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    Joined: Dec 2007
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    crisc Offline OP
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    Sorry to start another post so soon but I need advice for resources.

    In response to an e-mail that I received from DS6's 1st grade teacher today about his bad behavior I wrote:

    ...I know that you have 20 other kids that need to reach minimum standards and that DS6 would prefer one on one
    attention. I also know that you truly can't teach at his academic level while keeping up with the rest of the class. DS6 knows this as well.


    It now appears I have really ticked her off. She has requested a meeting for next week as she states:

    I think we disagree on what actually is DS6's "academic
    level" and what is appropriate for him developmentally to be doing in the classroom.

    I have had many children over the twenty years in the classroom like DS6. Yes he is bright. But he is also a six year old boy.

    I would like to meet with you as soon as possible to get this worked out. I am not comfortable with the fact that somehow DS6 "knows that I can not teach at his academic level." I believe this is an inappropriate message to be sending a 6 year old. Please let me know which day next week you will be able to come in.


    I would think his test scores would be enough to show that addition/subtraction is not going to cut it for math and simple chapter books are not going to work for reading group.

    Maybe this has been our issue all year--she might actually believe that DS6 is "not that smart". It's probably a great reason why we have not had any harder work. It's also true that DS6 does feel that he is not going to get harder work from this teacher. I'm really not sure what to tell her.

    I plan to have DS6 complete some more complex math sheets this weekend--what else should I bring? I feel like I shouldn't to prove anything to this woman. She seems to have already made up her mind about him.

    Does anyone know of any above level testing I could request for a 6 year old?


    Crisc
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    Ok. I have been here before. Take a step back and a deep breath. You have definitely pissed her off. I did the same exact thing. Email was much of the problem. Schedule the meeting but don't meet with her alone. Have the principal and a GT specialist there as well. Bring in examples of his work. This is why we took a WISC in the first place. I scheduled and got the results inside of a week. The school stopped giving me a hard time when they saw my dd's verbal scores. You have to speak their language but don't let them use his behavior as an excuse not to teach him. Say something like, "yes we understand there are behavioral issues and we are working on it. Maybe we are not that far apart here and if we can find a solution to the academic issues it might make solving the behavioral issues a bit easier." Try not to belittle or antagonize them. They are all you have right now and unless you want to homeschool or pay for private you do not want to spend the rest of his school days fighting with teachers and admininstrators, although you might have to anyway. Bite your tongue and try to be diplomatic remembering that a good outcome will benefit your child.

    I'm sorry for you. It should not be so hard.

    best to you and good luck.

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    Crisc, DD8 had both the WIAT and Woodcock Johnson. I preferred the WJ. Also, it's pretty standard to school to use the Woodcock Johnson, so it's a good bet for their comfort level. They really can't discredit the results if they use it themselves.

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    crisc Offline OP
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    DS6 has already had the WJ-III last year. His scores in math qualified him for DYS. I would think that would have an impact. Maybe since the school didn't do the testing they don't trust the scores...

    We also have no GT specialist at our school--no program either. I guess I could ask for the Principal or Vice Principal to come.

    I do need to take a deep breath. I am ready to reply back: DS6 is not "bright". He is gifted--even if you don't like the word. But I won't. smile

    Last edited by crisc; 01/14/09 04:51 PM.

    Crisc
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    Okay, while your note to the teacher makes sense, it's less than diplomatic. Perfectly acceptable to post that stuff here, but some of your word choice is a little loaded from teacher perspective.

    Judging by the teacher's response you have royally pissed her off. I should know, I seem to have a very special talent for pissing of the elem ed teachers.

    The teacher will be on the defensive at the meeting, nothing to do about that now. I wouldn't expect to accomplish anything major at the meeting, just work on trying to get back in a positive light. Live to fight another day......

    I have used the term: natural learning level. Anytime you can figure out which terms are "loaded" from the teacher perspective and eliminate them it's a good thing. I have trouble with this, but have come to find it makes a huge impact in whether or not you have success.
    My first boss loved the fact that I had: "Uncommon common sense". I guess the lack of common common sense can be pretty problematic for me, especially in these school dealings. smile

    When is the meeting? Good luck and tell us how it goes. If you can think of anything I can help you with, feel free to p.m.

    Neato

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    crisc Offline OP
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    Thanks 'Neato,

    I guess academic level is a term I should NEVER use again. These kids should come with a manual. smile



    Crisc
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    Crossposted. You are justified. He's not *just* gifted if he has math DYS scores, he has special needs. It's getting to the place where the teacher can see that and not feel she is being challenged or that you are being elitist.

    Is it possible to get there? Yes. Am I totally there with my school yet? No.

    But our principal is supporting my girls and it's a huge step in the right direction. I made the mistake, though, of getting in a pissing match with the K teacher, who has been teaching there a very long time. She plays the sweet little old lady card but is crafty as a fox. I suspect some of the issues I have with current teachers stems with her....
    Fair? no. It's just the reality and I have to deal with it. But it hasn't stopped me from advocating and we are starting to see some of the fruits of of labor, so to speak.

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    Crossposted again! Don't beat yourself up. You should of heard some of the stuff I said. I thought it was great........Oh boy!



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    Has teacher seen the Woodcock Johnson test?

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    Originally Posted by crisc
    ... as she states:

    I would like to meet with you as soon as possible to get this worked out. I am not comfortable with the fact that somehow DS6 "knows that I can not teach at his academic level." I believe this is an inappropriate message to be sending a 6 year old. Please let me know which day next week you will be able to come in.


    Maybe this is a good thing...
    (not that you ticked her off, of course)

    But at least she wants to meet with you quickly. I wonder if there is a way for her to see that you aren't "sending him the message". Sounds to me like he figured the situation out on his own...

    This could be a great opportunity to demonstrate for more than one person at the school where your son is really at academically. Even though you may need many more meetings (or years even, as others have said.) Now you've got her attention! wink

    Last edited by EastnWest; 01/14/09 05:14 PM. Reason: added stuff
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    Well, I should have mentioned that DD8(almost nine) has only recently gotten a true understanding of her educational needs this year! So maybe age eight is the magic number.

