it in the context of recess, or like last year I had a child on my caseload who had medical reasons why she couldn't go out and play so I met with her during recess) but that means that I've got a block of available time then when I can't teach, so sometimes I might need to pull a child to do that assessment at recess time to get it done.
That makes good sense, though. If this was the case, I'd be much less bothered.

If it is a regular thing is where it would be an issue. My oldest dd did wind up missing recess regularly in 1st grade due to speed of work issues. Her teacher would make her stay in at recess and finish work b/c she was working slowly. There was one week where she had no recesses at all due to this practice. For her, it turned out to be a combo of meticulousness, perfectionism, and very low tolerance for the amount of repetition they had that year. Speed is not as big of an issue for her now that she's older although it still isn't her best thing. The missed recesses and having it driven home to her that she was either lazy or slow and needed to miss recess as a result did have long term implications for her self image, though.
post #30 of 60
Quote:
Originally Posted by blessed mommy View Post
Again, I will state, that ds is making a lot of progress. I would maybe worry if he was still reading sentences like: The cat sat on dad. But, he is not. He is reading books like _Nate The Great_.
That certainly doesn't sound like a serious problem to me. Nate the Great books range in lexile from 110-480 with the average one being around a lexile of 300. Just for an idea, here are approx lexile ranges for each grade: http://www.mead.k12.wa.us/BRENT/Libr...e%20Ranges.htm

Nate the Great is not below grade level for a first grader.
post #31 of 60
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Momily View Post
I guess the first thing I'd want is more information. Is this an ongoing issue (e.g. he's missing recess several times a week) or was this a one time thing?

At my school (where I work) all of our kids receive one on one reading testing before conferences with a teacher. Mosts of those tests are done by classroom teachers, but when a teacher has concerns about a child they might ask someone else, special ed, ELL, reading specialist, other grade level teacher etc . . . to do the testing so they have a second opinion. Unfortunately, as one of the people who is often asked to do this, finding time is hard. We don't schedule any kind of "regular" enrichment groups during recess (an exception might be if the social worker was pulling a group of kids to work on social and play skills, and did it in the context of recess, or like last year I had a child on my caseload who had medical reasons why she couldn't go out and play so I met with her during recess) but that means that I've got a block of available time then when I can't teach, so sometimes I might need to pull a child to do that assessment at recess time to get it done. If I'm in that situation I might take into account a parent's wishes, but I've also got a lot of factors to keep in mind as far as other children's needs, and other demands on my time.

I also wanted to comment, that in theory I hear where you're coming from when you say that you aren't worried yet because his reading skills aren't impacting his self-esteem. However, waiting until a child's self-esteem is impacted is IME waiting too long. Reading problems can't be remediated overnight, and if you wait to start addressing them after the child's self-esteem is impacted then you're going to have many months of the child suffering while you wait for the gap to close with remediation. Being proactive and helping the child before the issues become problems makes much more sense. A first grade teacher who is committed to her students, and who has had the experience of seeing happy confident first graders struggle in 2nd is going to feel anxiety about helping kids avoid those struggles.

I'd probably wait and address this at conferences next week, unless your child suddenly starts telling you about this every day, and then I'd start by saying "Henry came home from school last week and said ____. Can you tell me more about that?" My response would depend on what the teacher said.
It was a one time thing.

You bring up some good points, but when we asked ds what he did at this extra reading practice, he said they played stupid,boring games. This jives with what the teacher explained to us occuring during these extra practice sessions-playing games. Ds has never been a game person-unless it was sports related.

We do need more information, indeed.

(I'm sorry for the multiple posts- I haven't taken the time yet, to do several quotes w/i one reply.)
post #32 of 60
Quote:
Originally Posted by blessed mommy View Post
It was a one time thing.

You bring up some good points, but when we asked ds what he did at this extra reading practice, he said they played stupid,boring games. This jives with what the teacher explained to us occuring during these extra practice sessions-playing games. Ds has never been a game person-unless it was sports related.

We do need more information, indeed.

(I'm sorry for the multiple posts- I haven't taken the time yet, to do several quotes w/i one reply.)
Well, I like to think that the games I play with kids aren't stupid and boring, but I do use games a lot as an assessment tool. A lot of time slipping questions into a game format (e.g. we're going to play go fish with cards that happen to have phonemes on it, and I'm going to take notes on things like which phonemes they pronounced correctly, did they ask for help, were they more likely to recognize a phoneme the 2nd or 3rd time they saw it etc . . . ) makes them more palatable to the kid.

I'd get more information and then make a decision about how to proceed and how upset to be. If they are pulling him for regularly scheduled academic work during recess then I do think you have every right to be concerned and to address that with them.
post #33 of 60
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ChristaN View Post
I'm going to have to support the mom here. While I do understand the perspective of the posters who've expressed concern about children falling behind in reading, recess is not the time to play catch up on academics in my opinion. There is good research that shows that kids who get more physical activity are better able to concentrate in class. Taking away recess is just going to make it harder for him to concentrate and learn what they want him to learn.

If they have some sort of a reading recovery or literacy lab program it should be taking place during the regular classroom reading time and kids who need that extra help should go to that classroom rather than stay in their regular reading class at that time.

OP, some private schools pride themselves on working ahead in all areas. Do you think that this is one of those schools where the expectation is that he be advanced in all areas? Have they given you any test scores for him in reading (MAPs, DIBELS, SRI Lexile)? As the parent, I'd want to know where he falls in terms of national expectations for a child his age/grade, rather than just what the particular school wants.
Your first paragraph describes our ds-he does his best, when he is able to move and get fresh air. This is why we were so clear, that he not miss a recess for school work related issues.

