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Completely off-topic: Also, what your son's school is doing with writing sounds completely weird. I'm glad they're not rushing or pressuring kids who aren't ready to write, but I can't think of a good reason to have students learn how to produce drawings that approximate the appearance of sentences. I'm sure someone has an instructional justification for that, and I'd love to hear it. Sometimes attempts to apply new educational theories lead to bizarre and pointless instructional practices.
I volunteered in his class a few times, and did not see any differentiation. There is SO much focus on following instructions as a group. I am hoping this will change as the school year moves on, but I am not optimistic. DH and I are brainstorming alternatives to public schools, but I think it might have to wait until 1st grade because of our family's situation. This is supposedly a great district, school, and teacher, but I'm not feeling it!
DS is also under the impression that he's only allowed to know the sight words listed on the board, when reading school books. He said to me, "I know that says 'have,' but that isn't one of my sight words yet," so he stopped reading right there! I wish his teacher would just chime in with me, by saying it's okay to read or write any words that he knows. Even with just that single sentence, it would help DS feel okay about being ahead.
Yes, it is pretty weird, but part of a commonly used curriculum in my state (and mandated in our district, arrrgh!). It is based on the idea that most kids learn to write by first drawing squiggles and shapes, later including a few letters, then letters in word-like clusters, then some word approximations, gradually leading to all real words. However, my kid didn't learn that way, and forcing those steps is reminds me of making kids learn to crawl when they can already walk.
grateful mother to DD, 1/04, and DS, 2/08
HeatherB ~ mama to 3 wonderful boys: 03/02; 09/04; 09/07 - and Eliana, 11/13/10!
Founder of Houston Birth Alternatives: Be Informed, Encouraged, Supported birth support group and aspiring midwife.
|Also, what your son's school is doing with writing sounds completely weird. I'm glad they're not rushing or pressuring kids who aren't ready to write, but I can't think of a good reason to have students learn how to produce drawings that approximate the appearance of sentences|
Thanks for the replies. I decided to let it go for now. DS has learned so many new skills over the past month and a half, so if he is writing gibberish in his journal for now, I don't think it will hurt him. He is excited about writing, and continues to try to write real words just for fun at home.
The heart of the matter for me is that I wish his teacher knew DS and his skills better. It's not a huge class (21 kids), so I hope that will happen as the school year goes on. I'm trying to learn how to communicate with this teacher in a way that is constructive - not overbearing but still exchanging enough information so DS has a positive school experience.
The first year out of our sweet little preschool, where the teachers really knew and loved DS is a big transition! I know the K teacher is not available to have daily conversations with me like our preschool teachers did. Still, I do miss that!