Author Archive: TommyK

School Update

“Kaitlyn is such a joy to have in our class.  We love her.  She is so well-behaved…”

We had our annual parent-teacher conference with Kaitlyn’s teachers yesterday, and those were among the first words we heard when we sat down.  Amber and I had to check with them to make sure they were talking about our kid, just in case they had picked up the wrong file (kidding!).

In all seriousness, it is always nice when we go to the school and talk to Kaitlyn’s teachers (or really anyone who works there) and they tell us how much they enjoy her being there.  And when it comes to her teachers, it is even better when we hear how respectful she is, and how much progress she has been making.

We’re just about a month into the school year, and Kaitlyn is already exceeding most of her benchmarks.  She is above grade level in reading (she’s already at a 5.5 level, or about where a 5th grader would be halfway through the year) and in math (she’s at about a 5.0 level).  She’s understanding concepts like she is supposed to, and is progressing nicely.

In true Kaitlyn fashion, she is also sure that schedules are kept, and she will happily (and constantly) remind her teacher what days she has Pony Express duties.

Overall, 4th grade has gotten off to a great start, and Kaitlyn is adjusting wonderfully.  She has an A in every subject so far, and is really making a good impression.  Amber and I are really proud of the work that she puts in to doing her best in school, and we really enjoy partnering with her teachers to make sure she is challenged and doing her best.


Solving the Equation

I was checking with Kaitlyn one day last week, making sure that she had finished up her homework for the night (for the record, she usually gets it done before I get home from work, but I picked her up earlier than she is used to that day).  Of course, she had finished her assignments and was ready to decompress a little bit.  But not before she shared something that made her very proud of herself.

As I was leaving the dining room, she called me back in for just a second to tell me about something that she did at school that day.  That was unusual, because it is next to impossible to get too much information out of her most of the time.  That day, she just had to tell me about a little challenge her teacher presented to the class: who wants to try some algebra (note, I know that the picture to the right is a little more than mere algebra)?

mathOf course, Kaitlyn had to give it a try.  According to her, only one or two other students were willing to even make an attempt.

There were four equations that the teacher asked them to solve.  I can see where that might be overwhelming to a vast majority of 4th graders, especially during the third week of school.

Kaitlyn took a swing at solving all four equations.  While she didn’t get them all correct, she was happy, and Amber and I were happy and proud, that she was able to get two of the four equations correct!  She was so proud of herself, and with good reason.

It is remarkable that Kaitlyn still astounds us on a daily basis.  The fact that she even gave algebra a try, knowing that she would most likely not get all of the answers correct, shows us that she is continuing to get more and more self confidence.  She is at her best when she is in learning mode, and when she can share what she has learned with us.

For now, we will continue to encourage her to develop her math skills, and we will work on algebra with her if she wants (we might have to enlist the help of a certain algebra teacher we know at some point) and encourage her to continue to push herself.

Pony Express

The Thursday before the first day of school, we went to meet Kaitlyn’s teacher and get her signed up for the after school program, just like we do every year.  This year, the school had a setup of different “leadership” positions for students to apply to.  Much to our surprise, Kaitlyn applied for three positions.

Pony-express-statueWe found out this week that Kaitlyn has been selected to participate in the “Pony Express” at school.  Several times per week, she will be part of a team of students who will get to deliver mail and stuff to teachers and administrators.  It will be a good way for her to meet even more of the teachers and will force her to come out of her shell even more.  Amber and I are excited that it will help with her social skills and social development.

Because there was such a high demand for so many of the positions, Kaitlyn will still have a chance to experience (if she is selected) the other two she applied for, safety patrol and media center aide.

Kaitlyn is really excited to start her new role next week, and Amber and I are excited for her.

Off To A Great Start

Well, that didn’t take long.

Kaitlyn just started school last week, and she is already off to a great start.  She seems to like her teachers and her classmates, and is even more excited than usual about what the year will bring.

She also threw out a little bit of a challenge to a classmate (not directly, she relayed it through his mom, who was Kaitlyn’s first grade teacher) when it comes to AR points.  She is determined to get more points than him this year, and that will be quite the challenge since he is usually one of the students near the top every year.

Open-BookThey did their baseline testing for grade level AR and initial point goal last week, and Kaitlyn was given a goal of 15 points for this grading period.  As of Friday, she was already at 11 points, with an average grade level of books read of 5.3; she has already read 66,258 words, and that is only counting from the books she has taken a quiz on, not what she reads for fun at home.

I don’t know, and I am not especially concerned, if she will fulfill her goal of beating her classmate in AR points this year.  Amber and I will certainly encourage her to do her best to do so, but we are really more concerned with her staying motivated and doing the best she possibly can.  She is off to a great start!

A “Cool” Tradition

One of the things that I enjoy the most about the first day of school, other than the huge savings of not having to pay for summer camp anymore, is a tradition that Kaitlyn and I started back when she was in 1st grade.  It is our annual “Ice Cream Night.”

dipped-ice-cream-cones-7So, as you are reading this, Kaitlyn and I are enjoying some tasty ice cream, while she is telling me about her first day of 4th grade.

I don’t know how many more years Kaitlyn will want to have ice cream with me on the first day of school, but I plan on enjoying each and every one until she tells me that she has had enough.  Of course, if I get my way, this cool tradition (see what I did there?) will continue through high school and while she is in college, too.  A dad can dream, I guess.


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