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#1 of 9 Old 08-19-2012, 06:16 AM - Thread Starter
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I'm not a big MDC poster anymore, but this forum was helpful when my son was younger. 

Anyway, my middle son, age 6, is starting 2nd grade tomorrow. He was lucky to have a fabulous teacher for 1st who gave him a lot of freedom to do his own thing and really appreciated his quirks. He also had a boy in his class who was working near his level, so they were able to do reading/spelling/etc. as a pair. They worked together in K also. This year, that kid moved away and we have a new teacher, of course, who doesn't seem as warm as last year's teacher. Just looking through his books, I'm nervous about 2nd grade. They seem way, way too basic for a kid who reads at a 7th-8th grade level according to his teachers (he has also "mastered" 2nd grade math according to a test he took through the public school system). I'm not going to say anything until I give his teacher a few weeks to adjust (hoping for the best).

We've had such a relaxing summer and I hate having to deal with all this again. I wish I didn't have to fight for my kid to get an education. Talk me down! 

I'm also considering asking for another grade skip if they can't find anyone else in his grade to work with him-- I know he and his friend were the only two near the same level at the end of last year, but hopefully another kid or two has caught up over the summer. Have any of you had a 6 yr. old in 3rd grade?

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#2 of 9 Old 08-19-2012, 07:26 AM
 
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Originally Posted by MJB View Post

I'm not a big MDC poster anymore, but this forum was helpful when my son was younger. 

Anyway, my middle son, age 6, is starting 2nd grade tomorrow. He was lucky to have a fabulous teacher for 1st who gave him a lot of freedom to do his own thing and really appreciated his quirks. He also had a boy in his class who was working near his level, so they were able to do reading/spelling/etc. as a pair. They worked together in K also. This year, that kid moved away and we have a new teacher, of course, who doesn't seem as warm as last year's teacher. Just looking through his books, I'm nervous about 2nd grade. They seem way, way too basic for a kid who reads at a 7th-8th grade level according to his teachers (he has also "mastered" 2nd grade math according to a test he took through the public school system). I'm not going to say anything until I give his teacher a few weeks to adjust (hoping for the best).

We've had such a relaxing summer and I hate having to deal with all this again. I wish I didn't have to fight for my kid to get an education. Talk me down! 

I'm also considering asking for another grade skip if they can't find anyone else in his grade to work with him-- I know he and his friend were the only two near the same level at the end of last year, but hopefully another kid or two has caught up over the summer. Have any of you had a 6 yr. old in 3rd grade?

 

 

My 6 yr olds are starting 2nd in two weeks (they will be 7 in late Fall) but are age eligible for the state we are in, but very young for grade. They had a mostly wonderful 1st grade year, with reading being the one place I was dissatisfied- they were in an advanced reading group, but mostly left to read with/to the small group not a lot of instruction. But their spelling/writing really really took off. They both were able to do differentiated spelling and math enrichment. Their placement in Art, gym, music, etc was really spot on and appropriate for them.

 

My vote would be to give the school a week or two. A non-warm-and-fuzzy-teacher may be just as good at meeting needs as a last year. It is not so much teacher personality as much as teacher willingness and adaptability. Some of the books and materials may be the standard curriculum, but any good teacher and program knows that kids will walk into 2nd with a wide wide range and be able to swing reading/spelling/writing/math up and down as needed. 

 

There may also be some students in the new class that could pair up with him- kids move in/out etc all the time. Kids grow over the summer, etc. Or your DS may not have a match for reading or spelling, but find kids at his math level.

 

As for the grade skip. Have you taken the IAS? How open is your school to multi-aging? Moving for subjects? Enrichment?

 

Does your school have a 2/3 split? That would be an option since there is likely some 3rd graders working way above grade-level so you could have reading levels from 1st to 5/6th and math likely the same if you have the right combination of kids.

 

Could your DS go to 3rd (or higher) for reading and math and stay with 2nd for other activities? Would his writing and spelling skills be up for skipping? (3rd grade is a very big year for writing- they work on essays and multi-page narratives. Schools that do cursive often require it in 3rd)

 

Can you meet with an administrator and the teacher before hand and preview what your DS year will look like? Get some ideas and proactive things in place? Hopefully the school will be flexible and meet your DS needs!

