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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
This is more or less just venting.<br><br>
My dd is in Grade 2. She brought home an evaluation book on Friday that was supposed to go back today. Report cards were coming home today and after reading a couple of things in the evaluation I kept it to compare to the report cards.<br><br>
The 1 thing that really bugged me in the evaluation was her silent reading. She got a 2/4 because she does not use any aides to help her read silently, no following with her finger, no bookmark, no mouthing the words so they couldn't tell if she was really reading or not.<br><br>
um, try asking the child what the book was about to see if she was, or asking the parent. I know when she reads silently that she does not use any aids, BECAUSE SHE DOESN'T NEED TO.<br><br>
So I get her report card and the marks for reading have gone up and she's reading(and comprehending) at or above her grade level. Gee could this be why she isn't using aids.<br><br>
Isn't the whole point to eventually not need the aids, yet they're docking her marks for it.
 

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That does sound really strange! Have you talked to them about it? <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/irked.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="irked">:
 

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That is odd.<br><br>
DD is in 2nd grade (1st/2nd split) and I think most of the kids don't use those kinds of aids but clearly comprehend the material (they present reports as well as meet in book groups, etc...)<br><br>
I would definatley discuss it with the teacher if you are concerned.
 

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It sounds like the fault might be with the format of the report card. Is there a checklist of skills, and a certain number must be checked to earn a 4/4?<br><br>
I'm not saying that's the right way to evaluate individual reading. The teacher just might not know how to get around that kind of report card. I'd speak to the teacher about what the report card grades mean exactly, and about your child's reading in general. Does the teacher see it as a problem that your dd doesn't use the reading aids? How often do the students conference with the teacher about what they read? What are the expectations of individual reading?<br><br>
I used to teach different reading aids and strategies, but they certainly weren't required after the initial teaching period. I usually taught these skills in the large group and then would reinforce in a small group of students who I thought might benefit. Reading is such an individual thing...everyone reads a little differently and uses different aids (or doesn't!).<br><br>
I hope you get some answers!
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
interviews are tomorrow.<br><br><div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
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<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">It sounds like the fault might be with the format of the report card. Is there a checklist of skills, and a certain number must be checked to earn a 4/4?</td>
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This was in the evaluation, not the report card. The report card was opposite of this sheet, I just thought the marking on this sheet was odd. It seemed to be based on 1 day of reading as they had a note in the bottom that she didn't have her book bag so she had to choose a book. There were 4 things they got marked on. She got 4/4 on concentrating on reading the bok(eyes always on it), 4/4 on book being properly opened(held well and can see the words), 3/4 on reading the book in a reasonable tme(to get a 4 it says they need to finish the book so I'm guessing she didn't do that). Then 2/4 for using clues that indicate she is reading because she only used 1. total was 13/16.<br><br>
The other thing that caught my attention was in art. They drew a picture titled "Colour makes me feel....". She got 2/5 and the example she wrote was that "black makes me feel happy" with "happy" underlined 3 times.<br><br>
The main teacher she has is not the best.<br><br>
on the plus side, they division does accelerated French for a month each year and Tirza was asked to participate in it, they started yesterday.
 

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I would bring it up to the teacher but this is also one issue that isn't a big deal. Nobody is ever going to go "You didn't point at words so you can't get a job or college admitance."
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I know it isn't a big deal I just think it's stupid to dock marks for things like this, especially when the report card is saying she's reading above her grade level. I know it isn't going to affect her getting into college or anything.lol IMO they should be getting marks if they are able to read without the aids. IT's like she's trying to hold the kids back. This isn't the first time advanced work has not been given if the kids are showing signs that the work they're doing is too easy/they know it.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>Marsupialmom</strong></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">I would bring it up to the teacher but this is also one issue that isn't a big deal. Nobody is ever going to go "You didn't point at words so you can't get a job or college admitance."</div>
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I agree. When you get to adulthood, no one is going to even think about any of the stuff you got on your childhood report cards. Keep in mind that the teacher did not make the report card or the eval form nor did she create the format by which she scores them. It may not be a big deal at all but she just has to put a score there. When I was teaching, the number one concern parents had about report cards was less than perfect scores in any area. No matter what I said, they were always concerned if their child did not get perfect scores. Sometimes, however, a perfect score is not possible nor is it a big deal at all. It is not going to hinder her in any way.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
<div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
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<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">Keep in mind that the teacher did not make the report card or the eval form nor did she create the format by which she scores them.</td>
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Actually the teacher DID make the evaluation form, none of the other teachers give them out, it is something she does for her class. It is also ONLY the evaluations I am concerned about NOT the report card.<br><br><div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
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<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">When I was teaching, the number one concern parents had about report cards was less than perfect scores in any area. No matter what I said, they were always concerned if their child did not get perfect scores. Sometimes, however, a perfect score is not possible nor is it a big deal at all. It is not going to hinder her in any way.</td>
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I am not concerned about any marks that were less than perfect, just the unfairness in her being docked marks for being ahead. She has marks which are lower than I like, but I am perfectly aware that they are at the level which she is currently at.<br><br>
I am not asking for perfect score, I am pointing out that it is unfair to mark her lower when she is already doing what they'll expect her to in a few months. I would disagree that a perfect score is not possible. I've had them, she's had them<br><br>
I disagree that it is not going to hinder her because they are wanting to hold her skills back. The same thing happened in kindergarten with some subjects when she was ahead of the class. The teacher refused to give her harder work because the teacher wanted all the kids at the same level before moving on. I understand it being easier on the teacher that way, however when you hold a child's learning back it does hinder them and make them bored. It is an issue I'm going to have a big problem with in the fall with my 5yo entering K as she has self taught the majority of what they need to know in K plus some.
 

