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  1. #81
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    Nov. 27, 2011
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    Everyone learns in a different way. Being behind is not a sign that your son will never succeed, but rather an indicator that the current methods are not working for him.

    Paddys Mom, you said that your son can verbalize faster than he can write, which frustrates him and that comprehends things better when read aloud than to himself. Have you tried scribing for him, or using a text-to-speech program, such as Dragon where he talks and it does the typing? There is also Kurzweil which will read text to you.

    You also said that sometimes he won't notice if it is addition or subtraction when doing math work and, as a result, does the wrong operation. Try having him highlighting the signs in different colors. and I can image that doing all the addition problems first,

    Finally, you said that his teacher likes to have eye contact to verify that he is listening to her. That seems silly to me. While I understand that she doesn't want him staring out the window while she is is explaining things, if doodling or writing or whatever helps him focus, then so be it!

    Best wishes!



  2. #82
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    Nov. 13, 2005
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    between the mountains and the sea, North Carolina
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    Quote Originally Posted by Crazy-Pony View Post

    Paddys Mom, you said that your son can verbalize faster than he can write, which frustrates him and that comprehends things better when read aloud than to himself. Have you tried scribing for him, or using a text-to-speech program, such as Dragon where he talks and it does the typing? There is also Kurzweil which will read text to you.

    You also said that sometimes he won't notice if it is addition or subtraction when doing math work and, as a result, does the wrong operation. Try having him highlighting the signs in different colors. and I can image that doing all the addition problems first,

    Finally, you said that his teacher likes to have eye contact to verify that he is listening to her. That seems silly to me. While I understand that she doesn't want him staring out the window while she is is explaining things, if doodling or writing or whatever helps him focus, then so be it!

    Best wishes!
    Love both of these suggestions. I used to take crazy amounts of written notes, especially in college, because it helped me focus. It had to be actually written too, I was never one of those students who could bring their laptop into class.

    Think of it a bit like you would training a horse - every horse is different, so you use slightly different training methods, right? You just have to think out of the box. Kids, like horses, cannot all be expected to do well using the same teaching methods.

    I would definitely consider looking into Montessori schools if there are any available in your area. They tend to me more willing to adjust to individual kids needs, and are generally more affordable than an average private school.
    "Choose to chance the rapids, and dare to dance the tides" - Garth Brooks
    "With your permission, dear, I'll take my fences one at a time" - Maggie Smith, Downton Abbey



  3. #83
    Join Date
    Nov. 25, 2009
    Location
    Kentucky
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    145

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    My sister struggled with math, especially in HS. She was very good in all the other subjects, but math was torture for her. My Mom is wired the same way, so she couldn't help. (We were both home schooled) My sister ended up getting tutoring with the Sylvan Learning Center. They were a huge help! While she will never be "math-brained", she improved greatly and later made B's in her college math classes, graduating with honors. Some people are just wired differently and need a different approach. It is no reflection of your son's intelligence or your parenting that he doesn't fit the public school model.


    1 members found this post helpful.

  4. #84
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    Aug. 12, 2010
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    Westford, Massachusetts
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    3,475

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    Quote Originally Posted by Crazy-Pony View Post
    Finally, you said that his teacher likes to have eye contact to verify that he is listening to her. That seems silly to me. While I understand that she doesn't want him staring out the window while she is is explaining things, if doodling or writing or whatever helps him focus, then so be it!

    Best wishes!
    My son has this issue too. He cannot pay attention while sitting still and making eye contact, who knows why, it's the way his brain works. His teacher last year struggled for a bit, to get him to be still and look at her when she was explaining something, because that's a standard way to gauge attention. What she found, however, was that, if he were looking elsewhere AND squirming and fiddling with something, he could correctly answer any question about what she'd just said. If she insisted that he sit quietly and look at her, he didn't absorb a thing. Strange, but it is what it is, so she stopped worrying about what he was doing while she spoke (as long as it wasn't distracting other students).