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#3 of 9 Old 08-19-2012, 10:41 AM
 
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Teachers tend to be less "warm and fuzzy" after 1st grade. I wouldn't assume she won't be good for your son. All of our best experiences were with teachers who were "all business."

 

I'd be hesitant to skip an additional grade at this juncture. I don't know where your DS is or what 3rd grade looks like in your area but in our area, 3rd grade is very heavy on writing... creative, autobiographical, research papers, ect. All that writing can be physically taxing on a 6-year-old even if they are more than capable intellectually. Might not be an issue for your son at all but something to consider. Both my own were 6 in second grade but went to the 3rd grade for math. It was a good set-up for them as neither would have wanted to be in the 3rd grade class full time at that age. Personally, we found 2nd grade English to work well as the assignments were open-ended enough to accommodate any reading level, personalized spelling lists, ect.

 

It may be that your DS does have another skip in his future but I'd certainly give 2nd grade a real try first. There are alternatives and acceleration options down the road that might work better.


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#4 of 9 Old 08-19-2012, 01:38 PM
 
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My dd2 found 2nd grade to be a bit boring. I did not advocate heavily for her as this was our first year at public school and I had been very involved in the private school she attended before— that coupled with elder-care issues and I just didn't become as involved as I had in prior years. Public school didn't seem to need me as much and I was a bit burnt out. (The private school ultimately floundered and failed.)

 

That said, I had heard before her 2nd grade year last year that 2nd grade is sort of a catch up year for many schools. The kids who came out of 1st grade having trouble with reading and math have to catch up before going on to 3rd grade where things get more serious. She was pretty annoyed at the beginning of the year when she was having to read "easy" books like "Frog and Toad" for school when she was reading "Harry Potter" at home. She did end up getting pulled out to do some small group reading work with one of the gifted specialists for the school and she was happier then, but it was really pretty late in the year. I did explain to her that 2nd grade is a catch up year to make sure everybody is ready for 3rd grade and that seemed to help. 

 

She's really excited about getting some more challenging work in 3rd grade. We haven't started school yet here, but I did tell the teacher that dd2 is excited about being more challenged when she called to introduce herself. I will be a bit more proactive in advocating for dd2 this year. The teacher didn't seem unreceptive to that and assured me that things will be more challenging for her this year. Our school has a large percentage of gifted students, though, so I'm sure they're used to kids at her level as she's not profoundly gifted, but just straight "gifted" (I think, w/o having her scores yet).

 

3rd grade is the year when our schools screen for the gifted programs. They use the Naglieri (NNAT), so I hope following that she will be placed in some appropriate working groups. 

 

I would let your ds know that in the beginning of the year the teachers will be doing evaluations to see where everyone is and at that time it can seem a little bit like he's having to do work that is "too easy", but as they see how well he does with it he should get some more challenging work. (Hopefully that's the way it will work for him.) I would let him know about the assessing and evaluating that happens early in the year, though, because sometimes it can seem like the whole year is going to be spent reading "Frog and Toad", y'know?

 

I don't have experience with grade skipping, but I think it could be hard socially for a 6 yr old to be in 3rd grade. My dd2 has a fall birthday and is almost 9. She has friends who have little sibs who are 6. I would consider skipping dd2 if the school suggested it since she has that fall b-day, but mostly she has seemed to be in the right group socially, so I wouldn't advocate for it unless our schools suggested it. I think they're unlikely to do that in our case as she's not _that_ much farther ahead and they do have several gifted programs that should be able to meet her needs.

 

Oh, and I agree that "warm & fuzzy" doesn't have that much bearing on meeting academic needs. A no-nonsense approach can be fine if the teacher is flexible enough to recognize the different needs of the kids. Give her the benefit of the doubt for now.


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#5 of 9 Old 08-19-2012, 03:10 PM
 
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My 6 year old is skipping first and going into second this year. According to the MAP scores that we used as part of the skipping discussion, he could have skipped to third grade and been "ready" academically. However, we knew that socially, he was not ready for third grade, and that in terms of attention span, stamina, work output, independence etc., third grade would be too much of a stretch.

 

our other thought is that we want to "save" his second skip for later--probably in middle school, since middle school is so horrendous for most kids anyway. I would be reluctant to do a second skip so early because I would want to keep it in the toolbox for later.
 

