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First Grade Tribe-October's Here! - Page 3

post #41 of 115
uccomama, that sounds like a fantastic book. Your son's school sounds very, very cool.

mata, I think girls are just weird like this. I remember that at this age (or maybe a little older), I had two lists going of my friends and enemies. The funny thing is that each day, the lists would change based on trivial arguments. I just try to remember that when my daughter goes off about some slight (real or imagined).

In our news, we went to Hawaii this past week (now with Earthquake Action Inside!), took her out of school for a vacation. She learned a ton there and had fun, and today shared pictures and candied coconut with the class.

She WAS having a lot of problems socially, which I'm glad to say have now worked themselves out. She's totally happy and has various odd games going on with the kids during recesses. I.e. "Superkaratepuppy vs. the evil cabbage; The Land Before Time mixed with Little House On the Prairie (!) - and she hasn't seen either one on TV. She has playdate offers!

Her class is studying spiders and went on a field trip at a local park to learn all about NW spiders. It was awesome (me and the babe went along). I'm still not exactly sure what they do at school all day...I think art, and music (she learned some Turkish songs today) and reading...they use the TERC curriculum for math - which sounds a lot like what you were doing, uccomama. We still have no homework, other than the questions for parents to ask/discuss with the child. Today: Talk to your child about how you go about finding a good book to read.

The only thing I'm worried about here, coming up, is that the children are going to go to a nursing home and sing for halloween and visit with the elderly. I already told the teacher that my daughter might totally lose it (crying) because she has some, um, "issues" with seeing the infirm and about-to-die, and death in general. Thankfully, the teacher reassured me that this was fairly typical and that she would make sure to have some discussions, read some books, and talk with the children about those issues. And she would try to be aware during the visit of my daughter's issue too. Her teacher's so sweet!
post #42 of 115
Originally Posted by mata View Post
how is everyone doing? mama2nicola-were you able to speak to someone and get more specifics?
Oh yeah - sorry I didn't get back on that. I spoke to her teacher in the morning & he said all the first graders were going to be working with her since she was there anyway...he said she was one of the first kids back to the classroom the day before, so she's doing fine. I was so relieved (even though I didn't really think I was worried) when he said that, I didn't think to ask why they didn't just write that on the note! :

Nothing else exciting like book reports or writing books...they did go for a walk outside the other day & collect 'signs of fall' (leaves, grass, etc.).

They are going to the pumpkin patch next week & I can't decide if I want to go or not. They need parent drivers, but I would probably have to bring ds & I really don't think I'll want to do it again after going with his pre-school the day before...they need to know by Thursday, so I'll decide tomorrow...
post #43 of 115
What does "sloppy copy write" mean? My daughter has to do "research" on something tonight and the teacher said to...sloppy copy write it????? She is in 1st grade!!!

Lately science has become of interest to her. She wanted to do a science experiment so I had to go online and try to find something that would interest her. I have to say, she really loves learning and she always wants to go beyond what she is learning in class. I ask her everyday what they do and I realize I'm going to have to start checking things out for myself for when she starts asking me questions that I have no answer for. We have started doing that already. We'll go to the computer and find the answers for her when she wants a more in depth explanation.
post #44 of 115
flyingspaghettimama -- thanks, I think DS's school is cool too!

The math they are doing at Toby's school is Investigations which I believe is also know as TERC. I actually don't care for it, Sasha (my homeschooled 9 year old) used to have the same math in school. I think it is rather short on math facts, but thankfully Toby's math teacher knows this and will hopefully compensate, the school used Montessori math last year. I tried to get the teacher interested in RightStart Math which I am using it with Sasha and love. It is so much better IMO, but I can always supplement Toby's school work with it as I have the 1st, 2nd and 3rd grade curriculum and all the manipulatives at home.
post #45 of 115
I'm really glad to have found this forum.

DS is having tons of problems in school. His teacher is a first year (I'm not holding that against her ... yet) but he's always coming home with a "lost a green card today" note. At least 2 times a week he's losing at least one card.
(They do the Green, Yellow, Red "card" system. Red means you go to the principal, get a note home, and miss recess the next day.)

