Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Kindergarten Conference

Yesterday was kindergarten conference day which is the first time parents get a clear idea of how their child is doing in class. Much of the first 2 1/2 months are spent assessing the kids and finding out where they fall along the spectrum in so many categories. I don't think I realized how much energy they put into that, until Jay and I met with Caroline's teacher, Ms. R, yesterday.

As soon as we walked in, she just smiled and said, "Oh yes, Caroline's progress report was the easiest in the class to do!" She whipped out the sheet and I was thrilled to see that she's excelling in pretty much everything. Her dibel scores were high and she's doing well in all the other areas too. I kept waiting to hear something she was having trouble with or the teacher was concerned about, but none of that came to be.

It was so great hearing how much Ms. R enjoys having Caroline in class and then to hear some of the things that Ms. R has written down that Caroline has said over the course of the year. (Amazing that a teacher of 22 wiggly kindergartners has individual qualitative notes on each child!) We laughed at some of the connections Caroline was making and how she was entertaining Ms. R with things she hadn't thought about. It seems Caroline is one of the kids that Ms. R relies on to answer questions in class when other kids aren't volunteering - which is good to hear since Jason remembered that being something he didn't like doing at young age. We also learned that Caroline is already showing a lot of promise with more difficult concepts and is well on her way with reading, writing, and math. (She highlighted one of Caroline's recent classwork assignments and remarked on how Caroline had decided to write the actual words instead of drawing pictures as instructed to on the sheet - she sounded out the words on her own and even though they weren't spelled 100% correctly, they were phonetically correct.)

Our 15 minutes were up quickly considering we started late because another parent before us just showed up without an appointment and then the next parent just kind of waltzed in and sat down even though we were done yet. I really enjoyed hearing how well Ms. R knows Caroline and that it seems she gets some of the same enjoyment out of her as we do. We both left with a sense of satisfaction that we "must be doing something right" with Caroline so far and that we just need to keep it up. Also, we greatly appreciate the help of the grandparents in this as well since they are the ones who drop her off in the mornings and pick her up in the afternoon - along with supervising her getting her homework done as soon as she gets home from school.

When we went to pick Caroline up from my mom's we told her how proud of her we were and to hear that she is doing her best. We know it won't always be this easy, but the most important thing to us is that she goes to school and tries her best - whatever the outcome, trying her best is what is important. She was clearly very happy to be getting such positive reinforcement from us and was on really good behavior the rest of the evening because of it. I even sensed that she was more excited to go to school today to continue to be the good student that she is. Her excitement and interest in learning is really contagious and I'm excited to see how things will continue through the rest of this year and beyond.

1 comment:

Heather said...

Sounds like a wonderful first conference...I'm really liking this Ms. R...kids' quotes! Wow! She is on top of her game! Ha!