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#61 of 115 Old 10-24-2006, 10:27 PM - Thread Starter
 
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tibdoml, I'm sorry I missed your post before-I don't have any good advice but hope things improve soon for you. My dd has the card system too, and it's not that much of a deterrent yet for the class. I kind of get the impression that the teacher doesn't expect many results from it, but it is a start in teaching them consequences for actions.
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#62 of 115 Old 10-25-2006, 01:38 AM
 
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You are all probably sick of me going on about how wonderful DS's school is but I just got back from the Parent's community meeting and I am even more in love.

One of DS's teachers talked about how all humans are inherently hardwired for kindness and gave us an excerpt from a new book by Daniel Goleman, "The New Science of Human Relationships" in which he sets out to show this scientifically. I really wish I had bothered to take notes because I would have loved to pass on more of the info on how we can encourge compassion in our children, but basically it is done by being compassionate ourselves. The meeting was opened up to a discussion and it was so facinating a subject to discuss in relation to our children and ourselves. The discussion also got into praise and how we could acknowledge our children without actually praising them. The school does not use any kind of punishment/reward system to motivate "good" behavior or academic performance. One of the most profound things was both teachers truly believe that through the type of education offered at the school, the children will be able to change the world.

I am just in awe of the love and dedication of these teachers.

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#63 of 115 Old 10-25-2006, 01:42 AM
 
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That sounds totally awesome. It seems like we should get the teachers from your school together with some of these teachers with the red light systems...they could share a thing or two...

How are your schools "doing" Halloween, if at all? Our school has a parade, but my daughter's classroom is skipping the parade and going to a nursing home to sing and visit with the residents - in their costumes.
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#64 of 115 Old 10-25-2006, 01:52 AM - Thread Starter
 
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How are your schools "doing" Halloween, if at all?
DD has a class party on Monday (I'm taking pictures and helping to decorate on Friday) and they get out early on Halloween!
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#65 of 115 Old 10-25-2006, 01:56 AM
 
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Oh yeah - they are having a party too. I guess they're going to cut open pumpkins and do some sort of math with the pumpkin seeds, and make decorations.

I imagine some mass imbibing of sugar will be involved at some point as well.
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#66 of 115 Old 10-25-2006, 01:58 AM
 
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That sounds totally awesome. It seems like we should get the teachers from your school together with some of these teachers with the red light systems...they could share a thing or two...

How are your schools "doing" Halloween, if at all? Our school has a parade, but my daughter's classroom is skipping the parade and going to a nursing home to sing and visit with the residents - in their costumes.
I do too....

As for Halloween, no costumes at school. The children have been making Pumpkin and Ghost books and the literacy room wall is covered in "Halloween" words. The children have also been painting some Halloween pictures.

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#67 of 115 Old 10-25-2006, 02:40 AM
 
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The school does not use any kind of punishment/reward system to motivate "good" behavior or academic performance.
I wish!!
Dd's class has the points for teams to earn free time as I mentioned before. They also have a sheet where we sign off on her reading for at least 10 minutes a day if she does it. When a sheet is full (16 lines) she gets a star sticker on her chart. She is one day away from getting her 2nd star & she is sooooo excited about it :. She has been hoping for days that there will be a purple star available this time. Luckily she seems to enjoy reading for the sake of it as well - she really seems to be getting the hang of it - but I can see how this could be a bad thing for a kid that just does the reading to get the reward & doesn't enjoy it at all .

On another subject, I also spent an inspiring evening listening to Barry MacDonald speak at a local school. As the author of "Boy Smarts: Mentoring boys for success at school", he spoke of the huge differences between boys & girls (from one extreme to the other; obviously there are some in the middle) and how to relate to boys, understanding how they process information, etc. for dealing with life, not just school.
He did answer one question about how to get a boy to do his homework - he mentioned Alfie Kohn's research about the negative effect of most homework & that it's really an issue between the teacher & the student. If he doesn't do his homework (if you have given him the support/environment he needs to get it done), then he has to deal with the consequences at school. If you feel the homework is excessive for his age, then you take it up with the teacher.
Anyway, I could go on, but I won't. I bought the book, but there are lots of links (to articles & interviews) & info on the web site.

I'm just so glad there is information like this for me now when ds is only in pre-school. I can start applying some of this now & use it throughout his school career.

