Sorry if this post sounds like I'm bragging. I probably am. ;) Some members of my family and close friends look at my blog to keep caught up on what is going on at my house, though, so I thought a blog post would be the easiest way to tell them about Elliott's parent/ teacher conferences.
This week is parent/teacher conference week at my son's school. Our conference was yesterday. I'm not sure how conferences are done at other schools, but at our school, we go in and talk to the teachers about any issues our children may be having. Our teachers also give us recent tests and projects our kids have done, and explain how our child's progress compares to others in the school, and others on a state wide level. For first graders, the only standardized state wide tests are in math and reading. But Elliott's teacher gave us handwriting samples, a phonics test, and told us how he's doing in Science and Social Studies as well.
Elliott is doing really well academically. His math scores have improved tremendously over the last few months. At the end of kindergarten he was right on level with the other kids at our school (who score several points higher as a whole than the "norm group"). At the beginning of first grade, his math skills were a little higher than the others in his school and about 75th-80th percentile compared to others that use the RIT scale for testing.. His middle of the year testing they did in January, he scored 95th to 98th percentile! His score was approximately that of a 50th percentile student in the middle of 3rd grade.
He didn't have as much growth on reading, but his teacher said that's to be expected considering how well he was already doing. He still scored in the 99th percentile on everything, but his line just didn't go up quite as much this time, which is of course totally fine. His RIT score on reading is about that of an average 5th grader. His DIBELS score showed that he could possibly be having trouble with reading comprehension, when compared to reading level, but his main reading teacher gave him a couple of unofficial tests and thinks that his comprehension is great. She thinks that he probably just didn't realize that the test monitor wanted MORE details on the retell part of the DIBELS test. His RIT test scores showed high reading comprehension as well.
His teachers said he's doing really well in everything, and neither of them see any problems at all academically. He still does best if he reads the directions himself, but is getting better about getting everything right when he has to listen to directions for the entire project.
The only behavior issue either of Elliott's teachers had with him this time was his recent hang up on the word "hate." He's been doing that at home, too, and we have no idea why. Sometimes when things don't go his way he tells us that he hates it, or he hates his life. His teachers aren't too concerned about it, because they say he calms down really fast, and doesn't pout or anything. But we are working on expressing frustration with different words. His teacher said he always apologizes after an outburst. She said she's also been giving him a little more time to transition, and it seems to be helping. He always finishes his work before the other kids, so he moves onto something else (lately he's been writing songs and stories, in addition to drawing pictures), and he just has a hard time stopping his fun projects to get back onto the same subject as the other kids. Any other parents deal with this? What worked for you?
Socially he is doing well. There are minor fights with his friends of course, but he gets along with everyone and has lots of friends. He occasionally has what one teacher describes as "baby of the family syndrome" and gets mad when things don't go his way, but those episodes are very infrequent. One of his teachers said that he does so well with things normally, that if she didn't know any better she would think he was one of several children, instead of an only child.
I am very proud of my son. He is doing so well in school. When he was born, he had his umbilical cord wrapped around his neck and in knots. We were warned that he would probably have some delays, but they wouldn't do testing unless stuff showed up. He's been on the slow end of a few things physically, but never truly delayed. Academically, I think it takes him a little longer to get stuff sometimes, but after he thinks about it a little while, he's usually able to master things quickly.
I'm actually really proud of all of his friends, too. His class is an outstanding group of kids! They are all sweet, well behaved, AND smart! His district's first grade average RIT scores for middle of year are a little bit better than the norm group averages for middle of second grade for both reading and math! The kids in his class work hard and it shows. Of course it also helps that both of his teachers work with the kids individually to help each child improve.