Friday, October 21, 2011

1st grade, first teacher conference

I went to my first cruise ever (to the Bahamas) without the hubby AND without the kids. There is much to say about that but that'll have to wait. Today I want to brag about my oldest. I attended our first parent-teacher conference today while Daddy watched the kids. First of all, the computerized testing everyone takes to measure their improvement (taken 3x per grade) in reading and math was astounding. He is reading at the 4th grade level! His teacher said it is obvious that he is a bright child, but even with that his reading score is off the roof. We don't do anything special with him, except to encourage his interest in whatever it may be, but I guess that makes a difference. And then there's his Daddy who buys tons of books during pretty much every book fairs. Mrs. Dent is now encouraging him to do research-type reading. She mentioned that with Big M's group (she breaks down down into different groups of the same ability) she will start teaching them Power Point. Wow!

For the math assessment, Big M didn't measure quite as high, but still above average. According to the graph on the school website, his math ability is at 2nd grade. Mrs. Dent is especially impressed by his understanding of abstract things, like money. She said that most everyone has a hard time understanding that 5 pennies is the same as a nickel. I'm not surprised by this though. We started working on this last year. Just recently, Big M marked our family calender of how much money he would earn by a certain number of days and how long it'll take him to earn $20. At the time he was trying to earn money to buy an expensive Lego. I told him that when he does good things at home and earns tickets, I would allow an exchange rate of 25 cents per 5 tickets. 

Big M's teacher said he is a delight to have in her class, as he LOVES to participate. When he doesn't finish a certain task, and finishes early on others he asks for time to go back to the previous one in order to finish. In fact, when he leaves the class 2x a week (2 hours total) to go to the Gifted program, he always asks what he missed and what needs to do to catch up upon his return.   His enthusiasm in class is also why she was completely caught by surprise with the "dying" incident weeks ago. She saw no signs at all that he may be anxious and worried about anything. I told her that it seems to be a completely sleeping issue and it is getting better with the use of a sleep aid.

I also told the teacher of a possible move in the near future. She asked that I keep her informed so that she can make sure he is not getting stressed at school. What a great teacher! What a great school district we have! If and when we move away, I will lament the loss. 

Daddy and I are very proud of Big M! I don't know what his future will be, but whatever he chooses to do as he grows up, we will always be there to encourage him. We will always be there all our kids, whatever they choose to do. 

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