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Entering 1st Grade 2017

  1. Mamaof2

    squash / 13130 posts

    @looch: The jump from K to 1 isn't that big of a deal - yes they are learning new material but its still simple worksheets and reading for homework. For us going from 1st to 2nd was a big deal with big changes all around

  2. 808love

    pomelo / 5783 posts

    It seems to be a pretty smooth transition. I think it really depends on the school. The writing expectations jump at first grade at our school. (LO likes writing so she is ok with that.)

    Typically, K-2 are considered lower grades, focusing on literacy and learning to read. At our school, Grades 3-4 are similar-reading to learn -introducing the emphasis on heavy informational text/non-fiction in grade 4. A few kids are still having some basic comprehension issues in grades 3 and 4 but they are considered reading as a second grader. Then 5-6 with advanced academic language. I know for a fact, there is a big jump from 4 to 5.

  3. looch

    wonderful pear / 26088 posts

    @Mamaof2: yes, that seems to be how it's going, it's not textbook based, although, I wonder if that kind of learning still actually happens?

    My son's first grade class room has a lot less visual clutter than kindergarten, there are no toys, but it doesn't mean they don't have fun during the school day. They have their specials as well as the IB inquiry projects and the assemblies, so while there's not a lot of free play, they're occupied and seem happy.

  4. lamariniere

    pineapple / 12373 posts

    My son didn’t have any toys in Kinder. The school (both last year and this year) is known for being academically rigorous. The expectations this year are mostly centered on reading and reading comprehension. They have the same math workbooks from last year (just one grade up). I’m not sure when the “jump” is in our system. But the transition, both new school and new grade, seem to be going pretty smoothly. What I really appreciate is that there is a focus on each child’s individual progress and not their progress compared to a standard.

  5. 808love

    pomelo / 5783 posts

    In kinder, the kids didn't have toys but they had a special award class (with lots of toys) they could go to at recess as an incentive for excellent behavior. In first grade, there are no toys but they have centers time with hands-on educational play.

  6. T.H.O.U.

    wonderful clementine / 24101 posts

    I wouldn't say she (or the class) is quite to the point of "reading to learn" but they are expected to have reading comprehension skills at this point. Meaning they aren't given a text about dinosaurs and expected to learn about dinosaurs. But they may read a passage about dinosaurs and learn how to respond to questions about that passage Sometimes that's highlighting the answer.

  7. looch

    wonderful pear / 26088 posts

    What do your schools do in terms of workshops for parents regarding homework?

    Even though my son's school has done away with the worksheet based homework, they have asked that kids read for 20 minutes per night, do 2 30 minute sessions of a math program online and do a weekly question where they want to learn more about something.

    Seems pretty straight forward to me, but some parents are complaining about it. So, there's a meeting in 2 weeks to go over concerns and questions. Curious to hear your opinions, is there something that I am missing?

    Othwerise, how's everyone doing? My son informed me that someone in his class has a peanut allergy, so I bought some wowbutter to try out (soy based) based on a rec from another mom in another thread.

  8. T.H.O.U.

    wonderful clementine / 24101 posts

    @looch: Wow. Seems like pretty straight forward work to be done outside. Unfortunately if they dont "assign" it, there will be kids that wont have parents who do those things. Is the 20 minutes of math nightly? I could see how 20 min reading + 20 min of math + the weekly question could add up to a fair amount of time.

    I'm feeling very fortunate but also nervous. We have homework packets and reading and spelling tests weekly. But DH has been able to get the worksheets done with her in the carpool line, our reading has been before bed and she's doing well so she's reading other things throughout the day so if we dont get a full 20 min straight in per night I'm not worried. And her spelling words have been pretty easy so we basically review them the day prior to the test (last week she got 12/10 with two bonus words). I'm worried that we will get to 2nd grade and she will be shocked when she has real homework and has to sit down to do work. Right now its nice we can send her outside to play when she gets home instead of having to sit down and work.

  9. MamaG

    pomelo / 5269 posts

    We are struggling a little bit to keep up with at home work. We haven't been able to get into a good routine of reading daily And we have math that we are supposed to work on each week and return after a month. Unfortunately, with our younger getting older it just feels like we haven't been able to settle into a good evening routine to get it all done.