  5. #85
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    Aug. 2, 2000
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    Chesterland, OH USA
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    Just got back into town and I am proud to say I didn't even turn on my laptop while we were on vacation.

    Thank you for the additional thoughts.

    I emailed back and forth with the teacher a few times.
    At my request, she sent home a blank copy of the journal they are working on this semester, so I can discuss writing ideas with him ahead of time each week.

    She declined my request to observe class, citing privacy concerns. I have decided not to push that issue at this time because I don't want her to feel more defensive.

    Her last two email updates have been positive remarks about his work.

    My son has been playing Math Ninja on the iPad to work his math facts and I can already see improvement.
    I like the suggestion to mark the operator before starting the problems, and that should work for most of the worksheets, but not the big timed one because he needs every second on that one. I will suggest that to him.



  6. #86
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    Dec. 29, 1999
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    Harrisburg, PA USA
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    So happy to hear these updates!



  7. #87
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    Oct. 8, 2002
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    Maryland
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    Quote Originally Posted by Crazy-Pony View Post
    Finally, you said that his teacher likes to have eye contact to verify that he is listening to her. That seems silly to me. While I understand that she doesn't want him staring out the window while she is is explaining things, if doodling or writing or whatever helps him focus, then so be it!
    OMG... that is ME.

    I'm 34 and still have to have my hands moving while I'm concentrating. Otherwise my mind just goes haywire. My meeting notes are STILL covered in horse doodles.
    "smile a lot can let us ride happy,it is good thing"

    My CANTER blog.



  8. #88
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    Aug. 2, 2000
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    Chesterland, OH USA
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    Quote Originally Posted by caffeinated View Post
    OMG... that is ME.

    I'm 34 and still have to have my hands moving while I'm concentrating. Otherwise my mind just goes haywire. My meeting notes are STILL covered in horse doodles.
    Actually, what he was writing was the current assignment.
    Apparently, she wanted them to stop in the middle and listen to more/different instructions.



  9. #89
    Join Date
    Dec. 19, 2009
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    Pennsylvania
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    Quote Originally Posted by Paddys Mom View Post
    She declined my request to observe class, citing privacy concerns. I have decided not to push that issue at this time because I don't want her to feel more defensive.
    I understand you not wanting to push that issue. But, check with the principal about the school policy for that... I have taught in two different states and parents were welcome to shadow a kid for the entire day as long as it was cleared by the principal. I am having trouble understanding what "privacy" concerns there would be by you simply being in class... it's not like you're asking to go through the teacher's filing cabinet. If things don't improve after a little while you might want to revisit this idea.


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  10. #90
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    Oct. 26, 2000
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    Tempe, AZ
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    Quote Originally Posted by oldpony66 View Post
    I understand you not wanting to push that issue. But, check with the principal about the school policy for that... I have taught in two different states and parents were welcome to shadow a kid for the entire day as long as it was cleared by the principal. I am having trouble understanding what "privacy" concerns there would be by you simply being in class... it's not like you're asking to go through the teacher's filing cabinet. If things don't improve after a little while you might want to revisit this idea.
    I agree that you might want to revisit this. Last year, when DS was having problems at school, I did an observation.

    Wow. So little learning was going on in the classroom, as behaviors were all over the place from many of the kiddos & teacher had to constantly redirect that. Poor teacher; it was her 1st year teaching, 20+ kids and at least 17 boys.

    Watched another class, with an experienced teacher. Lots of learning; almost the same ratio of boys to girls. DS was transferred to this room. Very quick progression in DS' output (reading & writing).

    I am going to observe this Friday; I popped in a for a few minutes two weeks ago, but I want to sit in for an hour or so. I just want to get a handle on how things run in the classroom.

    I can't believe you wouldn't be permitted to observe, with notice given beforehand so that the visit doesn't disrupt the schedule. Seems fishy.
    ~ Horse Box Lovers Clique ~


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  11. #91
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    Aug. 2, 2000
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    Chesterland, OH USA
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    Quote Originally Posted by rivenoak View Post
    I agree that you might want to revisit this. Last year, when DS was having problems at school, I did an observation.

