Fall parent-teacher conferences are over, and mostly the news was good. But both teachers recommend each kid has some extra help to make sure they keep up with their classes.
Lexie (1st grade)
We had Lexie’s conference back in October. Her teacher opted to do her conference early because she wanted to talk to us before Lexie began getting extra help with her reading.
In Texas every student, kinder through second grade, takes a TPRI test at the beginning of the school year to access reading skills. In September, Lexie struggled to read the text on her own. Her teacher said she was reading at a Level D. This level is an end of kinder/beginning of first-grade level, but they expect them to read at the J/K level by the end of first grade.
Now to help, Lexie advance her reading skills and meet this goal, they suggested she attend a reading program called RAP. We are no stranger to this program as Jase did this at the end of first grade and then again in second grade. His participation was to build up his fluency (the speed in which he reads).
Now when you look at Lexie’s reading score for the first quarter of the year, you might wonder why she needs extra help. She received a 93, but this grade is about reading comprehension. (She did well on the TRPI test in this aspect too.)
So now she attends RAP four times a week for extra reading help. This is done during class when other students are writing in the journals or doing busy work. Lexie is given time to do the same sheets and write in her journal during other parts of the day. RAP also increases her homework by about fifteen minutes each day. I have already seen an improvement in her reading.
Jase (3rd grade)
Now while Jase has struggled in reading before, his teacher wasn’t as concerned about his reading skills. She did say he needed to work on them. When he reads aloud, he is reading at an end of 2nd grade level. He is right on target on reading silently. He did well on his reading benchmark test, placing above the school average. But she still suggests he practice reading aloud, which is something we haven’t been doing this school year.
Her concern was more his math skills. His lowest grade at 84 is in math. He does fine with math, but he is slow at it. Even last year when we worked on basic math facts such as addition and subtraction up to 20, Jase could never seem to get the speed they wanted.
On his math benchmark, he scored only 8 above the passing level and about 20 points below the school average. Now he did say that he had problems with the test. He got hung up on one problem and then later was distracted when he realized others were done with the test, but he was still working.
But Jase does this often when under pressure. He freezes up. I definitely think he has test anxiety, and I am concerned it will only get worse as this is the first year that he has standardized testing. The Texas STARR test is this April, and you must pass to move up to the next grade.
So to help Jase become more confident with math, his teacher has suggested he join an after school math tutoring session that meets once a week. I am all for more help, and he actually seems excited about it. The math tutoring hasn’t begun so I don’t know yet if it will help.
I am just glad that the teachers recommended help and better yet, it is all through the school so no extra cost for us. I can’t wait to see them improve.