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    Joined: Apr 2008
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    Keeping my fingers crossed that all went well!

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    crisc Offline OP
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    I have to be brief since I am in hotel on my IPOD touch but the meeting went ok. We all agree that DS6 has some social issues and that the teachers approach to math is not working. We need to brainstorm and meet back in 3 weeks. I will write more about the details when I get home tomorrow evening but I didn't want to leave evryone hanging since you have been so supportive. Thanks.

    Last edited by crisc; 01/24/09 12:43 PM.

    Crisc
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    Thanks for updating us Crisc. I'm happy that the school is willing to work with you. smile

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    That sounds like a pretty good meeting. Can I suggest Singapore Word Challenging Problems for school?


    LMom
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    Yes, thanks for the update. I was worrying about you guys! wink


    Kriston
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    crisc Offline OP
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    OK...I finally have time to update everyone on the meeting.

    First I observed the class for about an hour. The class was working on a picture writing project. All the children first watched a lengthy demo (~15 minutes) of the teacher doing a watercolor art scene and then the children each made their own. (All of the children's work closely resembled the teachers in color and layout). I assisted by making sure that the children had the correct materials and also assisted with the clean up process. DS6 did not stick out in any way IMO. He didn't seem to really care that I was there.

    After the children left to go to art class his 1st grade teacher remarked that this was the most focused DS6 had been during these picture writing sessions. Looking at his work from the last few sessions I also noticed that Friday's picture was his best one.

    After the children left for art it was time for the meeting. I met with the 1st grade teacher, the school guidance counselor and the principal. My husband also was present.

    We started by giving the guidance counselor an overview of DS6 and the issues. She had met DS6 when he was in trouble in the office but have no real interactions with him other than that. She had also spoken to our private counselor and they agreed to start a lunchtime social group for DS6. They hoped to have it up and running in about month. They hope that by hand picking certain children they can boost his social skills to be age appropriate. She also agreed to observe DS6 in the classroom over the next week or so.

    We also talked a lot about DS6's outburts and where and when they most often occurred. It seems that the lunch period is usually the hardest for DS6. The school is currently in the process of shortening the lunch period from 25 minutes to only around 18 minutes. DS6 has stated that when he is done eating he is not sure what to do and ususally gets rough with his friends. They also plan to start sending some Suduko type puzzles with him if he wants to work on them when he is done eating.

    Next we talked about the challenge of work in the classroom. This where we did not get much accomplished. The teacher admits that DS6 can "read anything" but she has not been able to assess him reading or comprehension levels. She knows he needs to work on character and plot development with his age peers because he is afterall "only 6".

    In math she admits that his computation is above level but she says that she will not give him more advanced material because he can't verbalize the reasoning behind all him answers. She wants him to be able to explain that 5+5=10 is the same as 5x2=10. DH and I tried to explain to her that he has been able to verbalize that since he was 3-4 years old. It's just common knowledge for him now. She also wants to work with him on showing his work because "when he gets to third grade she won't be there to help him on the state tests".

    At this point even the principal told the teacher that she needs to work on her approach to math with DS6 because at this point he is so tuned out and has already decided that this teacher is not going to be able to teach him anything new in math. The principal said that she thought it would be like asking an adult to explain how to make change from a dollar. This task would be viewed as extrememely easy but if you asked them to make change from a 1 million dollar bill that might prove to add more challenge. The principal also asked about allowing DS6 to do his problems with numbers at least in the hundreds or in the negatives. The teacher seemed pretty upset that she was being asked to make a change and plans to brainstorm over the next few weeks until our meeting. She still believes that at 6 years old there is not much deviation in math understanding depsite the fact that he can compute.

    The teacher brought samples of a spelling test DS6 took in October and then again in Janaury and there was a huge improvement in his ability to spell. I agreed that spelling was an area that we have seem marked improvement.

    We ran out of time at this point but agreed to meet back in February right before the vacation break.

    DS6 was already in the asst. principal's office on Monday for mouthing off to the gym teacher.

    Honestly I am glad we had the meeting but I do feel like nothing was actually accomplished.

    In other news the private counselor told me that she after speaking with the school staff (teacher, guidance counselor or asst. principal) she does not see anything concrete to diagnose him as aspergers, ADD or ADHD. She thinks he's just gifted and has huge asynchrony from his cognitive level to his emotional level.

    Thanks for the support everyone and sorry I didn't get time to update sooner. It's been a crazy week.


    Crisc
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    Quote
    The teacher seemed pretty upset that she was being asked to make a change and plans to brainstorm over the next few weeks until our meeting. She still believes that at 6 years old there is not much deviation in math understanding depsite the fact that he can compute.

    It sounds like this could be an opportunity to send in a workbook that has the appropriate level of math for your son. You could say "I found this and thought it may save you some of the work in making the changes we discussed." I'd try this approach rather than waiting weeks for the teacher to brainstorm when she seems to have underestimated his ability to understand math.

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    Crisc, let me know how that 'social group' goes for your DS. GS9 sees a counselor at the school, and has since the 2nd grade. The counselor is a grad student at the local college, a different one each year. Each one wants to work with him in a group. I allowed it for a brief time last year, long enough to see my gut instinct on this was right, this is not right for my kid.
    The problems I see with it(the way it was done at GS's school) is they hand pick a group of kids that all have behaviorial issues. These kids all know what is acceptable behavior, they're not retarded, they have a variety of issues that make them act out. So, on top of having his own issues to deal with, GS was bombarded with all these other kids issues. GS is too sensitive, and this all affected him negatively. On top of that, I didn't want GS being pegged as "one of those bad kids" by the other kids in school.
    It has worked out much better for us to immerse GS9 in every activity available. And if parental participation is welcome, all the better! Cub Scouts, swim lessons, 4-H, Cloverbuds, church groups, etc., the list goes on but those have been the main ones. I would attend to reinforce the authority of the leader/instructer. I could supervise behavior and intervene as necessary. The kids in these groups, for the most part, have had involved parents who were concerned about appropriate behavior so GS was was not picked on, or excluded. It's been slow, but those friendships are carrying into school now, and the social issues are less of a problem now.

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    I agree with Inky. I'd get some Singapore Math challenging word problem books and send those in w/ the note that Inky suggested.

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    Mia Offline
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    Crisc--I really hope things work out for you and ds. At least it sounds like they're trying to address the social issues ... But they may be missing the forest for the trees and treating the symptoms, not the problem.

    I also remember having the same feelings... I'd be slightly mollified after a meeting, but after reviewing I'd realize that not much progress had been made.

    Any idea yet what next year will look like? We made our decision to switch schools after seeing what one year of ridiculous underplacement was doing to him; he couldn't afford to wait until upper elementary/middle school for a change. Is next year looking at all hopeful?


    Mia
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