    I did bring in DD's WJ and I think it was very beneficial in stating her case. However, our principal is very knowledgable concerning these things.

    Even the teacher could understand that >age 23 in one of the subtests was significant.

    I say, look over that test and see what section scores really pack a punch and focus on those if you do bring the achievement testing in.

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    No matter what happens, keep you cool. Better to say nothing and regroup at a later date. I feel for you Crisc. I don't know about you but I've definatly had that terrible feeling in the pit of my stomach at times when dealing with teachers from school.

    Good luck at that meeting.

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    crisc Offline OP
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    I finally sent my reply e-mail to set up the meeting for next week. I asked for the school counselor or an administrator to be present. I also asked the teacher to review the IQ and achievement testing prior to the meeting.

    I doubt I will be able to bite my tongue during the meeting...I also agree on the whole pit of the stomach thing. This really should not be this hard.

    I also have never told DS6 that the school was teaching to his level--he was smart enough to figure that one out on his own. smile


    Crisc
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    Good luck at the meeting. I could have easily written and received the same email from DS's teacher. She continues to tell me that no Kindergartner she's seen in 20 years can "actually" read and that DS needs to practice coloring or he will not be able to complete elementary school. She has told me that I have overestimated his abilities and when she saw his test results, she actually said "Well since you paid for them privately, you can buy anything these days...." Uh.. yeah whatever. I bought an IQ score???

    We have had less than stellar results so I'm not good at advice. I can tell you that we always have the Principal or the school learning specialist in any conversation now. If your district has a learning specialist, psychologist or other person who generally would sit in on an IEP, you may want them to participate as a third party.

    Now as a teacher, I can say that the part where you said that she can't teach him at his level, would have seriously pissed me off. I KNOW what you meant but it does imply that she does not have the ability, not the time. Like she's not smart enough... which she very well may not be! Try to deescalate- perhaps even apologize so that you may be able to have a conversation.

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    crisc Offline OP
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    Thanks CAMom,
    I guess I didn't realize that it would come off like that. I know she can teach to his level, she just can't due to time and having a class of 20 kids. I thought that by putting that statement about the other children that she would know what I meant. Oops. I will apologize for that.


    Crisc
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    We were in a similar situation with DS6 last year in Kindergarten. Unfortunately, his teacher refused to meet with me and referred me to the Principal, who also refused to meet with me (she said, specifically, "There's no reason for a meeting, we have nothing to discuss because we aren't doing anything differently"). So, I would say that just the fact that she's actively pursuing a face to face meeting is a great sign that things aren't too far gone and she really wants to find a way to make it work.

    Good luck!

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    You've gotten great advice. I just want to say good luck!


    Kriston
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    Quote
    It took some of the others until DS's SAT score passed theirs
    Ha!!! grin

    Crisc,
    I similarly have a natural talent for stating the obvious, scientific, and logical facts to a teacher... and instantaneously pissing her off. DS8 has a very kind and sweet teacher this year for Language Arts. At a parent/teacher conference in November, she gushed about how wonderful it was to have DS in her class, and how he brought such insightful points of view to the class discussion. I thought that I had a teacher that really understood my son and was supportive. About a month later, DS started to actively complain about the level of reading material in his 4th grade class. They were reading a book that was 5 grade levels below his reading level. Even the private gifted counselor that we see recommended that the teacher allow DS to read above level books and do similar writing assignments on those instead. So with great confidence, I fired off an email asking if she could give DS more challenging work. I tried to phrase it politely, and offered to do any of the additional legwork necessary, so as to not impose upon her time.

    Well, I got a serious smack-down reply with the typical remarks..."The work was appropriately challenging for DS. There are other kids in the class with higher reading levels than DS." etc... I must have wrankled some nerve in this women by unintentionally implying that she was not a good teacher if she was not challenging a student in her classroom. But she really has no clue, even with her own reading assessment in front of her, that DS needs something more than the average student. She knows he is bright, but she teaches bright students every day. He is no different than any of the other "bright" students in the class.

    So I don't have any words of wisdom for you. I would happily take any offered for you, though. Somehow, you have to teach the teacher about levels of giftedness. All bright kids are not the same. And if the teacher is convinced that she is the reigning expert on teaching, then nothing you can say will change her mind. <sad but true!>

    And as for test data, I agree with all of the above when they say that WJ III and WISC-type scores don't really help. They may have not ever seen scores in that ballpark before, or they just don't understand the statistics involved. They are more likely to understand things like an end-of-the-year assessment test for a particular subject in a particular grade. All teachers give a test at the end of the year to measure how their first graders mastered first grade math. You could ask her to give your child that test now. If he passes it, then she has to admit that there is very little left in the standard curriculum for her to teach him. We have also suggested in the past that the school allow our son to sit in with an older grade for the state achievement tests. These tests are meaningless to most of us, since they measure bare minimum performance. But the school pust great stock in them. If you child passes the 3rd grade math state assessment for example, and you would be horrified at how basic these tests are, then somehow the school seems to sit up and take notice.

    Try to find whatever assessment that the school puts the most stock in and go with that. In fact, ask sweetly for them to come up with a way to assess the educational needs of your child. Let them brainstorm a bit and if they come up with the idea, then they are more likely to accept the results. wink

    I really feel for you Crisc! We went through a similar painful stretch, with both the teacher and the behavior issue, in first grade. DS had a teacher that knew he was bright but didn't understand why he didn't want to do all of her coloring assignments. DS was terribly frustrated and his behavior at home, and occasionally at school was less than stellar. That year was a complete bust for DS, and he suffered terribly for it. We just didn't know enough at that point in time to really fight for what he needed. You are in a much better position than we were to be even fighting these battle in 1st grade, awful as they are. On the behavior side of things, we fought our share of battles with grounding him, taking away his computer/tv time, and even taking away his precious legos for a two week period. (He was left with very little to do for two very looooong weeks!) There were also times when he lashed out at us at home in frustration. The situation improved greatly when he was grade accelerated, but even then there was a period of transition where the social friction caused behavior problems. Even now at age eight, there are days when he comes home from school in a major snit. He has, for the most part, learned how to go up to his room and "vent his frustration" in an acceptable manor before coming back down and joining civilization. That level of restraint just takes time, and lots of love and support. (and he still has moments when the frustration just gets the better of him, but they are becoming less and less frequent.)

