Thursday, October 25, 2012

What a Difference a Year Makes

We had parent teacher conferences with Elliott's teachers yesterday.  It's amazing how different it went than last year in kindergarten.  It seems that in kindergarten, Elliott was prone to cry, not listen, and talk too loud.  In first grade, one of his teachers said he was one of her best behaved!  She said he does tend to rush through things sometimes in an effort to get done as soon as his friends, but he's quick to listen and calm down if things get crazy.  His other teacher had nothing but good things to say as well.  They both said he is very bright, and good at everything he does.  He loves to draw and read, and goes through a lot more books than most of the kids do.  He ends up with more free time in class because one of his teachers lets him get started on some stuff while others are finishing up something else, so he's able to focus more closely on it.  He loves Science.

His scores are pretty much off the charts on reading.  His reading level is about that of an average 5th grader toward the end of the year (just an estimate since the test they give first graders only goes through 4th grade levels, and he surpassed those), and his reading comprehension is soundly in the 4th grade level.  Not bad for a six year old!

Math is still a little bit of a struggle for him, although he's still able to score in the 60th-80th percentile overall on math tests, and got an A for the first quarter.  It just takes him a little longer to get it done, and it frustrates him.  It seems that his best friend in his math and reading class, is fast at math, and it irritates Elliott that he gets done so much before him.  Then again, that same friend gets irritated by how much faster Elliott is at reading tasks.

Elliott liked school last year, but he LOVES it this year.  We are very happy over all with our school experience. 


JRFrugalMom and Family said...

You must be so proud Carla, and you sure should be. What a great accomplishment, and it sure sounds like all of your reading efforts with Elliott has paid off big time.I am really impressed, fifth grade reading level - that's amazing Carla!

Do your school have a gifted program? If so, you should definitely try to get him in it.

I have seen a big difference in my first grader, since he started the gifted program this year. He is now being challenged more, and even though he still sets the standard according to his teacher, it is still a lot more beneficial to him than the regular classes.

Other benefit to the gifted program seem to be more involved parents, students who are in the class, because they actually want to learn, and a teacher who goes above and beyond.

Carla said...

Elliott goes to a very small school, so there's not really a gifted class. I'm not sure that we would put him in one anyway, though, at least not at this age. He's such a perfectionist, I have a feeling math would be a major struggle in a gifted class.

We really like both of his teachers this year. One doesn't necessarily relate as well to parents, but she's outstanding with the kids. They are both pretty good about doing what works best for each individual child. Like I mentioned, Elliott is allowed to work ahead in certain areas, because his teacher realizes he does best if he reads the directions for himself instead of just listening. She's also good about helping the kids pick books that are appropriate for each child, without really letting the other kids know that they are getting "special" books.

We're pretty lucky with classmates, too. Almost every first grader this year has parents that care about what is going on. And every single one of them read at or above proficient level, and score at least at the 40th percentile for math at the state level. So over all, they are an impressive group of kids!

JRFrugalMom and Family said...

It sounds like you've lucked out with school, teachers and classmates Carla, you are so lucky!

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