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    #220741 - 08/13/15 03:50 PM Do I have reason to request differentiation?
    1111 Offline
    Member

    Registered: 08/26/11
    Posts: 246
    DS5 is going into 1st grade. He had early entrance into Kindergarten last year. His reading is ahead by 2 years, but I still feel he will be fine in the advanced reading class he has been placed in. My concern is the math...

    We had him tested on the WJ III achievement test and this was his score in the overall BROAD MATH: 165, GE 4.0, 99.9%

    The tester recommended he be accelerated further or, better yet, pulled out all together for an online program.
    My DS7 is doing just that in math. He is working in EPGY and doing great. It took some work but the school is on the same page when it comes to my older DS's path.

    I guess I am questioning myself when it comes to asking for differentiation. DS7 was even more so ahead, and to me, my younger is ahead, but only by 3 school years. Am I crazy to think he could stay in the 1st grade class? I am wondering if I am slightly warped by my older son...

    As far as his attitude, I think we will have a problem. He complained all through Kindergarten even though I sent in extra work so he didn't have to sit and draw while waiting for the class. He thinks he will get to do division once in 1st grade....I am a bit concerned walking into the principals office yet again asking for the same thing I did 2 years ago.I DO NOT have as strong of a case with DS5, but it is enough?

    Thoughts?

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    #220743 - 08/13/15 05:05 PM Re: Do I have reason to request differentiation? [Re: 1111]
    DeeDee Offline
    Member

    Registered: 04/16/10
    Posts: 2498
    You certainly do have reason. I'd say: start the conversation.

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    #220849 - 08/15/15 01:46 PM Re: Do I have reason to request differentiation? [Re: 1111]
    GailP Offline
    Junior Member

    Registered: 06/21/13
    Posts: 49
    Loc: Pennsylvania
    I agree - it looks like you will have to advocate to ensure that your child gets what he needs. Good luck

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    #220858 - 08/15/15 07:51 PM Re: Do I have reason to request differentiation? [Re: 1111]
    ConnectingDots Offline
    Member

    Registered: 09/06/13
    Posts: 848
    I agree with prior responses. Stop for a moment and consider that your child is "only" three years ahead. Since you asked, yes, he could stay in the first grade class, but he's not going to learn anything in math. Is that right? I would also, personally, keep a close eye on the reading. In other words, yes, you may be comparing your two sons and not looking at your younger one versus his age peers.

    Did you have a difficult experience getting accommodations with your older son? If so, I can see why the notion of doing that again doesn't sound appealing. Yet, your DS5 is his own person, and deserves what is right for him, too. From the results and the tester's recommendation, you have a very strong case for differentiation of significant nature. And, it may actually be easier since it won't be such a surprise as your first son may have been to the school. I know that in our case, with a PG older son, the school is already commenting that they are prepared to accelerate our younger child if needed! The work we did earlier is helping (it also may have helped another child, who was accelerated by a year last school year).

    Good luck!

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    #221221 - 08/24/15 09:16 AM Re: Do I have reason to request differentiation? [Re: 1111]
    1111 Offline
    Member

    Registered: 08/26/11
    Posts: 246
    Thank you for the responses. It helps a lot.

    It was hard to advocate for my older, even with the proof he was 5 years ahead in math and read and was spelling 6+ years ahead in Kindergarten. It was not until 1st grade, when he ended up with a 26 year veteran teacher who immediately saw how out there DS was. SHE is the reason the administration started to listen, and we are now incredibly pleased with DS7's school situation.

    This amazing teacher was supposed to be DS5's teacher this year. She had already seen work my son had done through his Kindergarten year. (he showed her in carpool every day...) She commented on "I have nothing to teach you next year" and "You could teach my class". I knew she would back me up and help me get in done for DS5.....well....she ended up retiring this year...I was devastated.

    So, he is placed with the other 1st grade teacher who does have knowledge of my older son's situation...still, different teacher, different mentality. So in a way I am feeling like I am starting from scratch again. I know the Principal understands my older son's situation and how unique it is. Not sure if she will compare and think my younger is not in the same place and might be OK staying in the class...

