Skipped a grade- please help

Discussion in 'Elementary Education' started by hojalata, Mar 15, 2012.

  1. hojalata

    hojalata Comrade

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    Mar 15, 2012

    I teach first grade and have a boy in my class who skipped kindergarten. He is 5 and will turn 6 in June. He can read the words of any text-- Harry Potter, etc., but he always prefers to read easy books. I tried to push him, so we started a Magic Treehouse book together, and he couldn't tell me a single thing that happened in the first few chapters. (Even when I prompted with some questions...) He is very tiny and......5. That's his maturity level. He is hanging in there with math and writing, but is not exceptional in these areas. (Side note-- I know his parents read him Harry Potter, etc. at home and he does have good comp. when being read to.)

    I am meeting with the parents after school today because I kind of flipped out when I realized he couldn't comprehend Magic Treehouse.

    I don't know how to help these parents. Do you think it was right for them to put him in 1st grade? Are there resources where I can lead these parents? How do we know if he is gifted, or just a really good reader? I just can't imagine him in 2nd grade next year....

    I know the parents are going to hold my feet to the fire, but I feel like I just don't have answers for them .
     
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  3. Curiouscat

    Curiouscat Comrade

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    Mar 15, 2012

    How did you get to this point and realize he doesn't comprehend? Did he just enter your class? Does he comprehend the easy readers? If yes,nthen maybe this is why he sticks to the easy readers....

    I would have proof for the parents so they can see your concerns. Explain to them that he is what is called a word caller. Word callers are not readers.

    How was the decision made to have him skip kindergarten? Did the school have any say in this?

    Some more info would be helpful....
     
  4. mopar

    mopar Multitudinous

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    Mar 15, 2012

    Have you had this student all year or is this student a recent addition to your class?

    Definitely suggest a book or two on reading strategies to work on with their child when he is reading. Also lots of work on the W questions so that he can both ask them about a text and answer them about a text.

    Could him not understanding the magic tree house books have something to do with not having the background knowledge or having one bad day?
     
  5. hojalata

    hojalata Comrade

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    Mar 15, 2012

    He didn't just enter the class. He comprehends the easier books fine. (Ie- Henry and Mudge). I haven't wanted to push him, because I thought he would naturally start progressing toward harder books, but when he didn't I wanted to see what he was capable of. I kind of think his lack of comprehension is just a developmental thing-- not something his parents should work with him on at home. If his brain is not ready, it's not ready. He's 5. I also have him doing some challenge work, like an analogy book. He couldn't grasp the concept after many tries of explaining it, practicing together etc. This is something that all of my higher students work on, and do understand.
     
  6. hojalata

    hojalata Comrade

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    I am going to try again with him today with a different "easy" chapter book to see what happens.
     
  7. mopar

    mopar Multitudinous

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    Mar 15, 2012

    He may just be more like an average first graders and not a higher student. Henry and Mudge is pretty common for most 1st graders to read and even beginning second graders.

    If his listening comprehension is pretty good, the reading comprehension will come as he develops.
     
  8. mopar

    mopar Multitudinous

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    Probably a good idea just in case. Maybe try pausing more often in the beginning and then increasing the amount of reading between questioning.
     
  9. hojalata

    hojalata Comrade

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    Mar 15, 2012

    I agree is is like an average first grader is almost every respect. Maybe my expectations are too high because he skipped a grade. (This was a total parent decision-- no school involvement, as we are not allowed.) I just worry, what is going to happen when he gets to 3rd and 4th grade and many of the kids have evened out in reading? Will skipping a grade still be the right thing later in his schooling?
     
  10. peachacid

    peachacid Companion

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    Mar 15, 2012

    I had a student like that last year -- he was an incredible decoder, but did not comprehend the higher-level stuff he was able to decode. However, his comprehension on age-appropriate material was excellent. A five year old has only had five years to comprehend the world... I would keep with books he is interested in, and maybe introduce some higher-level picture books (the kind that are supposed to be read to children). The pictures will help him comprehend and they should hold his interest.
     
  11. hojalata

    hojalata Comrade

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    Mar 15, 2012

    so the question is, do kids like this have any business skipping a grade?
     