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Relate every concern with the teacher. Be the "pain in the butt" parent, otherwise they don't know your concerns (or if you even read the report, sadly some parents do not). <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/thumb.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="thumbs up">
 

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<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">
<div>Originally Posted by <strong>CarrieMF</strong></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">I know it isn't a big deal I just think it's stupid to dock marks for things like this, especially when the report card is saying she's reading above her grade level. I know it isn't going to affect her getting into college or anything.lol IMO they should be getting marks if they are able to read without the aids. IT's like she's trying to hold the kids back. This isn't the first time advanced work has not been given if the kids are showing signs that the work they're doing is too easy/they know it.</div>
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I agree with you. I think it is ridiculous to take marks off for using aids like mouthing or finger pointing when the whole point is to move away from this sort of thing. They might have to do that for awhile, but you certainly don't want to encourage them in that way. Then they will be adults who still read silently by pronouncing every word in their head because that was what they were taught.
 

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We had a similar problem with my 2nd grader last year when she was in first grade. The teacher was very inflexible about <i>how</i> she thought the process of learning should take place and refused to see that the learning objective had been met even if not in the manner in which she had expected.<br><br>
For instance, dd is very good at spelling. She would get a list of spelling words early in the week and then have to practice spelling them in various manners throughout the week and the teacher would check off if she had completed all of the practice (things like writing each of the words multiple times in different colors, using letter stamps to stamp each word out, etc.). Dd rarely finished all of the practice sessions, but she knew how to spell all of the words on day one and didn't need the practice. None the less, the teacher wouldn't let her take the test on Friday and would give her the same set of words again the next week. It was very, very frustrating and quite upsetting for dd.<br><br>
A good teacher should recognize when a child is ahead and not require remedial work (or remedial techniques). How many of us use our fingers when reading? If your dd is beyond needing that, it is not only unreasonable of the teacher to expect her to do that, but it is also punitive to hold her back b/c she isn't. It would be like insisting that a toddler crawl every day to show me that she knows how to do it when she has moved beyond that stage and is walking well.<br><br>
I agree that the evaluation won't matter in the long run, but I also feel your indignation b/c the teacher does sound a bit inflexible and that in itself does not bode well for her overall teaching style.
 

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To me this thread sums up the problems with "school." (And no, I am not secretly here to promote homeschooling! my kids in school too). This kind of rigidity, well, the kid's going to encounter this again, whether in public or private. If we could see this from the teacher's side, tho, she's got her reasons for insisting on use of these strategies, and they probably help many kids. How much she can adapt to individual kids' needs is the question, having 20-30 kids to deal with, in this case it sounds like she is not adaptable. If she's fairly new to teaching maybe she'll get better at this.<br><br>
My take on this with my own kid is always to be perfectly honest with him about it; I say, in effect, "You have to put up with this" if you're going to this school. (Whether he has to keep going to the school forever is another matter.) You can discuss with your dd *why* the teacher calls for these strategies for instance. (I don't totally agree the strategies are bad, as someone suggested - in fact, having strategies like this might help her later in reading more difficult text.)<br><br>
My son has encountered the same sort of thing in math - being asked to "show all work" on problems that he could just look at and solve, and getting points taken off because the "work" - required steps - wasn't there. it did help him to understand that in later, more difficult math, having the habit of working through following a series of steps would be important.<br><br>
It may be "off" in certain cases, but it isn't a bad strategy this teacher is using. The only way she can know if kids are using the strategies that have been taught is to observe them and keep a record. That's what she's doing - it's just not ideal for your daughter.<br><br>
On the parent's part, I think it calls for a certain amount of "sucking up." You could tell the teacher how impressed you are with her thorough approach to reading instruction, for instance, and ask for her expert advice on finding additional "strategies" for kids who are a little further advanced, like your dd. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/winky.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Wink"> Does she recommend any books on this, or web sites? What did her training teach her about kids at the next level? She's been so helpful at this level (etc.) You might be surprised you learn something from her. (Or you at least learn *why* she is doing this, even if you feel it's misguided, and you might find a new angle whereby you an casually mention that maybe your child doesn't need this. In this context she's going to be more receptive to making a change for your child.) Tell her how helpful this strong start in reading will be when dd's in college <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"> Maybe this sounds kinda cynical but actually if you do try to understand from the teacher's POV *why* she is teaching these strategies, it's not so crazy, and forgive her her weakness (not adaptable enuf) that she hasn't figured out a clever way to adjust it for your daughter, it might help. Also help your dd live with it and cope with future such situations.<br><br>
The strategies the teacher is teaching aren't useless, even for good readers. There is growing concern for instance that kids aren't exposed early enough to non-fiction writing (because fiction is so much easier, and the mantra is Get them reading, doesn't matter what, so they are only encouraged to read things that are painless). My son is an excellent reader, yet we've had tears over difficult science reading and I've felt there was no real preparation for making sense of such material, which suddenly comes on pretty strong around middle school. Careful reading strategies, even strategies that look a little artificial, can come in handy if they are developed early and become automatic at least in certain situations. They may help your dd with her science or history book in a few years. (Things like saying unfamiliar words out loud to yourself, running your finger along as you read etc.)<br>
Althea.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
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<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">Relate every concern with the teacher. Be the "pain in the butt" parent, otherwise they don't know your concerns (or if you even read the report, sadly some parents do not).</td>
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The problem with this teacher is the kids who have pain in the butt parents tend to get lower grades overall. While we haven't had any real issues with this teacher, a good friend of ours has and I've heard there are parents who trying to get the teacher out of the school. There is a form we have to send back to the school that says we've looked at the report card.
 