    So I know, to some extent, what you are going through. Hang on tight and try to ride it out. Somehow the battles seem to change from year to year. But I'm not sure that they get easier. I looked at DH the other day after a particular snarky comment on DS's part (after a hard day at school, even with a grade acceleration and subject acceleration!) and said , "If DS is a 14 year old mind stuck in an 8 year old body, then does that mean we have a teenager now or for the next seemingly eternity years?" It was at least worth a laugh! And laughter is the only way to get through this sometimes!!


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    Oh my. I'm sorry you upset her so much. I got into similar situation when DS6 was in K and I asked for better LA for him. Perhaps me saying that he could spell the words she kept giving him at the age of 2 wasn't the best way to say so but it was true. Ok, I might have skipped the part about the words being fine but for DS3 (he was at the same classroom) but not my older one wink Honestly I couldn't understand how anybody could ask him to spell "cat" and "dog" after knowing him for 2 months and telling me how gt he was.

    I pissed her off and she gave me a parenting lecture a few hours later when I came to pick him up. Something about perfectionism, whole child (I cannot here this phrase anymore), him learning only because of me, pushing him ... It was bad. Needless to say it didn't sit well with me either but I didn't argue. It was so ridiculous and off that I didn't even know what to say. It was the conversation which made us have him tested (he tested at 4th grade at spelling at that time). She ended up apologizing to me the next school day (Monday) but the damage had been done.

    I took samples of his math work to school at one point and it helped some but math was taught by the other class teacher. Perhaps it will help in your case too. It's quite possible she might have never seen your son's scores and extremely likely she has no idea about his math abilities. In our care the scores helped a lot, at least in math.

    Obviously I am no help with any diplomacy when it comes to schools. I just wanted to show that you are not the only one who upsets teachers.

    Good luck


    LMom
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    Ask how his "academic level" has been assessed by the teacher. How does she know she's teaching him at the right level?

    Great advice and it may received as less provocative to word it as "What do your test results show us about his academic level?"

    I'd also add: be prepared to hear "academic level" assessments that don't make sense for your child. This happened to me and it turned out the school's interpretation of my DD6's assessments were way off base. I was given hand written MAP data that was actually erroneous. Ask for official copies of the test reports.

    Also I was given an SRI reading score that the teacher said put DD6 at the beginning of second grade reading level. When I looked at it later, I realized she had used the Lexile Text Measures to interpret DD's score (middle 50% of materials found in a typical grade classroom)instead of the Lexile Reader Measures (middle 50% of students at mid year). Using the Lexile Reader Measures made a significant difference.

    It's been frustrating that they misinterpreted the data in such a way that made DD6 look less capable than she is. Take their test results with a healthy amount of skepticism if it seems significantly different from what you know about your child.

    I hope the meeting goes well. Since the teacher requested the meeting, it may be best if you start off in "receive mode." Show her with body language that she has your full attention and you are receptive to hearing her.

    When it's your turn, you can get her attention by leading with something she's not expecting: an apology for how your e-mail may have come across or a compliment about something that's working for your son in her classroom.

    Here's some other quotes that may help to keep in the back of your mind during the meeting:

    �The essence of advocacy is to keep a conversation going.� Bob Babbage

    You must always play the role of Ms. Manners (who merged with Peter Columbo) and ask lots of �5 W�s + H + E questions� (who, what, when, where, why, how, explain). (From Wrightslaw)

    I'll be hoping for the best and I'm glad to know I'm not the only one who upsets teachers (...and the PTA...and the principal... and the superintendent). smile



    Last edited by inky; 01/14/09 08:56 PM.
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    Yes, when DS was 6 and acting out, I wrote a supportive e-mail to his teacher expressing my concern over my son's bad behavior at school, told her that I was on her team and if there was anything I should be doing to nip it in the bud, that she just had to name it. Oh and "by the way," I said in my last paragraph, "could you send home some more challenging books for his homework?" I didn't say he was bored. I didn't excuse his behavior. Just please grab a different book and shove it in his bag instead. No extra work for her. This was not even an advocacy message!

    Well.

    I got back a 9-paragraph *ranting* e-mail about how she didn't think I trusted her with my son, how she *knew* he was smart but that didn't excuse his behavior (huh?), and that there are lots of good books that aren't chapter books (double huh? Oh, and could you send some of those along then?). Well, after that, she was right: I *didn't* trust her! eek

    I went in to see DS6's test scores at that point, realized that as bad as the teacher was, it didn't really matter, and we pulled him out to homeschool a couple of weeks later.

    So, yes, Crisc, you're among friends on the angering teachers front! I still have no idea what her problem was, but after having several neutral parties read my e-mail and her response, I was pretty sure she had issues way beyond my kindly little message. It's why I don't have advice for you. It would be a case of the blind leading the sighted if I did, I'm afraid! blush


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    It would be a case of the blind leading the sighted if I did, I'm afraid!
    That was the phrase I was looking for and couldn't find! wink

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    LOL! I started to write "blind leading the blind," but the fact is ANYONE here is going to be better at advocacy than I am, I guarantee it! And Crisc is, for sure. I've met her. She'll be great! smile


    Kriston
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    Originally Posted by gratified3
    When we had a teacher threatened by one DS, I learned (eventually) that she didn't have to agree with me and she could continue to believe that 1/2 her class had PG scores and I was just a hot houser. I didn't have to convince her or tell her how wrong she was. But she *couldn't* continue to teach my kid nothing and that was something I could work on with the help of counselor, principal, district or anyone else I needed.

