Today were Parent/Teacher conferences; they hand out report cards and talk about how things are going, blah blah blah. I somehow managed to schedule them both back to back, not sure how I managed to pull that off, but I got them both done in one day while the kids were with the sitter (hubs was working at his sucky job that sucks and couldn't make it).
First things first:
|IT'S HAPPY FLYING JACOB!!!! How I love Happy Flying Jacob.|
I never understood these report cards they give out; apparently his reading right now is at a Level 8 but at the end of 3rd Grade they like to see them at least at a Q? Or something about benchmarks.... first trimester..... goals.... percentages.... HUH? Just tell me how he's doing, please! I think the teachers agree with me, they always just skip over the complicated grading stuff. Anyway, this is a kid who has problems with noise and chatter and his sensory reaction is complete shut down; it makes him a dream student because he just sits there sweetly while all the other kids run wild, but not good for learning. He's always had trouble in group settings, has never been able to learn while sitting on that damn carpet with the other kids while the teacher stood up in the front talking; he's always had a 1:1 and if he didn't he just wouldn't pay attention. However, I'm told that he's starting to pay attention to the teacher without IA assistance, even for just brief periods. She's SO awesome, his teacher, and she's really clued into him even in such a short time, so she's aware when he's listening and when he's not and she's able to work with the attention she gets from him, even while standing in front of a group of kids. How does she do that??
Apparently, also, he's starting to approach other kids on the yard to play. He's very cautious and doesn't speak much and it helps that the other kids are really sweet and want to play with him, but it's a HUGE difference over previous years when all he would do was sit in the mulch and draw street maps, or run back and forth against the chain link fence. I don't think anything structured is happening at recess to encourage him to do any of this, he's just doing it on his own. This is huge. I mean, like.... huge.
Another huge thing is that apparently they've changed the way they're supposed to do assessments for kids with IEPs; before there was always some bit of confusion because there's Jake on his own doing the work and then there's Jake with his IA doing the work. Since his challenges are all around his concentration and focus, no teacher has ever really been able to do any accurate testing of his abilities because without somebody helping him focus, he just won't do it. Last year his teacher actually gave him 2 sets of grades; when he's had help, he does great, because he's super smart and knows his stuff, but without the help, his grades are awful, because he can't attend to the work on his own. This year, though, there's only one way they're supposed to test and that's without the help. I was AMAZED but they actually managed to get some relatively accurate results from him.
I'm not sure I'm explaining this correctly or emphasizing enough the awesomeness of this. In all his years of schooling a teacher has never been able to "grade" his academics, but this year we actually got some results. He has a report card and it isn't that bad, and he did it all on his own. This means that he's getting better at paying attention and doing the work on his own. This is huger than the other thing I said was huge, this is ENORMOUS.
Child 2 is sweet. Child 2 is smart. Child 2 is caring. Child 2 is an "incredible listener on the carpet." Child 2 is very considerate toward others and is a great friend to all his classmates. (Why isn't Child 2 such a perfect angel when he's at home, I wonder?) Child 2 "knows 54/54 letter names, 53/54 letter sounds and can read 22 sight words. He has a very strong skills set." Child 2 is "proficient" or "advanced" in every subject and category.
Child 2 is awesome.