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Old 03-06-2007, 12:26 PM
 
Location: South Bay, California
1,701 posts, read 5,960,374 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Caliguy29 View Post
California and Texas are Large States with a Large Diverse Population,so it's the Location within each state that determines the Quality of Education students are receiving.
Absolutely the Correct Answer.
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Old 03-06-2007, 03:22 PM
 
Location: New Orleans, LA
675 posts, read 4,264,365 times
Reputation: 349
As a teacher in California, it is very frustrating to hear this, but it isn't out of the norm. If your school is going by the same reading levels as mine, I think 18 is a little high for first grade, but that is probably where they should be at the end, when they are starting second grade. The focus gets put on basic students because they have the most potential to boost up to a passing score. Unfortunately, it does leave the lowest kids behind, and it is much harder for them to catch up. It is difficult as a teacher to go along with this, but just know that in the school system, things change constantly. We can only hope for better. Personally, I am glad you are concerned about this. More parents need to be.
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Old 03-06-2007, 03:47 PM
 
76 posts, read 255,716 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mel2882 View Post
As a teacher in California, it is very frustrating to hear this, but it isn't out of the norm. If your school is going by the same reading levels as mine, I think 18 is a little high for first grade, but that is probably where they should be at the end, when they are starting second grade. The focus gets put on basic students because they have the most potential to boost up to a passing score. Unfortunately, it does leave the lowest kids behind, and it is much harder for them to catch up. It is difficult as a teacher to go along with this, but just know that in the school system, things change constantly. We can only hope for better. Personally, I am glad you are concerned about this. More parents need to be.
>>>> i agree completely -- it amazes me the amount of parents that are NOT involved with their childs education. I dont mean the working moms and dads i mean the ones that admit they have time but expect the schools to educate their kids on EVERYTHING. i believe how a child truly learns and should be taught is with school and home reinforcement. I have workbooks at home for my son and he loves them and all the time whenever i can i make a math problem out of life or reading or whatever the case may be. cooking is a good way to have many maths problems. this thread has opened my eyes on the whole NCLB law and what it really is doing to change the way kids are taught. luckily in my sons school right now they are teaching to the kids and having fun with it. I am not sure if there are portions of the day that they do stress the teaching to the test. i would like to know some hints to look for. where i am a bit concerned is when we move in a few months to washington what will there teaching method be? i went to the school and talked to the office staff but didnt get a chance to see the curriculum. i have looked online at greatschools.com but not much info on the school we are looking at.
Amen to those parents that ARE involved with their kids education. that will prove to be rewarded years down the road
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Old 03-06-2007, 08:48 PM
 
325 posts, read 1,334,082 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wifmmmy View Post
cooking is a good way to have many maths problems.
Sports is another great place to learn math. My four-year old son is obsessed with football and basketball and first learned the numbers, then learned which number was greater/less than and now adds and subtracts the scores. It amazes my husband and me. And his five-year old sister first looked at him with amazement. Now she has followed along with his methodology, "Hmm, that team has 26 and if they make a two-point shot, they'll have 28." It's been very fun to watch them.
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Old 03-06-2007, 08:55 PM
 
76 posts, read 255,716 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cw68 View Post
Sports is another great place to learn math. My four-year old son is obsessed with football and basketball and first learned the numbers, then learned which number was greater/less than and now adds and subtracts the scores. It amazes my husband and me. And his five-year old sister first looked at him with amazement. Now she has followed along with his methodology, "Hmm, that team has 26 and if they make a two-point shot, they'll have 28." It's been very fun to watch them.



hey you know that is a good idea.. we can only hope that the school districts see this and incorporate it in the current curriculum... hey i can dream cant i
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Old 03-06-2007, 11:46 PM
 
Location: Rancho Cucamonga, CA
96 posts, read 703,001 times
Reputation: 58
Yes, it is amazing how many children I have seen struggle from a lack of parental involvement. When I was helping out regularly in my sons kindergarten class, it amazed me how many of the students couldn't even write their names by the end of the school year. My son's teacher told me that she had called and sent notes home for many of the parents, but got little response.

It's hard enough these days for kids to make it through school without the added pressure of doing it alone. I was one of those kids, unfortunately. My mom and dad divorced when I was very young, and I lived with my mom throughout most of my school years. My mom just never cared, and I struggled tremendously because of it. That has helped me to realize the importance of team work between parents and children to get the job done. I only hope I can do what's needed to get my son up where he needs to be to keep up; I don't want him struggling year after year as I did.

And, yes, I think it's so important to focus on a child's strong points whenever you can, to teach them numbers, letters, etc, in ways they will comprehend and understand it. When my son was 3, I took colored construction paper and cut out all 26 letters of the alphabet and the numbers 0-9. Each day I would hide them around the house and tell him to find me a specific letter or number; if he did, he got a sticker. This worked very well for him because I focused on one of his interests (hide-and-seek) and made learning fun.

Thanks again for all your comments. I love this board because I learn so much every time I log on.
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Old 03-07-2007, 03:56 AM
 
Location: Tijuana Exurbs
4,007 posts, read 10,457,529 times
Reputation: 4735
This thread has got me thinking back to when and how I learned to read.

It was the summer before I started Kindergarten when my 7 year old sister who had just finished 1st grade thought we should 'play' school over the vacation for fun. I think what happened is that basically I memorized the words in her workbook so that I could read the stories out loud when 'called upon.' I don't think she really 'taught' me anything.

