Tuesday, November 12, 2013
First Parent-Teacher Conference
To start, I have to say that I really love his school. Our county is known for having an excellent school system, and all, but that doesn't necessarily mean that the schools are likable. I really think ours is. It seems like a really close-knit community and the school and PTA seem really focused on doing good things for the kids. Zack's teacher is fresh out of school, but she's so enthusiastic and just loves those kids. A friend of ours is a teacher in the school system, and he said that if they hired her right out of school, she must be exceptional, and she certainly seems to be. Another great thing about our school is that there are only about 18 kids in the class. (My friends with kids in other schools all say their class sizes are closer to 30.) As a result, each child gets a lot of individual attention and encouragement.
The school also has a great aftercare program that's well integrated with the school and it's activities. The PTA brings in after-school classes that the kids can sign up for, too. There's a broad range, from soccer to yoga to karate. We signed Zack up for Young Rembrandts, a drawing class, which he loves and is learning so much from. I've posted pictures he's done in that class before.
So now to the conference. In sum, he's doing great, as you can see from the report. He's at a level 2 in reading (though she thinks he'll be moving up to 3 soon), which means he knows some sight words and can figure out some words from (what we used to call) context clues. She said he's sounding some words out, and he's writing simple sentences. She challenges him to do that instead of just labeling pictures (one example of individualized attention). They do a lot of activities where they have to draw pictures, then label them or count things or something like that. She said he doesn't always have time to finish the project, but it's because he's so detailed in his drawing, so she doesn't mind.
He's doing great in his math skills, no problems.
He is also doing well in his social skills, which I was very glad to hear. She said he's a very kind boy, that he talks with everyone, and he has lots of friends. She'd noticed that he was a little slow to warm up, but that in the last couple weeks she's noticed him chatting more, and when they're doing their table work she can hear him talking to his tablemates. She said she was glad to see him coming into his own, but that she hopes he won't get too chatty!
He sometimes comes to her a little too readily to solve problems with classmates, but they have a system for working on that, and that he's improving. He knows what he's supposed to do, but he told me that he sometimes forgets. He's apparently very protective of his personal space and doesn't like others to touch him too much.
He apparently is also very good at keeping his space clean and neat, and putting away toys. All I'm going to say here is that I'm glad that behavior occurs somewhere.
His teacher was really excited to hear that he brings a lot of what he learns home--patterns, sounding out words, sight words, etc. She said he asks lots of questions and raises his hand to answer a lot. So he's doing great!