99% of the time it's for talking. He's not even eating all his lunch because he talks all through his time in the cafateria. He loves socializing with his peers.
In class, we think he's bored - he's testing above the 2nd grade level in reading and math. But his teacher thinks he has problems following directions and listening (honestly what first grader dosen't)

It seems as his behavior at home gets better, his school behavior gets worse.

He was kicked off the bus last week for one day for hitting another kid (it was an honest accident, but the driver knew he was goofing around.) She never even told me there was an issue getting him to sit still and keep his hands & feet to himself until it was to the point where she kicked him off :

He's seeing the school counselor once a week (dealing with a previous bully issue, , now resolved ), and that's been going great, but I just don't know what to do.

I've tried taking things away, having him write a note back to the teacher for being disrespectful, even sending him to his room until dinner to play quietly alone. TV's not really an issue (no more then 45 mins a day in our house, only educational, no commercial programming, no adult TV/sitcoms/news/etc until the kids are totally asleep). He's sleeping enough, eating well. We talk about respect and he knows it's not right to do what he does, but being around all the kids makes him excited and he wants to talk.

I don't know if this is a "classroom wide" (or teacher-related tolerance) problem, or if it's just ds.

I've considered taking a day off (ugh, not that I can afford it) to sit in the class and observe. Any other suggestions?
post #46 of 115
Mom's I subbed first grade today. I am tired now. It would have been ok, but the teacher left in a hurry and I couldn't find the notes or schedule or anything for awhile. They started out with an art project and then art class so it was zooish! After that it setteled down. I find I can deal with "hyper" kids and talkers, but I really need to get some training on what to do with disrespect to me and to other students if I keep doing this. The good thing is I got to meet some of the teachers. I plan to sub about once a week and so hopefully I can suss out who I would like my children to have for teachers next year! There are only 2 first grade classes so I got to see my daughter several times today and that was fun too!
post #47 of 115
Jen - My dd is having some of the same types of issues. Well I'm not sure exactly what the issues are, I'm still trying to get to the bottom of all of it. They use chips in my dds class. They start each day out with 3 chips and they get taken away for talking or disruptive behavior. The first few weeks were really bad for my dd but its gotten a lot better in regards to the chips. They don't get otherwised punished for them, or at least not that I've heard of. I hate when I hear they take away recess. How is that going to help an active kid? Doesn't make sense to me.

Anyway My dd is ahead of the class in both reading and math and the teacher wants her to be more independent in her work. She is now set up to do the accelerated reader (AR) program and the teacher wants dd to do it independently. Apparently dd is taking up too much of her time . This is the part i'm trying to figure out. My dd told me she isn't sure how to use the computer to do the AR stuff and that her teacher has said that she is done showing her. And in my conversations with her teacher she is saying she needs dd to be more independent. Well if dd really doesn't know how to use the computer for AR how is she supposed to do it independently? But I don't know how much the teacher has shown her? I really get the feeling the teacher is bothered by dd or has higher expectations of her because she is ahead acedemically. My dd is a good reader and very bright but she is a not a mature 6 year old. If anything she is an immature 6 year old. But I think because acedemically she doesn't need the teacher as much as other students the teacher expects her to be more independent. And she isn't so the teacher gets annoyed with her. On top of that we're dealing with dd racing to finish her work. DD is very competitve and I think she believes being done first is best so she is doing her work really fast, asking for more (again bothering the teacher) and not doing quality work. I don't think the teacher has to love my dd but it would be nice if it wasn't so obvious how annoyed she gets by her.

I volunteer in the lunch room every other week on my lunch hour and next week I plan on going 15-20 minutes early to sit in the classroom a bit. I wish I could spend longer but I can't do it on my days off (I work 3 days/week) because I have my two boys and they would be disruptive. So I have to do it on my lunch hour.

Things they are working on in the class. They do every day math which so far I like. They have about 3 worksheets a week and suggestions for us to do with our kids to supplement (talking about how numbers are in our every day mostly). She has been writing stories and making books (on her family, one about pumpkins, one about apples). No spelling tests until January. She has music, art and gym each 2 days a week. They go to the library at least once a week. They did apple tastings and talked about the differences between different types of apples. They did a section on butterflies (dd LOVEs butterflies). She has reading every night. She has to pick one book a night and read to us. Other than that there isn't much homework. Less than I expected.

