K made it through her first grading period. She has always, always been on super honor roll, honor roll or merit roll. Merit roll was just a 2 time thing. This quarter, she earned none of that. It kind of made her heart sink. For the first time since they were available, she feels like she missed out. I reminded her of these things:
1. You moved from a failing school district to an excellent rated school district.
2. She basically had absolutely NO 5th grade last year what with all of the standardized testing, two of the three 5th grade teachers retiring and, well, her teacher just not teaching or giving a hoot. Not at all consistent. Not at all collecting papers when due, but then trying to collect them two - three weeks later. Mis-grading, mis-logging of grades and generally being the class clown. Oh, and not teaching. Let us not forget that part.
3. The curriculum is so much harder.
4. All of your grades (she has 2- A's, 2- B's and 2- C's and those are high C's) are GREAT grades!
5. She had no late work. Well, it wasn't late on her part. She turned in the one "late" paper, her teacher had her write her answers in complete sentences, the bell rang, she turned it in right after the bell stopped and it was considered late.
Because of a time management issue for a series of mornings culminating into one big morning, she does have one unexcused tardy. She was late by 2 minutes. On a standard morning, we would have still been able to rock a 20 minute drive easily in the 30-35 minute time frame. Unfortunately, she chipped away at part of our safety net, there was a big ole spot of traffic, a rear end collision and a flipped vehicle. All the forces were working against us that day. She learned and has been very good about getting out the door since then.
What are things that we have learned to improve upon for this next quarter?
1. We still need to double check homework. We always do, but can't do that if K doesn't pony up the work. She knows late homework isn't okay. She knows guessing isn't okay. There are occasions that we find lil errors on papers that add up to big things. We go over homework with her, help to reinforce the lesson and it is a good thing.
2. Everything will be answered in complete sentences.
3. We have experienced some of the return of test taking anxiety. Her social studies started out with two very bad grades. It was as if all wheels fell off her bus. She was completely deflated. She was able to pull her grade up substantially, but not without getting so stressed that she tossed grades out the door in EVERY subject that week. We all learned that bad grades will happen and that this school is good about giving enough homework, projects . . . to help offset a bad day. (Or eek! A bad week!)
4. Cinnamons and apple bits are also known as synonyms and antonyms. Vocabulary at her previous school was just a spelling test. They were fairly easy words and no definitions or any digging into the words themselves was done. It is here. Last night I decided to have K write all of her words, synonyms and antonyms on pieces of paper. She was then set to task to match them all up. We did it over and over and hopefully, that will help her to retain that information. Spelling is copying words daily and spelling tests beginning Tuesday of test week. We seem to have licked that one. Definitions for other subjects are on index cards and quizzed. We're working out the study pieces. If we can keep the test anxiety down, her focus on her paper (hello ADD child of mine though not diagnosed) and encouraging her to continue to keep organized, those pieces will fall all into place and grades will continue to rise.
We are so very proud of K. This was a HUGE jump, an ENORMOUS change and a difficult challenge for her. We're still tweaking and figuring it out. She's working on getting a grade certificate next time. Until then, we work, we tweak and we study.