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  1. #11
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    The teacher gave me the report in class in the morning, and I handed it to him in the car on the drive home. He cried. He is a high achiever and his teachers said it just might be the little jolt he needs. They told me they would speak to him today about his report but he said they didn't mention anything about his maths group (they said to me that they would ask him what group he'd like to be in, just to see if it makes him realize he may have to go down a level in the maths groups). I had wrongly assumed that everything was going along fine - he has been rushing his homework through to hand it in early, and some weeks I really didn't see it because he would say he'd already handed it in (say, Tues or Wed) for marking and that it was "easy". When I read through his homework book this week, I could see he had quite a few careless errors.

    I told him that after the holidays, I needed to check through every week of homework, and I have also bought one of those Naplan maths books (from Big W) for him to do a little extra every week. Hopefully I'll be able to better monitor how he's going. The teachers didn't actually suggest I do anything for either him, or his year one sister. I'm in two minds about it because I don't think childhood is all about school work, but I am mindful that if they miss out on things early on, it will impact their later years in school.

    Quite a few who have commented have suggested that a C is actually pretty reasonable, considering the new curriculum, but after seeing that some of his other classmates were still getting B's and A's for the same subjects, I'm not really happy to accept a C. I think he can do better, and I do hope that next term things improve. I was actually quite upset yesterday, and was trying to work out what is best for all of my children - I don't think the school they're at now is responsible, but am trying to determine whether the private school may be a better option, anyway.

    Thanks for all the advice, it's great to hear what others have experienced and very helpful.

    Just edited to add that my other son, year 6, did very well, receiving A for english, B for Maths - what he has done every other year. So he's done well despite everything stepping up a notch. Which is a little confusing.
    Last edited by Clarabelle; 19-06-2013 at 20:49.

  2. #12
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    My daughter is also in Grade 3 and goes to a private school in QLD. To get above the year level standard the children have to be doing grade 4/5 work, otherwise they are working at the "expected level". I refused to show my daughter her report card, I asked her if she tried her hardest she said "no, not really" & I explained to her that her teacher said she wasn't doing her best work, it doesn't matter to me what grade she gets as long as she is doing her best. She is marked on effort and received a "generally" & "sometimes" on her effort, this isn't okay, she did get good grades but she can do better and she knows it.

  3. #13
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    OP I think the real problem here is one of communication? You're not overly disappointed with the C grade but I know that it can be a shock when it wasn't expected even if it is at grade level. As parents we are all trying desperately trying to get our heads around the fact that a C is a good grade. The C actually encompasses such a broad range of abilities and a huge cohort of kids approx. 60-70% in your average class I think. Also one student may have just scraped by and another got 100% on all tests. How do you know which one your kid is? I still hate the C grade unless the teacher takes the time to write some helpful comments. Doesn't happen on our report cards which are mostly cut & paste. I call it the ambiguous C. I'm just trying to make friends with it but think it's a very uninformative reporting system to my mind.

    When the NC was being rolled out last year in Qld is when I made enquires into all this stuff including ringing the Ed. Dept. to try to understand what had happened. It's crappy when your school gives you no idea about the changes and possible impacts. My DD's got D's in maths and what I found particularly annoying was that no teacher ever took the time to ask me in for a brief meeting or sent home a note knowing that my kids had fallen down to a fail. I know teachers are busy but it's a bit of a shock when you expect one grade and the teacher hasn't said anything to you all year (even when you've just had a casual conversation) about some problems. They must be aware of them, surely. So I think some teachers really need to make communication with parents more of a priority. It really doesn't take much to send a note home...

    Try not to stress about the C. Most likely you'll see his marks go up again. Some of it can be put down to spiral teaching as opposed to mastery in maths teaching in my view. If I was you I'd ask the teacher if you can check in every 6 weeks or so for a brief update.

  4. #14
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    I don't think that getting A means they will get A all their life. It doesn't work like that. Not saying you shouldn't help him do his best, but too many parents treat anything lower than B average as end-of-the-world

    I can only think changing schools be a big disruption.

  5. #15
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    I'm in SA and totally philosophically opposed to grading lower primary students in the first place. The maths curriculum is way too full and content driven IMO, particularly as you can only ever start a student from their existing level of understanding which may be one or two years behind.

    As a guide, before I went on mat leave, there were three students in my entire school who achieved an A or B in any learning area (small country school). 'A's in particular should be very sparingly given.

    There is so much more to learning than performing well in quantitative tests such as the NAPLAN - such as a love of gaining knowledge, knowing *how* to learn, strong work ethic, time management, critical literacy, research skills etc etc. Do you feel your son has grown in these areas? I would be interested in these aspects when considering a new school, not just considering data and results.

