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#1 of 15 Old 08-24-2010, 03:48 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Last year we homeschooled K, this year we are doing a virtual (public at home) school and because of his birthdate, he must start in grade K. However, they did give him 1st grade math, and the teacher is now evaluating him for the rest -- she is having me send in a sample of his writing (totally done on his own).

Can someone that has the experience with first graders tell me if this would keep him in K or move him up??? (I'm a nervous mom) Here's what he wrote (and the letters were all correct) -

I at a sab samwuth and it tastid gud. And i mad a no frend. And i had a grat tim.

(transl - I ate a sub sandwich and it tasted good. And I made a new friend. And I had a great time.)

Any thoughts - while I anxiously await the teachers verdict??
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#2 of 15 Old 08-24-2010, 04:46 PM
 
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That's about the way my son was writing in PS first grade. It was considered typical for 1st. However, that's the way plenty of kids were writing in his kindgergarten class, too.

What exactly are you worried about? Do you want him in K or 1st?
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#3 of 15 Old 08-24-2010, 04:56 PM
 
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Well, as someone who also has a child w/a late b'day I can relate. I never did the 'virtual' school so I'm not sure what the process for those are however, as a teacher in public school (long term sub) I can tell you I see upper level grade schoolers(5-8th grade) who write the same way as your almost 6 yr old. So....After 3 yrs of intensive phonics, 5-6 yrs of spelling, grammer, reading and so on the kids I see are really no better LOL. IMO If you DS can de-code words for reading and keep up with math then he should be moved to the higher grade. The actual spelling will come with time and practice. FWIW my own son learned to spell from just reading.

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#4 of 15 Old 08-24-2010, 05:04 PM
 
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Honestly, I don't think there is any way to tell. There is just too much variation in teacher's expectations to know.

What your son did here is called invented spelling. There is one school of thought that thinks invented spelling is a fantastic thing. That it is a logical progression in the development of learning to write. What you have here shows a strong understanding of how sentences are structured and how words are formed. Your child also had a clear idea of what he was trying to communicate. The only thing I'd say is missing is the context. It sounds like he is writing about an experience or event but I don't know what that experience or event was. But for a child this age that shouldn't be expected.

There is another school of thought that does not believe in invented spelling saying that children who use this method to learn to write learn bad spelling (and possibly handwriting) habits that have to be undone.

Also, I worked in one school district where this sample would be considered adequate for mid first grade and another district where it would be considered appropriate for about the middle of kindergarten.

It is just so hard to tell. I wish you luck and hope you get the outcome you are hoping for.
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#5 of 15 Old 08-24-2010, 07:07 PM
 
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I'd say his writing is advanced for a kindergartener.

My daughter was advanced writer in K and was writing at a 1st grade level in K. This is what she produced early in K:

Kam to my brtha at stembr sxtenth 500 pm. (Come to my birthday at September 16th at 5:00 pm)

This is what she wrote at the end of K:
I went to Mexio. It was fun I went hikeing up a mantin. it was fun I like going hikeing up motins in Mexio.

(I went to Mexico. It was fun. I went hiking up mountains. It was fun. I like going hiking up mountains in Mexico.)

ETA: She's never been to Mexico or hiking up a mountain!

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#6 of 15 Old 08-24-2010, 07:30 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I don't know why it worries me - I want him to be where he needs to be. And I do feel confident that the teacher/school is really interested in keeping them moving forward (she said that they don't want them to just do "busy work"). I guess (and yes, I'm trying not to be this kind of mom) since we did K last year, I don't want that to be for "nothing" - my own personal pride in being able to give him a solid K education, plus the fact that most of his friends are going into 1st, and he was excited about being a first grader too. And of course, I just want my kid to do well - I'd love the teacher to say "wow - he wrote this?? That's great, of course he's ready for first grade" - even though I know he needs a good solid foundation more than a higher grade level.

So, just really wanting some input/critique. It's good to know that at least he's not way off anyway. Thanks for your replies!!
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#7 of 15 Old 08-24-2010, 08:46 PM
 
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Is the kindergarten he did through an accredited school? Having successfully completed kindergarten should transfer regardless of age.

Without kindergarten, our school would require testing to advance to first: IQ score >130 AND achievement scores > 95%ile for reading, writing, and math relative to early first grade levels. Additionally, for acceleration from K to 1st they would also require that he be no more than 3 months younger than the age cutoff.

It's a high bar meant to discourage even making the request.

It sounds like you aren't getting that type of treatment, though, so that's a positive sign that they're actually looking at the child before making a decision. In your case, it sounds like he's completed K, though, and should move on.
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#8 of 15 Old 08-24-2010, 09:01 PM - Thread Starter
 
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We homeschooled K with a good curriculum package because our state law says they can't start unless they turn 5 by Sept 1 (and he was super anxious to get started with school). In the district, you can test in, but out of the district, state law applies. The virtual school we're using is out of our district. So even if he tests up, he'll still be considered a K - even though he could be doing all 1st grade work.
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#9 of 15 Old 08-25-2010, 02:59 PM
 
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It seems like there is a lot of variation among schools in how they address this, but IME--as a kindergarten mom volunteer last year and a homeschooling mom this year--it looks like he is exactly at the right point to benefit from a first grade phonics and writing curriculum. Unless the kindergarten teacher is exceptional at differentiating, or you have a lot of advanced children in kindergarten, the kindergarten work will be too easy. At least here, the fall is spent going over letters and sounds, and the spring is when they start putting letters together into words. So, spring work might be a good fit, but by then your child will be beyond it. (YMMV, of course--and hopefully your school can accommodate either way.)

Good luck,
Heather
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#10 of 15 Old 08-25-2010, 06:28 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I appreciate all your comments. I'm realizing that my concern basically boils down to the fact that I just want him to be a "first grader". He was so pumped to no longer be a "no grader", as he put it. And it was discouraging to do all that work last year and still be basically where we started. I do trust that his teacher will give him what's best for him - I just hope he shows her where he's really at. She will be sending me something for him to read tomorrow, and then she'll be having him read it to her over the phone. So I guess we'll see tomorrow!
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#11 of 15 Old 08-25-2010, 07:52 PM
 
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Honestly, I would find that typical of a 1st grader, but they generally won't move a child up unless they are way ahead. By that, I mean a kindergartener who writes like a 3rd grader.

Please post when you find out what they do. I will be interested to hear.
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#12 of 15 Old 08-25-2010, 07:53 PM
 
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I should add that my son, who would have been in public school 1st grade this year but we pulled him out, when he took his end of year testing at the end of kinder last year, was above average. And he could not write that. But, I would not think they would move your child up unless he were really far ahead. You can push for it of course. Sounds like he could handle the 1st grade program most likely.
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#13 of 15 Old 08-25-2010, 10:11 PM
 
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I would say 1st grade, that is about where most of our 1st graders are at mid year.
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#14 of 15 Old 08-27-2010, 02:44 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Well, his teacher received his writing, and today he read to her over the phone (she emailed what he was to read). She discussed it with another 1st grade teacher as well as the principal, and they decided that, although the State says he must be a K, he is ready for first grade work, and will be sending out the proper curriculum asap. Yay! At least he won't be bored - and I don't feel like all my work with him last year was for nothing!!

Thanks for all of your comments - you helped me keep a bit of sanity 'til this got figured out.
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#15 of 15 Old 08-29-2010, 09:10 PM
 
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Very Cool!
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