Once again, Kaitlyn made the honor roll at school. She has made the honor roll in each of the grading periods she has had the opportunity to do so in her first two years of school (the first 9 weeks of both kindergarten and first grade did not afford her the opportunity to make the honor roll because they are considered “baseline” grading periods). Her making the honor roll is presenting a little bit of a problem for Amber and I though, but it is a good problem: at some point, we will run out of wall space in Kaitlyn’s room for her honor roll and other certificates. Right now, and this is without the two certificates she brought home yesterday (honor roll and citizenship), one of her walls is close to one-third covered in framed certificates.
As for the actual report card, she earned “very consistent demonstration” in both behavior and work/study skills again in the performance section. In the achievement section, she earned “extends/applies in many ways” in reading, writing, math, social studies, science, health education, and physical education, with consistent effort noted. She slipped a little in visual arts, earning “satisfactory progress,” and maintained “satisfactory progress” in music, with consistent effort in each.
Of course, my favorite part of her report card is the area designated for teacher comments. It provides us with a concise recap of Kaitlyn’s progress, and expectations moving forward. Here is what was on this report card:
Kaitlyn continues to make excellent progress in all academic areas. She has done a wonderful job on our reading comprehension tests and is mastering all of the first grade standards. In math, she understands the concepts and is able to apply them to her assignments. In writing, she has been adding more details and has such interesting stories to read.
I guess maybe part of the reason I love that section so much is that the comments reaffirm what Amber and I work to do at home with Kaitlyn. We have always stressed the importance of school, while trying to not put too much pressure on Kaitlyn, either. We are lucky that Kaitlyn enjoys going to school and excelling, and that she rarely needs us to provide her with extra motivation.
Before we left for school this morning, I asked Kaitlyn why she does so well in school, and her answer was simple. She does well because she loves school and she knows that we support her. Pure and simple. As parents, Amber and I could not be more proud of what she has accomplished in her first two years (almost) of school. If we face one obstacle, it is that we will probably have to work to keep Kaitlyn challenged; the academic part of school has come very easy for her so far, and we have noticed that there are times where she does not challenge herself, especially when it comes to her at-home reading. I guess there are worse problems to have though.
Kaitlyn brought home her second report card of the year yesterday, and there was not anything that could even remotely be considered a “surprise” on it. Unlike her first report card of the year, this one gave Amber and I a solid idea on how she has been doing in school.
Her Performance Codes and Grade-Level Codes were an “E” in every subject area, except for music (she got an “S” in music), meaning she either “very consistently demonstrates” a skill (Performance Codes) or “extends/applies in many ways” a skill (Grade-Level). Performance Codes consider things like her behavior and listening skills, and how she works with others in class. Things that Amber and I, through our unique parenting approach, would expect her to excel in. The Grade-Level Codes measure performance in each individual subject area, and also include a numbered (1-3) effort level.
In each subject area, including her one “S” level of music, she earned a rating of 3, meaning that she is consistently giving effort in the subject.
During the second nine weeks, Kaitlyn was in school each of the 39 days, and has been in school all 83 days through the end of the nine weeks. (As of today, Kaitlyn has been in attendance in each of the 92 days of the school year so far, and is quickly approaching what she did last year, when she was in school for 99 of the first 100 days.) If there is one thing that fuels this, it is Kaitlyn’s dependence on and adherence to a strict routine; no, she is not always happy to wake up before the sun to eat breakfast and start her day, but she does it each and every day.
Because she has set the bar so high with each report card that has come home since kindergarten, the area I look forward to reviewing is the teacher and principal comments section. There were not many surprises there, either. According to her teacher, “Kaitlyn has shown wonderful growth in all academic areas. She continues to read fluently and is reading with more expression. She did a fantastic job of surpassing her AR (Accelerated Reader) goal (it was 4.3 points and she got 7.2 points, which is a huge jump considering the most she can get from each test is 1 point). She is understanding and applying the math concepts that are taught and is able to complete tasks independently.” (The italics above show my comment regarding the AR goal)
If this keeps up, and Amber and I expect it to, we are going to run out of wall space before Kaitlyn gets to middle school. With this report card, she brought home certificates for making the honor roll, for perfect attendance, and for citizenship. That is three more items that we will have to buy frames for and hang on the wall in her room.
Amber and I could not be more proud of the job that Kaitlyn is doing in school. She tries her hardest each and every day, and the results are indicative of her efforts. At some point soon, she will have to be challenged more in school to make sure that she stays motivated and on-track.
Kaitlyn brought home her first report card of the school year yesterday, and there were really no surprises at all. Amber and I had a really good idea what would be on her report card since we just had our parent/teacher conference about two weeks ago.
As expected, Kaitlyn’s report card was stellar. She exceeded expectations in every subject area. To me, not providing actual grades during the first nine weeks is a little unfair to the students. They have had homework on a consistent basis, and have taken tests in the classroom, but, in what seems to be a county-wide policy, no grades are given for the first nine weeks (at least in kindergarten and first grade). That system is in place in order to afford the teachers the opportunity to gauge where each student is and adjust accordingly.