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#68 of 115 Old 10-25-2006, 11:58 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I've felt fortunate since kindergarten that the mode of "discipline" in our school hasn't really affected dd directly-it certainly isn't aligned with our principles. Our teachers struggle with keeping order in a class of 20. Most of the children have been in a local preschool that's notorious for giving poor guidance in the area of social interaction. But, dd has managed to navigate through this, and I'd like to think she and a few other children in her class are a positive model for others. I'm so proud of her independent thinking. This week is the drug awareness week-everyone is supposed to wear their shirts backward today, and she's having none of that.
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#69 of 115 Old 10-25-2006, 01:26 PM
 
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Hi everyone,

I thought I would join in here since I have TWO first graders!

Someone brought up the behaviour system in their schoo. At our school
in the lower grades, there is a clip system. The levels are E, S, N U.
Also, at the beginning of the year, every parent and child has to sign the behavioural expectations. And, there is NO corporal punishment in the school.

Each child starts off the day on E (which is also smily face). If the teacher has to address the child's behaviour, she may give 3 warnings. Once the child reaches the 3rd warning (for the same behaviour) the teacher asks the child to walk to the front and pull their own clip. The child has to move the clip to the next lower level. If the child stays at that level all day, and does not repeat the behaviour, the teacher will return the child's clip to E, and send home an E for conduct for that day.

If the teacher has to address the child again for the same behaviour, the clip will be moved to S, then if needed to N or U.

E and S have no consequences, but for the teacher to have a very short discussion about the appropriate ways to handle the behaviour for that situation.

If the child gets a N, then he or she loses 10 minutes of their 20 minute recess. If the child gets an U, then the child loses all recess, but still is allowed to sit outside and get some fresh air and sunshine.

A child who gets an N in conduct gets a note from the teacher. Depending on the behaviour, the child will get detention for 1 hour.

Any behaviour worse than this, the child will get an in-school suspension and next consequense is at home suspension.

However, the school focuses on the positive behavior of the child, and they indescriminately hand out "Caught you being good" tickets. If a child gets a ticket, they put their name on the back and put it in the bucket in the office. Once a week three kids names are pulled from the bucket and announced over the intecom at morning announcement. Those children get to eat lunch with the principal on Friday. Once per 6 weeks, a child with the most tickets gets to be principal for a day!

This system actually works wonderfully.

Last year the school didn't know what to do with the kids. I am glad they realized that their system was NOT working. Now if I could get them to revise their lunch room behaviour system. The lunch room is equipped with a loud speaker, and if the volumn of the room reaches a certain point, a siren goes off. It is very stressful.

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#70 of 115 Old 10-25-2006, 01:47 PM
 
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Welcome Jyotsna!

I am glad you are happy with the reward system used in your DC's school. But I have to say I am very happy that my 1st grader isn't subjected to it. It is interesting that my DS's school has no need for any kind of reward/punishment system. They work very hard to instil compassion and confidence in the children so that everything comes from within the child and is not external to them so that it authentic and not artifical or contrived. It is amazing to see these children in action in the playground, they genuinely care: picking up any trash they see lying around, assiting a fellow student in distress. They are also reminded that everyone makes mistakes and that's okay too. I am so grateful that my son goes to a school that acknowledges the basic goodness in each child and uses that as a basis for everything.

I need to stop bragging, sorry. :

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#71 of 115 Old 10-25-2006, 01:55 PM
 
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The only behavior system that our teacher uses is one of chips. They each start the day out with 3 chips. They get chips removed from for disruptive behavior and the total number of chips remaining is written on their take home folder each day. I haven't heard of any consequence imposed outside of being talked to for losing all the chips. My dd usually has 2 or 3 chips every day but has had 0 and 1 on occasion and she didn't lose recess time or anything. I've very grateful for that as I think that is the STUPIDIEST punishment possible. Really I think it is used as a visual aide for the students to see where they are each day. This is the teachers first year sharing the numbers daily with the parents and she stressed to us to not make a big deal out of them.

As for the lunch room, the lunch room attendent will clap and get others clapping until everyone has quieted down and started clapping when things get too loud. They each can also hold up their hands in the peace sign if they feel it is getting too loud as a reminder to their classmates. I haven't seen that actually work yet though . I have seen the attendent take students who are acting crazy in the lunch room and give them a job such as sweeping the floors or wiping down tables. Its fun to see because it isn't used as a punishment (at least not that I've seen) but more a distraction or redirection and all the students start helping clean up and turn their focus from acting up to helping. The attendent has amazing patience as far as I've seen.