    Excellent point. Here we deeply understand gifties, overexcitiabilities, LOG, 2E, and we know where to get help understanding those test scores if we need it. We have the experiences of about 50 kids, that we can ask each other about at a moment's (ok a few hour's maybe) notice. Many of us have family members who are somewhere in the gifted range. Most of us have about 1000 real life experience hours with even moderatly gifted people for every hour that most elementary school teacher have.

    Elementary School Teachers only get to see a 1 out of a thousand kid about once in a career. Of all the local families who are facing what you are facing, some don't even try the public school system, and some homeschool.

    A very few minus some minus some more equals 'almost none!'

    ((How do you like my Grin-a-Math?))

    Unfortunatly, the longer a person has been doing something, the more likely they are to have developed a lot of pride and trust in what they are doing. Even if what they are doing happens to be dangerous to your kid.

    So - vent your anger (which is justified, only not useful in that setting) here.
    Adopt G3's 'one point policy' above that she doesn't have to change her mental attitude, only her teaching.

    Digression 1: (There is something to be said for how her internal thoughts are affecting your highly able kid, but I can't remember if HSing or private is an option for your family right now. It is certian that my son's well meaning 2nd grade teacher's opinion that there was something wrong with him affected is self image, at least at the time. He is too intelligent in that particular way to spend 6 hours with someone and not 'get' how she feels about him. In her case, she didn't get asynchronous development, so when he had a difficult time with 'writing detailed sentences' she was quite convinsed that 'he could if he really tried' and that 'he has really really severe ADHD.' On one hand, even very small changes make a big difference to these kids, on the other hand - do you really want your child to be stuck there while you go through this difficult process. You can do everything right and still lose. DH and I played by the rules and used all our formidable people skills to advocate, and in the end, we moved him to a private school for two years where we got the grade skip and lots of help in overcoming the 'enforced underachievement.' Many have won in the public school, but this isn't a negotiation as the only obligation they have to help you is moral. You are doing a sales ptich here. Even if it goes well, it may take years!)

    However, most people change their attitudes AFTER they change their behaviors. Illogical but a fact of human nature.

    Then there is the question of how to assess a child. It is best if a school uses tests and above level tests that they are familiar with. It is a scientific fact that human beings doing test will find the data that supports the ideas that they already have. That's why experiments use 'double-blind studies.'

    Which reminds me that writing samples can be helpful, handwritten and dictated. Complicated Math sheets are good. If you kid does powerpoints about any interesting topic, pet care, planets, etc. that can be helpful. Use Kriston's links of 'For those asking what is ND for Kindy' post to get ideas of stuff to try to demonstrate various gradelevels. Don't use their assigned grade levels, as that will come off as presumptions, just the activities.

    Digression 2: You know how when you go to the doctor thinking that you have strep throat, (for example) you are much better off saying: 'I have the worst sore throat of my life and the kids are all on antibiotics for strep' than saying 'Please do a culture for Strep Throat.' This isn't the best example, because lots of doctors are somewhat relaxed about doing cultures, but when the diagnosis get more complicated, it can make a huge difference. We have a family member who is a doctor, and when another family member is sick, them might call the MD over the phone to practice which parts of their story are the most 'useful to doctor ears.' Anyway, your goal is to present data that will give them reason to revise their ideas enough to be able to gather new data without the old ideas.

    Crisc ((hugs!))
    I really feel for you. I know you must be blaming yourself for angering the teacher, but if you get a meeting, and do some careful listening (love the 5W + H + E idea!) you will get to see if you have something to work with. This isn't ideal, but it isn't all bad. Try to take on the role of 'how can I help you' rather than the role of 'How could you?' Bring any other availible adult to help you stay calm and to take notes. Take lots of notes. If you can't get into the role of a 'partner' perhaps aim for an investigative journalist. I'm picturing you with the '60 Minutes' TV show graphic of the stopwatch as backdrop. I've found that it's hard to change people's minds, but at least possible to facilitate people exploring their own minds and adding the one or two relavant facts that might help them 'see things differently.'

    Sorry for all these words and digressions. This topic is still a hot one for me. PM me if you want to know how much our 2 years of private school cost, ok? LOL! But yeah, it eventually did get that bad.

    You didnt' cause this situation, you only stepped in it.

    Love and More Love,
    Grinity



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    Crisc, when's your meeting?

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    Originally Posted by master of none
    Another piece of advice. PRETEND THE EMAIL NEVER HAPPENED!
    Focus on what the meeting is about. It's not about making her mad or her having a class with other needs. It's about your child and his needs and how to best meet them.


    Oh! That's GOOOOOOOD, MON! Wow! Pretend it never happened and keep the focus on the child, where it belongs.

    Wowsa!


    Kriston
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    Well, I certainly wouldn't focus on it, anyway. I wouldn't be surprised if teacher brings it up, then you could say something like:

    You know, I was really frustrated and I'm not the greatest at expressing myself through writing. I think that note could easily be interpreted to mean something that I didn't intend, sorry.

    But, actually since you bring it up, I do have a question for you. What are the (insert grade) students expected to know at the end of this year and does my DS already know it?

    Said non-threateningly in a very thoughtful ponderous way. Seriously, this is a valid question but should be lobbed as sincerely and respectfully as possible.

    Than sit and wait for an answer. Do not speak until the teacher has responded. I don't care if she/he stares at you for five minutes.

    The point is not even to get a workable answer from the teacher. The point is to get the teacher to really think about this. That would be a successful meeting. You regroup later and go from there.

    If she/he fires off a list of things that are necessary that you child is supposedly not doing, write it down, don't address it, gracefully end the meeting and talk it out with DH.

    Live to *fight* another day.

    I wish you much luck and success Crisc

    Last edited by incogneato; 01/15/09 08:55 AM. Reason: spelling, glasses are upstairs and I'm too lazy to retrieve them now!
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    Smart!


