What would make you satisfied with your school? - Mothering Forums
Forum Jump: 
 
Thread Tools
#1 of 4 Old 11-07-2011, 08:53 AM - Thread Starter
 
spedteacher30's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Posts: 1,065
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

We have a parent conference for our kindergarten son later today. He attends a high-needs public elementary school in a university town. I used to be a special ed teacher, and ran our Child Study/SST/round table, so i have a lot of experience with working with parents. I often asked that very question during a roundtable, because we often found ourselves locked into two camps, and talking about the parents' hopes sometimes helped us get to a consensus.

 

Right now, we are satisfied--we have reason to believe our son is profoundly gifted due to some test scores we received last year during a psych work up for ASD/SPD/Anxiety. he went into kindergarten reading at a fourth grade level, but highly reluctant to read anything in public, and refusing to read anything more than simple picture books. He is also doing mental math for all four operations, and understands fractions intuitively.

 

So, right now, the school has him in a first grade class for 2 hours for language arts--he is reading higher than the kids in that group, but he isn't ready for a second grade placement due to attention issues, fatigue, and handwriting skills. He told us this weekend that right now, his reading group is doing a "character study" and all the kids are reading different books about Arthur (the non-descript PBS animal) and that he is the only one reading a chapter book about Arthur. He receives math instruction one day a week with the gifted specialist who comes to his classroom, and then she provides the teacher with additional ideas for differentiation for the rest of the week.

 

the school is also working really hard with him on social skills, focus and impulse control--all areas he struggles with daily. for the most part, we're totally satisfied, and all of the differentiation and individualization came at their suggestion.

 

Do you think we've set our expectations too low? Right now, he is basically happy to go to school, basically meeting expectations for behavior, and seems to be learning a lot about handwriting and focus. he had never learned to consistently form numerals, for example, and didn't know his lower case letters in handwriting. He knows these things now.

spedteacher30 is offline  
#2 of 4 Old 11-07-2011, 10:51 AM
 
whatsnextmom's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Posts: 1,926
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 11 Post(s)

I don't think your expectations are too low. Like you said, he's happy to go to school and he is gaining new skills. You said when he started K, he'd only read pictures books despite ability but with this subject acceleration, he's openly reading a chapter book. That sounds like progress to me. He's in a school that recognizes his abilities and offering what they can. It sounds like he's in a very positive environment. It may not be a permanent solution but it's working right now so enjoy! 

 

Personally, what makes us satisfied is engaged kids. This does not necessarily mean they are challenged on all fronts at school. For DD, it's ALL about the teacher. If she has even one teacher who treats her like a grown-up and is available for in-depth conversation on anything (even if it's only at lunch,) she's totally satisfied. Thankfully, she's had that all but 9th grade. DS wants peer interaction and project work. He not only loves but he seems to physically/mentally NEED it. Foreign languages and math are the ONLY two areas he truly wants challenge in. Everything else should not insult his intelligence but also not force him to shift his focus. His schools have offered him that. We just take it year by year. If they need/want more one year then we make sure they get it. If the next, they are quite happy with limited accommodation, then we leave it at that.

 

The thing to remember about reading is that you don't have to always be reading at your decoding level to be growing and learning. Gosh, DD was reading 5th to 6th grade level her K/1st grade year and she LOVED Arthur. She was even given the whole chapter book series from the author himself and got to talk to him about the characters and who they were based on in his personal life. Yes, she was capable of reading at a far higher levels but she was 5 and still related to the characters and the situations presented. I think doing character study on those books is a great use for his time even if he *can* read higher.


Married mom of two, DD 17 and DS 13.
whatsnextmom is online now  
#3 of 4 Old 11-07-2011, 11:05 AM
 
KCMichigan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 922
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)


Quote:
Originally Posted by spedteacher30 View Post

 

Right now, we are satisfied--we have reason to believe our son is profoundly gifted due to some test scores we received last year during a psych work up for ASD/SPD/Anxiety. he went into kindergarten reading at a fourth grade level, but highly reluctant to read anything in public, and refusing to read anything more than simple picture books. He is also doing mental math for all four operations, and understands fractions intuitively.

