Movin’ on up

Last week, The Big Sis kept coming home from kindergarten and telling us that she was going to another teacher’s room for the morning. The first day I brushed it off, but then when it happened a second and third day, I decided to e-mail the teacher and ask about it — I just couldn’t figure out if this was somehow a good thing or if it was bad and they were trying to separate her from another student or something. And I’m sure they didn’t really tell The Big Sis much about why she was moved, so I wasn’t getting many answers from her. All I knew was that she was going there for reading time.

Her teacher wrote: “[The Big Sis] has been going to Mrs. M’s room for Literacy block. This is from 8:00 – 10:30, she teaches kindergarteners and first graders that are moving at a faster pace in literacy.  We felt this was a good placement for her and she has adjusted well.  We would like to have her spend the entire day in the K/1 class and her homeroom teacher would then be Mrs. M. She will be getting all of the kindergarten curriculum but at a quicker pace and may go more into the first grade curriculum as the students are ready.”

They continued doing the partial days last week and moved her full time to the K/1 room yesterday. To say I am proud of her doesn’t quite cover it. We knew she had the potential to do well, as she was certainly prepared well during preschool, but I’m so happy that she’s performing well enough that her teachers see the potential in her as well. One of the triggers for her challenging behavior is boredom, so I’m hoping this will help nip that in the bud. We haven’t met her new teacher but will have a chance to when we attend Curriculum Night tomorrow night. In reading through her classroom information, so far I’m happy with her new teacher and think she’ll be good for The Big Sis.

Her K/1 class will have weekly homework that includes a phonics worksheet, a rhyming worksheet, and a worksheet meant to teach them how to follow directions. Each week the class has five “wall words” — basically sight words — that the kids need to practice reading and writing. On Fridays, there will be a quiz to test the mastery of these words. (For example, this week’s words are: my, an, in to, come.) In addition, we are to dedicate at least 20 minutes of reading time per night, which can include us reading to her, her reading to us, or us listening to books on CD. (We do this anyway; last night we had 30 minutes, which is pretty typical.) Last night we also took things a step further on our own in an effort to reinforce the words and had her point out her wall words in our stories whenever she saw us read them.

The Big Sis is a little hesitant to move full time because she’s already made friends in her old class, and now she is sad she has to leave them behind and make new friends. I personally know this is a good move for her and that it’ll turn out fine and she’ll probably have a new BFF by the end of the week, but it’s hard for her at the moment. We will continue to reassure her that she’s good at making friends and will get to know the kids in her new class.

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In other school news, we let The Big Sis ride the school bus for the first time yesterday morning. The Husband will still probably drive her most of the time (especially once waiting at the bus stop means being COLD), but she wanted a chance to take it and see what it was like. I walked her to the bus stop and was pleased to see that there were probably six or seven other parents with their kids as well. (I wasn’t sure how it worked since I didn’t take the bus in elementary school. I was hoping I wouldn’t be the only parent there, but I definitely wasn’t.)

I think she was a little nervous, but her eagerness won that battle, and she lined up perfectly when the bus arrived. She found a seat with a neighbor who’d gotten on at another stop and tells me she had a great time. Not surprisingly, she’s asked to ride the bus more often, though we’ll probably make that a reward for good behavior.

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