So far I am pleasently surprised by the discipline tactics of the school. I didn't know what to expect and worried that they may be too strict or use ridiculous punishments, like keeping students inside for not completely their work!

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#72 of 115 Old 10-25-2006, 02:36 PM
 
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Hello I have a first grader
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#73 of 115 Old 10-25-2006, 05:00 PM - Thread Starter
 
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welcome jyotsna and samantha!

I was thinking about "discipline" as it pertains to schools in the car this morning, and about different approaches and how well they work in various settings. We've tried to be mindful of "you get what you give attention" with dd and that's worked well for us-and fortunately she attracts that positive treatment in school as well. In all fairness, my dd's teacher only uses the discipline system as a last resort for serious offense-she's constantly gently guiding and redirecting the 3 or 4 children that have the hardest time not being disruptive. With this teacher I would say she's skilled in using that system without detriment to the child.
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#74 of 115 Old 10-26-2006, 09:42 AM
 
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My dd's school has the color cards system for discipline. And they get what they call "bird bucks" for good behaviour that can be cashed in for various things. Last week my dd cashed hers in to be a teacher's helper for the day. She ended up going back to her old K teacher and she was so excited b/c she said she got to read a story to a small group in the class.

They really don't celebrate Halloween but are having a Harvest Dance Friday night.
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#75 of 115 Old 10-26-2006, 09:44 AM
 
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My dd's school has the color cards system for discipline. And they get what they call "bird bucks" for good behaviour that can be cashed in for various things
Our school does this too but they are called Fabulous falcons
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#76 of 115 Old 10-26-2006, 09:54 AM
 
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I'm so glad that I found this thread! I have 2 first graders, Rachel and Ian.
Is anyone excited about Halloween? My kids are having a Halloween party at school this year and I have already made up their goody bags to take in. I am also thinking about ordering cupcakes. I definately don't have the time to make them. I am also asking for the day off from work so that I can be at school to help on that day. I remember when I was in school that Halloween was one of my favorite times of year.
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#77 of 115 Old 10-26-2006, 09:55 AM
 
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I like the no reward/punishement system too. I think that is so foreign to most people though. I feel like so many people just turn their kid over to the school to basically "raise" and they really don't care what you do as long as they aren't abused.
Our DD is staying home for a mental health day today. She's been waking up every morning this week and saying she has a headache, doesn't feel good etc etc. Of course I see right through this. This morning I said Ok, you need to go back to bed. You never saw a child get suddenly healed! LOL I was laying in bed with her later and she said "you know the best thing about being home is not hearing Mrs.___ be angry".
urghh...I know she absolutly hasn't heard anything from me about the teacher. We only support the teacher to her. The other parent that I talked to at carpool is actually a church musician (also is worried) and the teacher and many of the families go to this church. I feel things will be taken care of properly.
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#78 of 115 Old 10-26-2006, 10:26 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Is anyone excited about Halloween?
Hi mommysusie-to answer your question-YES! Both of my daughters are in Halloween full throttle. DD is a little disappointed about not getting to wear a costume to her party/on Halloween day, but we'll do something funky with her hair and put on some temporary tats. We have two other Halloween events this weekend so she'll get to dress up for those.
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#79 of 115 Old 10-26-2006, 11:57 AM
 
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Re discipline, our schooldoesnt have a system like any you've mentioned, I guess they just go along as it comes.

Halloween, kids can wear cool shirts, and color their hair, no costumes. My dh is going in on Fri, they have a pumpkin carving thing for dads/kids, vy cool.

My son was talking to dh and asked if dh liked school when he was a kid, and dh said,no, not really. My son (who loooves school!) said, oh that's too bad, who was your teacher? His teacher is so positive, it's pretty amazing, and really good at getting the kids motivated. He's excited to read, and do sums on his own. I guess that is what teaching is about, to get the child interested on their own, and excited about how cool learning is. I feel really fortunate to have her in our lives.
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#80 of 115 Old 10-26-2006, 02:46 PM
 
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I am glad they have the system they do, because some of the children in the school would interupt the school day, or play time with other children with agression or attention getting behaviours. Since I have to work, my kids do go to school. Our school has taken a formal approach to discipline because they want the parents, teachers and children to understand what type of behaviour is expected of them at school. Before this system, there was corporal punishment, and the violence in the school was high. I was considering taking my kids out.

