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#1 of 14 Old 09-22-2011, 09:09 PM - Thread Starter
 
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It's the third week of Kindergarten.  DD is going half-day, because (A) she isn't going to learn anything anyway; and (B) I don't have $5000 to pay to send her to full-day kindy.

 

DD has sensory processing issues and is borderline for ADHD and Aspergers, all of which spells "behavior problems".  She annoys other people and doesn't realize they want her to stop doing whatever it is she's doing.  She's very impulsive, and some days she seems to give in to every bad idea that crosses her mind.  She is going to a social skills group and another special needs group, and her teacher has a earn points, get stickers behavior thing going on for her.  Her classroom is fortuitously connected to the resource room and she can go there if she's feeling like she needs a break, and that has been going better since I suggested they give her some books at her reading level to calm her down.

 

She's reading on at least a 3rd or 4th grade level. She writes well--sentences with good grammar, 95% correct spelling, and decent punctuation.  This week she spontaneously used "it's" correctly in something she's written.  For math, she can add carrying a 1 and do basic multiplication; she hasn't memorized the addition chart but she can nearly always figure out what two numbers add up to using various type of logic (ie, 5+4 is like 4+4, plus an extra 1 = 9).

 

So in Kindergarten, they are currently learning to write numbers.  The learning unit this month is colors.  They've been doing a lot of worksheets where they trace and write numbers, and a lot of coloring pages.  DD hates coloring but she has been complaining less bitterly since I explained that the point of coloring pages isn't really to colors but to learn to follow instructions and listen.  She's still bored, though.

 

We have P/T conferences in 2 weeks.  If you were me, what sort of accomodation might you ask for?  I want her doing reading, writing, and math that isn't going to bore her. DD's behavior is iffy enough that it isn't likely that she could be sent up to a more advanced class. But what can I reasonably expect in her half-day class?  She was bored all last year and didn't learn a darned thing all year, and that really can't happen 2 years in a row.  Or 3 years, since the district just announced they are not going to have TAG classes for 1st grade anymore starting next year. :(


Erin, mom to DD (1/06) and DS (10/09)
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#2 of 14 Old 09-22-2011, 11:08 PM
 
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It does sound like a complicated situation. My kids have some similarities as your DD but they are sort of packaged differently. I'm not sure what worked for us will work for you. Long stories short; DD (now 14) started kindergarten 2 to 5 grades advanced. She was moved to 1st grade after winter break and given lots of additional differentiation and subject acceleration over the years. DS (now 10) had all the sensory issues and is mildy dyslexic/dysgraphic. He entered K at age 4 and about 2nd/3rd grade level academically but he relished in being able to finish easy work fast and getting to play more. In 1st grade, he moved into an immersion program with advanced academics a quality GATE program and subject acceleration opportunities where needed. We didn't have the impulse control or social issues though and that is what makes your situation more complex.

 

The behavior issues are a real stumbling block. I think you are right that going to an advanced grade for academic challenge may not be the best course of action. How independant a worker is she? Does she have access to classroom computers? Perhaps replacing some of that worksheet time with computer time would be a benefit. How about the school librarian or campus reading specialist? She should be at least be able to get math sheets at her level though she may be sensitive to having different work than her classmates.

 

Is her going to K this year a neccessity? Maybe she would benefit from homeschooling K, continuing with the social skills classes and going to 1st grade next fall. This would allow her to work at her own levels as well as get a better handle on some of the sensory issues/impulse control type issues. If K's had aides like they used to, this would be so much easier to deal with. However, 1/2 day with a group of 5-year-olds..... . I don't know how much you'll be able to count on one-on-one attention from the teacher sadly.

 


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#3 of 14 Old 09-23-2011, 07:12 AM
 
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Has your DD had a recent full evaluation documenting both her special needs and her IQ?  If not, I would start there.

 

One of the other purposes of coloring sheets is to work on the fine motor skills necessary for writing, and kids with the general make up of your DD tend to have fine motor issues. She may hate them because they are work for her.


but everything has pros and cons  shrug.gif

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#4 of 14 Old 09-23-2011, 08:26 AM
 
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I would talk to your DD teacher at conferences.

 

divide it into two sections

 

 

1. Her behavior and how to address it. Make sure she is getting the support she needs

 

 

2. Academics- how will they accommodate her. Also ask about the curriculum and what it will look like as the year progresses. It is still early days. A good school will have differentiated instruction for writing, math, and reading. Honestly- they likely will split into reading groups with-in the classroom soon. Journals (writing) are easy easy to differentiate. Each child writes/works at their level. Math you may have to see- some school do math groups and some dont. Often in K it is actually easier to differentiate since they do a lot of center work and they can do 1-3 levels of work at each center or the centers are open-ended thinking activities.