    Kriston
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    I don't know about that.......I just know that strategy worked for us. And I'm always happy to share the mistakes that backfired in my face....for *the cause*


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    But I do agree with you and MON's concept. Always gently re-direct it back to THE BOY. He is a child and it's very easy for our adult ego's to forget about that(and I mean teacher too) in the heat of conflict.

    But when we all keep reminding ourselves that we are speaking of a child and this is not a pissing match, things tend to be more productive.

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    crisc Offline OP
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    I am still waiting on the exact date and time of the meeting.

    Thanks for the all the good advice. I have already printed out many of the responses and I am going to keep a one page bullet list of the items I want to ask/discuss with the teacher.

    Great advice about ignoring the e-mail.

    Another question: Is it ok to talk about standard deviations: Example a child 3SD above the normal IQ being similar to having the same special needs of a child 3SD below the normal?

    Her last e-mail already told me she was "looking forward to sharing with me the district assessments that were recently done". I can't wait. smile


    Crisc
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    Originally Posted by crisc
    I am still waiting on the exact date and time of the meeting.

    Thanks for the all the good advice. I have already printed out many of the responses and I am going to keep a one page bullet list of the items I want to ask/discuss with the teacher.

    Great advice about ignoring the e-mail.

    Another question: Is it ok to talk about standard deviations: Example a child 3SD above the normal IQ being similar to having the same special needs of a child 3SD below the normal?

    Her last e-mail already told me she was "looking forward to sharing with me the district assessments that were recently done". I can't wait. smile


    Crisc,
    Can you ask her to forward the results to you before the meeting, so you'd have time to browse the results and have more informed questions for her at the meeting?

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    Hi, Crisc,

    I haven't had much luck advocating, so I'm learning as well from what others have said. Here are a few things I wish I had done last year in a similar situation:

    1. LISTEN to the teacher the entire meeting - hear her out and see if this is even a person who is going to be able to meet you part way. Make it your goal to just listen and make notes and then maybe figure out a way later to get what you need.

    2. Have your DH go with you. Even if he says nothing. It is sad but it seems to be true that teachers/admins respect and listen to dads more than to moms. (I don't think this is how it should be; I do think it is how it is in many cases.)

    3. Take someone else with you (even if DH goes) and have that person take notes. Have her/him write down as much as is possible that is said by both parties. If DH can't go, this person can also step in when you get too emotional (mad, sad, angry, frustrated, whatever) and help defuse a power struggle. Have a prearranged signal or code word or a question that your observer can ask to deflect from you until you get it back under control. I would just introduce him/her as a friend (Wonder if it makes a difference if this person is a man???).

    4. Be a broken record: "I understand blah, blah, blah, I need to know x,y,z" until you get somewhere.

    5. Avoid arguing with the teacher, even if you are right. It won't matter and she'll never agree. And, remember, you'd rather be successful than right (or I would, anyway).

    6. Make a list of a few things you want for your child. If she doesn't seem to be able to meet the first one, go to the next. Perhaps if you can get her to agree on one thing, that would be a good start.

    7. I read somewhere to sit on the right of whoever in the room has the most authority. That way, you can see what that person is writing down. Typically, whatever she/he writes down is what is the take-away from the meeting.

    I don't know if any of that will help. I do know what you are going through and wish you didn't have to go through it. Keep us posted!

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    Crisc,

    I also think you may have trouble using SD unless their is a GT specialist in the room. Most teachers think EVERYONE who is 6/7 has something to learn from the 1st grade curriculum no matter how bright they are blah blah blah. So 3SD's or not they think your amazing little boy belongs there. You need to figure out if there an option available within the system that can meet his needs. Somehow I doubt though it seems that many people on this board get it to work. We have enough problems with my DD7 and she is not even close to where your little boy is. We even have an established and very well respected GT program so I think you should brace yourself for a difficult road ahead but not impossible. Try to keep a good attitude and assume the best of people. In the end it is likely that the teacher, principal etc want the best for your son they just don't know what that is yet.

    best wishes and hugs to you!

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    Wow, Crisc, all of these thoughts are invaluable. I especially agree that it would be good to have the data from the school beforehand.

    Quote
    Another question: Is it ok to talk about standard deviations: Example a child 3SD above the normal IQ being similar to having the same special needs of a child 3SD below the normal?

    Is is okay? Sure. It's a valid and persuasive argument. But think about realistically and theoretically. Her wording in her letter implies that she does not believe DS to be in that category. Consequently, that fact will not help her understand DS's situation, at this time.

    I'm guessing she may have some "data" that doesn't put him in the PG group. DD6's teacher actually showed me the assessments they give the kids to determine if they need above grade level material in class. She probably should not have done this, however, she is so sweet and her intentions were to calm my fear that my child wasn't being challenged appropriately. I was actually shocked(in a bad way) so THAT didn't work. She truly believed in her heart that these assessments were the end all be all. ((huuuuge sigh))

    Which reminds me, the teachers around here seem to be under the impression that the child has to consistently perform with 100% accuracy in order to be competent and ready to move on, prematurely that is. That's a big problem because it reward perfectionism and sets these kids up for problems down the road. So I asked: "At the end of the year when the kids get promoted to the next grade, they are all at 100% accuracy in all all subjects; across the board?"-again, wise to be quiet after that *question*

    Timing is so important. More important than what you say is when you say it, KWIM?

    Take my advice or not, but I really think you outta put this meeting in context. You pissed the teacher off without meaning to. She isn't convinced your kid is all that and to tell you the truth I'm a little concerned with the tone of the last sentence of her e-mail. I know a lot can get confused in an e-mail, but it seems somewhat telling of what to expect in the meeting.

    Think about it this way, you aren't allotted one meeting per year with the teacher. You have an unusual situation with DS and he deserves to have more than one meeting to have it addressed. It deserves more than a little thought and serious consideration.

    I'm just tossing out the idea that you may want to look at this meeting as information gathering on your part. No big decisions have to be made one way or another.