My girls don't seem to be interested in halloween yet, but then I don't take them into the stores that much. I am making them costumes, and they are looking forward to trick or treating in the neighborhood.

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#81 of 115 Old 10-26-2006, 03:23 PM
 
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I am glad they have the system they do, because some of the children in the school would interupt the school day, or play time with other children with agression or attention getting behaviours. Since I have to work, my kids do go to school. Our school has taken a formal approach to discipline because they want the parents, teachers and children to understand what type of behaviour is expected of them at school. Before this system, there was corporal punishment, and the violence in the school was high. I was considering taking my kids out.
I am curious what kind of school your children attend that would pratice corporal punishment (I realize they no longer do), no wonder there was violence in the school; violence only breeds violence IMO.

The kind of behavior modification practiced at your DC's school is based animal behaviorism from the work of E. F. Skinner and this is what is taught in teaching trainning colleges, so has become the norm. Skinner and the behaviorists entire research is based on the fact children are blank slates and can be modified based on reward/punishment techniques they developed with their experiments with rats and pigeons. Hence the green/yellow/red light method, sticker charts etc. I am not saying it doesn't work, but I do think it is an unacceptable way treat children. My DS's school/teachers, on principal, will not use any animal behaviorist type methods because they believe children are not blank slates to be manipulated into certain "acceptable" behaviors. As I stated in a post above the whole basis of the school is the Buddhist principal "basic goodness". The interesting thing is, the school has zero dicipline problems, I realize it is a very small private school, but I have never seen a child disrupt a class and I volunteer often. There are some children with attention problems but these children are delt with in a compassionate way and problems are quickly resolved without escalating. The children understand full well what kind of behavior is expected of them, and compassion for others is uppermost. The love these children have for each other is amazing to see.

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#82 of 115 Old 10-26-2006, 04:18 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Introducing a different topic-I'm curious what our first graders' interests/favorite subjects and activities are, and where do they enjoy going on outings?

My daughter's first passion is anything pertaining to sports-she loves to play basketball, baseball, tennis, and soccer, and recently learned how to skateboard really well. She also loves the whole BMX biking thing-maybe some day she'll do extreme sports. She plays piano, and wants to learn to play the violin. She makes up stories and creates little illustrated books from them, and enjoys keeping a journal of the things we do on the weekends and collecting flower/plant/seed specimens from our hikes, or trips to the beach. In terms of favorite subjects-she's obsessed with space (she went to a space camp last summer,) Egyptian history, and anything to do with the ocean. She loves killer whales and rays-she likes doing research about them and other animals and writing reports about them, which we keep in a journal. Her favorite place in the whole world is the Long Beach Aquarium-she would be happy petting the rays the entire time!
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#83 of 115 Old 10-26-2006, 04:36 PM - Thread Starter
 
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SMUM-your son's teacher sounds very much like my daughter's teacher. Every morning when it's still a little too early to leave for school she begs me to take her anyway-and I know it's because she loves Mrs. G.
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#84 of 115 Old 10-26-2006, 05:06 PM
 
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Fun, mata. You're such a good thread host. FWIW, I was also totally fascinated by the sea when I was a child. I read anything and everything on sharks and rays. I can identify just about any shark a person would care to show me. It's too bad you don't live in Seattle, mata - there's a very cool program at the zoo where children get points for their nature journal entries, which they can trade in for very cool seashells, stones, etc.

My daughter's favorite times at school are recesses, mostly because she has several very imaginative games going on with other children. And also, 'cos it's fun. But she also seems to enjoy the choir/singing time, and when they do small group projects.

However, overall, she reads a lot, she's very interested in dogs, so she's been reading a ton of dog breed books and books about children who have dogs (this is a very rich subgenre of children's lit, thank goodness). She wants a dog too, but we've already told her that this won't happen until her brother's much older. She plays fiddle, and started lessons in that about 6 months ago. She loves it! Oh, and the other thing she's into lately is making her own comic books. Right now it's all about a little baby who's always getting into dangerous situations (sounds a lot like her baby brother).
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#85 of 115 Old 10-26-2006, 05:14 PM
 
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Introducing a different topic-I'm curious what our first graders' interests/favorite subjects and activities are, and where do they enjoy going on outings?
My DS too loves sports, his absolute favorite is soccer. He is a member of the school's 1st grade team with the Y. He is their star player and has led them to victory this session, they only lost one game in total. He also plays soccer in another league but with 8 year olds -- the coach didn't want him playing with the six year olds because he dominates the game too much! His other love is making things from wood -- popsicle sticks, blocks etc. His designs are largely abstract but very symmetrical, he often builds rocketships or buildings. He is fascinated with model buildings, so he may well decide to be an architect, who knows! He carries a tune really well, but is refusing to learn the piano, I think because his sister is learning and is showing great promise, I don't think he wants to compete with her. He is learning the recorder at school though.

