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Life is not about getting to the destination, life is what happens to you on the way there. 

Tuesday, May 24, 2005


Well, the principal is a very reasonable woman, and once she realized we weren't disputing the fact that Youngest may NOT be ready for first grade TODAY she heard us out. She understood what we were saying when we explained our fears about Youngest being emotionally scarred and ridiculed. She said it was possible to do what I asked and so now youngest will be re-tested for first grade in about 6 weeks, but they are going to use first grade criteria to test her. They explained that Youngest only needs two more percentile points and helping her with phonics and sounding out words will be our best bet. She was looking over Youngest's scores and was surprised that youngest had such a good vocabulary score but her reading scores were crap.

So - it's a slim chance, but it's a chance and I know Youngest can do it - I just have to work with her every night.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm soo glad she is getting this chance. I'm sure she can do it! Good luck to both of ya. Rachel.

5/24/2005 04:38:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm glad things worked out 'sort of'. I don't understand why they're using first grade criteria to test her though. Doesn't seem right. When she goes to first grade it will be with others who have taken the kindergarten test and passed it, why shouldn't she be allowed to do the same?

I've been thinking about something else. . .What if she stayed in kindergarten and didn't do well on the test again next year. How long are they willing to keep her in kindergarten? What age will she be when they realize that it is detrimental to her emotionally to hold her back. What criteria do they have for that?

As to the working with her on letters and sounds, that will be fun for both of you. There are a lot of sites on the net that you can use. (Kick me now. I know you know that already.) If there's anything I can help you with just let me know. One suggestion: Take a letter a day and concentrate on it with a scavenger hunt for things that start with that sound. If you have old magazines let her go through them and find pictures to paste on a page with the letter, upper and lower case. And let her circle the letter for the day in magazines. Cutting some of them out to paste in her book. Take pictures with your digital camera of things she finds or makes for that letter. (If the letter is "s" for instance, an easy one I know, let her make the s with spaghetti pasta and once it dries let her hold it up and take her picture with it. You could buy her Skittles which she could form in the shape of an 's' and you could put the empty package in her *book*)
I would probably quiz her on the letters and see which she is on target with and which she needs help with, and begin with those she needs the most help with. One of my friends at school had a clothes line in her room and construction paper shirt shapes with the upper and lower case letter printed on it, that she clothes-pinned to the line when they concentrated on that letter.
You could even staple some of the pictures to the bottom of the shirt, or make streamers from the tail to tape the pictures too. The main idea is to have the letters constantly in sight and to review them every day as you add to the others on the line. As she finds things in the house you can tape index cards to the things with the word, but put the beginning letter in a different color. Well, as you can see, I miss teaching this kind of thing. It's fun. I know youngest will love it. Cate

5/25/2005 07:46:00 PM  
Blogger Karry said...

Those are some good ideas! Thank you Cate!

I think they are using first grade criteria (it's Fall criteria, not end of year criteria) because they just gave her the end of year kindergarten test and don't want to repeat the test so soon after giving it to her. I'm not too worried about it, she's a bright girl and with the extra work we are doing she will pick right up on it.

She can read some books to us but her problem is fluency - she has trouble sounding out some words and some letters she has issues with.

so - we are working with stuff I printed from www.starfall.com (books and activities) as well as flash cards I made with phonetic sounds on them to practice as well as letters she's going to catch up no trouble. Verbally and emotionally she's ready for first grade, reading-wise, she isn't.

But I'll be darned before I let her be held back without putting forth some effort to prevent it.

5/26/2005 01:34:00 PM  

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