I hope to hear back from her teacher soon regarding her need to be more independent. I can't wait to hear what she has to say.

post #48 of 115
Thread Starter 
whoops-double post!
post #49 of 115
Thread Starter 
can I get a quick read on something from you guys? I'm steamed and not thinking clearly. Today I got a form letter from the principal about dd's five absences since mid August, and the language was way out of line, imo. Throwing the term truancy around, if it continues the principal will call to schedule a conference, etc. etc. Now, last year in kindergarten dd was sick a LOT (first exposure to large group of kids,) and I specifically checked the school's absentee policy (nothing in writing-was instructed to just call in if they're sick, no note needed unless it's an extended illness.) So I'm operating on that information this year, and each day dd was sick this year (strep for two of those days, fever and other symptoms for the remaining three) I phoned in to the office and spoke with the teacher. So this year the higher ups are cracking down on absenteeism and now they have a computer program that spits out this form letter at intervals of five absences. It can all be avoided with a doctor's note-but I'm annoyed because they don't have a policy in writing to begin with, yet they felt they could send out this nastygram with some pretty heavy language! I feel like telling them to remove it from dd's file just on principle. And send a response to the principal that perhaps she should distribute an absentee policy in writing before she sends out truancy letters. : Is that being petty?

edited to add-tee hee-nevermind-I did fire off an email.
post #50 of 115
mata, in regard to the note, no I do not think you are outta line. I think the thing that bugs me about school is the institutional part, where there are certain rules you are sposed to follow, example; my son forgot to bring his tennis shoes one day (he had on boots for the snow) and got a little lecture from the teacher, ugh. can't we make mistakes sometimes?

Of course you are a great mom, and I know, in our district it's ten absences a year, I'm like, wow my kid has already been absent two times....it's mad, and I think it's weird, too. I mean, truancy in first grade, come on!
post #51 of 115
Is this thread for homeschooled 1st graders too?

Dominick started working with 1st grade curriculum this summer.
post #52 of 115
Thread Starter 
sure, AngelBee-everyone is welcome! How are you both enjoying the first grade material? What sorts of things are you working on together?

Thanks, SMUM-you're absolutely right-there can be such negative messages from the institutional point of view. I politely told the principal not to be concerned about dd falling behind if she needs to be absent for illness. Please! My children will take as long as they need to be over an illness-no one benefits from a miserable (and contagious) child being in the classroom.
post #53 of 115
Thank you mata for the warm welcome

He loves reading! It is funny...he just does it on his own. We do phonics for 5 mins a day or so (all 3 kids do) but I had no intent of "teaching" him how to read yet. Funny thing....he already knows how! He is half way through the reading program for the year. We started it in mid Sept.

Writing is moving alittle slower. He does not like the feeling of repetition without a purpose.....well a clear purpose he can grasp. So I have laid off that a bit and encourage creative writing.....letters to friends, jotting down shopping lists, to do lists, writing out seasonal chores our family needs to finish, etc. That is working better.

We are just starting a math program.

He is so proud to be a first grader He even brings his "homework" (assigned by him ) to the dance academy (we own and run as a family) to work on before and after dance. Too cute!
post #54 of 115
Thread Starter 
sounds great, AngelBee. I like your writing approach. Deep down I'd rather be homeschooling my dd, but it was her choice to go to school. I do "facilitate" at home a lot, though.

Today I'm happy to have discovered we have a charter Montessori school in town that I didn't even know about. It's for grades 7-12, and although that's a long way away, it's good to know we have that option. The middle school and high school are ginormous here and if that's overwhelming to either dd a school with 300 kids might be more appealing.

