So F's conference was first. She started by saying that he is doing amazingly well. Oh, okay! And that she normally starts out with behavior issues but he doesn't have any. Oh, really? Because I feel like that is ALL you have for him...is notes about his bad behavior. So I talked about how I was a little frustrated by that and tried to be clear about expectation. She seemed to agree with me and I do feel better. At least she knows I don't put any weight into the notes she sends home and if there IS an issue that needs our attention at home, she will call or email. This was really my biggest issue going into the conference.
As for academics...Finn has improved incredibly since the beginning of the year. Which is amazing and a blessing since I feel like I haven't done much at home to help him along! For math, he started out with a score of 397 in Sept and tested at 551 at the beginning of Jan! That is over 150 point improvement. And while they don't put as much weight in this number any more, he is testing at third grade, fourth month (he is currently at second grade, fifth month). I'll take it.
And reading is even better! His reading range was up to 3.2 (third grade, second month) in Sept and it skyrocketed to 5.1 (fifth grade, first month!!!) at the beginning of January! She said that he was SO proud of himself when he could pick BROWN level books in the library! That must be fifth grade level. I'm just glad to hear (for both math and reading) that the classes are set up to meet the kids at the level they at (so they push the advanced and help the struggling). This was one of our greatest concerned with Finn...would he be challenged enough in school. And it sure seems like it!
While I couldn't be happier with his testing, the social part of school is just as important (if not more important!) than the academic. She basically said what we already know that he is diligent and gets things done...as long as others don't distract or influence him. So, I'll continue to stress the point about staying on task and removing yourself from situations that will lead you to making bad decisions. While I think this can be hard for an 8 year old to figure out, it is a life skill that will take him far, if he CAN master it. Here's hoping!
K was second (and we were even on time!). Her teacher can tell that she loves to learn and she has a good attitude about whatever is put before her. There is an issue with chapstick with several of the girls, K included. I guess some of the girls are being disruptive and taking and/or sharing each others! So, her teacher just asked that we address it at home and remind her what is appropriate. I mean, chapstick, really?!?! Argh.
Academically she is doing great on the things she should be doing and even starting to figure out things that are a reach. She knows all of her letters (obviously) but can identify almost all of the sounds associated with the letters (long and short vowels can be challenging). They also started testing CVC (consonant, vowel, consonant) words and she got a few of them, too! Which is pretty amazing since she is just starting to read! She is currently at the "transitional reader" level and well on her way to a "probable reader," which is the goal for the end of the year. Also, she tested and passed the "B" level books (which means she can pick "C" books to bring home every night) and was SO proud of herself. She knows all thirteen of her sight words for the second quarter but her teacher said they start to ramp them up and by the end of the year, she will know forty! Crazy.
I felt better about things when I was leaving then I did when I arrived. I guess that is a good thing. At the end of the day, my kids are kind, well-adjusted, doing well academically and have friends. You really can't ask for more than that. Here's hoping the rest of the year continues to go well and the "little" things continue to sort themselves out!
Oh and this was on Finn's locker:
"I have a dream...
- For my community: I want street cleaners
- For my country: I want peace
- For the world: not to have wars
So there you have it! Clean streets, peace and no war. Maybe he should run for President. I think everybody would get behind this platform!