Wednesday, February 25, 2009

School report - and retort

So the kids' report cards came home the other day. An excerpt from B's:
B has been focusing much of this semester on math. He has been working toward abstraction in all of the functions. B enjoys challenging himself by making up large math problems and then working through them. B has also been working on his writing skills. . . paragraph writing, spelling, contractions, and homophones. B has also been intrigued by research this semester. He has worked on a study of a country and researching the animal kingdom. B has become a wonderful role model for the younger students. Keep up the good work, B.

And M:

M is very quiet in the classroom but when she is one-on-one we realize there is much depth to her. She sometimes gets overlooked in the busy hubbub of a classroom, but then we discover she's written an amazing story with incredible vocabulary. When she decides to say something, it is well thought out and insightful. M clearly loves humor and laughter. On a daily basis, she will avoid math if she can. She tends much more to the languageworks, especially reading and writing. She is very methodical in her work. We are very thankful for M's quiet presence and good example, but love her sense of humor when it sneaks out! Continue to practice reading clocks, identifying coins, practicing addition math facts, and reading aloud for fluency and expression.
I appreciate the extra work the teachers put into creating these narrative descriptions of the kids' progress. (There is a "graded" portion as well.)

HOWEVER . . . not all is calm on the school front. Maria has been complaining about different aspects of her school experience, so I encouraged her to write them down. She did. She titled a blank page, "Questions & Compliments by Maria." I think she meant "Questions and Complaints," given the gist of the list she made up. A sampling (she numbered them):

2. Why didn't I get a riminder for pajama day?!

3. Why do you have to do spelling if it is in our Thursday notes? [ = Why does she have to practice her spelling words, since she brings home a list to practice every week.]

4. (Number 4 is for my parents.) Sandwiches everyday get kinda boring!

5. (Miss Anna) I know what to do! [Miss Anna is a parent volunteer who has been working with M to keep her on track.]

7. We have teachers why do we have voulanters?

After talking with her teacher, I discovered that M is not really doing much work at school, other than the stuff she likes to do (reading and writing), so they're creating a daily work plan for her. So we are going to meet with her teacher this afternoon to talk over her "compliments" -- and hopefully give her a pep talk about the importance of working hard at school. Full report to follow.