    We ended our first marking period and report cards came home yesterday. I guess I failed at recognizing some of what was expected during the first six weeks. Knowing cardinal direction was an expectation (and something they were scored on) - Whoa! I know adults that don't know cardinal direction.

    I was really pleased with her reading testing though, as she's shown improvement from last year end so summer slide didn't hit her reading. And our not finding our groove isn't impacting her either (yet).

  10. looch

    wonderful pear / 26088 posts

    @MamaG: I was surprised at the cardinal directions as well, my son asked me to draw a compass for him and was asking what it means when you are between 2 directions.

    @T.H.O.U.: The math is only 2 sessions over the week, not each night. We have no issue doing the reading, but my son is currently on a fast from the ipad, so that means he's not doing the math homework!

    I think the parents that complained think there isn't enough homework. We have a large population of immigrant parents where homework is an expectation and I have a feeling they are seeking enrichment ideas, but we'll see.

    I am fine with my son's progress so far. He can handle the work and his classroom is very calming, so he's progressing nicely. We still have some attitude battles, though!

  11. Mamaof2

    squash / 13130 posts

    @looch: Our school follows the 10 mins of homework per grade - so in first grade its 10 mins of homework plus reading - In your case I would do reading each night and 10 mins of math, I cant imagine a kid doing math for 30 minutes straight!

    For my 3rd grader - they have homework each night but the teacher told us at BTSN she doesnt grade it - she just wants them in that routine of doing work at home so when they hit middle school its not a shock - the kids dont know this!

    As for DD she is advanced in reading/writing but pretty behind in math - so we are doing worksheets each night to help her get to where she needs to be - luckily she LOVES homework

  12. looch

    wonderful pear / 26088 posts

    @Mamaof2: Do you have experience with Dreambox? It's a math app and it's adaptive. My son loves it, and he normally hates doing "math" when he has to complete it on paper.

  13. Mamaof2

    squash / 13130 posts

    @looch: I don't! I'll check it out - thanks for the rec!

  14. Mamaof2

    squash / 13130 posts

    @looch: I cant find it.... hmmmm

  15. looch

    wonderful pear / 26088 posts

    @Mamaof2: check it out on the website, it might be that you need a school account to access it...but given it's in the app store, dreambox blue and dreambox green, I was under the assumption anyone can use it.

  16. lamariniere

    pineapple / 12373 posts

    There has been a significant uptick in the volume of homework this week. Much of it has been writing (both spelling test prep and general writing) and my son is now in the international section, so he has English homework too. It has been a rough adjustment because it seems to take so long now. On Wednesday we had to go over the French spelling words, the French grammar lesson, the French writing work and then do the English spelling words. I’m pretty sure it took 45 minutes, which is too long, in my opinion. There’s a fair amount of homework this weekend and we already did the reading, the first chapter in a new book. I was really impressed at how much progress he has made in reading since the beginning of the school year.

    Also, does anyone have any suggestions for good English phonics resources? I think I need to work with him on English phonics. My son has just been thrown into the new English section without having any prior English reading/writing and I feel the need to catch him up. I’m sure it will all be fine in the end, but I think it’s a bit ambitious asking him to do spelling tests when he doesn’t know the sounds in English. I saw his test from last week, which was on his first day in the new class, and he basically spelled all the English words phonetically using French as a base, so they were obviously all wrong. One of the spelling words that we practiced for next week was “was” and he took one look at it and pronounced it “vas” like in German (which he learned last year) and didn’t immediately make the connection that it was English. So we have work to do there. .

  17. looch

    wonderful pear / 26088 posts

    @lamariniere: How has it been going?

    I am thinking about doing a mummy bookmark for the kids Halloween party after they do their costume parade. I want something with no paint and no glue, lol. The mummy is cut from craft foam sheets, the holes will be punched up the sides and the kids lace yarn through the holes and then attach two googly eyes. We literally have 15 minutes and I think I can do the cutting and punching up front and have the yarn cut to lengths so all that has to be done is the assembly.