    Yes, most of my friends say it should be easier since they know the history of my other boy, but I am also concerned they will compare. My plan is to turn in a questionnaireto his teacher given to us by her where she asks about the child and asks for any additional information she should know about. I am writing a letter explaining the situation and submitting the full Achievement report. Hopefully she will be responsive so the next step would be talking to the principal. I have laid back so far, wanting to give her some space to get into the new school year and get to know my kid. (He says he is writing his own multiplication equations when he is done with the work and that she saw it and said "Cool math") :-)

    Any other advise? Does this sound like a good plan to you?

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    #221914 - 09/05/15 12:29 PM Re: Do I have reason to request differentiation? [Re: 1111]
    Quantum2003 Offline
    Member

    Registered: 02/08/11
    Posts: 1432
    Well, I think it depends on whether your DS can handle not accelerating - DS12 was okay waiting until 2nd grade before his first acceleration. The flip issue is whether your DS has the requisite writing and EF skills to accelerate to a higher classroom, assuming that is required at your school as it was at ours. I always endorse giving the teacher a chance to make her own conclusions about your DS because having supportive teachers and adminstrators made advocacy much easier in DS' case during both accelerations.

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    #221938 - 09/06/15 11:28 AM Re: Do I have reason to request differentiation? [Re: 1111]
    1111 Offline
    Member

    Registered: 08/26/11
    Posts: 246
    I turned the papers in on Tuesday. Have not been approached by the teacher yet. I requested in the letter for us to sit down and figure out what to do with the math. I did put in the letter that since we have already been through this process with my older it should be easier this time around.

    My plan is to pull him out of math 5 out of the 7 classes they have every week. I will do what I did with my older at this stage. They have a room set up that my older uses to do EPGY. I will use that room for DS5 as well. Working with him myself. I still do 2 classes/week with my older as well. During the other 2 classes he can be in the classroom working on what the 1st grade class are doing.

    The biggest issue, and argument for them, is that the school uses Singapore Math. Well, it can be somewhat confusing at times, even for me and my older son. I am sure they will say that the math we do here is different and he might not understand it the "Singapore Way". I am sure sometimes he won't, but should he sit through hour after hour for those rare times? I can easily fill in any "gaps", and when he is with his class he will pick it up as well.

    Another interesting point they have is that DS5 just had his first math test....he scored a 90%...I am sure that will be used against me as well.

    I know he obviously knows how to count bears and find the matching numbers, BUT he can be very distracted and especially when he finds something too easy he tends to be sloppy. That argument can sound like an excuse though....sigh. Any ideas how to combat that one?

    I do not think he will be OK staying in the class. His behaviour has gotten MUCH worse in the past couple of weeks and he seems to have a lot of anger and frustration. Yelling, throwing things etc. Blowing up over every little thing. When I ask him about school he says it is way too long and he could be doing more important things. When asked he does like art, music, PE, French (because it is hard). English is OK, spelling and reading is bad, and math is the worst. I am thinking he feels like he is wasting his time. He also told me "why do I have to go to school and do things I already know". This is a kid who LOVES difficult concepts and hates easy. Such a great mentality to have.

    I am not asking anything of the school or the teacher, just the permission to do what my older is doing. Is that so unreasonable?

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    #221943 - 09/06/15 03:31 PM Re: Do I have reason to request differentiation? [Re: 1111]
    aeh Online   content
    Member

    Registered: 04/26/14
    Posts: 3990
    FWIW, Singapore Math recently released an online curriculum for Primary 1-5, which might be useful as a counteroffer.
    https://www.singaporemath.com/SearchResults.asp?Cat=291
    It has built-in mini-lessons, pre/post-tests, and intervention assessments that can be auto-scored and used for identifying gaps for intervention, which might be some ways you could document the presence/absence of gaps, where they are, and which aspects of SM would be relevant to teach for the purposes of gap-filling. I know the "system" might still be an issue for you (though I've found it to be generally quite intuitive for my particular math-y kids), but it would at least allow you a means of accelerating/compacting through a curriculum that the school cannot object to. SM also has semester-level placement tests (essentially end-of-semester tests), for which they suggest 80% is mastery.
    _________________________
    ...pronounced like the long vowel and first letter of the alphabet...

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    #221952 - 09/07/15 07:56 AM Re: Do I have reason to request differentiation? [Re: 1111]
    1111 Offline
    Member

    Registered: 08/26/11
    Posts: 246
    Aeh, thank you so much for that information! It looks exactly like the math they are doing in school. I think this way he will be able to progress at his own pace while still using their curriculum. I will definitely use this as an option.

