Posted by: vwmommy

## Teacher Questioning Math Acceleration - 01/11/12 05:29 AM

DS6, who is in K, has been skipping up to 2nd grade for reading since the beginning of November and for math since the beginning of December. The regular 2nd grade teacher who had planned all of this with his K teacher has been out on FMLA since the beginning of December but will be coming back soon. I have always assumed that reading was Connor's stronger suit and was initially surprised when the school suggested 2nd grade math acceleration as well, but since then he seems to have been proving me wrong. He has developed a huge interest in numbers and math of the last couple of months and, at least according to him, has been enjoying his math class.

Fast forward to yesterday and I get a call from DS's K teacher. She tells me that the 2nd grade teacher (the long term sub) told her that the math that they are learning is "going over his head" and that he is getting frustrated in class and that she doesn't think that its good for him. She suggested that 1st grade math would be a better fit because they're more likely to be at his "comfort level". Mind you, I have told his teacher all along that if there were ever any gaps that she was noticing to let us know because, since math has been a newer interest for him, its not something he has learned as much about at home but he learns quickly enough that those could generally be made up with a 5 minute discussion at home.

I am no curriculum expert but I'm pretty sure he won't be learning much in a 1st grade math classroom considering he already knows multiple digit addition and subtraction and carrying, basic fractions, and has been learning multiplication and division on his own recently lately.

Secondly, I know my child, and he is a massive perfectionist. If anything has too much risk or chance of failure then he will ooften just not try. Frustration, with him, is often just a sign that he is having to do something that isn't entirely innate. We search out those experiences for him since so many things come easily. I am not comfortable with telling him "Well, this must be too hard for you so why don't you go back to doing things that you already know how to do." On the same note- he expresses NO frustration about this class or subject matter outside of that classroom.

Thirdly, I don't know much about the 'Everyday Math' curriculum but it appears that what he's having a hard time with at the moment is doing the same addition problems that he already knows how to do in different ways, using different logarithms. My (and his K teacher's) question is- If he already can do the math why does he have to learn a bunch of different ways to do the same problem? I can understand having value in showing different ways to accomplish something but if a child has learned a way on his own and is proficient at it are the other logarithms really needed?

Right now it seems like his K teacher and I are on the same page that we should hold out on any changes until the regular teacher comes back but if any of you have been here before I'd certainly appreciate the input. Thanks.

Fast forward to yesterday and I get a call from DS's K teacher. She tells me that the 2nd grade teacher (the long term sub) told her that the math that they are learning is "going over his head" and that he is getting frustrated in class and that she doesn't think that its good for him. She suggested that 1st grade math would be a better fit because they're more likely to be at his "comfort level". Mind you, I have told his teacher all along that if there were ever any gaps that she was noticing to let us know because, since math has been a newer interest for him, its not something he has learned as much about at home but he learns quickly enough that those could generally be made up with a 5 minute discussion at home.

I am no curriculum expert but I'm pretty sure he won't be learning much in a 1st grade math classroom considering he already knows multiple digit addition and subtraction and carrying, basic fractions, and has been learning multiplication and division on his own recently lately.

Secondly, I know my child, and he is a massive perfectionist. If anything has too much risk or chance of failure then he will ooften just not try. Frustration, with him, is often just a sign that he is having to do something that isn't entirely innate. We search out those experiences for him since so many things come easily. I am not comfortable with telling him "Well, this must be too hard for you so why don't you go back to doing things that you already know how to do." On the same note- he expresses NO frustration about this class or subject matter outside of that classroom.

Thirdly, I don't know much about the 'Everyday Math' curriculum but it appears that what he's having a hard time with at the moment is doing the same addition problems that he already knows how to do in different ways, using different logarithms. My (and his K teacher's) question is- If he already can do the math why does he have to learn a bunch of different ways to do the same problem? I can understand having value in showing different ways to accomplish something but if a child has learned a way on his own and is proficient at it are the other logarithms really needed?

Right now it seems like his K teacher and I are on the same page that we should hold out on any changes until the regular teacher comes back but if any of you have been here before I'd certainly appreciate the input. Thanks.