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Old 03-10-2007, 11:19 AM
 
Location: In Sticky San Antonio TX
1,437 posts, read 2,558,529 times
Reputation: 1740

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bkeast,
I think you need to review your concerns with the principal and the teacher. Parents who make themselves get noticed will get the attention and support. Everything that's been said regarding teaching to the test is true, but teaching to the test does not have to be boring. I live a few towns east from you and work in a very depressed school district. One of our schools has taken it upon themselves to get out of the funk of potential take-over by the state and has spun themselves around by maintaining high standards. I don't know what level 18 is, but you got a bad answer which contradicts FAPE (Free and Appropriate Public Education). Would we ask a newborn to eat meat? It is clear the curriculum and standards are over your child's head. Your child needs tutoring instruction, despite his ability/weaknesses.
Be persistent, ask (in writing) a meeting of the teacher, the principal, and the RSP what supports can be put in place for you to provide or for them to offer, that will not merely put him where he should be, but will enable him to be 'in the middle' of the class academically (not slow, not accelerated, just the right pace).
I don't see these standards as being so high as much as such standards are keeping pace with the country and the world. The US has been the model for many educational institutions throughout the world, but has taken a dive when it comes time to be competitive at the world level. The revolution in the schools is what will bring us back on par with other educational systems. You likely have a good but frustrated teacher. I will say it again, inquire what kind of supports you can be offered to provide your child the ability to be where he should be by school year's end. And demand an answer that will address your child's need. At his current pace, the system is merely waiting for him to fail, which no one can afford. While he can accelerate by the end of the school year and has from a developmental standpoint, this experience at minimum is frustrating to him. I'm sure he's quite aware of his limitations. Give him support in other areas so his spirit is not broken, but advocate for better academic supports for his success in core subjects.
Good luck
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Old 03-10-2007, 04:20 PM
 
Location: Rancho Cucamonga, CA
96 posts, read 703,001 times
Reputation: 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kin Atoms View Post
bkeast,
I think you need to review your concerns with the principal and the teacher. Parents who make themselves get noticed will get the attention and support. Everything that's been said regarding teaching to the test is true, but teaching to the test does not have to be boring. I live a few towns east from you and work in a very depressed school district. One of our schools has taken it upon themselves to get out of the funk of potential take-over by the state and has spun themselves around by maintaining high standards. I don't know what level 18 is, but you got a bad answer which contradicts FAPE (Free and Appropriate Public Education). Would we ask a newborn to eat meat? It is clear the curriculum and standards are over your child's head. Your child needs tutoring instruction, despite his ability/weaknesses.
Be persistent, ask (in writing) a meeting of the teacher, the principal, and the RSP what supports can be put in place for you to provide or for them to offer, that will not merely put him where he should be, but will enable him to be 'in the middle' of the class academically (not slow, not accelerated, just the right pace).
I don't see these standards as being so high as much as such standards are keeping pace with the country and the world. The US has been the model for many educational institutions throughout the world, but has taken a dive when it comes time to be competitive at the world level. The revolution in the schools is what will bring us back on par with other educational systems. You likely have a good but frustrated teacher. I will say it again, inquire what kind of supports you can be offered to provide your child the ability to be where he should be by school year's end. And demand an answer that will address your child's need. At his current pace, the system is merely waiting for him to fail, which no one can afford. While he can accelerate by the end of the school year and has from a developmental standpoint, this experience at minimum is frustrating to him. I'm sure he's quite aware of his limitations. Give him support in other areas so his spirit is not broken, but advocate for better academic supports for his success in core subjects.
Good luck
Thanks, I appreciate your viewpoint. I was actually planning to talk with his teacher soon about what other options I may have at this point, because now that we're pushing him more to read more, he's fighting us quite a bit and saying he hates reading; not what I want to hear! The principle at his school is kind of a jerk, from my experience, so this could get interesting.

Honestly, I don't even mind stepping in a being his main tutor if that's what it comes down to, but I lack the knowledge of how to teach him in the proper manner to get the best results. This is what I want to talk to his teacher about- what types of aids are out there for such a thing. Again, thanks for your input.
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Old 03-10-2007, 07:18 PM
 
Location: In Sticky San Antonio TX
1,437 posts, read 2,558,529 times
Reputation: 1740
You may look into some of the revolutionary work being done at the University of Oregon with DIBELS. They address the 5 foundational areas in which children need sequential successes. I am guessing your child has a developmentally appropriate level of fluency, but he is not performing at grade standard. There are alot of materials on curriculum based measurements that can be acquired from Google Scholar, which will provide the foundation for understanding what is needed to read. These areas are lighting up the academic environment throughout the country and are well worth looking into. They include alphabetic princiiples, phonemic awareness, and 3 more areas that are slipping my mind presently. I am familiar with less-than-adequate administrators, but you sound like a more-than-adequate mother. Do not be intimidated by what these areas are called, they get to the heart of reading and its acquisition. Inquire at the school for what they can offer, and look into some of my suggestions. You will not go wrong. Some of the authors include Deno, Marston, Fuchs, and Tindal.
Kin

