W&G Halfway Through Kindergarten

The boys just celebrated their 100 days of school with a fun party, and we got their mid-year progress reports and had the conferences with their teachers. It's always so fun to hear about them from a different perspective and we love the little interviews the teachers do as a jumping off point for discussion in the conferences.







William:


Where William likes to play during during 'Learning Choice' (free play) and at recess.



William is doing well and has made a lot of improvement in reading since we've been working on it more at home. I think he's right where he needs to be so we definitely need to keep it up so he doesn't fall behind. He's getting to the point where he knows more and more words so he can read most of a Little Critters book to Coco. He doesn't know every word, but enough to feel like he can read the story with a little help. Both boys read the Bob books pretty easily and the red Primary Phonics books are a perfect level. We're at the in-between stage where Level 1 Learn-to-read books are still a little bit too advanced, but they probably know maybe 60 or 70 sight words and are now learning Where, What, Were, There, Went, Want, etc., so I feel like soon that will open up a lot more. 

His teachers highlighted a few things we can be working on, like the teen numbers and gave us a stack of different games and a die with teen numbers on it to improve that area. He's had some issues in the classroom, though the vibe we've gotten from the teachers are that it is NOT William instigating it, but occasionally William doesn't handle it the right way. They've been working with the other boy too and overall things have improved. William is good about asking for help when he needs it but tells me that now he tries to just walk away. Theater arts still seems to be one of his favorites, and both boys love library, PE and recess ;)




George is doing well too. He's pulled out to be in a separate reading group which we're really happy about. George is actually a strong reader, even with, or maybe even stronger than William at the moment as he is good about remembering words he's already read, instead of needing to sound them out, and in general, reads (correctly) more without sounding out. Dave and I were a little surprised that G was in a separate class and W was not, but we've now discovered that G thrives in a smaller learning atmosphere, and while reading comes easily to him, writing is still tough, and he often is able to read without understanding a lot of the building blocks of reading, the different sounds that can be build etc. It's hard to get a straight answer from the reading teacher, as she's never assessed W so it's hard for her to compare. We're so glad he gets this attention as we noticed how shy he was during his Boy of the Week day when we were visiting and he was in front of the class. He's also be resistant to bringing in something for sharing as he has to talk about it, and he really didn't want to do the Personal Hero project because, again, he'd have to tell the story. We get long progress reports with a update on them specifically from each of their different teachers - PE, music etc., and in Theater Arts, the teacher commented how G is always first to volunteer for a solo, he also volunteered to do the talent show with a small group of boys. We found out that when they go to the specialty classes like Music and Theater arts, it's just half the class, so about 11 kids. When we brought this up to his reading teacher, she was only surprised that he's so shy in the classroom because he's the most active and engaged when she's with him and the three other students. This was reassuring and I'm so glad that he's in a school where there are so many opportunities to have a great student-teacher ratio. We also discussed some ideas with his teacher on how to gently engage him in the bigger classroom. He's strong in Math, and we challenged him to ask or answer one question a day, maybe focusing on math since he'll likely know the answer. I think he's very much like me, he only wants to answer or engage in the conversation if he's really confident, versus other kids in the class (or really people in any situation) who love to hear themselves talk no matter what they have to say ;)

George still wasn't getting books sent home and I had concerns about that as I feel like it's so limiting. We're lucky because we see both the mainstream approach that W gets in his classroom, as well as what G is getting separately for for those families who only have a kid pulled out for reading, I'm not sure why they wouldn't be sending books home to practice yet. G is capable of reading the same books as W, and now that I've requested it, his K teacher sent home a stack of books for us to use that are his level. We try to do 3 books a night for each boy and then the goal is to do one other activity -- sight words, sight word bingo, practicing in their writing books, or one of the other games the teachers sent home. We also have a great fine motor box the teacher sent home, with putting and beading to help build those muscles. We're very good about doing the reading every night, and they're in a good routine now that they usually initiate it, though the games and other stuff is still hit or miss. Ideally we're spending 15-20 minutes per day practicing which I feel is reasonable.

We are very happy with the school and all the extra attention I feel like they're getting (though I think every kid is too, which is amazing!). When we attended those conferences, each of the teachers had a stack of games and ideas for us to take home to help build skills specific to each of their needs.

Some of their projects from the year so far:

Hopes and Dreams





Personal Heroes



What do I like to do with my family?




Boy of the Week

William chose to have us read Willow when we came in and Papa, Dad, me and Coco came.


George chose to have us read Mr. Ferris and his Wheel and Dedee, Dad, me and Coco came.




Favorite instagram posts with the boys at school:



















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