Science Class Acceleration - WWYD? **UPDATED DD's in!** - Page 2 - Mothering Forums

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#31 of 35 Old 06-05-2013, 09:09 AM
 
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Yeah!!!  Keep us posted when the school year starts! clap.gif
 


but everything has pros and cons  shrug.gif

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#32 of 35 Old 01-02-2014, 11:50 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I've posted this is a different thread, but I thought I'd put this update here as well:

DD (13 years old) just finished her 1st semester of HS, after skipping 8th grade. She certainly got her first real taste of challenge, both to her intellect, and her executive functioning skills. And learning that even though it sounds fun, maybe joining every after school group you are interested in *may not* be the best use of your time.

First real challenge: Honors Conceptual Physics. She completely missed the Physics unit from last year's science class (moved from 7th grade science to 8th grade science 2/3 of the year through). She really has a difficult time wanting to track scores/grades, and also has a hard time acknowledging that the need to ask for help is not a sign of weakness or lack of ability. So she got a B for the first quarter because she failed to keep track of her tests. labs, and homework, and in doing so, missed her chance to correct two low (high 70's) grades. Her teacher had a pretty liberal policy where they can correct any work for partial credit to improve a grade.

She was pulling a low to mid A for the second quarter, and needed to do fairly well on the final to squeak out an A. Her class was given the final a week early, so they would have a chance to retake it on the true final day, and the teacher would average the two grades. Low B on first take; high B on second take. Her teacher made a deal with her - get a 89.5 average and I'll give you the A. Guess what average she ended with? ;-). Happy Ending: an A in Physics. My DH and I told her we were most proud of her for the way she stuck to it and gritted out the effort. The A was nice too, of course.

Challenge discovered: Helping DD to learn how to distill a subject's important concepts down to aid in recall for a final!

She did well in her other 3 subjects (her HS is on the block system; they have 4 classes per semester) - received A's. She took Spanish and Drawing - both were relative cakewalks for her. Her other class was an Intro to STEM class that presented some challenges - not academically, but interpersonally. One major part of her grade was a group project. Her fellow group mates were pretty lax in their commitment to get things done by deadlines. She would get very frustrated, and feel stressed to get all the work done herself (which had happened to her in the past with group work - the expectation of group mates that she should do the bulk of the work). AS she will have to deal with these types of situations "in the real world" someday, we worked with her to proactively deal with the situation - staying in constant contact with group mates outside of class, encouraging the group to make time to work together (via email, so if nothing else, there was a paper trail for her teacher to see her level of effort). And to let her know it was okay after attempting to resolve the issue on her own, to seek help from her teacher to solve it. She did that; her teacher let her know he wouldn't let their lack of effort affect her grade negatively.

The teacher she had for this Intro to STEM class will be one of her Engineering teachers over the next few years (and we did tell him that DD skipped to 9th grade, so he is/would be aware of the age and other differences). I think he's formed a soft spot for DD; they have spent some time together outside of the class (in an after school activity) and he joked with her one day that she might be his" new favorite student". We also received a very heartwarming note at the end of the semester, part of which read:

"I also wanted you to know {DD} exceeded my expectations, which were high to begin with. She turned out to be quite a leader in class and her work is excellent. I am looking forward to a long, friendly, and productive relationship for the next few years. I will work on her becoming more active in {an extracurricular activity} so her leadership potential can be further developed.

I hope you all have a wonderful holiday. Thanks for sending me such a wonderful kid!"


I've got to tell you, getting feedback like this makes the difficult times we've gone through with her so worth it; most recently dealing with her inability to monitor and self control computer game playing and socializing via Skype and text, to the detriment of her need for sleep.

Now on to the second semester, which will be even more challenging; Honor Geometry, PE/Health class, Intro to Engineering, and Honors English. And to get her to see that she'll need to choose which after school activities are most important, and ditch the rest.