Later in Kindergarten and 1st grade I learned the rules that applied to all these words that I already knew through the process of rote memorization. Things like long "E's" and short "E's", and double "OO's". That's what phonics is, isn't it? It teaches the rules and then you learn the words. Perhaps you should try reversing it, have him memorize a bunch of words he needs to read a story and then later on show him how the rules work with those words. Perhaps rules aren't sticking in his head because they don't have enough words to stick to. It worked for me. By the 3rd grade, my spelling list included college level words like psychology, and other unusual things like that.

Another possibility is that your son is being taught all reading rules and exercises and there are no interesting stories motivating him to really want to read. I've heard secondhand that the stories in school workbooks have gotten very lame. Perhaps you could find a beat up old book in some musty dusty corner that has stories of great battles, and heroic dogs coming to the rescue, and evil witches that still get shoved into the oven and burned alive. The reality is, if the stories are dull, boys aren't interested.
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Old 03-07-2007, 07:21 AM
 
1,868 posts, read 5,231,927 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alovely1 View Post
wow...that's really amazing! I am soon to be a TX transplant on my way to Cali. And when you said TX was lax in their education system...you ain't joking! My son's in kindergarten and I'm terribly disappointed with the education he's received. The reading skills that he has is because I've taken it upon myself to teach him with an explicit phonics system. The system here is just inadequate. They concentrate on the test scores so much that I don't see where they're doing anything to nurture a well rounded student who may in turn, get a good score. I hope that makes sense. Anyway, you have to do what you can to nurture your child to be the best he can be. Unfortunately, as you can see, everyone doesn't have your best interest at hand. The good thing is there are so many resources available these days you can supplement his schooling to help him with what he needs.

Even though I didn't answer your question, I do understand your frustration. May your son have a bright future ahead of him!!!

That's really surprising to hear! We moved to the DFW area from Cali and found that the elementary schools here (my daughter went to a Core Knowledge school) were 2 years ahead of California schools...well...at least in some areas. For example ...my daughter was doing dictation in first grade ...my friends little girl in the San Dieguito school district, didn't start that until the third grade. My daughter was reading fluently by the end of first grade....she actually started reading word books in kindergarten. I remember they also sent home video tapes with phonics type material on them in kindergarten. My daughter really loved that and watched them frequently.
I know what you mean about test scores though. They seem to teach to the tests ......in my daughters case what she was being taught seemed to actually be harder than what was on the test... (what I hear from her) so she was always been above the standard when we get her results back on TAKS.
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Old 03-07-2007, 08:07 AM
 
4,610 posts, read 10,210,066 times
Reputation: 6764
It depends on where you live. I grew up in the Thousand Oaks area. I think that the whole area has Blue Ribbon schools. I moved to Texas (Granbury) and we do not have children but I know that the schools here are awful. If I did have children I would not put them in this school district.
So it depends on where you live in each state.
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Old 03-07-2007, 10:52 AM
 
Location: Rancho Cucamonga, CA
96 posts, read 703,001 times
Reputation: 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by kettlepot View Post
This thread has got me thinking back to when and how I learned to read.

It was the summer before I started Kindergarten when my 7 year old sister who had just finished 1st grade thought we should 'play' school over the vacation for fun. I think what happened is that basically I memorized the words in her workbook so that I could read the stories out loud when 'called upon.' I don't think she really 'taught' me anything.

Later in Kindergarten and 1st grade I learned the rules that applied to all these words that I already knew through the process of rote memorization. Things like long "E's" and short "E's", and double "OO's". That's what phonics is, isn't it? It teaches the rules and then you learn the words. Perhaps you should try reversing it, have him memorize a bunch of words he needs to read a story and then later on show him how the rules work with those words. Perhaps rules aren't sticking in his head because they don't have enough words to stick to. It worked for me. By the 3rd grade, my spelling list included college level words like psychology, and other unusual things like that.

Another possibility is that your son is being taught all reading rules and exercises and there are no interesting stories motivating him to really want to read. I've heard secondhand that the stories in school workbooks have gotten very lame. Perhaps you could find a beat up old book in some musty dusty corner that has stories of great battles, and heroic dogs coming to the rescue, and evil witches that still get shoved into the oven and burned alive. The reality is, if the stories are dull, boys aren't interested.
Everyday we go over a list of 120 words (flash card style) that are called "sight words" to help him recongnize the words just by sight, much the same way you did. They do help, but it doesn't seem to be enough, unfortunately.

I make sure to keep reading time as fun as possible for him so that the story holds his interest and he wants to get to the next page. I buy new books each month from the Scholastic Book Club order sheet the school sends home so that he also has new adventures to read about.

I really wish it was easier for him, and these things were enough to get him from point A to point B. I think a big part of the problem is that he started kindergarten when he was only 4 (we thought he would do fine because we had no idea how much would be expected of him; our mistake), and he's just not there yet, maturity-wise. His teacher was saying that there are a bunch of kids in his class that are already 7 going on 8 (he just turned 6), so there's a significant learning gap between him and many of his classmates.

We asked about holding him back last year and this year, but both times were told that the district frowns upon that (now I think it's because of politics and not the children), so we haven't had any luck with that either. He does seem to blossom at the end of the school year; last year and now he's doing it again. We're seeing that he comes into his own late, but does seem to get there. Last year he was in the bottom 10% of his kindergarten class throughout the whole year, until the end of the year when he matured and sprung to the top 10% of his class; go figure! We're starting to see that same trend now, so maybe he'll catch up by June and be okay. I'm praying for it!

Thanks for the comment.
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