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Elementary School Kids Elementary School Kids

Welcome to Elementary School Kids, "Ask the Teacher" post!

Ask anything and we will do our best to give you an honest, informative reply. 


I've been teaching elementary school for 15 years. My master's degree is in reading education and I'm certified in Exceptional Student Education, and ESL. I've taught a variety of grades and more kids than I can count. 

If you'd like to check out the hundreds of questions that have already been asked and answered check the old post here and here

by on Jan. 16, 2014 at 4:24 PM
Replies (161-170):
PKOERNER
by Member on Oct. 7, 2013 at 8:53 PM
My daughter is 7, will be 8 in December and in second grade. The background to my question is as follows:
In first grade she could not keep up with the time allowances on classwork. They have a "team teaching approach" where there are two teachers and like 26 students. Wether there is one teacher to 17 or two to 26, they are given instruction in work for the day in the morning an then sent to centers for work at stations in groups, timed sessions and then when the time is up moved to the next work station. She has never been able to keep up. Last year her primary teacher tried to help, I brought her early to school, she ate lunch in class so she could work, I helped her finish assignments at home. This year same thing is happening. I'm extremely worried. She said she just doesn't understand and is not allowed to ask or the teacher gets mad. The teachers say she doesn't follow any one request or command the first time, it's like she drifts into putter space in mid action. I have piles of work coming home to be completed! I and she are exhausted
I have cut television off during the week, no iPad or wii type stimulation
Only outside play, sleep 10-11 hours at night, full stomach to school.. Nothing is working
I went to the counsellor who sent me backto the teacher to request pst? Testing... The teacher said she would not qualify unless we just let her fail during the observation period. Now I'm angry because I don't think we should fail her out of grade in Ryder to have her evaluated. She reads nighttime books very well. She needs a lot of help with spelling and I struggle with her to do homework. Now more than ever with the load at home. I'm so frustrated because I told her teacher I'm requesting the testing process but will not allow us to fail her by allowing her to get zeros on her class work. Do u have any advice? I think the teacher is upset with me now because I told her I will stop at nothing to get my child help if she needs it.. I don't know what to do
Impressionists
by Bronze Member on Oct. 7, 2013 at 11:11 PM

Mobile Photo

Hi. Is this reading test one for the level she is at, meaning that kids at different reading levels have different tests? Can you tell what reading level dd is at from this one passage? She is in first grade.
maxswolfsuit
by Max on Oct. 8, 2013 at 6:47 PM


Quoting Impressionists:

Mobile Photo

Hi. Is this reading test one for the level she is at, meaning that kids at different reading levels have different tests? Can you tell what reading level dd is at from this one passage? She is in first grade.

It's a very basic passage. It's really too low to even level. But that's what would be expected for the fall of first grade.

The lowest first graders at my school are still working on letter sounds. So a passage like this wouldn't alarm me. If you give me the titles of some books she's reading I can give you levels for those. 

I know you've been asking a lot about her reading. She's lucky to have a mom so concerned and involved. 


maxswolfsuit
by Max on Oct. 8, 2013 at 6:57 PM


Quoting PKOERNER:

My daughter is 7, will be 8 in December and in second grade. The background to my question is as follows:
In first grade she could not keep up with the time allowances on classwork. They have a "team teaching approach" where there are two teachers and like 26 students. Wether there is one teacher to 17 or two to 26, they are given instruction in work for the day in the morning an then sent to centers for work at stations in groups, timed sessions and then when the time is up moved to the next work station. She has never been able to keep up. Last year her primary teacher tried to help, I brought her early to school, she ate lunch in class so she could work, I helped her finish assignments at home. This year same thing is happening. I'm extremely worried. She said she just doesn't understand and is not allowed to ask or the teacher gets mad. The teachers say she doesn't follow any one request or command the first time, it's like she drifts into putter space in mid action. I have piles of work coming home to be completed! I and she are exhausted
I have cut television off during the week, no iPad or wii type stimulation
Only outside play, sleep 10-11 hours at night, full stomach to school.. Nothing is working
I went to the counsellor who sent me backto the teacher to request pst? Testing... The teacher said she would not qualify unless we just let her fail during the observation period. Now I'm angry because I don't think we should fail her out of grade in Ryder to have her evaluated. She reads nighttime books very well. She needs a lot of help with spelling and I struggle with her to do homework. Now more than ever with the load at home. I'm so frustrated because I told her teacher I'm requesting the testing process but will not allow us to fail her by allowing her to get zeros on her class work. Do u have any advice? I think the teacher is upset with me now because I told her I will stop at nothing to get my child help if she needs it.. I don't know what to do

The process for qualifying for services is certainly a complicated one. What it more or less boils down to is the school has to prove that child can't learn in a regular class. So as long as she's making progress, even if she's struggling, it doesn't warrant pulling her from class for services. And honestly, from what you're saying I don't know if it would be best for her to be labeled. 