  18. lamariniere

    pineapple / 12373 posts

    @looch: thanks for checking in! We worked hard on the spelling words last week and he got them all right this week! Other than that, I haven’t had time to work on English with him. But our container finally arrived over the weekend so at least we now have all of our books again, and we can start reading/practicing more in English.

    As for your craft, I’m not terribly crafty but it does sound like they could do it in the allotted amount of time.

  19. Mamaof2

    squash / 13130 posts

    @looch: so if its just lacing I think it sounds perfect!

  20. T.H.O.U.

    wonderful clementine / 24101 posts

    @lamariniere: Glad to hear he's getting adjusted. I bet it feels great to have your container and all your stuff back!

  21. 808love

    pomelo / 5783 posts

    @looch: Did someone mention candy corny? Sounds so crafty! Mummies creep out DD but she would be fine. @lamariniere: Must be such a relief to get the container!!!

  22. looch

    wonderful pear / 26088 posts

    Oy! The Halloween festivities were so rushed, but the craft got completed, the kids had a snack, costumes were put on and a parade completed, all in the space of 45 minutes! Now I just have to decide on the possible thanksgiving craft, and there's not a lot of time left! I already know what we're doing for the Christmas one (if it's up to me): toilet paper roll snowmen, using up the white yarn from the ghosts!

    I had a long conversation with the literacy teacher at my son's school yesterday and I expressed some frustration about the homework requirement of 20 minutes per night...it's hard to find appropriate content and not rely on the online application alone! So, she mentioned that my son's issue at the moment is answering free form questions after reading a guided reading level G text and suggested that one night, we could use one of these workbooks to complete the 20 minute requirement. In case anyone is looking for something, here they are:

    First choice:

    Second choice: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1596730374/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o00_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

  23. Pancakes

    nectarine / 2180 posts

    @looch: I’m surprised you have to find your own leveled content for reading each night, if that’s what they want you to do. DD has a book basket at school with several books at her reading level, and each night she chooses one to bring home. I think if the 20 mins of reading they want is something specifically on the child’s reading level, and being read to or having the child choose a book off the Home bookshelf doesn’t count, then the school should provide the content.

  24. looch

    wonderful pear / 26088 posts

    @Pancakes: They just changed the policy this year, I don't think it was very thought through, so we're muddling through. I am aware that some parents are probably struggling, so I feel the need to raise it to the administration, as not everyone feels empowered to raise things for whatever reason.

    Last year, I believe the kids had those leveled reading buckets, but this year, I don't recall having seen them in the classroom. I will ask, for sure.

  25. Mamaof2

    squash / 13130 posts

    @looch: @Pancakes: we have reading most nights and its whatever they want to read - they don't bring books home from school (except library books) and some nights she reads the same books over and over - its never been an issue here

  26. T.H.O.U.

    wonderful clementine / 24101 posts

    @looch: Thats great to raise it on behalf of other parents because I'm sure you're not the only one! Its hard to find good content that interests them!

    Our 20 minutes per night can be parent read or child reading. We usually do a mix which allows her to enjoy the more advance books she's not ready (or too tired) to read but still giving her chance to practice.

  27. looch

    wonderful pear / 26088 posts

    @Mamaof2: Do you have to complete a reading log or anything? Ours is basically just a sheet where the kids write the name of the book and then the parents sign.

    @T.H.O.U.: I believe ours can be the same, the goal is to promote literacy and reading habits. I admit, sometimes, I am just too tired to read, but my son looks forward to it so I power through, even if it's just for 10 minutes.

    I have been more aware of the reading levels, and it's helpful. We just got the scholastic book flyer again and my son's circled a bunch of stuff, which I am fine with. He's using money that he's earned from doing chores to buy the books, which I think is great!

  28. 808love

    pomelo / 5783 posts

    One thing you could do is ask the teacher for a lexile level once your child reaches a certain comprehension point. If your school is online, chances are their library catalog is online. You can go to refine search according to lexile levels and interests. This works with community libraries online as well. Lexile levels are imperfect but they are a start. I tend to look for books where they are getting exposed to or aquiring one new word a page for my own students.

