Zeke, Mayci, and Anthony’s Second Quarter Grades

Zeke works so hard in school. He earned every one of his grades with a lot of hard work. It’s amazing how hard he’s come over the last couple years. School comes easy for Mayci. She’s very smart and (when she doesn’t make careless errors) it shows in her grades. She loves school so much.

Starting in first grade kids get percentage grades for language arts, math, science, and social studies. They get E (excellent), S (satisfactory), or U (unsatisfactory) in everything else.

Zeke’s Grades
Language Arts – 88%
Math – 74%
Social Studies – 78%
Science – 83%
Conduct – S
Health – E
Art – S
Theater Arts – S
Music – E
PE – E

Mayci’s Grades
Language Arts – 95%
Math – 91%
Social Studies – 100%
Science – 97%
Conduct – E
Health – E
Art – E
Theater Arts – E
Music – E
PE – E

Kindergartners get lots and lots of grades on a 1-5 scale with 1 being well below grade level and 5 being well above grade level. Most of the grades given are 3s. Anthony is doing really well, especially in conduct which is something we’ve been working hard on since pre-k.

Anthony’s Grades
Music – all 2s
PE – all 3s
Participation – all 3s
Conduct – almost all 3s, a couple 2s, and a 4 in respecting authority figures
Language Arts – two 2s and a 3
Reading – an even mix of 2s and 3s
Math – mostly 2s and a 3; he can rote count to 29
Social Studies – an even mix of 2s and 3s
Science – all 3s and one 2
Health – 3

Such a long year…

The saga of just how long this year can end up being continues. This time it was about the book Mayci wanted to check out from the school library.

Zeke has been bringing home Dog Man books and Mayci has enjoyed looking at them. So at one of their library days she chose a Dog Man book.

But her teacher didn’t want to approve her to check it out.

She told her it’s for 2nd to 5th graders, not first graders. Now, we do not police library books. If it’s too simple, that’s no big deal. Mayci has checked out plenty of Piggy Elephant books this year and they are WAY below her reading level. If it’s just right, great. They’ll enjoy reading it with no help. If they are too hard, that’s no big deal either. They’ll either get help with what they don’t understand, work hard to figure it out on their own, or someone older will read it to them. Policing library books is a great way to kill a budding love of reading.

Ultimately she let Mayci check it out. And Mayci read it in two days. She needed occasional help with words, but mostly read it on her own and enjoyed it very much. Especially when pictures included characters in their underwear or references to farts. Heaven help us.

First Quarter of 1st and 2nd Grade

Zeke worked really hard during the first quarter of 2nd grade. School can be pretty hard for him so we’re all thrilled with how well he is doing. He got an S (satisfactory) in conduct, art, and theater arts. He got an E (excellent) in health, music, and PE. He got B’s in language arts (84%), math (84%), and science (85%). He got a C in social studies (79%).

Mayci’s grades were no surprise. She loves school and does her work easily. She’s a kid who finishes her week long homework packet all the first day because she wants to and likes doing it. She got an E in conduct, health, art, theater arts, music, and PE. She got A’s in language arts (95%), math (93%), social studies (95%), and science (97%)

It’ll Definitely Be a Very Long Year

I do hope once Mayci’s teacher has gotten into the groove of teaching, she ends up being an excellent teacher. She’s just not going to get there this year.

She corrects every page of the homework packet. It’s a rookie mistake. No one’s got time for that and she’ll figure it out. But that means she corrects spelling in sentences and paragraphs the kids have to write.

Aside from corrections given days later won’t help the kid learn to spell properly, in first grade invented (phonetic) spelling is standard. It’s more important for the kids to get their thoughts on paper in sentence/paragraph form than for every word to be spelled correctly at this point.

So Mayci had to write about spiders and whether she thought they were creepy or cute. At one point she wrote “crepe” and her teacher put a question mark and then creepy underneath the question mark. Obviously that’s the word Mayci meant. At another point Mayci wrote “sacary” instead of scary. Her teacher corrected her spelling by writing “scarey.”

