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    #226996 - 01/23/16 10:37 AM how to deal with grade report
    rac Offline

    Registered: 10/02/11
    Posts: 57
    So we recently got our first grade report ever for our first grader, a DYS, and it came as a complete shock. At the fall parent teacher conference, we were told (when we asked) that he was middle of the range in English - which we thought was terrific, as he doesn't speak English at home and is trilingual (this is an advanced school with IQ cutoff, so we were really quite happy), and his current reading level in English where he is comfortable (meaning, they can decode at higher levels, but read that level fluently and with full understanding) was the last range of 1st grade according to the teachers; and we were told he is exceptional in Math (not a surprise - Math is way too easy at the school for him, he is literally years ahead). The principal recently told us we shouldn't do any math with him at home (which we are ignoring, as he loves math challenges).

    Well, the report says that he draws too much to illustrate his ideas, and (essentially) is struggling with English. In Math, it says he thrives in math class, and has benefited from some advanced work. And that he has improved his speed in addition up to ten (up to ten??), but needs to work on understanding the math facts with higher numbers and on subtraction.
    We were surprised to see no mention of how he is doing relative to the class or, more generally, what his level is relative to what is expected (there are no grades). And the only details regarding Math are a shock. This is a kid that was doing simple addition up to ten at the age of 2! Also, the Math work he brings home is always correct, and usually complete (except when they do exercises with a partner). The one time he missed a couple of math questions, they were given the opportunity to create their own questions on the back of the sheet (which the teacher did not grade), and he filled the sheet with the same exercise (something simple, along the lines of +0, +1, +2)as required, but using numbers in the hundreds and thousands.
    We are not sure how to deal with this. Ignore? We are mostly concerned that with reports like this, it will be hard to get him accepted into other private schools (if and when we move), or will be asked to repeat a grade (he is born after the usual age cut-off).

    #226998 - 01/23/16 02:46 PM Re: how to deal with grade report [Re: rac]
    Mana Offline

    Registered: 12/17/12
    Posts: 882
    DD's school doesn't do report cards but one of her music friends who is beyond amazing (winning national competitions and has given concerts at huge concert halls) received " not satisfactory" for music on her last report card.

    This young musician can play major concertos, has perfect pitch, can sightread through Grade 10 repertoire pieces, and she is in 2nd grade. It's not a matter of lack of effort since she is extremely compliant, especially with her teachers.

    I think this was her teacher's way of passive-aggressively communicating to her parents that she doesn't approve of their parenting choices.

    #226999 - 01/23/16 03:18 PM Re: how to deal with grade report [Re: rac]
    puffin Offline

    Registered: 12/11/12
    Posts: 2035
    Yes but can answer a music question like a 2nd grader? If the teacher is grading to a rubric then more advanced = fail. Like using algebra ratber than the reauired guess-and-check. The teacher is checking you can regurgitate what she taught not that you understand maths.

    I hope the parent of the musical child told her kid it was a lot of rubbish.

    OP do you think it is politics or rubbish or are you concerned about something.

    #227006 - 01/23/16 05:03 PM Re: how to deal with grade report [Re: rac]
    chay Offline

    Registered: 08/07/13
    Posts: 448
    Loc: Canada
    I would try to talk to the teacher and ask a few open ended questions before jumping to a conclusion. Our school board's system had a bunch of drop down menus that they pick things out of and it is often hard to decipher the edu-speak. They will say things like "X should work on mathematical problem solving skills with numbers 1-20" because that is what is next up in the curriculum and since they haven't tested it yet they have no idea that X can handle far beyond 20.

    I will also say that our more confusing report cards were for our DS who we now know is gifted/LD. Not to say that your child is 2e but it is something to be aware of as a possibility depending on the school's responses. I know it wasn't really on our radar when we started this adventure but we were really lucky that we figured it out pretty early (grade 1). I had no clue about the huge variety of LD's out there.

    Good luck!

    #227014 - 01/24/16 05:21 AM Re: how to deal with grade report [Re: rac]
    _Angie_ Offline

    Registered: 03/18/14
    Posts: 146
    We were recently shocked by our K student's report card. All 3s out of 1-4. The teacher told the students "I don't give out 4s. You have to really really wow me to get 4s."

    The behavior scores only went to 3 and he did get top marks on those.

    I've tried to ignore it but it really wasn't a good start to report cards for me... how discouraging for all involved!

    The teacher independently told me DS was assessed as 2+ grades ahead in both math and reading and on grade level writing. That he is one of her favorite students in class and a leader for the class. If this kid can only get 3 out of 4 wth?

    We applied recently to a math program and had to submit the report card. I was disappointed it didn't accurately reflect his performance and I felt bad for him. Then I shrugged it off because it's K. But someday it will be more important and I don't think I will handle it very well. smirk

    #227017 - 01/24/16 07:23 AM Re: how to deal with grade report [Re: rac]
    Thomas Percy Offline

    Registered: 11/18/12
    Posts: 206
    I guess these early elementary grades are are standard based. Cannot say I am a fan. Because exceeding grade level is not automatically a top grade. It is some sort of unexpected performance on grade level that gets the top grade. Weird stuff, hence some teacher won't give them out.

