Monday, January 28, 2008

Smarty Pants!


Several weeks ago I got an email from E's teacher saying she was going to send home some "critical thinking cards" for her to work on at her own pace, at home. I know that this may have been partly done to try and appease me...I have asked a couple of times when the accelerated programs will be starting, and what (if anything) she is getting in or outside of class to challenge her accademically....I know it's just kindergarten, but goodness-no reason for her to be bored and understimmulated, right?? She gets enough of that at home! :)
Anyway, here is the email she sent:

"I forgot to let you know that I am also going to be sending Emma with some critical
thinking cards and a journal. Each card has a critical thinking activity for you to do in
the journal and return to school. Emma may dictate to you what to write or she may write
the response on her own. It's an at your own pace sort of thing, just return the journal
and cards back to school when you are done with them and I will send a new set. I only do
the cards with students that I feel are ready for the challenge, I find that they are very
useful in tapping into those higher level thinking skills"

I was very excited to see these, and super proud of Miss E for her continued progress this year. The first set of cards that came home are all about crayons. There's a set of cards with questions, and a box of crayons to help with visuals or activities. Some examples are:
-How is a crayon different from a pencil? Make a list.
-Give two reasons why you don't use crayons for most of your school work.
-Choose a color that best matches each of the following words: hot, cold, wet, dry, weak, strong, etc.
Then there are some cards that are more of an "activity" type. Such as:
-Make a long, interesting line using every color in the box.
-Take all of the crayons out of the box and put them in a row. Then put a book on top of the crayons and move the book back and forth. Write a sentence about what you notice.

So, it's not exactly what I expected. But it's something...and it does get her thinking. I told E we would look up how crayons are made. I know I could find a video online. So if nothing else, this opens up new research opportunities!
She'll only sit for a couple at a time, and I'm not pushing, so it's going slow. But maybe I'll post some responses soon.

Anyway, after me all but showing the teach and the principal the link on the Leander ISD site where it states that the PACE program IS offered in Kinder(long story)....Miss E got her official acceptance into the program.

Not that this means anything much. The teacher said she was already pulling material on E's level for her to have during small group reading, and that's basically what this program does. And I know E does get some different material for her small group time. I know she and her teacher had a discussion about compound words the other day when they came across one in the text. E came home and told me about this, and that she was to make a list of 3 compound words to show her teacher the next day. She was very proud to produce 5 words to show!
The teacher also sent home some laminated sheets for us to use after any book, which E seems to enjoy. These I really like. There are three sheets. One with a box to draw your favorite part of the story, then tell why it is your favorite. The second one has an "event map", with boxes to fill in "what happened", "when did it happen?", "how did it happen?", "why did it happen?", "where did it happen?", and "who was involved?".
The last page has three sequencing boxes to draw or write the beginning, middle and end events. I think these are GREAT practice for building comprehension.

Lastly, I'll share some from her report card. She was marked at "above expected level" for both of the first two nine week sessions. She has mastered all of the introduced benchmarks. Was accepted to the PACE program, and has been tested for the QUEST program (these results will be in later this month). She has gone from a "7" reading level (this was tested the first month of school) which is about a mid-first grade level, to a "16", which is late second grade. And the emails and comments from her teacher just encourage all my gushing!

Sorry readers, I know it's long, but I figured I'd go ahead and get it all in one post! :)

Oh, and one more pic of her on stage receiving her award for "Excellence in Language Arts"!


A's Momma said...

Gush away!!!! It is very deserved. Way to go Miss E :) That is so fantastic. Congratulations to both of you!!!!!

The Mom said...

YAY E!! Hey, and wow - look how tall she is next to those boys!!!