    DD's first grade teacher has assigned a diagnostic test and has been printing out articles weekly for DD using a reading-differentiated program (Achieve3000 or known as Kidbiz) which scores everything and guides them with polls for engagement. This past week she started just having her work on them online. She is an extremely high reader (4th grade level) and she has a veteran teacher who wants to find something at her instructional comprehension level.
    Here's one company's lexile grouping but it varies depending on opinion. I find this one pretty challenging. https://doc.achieve3000.com/article/InterpretingStudentsLexiles/InterpretingStudentsLexiles.pdf

  29. Mrs. High Heels

    blogger / eggplant / 11550 posts

    Do any of your schools use a program like raz-kids? We can choose between reading books on raz-kids (they're all non-fiction) or picking any book of our choice. The only books she brings home are library books too. She usually gets to bring home 2 library books each week.

    There is more of an emphasis on non-fiction books too over fiction.

  30. Mamaof2

    squash / 13130 posts

    @looch: She gets a paper each month with 25 boxes - she checks off 1 box for each 20 mins of reading

  31. looch

    wonderful pear / 26088 posts

    @Mamaof2: Oh that's an interesting idea, I am going to suggest it.

    @Mrs. High Heels: Yes, we do have and use Raz kids, but the content is not that great IMO. I am okay if we use the app for one or two days of reading, but not every night. I want him to look at all kinds of content, including magazines, chapter fiction books, non fiction related to whatever he's interested in and workbooks.

  32. Boogs

    hostess / papaya / 10540 posts

    @Mrs. High Heels: They use Raz at school. We are supposed to read at least 20 minutes a day, so they can read their two books they bring home daily and then whatever else they want to read. Can be a mix of raz, traditional books, etc.

  33. Mrs. High Heels

    blogger / eggplant / 11550 posts

    @looch: I agree there should be a mix, but I haven't minded the content in raz. There is a decent variety - simpler stories and other more complex ones like the history of MLK Jr. and Harriet Tubman. I find that its helpful because of the 3 parts - the guided reading part, the solo reading, and then the quiz at the end to test reading comprehension. We take longer on nights when we read through raz because she likes to get through each part and earn her stars. She will attempt to read it on her own first, then listen to the guided reading which helps reinforce the story, and finally do the quiz. I also like that when you highlight words they'll tell you the definition and meaning.

    @Boogs: that's how our school does it too. 20 minutes of reading of our choice. Raz is just one of the options, but when we do Raz it takes longer than 20 minutes.

  34. Boogs

    hostess / papaya / 10540 posts

    @Mrs. High Heels: It always takes us longer, but I like that they do check for comprehension and LO enjoys it and asks to read extra usually.

  35. Mrs. High Heels

    blogger / eggplant / 11550 posts

    @Boogs: yes, same here. N is motivated by the leveling up and stars, haha.

  36. Mamaof2

    squash / 13130 posts

    What are you all putting in your 1st graders stocking?

    I need ideas!

    Anything educational?

  37. T.H.O.U.

    wonderful clementine / 24101 posts

    @Mamaof2: Nothing major educational.

    I get each of the kids some new books. She is getting some easy chapter books.

  38. looch

    wonderful pear / 26088 posts

    Nothing yet...but probably art supplies.

    If you wanted an educational game, I really like the Doctor Beaker/Doctor Eureka/Doctor Microbe games, available on amazon. We have all three, lol, we're a little obsessed and I bought them to give as gifts too!

  39. MamaG

    pomelo / 5269 posts

    @Mamaof2: I've got mostly character items from the target dollar spot (pencils, stickers, wash cloth, hat, socks, notebook, etc). She's into shopkins and num noms. Books are always on my list and I grabbed the first few books of a series for her to try out. I also got some mandala style coloring books for kids from the dollar spot. She's been trying to take my coloring books.

  40. Mrs. High Heels

    blogger / eggplant / 11550 posts

    @MamaG: Nothing educational. I'm getting some blind bags from Target, will maybe look at stuff from the dollar spot. She needs new underwear and socks, so probably those too.

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