    So that's my LONG winded way of saying: Be aware of what transpired before the meeting, how much time you have for the meeting and know what you want as a result of the meeting before you go in.

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    Well having made that argument and failed miserably, I'd leave out the standard deviations. When I asked DS's teacher (keep in mind he's supposed to be at a gifted school!) how she handles differentiation in the class, her response was "there is no need, they are all learning at the same pace." I should have shut up but I proceeded and said "Well that's interesting because the kids are so different. It must be difficult to teach them all the same. How do you teach the ones that are really behind the rest?"

    Her answer... I kid you not...

    "They all need help with coloring. It's a skill that is not natural to most Kindergartners so we really have to work on it. But even the slow ones, LIKE YOUR SON, learn to color by the end of the year."

    You've gotten some great advice and I think your meeting will go very well if you can keep it focused on your child and breathe. And breathe some more. I find it very helpful to have a small mint so that as I'm biting my tongue, I don't bite it too hard!


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    I think she meant: Even the WILLFULL ones, LIKE YOUR SON, will be beaten down into submission by the end of the year.

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    Argh...don't get me or DS6 started on the coloring issue!!


    Crisc
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    I think that's the root of the problem. There must be an X file consisting of the names of every deviant child who refuses to color in the lines in Kindergarten.......

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    OK what is so important about coloring in K? HOw many people actually make a living coloring? I'm being serious here. I can see it as a fine motor skill but if the child doesn't like to color, then let them do some other fine motor skill. My son started out coloring w/in the lines and being careful, but after worksheet after worksheet after worksheet after worksheet after worksheet, he just doesn't care any more. His handwriting is great so he has no fine motor issues yet I get the note home to continue working on coloring at home. The kid will pick up a pencil and sketch beautiful fighter jets from his head, battle scenes complete with British airplane insignia, German airplane insignia, tanks on the ground,etc but he needs to work on his coloring....

    sorry rant over....

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    demonstrates if child follows directions.............

    litmus test for rampant willfullness/blind obedience........

    gauges ability to focus on repetitive nonsensical tasks.........

    Can you tell if I was one of *those* "gifted" children? grin

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    Originally Posted by Dazed&Confuzed
    OK what is so important about coloring in K? HOw many people actually make a living coloring? ....

    thank you for posting this question. It baffles me as well. Maybe I am biased from my son being in Montessori, but there seems to be a million ways to encourage fine motor, pencil grip, etc.

    AND what is wrong with just plain not being interested in coloring? At 4/5/6 yrs old?

    Amazing!!! Amazing how many stories I've heard of children having to suffer because they don't color "correctly"

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    I think coloring is TV for teachers: a babysitter to keep the kids quiet and occupied so she can prep the next thing or deal with a problem or whatever.

    Just a thought...


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    Could be, but then why insist on staying in the lines...?

    oh wait. now I remember. conforming is essential! wink

    Any teachers (or former teachers) want to chime in on this one? Please forgive the sarcastic tone. I am genuinely curious.

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    Yes, I think it is a conformity thing, too.

    And maybe just laziness: once you have assigned coloring, what can you possibly critique? Color choice? Use of vertical or horizontal lines? crazy Um, no.

    The ONLY thing is "Did you stay in the lines or not." So that's what they talk about.

    Plus it's something that allows them to say that a child needs their class, that they matter. That and social development are easy targets, since so many HG+ kids couldn't care less about coloring and don't fit in with agemates.

    I will say that I think there is an real concern about coordination and fine motor skills. But I honestly don't think that's all it's about. If it is, then they need to think a bit more creatively about how to get kids to use those skills.


    Kriston
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    Quote
    Her last e-mail already told me she was "looking forward to sharing with me the district assessments that were recently done".

    This makes me think she's going to give you data that supports her position that he's not gifted. This happened to me and I was given my daughter's scores and "gifted" scores. When I pointed out later the assessments had been misinterpreted and my daughter's scores were clearly in the gifted range, I was told the assessment was only for guiding instruction and not for determining placement in gifted programs.

    Do you know if MAP was one of the assessments your son took? If you are given percentiles using these scores (link below), you need to know that they are wrong. After much pushing on my part and having DH attend a meeting with me, the school personnel confirmed it with the testing company. It looks like other school districts are using this too since I found this on a different district's web site. I think I have to write a letter to NWEA.

    http://www.bismarck.k12.nd.us/uploads%5Cresources%5C2530%5Cmap_pri_fall_percentiles.pdf

    http://www.bismarck.k12.nd.us/uploads/resources/2531/map_pri_spring_percentiles.pdf

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    Chiming in a little late here -- this thread should be stickied with the title, "Advocacy 101"!

    I'm thinking that whatever assessment they gave him probably supports her position that he's not that smart, and possibly not even gifted. Obviously we know that's bollocks as DYS doesn't fly willy-nilly with their admissions policy.

    However, *she* doesn't know that, and whatever assessment they gave him might have caught him on a bad day. When my ds-then-5 took his first-ever computer assessment (and yes, it was the MAP), he did fine but not great -- 76th percentile, I think. We were told that, regardless of his private 99.9th IQ and WIAT scores, he needed to be 4 RIT points higher in order to join the gifted first grade math class. So, sorry, no differentiation.

    When he took the MAP again a month and a half later with the rest of his class, his score jumped to the 99th percentile, numerically better than the average autumn third grader ... and they conveniently "forgot" to mention that to us. We didn't find out until the school year was almost over. Amazing. That was the final straw that told us that the school just wasn't interested in working with him, and why we pulled him for private gifted.

    I honestly wouldn't bother with standard deviation discussion, although I do like the "If I had a child with an IQ of 50 instead of 150 we wouldn't have waited to have this discussion." The standard deviations/private testing don't seem to mean much to many schools. If they have his private test results in hand -- not to mention spending every day with him for the past 6 months! -- and they're still trying to tell you he's "not that bright" ... well, they're not going to suddenly get it.

    Have you talked to your DYS person for ideas or help? Isn't that what they do -- advocacy assistance?