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It is impossible for us as forum participants to understand exactly what is going on but my point was that a low mark on her reading style in the evaluation is probably not going to hinder her in life. I very nearly failed math in 8th grade and it did not hold me back at all. And, I said that SOMETIMES it is not possible to get a perfect score. It really depends on the scoring system.<br><br>
A bad teacher might affect her take on school, however, so you should talk to the principal or the superintendent of the school district if you really have concerns. Talk about what you know and how unfair you think it is. This teacher should be meeting your child's needs and pushing her ahead at an appropriate pace.<br><br>
But, keep a couple of things in mind. When you talk to the teacher, she may have a very good explanation as to why she wants the children, even those who don't need it, to use the reading aides. Perhaps your child is patentedly refusing to use them? Perhaps the teacher is being unreasonable? You won't know until you talk to the teacher.<br><br>
Also, your take on the K situation was
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<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">The teacher refused to give her harder work because the teacher wanted all the kids at the same level before moving on. I understand it being easier on the teacher that way, however when you hold a child's learning back it does hinder them and make them bored.</td>
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This teacher should have given your child more challenging work in the same area as she was teaching the rest of the class. There is no excuse for letting a child just sit there waiting for the rest of the class to move forward. If you are concerned about this, again the correct person to talk to is the principal and if you get nowhere with him/her then contact the superintendent's office. All children have the right to have work that meets their level, not below it.<br><br><br><div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
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<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">It is an issue I'm going to have a big problem with in the fall with my 5yo entering K as she has self taught the majority of what they need to know in K plus some.</td>
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I would contact the placement office in your district or their person in charge of elementary education and explain to them that you would like your child tested because you believe she is already above grade level. They should have some way of dealing with children who are gifted or academically excelling. In districts in which I've worked, there is always a test that can be given to see if a K child is ready for K or not or ahead of it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
So we had the interview and she agreed with me on it being ridiculous that she was marked like that. It is a required Grade 2 element that they use the aids and my dd is 1 of 3 who are above that level. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/thumbsup.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="thumbsup"> It was also the TA who filled the form out which I had been wondering if it was a TA or a Sub(the teacher has been sick alot this winter). When they're in their reading groups she lets T's group go without using the aides unless they're stuck on a word which doesn't happen alot. Whereas with the lower level groups she requires that they use them. She has caught onto the math that she was iffy on in Nov.<br><br><div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
<div class="smallfont" style="margin-bottom:2px;">Quote:</div>
<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">This teacher should have given your child more challenging work in the same area as she was teaching the rest of the class. There is no excuse for letting a child just sit there waiting for the rest of the class to move forward. If you are concerned about this, again the correct person to talk to is the principal and if you get nowhere with him/her then contact the superintendent's office. All children have the right to have work that meets their level, not below it.</td>
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The K teacher is not the best, though I have seen her actually smile this year. She did get remarried a few months ago. I have no problems going above her head and to the principle with A.<br><br><div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
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<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">I would contact the placement office in your district or their person in charge of elementary education and explain to them that you would like your child tested because you believe she is already above grade level. They should have some way of dealing with children who are gifted or academically excelling. In districts in which I've worked, there is always a test that can be given to see if a K child is ready for K or not or ahead of it.</td>
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Had I known prior to a few weeks ago I would have had her placed in K this year. My plan is to wait a couple of weeks into the school year and see how she's doing and if I need to then having her tested to go into Grade 1. A was on a playschool field trip to a K class a couple of weeks ago and her playschool teachers were commenting on her needing to be in there instead of playschool. The only thing she hasn't done that I can tell is read, but she teaches herself some words and there is 4.5-5months before she goes into K. I am going to talk to her playschool teachers and get their recommendations, they're all past K teachers.
 
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