 

I would be happy that you and he seem happy and he is learning. Social skills, handwriting, and focus ability will really come into play as he gets older. Also the math ' pencil/paper' skills, though easy and likely to come quickly are needed to transfer what he can do mentally to paper- which as he gets older less information will be assessed verbally and more will be required written.

 

So, right now, the school has him in a first grade class for 2 hours for language arts--he is reading higher than the kids in that group, but he isn't ready for a second grade placement due to attention issues, fatigue, and handwriting skills.He told us this weekend that right now, his reading group is doing a "character study" and all the kids are reading different books about Arthur (the non-descript PBS animal) and that he is the only one reading a chapter book about Arthur.

 

I would ask about this. The Character study is GREAT! It allows kiddos to gain depth to text and can easily be done at varying levels. BUT I am surprised that there is not a 1st grade reading group reading chapter books. My two first graders are in a reading group reading Chapter Books (brought home a level M-- early 3rd chapter book) that they are doing a Character study on and this is a reading group of 5 kids across three 1st grade classes led by a 1st grade teacher. We have no GT support in this state.

 

 

the school is also working really hard with him on social skills, focus and impulse control--all areas he struggles with daily. for the most part, we're totally satisfied, and all of the differentiation and individualization came at their suggestion.

 

I think this is wonderful too. Once these skills are in place, they may need to do more differentiation. For now: some of those skills will really benefit him to be solid before he goes on to 1st.

 

My DD with anxiety/SPD and a few other delays is struggling socially in 1st and working on social skills and focus. She is very bright, but currently her slow handwriting and social awkwardness is hampering her ability to complete work and/or function as well as she could in the classroom. She is also very young, which I remind the teacher of. Some kids are a full 18 months older.

 

Do you think we've set our expectations too low? Right now, he is basically happy to go to school, basically meeting expectations for behavior, and seems to be learning a lot about handwriting and focus. he had never learned to consistently form numerals, for example, and didn't know his lower case letters in handwriting. He knows these things now.

 

Honestly, it sounds good for now. He is learning important skills that will be very useful when he masters them. He is happy and with a history of SPD/anxiety stuff, that is what you want.

 

I would absolutely  make sure you reassess in a few weeks though. He may need more (maybe moving to 2nd for instruction?) as he develops his writing skills and social skills. Academic differentiation is likely to be a stronger need as time goes on.

 

It is young in the year yet. So the fact that he is getting so much individualized attention and work is very positive and shows the school is trying to work with you. It is a lot more than many many schools would do. But, as I said--- I would make sure that this is not the status quo for the rest of the year. Much like other kiddos that should be fluidly moving reading/writing/math groups as skills change, your DS should be assessed and adjusted reading/writing/math as needed.

 

 



 

KCMichigan is offline  
#4 of 4 Old 11-07-2011, 03:59 PM - Thread Starter
 
spedteacher30's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Posts: 1,065
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

Well, it's not like the first graders in his reading group aren't growing and progressing along with him. They stopped testing him at level M on the third day of school. The other kids are all at level K-M in that group, with DS being the strongest reader. Once they knew he was at or above the highest level in first grade, they didn't bother to go further in their placement tests because he was starting to resist.

 

The Arthur picture books are all levels L-N, and the chapter book is higher. The issue is that the other kids aren't fluent and fast enough readers to get through a chapter book, and DS balks at smaller type and more words on the page. For example, DS is the only kid in the group who can easily read silently--the others still read under their breath while reading to themselves.

 

The gifted specialists (there are two--one for talent development for K-2, and one for identified gifted students in grades 1-4, though the gifted teacher is working with him as an exception this year) are planning ways to further serve him--he might start going to first grade for a twice a week group lesson with the GT teacher that rotates between science and social studies. The TD teacher is already working with him 4 times a week, but might bump it up.

 

 

spedteacher30 is offline  
Reply

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the Mothering Forums forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.
User Name:
If you do not want to register, fill this field only and the name will be used as user name for your post.
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.
Password:
Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.
Email Address:

Log-in

Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.



User Tag List

Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page


Forum Jump: 

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are Off