Friday, October 1, 2010

Click, brick, stick, thick . . .

We had interim reports/meetings today with the teachers.  K- went with me to meet with Mrs. S-.  She is doing well.  Mrs. S- has no concerns.  She did mention that K- has a slight (very slight) chatty-Pattyness with her friend, B-, but she's resolved it by not having the girls sit together on the carpet.  K- was slightly distraught.  I could tell by her actions, as she was being rude and interrupting Mrs. S-.  That's when I looked at K- and said, "K-, you aren't in trouble.  It's no big thing.  Just something to keep in mind."  Mrs. S- assured her, even saying, "K-, look at my face!  I'm not mad!"  I explained that K-, particularly in the school setting, is one to pretty well adhere to rules and toe the line.  The teacher assured me that she agrees wholeheartedly, sees the small bit of talking as nothing more than just a very small thing and really it isn't a big deal.

She said to keep up with flash cards.  We're going with the tissue box method and I have to say that the tissue box is getting heavy with words.  I write the new spelling words and weekly vocabulary list out on word strips that I buy at the Dollar Tree.  Each pack has 30 strips that I cut into 3 strips a piece.  Today's new list was 28 words, so I bought a few packages to trim.  Add the 10 spelling words that we get a week and you can see that we're blowing through word strips in hunks.

I'm amazed at the words on the vocabulary listing.  Keep in mind that as of Friday, I believe that it is the 22 day of school.  Their word listings have included, but aren't limited to:
-at words including:  flat, chat and splat
-ap words including: wrap, scrap and strap
-it words including: knit, quit and split
-ill words including:  drill, grill, chill, skill, spill, still and quill
-ick words including: chick, click, brick, stick, trick, quick and thick
-ink words including:  brink, drink, stink, shrink and think

Remember that we have the regular 3-4 letter words that go with these as well.  I was concerned when I first saw the list, but K- belted out 90% of the words accurately and with no help.  Obviously, I was underestimating her. Still, I called my sister and my friend Heather to see what their first graders were doing for vocabulary.  My niece J- doesn't have spelling tests until the new year.  Heather compared the words I read off for K- as words that her oldest son, E-, would have in 3rd grade.  She also commented that it seemed as if we were getting a very excellent education and that she wished that her boys had the same things coming home.  (FYI- Just this year, our school regained its status as an excellent rated school again.) 

They've just been moved up to include adding up to 10.  They are doing subtraction up to 6. 

I have to say that First Grade is moving at a much faster pace than I thought.  It's not a bad thing.  K- is keeping up.  We go over her class work each night.  Generally, she does very well.  Usually, she only misses one in the entire pile of papers she has.  There have been several error-free days.  Only twice has she missed 3 on a paper.  (No more.)  Today it was a chapter culmination review test that included subtraction in one section and adding in another.  K- didn't add two correctly and didn't flip brain function on one. That's fine.  She's doing very well.

Hubs reported that she is comfortably reading the Level 2 Toy Story reader that we bought.  She's been reading to him on the drive home.  I wouldn't say that she is at a Level 2.  I think that she has read the book so many times that she has finally figured it out.  Hubs reports that she needs very little help when reading it.  Still, I'd rank her firmly at a Level 1.  She's where she needs to be and I'm not arguing with that at all.

She loves school.  She loves her teacher and thinks that she is the best 1st grade teacher that they have.  I was worried that they were moving too fast, but she's happily retaining, participating and applying the knowledge that she has gained. 

Huh.  I remember writing spelling words on my desktop in pudding when I was in the first grade.  I think that we've moved up a bit since 1979.  That and obviously we weren't germaphobes back then.  Eeek!  :S

Smiles in my day:
-  Figuring out what I want to make as my special mommy gift to K- for Christmas.  I want to make her a tool belt.  I have some pretty spiffy flower printed canvas.  I'll have my friend Laurie help me out.  I want to find a raw traditional open top tool box and paint it to match the tool belt.  I'll then fill it with all kinds of kid-sized real tools and neat-o building kits.  Our local craft store had a big ole bag of miscellaneous wooden pieces parts that I think I'll buy.  She'll be able to glue and nail them together to make things.  Thanks to Lowe's Build and Grow, she loves wood craft items and is pretty good at swinging a hammer.  I've been doing some research on pioneer toys for a work thing for Hubs and really became inspired!
-  Speaking of the work thing, I located all of the things that Hubs needs.  I'll be making some kits for the ball and cup thing and a table top version of nine pins.  Pioneer toys really fascinate me.  Why have we moved away from their simplicity? 

Have a great weekend!


Rach said...

Oh, yeah, the pace of first grade is incredible. It's even faster in second grade. There are SO many standards we have to teach, we hit the ground running and barely pause to take a breath. I think a lot of folks often underestimate what kiddos are truly capable of. I know I did things with second graders that boggled others' minds. :oP

I LOVE your gift idea for K. I'm sure she's doing to ADORE it! I agree, what happened to those wonderful, simple, electronic-noise-free toys of yore? We found a catalog called "Magic Cabin" that has wonderful, simple toys. Alas, they cost an arm, leg and some toes as well...

Bailey's Leaf said...

B- is a pretty handy guy, though! Doesn't he have a special little man shed all to himself to craft such lovely things for Santa? ;)

Rach said...

Ahhh, good point, Amy. :oP Shall we re-christen it "Santa's Workshop"? ;o)

Bailey's Leaf said...

Absolutely! I did find that Michael's has some reasonably priced (a buck or two) kits. Our local craft chain has great kits for all kinds of things, but check out Michael's if you have one nearby.