    By the time middle school comes around, it will be subject based. The kids who know the subject will get their As. Before that, I doubt anyone is paying too much attention to these report cards. Some private schools only have narrative s, no grades at all.

    #227019 - 01/24/16 07:44 AM Re: how to deal with grade report [Re: rac]
    CalvinsDad Offline

    Registered: 07/27/10
    Posts: 52
    Here's a look into the future for you folks with young kids entering the "educational" system.

    My DYS DS16 is now in 11th grade and has a 4.30 weighted GPA in high school. It wasn't always this way. He started off in regular public school until identified as gifted in 2nd grade. He moved to center-based gifted program for 3rd grade and then moved to a selective private school in 4th grade when we relocated.

    In both lower and middle school his grades were always acceptable but not spectacular. I would say most of his teachers through the years were not comfortable with him or outright did not like DS, even his gifted teacher in 3rd grade. He is a divergent thinker and K-8 teachers really do not appreciate out of the box thinking at all no mater what they say. My DS spends almost all of his time outside of the box. A good example is the times tables - his teacher wanted him to memorize and regurgitate at speed to demonstrate mastery. He told the teacher that all of the information was right there in a neat table and he shouldn't have to memorize it as he had more important things to think about. Yikes!

    High school teachers appreciate this ability slightly more but still have difficulties. Throughout his school career, DS has been penalized because he doesn't speak up often in class. According to him he only chooses to speak up when a teacher explains something incorrectly or the rest of the class is stumped. DS doesn't really care about grades or sucking up to teachers so he refuses to play the game of speak-up-for-bonus-points.

    Back to my thoughs on math - because DS refused to play along with the teacher/school he was never advanced as fast as some other kids in his grade. He took Alg I in 7th, Alg II in 8th, Honors Geo & Trig in 9th, Honors Pre-Calc & AP Statistics in 10th and is now in AP Calc AB. He has been bored in every class because everything moves so slowly. Every year I ask if he can take a course over the summer to accelerate the pace of his math education and the school tells me "No, your son is appropriately challenged." I asked if he could skip AP Calc AB and go straight to BC and they told me it would be too difficult. Hello!?! A challenge is what we were looking for in the first place. As math has gotten more difficult each year for most students, it has actually gotten easier for DS. He probably should have started calc in 9th grade.

    I think it is tough for k-12 teachers to deal with kids who have significantly more brain power than themselves.

    DS is now involved in a NASA sponsored high school program in Virginia where he is working on a mission to Mars. He has to research and submit technical papers on mission design. Luckily, his outside of the box approach is appreciated in this environment.

    Recently, DS decided he is going to Caltech or MIT. He is well aware that those schools are super-reach schools for everyone but he is confident his essays will be his golden ticket. His plan is to apply to Caltech and MIT early action. He also will apply to UVA and William & Mary regular decision. It's so weird to hear him speak of UVA and W&M like they are safety schools.

    Oh well, such is life with a "different" kind of kid.
    Philip Stone

    #227020 - 01/24/16 08:06 AM Re: how to deal with grade report [Re: rac]
    jack'smom Offline

    Registered: 01/02/10
    Posts: 757
    I would second those thoughts- I wouldn't worry a lot about grade school grades. We were pretty unimpressed by a lot of the teachers that my older child, now in junior high, had at our highly rated public grade school.
    His grades in grade school would vary- he would do the math in his head correctly and get an F because he wouldn't "show his work." He had all A's in junior high this year including taking Algebra I in 7th grade (accelerated 2 years) in the advanced classes, plus being first chair in the orchestra. His 6th grade teacher refused to recommend him for honors math until he took the SAT in 6th grade and aced it, plus he got a 95% on the math placement test (a 75% or better was required to enter the class)!
    I would pay attention more to the content of the grades. For example, if it looks to you and the teacher like your child's handwriting is poor, try to work on that at home. Etc.

    #227022 - 01/24/16 08:57 AM Re: how to deal with grade report [Re: rac]
    syoblrig Offline

    Registered: 05/18/11
    Posts: 329
    I agree with ignoring it. It's frustrating but meaningless. Teachers do that at our elementary school, too. "Growth" is a big deal, and schools are measured by how much growth the students have. If they start with 4's, there's no way they can say kids grow!

    #227023 - 01/24/16 09:06 AM Re: how to deal with grade report [Re: rac]
    _Angie_ Offline

    Registered: 03/18/14
    Posts: 146
    FWIW I asked the math program about his report card when we submitted it and told them he had achievement testing I thought was a better indicator of his math ability. The secretary told me not to worry about it, the key reason they wanted the report card was for the teacher notes/behavior/motivation portion of it.

    Makes a lot of sense to me and after that interaction I think I'd be more worried about some sort of negative behavior noted on an early elementary report card, which may be observed by someone later. I think most people know the grades (unless very very bad) are really meaningless.

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