  12. KinderCowgirl

    KinderCowgirl Phenom

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    Mar 15, 2012

    Does your school test for GT at any point? There are many different tests that are used to qualify a kid depending where you are.

    It does sound like you're expecting him to read at an advanced level for a 1st grader and he's just average, which considering his age is probably ok. He may not have been taught/practice good comprehension skills at home-since it sounds like often he is being read to. It is a skill that has to be taught and practiced often. As is the analogies.

    If it's up to the parents and they wanted him to skip the grade, it doesn't sound like there's much you can do. I would let them know where he is in reference to where other kids are and give them some advice on how to help with the reading comprehension at home.
     
  13. amakaye

    amakaye Enthusiast

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    Mar 15, 2012

    Well, is he now where the rest of your first graders are? Do you have concerns about him being behind? I would imagine if he was in K right now and reading Henry and Mudge he would be way ahead of them, so maybe first grade is where he fits...
     
  14. mopar

    mopar Multitudinous

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    I was thinking something similar to ama. Kids skip grades to fit in academically not be advanced (otherwise they would have skipped him to 2nd).
     
  15. EMonkey

    EMonkey Connoisseur

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    Why does your school have no say in the skipping him ahead?

    Does your state say the parents get to pick the grade their child is in? My understanding of the state rules where I work is a child who will not turn five before December cannot enter kindergarten and a child who is not turning six before December unless they attended Kindergarten out of state cannot enter any grade above kindergarten (and even then it would be a fight to get the child in another grade).
     
  16. queenie

    queenie Groupie

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    I'm confused by your post. I'd say stop treating him like a potential genius and let him be a first grader. Forget about the fact that he skipped a grade- you can't expect him to perform above first grade when he was skipped TO first grade. It seems I can almost sense some kind of feeling from you that the parents made a big mistake and you can prove it. Sorry if I'm misreading!! Just being honest. If that's not the case at all, then I'd say just treat him like every other first grader. If he's doing ok in all areas, then what's the problem? If he starts falling behind, THEN I'd worry. The parents have to live with their decision. If he starts to have problems later, maybe they won't mind holding him back since he's technically *ahead now. Does that make sense?
     
  17. queenie

    queenie Groupie

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    This is the post that made me think you're not being fair or realistic to him, btw...

    I thought the question was "What should I do FOR this student?"
     
  18. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    Mar 17, 2012

    My knowledge of primary is limited, at best. Is it common for first graders to be independently reading and comprehending Magic Treehouse books at this time of the year?
     
  19. KinderCowgirl

    KinderCowgirl Phenom

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    When I taught 1st I would have been absolutely thrilled if the kids were at that level (and I taught GT kids ;) ). We do high frequency word tests as a promotion standard in 1st, nothing with fluency or comprehension-to be promoted.

    hojalata-did you end up meeting with the parents, how did it go?
     
  20. queenie

    queenie Groupie

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    In my experience, only the highest performing first graders can.
     
  21. Rabbitt

    Rabbitt Connoisseur

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    Mar 17, 2012

    Comprehension first!
    Reading is not reading if they can only say the words.

    I would use some very simple nonfiction literature with this child.
    As he reads each sentence, he needs to stop and talk about it. Look at the photos. Look at the labels and captions. Read for substance.

    Countries with the highest literacy rates teach fcomprehension irst with nonfiction. No letters or sounds until they can read! It gives them reason to read...understanding how and why.
     
  22. queenie

    queenie Groupie

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    It always cracks me up when I hear things about countries with the highest literacy or math rates...the first thing I think of is something we heard in a Singapore Math training and I always want to respond, "They cane students in the country with the highest math scores. Should we do that, too?"

    Sorry- couldn't resist :lol:
     
  23. KinderCowgirl

    KinderCowgirl Phenom

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    Not meaning to hijack, but I do find that very interesting. Our beginning stories often have absolutely no substance, it drives me crazy. "Stan put the fan in the van, where's the fan, Stan?". What are asking them, where did he put the fan? It's very hard to teach comprehension with those kinds of reading materials-but that's often the substance of them.
     

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