Kudos to you for all your support and work with the sleep schedule. Often that is exactly why a child is struggling. In your daughter's case what stuck out to me is that she doesn't follow instructions when they are given and drifts into outer space.

Have you considered getting her evaluated for ADD? Sometimes kids that aren't acting out or hyper don't stick out as having that issue. But if she's not focused during instruction and directions it could likely cause the issues you are describing. And students with ADD (not ADHD) often appear to be working when they're not. So it can seem like work takes them a long time when the reality is that they just aren't working. 

If she does have ADD that doesn't mean medication is the only option. If you have a diagnosis you can get a 504 plan put in place that would allow (or even force) teachers to accommodate her. Some things that help is having the student repeat back directions to ensure she understood all of them. She can also have her work broken down into manageable chunks so she can focus on finishing small portions at a time. Working with a timer is another great way to speed kids up. 

maxswolfsuit
by Max on Oct. 8, 2013 at 7:00 PM


Quoting tihone77:

What's a reasonable amount of time to get a response from a teacher after you've contacted them?  Also, after reading the paragraph below, what would you suggest to be the best course of action on my part?

My ds who is in 3rd grade is having some issues and I'm not getting a lot of feedback from the teacher.  DS is having issues with focusing on the task at hand.  He has always been like this to a degree, but this year it is really noticable (even at home).  I am trying to stay on top of it.  However, there doesn't seem to be a good way to contact his teacher. I've tried putting notes in DS's folder (they never got to the teacher), I've tried writing notes in his assignment notebook (also have never gotten to the teacher because he has a student checking to see if they've been signed), and I've left voicemails and emails for the teacher trying to get a hold of him.  When he does respond he always has something to say like "I didn't see the light blinking on the phone." , or "I didn't get a chance to check my email."  He usually gets back to me in 3 days, but it's been as long as a week.  I'm starting to get irritated with the teacher.  I know he's not at my beck and call and I know he has other students, but it feels like he is just blowing me off.

The longest a parent has to wait with me is 2 days. Sometimes I just can't get back to them that day. But by the next day I will always respond. 

At this point I would contact an administrator. If you are calling and emailing he should be getting back to you. 

maxswolfsuit
by Max on Oct. 8, 2013 at 7:01 PM


Quoting HisLovingGirl:

My son started kinder this year. I was very surprised to learn that most of their learning is done via computer.


Is this normal?

It's not normal. But it's becoming more and more common. What I foresee becoming really common is students using iPads and tablets regularly at school.

maxswolfsuit
by Max on Oct. 8, 2013 at 7:04 PM


Quoting rpjarader:

My daughter took a special reading program in the summer and now that school has started she has taken a stop back and we noticed that she does seem to read a few of the test she has brought home. she is in second grade! Any advice?

I am a little confused. I assume you mean she isn't reading them.

I would make her rererad them when she gets home. 

Impressionists
by Bronze Member on Oct. 8, 2013 at 8:29 PM
She read five pages of Little Bear tonight. On one page she missed "coat" and "now". On the other pages she missed zero or one. We went back and forth reading pages to each other. She doesn't like to read very much, so we stopped. She can read Biscuit. Thanks for replying.


Quoting maxswolfsuit:


Quoting Impressionists:

Mobile Photo

Hi. Is this reading test one for the level she is at, meaning that kids at different reading levels have different tests? Can you tell what reading level dd is at from this one passage? She is in first grade.

It's a very basic passage. It's really too low to even level. But that's what would be expected for the fall of first grade.

The lowest first graders at my school are still working on letter sounds. So a passage like this wouldn't alarm me. If you give me the titles of some books she's reading I can give you levels for those. 

I know you've been asking a lot about her reading. She's lucky to have a mom so concerned and involved. 



lashea727
by on Oct. 9, 2013 at 8:21 AM
My son has adhd and he has a ipe, 504 plan but he school won't send him to Nina Harris cause he is always getting wirtten up all the time. He is not focusing and staying on task at all. He is on meds but he still getting trouble everyday. I feel like that school can't control him and his behavior all the time. I feel like giving up ok he fail the 2 ND grade once and now he is in the 2 ND grade, he failing all his school work, everything. I just need answers
ElizabethGracie
by Member on Oct. 9, 2013 at 9:11 PM

What are some good,free educational websites for kindergarten?

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