I always look forward to reading the comments that the teacher provides. This grading period, her teacher commented on how sweet Kaitlyn is, and how much she enjoys having her in class. I anticipate that will be a theme this year, especially knowing how much Kaitlyn loves going to school. Amber and I have been trying to figure out whatever magic potion they use at school to get Kaitlyn to follow instructions on a consistent basis, and to listen so well, because we would love to give her some at home on occasion.
There are areas where Kaitlyn needs to improve, too. We have been working with her on getting her to slow down when doing her work, and have extended that particular lesson into other areas to try to make it more concrete in her mind. She also needs to work on her neatness, and I think that will improve as she slows down. I busted her the other day on her homework after she rushed through it but failed to read all of the instructions; she had to show her work on a few math problems but did not (I sometimes found that showing my work slowed me down and sometimes made problems more difficult, and it seems Kaitlyn may be the same).
It is nice for Amber and I to see the progress that Kaitlyn has made so far this year. We could not be happier with her school and her teacher, and the caring approach they take with every student to maximize their potential; the school does a great job in establishing expectations and working with the students to meet their goals.
It seems like just yesterday that I was writing about Kaitlyn getting her second report card, and the first with actual grades. She made the honor roll then, and Amber and I were very excited and proud.
Today, Kaitlyn brought home her third report card, and it looks very much like her second report card. And that means she has made the honor roll again! Her love of school is reflected in what she has been bringing home.
Kaitlyn pretty much maintained in every area, but did manage to improve in three areas. She showed improvement in her effort and participation in language arts, moving from a 2 (inconsistent) to a 3 (consistent). In math, she also made the move from a 2 to a 3. And in her work/study skills, she moved from an S (demonstrates characteristics) to an E (very consistent demonstration). She did also regress in one area, unfortunately. In her ability to handle conflicts and problems appropriately, she went from consistently demonstrating that behavior/skill to having nothing in that box this time. Not great, but also not a surprise based off of her weekly progress reports.
I always enjoy the comments that her teacher provides as well, because it is pretty much the one area where she is allowed to have control over her input and what parents know (instead of constantly having to “teach to the test” and get the kids ready for standardized testing). Her teacher noted that, she is “particularly pleased with the writing progress this grading period. Kaitlyn is adding more detail to her writing and the conventions are really showing growth.” She also noted that Kaitlyn reads well above grade level.
Next up, Kaitlyn will be taking the Iowa Test of Basic Skills, which will help determine her readiness to advance to first grade next year. While I have my concerns about the necessity of testing kindergarten children for advancement, I am confident that Kaitlyn will do just fine. She will do just fine as long as she takes her time, and makes sure to follow instructions completely.
The end of the school year is a mere nine weeks away. Time sure is flying by.
If Kaitlyn’s first report card was a way to gauge where she was and to set a benchmark for future performance, that would make this one the first “real” one that counts. Her first nine weeks saw her struggle with handling problems and giving her best effort, and Amber and I were hoping to see improvement during the second nine weeks.
For the most part, Kaitlyn has been giving consistent effort in the majority of her work; social studies, science, health education, visual arts, performing arts (music), and physical education. Unfortunately, she has been giving inconsistent effort in two areas, language arts and math. She does not struggle at all grade-wise in these areas, just in giving effort, which says to me that if she were to give a more consistent effort, she would excel in these areas even more.
As for actual “grades,” Kaitlyn scored a satisfactory in visual arts and writing. Basically, she is progressing right on track with her grade level. Amber and I are not too shocked that she would struggle (maybe the wrong word for it) in visual arts and writing. With a literal and linear mind, it will take her more effort (there’s that word again) to really excel in those areas. Room for improvement for sure, but nothing to be worried about at all.
The best part about her report card is the areas where she “extends/applies in many ways” her achievement: reading, math, social studies, science, health education, performing arts (music), and physical education. None of the above come as a surprise to us. As noted on her report card, Kaitlyn is “quite the reader,” and that desire to read is strong at home as well. (She gets that all from Amber; I like to read on occasion, but you are unlikely to find my nose in a book as much as you would Amber.) Kaitlyn practices her math constantly (thanks iPad for having an app out there), and has shown interest in the other areas above as well. We are proud of her for doing so well in these subjects.
In addition to the comment noted above regarding her reading, her teacher noted that she loves to work in their centers and on the computer. She does, however, rush through assignments and needs encouragement to give her best effort, and with encouragement, she is capable of doing excellent work.
For her efforts in the second nine weeks, Kaitlyn was named to the Honor Roll. She missed out on perfect attendance when she missed a day when she was sick. Overall, this nine weeks was at least what we expected, maybe even a little better. The bar has been set, however, for subsequent report cards.
Unrelated notes: Miracle League started again tonight with soccer. Kaitlyn was excited to see her friends and her buddy Sarah. Tomorrow she and I are going to watch our friend Caroline at her swim meet at FSU.