Becky, mom to two - DD ('00) and DS ('08)
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#33 of 35 Old 01-02-2014, 01:53 PM
 
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How awesome.  Thanks for the update!

 

And I love your "wow, we're impressed at how hard you worked and stuck with a tough class.  Yeah, the A is also great," attitude.

 

The STEM school here also has a 4-course block schedule with 90-120 minute classes each.  What's your DD's activity level and attention span like?  Part of the reason we decided against this school is that there was no place or structure by which to get DD physical activity through a long day.  She's struggling to function as it is at her middle school with 43 minute classes with a bonkers schedule that at least forces her to climb 1-2 flights of stairs between each class. 

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#34 of 35 Old 01-02-2014, 04:45 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by Geofizz View Post

How awesome.  Thanks for the update!

And I love your "wow, we're impressed at how hard you worked and stuck with a tough class.  Yeah, the A is also great," attitude.

The STEM school here also has a 4-course block schedule with 90-120 minute classes each.  What's your DD's activity level and attention span like?  Part of the reason we decided against this school is that there was no place or structure by which to get DD physical activity through a long day.  She's struggling to function as it is at her middle school with 43 minute classes with a bonkers schedule that at least forces her to climb 1-2 flights of stairs between each class. 

DD's attention span is pretty good, especially when she's into the topic. The blocks are 86 minutes long, with a half-hour lunch in the middle of the day. One good thing about the block schedule is that she is able to get her homework done in class sometimes, and/or ask questions about concepts she is unsure about before the next day.

I hear you about the no structure or place to get physical activity; the lack of scheduled physical activity would have been a bigger problem when she was younger. But now, DD is following in the true teen fashion of becoming sloth-like. At least she'll have PE every day next semester (required to take .5 credits in PE to graduate), though there of course is no other organized physical activity required, and she's not the athletic sort, at least not having the interest or skill to join an athletic team, for example.

Given our commute, her busy after school schedule, and homework, there is little time to exercise (although we do have a decent work out room in our house with bike, treadmill, weights, and a TV to watch. But she'd rather hide in her room to "do homework", errrrr... play games and chat with friends, while doing her homework, sometimes. Needless to say, we are working on that, with limited success. She's really going to have less time next semester with her class load, so hopefully that'll we'll get that sorted out without too much pain.

She did go on a long hike today with DH and some friends; in her brain somewhere she realizes that she needs to be more active. And when she's not busy after school, she loves to play with DS and his fellow schoolmates at the park right after school gets out (DS, on the other hand, HAS to get more physical activity outside of school time, even with up to 3 recesses during the day - his teacher really appreciates the calming effect of that extra play! ;-)

I hope that you find a way to solve the lack of organized physical activity during your DD's day. As kids get farther along in school, there are few daily outlets for physical activity, which is so hard for those who REALLY need it!

Becky, mom to two - DD ('00) and DS ('08)
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#35 of 35 Old 01-02-2014, 06:11 PM
 
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Originally Posted by oaksie68 View Post

I hear you about the no structure or place to get physical activity; the lack of scheduled physical activity would have been a bigger problem when she was younger. But now, DD is following in the true teen fashion of becoming sloth-like. 

 

This is one thing I love for my teens about our local school: it starts at 9 a.m. with 45 minutes of physical activity. There's a choice of two: typically one is indoors and one is outdoors, one is team-based and one is not. Trail-running, bodyweight strength conditioning, snowshoeing, soccer, badminton, hip-hop dance, hauling wheelbarrows of mulch in the school garden, a variety of possibilities depending on the season. My province has mandated Daily Physical Activity, minimum 30 minutes, as part of the curriculum, and I love how our school has implemented it. With all the concern over achievement standards and good evidence to support the idea that 30 minutes of physical activity will improve math and literacy scores more than devoting the extra 30 minutes to math and literacy, I'm surprised this isn't more common.

 

Glad to get the wonderful update, in any case!

 

Miranda


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