Still Catching Up...

I wish I could devote more time to blogging these days, but the best I can do is to post when I can.

Stay tuned...

Friday, October 1, 2010

SMART Boards & Spelling Tests

First Grade, Month 1

The first month of school has gone pretty smoothly. The Tumbleweed has made a huge adjustment, from Montessori half day to Public School full day, and has done it relatively well. Sure, we have had some rocky days, mornings where she wants to stay home "to do fun stuff" and afternoons where she doesn't "ever want to do homework again!" And, like most kids, she has tested the teacher's discipline system just to be sure what the boundaries are (nothing big, she just continued to color after everyone had put their papers away). Despite the bumps, she seems to have made some new friends, accepted the fact that words generally need to be written in lowercase letters, and done well on her first spelling & math tests. Her reading comprehension has improved as well. However she is still working on her spacing between words in a sentence and on taking her time when writing (she rushes and leaves out letters or words sometimes).

We all attended her Back-to-School Night and got to see her classroom, met her teacher and toured the art room, music room & gym. Classrooms have changed a bit since we were kids. Her classroom doesn't have a chalkboard. It doesn't have a dry erase board either. They have a SMART Board. I guess no one has the job to clean the erasers any more!

Unfortunately, on Back-to-School Night we found out that they had replaced science & social studies in the schedule with extra reading practice. This is very disappointing, but I have a couple well connected friends who are helping with the big push to bring it back.

In the meantime, we have been doing science at home with the help of the Messy Fingers blog. After doing our first series about magnets, the Tumbleweed decided she wanted to do a magnet experiment for show and tell. We talked it through and she practiced what she would do in class. She took a magnet, a nickel and a Franc to school and had her class guess whether the magnet would pick up the nickel or the franc. When she got home she was pleased to report that she had gotten to show her class the experiment, and she had indeed tricked them. So, at her own request, she managed to get science into the school day where the district apparently cannot. Hopefully that will change soon!

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