This private school is about a semester ahead of the local PS.

He has not had any standardized testing-next year he will.
post #34 of 60
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Momily View Post
Well, I like to think that the games I play with kids aren't stupid and boring, but I do use games a lot as an assessment tool. A lot of time slipping questions into a game format (e.g. we're going to play go fish with cards that happen to have phonemes on it, and I'm going to take notes on things like which phonemes they pronounced correctly, did they ask for help, were they more likely to recognize a phoneme the 2nd or 3rd time they saw it etc . . . ) makes them more palatable to the kid.

I'd get more information and then make a decision about how to proceed and how upset to be. If they are pulling him for regularly scheduled academic work during recess then I do think you have every right to be concerned and to address that with them.
Oh, goodness! I think games are an excellent way to learn and assess. This is a pretty typical comment from ds re games. I am going to ask him some more questions, and, of course, ask the teacher.

Thanks, for bringing this up.
post #35 of 60
Quote:
Originally Posted by Momily View Post
I'd probably wait and address this at conferences next week, unless your child suddenly starts telling you about this every day, and then I'd start by saying "Henry came home from school last week and said ____. Can you tell me more about that?" My response would depend on what the teacher said.
This. From reading the thread it's clear that there are several unanswered questions about exactly what happened and why. Just talk to the teacher with the intention of gathering more info, and go from there. Do more listening than talking, especially at the beginning.

Assume the best..... that the teacher has pure intentions and, worse case, this was an unavoidable one-time-thing OR simple miscommunication / misunderstanding. Act accordingly only if it becomes clear something more deliberate is going on.

Assume the best.
post #36 of 60
Quote:
Originally Posted by alegna View Post
I am shocked and jealous that you have a school available with 3! recesses a day.

1 a day is standard here

-Angela
Ours growing up was 3 a day as well until 4th grade. 5th was 2, and 6-8 was 1.

15 min each in the morning and afternoon, and 30 min after lunch.
post #37 of 60
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lisa85 View Post
Ours growing up was 3 a day as well until 4th grade. 5th was 2, and 6-8 was 1.

15 min each in the morning and afternoon, and 30 min after lunch.
My third grader gets 2-3 recesses/day. My 6th grader gets none.
post #38 of 60
Quote:
You bring up some good points, but when we asked ds what he did at this extra reading practice, he said they played stupid,boring games. This jives with what the teacher explained to us occuring during these extra practice sessions-playing games. Ds has never been a game person-unless it was sports related.
these games HELP kids read. We just finished a sight word blitz at our school. We use games to help REINFORCE sight words. Most help is needed in Grade 1 & 2 so we work with those kids more.

Right now you have 1 side of the story. For all you know this was something that ALL the kids were doing, they ran over & did it with your son over recess to get it over with. It may have been part of testing for report cards too.

It has happened ONCE, I"d ask at conferences for clarification about why it happened.

I'd also be more open to him having help with his reading. You may feel that going once a month may not help, but it may help him more than you think. It certainly wouldn't hurt him to go once a month. It may end up that he needs to go more often than once a month too.
post #39 of 60
I am halfway through the thread but wanted to ask this while I continue reading.

Where exactly is he behind in reading? Was your son's teacher specific? Phonics, comprehension, vocabulary, etc? Also, did she mention if there was any way to get help before or after school? Or could he miss P.E. or miss recess on the days he is scheduled to have P.E.?
post #40 of 60
Quote:
Originally Posted by blessed mommy View Post

Do I sound dismissive? Hmm. Maybe the teacher has taken this view also. I guess I feel that each time I have met with her, I have agreed with her, that he is behind in reading,and that we are very proactive in providing him extra help. While it could be an issue for the teacher, it isn't at all for us-unless it is for ds...as in he feels stupid compared to the rest of his peers.
Ok, I've sat here and considered different ways of asking this without sounding snarky because that is NOT my intent in any way whatsoever. So here goes.

Is it possible that your assurances to help him in the area of reading aren't all that reassuring to the teacher due to the fact that you have been the one responsible for teaching him to read all along? Perhaps she is thinking that if your help was going to be sufficient, he wouldn't have come to 1st grade behind to begin with?

Quote:
And, if it really is an issue with the teacher, we told her to email or call us if he wasn't progressing enough, or that she really felt he needed extra help.
My guess is her reply to this would be that she HAS come to you with her concerns. Not once, but twice. Both times you have refused whatever help was offered, saying instead that you would help him at home.

Yet here we are almost 3/4 of the way through the school year, and he is still, at least according to the school, behind in reading.



All that said, if he is truly reading "Nate the Great" with age appropriate fluency levels and comprehension, my biggest question would be what level they expect him to be reading at right now. I'd want to know where the average reader in his class is in relation to where he is. I'd want to know how many words per minute he's reading and how many words he's missing. I'd want to know what his scores are for re-telling the story, answering questions about what he's read, predicting what the story will be about, what comes next, etc.

Basically, I'd want a very detailed picture of where he is currently, where the average student in his class is currently, and how far apart the two are.

I would most assuredly not "tear into her" (or however you put it in your OP) in any way whatsoever about this recess issue. I would assume, until proven otherwise, that she has your child's best interests at heart. And if I felt the school did NOT have my child's best interests at heart, they wouldn't be going there any longer.

The fact that this one missed recess issue made you and your DH so angry tells me that meeting with the teacher is something both of you probably need to be very careful with so as not to allow emotions overtake the meeting and ruin any chance of an agreeable resolution.

Honestly, if it were my child that was behind in reading, I'd be incredibly UNhappy that they had 3 recesses per day if one of those, or even two of those, could be given up for individual reading instruction time.
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