Last edited by Kin Atoms; 03-10-2007 at 07:22 PM.. Reason: incorporate reference authors/editors
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Old 03-10-2007, 07:33 PM
 
Location: In Sticky San Antonio TX
1,437 posts, read 2,558,529 times
Reputation: 1740
...and I will add, this is not about quantity - which is why he hates to read; it is about quality, which increases appreciation for this elementary skill.
K
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Old 03-11-2007, 03:59 PM
 
Location: Rancho Cucamonga, CA
96 posts, read 703,001 times
Reputation: 58
[quote=PSUMom;442947]
Quote:
Originally Posted by bkeast View Post
I'm curious how fast-paced the curriculum is in California grade schools compared with other states. My son is in first grade and is expected to read a paragraph story book front to back without missing more than 5% of the words by the end of the year. I was suprised by this, and am wondering if it's just California or if it's this way everywhere?

QUOTE]

When my daughter was in kindergarten in CA last year, I was amazed at the expectations. They were journaling by the end of September and bringing home books to read every night! She was expected to read at level 4 by the end of kindergarten and I think it was level 16 by the end of first grade.

She is in first grade in Seattle this year and has a fabulous teacher, but has not had a single spelling test, learns writing by copying what the teacher writes on the board, and only started bringing reading books home in February (and they were about the same level she was bringing home in kindergarten).

I was a little worried last year that they might be pushing too hard, but believe me, it is way better to set the bar high. Do what you can at home to build skills (and confidence especially) and fight for that tutor...I think you got a really lame excuse...don't accept it!
Wow, I hadn't really thought about what it might be like on the other end, having to fight for enough education; that must be very worrisome for you. And, yes, I'm going to get some tutoring for him one way or another, because every child deserves a fair shake; not just those who can fill quotas.
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Old 03-11-2007, 04:12 PM
 
Location: Rancho Cucamonga, CA
96 posts, read 703,001 times
Reputation: 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kin Atoms View Post
You may look into some of the revolutionary work being done at the University of Oregon with DIBELS. They address the 5 foundational areas in which children need sequential successes. I am guessing your child has a developmentally appropriate level of fluency, but he is not performing at grade standard. There are alot of materials on curriculum based measurements that can be acquired from Google Scholar, which will provide the foundation for understanding what is needed to read. These areas are lighting up the academic environment throughout the country and are well worth looking into. They include alphabetic princiiples, phonemic awareness, and 3 more areas that are slipping my mind presently. I am familiar with less-than-adequate administrators, but you sound like a more-than-adequate mother. Do not be intimidated by what these areas are called, they get to the heart of reading and its acquisition. Inquire at the school for what they can offer, and look into some of my suggestions. You will not go wrong. Some of the authors include Deno, Marston, Fuchs, and Tindal.
Kin
Wow, that sounds really interesting! I'll definitely look into it, thanks! I am all for finding new and improved ways to educate our kids; it's what evolvement is all about. I'm a writer, so such things are very important to me; I want my children to enjoy a good book (reading or writing it) as much as I do.

Now that I realize how many children are struggling in this area, but aren't being offered the help they need, I want to volunteer as a reading/writing tutor once my youngest is in school. There may not be adequate resources available to my son (and other children like him), but maybe I can make a difference for someone down the line. Thanks for you input, Kin.
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Old 04-02-2007, 01:28 PM
 
15 posts, read 84,717 times
Reputation: 15
At one point, we considered moving to Texas...Best friends of ours recently moved there, the new communities and affordablility of housing was quite attractive. Since then, my husband has new projects keeping us in CA..I did do a comparison on schools and yes, Texas was average to many areas below average. You can check for yourself online also greatschools . com among others see the API testing for the kids..My daughter in Kindergarten was shown chapter books at the end of the year to get familiar...In 1st grade she's reading small books, however for reading time at home, they want them to do some reading from chapter books...IF your child knows how to read, believe me...it won't take long to catch up...it sounds scarry to us, but just be consistent. THey do like the parents and children to spend 15 minutes a day reading..this helps a ton!!! Last year, we were reading 60-130 books a month!!!! THis year for my other kindergartner, they want us to document the minutes vs # of books, so we're about 350-500 minutes a month..Apparently, still reading more than most and the teachers comment how well they're doing and how creative when they write stories in their journals..(Yes in Kindergarten & 1st grade!) I'm impressed with the schools..I'm in Murrieta, CA.
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Old 04-02-2007, 01:30 PM
 
15 posts, read 84,717 times
Reputation: 15
No child left behind act...worthless!!!! The name only "Sounds good" ...another joke on us!
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