This is going to be a really, really long year.

It Might Be a Long Year

Mayci’s teacher is brand new this year. She is young and has no children and some things she does shows that immaturity as a teacher. Mayci will be fine no matter what but it might be a long year.

Her teacher does things like giving mass punishments for the whole class even if only of few were misbehaving and writing every little thing down in the communication folder (things like Mayci was being silly and laughing at other kids playing around).

In first grade, kids need to read 200 books (or 200 chapters if they are reading chapter books) by May. In the first ten days of doing their reading logs Mayci read 22 books. I don’t see that as a lot of books, but her teacher apparently does. Mayci came home saying her teacher said she reads too fast. And then we got this note in the reading folder:

I already was doing that. She definitely knows what the story is about and can give details after reading. Just because a child (who is an excellent reader) reads quickly it does not mean they are not paying attention to what they are reading. I have to wonder if two or three days after reading a book a teacher asked her questions about it that she couldn’t remember and so her teacher decided she wasn’t actually comprehending what she was reading (never mind it is totally normal to not remember details of one of many books read even the next morning at her age). I ignored the note and will keep letting her read just as fast as she wants to.

Summer Workbooks

This summer Anthony completed the PK-K Summer Quest workbook, Mayci completed the K-1 Summer Quest workbook, and Zeke completed the 1-2 Summer Quest workbook. They had lots of fun adding stickers to their maps all day and were so proud when they made it to the finish line ready for their next year of school

I’ve been going through Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons with Zeke and Mayci for two summers now and we managed to finish it just before school started, bringing them both to a second grade level in reading. Some of those lessons felt disjointed and some of the stories were downright strange, but it truly did teach them to read very well.

School’s Out for the Littles

Friday was the last day of school for our older three little ones. They all had a great year and learned so much. None of them are particularly glad that summer break is here. They thrive on routine and while we have a routine at our house it’s nothing like they have at school so breaks are a little hard for some of them.

Zeke got an excellent in conduct (his teacher says he’s very polite and kind to everyone). He also got excellents in Health, Art, Theater Arts, Music, and PE.

Language Arts – B 80% (86% for the year)
Reading – B 86% (87% for the year)
Math – B 85% (88% for the year)
Social Studies – A 96% (98% for the year)
Science – A 97% (98% for the year)

Mayci got 3s in Music and PE. In conduct, she got one 2 (for talking when not appropriate… she can’t really help it… she’s my daughter after all) and then a mix of 3s and 4s. She got a 4 for her stage of writing, a 2 for remembering to capitalize the beginning of sentences, and the rest 3s in Language Arts. She got all 3s in Reading. She can count by ones and tens to 100 and got all 3s in Math. She got all 3s in both Science and Social Studies and a 4 in Health.

Anthony got a 3 and 4 in PE (the 4 is for coordination and balance… he is definitely uncommonly coordinated for a four-year-old). His stage of writing is a 2. He got a mix of 2s and 3s in Language Arts. He knows 20 uppercase letters, 18 lowercase letters, and 18 letter sounds. He got mostly 2s and a couple 3s in Reading. He can rote count to 39 and can count to 30 with one-to-one correspondence. He got mostly 2s and a few 3s in Math. He got all 2s in Science and mostly 2s and a couple 3s in Social Studies. He got a mix of 2s and 3s in Conduct. He got all 3s in Fine Arts and Technology.

It’s hard to believe the school year is already over. When they go back in August these three will be in kindergarten, first, and second grades and they’ll be bringing another brother with them to school every day since it’ll be Nicholas’ turn for Pre-K. But for the next few weeks we have summer school and dance camps and a musical theater camp to look forward to!

Zeke is totally my kid

Zeke had an assignment in school to make a book about penguins. On the back, he wrote “You like this book I ma(am) happy I no(know) you was.” This cracked me up because I, too, would write similar things on my stories when I was a kid. Can you tell we are both words of affirmation?

(Side note: His teacher responding as she did shows just how she is absolutely perfect for him.)