school extension

Discussion in 'Special Ed 101' started by Matty's Mummy, Jun 1, 2011.

  1. Matty's Mummy

    Matty's Mummy Member

    My son is in year 2. His teacher spoke to me yesterday and said she tested him on his sight words and he only had 6 wrong out of 600 but he did a really good job on the 6 he had wrong. She said that these words took him to the end of year 4 and she would get back to me about how she could extend him.
    Last night she emailed me to say that she spoke with the head of junior school and they have suggested that my son spells all the words as they cant give him above year 4 work. My hubby and I had a bit of a laugh as we had thought when she tested him on the sight words she did a spelling test as we knew our son can spell these words. Ever since he had sight words come home we have asked him to spell them as we knew he could read them, he hated spelling them as he already knew how to spell them, but we had to do something.
    I let the teacher know this morning that our son can pretty much spell all the words on this list but to make it fun for him I had him type them out instead of writing them down. He was happy to do 50 last night and got them all correct, it’s actually frustrating for him to spell these words over and over but he did enjoy typing them. the teacher said she did realise that our son could spell most of the words but she had to extend him and that was all they came up with.
    Does anyone have any idea’s that I can suggest to the teacher to help our son so he isn’t’ board and frustrated.
  2. Josie

    Josie Active Member

    I had a hard time getting the school to do much about this issue and ended up moving my kids to a school that did more individualized learning. They were really set up for kids with dyslexia but it worked for those needing more advanced work, too.

    Why can't she give him words above year 4? I am homeschooling one of mine now and using a vocabulary cartoon book. Could you provide a book like that and have his assignment come from that instead? Some assignments I saw around that age were to write sentences with the words. It could be made more challenging by saying 2 or more words had to be used in the same sentence. Or write a story with the words.
  3. keista

    keista New Member

    OY! I struggle with this issue with all 3 kids. Teachers do the best they can, giving advanced work, but they can only go so far. Unfortunately, one of the lessons smart/gifted kids (even if just in one area) have to learn is that they have to wait for the "regular" kids to catch up. This in the educational setting does translate into adult/social settings. Ever try to have a conversation with someone twice as smart as you? It's hard keeping up and understanding what they are saying and mean. Same thing in reverse if you are talking to some one less intelligent. So, unfortunately, as much as we want our kids to get that advance learning, we do have to work on their coping skills of being "bored and frustrated".

    So, once the work has run out, my kids get "guided free time" These days they get to go on the computer in the classroom and "play" It's all education type games, and most are probably too simple for them, but it keeps their brains active and them busy. They also can do stuff like read, draw, journal - any school appropriate activity they want, to keep the peace in the class an them occupied.

    With son, I always suggested they work on his lacking areas, BUT he never liked working on those, and there were deals in place that he only had to work on them for X amount of time, so as much as they tried steering him to the lacking areas, it was difficult. Of course, each successive year we adjusted those times accordingly.
  4. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    Extension work doesn't need to be in the direct subject area.

    We had a really great teacher one year - split grade class, whole range of kids (from ESL to various disabilities to gifted).
    She figured out early on that there were 3 kids who were both gifted and responsible... When they were caught up in their work, they could choose between... tutoring other kids (example: flashcards for ESL students), or prep work for the class (mixing up paints, making sure the crayon boxes had enough colors, etc.), OR going to the library to work on their "challenge project".

    They learned leadership, patience, and a raft of other skills, in addition to some academic challenge.

    See if you can get them thinking outside the box!
  5. Matty's Mummy

    Matty's Mummy Member

    thanks for the replies. we had our IEP meeting yesterday, it went really well. mostly we brainstormed how to help him with his social skills as this needs with most work, then we moved onto his strengths though we have to make another time for this as we ran out of time 3hours in total.
    InsaneCdn the Special needs teacher brought up what you have suggested but his teacher mentioned (and I know this to be true) that M doesn’t like to be class leader it causes him to completely melt down and not cope, part of his Aspergers. She made him leader one day he also had to do all the jobs with a mate, taking to roll to the office and other jobs. M cried .
    most of the day, it’s extremely hard for him.
    We have solutions for the homework as that was causing so many problems at home, as they set it out different to how it’s done in class.
    Hopefully we can get back to this in the next few weeks and sort something out.
  6. svengandhi

    svengandhi Well-Known Member

    One of my teachers kind of sarcastically suggested to me in second or third grade that I should just read the dictionary since the class words were obviously boring me. I took her advice and actually wound up taking second place in NYC's spelling bee when I was 12 (didn't get to go to Difficult Child, darn!) as a direct result of my new hobby. I carried my dictionary with me for years.

    Perhaps you can give him words above level 4 on your own - or give him a dictionary. At first, I started with A but after awhile, I would just turn through the pages and pick one and work on it. Actually, after watching the Spelling Bee on TV last night, I think I'm going to go back to reading the dictionary.
  7. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    Is this that blasted awful quota spelling system? I hated that when easy child was going through primary, and was increasingly objecting to it when I found it still in use when difficult child 3 was going through 12 years later.

    The quota spelling system gives word lists to teachers and they use X number of words from this list as homework. The kids had to write out their spelling words every night and also write out their tables. On Friday they were tested on the words they had had. If they got them all right, then a list of 20 words would be 24 next week. And so on, increasing the "quota" with every success. easy child would work her way through the lists, get through all the words right up to Year 6, then the following year (even with the same teacher who knew what she could do) she was started at the same point again, often doing words she had demonstrated competency in, early the previous year. For my kids, the words were far too simple and with easy child, the teacher was wracking his brain by the end of the year to come up with words she hadn't done. He actually gave her "supercalifragilisticexpialidocious" at the end of Year 3 which I objected to because it is not a real word. easy child was finding her own words and frankly it was laughable when the teacher didn't know how to spell them. And the following year? It was back to the beginning of the Grade 4 lists for her, and very basic, simple words. I wanted to scream. She did scream.

    Basically, it's a system that rewards a kid who gets it right, with a longer list next time. It actually can teach a kid to do badly in order to reduce his workload.

    What I suggested as extension work, within the quota system, was for the child to use all the words in a piece of creative writing. If other students do this too, they can compete to see who can use all the set words, with the lowest word count and still have it make sense.

    For example, a quota list that has the following words: station; house; ladder; spaceship; kennel - the sentence could be "We left our house and drove to the station. The dog was in his kennel but barked when he saw us. Out back of the station was a huge silver spaceship with a ladder."
    Or he could write something about the dog at the fire station being able to climb a ladder, and a poster of a spaceship on the wall. This encourages creativity and boosts language skills and word connectedness. Doing it on the computer should also be possible - talk to the Dept of Ed about this. difficult child 3 had authorised use of computer from Year 1. Getting this in exams in high school means running the gauntlet of Board of Studies, but you're in Qld, aren't you? They're not so stuffy. Besides, we have successfully got these accommodations for difficult child 3 so it can be done.

    Keep pushing that school to give him what he needs and point out that this idea is great for ALL the students. Make it an optional exercise if they must, but give credit to those who attempt it.

  8. JJJ

    JJJ Active Member

    There are tons of material available out there for homeschoolers. I would go to a local teacher store and just browse until you find things that may interest him. Once he is an "independent learner", he could have his own curriculum that he works on in class while the others learn their stuff during reading and then join the class for science, etc. Also, books from the library can keep him moving along with his reading as well. I think I was 9 when I had read all of the books in our children's library!