    Wow. So little learning was going on in the classroom, as behaviors were all over the place from many of the kiddos & teacher had to constantly redirect that. Poor teacher; it was her 1st year teaching, 20+ kids and at least 17 boys.

    Watched another class, with an experienced teacher. Lots of learning; almost the same ratio of boys to girls. DS was transferred to this room. Very quick progression in DS' output (reading & writing).

    I am going to observe this Friday; I popped in a for a few minutes two weeks ago, but I want to sit in for an hour or so. I just want to get a handle on how things run in the classroom.

    I can't believe you wouldn't be permitted to observe, with notice given beforehand so that the visit doesn't disrupt the schedule. Seems fishy.
    She said:
    I understand your concerns about Gavin. Unfortunately, it is against district policy for parents to observe the classroom. It would violate FERPA (Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act) laws for the other students in the classroom. In addition, Gavin's behavior would not be consistent knowing that you are in the room watching him, so it would not be a true reflection of what I described to you during our conferences.
    First, she is misunderstanding what FERPA is about. Second, the district's policies are all online and there is nothing about observation. I am > < this close to insisting, but want to make sure we can't make some progress with her suggestions first. That way, if her suggestions aren't working, I can say we tried your way. I have no problem summoning my inner mama bear. I think observation *would* be helpful because I am not looking for behavioral issues, more classroom style and flow. Since he said he didn't have time to work in his journal, maybe I would see he had a chunk of time after <activity> and I could point that out to him. Etc.



  12. #92
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    Oct. 26, 2000
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    Tempe, AZ
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    I knew going in, that my son might behave differently while I was there. But as you noted about classroom style & flow, that's what interested me, not him in particular.

    She's definitely misunderstanding FERPA.
    http://www.wrightslaw.com/info/priv.confid.observe.htm

    So, don't wait too long if things aren't improving, then contact the school to set up the observation.
    ~ Horse Box Lovers Clique ~



  13. #93
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    Dec. 19, 2009
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    Pennsylvania
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    I'm calling BS on the FERPA excuse. How is an everyday classroom setting going to give away private record information? I think either the teacher/administration is hiding something, or the administration is completely misunderstanding the law.

    Of course his behavior would be different, but you aren't questioning the teacher's description of the behavior. You're trying to see if you can help get ideas for him to succeed.

    I agree with you though, wait a little while and try the teacher's suggestions. There's no sense making her your enemy. But it makes me REALLY suspicious that they won't let you observe, and I'm a teacher...



  14. #94
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    Mar. 30, 2007
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    Hollowed out volcano in the South Pacific.
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    This is CYA bull. I've seen it before with my own two eyes as a student who was forced into the SpecialEd system.
    Thus do we growl that our big toes have,
    at this moment, been thrown up from below!


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  15. #95
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    Dec. 18, 2006
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    NY
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    Quote Originally Posted by oldpony66 View Post
    I agree with you though, wait a little while and try the teacher's suggestions. There's no sense making her your enemy. But it makes me REALLY suspicious that they won't let you observe, and I'm a teacher...
    I agree. This is 2nd grade, right? Lots of schools beg for parents to be involved, help in classrooms, and certainly schools invite parents into classes for numerous presentations, book readings, speeches, parties, plays, etc. Does your son's school do any of this? Because if they do, it sounds like there aren't privacy issues THEN...

    I agree that your response should be that you are not necessarily looking to see how HE behaves in class, but how the classes are structured so that you can get an idea of WHAT the issues might be, and how to resolve them. (Aka "I'm not going to be watching him, I'll be watching you.")

    I'd be inclined to ask for the specific board policy that prevents observations...but I guess if I were in your shoes I might not want to be seen as the problem parent YET.

    Did she offer any other suggestions?



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