 

It is unlikely that they would send a K student to another classroom due to the time, classroom structure,  and age differences.

 

 

That said- My own DDs are 2/3 months older than your DD (Oct Bday) and if we lived in the state we just moved from they would be in K (they are in 1st here and skipped K). We would be facing a similar problem since one DD has a PDD_NOS dx but high academic level. Other DD has physical special needs and high academic level. They still are going to have to accommodate both girls in 1st to meet their reading/writing needs. One will need Math differentiation or extension activities. Right now in 1st they are practicing writing numbers.But not due to kiddos not knowing numbers, but as part of handwriting practice (many kiddos this age also still have reversals). Math is simple addition and counting patterns. 

 

Ask about potentially having her do advanced academic work in the resource room. That would be a great multi-age area to do so with the behavior support in place.

 

As for talking to your DD. Explain that the beginning of the year is supposed to be easy for everyone so they can get used to school (it is). That is the approach we took and it seems so far to be working well. My DDs understand that is it is easy for now as they learn the 'rules' of school. Hopefully it will get more challenging.

 

Good Luck at your conference!

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#5 of 14 Old 09-23-2011, 09:20 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by whatsnextmom View Post

 

The behavior issues are a real stumbling block. I think you are right that going to an advanced grade for academic challenge may not be the best course of action. How independant a worker is she? Does she have access to classroom computers? Perhaps replacing some of that worksheet time with computer time would be a benefit. How about the school librarian or campus reading specialist? She should be at least be able to get math sheets at her level though she may be sensitive to having different work than her classmates.

 

Is her going to K this year a neccessity? Maybe she would benefit from homeschooling K, continuing with the social skills classes and going to 1st grade next fall. This would allow her to work at her own levels as well as get a better handle on some of the sensory issues/impulse control type issues. If K's had aides like they used to, this would be so much easier to deal with. However, 1/2 day with a group of 5-year-olds..... . I don't know how much you'll be able to count on one-on-one attention from the teacher sadly.

 



They do have 4 computers in the classroom; I don't know what software is available.  She is fairly socially inept and has never expressed any difficulty with doing different things from her classmates.  She attended a Montessori preschool for 2.5 years so she may still take it as a given that everyone can do different things.

 

I'll check about a campus reading specialist and about the librarian. She's ok with working independently until she has trouble, and then if she feels stuck she tends to disintegrate into tears and panic in short order.

 

Yes, I do think going is necessary. She needs the practice interacting with kids her age, especially when she can be directed by an adult.  And honestly, we just don't have enough structure at home to really do school work; we struggled all summer trying to create structure and it just didn't go well.  Her brother is too active and still needs too much watching.


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#6 of 14 Old 09-23-2011, 09:26 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by Linda on the move View Post

Has your DD had a recent full evaluation documenting both her special needs and her IQ?  If not, I would start there.

 

One of the other purposes of coloring sheets is to work on the fine motor skills necessary for writing, and kids with the general make up of your DD tend to have fine motor issues. She may hate them because they are work for her.



Yes, she had an IQ test last November.  She took the WPSII and her scores were at the 99th percentile. I provided a copy of the results to the school district when she was evaluated the same month for special services, so it should be in her file.  She has independent physical therapy and independent occupational therapy through the private clinic for older kids at our Early Intervention center, and she saw a neurologist in June, and will see her against in November. 

 

Her fine motor skills are fairly average; she spends a lot of time at home drawing and writing.  The two things that are new to her in Kindergarten are D'Nealian handwriting and proper use of the 3-lines primary writing paper, and she seems to be taking to both things very quickly.


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#7 of 14 Old 09-23-2011, 09:37 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by KCMichigan View Post

I would talk to your DD teacher at conferences.

 

divide it into two sections

 

 

1. Her behavior and how to address it. Make sure she is getting the support she needs

 

 

2. Academics- how will they accommodate her. Also ask about the curriculum and what it will look like as the year progresses. It is still early days. A good school will have differentiated instruction for writing, math, and reading. Honestly- they likely will split into reading groups with-in the classroom soon. Journals (writing) are easy easy to differentiate. Each child writes/works at their level. Math you may have to see- some school do math groups and some dont. Often in K it is actually easier to differentiate since they do a lot of center work and they can do 1-3 levels of work at each center or the centers are open-ended thinking activities.

 

...

 

Ask about potentially having her do advanced academic work in the resource room. That would be a great multi-age area to do so with the behavior support in place.

