Approaching the school about next year - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 5 Old 03-27-2012, 04:26 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Hello, I'm only recently coming to terms with DS being truly gifted (clued in by his 20-year teacher who said, "He has one of the greatest intellects I've ever seen.")

 

I want to approach someone at school about plans for him next year, specifically for reading. He'll be in third grade. His latest Lexile/SRI was above 1200 (they test it three times a year at our school). Up til now, he has been adamant about staying with his class. But he is starting to complain about reading being boring at school. He brought home his reading book today and it is so, SO easy.

 

Our school year ends before the end of May, so I kind of feel like we'll just finish the year out as is, but I'd like a plan for next year. I have a good relationship with the principal, so do I meet with her? I want to know what the highest level third grade group is, and can they offer more? Are they required to? We're in California. The G&T program doesn't start until 4th grade.

 

Any advice?

 

thanks,

-e


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#2 of 5 Old 03-28-2012, 09:48 AM
 
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 If you can, maybe talk to the teacher and ask if he/she can give your child different reading books/assignments?   I don't know how open teachers are to that. I wish I had done that for my son's teacher this year - and much more. It's been torturous for him.


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#3 of 5 Old 03-28-2012, 10:41 AM
 
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Personally, we found 3rd grade a breath of fresh air. At least in our district, 2nd grade is the end of "learning to read" and by 3rd grade, all the kids were fluent and reading chapter books. There were some grammar worksheets here and there but mostly they read stories and books (usually of their own choosing) and wrote about them. That's something a gifted child can bring to their own level easily.

 

We're in CA too and have found that really, what a school can offer varies drastically from campus to campus. My kids elementary/middle schools were extremely flexible... lots of differentiation, subjects acceleration, advanced classes, full grade acceleration when needed. 

 

I'd not wait until May to ask for at least some minor accommodations. There really isn't a reason he can't choose his own reading material and it'll be easier to get accommodation next year if he's already proved himself capable of advanced work this year. Just be honest with the teacher... "DS has been comfortable reading along with peers until recently. Lately he's been frustrated with the material he's been given. He's scoring high in reading, is there anyway to give him more challenge in this area?" It's a start.


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#4 of 5 Old 03-28-2012, 11:38 AM
 
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Take advantage of the fact that the teacher sees it, too.

 

Ask her what she feels would be appropriate for him.  Mention that he's complaining about the pace of instruction and that he's asking for more.  Ask her what she can do to support his love for reading and his love of challenge now and next year.  Some possibilities are pull outs, subject accelerations, grade skips, or enrichments.  One of the smartest kids I know is thriving with meeting with the school's librarian once a week for reading.  Others require a subject or full grade acceleration.  What's the right fit often depends as much upon personality and learning style as it does on intellect.

 

Things move much more smoothly if they come from the teacher.  A parent going to the school and asking for more for their kid is generally met with resistance.  A teacher advocating for the child is viewed entirely differently by the school's administration.

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#5 of 5 Old 03-28-2012, 01:04 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for the advice. You guys have some good ideas. I hesitate to approach his teacher because, while I do like her, she's an odd bird. She's likely to say to my son, in front of the class, "So reading with the group is getting too boring for you, eh, R?" And he'll never forgive me. Tough to know if it's worth it to make an issue of. Sigh. But then, there are only two reading groups in his class of 25. No other differentiation, which is kind of ridiculous. DS would really stick out if he was reading on his own, which is something he's always wanted to avoid.

 

It's great to hear that third grade might be a big turning point. I know plenty of third grade parents, so I'll ask them what the reading material is like. Hopefully it is more self-directed.

 

I need to muse a little longer on this, but I appreciate having all these ideas to consider.

-e


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