06 November 2008

Parent Teacher Conference, Sunshine Math, and a Report Card

During our recent parent/teacher conference, Bastian's teacher mentioned putting him in Sunshine Math. It's advanced math, stuff they don't cover in class. They get a worksheet to do on Monday. They have a group meeting on Fri where they go over any of the problems they had a hard time with. They ask parents to help the kids think the problems through but not give the answers. So this is the second week he's had a worksheet. His teacher did warn us it could be a bit of a challenge. I thought I'd give you a couple of the most recent problems he brought home to figure out for it. I actually found myself using algebra to explain one of them to my 6 yr old! Never thought I'd have THAT use for algebra, which was NOT one of my best subjects!

Which piece will make this shape if you have several of them?

Circle your choice below.

Which tile has a different number of dots than the other tiles? Ring the one that is different.

Five scarecrows had a candy corn eating contest.

Ben ate the most candy corn.
Jen ate more than Len.
Jen ate less than Ken.
Zen ate less than Len.

Write the scarecrows' names in order to show how much they candy corn they ate.

The last question was this:
Add me to myself. Then add 2 more. You will get 14. Who am I?

Bastian had trouble with this one. I could only think of one way to show him how to answer the question. Using algebra.
So I showed him this:
x + x + 2 = 14
Then told him to subtract the 2 from both sides and see what x + x was equal to. So he did and saw that x+x = 12. So then I asked him what number plus itself was 12. He finally got it. I was so proud of him. But Mr Barton did warn that these would be hard questions!

I also want to let you know about his report card. For some reason, they included a speech progress report. I guess it was due the same day we had the meeting for releasing him from speech and that's all it says basically. He mastered his speech goal and dismissal was recommended. Now the actual report card:
The highest mark is Consistent. Then Developing, Needs Improvement, and Not Yet Expected.

There are NO needs improvement markings. There is one not yet expected one in "describes, construct, classifies, and compares geometric shapes. Now, he can describe the shapes and make them. I am pretty sure he can compare them but maybe I am thinking of comparing them in a different way than they do. I am not sure about classifying them and what they use to judge that. On developing, there are 4 marks. they are: understands measurement concepts (time, money, fractions, and linear measurement); art, music, phys. ed. All of the other items are consistent!

In literacy they are: is able to read new words, sustains interest in reading-related activities, comprehends what is read, uses strategies to gain meaning from text, reads with fluency, uses technology as a learning tool in reading, prints correctly and neatly, uses basic capitalization and punctuation skills, uses conventional spelling, expresses ideas clearly, write original stories. and uses technology as a learning tool in writing.

Under numeracy the consistent categories are: understands number relationships, performs numeric operations, understand patterns and relationships, uses concepts to solve problems, uses technology as a learning tool in numeracy.

In science, health and social studies the consistent marks are: makes observations from experiences, explores and seeks answers, participates in class projects and experiments, understands basic concepts.

In Personal and social development the consistent marks are: demonstrates responsibility, follows school and classroom procedures, works independently, uses time wisely, listens and follows directions, returns homework and signed papers.

In overall progress the marks are a bit different. The choices are exceeds grade level expectations, meets grade level expectations, or does not meet grade level expectations. The only rate literacy and numeracy on this. But under literacy he received an "exceeds grade level expectations" mark and then "meets grade level expectations" in numeracy. Added to the literacy section is that he is at reading level 18. I know from speaking to his teacher at the parent-teacher conference that they have to reach level 16 to be able to get out of 1st grade. He's surpassed that. In fact, his teacher has a goal of him to either be close to or reach the level needed to get out of 2nd grade by the end of this year. 28 is the level to leave 2nd grade. So hopefully that will happen.

And last but not least: his teacher's comment. "Sebastian is a great asset to the class. He listens and follows directions well. Continue to work on reading more fluently." No conference was needed.

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