 


I'll ask about the resource room.  I'm not sure yet what all the resource room does but so far the resource room teacher has been easy to work with.

 

According to the reading I was doing last night (I'm just starting a Master's in Teaching education program), nearly 90% of elementary teachers use reading groups but only 15-18% use math groups.  I'm scratching my head trying to figure out how so many classes get away without math groups.  .My suspicion is that realistically, a kindergarten classroom with 21 kids and very little aide support isn't likely to do much grouping in any subject.  Which is also where I get back to wondering what accomodation is reasonable to expect or ask for? 

 

On the up side, I did read this morning that as of a couple months ago, education for "highly capable" children is legally part of the "basic education" role of the state here in Washington.  Which seems to mean they are required to do something for children who are deemed "highly capable", and it seems like DD should quality based on being ahead in specified academic subjects and also due to her IQ test results.  By what exactly they WILL do is a big question mark.

 


Erin, mom to DD (1/06) and DS (10/09)
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#8 of 14 Old 09-23-2011, 02:37 PM
 
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To be brutally honest, here is what we got in K:

--DD was allowed to read silently during reading instruction
--She was also given "book reports" to do at times, which the other kids didn't get
ANNNNNND that's it.

We have yet to see math differentiation, and she is in 2nd grade and now attends a gifted school. However, they are starting some computer math programs soon where they get to work at their own pace.

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#9 of 14 Old 09-23-2011, 03:00 PM
 
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My son's school is making wonderful accommodations for kindergarten. His quirks are probably not as problematic/disruptive as your daughter's, but he is a very quirky little guy.

 

He is reading at a 4th grade level, and understands math concepts at the level of the average 8-10 year old. the school has him in a first grade classroom for language arts--the group he is in is reading at a second grade level, but is the highest group in the first grade. For math, they have the gifted specialist working with him one day a week in a flexible small group (by flexible, they mean him every time and a rotation of 5-6 other students who are selected by their teachers) and the math specialist and gifted specialist are helping the teacher create appropriate work for him on the other days. we didn't want him in first grade all day--he doesn't have the stamina or fine motor skills for that yet, and he has a really good friend in his kindie class. besides, they would have to be providing him with the same differentiated experience in first grade since there are no math peers for him in first grade either.

 

We are satisfied with this right now, and have not pushed for formal identification yet. they prefer to do their first round of identifications in first grade, and since they are working with him without identification, we don't feel a need to push them to do it now.(after watching the troop of kindergarten parents lining up to talk to the gifted teacher at back to school night when they learned she is doing a small group and her attempts at deflecting their disappointment that their child hadn't participated yet, I fully support them in wanting to wait and let some of the advantages that some children have in terms of readiness shake out). Our school is an interesting slice of our town, and is very richly staffed because of its large number of low-income students. 16 students in his class with a full time assistant, and 6 or 7 specialists who come in and out for learning support.

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#10 of 14 Old 09-23-2011, 03:18 PM
 
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OT: Aufilia, are you in LWSD or Bellevue?  I knew LWSD was cutting 1st grade quest next year (because they do split classes in many of the programs and they are going to K-5 next year, so instead of having 1/2, 3/4 and 5/6 they will have 2/3 and 4/5).  Anyway, just hadn't heard anything about Bellevue.
 

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Originally Posted by Aufilia View Post

 

On the up side, I did read this morning that as of a couple months ago, education for "highly capable" children is legally part of the "basic education" role of the state here in Washington.  Which seems to mean they are required to do something for children who are deemed "highly capable", and it seems like DD should quality based on being ahead in specified academic subjects and also due to her IQ test results.  By what exactly they WILL do is a big question mark.

 


Yes, that is the question.  I know in LWSD there are some good programs, but they definately don't go outside of those programs.  And, of course, they can offer you a placement in a school that is 40+ minutes from your home with no provided transportation and consider that offering accomidations.

 

Good luck!
 

 


 

 

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#11 of 14 Old 09-23-2011, 09:07 PM - Thread Starter
 
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OT: Aufilia, are you in LWSD or Bellevue?  I knew LWSD was cutting 1st grade quest next year (because they do split classes in many of the programs and they are going to K-5 next year, so instead of having 1/2, 3/4 and 5/6 they will have 2/3 and 4/5).  Anyway, just hadn't heard anything about Bellevue.
 


Yes, that is the question.  I know in LWSD there are some good programs, but they definately don't go outside of those programs.  And, of course, they can offer you a placement in a school that is 40+ minutes from your home with no provided transportation and consider that offering accomidations.