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#6 of 9 Old 08-19-2012, 04:54 PM
 
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My DS is also skipping first. We have a meeting scheduled already for the end of the first quarter to discuss further subject acceleration in math. At this point, we're going to see how far we can get with subject accelerations (math only) without another skip. The school is studying what to do with DS this fall. They've said very clearly they've never seen math scores that high (Woodcock Johnson achievement). I fear that he'll master all concepts too quickly to be served in K-6, so one possibility is for him to stay closer in grade with math and be pulled out twice a week. I'm not so keen with sending an 7 year old to the middle school, a prospect we're facing down.

I wonder if a hybrid solution could be found?

MJB, IIRC, your DS is in a small private school. Might a larger public provide him more peers?
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#7 of 9 Old 08-19-2012, 09:18 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for your posts. 

I definitely want to wait and see how it goes for a while. I know his 1st grade teacher wanted him to get the teacher he has so I know it is the best placement. The teachers at his school are all very good. We did look into public school, including a gifted and talented magnet, which he was accepted into, but the gifted coordinator there said they didn't have any kids in his grade near his level and he would probably be subject accelerated to 3rd for reading at least, as well as in her book club with 4th and 5th graders. I liked that he had a peer in his class at his school, and that the teachers and administrators there all know him. We discussed grade skipping in kindergarten but decided to wait, and 1st grade was such a fun year we definitely didn't want to move him then.

I think he could handle third grade, and probably be fine socially (he's athletic and generally a kid's kid), but the idea of saving that skip for later is really something to think about. I do like the idea of subject acceleration better than a full skip, especially since he has lots of friends in 2nd and only a couple in 3rd. There are no multi-age classrooms at his school. He hasn't taken the IAS.

I do think there are a lot of kids in 2nd at his school who read at a 4th-5th level so maybe that is good enough? If he's only a year or so ahead in math I think they can probably manage that in his grade, I only mentioned it since it wouldn't hinder him if he skipped. His spelling is fantastic and his writing is pretty average for a 2nd grade boy-- the letters are a little messier but easily read and he's great with capitalization/punctuation/etc. 

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#8 of 9 Old 08-19-2012, 10:01 PM
 
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Our son had a subject acceleration last year for reading, which is what got the school thinking about a grade skip, so I think it is a great compromise or trial/bridge. It turns out his math skills are stronger than his reading skills, and he may end up subject accelerated in math as a third grader into the fourth grade class.
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#9 of 9 Old 08-19-2012, 10:35 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MJB View Post

I do think there are a lot of kids in 2nd at his school who read at a 4th-5th level so maybe that is good enough? If he's only a year or so ahead in math I think they can probably manage that in his grade, I only mentioned it since it wouldn't hinder him if he skipped. His spelling is fantastic and his writing is pretty average for a 2nd grade boy-- the letters are a little messier but easily read and he's great with capitalization/punctuation/etc. 

 

There is very little difference between a 5th grade level reader and an 8th grade level reader. You'll find that most modern adult fiction sits around the 5th/6th grade level. I know, for my kids, between ages 6 and 10, they really enjoyed much of the same reading material as their agemates in regards to fiction. In fact, they were super annoyed in middle school when they had to do Accelerated Reader for the first time and they were stuck reading a dozen classics by Dickens and Jane Austen in a year because there was really nothing else in the reading level they were trapped in. I have nothing against classics but when they were 10, they just didn't find a whole lot to relate to in Jane Austen and Charles Dickens. Also, they stop looking so different. Where a 1st grade level reader and a 3rd grade level reader can seem planets apart, the line between the 3rd and 5th grade level readers is much narrower. The line between 5th grade level and 8th, hardly noticeable. In second grade, we saw a lot more open choices in reading material, individual book reports, far fewer worksheets, individualized spelling lists... open-ended enough to work for mine. Hopefully you'll find the same.

 

A year ahead in math is pretty do-able too. In our district, there was always a portion working about a year ahead within the classroom. They really don't subject accelerate kids unless they are more like 2 years ahead... that way a second grader can go to the 3rd grade to work with the advanced 3rd graders doing 4th grade work. But then, I don't know the drill for other schools.

 

Anyway, good luck to him. Hope it goes well!


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