On the 17th, we had The Big Sis’ fall parent-teacher conference at school, which I was looking forward to. It’s one thing to know how your child is doing at home — and what you see as their strengths and weaknesses — but it’s also important to see how your child fits among his or her peers. Is she on track? Is there something we could be doing better with her at home? How can we make sure she’s challenged but not overwhelmed?
So we met with The Teacher at 5 p.m. that evening and had a nice chat about The Big Sis. We were pleased to receive an all-positive report — she’s doing well in all areas, including behaviorally, socially, and academically — and even more surprised at her fall test scores. Our school’s students take the MAP (Measures of Academic Progress) in the fall, winter, and spring. It is a test on the computer that takes about 45 minutes to an hour, though students have no actual time limit in completing it. The fall test is to get the baseline score, then teachers generally expect about 11 points of improvement between the fall and the spring tests.
In reading, The Bis Sis received a MAP score of 184, putting her above 2nd grade level. (She’s in a split 1st/2nd grade class, but keep in mind she’s a true 1st grader.) Then, the biggest surprise came with her math score: 198. This puts her above grade 3rd grade level for math. In the split class, students can do either 1st or 2nd grade math depending on how well they’re understanding the various concepts, and The Teacher said that The Big Sis is routinely handling the 2nd grade math just fine. This was actually a wake-up call to me to perhaps be a little less hard on her when she does struggle with something on her homework — she’s still doing better than what’s expected for her grade.
I think I mentioned before that she had been nominated by her teacher to the Primary Talent Pool program at school, and she was accepted for that, so she works with the gifted and talented teacher a few times a week, both individually and in a group with the other PTP kids in her class. Her teacher said that The Big Sis will be a great candidate for the official gifted and talented program that starts in 3rd grade, so we apply for that at the beginning of 2nd grade. (Though I’m pretty sure they changed the rules this year and you don’t apply a year ahead of time but would wait for teacher recommendations for entry in the spring of the 2nd grade year, but I need to clarify that.)
She and another boy at school have taken to each other and are inseparable, and I can see that’s true whenever I’ve been around them, but The Teacher said she’s also friends with plenty of other kids in the class as well.
I’m looking forward to seeing what this school year brings!