    Above level testing -- if he took the MAP as an assessment, you can simply norm his score against the curve for older students. I also agree that giving him an end-of-year assessment for, say, second or third grade might be an eye-opener for them. I think that's a great idea and wish I'd done it!

    Good luck. I really hope you're able to convert her. smile


    Mia
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    Originally Posted by Mia
    Chiming in a little late here -- this thread should be stickied with the title, "Advocacy 101"!

    I was thinking the same thing. I just told my DH that there was a thread we needed to read about so we can learn "How To Not Piss Off The Teacher."

    Good luck crisc. I have gotten in trouble with emails before myself (winding up in the big boss's office over a misinterpreted email...) Lots of good advice from others here!

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    Yeah, this is the first topic I ever added to my Watch List. I don't want to lose it, since I suspect I'll really need it one of these days...


    Kriston
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    I am so glad I can give everyone a lesson on how to piss off a teacher. It's also ironic that I taught a nursing informatics class on Tuesday night to LPN students and one of my topics was proper netiquette. HA! smile

    Maybe I should just write a book...


    Crisc
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    Wow, what an interesting thread. This will truly help me next year when DS4 starts K...or 1 if we skip K. I do know how teachers generally do react to things as I work as a school counselor and work with teachers all day...but this is great advice and also tells me more about how some schools understand scores, etc. I will tell you that I have been in different schools and districts, and many schools have no idea about giftedness, and if they know anything about it at all then they still don't understand that there are such variations within children that are gifted. That's been my experience

    And I wanted to reiterate that coloring is fine motor skills training, following directions, and a space filler. And learning colors in pre-k. We don't do tons of it at our school.

    I had never seen my DS4 color in a picture, he just scribbled on them. Once when he was not quite 4 I asked him if he knew how to color. he said yes and that he would surprise me and color in a picture. He then spent like 10 minutes coloring in a picture very nicely. I was shocked. I really didn't even know he could color, but it was just that he was uninterested. He even stayed in the lines some.

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    LOL Crisc, you are not alone. In fact, this has inspired me to pen a book.........

    It wouldn't be how not to piss of the teacher, like St. Pauli girl suggests, because, D'O, I haven't figured that one out totally!

    How bout: How I HAVE pissed the teachers off........in 500 simple and easy lessons.........

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    This thread inspired me to read Stand Up for Your Gifted Child by Joan Smutny. One of the quotes on the praise page is by Steven Schroeder-Davis, PhD.

    Quote
    Advocating for a gifted child in a typical school system may be the hardest job a parent could have. Between myths, charges of elitism, underfunding, and negligible teacher training, parents have often had a daunting, lonely task as they sought an appropriate education for their gifted kids.

    Being able to discuss these issues here has made it a less daunting and lonely task. Thank you! smile

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    Originally Posted by incogneato
    LOL Crisc, you are not alone. In fact, this has inspired me to pen a book.........

    It wouldn't be how not to piss of the teacher, like St. Pauli girl suggests, because, D'O, I haven't figured that one out totally!

    How bout: How I HAVE pissed the teachers off........in 500 simple and easy lessons.........


    Mine would be one lesson, but it would be a really good lesson! LOL!


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    chuckling.................

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    Wish me luck. Meeting is at 1:45pm on Friday and I have asked to observe him in the classroom prior to the meeting. His counselor also plans to call the school prior to the meeting.


    Crisc
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    good luck, keep us posted...I am eager to see how it goes. It sounds like you have had lots of sound advice and all your ducks are in a row.

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    All the best to you! Thinking of you... smile


    Kriston
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    And the saga continues...

    Tomorrow is the meeting with the 1st grade teacher and the principal. I'm still not sure if the K teacher is also attending.

    I got a phone call around 3pm today from the principal. The teacher is concerned that I had asked to observe the class from 12:30pm till our meeting time at 1:45pm. She was very, very concerned about what I was looking for and why did I need to stay so long. I told the principal that since DS6 would be dropped back off at school at 12:30pm after his counseling appt. I didn't see the need to drive 20 minutes to work to turn around and come back to a 1:45pm meeting. I also told her I thought it would be nice to see DS6 in the classroom and let him show me his work and introduce me to his friends. I never thought it was going to be a huge deal but the principal told me that the teacher was concerned that DS6 might act different and the other children might act different with me there. She was also concerned that I might not see what I needed/or expected to see because it was a Friday afternoon. I am actually more worried now that the teacher is so paranoid about me visiting the class. When I got off the phone with the principal she said she was so glad to have called me to hear my intentions and obviously I know now that the teacher did not paint my visit in a good light.

    In other news DS6 told me he was pulled aside today for a reading test with a book that had "lots of words on one page but was still very short and easy" and earlier this week he was pulled out of class for a spelling test with "40 words that were easy". He said he had to spell words like sister, strike, and boil. I guess they figure they should assess him before the meeting tomorrow. smile DS6 also says that he has not had any other testing like this at all this year. I'm very curious to see the results tomorrow.


    Crisc
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    Oh. frown When I was having behavior troubles with DS7, I volunteered in the classroom. She gave me only jobs that kept me out of the room. When I finished those early and came in to observe in my remaining time, she sent me home.

    I don't have a good feeling about classrooms that don't like/accept observation, especially when notified in advance. Even lengthy observation. Your kid, your right.

    I'm sorry.

    I am glad about the testing, however. Whatever it takes! smile


    Kriston
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    Hi Crisc,
    Just wanted to say 'Hi' and 'Good luck' for tommorow. Did you win the principle's permission to 'sit in' in class?

    Everything she says is true, BUT, if you sit quietly and observe, you might see quite a bit.

    It's good that they tested his spelling and reading, (although it doesn't sound like they actually went to his capasity level with either test - good to point out if needed tommorow)

    I just don't know if they will fight you or grab your position. Be prepared for that; I don't know how many times in life I've tried to convinse someone of something, only to come back to the table and watch them try to convines me that this was the position that they held all along. Remember from me, if this happens, that this is as close to an appology as you are likely to get, and that it doesn't matter who gets the credit, if only your son gets to learn at his readiness level.

