Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Another Report from the First Grade Trenches

D-Ed Reckoning: Report from the First Grade Trenches

Seriously if you don't read KDeRosa's blog on a daily basis, you are missing the best commentary in edublogging on the net. Enough kissing ass.

Since I also have a first grader, I thought I would compare my child's school experience with KDeRosa's.


In math, for example, they've only taken home about three homework assignments. One assignment asked them to draw pictures of things having numbers, like a clock or calendar. Another asked them to find a picture that told a math story--there are three dogs and two cats in this picture, how many are there all together.
In math, I think our school does a little bit better. We get about 3-4 math worksheets a week. It started out pretty basic the first two weeks, but quickly improved. Last week, all of her worksheets were on addition and subtraction. She seems to have quite a good grasp of the subject, so I have no complaints yet.


I hesitate to call what's going on reading since there is so little actual reading going on. The kids were given a DIBELS test and broken up into reading groups. Whether they were broken up by ability, I do not know. Teaching consists mostly of letting kids pick out books they like and letting them "read" them independently. If the kids can't read yet, they can look at the pictures. That's nice.
Our child is assigned 10 spelling words a week to learn. The words correspond with the words in her weekly reading story. She really stuggles with her reading, and seems to have no concept of phonics. Her teacher appears to be teaching her how to sight read. Unfortunately this means that she struggles with new words.


We aren't very happy with her teacher overall. I have been to the school several times and the teacher gives the impression of being unorganized and very inexperienced. Reading homework has been especially difficult, and often ends up with us getting very frustrated. While I am satisfied with her progress in math, I suspect its mostly due to innate aptitude instead of sound math instruction.

We do supplement her instruction at home, but we are nowhere as organized as KDeRosa nor are we able to spend the amount of individual time that he does.