Monday, March 3, 2014


We had Parent/Teacher conferences last week.  We've got really great kids.  Each has such unique strengths and weaknesses.  It's amazing that three different children came from the two of us. Just another testimony that we are unique, individual spirits of our Heavenly Father.

Boo's went as predicted:  Reading far above her grade level.  Math is much the same.  She's a leader.  She's a great student.  She's responsible, and a great helper.  "If I could have a classroom full of Boo's..."  I must give some credit to hear teacher -  she's AMAZING.  I love to sit and watch her teach.  She's got several challenging students in her class, one with a behavior disorder, and one with Autism.  She is patient, professional, kind and fair.
We're still working on winking.
Always room for improvement!

One Math class I came to volunteer, and the teacher was explaining methods for remembering the 9's times tables.  She has lots of songs to help them remember things, and gives them several strategies to help them, then lets them choose which one works best.  This particular strategy, she had the kids give her a multiplication problem 9X6.  Look at the number you are multiplying nine by.  In this case, 6.  Subtract ONE from that number, which gives you 5.  Now subtract nine and the number you just got.  9-5 = 4.  Now sandwich those numbers together, and you have the product!  54.  9X6 =54.  awesome.

Yaks is making STEADY progress, which is wonderful!  I looked back at his journal (they write a paragraph to their parents each Friday, and we write back and return it on Monday), and his improvement has been noticeable!  His reading is improving, and his comprehension is outstanding.  He is perfectly AVERAGE, and right where he should be.
-Beginning of the year- "We had a brain performance (test) We got jobs.
We had reading.  My job is monitor.  I had fun .  And lunch, PE.  We did parachute."

-Last week -
 Pretty self-explanatory!

He brought home a benchmark test several weeks ago, which he did really poorly on.  This had me concerned, because he seemed to be making such great progress, but his incorrect answers didn't show any rhyme or reason.  Just big clumps of mistakes.  This test was a scantron, and I was curious if he would get them wrong if he could just circle the answer on the test.  I had him take the test again.  He got them all right.  I discussed this concern with his teacher, and she was great to listen, and we're looking into some things we could help him with (vision test, practice information transfer, etc).  My main concern was still some social things I've been worried about:  Reports from Yaks of not getting to do what he wants at recess, because his friends want to play something else.  Sitting against the wall because he's too timid to join in on a new game, even if there is interest.  Worrying his friends will "get mad" if he states a different opinion about something.  We had a good visit about it, and it's wonderful to have a fantastic teacher who cares about ALL of these things!

 I was the most concerned about Diddles' conference.  Josh and I talked about her Kindergarten "readiness", and we really felt like, although she's made great strides, she won't be ready for Kindergarten next year.  We would be setting her up for a fall from the start, and I couldn't do that.  With that decision made, I had rehearsed the discussion in my head, outlining reasons why I think she should stay in preschool another year, knowing she might not qualify because she's made enough progress to send her OUT of an IEP.   I was planning to ask for their recommendation on a preschool that would help her continue to get ready for Kindergarten (if she didn't qualify for head start), while still helping her with her unique challenges.

"One more year for me." :)

We sat down for the conference:  Diddles' teacher, her WSU student teacher, the district preschool special ed teacher, and her speech therapist.  They went over her scores and anecdotes of her progress.  All positives.  I braced myself for them saying, "We really think she'll be ready for Kindergarten in the fall."  Then they said, "We'd like to know what you think about Diddles and starting school in the fall."  I quickly recited my well-practiced monologue.  As soon as I said, "...and we've decided not to send her to Kindergarten in the fall.  She's just not ready." There was an audible sigh around the table, and smiles of relief and agreement.  I was SO relieved, you have no idea!  We all had a good laugh because we were each nervous the other might want to push her through to Kindergarten!  They were just as relieved and happy as I was, and that meant so much.  It's a great feeling to know that people care about your child's BEST interests.

I didn't realize that her IEP is good for THREE years.  I thought she had to "requalify" each year, and I wasn't sure if she would be "low enough" to do that.  I know that sounds awful, hoping your child scores low enough!  Even if she meets the current goals, they just make new ones for her, and then at three years, they re-evaluate. "We want her to be at the top, not lagging behind from the start."  "We really feel like she will make HUGE strides if given one more year of preschool."  Music to my ears!

1 comment:

Sarah said...

Sounds like great conferences with all about all! Makes all the difference to feel the calm support from their teacher. That said, I am counting down the days until Paige moves on to a new teacher...haven't experienced that feeling before.

(I'm selfishly glad Eliza will wait a year - will be fun to have her in Ty's grade for us to relate back and forth.)