    Sounds like you are going in there alone, yes? Take notes. If you need a moment to collect yourself, step out to pee, that's a sure fire escape trick. Remember that when you get home, write down everything that was said in an email, and copy past a version here.

    The worst in my book was when they finally seem to be coming around, and then when I send my sweet 'great meeting!' email, they say: 'Oh! We didn't say we would DO all that, we were just brainstorming ideas of things that we could do.'

    Yes, I have BTDT. Pick up a funny or melodramatic DVD to watch, and perhaps some comfort food of choice. Dinner in the crock pot put up this morning if possible. Expect to be full of feelings before and after the meeting, and not good for much for a day or two.

    After one really bad meeting, I couldn't even post for 2 weeks - I have BTDT!

    Love and More Love,
    Grinity


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    Good luck tomorrow Crisc!

    BTW, have you thought about having your DYS personal consultant write a letter to the school about DI and the needs of PG children? Ours did. The letter was very nice and sensitive to not overriding the school. (Of course *our* principal all but threw the letter in the trash, but our PC told me that many schools will take advantage of DYS resources).

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    Crossing my fingers for you, Crisc. BTW, how do I make this a "watched topic"?

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    Good luck crisc! I am also very interested to know how it goes and have also added this to my watched topics.

    kcab I know how you feel about the emotional turmoil - I tend to sit through any parent-teacher meetings trembling like an over-excitable puppy and then to make things worse talking away through any silences (often about nothing in particular!).

    Last edited by Tiz; 01/23/09 02:59 AM. Reason: can't spell!
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    crisc Offline OP
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    Thanks everyone for the support.

    To answer some questions: My DH is actually coming with me today and I did get permission to sit in the class and wait for the meeting. The principal was going to talk to the teacher and also say that I volunteered to do some busy work things for the class if needed as well amd that I wasn't planning on bringing a tape recorder or video camera with me. smile

    I am actually going away for the weekend so hopefully I will get a chance to post back this afternoon before I leave.


    Crisc
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    Good luck, Crisc! I hope it goes all right. I'll be waiting with bated breath ... your situation is so similar to ours last year.

    I'd be concerned about the reaction to sitting it, too ... that's odd. You have every right to see the class in action, Friday afternoon or no!


    Mia
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    Good luck, Crisc!! I hope the meeting goes well today. You have a large crowd of supports here who are wishing you the best of luck. grin You have your own private cheering section here! Does anyone else every wish that they could take all of you guys into the meetings with them? Wouldn't that be fun!!

    And have fun on your weekend trip! I'm sincerely jealous! A trip anywhere would be oh so nice right now. cool Enjoy!


    Mom to DS12 and DD3
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    Good luck Crisc,

    I wouldn't be too worried about the teacher's reaction for a couple of reasons.

    First of all, it sounds like the school is already taking action in the form or additional assessments, hopefully in good faith to make sure he is going to be accomodated.

    Also, remember, this is the teacher's job. This meeting is called because something is basically going wrong, not right. It's basically like being called into your bosses office; and not to be given a promotion, KWIM? wink

    Many kids do act TOTALLY different when their parent is in the classroom and it is sometimes disruptive to the whole class dynamic. My DD6 totally regresses and starts talking like a baby when I'm in the class. It's awful. ((shrug)).

    On the other hand DD8 is fine when I'm at school.

    Lastly, she probably is a little freaked out that she didn't have time to "plan" something for your visit in terms of putting her best foot forward. Most teachers would do that, so she's probably feeling a little vulnerable. It would work in your favor if you are sensitive to this. However, it is much better for YOU to view the class without her making any preperation.

    Hope you have a great meeting a fun weekend.

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    Just adding my good luck wishes too! All those with meetings today, perhaps it helps to know you have us "ghost" supporters behind you today. smile

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    Hope it went well!!!


    Erica
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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?


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


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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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    Yes. Next year we are hoping DS6 can attend a brand new private school for 20 GT children from ages 5-12. We are putting all of our eggs into this basket hoping for a great outcome. There will be no grade levels only ability grouping. Sounds very promising.

    I just don't know if he can survive the next 4 months without getting a much more negative opinion of school.


    Crisc
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    Sounds like the teacher has a bad case of overconfidence. It's hard not to feel stonewalled when dealing with people like that. cry The only way I see as getting around this is to agree to disagree and then see if they are willing to use objective data to make a decision about whether to give him accelerated material. Would teacher be willing to look at curriculum-based above grade level testing? BTW, I suspect your DS would ace that 3rd grade state test she's talking about... wink

    As far as bringing in other material like Singapore math... It's a great idea in theory. But only if you're pretty confident that she wouldn't get p.o.'d at the suggestion she might not be all-knowing...

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    Originally Posted by crisc
    Yes. Next year we are hoping DS6 can attend a brand new private school for 20 GT children from ages 5-12.


    Oh, I'm sorry -- I think I knew that. Sometimes I forget backstory without faces to put on names. smile

    Originally Posted by crisc
    I just don't know if he can survive the next 4 months without getting a much more negative opinion of school.

    Poor kid. At the worst, then, you can hope for 4 more months, then done. Not perfect, but better than no solution looming ...


    Mia
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    Oh My Crisc! Only 4 months to go! Can they just switch teachers if you promise that he won't be there next year? This teacher you are dealing with just seems 'not a good fit' for your son!

    As far as social skills group, I have to say that they did that for DS, and it seemed to work, it got him out of the classroom at least, but it really really BUGs me. No one ever thinks to organize social skills training to help ND kids 'fake play' with Gifties. Can you imagine the teacher coming in with cardboard cutouts of nonreaders 'faking an interest' in games that require reading? How about teaching ND kids to politely listen while Gifties lecture on their favorite subject, and being expected to 'fake some enthusiasm' for the topic?

    Oh well!
    Grinity


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