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    #222473 - 09/17/15 02:11 PM Re: Do I have reason to request differentiation? [Re: 1111]
    1111 Offline
    Member

    Registered: 08/26/11
    Posts: 246
    We had the discussion with the principal and teacher this week. It went well, I would say. Not AS well as I would have hoped in regards to what I was able to get done. For now, I am pulling him 2 out of the 7 math classes.

    Their concern is that he his showing signs of "not understanding directions", which I know is a solid claim. When tested this summer the tester did NOT see any signs of not understanding though. I am suspecting they lose him as they start talking about adding 7+2. He is a very visual child and drifts off a lot. The teacher say he seems like an "absent minded professor".

    There might be a couple of other issues going on as well. One being visual processing which we are doing therapy for right now. He scored at 4 years of age (he was 5yrs 7 mo. at the time of testing) in the visual memory part of the test. Other sections were also low. Interestingly enough his visual spatial relationship score was at almost 13 years of age.

    I am working with him to try to get him to listen to instructions. Has anybody dealt with something similar to this?

    I feel holding him back for this reason is not a good thing. He LOVES math but says it is the most horrible subject in school.
    There are things he will have to learn since they are doing Singapore Math, but I don't feel he needs to sit through that many repetitions of the same thing.

    Still, I am glad we have started the process and that they agreed that I could pull him. I said that we could take it chapter by chapter and see what he might need a bit more of. I am also going to tell her that if she notices that he gets it, to let him go. The repetition will break him.

    We have had some awful behavior the past 3 weeks as well. Very similar to what happened to my older at this same age. It is to the point that it's affecting the whole family dynamic. He keeps saying he hates math and that he wants to start 2nd grade. (He is already accelerated by a year). He was furious when I told him he was being pulled 2 lessons. Screaming that it wasn't enough.

    Any suggestion to how I can approach the teacher in a good way? We have a plan with the 2 days a week, but I know it won't be enough.

    Thanks!


    Edited by 1111 (09/17/15 02:13 PM)

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    #222477 - 09/17/15 04:52 PM Re: Do I have reason to request differentiation? [Re: 1111]
    blackcat Offline
    Member

    Registered: 05/23/13
    Posts: 2154
    Are there any end of the year paper/pencil assessments they can give him? Our district had a completely unreasonable acceleration policy, in that they wanted the child to score 98 percent accurate for material up to the point that they would be accelerated to. Current school is much more reasonable (I think it's 80 percent--so DD, for instance, is now in 5th grade and if she scores 80 percent on the end of the year assessment, she can skip 5th grade math). My DS was given the acceleration assessments when he was in first grade (at the school where they wanted 98 percent) and I think he was very unfocused. There was a whole category where he was clueless (measuring to cm with a ruler) so of course he didn't get the 98 percent. I argued that I could teach him to measure with a ruler in about 3 minutes and it was ridiculous to hold him back for a couple little gaps like that (I said it more nicely than that, but that was what I was trying to get across), but i may as well have been talking to a brick wall. He did the WJ ACH as part of his IEP eval and scored 155 for broad math which put him at around a 4th-5th grade equivalent, and they couldn't have cared less. They also had his IQ scores. It didn't matter.

    Luckily he is now at the school which is not so rigid (they just require the 80 percent) and he is in third grade but will be sent to a sixth grade classroom for math. He also was saying that he hated math, and now he says he loves it. He says that the rest of school is a waste of time, but he could sit in math all day.
    I would ask about having him tested on their own measures. Sometimes I think tests like the WJ are meaningless to them, plus so many mathy kids in the K and 1st grade level seem to get sky-high scores if they already know multiplication, division, etc. Good luck.

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    #222485 - 09/17/15 06:49 PM Re: Do I have reason to request differentiation? [Re: 1111]
    aeh Online   content
    Member

    Registered: 04/26/14
    Posts: 3990
    Singapore Math has paper/pencil (short answer and open-response) end-of-course assessments for each half-year (available as downloads on the www.singaporemath.com website), for which they specify 80% as the minimum mastery score.
    _________________________
    ...pronounced like the long vowel and first letter of the alphabet...

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