edited to add-what a nice day all around-dd won the Student of the Month award, and she got her first phone call from a first grade friend, inviting her to the park. We went to the farm with this girl's family (they live in our neighborhood, too) on Saturday, and the girls are forming a really nice friendship-just what I would ask for her!
post #55 of 115
I think I would like to homeschool too ...it just seems more efficient. Right now we are going to continue with school. I am, however, getting, increasingly worried about DD teacher. I think she may be unstable or something. Last Friday we asked our children what was their favorite thing of the day. My DD said "that my teacher didn't get mad and yell today". That just bothers me. Then yesterday, my DH, was driving the kids to school and my DD mentioned that there are chemical bombs in N. Korea and a really bad King or something there. ( she didn't know what to call the leader of the country) My husband was taken aback that she knew about that so he asked where she heard it and DD said Mrs.____ told us in class. We are going to talk to the Principal...this is too many things too many times. She also told the kids she would rather be home eating bonbons. This may be what is behind all of this! YIKES...I'm worried.
post #56 of 115
OMGosh Mamabelle, I too would be worried if it were my child in that teacher's class. Please let us know how the meeting with the principal goes.

On our front. I am looking forward to the 1st/2nd grade parent community meeting tonight. I am not sure what the topic is but I believe it is about the "Compassion" domain of the school's education philosophy. To remind everyone (if you all are in the least bit interested ), DS's school provides a comtemplative education based on the Shambhala Buddhist teachings. The school curriculum is divided into three domains of learning: Intelligence, Compassion and Confidence and the various diciplines fall within one of these domains.
post #57 of 115
Another family considering homeschooling here. I have wanted to, DH does not, I agreed to give public school a fair shot. DS loved preschool and K, now seems not so crazy about 1st grade, he thinks it's too much like preschool, he's bored and frustrated.

It's hard to sort out his true feelings about school though - to me he seems down, in a bad mood about school. He has a hard time telling me his favorite thing about school - some days it's that he got a seat by himself on the bus . My mom, who spends a lot of time with him also thinks he seems not as excited about school as he used to be. However, DS tells DH he likes school, it's fun, he likes playing with L__. It's hard to figure out if he's happy or not. I'm pressing my DH to agree to offer DS the option of homeschooling, moving up to 2nd grade, or keeping things the same. It would be interesting to see what DS picks.

Anyone else getting mixed reaction from your 1st graders about whether they like school or not?
post #58 of 115
Hi Moms..I decided to talk to another parent at carpool about my concerns in PP..his daughter is in the same class as mine. He also has felt funny about the teacher. I did however find out that her husband literally came home one day (a month before school started) and packed his bags and left. She has two children one 2yo and one 5yo. The Dad is gone..no help nothing. So..I now know that she definetly is not happy and that explains the odd things happening. It does not however help my daughter or the other kids in the class. I'm not sure what to do now. The woman obviously needs her job.
I did also find out about some really neat homeschool schools. One meets 2 days per week for 3-4 hours and have teachers etc..like school. The other days the parents are the teachers. Honestly ..this sounds like a very good fit for our family. I'm not ready to change my kids yet again though..but I am going to find out more about other options like the part time school thing above just to tuck away for the future just in case.

Anyone else getting mixed reaction from your 1st graders about whether they like school or not?
My daughter is totally ambivilant this year. She liked Kindergarten...she's not been really happy this year.
post #59 of 115
My dd loved kindergarten, but really dislikes school this year, and wants to homeschool.

Mommabelle- I am sure you already have a ton on your plate, but- can you offer help to the teacher? She sounds like she has a super-hard life right now, and maybe having a parent who wants to be really helpful to her would be a great thing.

Maybe you could offer to come in and read stories to the class, and then do a craft activity? That way you could get to know the teacher better, offer her suport and hopefully affect the ways she deals with the class.

My daughter's teacher, unfortunately wants nothing to do with parents coming in to help, so my hands feel so tied. I suggest volunteering to any mama here whose teacher seems she/he wants it, you can usually bring in our littler ones as well, I did that last year, and allowed it when I was a teacher.
post #60 of 115
Peppermint I have thought of the helping out too. I have repeatedly asked to help out and gotten no response. So, I'm thinking I'm going to give a detailed option to volunteer. Say every single Monday morning for 2 hours. They start school at 8 but then have worship from 9:15-10:15 on Mon so that would certainly be easy. I'm thinking this is a good 2 hours for the teacher to go get some counceling of one kind or another or simply get class materials ready and have her own time...I don't know...something like that. There is another SAHM who I feel would be up for doing another time slot. Hopefully something can be worked out so that she and the students can benefit.
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