As for subjects, he loves creating books, they are doing haunted house stories today -- I saw his literacy teacher cutting out house shapes this morning for the covers. He is enjoying Math and reading too and is progressing well. He also likes the time his Mandarin teacher spends with them folding origami. We have a lot of boats.

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#86 of 115 Old 10-26-2006, 08:01 PM
 
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Thanks mata, you are so good at making everyone feel welcome!

Lets see, my son likes school right now. He likes dinosaurs alot, and we live near the Museum of the Rockies, so we get to go see the T-rex as much as we like. He loves our dog and playing with him and puppy class with him. He could take or leave sports, he has got to be one of the most non competitive people I have ever met! I was uber competitive at this age, so it is funny to me that he is so mellow. If he's playing a game like soccer, he will kick the ball to someone else to have a turn; ayiyi. I am trying to get him to take swim class, he likes swimming.
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#87 of 115 Old 10-26-2006, 11:01 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Fun, mata. You're such a good thread host. FWIW, I was also totally fascinated by the sea when I was a child. I read anything and everything on sharks and rays. I can identify just about any shark a person would care to show me. It's too bad you don't live in Seattle, mata - there's a very cool program at the zoo where children get points for their nature journal entries, which they can trade in for very cool seashells, stones, etc.

My daughter's favorite times at school are recesses, mostly because she has several very imaginative games going on with other children. And also, 'cos it's fun. But she also seems to enjoy the choir/singing time, and when they do small group projects.

However, overall, she reads a lot, she's very interested in dogs, so she's been reading a ton of dog breed books and books about children who have dogs (this is a very rich subgenre of children's lit, thank goodness). She wants a dog too, but we've already told her that this won't happen until her brother's much older. She plays fiddle, and started lessons in that about 6 months ago. She loves it! Oh, and the other thing she's into lately is making her own comic books. Right now it's all about a little baby who's always getting into dangerous situations (sounds a lot like her baby brother).
that's all very cool, flyingspaghettimama-dd is also very into sharks-she wears a shark's tooth around her neck. Your aquarium sounds wonderful-she'd definitely be all over that. I'm thinking of her seventh bday and it will definitely be ocean related-she can do a behind the scenes thingie feeding animals at Aquarium of the Pacific, or I might have a couple of her friends come to Birch Aquarium and do their birthday thing. I love that your dd is taking fiddle-I have a feeling she and my dd would get along great!

uccomama-your ds sounds like such a focused and talented fellow-very cool how diverse his interests are!

SMUM-I wish some of your ds's demeanor would rub off on my dd! She can really go over the edge w/competitiveness-she takes after her dad. Guess all that yoga I've done with her didn't change her inherent nature much. I wish we were closer to a large (ahem, good) natural history museum so we could just pop in without it being a big production-you guys are lucky!
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#88 of 115 Old 10-27-2006, 09:43 AM
 
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My dd likes just about everything about school. She loves PE, music and art the most. She also still loves books and reading. She does really well in school and we have our parent/teacher conference in two weeks so that should be interesting. She goes thru spurts where it's like she can't get enough and just wants to learn more and more. We do worksheets at home and she brings alot of what she learns at school home so we may end up going on a nature walk or trying to find a science project to do or something like that.
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#89 of 115 Old 10-27-2006, 09:51 AM
 
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Introducing a different topic-I'm curious what our first graders' interests/favorite subjects and activities are, and where do they enjoy going on outings?
Trevor likes lunch time! LOL he also loves to read.
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#90 of 115 Old 10-28-2006, 09:11 AM
 
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trying to think what my DD likes about school. She does like PE and once a week they go to science lab and she always raves about that! I subbed 4th grade yesterday. It is was really good! I like their curriculum so much and the teacher left such organized notes for that it was a breeze. Most of all the students were so fabulous! It just made me feel so much better about the school with all the issues the teacher in 1st grade is having. Hope you have a nice weekend.
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