Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Ready for 1st grade?

Yesterday was Cate's last kindergarten parent-teacher conference.  It went really well - we love her teacher so that is not surprising.  There was a short discussion about her stubbornness and the new techniques they are going to try to counteract it but mostly we talked about readiness for the first grade.
drum roll please ..............................
The current expectation is that Cate is on track be promoted to first grade if we decide to have her pulled out for some special instruction.  What that exactly means is still unclear and will be determined during the IEP (Individual Education Plan) meeting in April.  But it is so exciting that her teacher thinks she is ready to give first grade a try.  We had really expected her to do two years of kindergarten but she was so well prepared she has already met too many goals to make it valuable.  Plus I am afraid if she does kindergarten again knowing all her sight words and some beginning math that the first half of the year she will be bored and prone to behavior issues.  For those like me that don't realize what first grade entails it is amazing how much is expected of 6/7 year old kids.  They will have spelling tests, reading tests, do addition and subtraction of multiple numbers/word problems, and are required to know 250 sight words - 100 of those by the end of the first quarter (50 of are the ones we are doing now). 
I see lots of question on DS message boards about what kids know or need to know in different levels of school.  Here is a sample based on a report I got at school Tuesday and how Cate did.  This ios an evaluation that was created as a result of discussions between our kindergarten and first grade teachers of what skills are critical for a student starting 1st grade, so it is specific to our school but has some good info.
Critical skills necessary for 1st Grade:
1)  Distinguishes between letter, word and sentence > Inconsistent demonstration
2)  Recognizes and Names all upper and lower case letters of the alphabet > MET
3)  Matches all consonant and vowel sounds to appropriate letters > 19/26 with allowance for speech
4)  Blends Individual sounds to read one-syllable decodable words > Not Yet
5)  Reads all 50 of the Kindergarten high frequency words at the rate of 30 words per minutes > Progressing (they tested 25/50 last time but last night Cate did 48 of 50 so this just needs a re-eval to be met)
6)  Counts a number of object up to 30 > Not Yet, demonstrated to 15 (I think the issue here is partly speech for 13 -18 because if you help her out there she can pick it back up at 19 and go to thirty)
7)  Writes numerals through 20 > Not Yet (3/20)
8)  Identifies coins by name & value (penny, nickel, dime, quarter)> MET
9)  Makes fair trade involving combination of pennies and nickels > Not Yet (but last night she was able to count out the correct # of pennies to trade me for a nickel and for a dime so she should met this one on re-evaluation)
10)  Knows the names of the days of week > Almost (5/7)
11)  Knows name of the months of year > MET
12)  Knows the four seasons > MET
13)  Recognizes and names two dimensional figures (triangle, rectangle, square, circle) > MET

So if you are keeping score she has met 5 guidelines, is progressing well on 3, and has not yet demonstrated 5.  The great thing is that these are all memorization type skills so we can make sure she knows them by the end of the year.
How awesome is Cate!!!!



  1. Wow, fantastic, Cate!!!!! I think these goals are pretty much the same for our school, too. They're working on coins now, and this just spurs me to make sure I work on that at home with Sammi, too. Thanks for the reminder... So exciting that she'll be moving on to 1st Grade! I agree, she'd be bored if you repeated Kindergarten.

    Our 1st Grade IEP meeting will be coming up soon, too, although we don't have a date for it yet. I love that our girls are going through all the same stuff - it seems like so many of the blogs I read are of younger children, and while I love reading those too, I can relate more here. :-)

  2. Fabulous. Cate is doing so well! Our son is going to 1st grade next year, and it is a big change! Kindergarten has been great.