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Old 03-22-2005, 06:25 AM   #1
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Location: erie pa
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gagcas HB User
Unhappy just a little irked !!!!

hi there everyone,

i think i need a little help here. we had gage's second parent teacher conference the other day and she said he was doing very well except for his sight words. the most common words (it, and, i, the, see, etc.). she told me that i need to work really hard with him on them, because he needs to know them for first grade as they start right off with beginning to read. She went on to tell me that she will reevaluate him in may to see whether or not he will go on to first grade next year. All because of these words.

now here is the kicker of it all. i was pretty much getting frowned upon because i wasnt working with him at home....but i never knew they were doing them until i had gotten the list a week before his conference. and then i find out that they had been doing them in class a month before that. most other schools around here were doing them the first of the year. they really want to hold him back for this? now that i know, we have gotten 5 of the 19 words down pat. in a week. imagine where he would be if i knew way back then. i had asked her at the conference over a week ago to send some extra worksheets home that deal with the sight words on home work nights, for extra practice....have yet to get any. and then on last Thursday i asked if she could send me home the words that they have done in class and what schedule she was going by when teaching them (whether its two a week, etc.) so I could be on the same page as they are in school and not teaching him words that they aren't doing yet in class. I haven't gotten those either. i just feel like im doing all the work and not getting any give here.

im just so frustrated with this teacher as to the point that she would hold him back for something i didn't even know about in the first place. especially when she knew from he beginning of the school year that the letters and anything to do with them was his weak spot. that just seems to be where the seizures affected. from the get go. grrrrrrrr. i just don't know what to do about it. he is right up to par with EVERYTHING else.

im sorry...OK im done now. gage has been doing wonderful since they upped his afternoon dose though. and we go to the neuro for his 6 month checkup on Wednesday. off to the dentist today. oh by the way, has anyone had any probs with their teeth because of the medications for epilepsy. gage's four front teeth on top are a grayish color and we thought they would have fallen out by now. he is 6 and they arent even loose yet. i know im gonna get second looks from the dentist on this one. lol.

Ill let you all know how the neuro appt. goes tomorrow and have a good day.
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Old 03-22-2005, 12:55 PM   #2
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Re: just a little irked !!!!

Hi Jen,

Sorry for the frustration. Teachers aren't always on the ball when it comes to individual attentiveness. However, that is usually in the later years. Kindergarten teachers are usually much better because they know they are the foundation setters.

Andrew had some problems with "sight" words too. He would also mix up his lower case b's and d's. He's a freshman now, and if he writes fast he ocassionally STILL does it!

What I did was buy a package of index cards and made flash cards of all of his "problem" words. We went over them after school once or twice and before bed. In no time he was flying through the words. Andrew probably had over 50 words on cards. You could divivde them into groups of 2 packs so he doesn't get frustrated.

An example of some of the words I used were: "their", "there", "hear", "here", "too", "to", "two", and, the, is, not, etc. You can see how the list can grow! The cards helped him ALOT! And he is a fast and crazy reader now. He just finished a Tom Clancy (Splinter Cell) book in a week. Only reading before bed. He also had early childhood speech help at one time.

Your teacher should also have a list of frequently used words for kindergarten and first grade. Ask her for that. Most teachers have those availble up to a certain grade level.

I would ask about summer school...if that's a possibility. I should think it isn't at a dire point right now. I think if you work with the Gagemeister ( ) he should be fine by the end of the year. Kids get passed ahead all of the time now when they really SHOULD be held back. It is one of those "feel good" things. They are afraid that by holding a student back it hurts their self esteem. However, if often causes extra frustration for the student and the teacher because they just aren't ready for the next year's classes. I saw it all the time in the school district I worked for (10 years). I'm not saying this is the case for Gage though. It sounds like he just needs some reinforecement techniques to strenghten his sight words.

Is Gage being taught phonics? I don't believe in whole language. Our teachers got a little testy with me because I tought Katie and Andrew phonics. They had trouble/didn't want to learn the "new" way when they started school. It was interesting. I said, too bad! I'm my son and daughter's first teacher, and phonics it was!

Hang in there...ask for that list of words and she should have work sheets with sentences from books that you could go over with Gage. If you don't get a response, contact the principal. That should get it moving! Your tax dollars are at work...working FOR Gage that is...

Vicki

p.s. pardon the horrible spelling! I was typing in a hurry...
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Last edited by tkdmom96; 03-22-2005 at 08:52 PM.

 
Old 03-22-2005, 01:55 PM   #3
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buliem HB User
Re: just a little irked !!!!

Jen,
I agree with Vickie. I don't think the situation calls for holding back. Patrick had a hard time at that age reading and he finally got it. He would be unable to tell you the word "the" for example even though he was just told what the word was. Looking back I think it was the undiagnosed absence seizures. He had a hard time remembering lots of things back then. He still has a tough time with Math facts. His memory just isn't what it should be due to seizures and meds. Repetition is key. So is phonics. We moved Patrick to a Montessori school after 2nd grade. He really had gaps in his phonics instruction. Not all teachers are adept at teaching it and it is vital to success in reading.

Don't worry. With a little extra effort I'm sure Gage will be right where he needs to be for 1st grade. If worse comes to worse I don't think holding a kid back is the worst that can happen. The Montessori kept Patrick back because of his weakness in reading and he is doing so well now. Of course we didn't have to contend with teasing as we changed schools. I think if we had left him were he was he would have never caught up. They would just keep pushing him along. That doesn't help anyone.

Take care and keep us posted.

Julie

 
Old 03-22-2005, 06:37 PM   #4
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Eilidh1 HB User
Re: just a little irked !!!!

Hi Jen

My cousin is going through the early stages of reading just now - he's 5 and in the Scottish equivalent of first grade. He did little reading at nursery (kindergarten) and found it quite difficult, but as soon as he went to school he was zooming through his reading books. Our schools use phonics and flash cards and they are SO helpful. In fact I was still using post it notes of laws I had to remember for exams at uni - they were all over the house (Mum was so pleased...). Although I agree repetition is key, kids get bored easily and lose interest. We've found that he doesn't get bored if he practices with different people. His mum, dad, aunties, uncles, cousins and whoever else happens to be around all get involved and he enjoys getting praise about his development from all these different people, so tries hard. We also read books with him at bedtime, so he finds reading fun.

Best wishes,
Eilidh
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Last edited by Eilidh1; 03-22-2005 at 06:47 PM.

 
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