A few weeks ago, I had a meeting with Audrey’s teacher about her adjustment to second grade. I was glad but not surprised to hear that Audrey is doing well, both academically and socially. Our book club seemed to help her make some stronger connections with her classmates, which I am thankful for.
When we decided that it would be a good idea for Audrey to skip first grade, we (Rich and I) knew that it would be a temporary fix in placement. We anticipated having one smooth year and then taking up the fight again in third grade to get appropriate accomodations.
I am thinking now that we might have to start up again sooner than we had anticipated.
Audrey’s GIEP (Gifted Individual Education Plan) consists of describing her once weekly, 2.5 hour pull-out program. Now this program is great, she loves it, and she is doing lots of challenging things. The problem is that it is only 8% of her instructional time. I think that some areas of second grade are a fine fit for her right now. Particularly math, as her area of strength is more in the language arts. She does have to concentrate and work at her math homework and always says that math is her favorite subject.
Our district has adopted a new language arts curriculum this year: MacMillan Treasures. There are an incredible amount of components to this curriculum. The major drawback that I see is the amount of testing that the children are put through. Every week they have a 4-6 page story test and then about every 6 weeks they have a 10-12 page unit test. The teacher let me see one of Audrey’s tests and there was an essay question that the children were given 60 minutes to plan and answer. 60 minutes. That is one hour. Second grade.
This afternoon, Audrey came home from school and started crying. She went to GATE this morning, came back to school, had lunch and recess, and then took FOUR tests in the afternoon. She had to take a reading test that the other kids had taken in the morning. Then the whole class had to take math, social studies, and science tests. Is it just me, or does this sound like flat-out poor teaching? Who gives second graders four tests in one day???
And tomorrow she has a spelling test.
Good thing she got 100% on the pretest on Monday.