 



We're in LWSD and part of the reason we moved over the border from Bellevue was because they started their TAG program a year earlier. I wondered what the reasoning was for dropping 1st--the district newsletter was vague on that point.  It makes me really angry, though. The transportation issues worry and upset me, too.  I don't see how they can consider it reasonable to assign students to schools where they are basically required to have a parent available to drive them or the financial ability to hire someone to do it for them.  How is that not exclusionary?


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#12 of 14 Old 09-25-2011, 02:48 PM
 
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We're in LWSD and part of the reason we moved over the border from Bellevue was because they started their TAG program a year earlier. I wondered what the reasoning was for dropping 1st--the district newsletter was vague on that point.  It makes me really angry, though. The transportation issues worry and upset me, too.  I don't see how they can consider it reasonable to assign students to schools where they are basically required to have a parent available to drive them or the financial ability to hire someone to do it for them.  How is that not exclusionary?


The transportation issue has always been there.  Because they do it based on scores, highest to lowest, you are not guaranteed a placement in your closest school.  Currenty, they bus from your local school to your Quest school, but even that is not guaranted.  Just like kids who go to choice schools (or part-time quest at this point) pay for bussing.  I think it's totally dishonest, but it's not a new thing.

 

The Bellevue Prism  program used to be more exclusive than Quest (99th v 97th percentiles) and they would actually take out of district kids. Now, Quest is up to 99th% and still don't take out of district--- there are just way too many kids, I guess.  I'm sorry it's not working out time-wise for your family--- I know we're lucky our kids are a bit older and already in (and with DD,almost out) of the program.
 

 


 

 

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#13 of 14 Old 09-26-2011, 11:56 AM
 
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The very first thing that I would ask the teacher for is that she schedule you for a conference time slot that gives you extra time (maybe thirty minutes extra) to discuss your child. 

 

I mean this in all sincerity. A parent who comes in with a concern of any sort that needs to be discussed needs more time than the allotted fifteen minute time slot.  The teacher has already got most of that time already mapped out. Ten of those fifteen minutes are going to be occupied by things like showing you samples of your child's work and what the teacher found out from her beginning of the year assessment of your child's basic skills.  You might, if you're lucky, have five minutes to ask any questions that you might have.  For most parents, five minutes is plenty.  For me, when I attended my dd's K conference, five minutes was barely enough, and my concerns were very minor.  In order to allow your daughter's teacher to give your questions the attention they deserve, you don't want the teacher to feel pressured by a backup of other parents lining up in the hallway as the teacher runs farther and farther behind schedule.

 

So if I were you, I would sent the teacher a quick note today, before the teacher starts working on the conference schedule appointments, to request that you have X extra minutes for your conference, preferably the last conference time slot of the day.

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#14 of 14 Old 10-12-2011, 09:15 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Emilysmama -- This is super late but thanks -- as it turned out, I had the VERY last conference of the week with no one after me, so I lucked out with the timing. :) 

 

 

I thought I'd just follow up on my thread in case this is useful to anyone else.

 

The teacher seems to have DD's number down pretty well.  They'd done a couple formal assessments, which DD either passed with blazing colors OR refused to complete.  She still passed that she took only half of... just not with the highest score in the class. 

 

Another mom who I've chatted with a lot had the very first conference of the week and told me mid-week that the teacher was planning to do a reading group with the better readers in it.  Since I knew her son was ahead of level but not as ahead as DD, I was skeptical about this idea but willing to hear it out.  After all, our school boundaries include a heckofalotof kids of really bright software engineers, the demographics here are definitely skewed toward bright, high-achieving people.

 

But the teacher didn't even mention the reading group.  She told me she was planning to get some AR (advanced reader? accelerated reader? whatever the reading program is) books from higher grades and have DD work through those at her own pace.  She will give DD books to read and take home to read, and DD will go back and take the comprehension test.  I suggested starting in the 2nd grade or above because I tested DD with some AR stuff last year and that's as high as we made it before we ran out of borrowed materials.  Teacher was ok with that. 

 

The teacher also suggested setting DD up with math work through IXL.com (the school has a subscription) on the computers in their classroom. 

 

So far I don't think any of this has started, but it's only been 3 class days. I decided I'll give it until about the middle of next week and then ask about the timeline.

 

She flat out said that DD is by far the best reader among her 40 half-day Kindergarten students and then asked if I'd heard that the TAG program won't be accepting 1st graders next year.  She was also aghast that the last specialist we saw still didn't think DD qualifies as either Asperger's or ADHD.  This news apparently got back to the special ed teacher, because the special ed teacher emailed me a list of local specialists in case I wanted to try again for a diagnosis.


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