    I don't approach parents in the playground and tell them how their children are faring academically unless I am particularly concerned. I am passionate about a child's emotional wellbeing and attitude to school, so I certainly wouldn't go out of my way to say that a student is 'only' heading for a C. Particularly if I felt any concern about the level of expectation their parents have or pressure they might apply.

    However, had your son kept submitting homework early and with careless errors I would have begun to refuse to accept it and probably would have mentioned it to you.

    I can see that you care about your son and want the best for him. There are some great ways you can consolidate maths knowledge (or any knowledge for that matter) at home through play or conversation or modelling rather than practice NAPLAN tests, IMO.

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  7. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by heated View Post
    OP I think the real problem here is one of communication? You're not overly disappointed with the C grade but I know that it can be a shock when it wasn't expected even if it is at grade level. As parents we are all trying desperately trying to get our heads around the fact that a C is a good grade. The C actually encompasses such a broad range of abilities and a huge cohort of kids approx. 60-70% in your average class I think. Also one student may have just scraped by and another got 100% on all tests. How do you know which one your kid is? I still hate the C grade unless the teacher takes the time to write some helpful comments. Doesn't happen on our report cards which are mostly cut & paste. I call it the ambiguous C. I'm just trying to make friends with it but think it's a very uninformative reporting system to my mind.

    When the NC was being rolled out last year in Qld is when I made enquires into all this stuff including ringing the Ed. Dept. to try to understand what had happened. It's crappy when your school gives you no idea about the changes and possible impacts. My DD's got D's in maths and what I found particularly annoying was that no teacher ever took the time to ask me in for a brief meeting or sent home a note knowing that my kids had fallen down to a fail. I know teachers are busy but it's a bit of a shock when you expect one grade and the teacher hasn't said anything to you all year (even when you've just had a casual conversation) about some problems. They must be aware of them, surely. So I think some teachers really need to make communication with parents more of a priority. It really doesn't take much to send a note home...

    Try not to stress about the C. Most likely you'll see his marks go up again. Some of it can be put down to spiral teaching as opposed to mastery in maths teaching in my view. If I was you I'd ask the teacher if you can check in every 6 weeks or so for a brief update.
    Omg I could have written your post, ds (Grade 3) was the same for English, I was in the class as a helper 3 times a week and his teacher never once had a chat to me about what was happening 😡

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    Mahjong that just sounds absurd. Did your child get a low mark for English and this was never discussed with you even though you were in the class room as a helper?

    This is what I mean by making communication with parents such a low priority. We entrust teachers with the job on educating our children and as such we have a right to know when things are going pear-shaped. I know that some schools have great lines of communication going. Teacher's give parents email address to contact them or alternatively a communication book that is passed back and forth between parent/teacher. So when trouble strikes (and I think a big drop in grade or a drop to a fail) it seems only fair to me to tell the parent and something can hopefully be done to address it.

    Otherwise you have a lot of disgruntled parents who feel like they are being kept in the dark. And it certainly isn't an issue of "pushy parents" it's parents who care enough to intervene and help their child if necessary. I really resent being cast as a "pushy parent" just because I want to help my kids do the best they can...

  9. #18
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    He sure did! After checking numerous times with her if there was anything I could do or anything that required attention, only to be told he was "fine"!!

    Since when is a D on a report card "fine"!! 😡😡

    His teacher was hopeless to have a conversation with, like having a serious chat to a toddler in a theme park!

    Didnt matter what time during the day it was either, she was always the same!
    I would make the effort to see her early in the day but she never made time and was always so unprepared for interviews and meetings. 😡

    I almost withdrew him for the 6 months and homeschooled until next yr!

  10. #19
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    Yes I almost decided to homeschool for next year as well on account of the lack of communication, the lack of practice and consolidation, the notion that the teacher is a facilitator rather then a person who passes on knowledge. What my kids seem to be really deprived of is facts and content. They are hungry for it.

    In desperation I started to prepare my application for home-schooling. I worried a lot though that they would miss their friends and also subjects like PE, music and dance. Both ended up getting excellent reports as it turned out except for the D for maths for my youngest but I knew it was coming.

    And again I wondered when I looked at my eldest report why, on the few occasions I had been into the class room to ask about eldest progress ie is she doing any better at maths, the teacher never said yes she is in fact. Would have been lovely to hear some good news after 2 years of poor maths results! But instead all I heard was "maths just isn't her thing".

    I think I would probably bring your issue up with the principal. It's hard because we are given their reports 2 days out from the last day of the year and so have no opportunity to discuss them. Then by the following year we often just hope things will be different and try to let it go only to find we strike the same problem. Did you see what one teacher wrote regarding comments in my post about teacher's reposnses? She said they have to try to stay away from saying anything negative and give 2 positives for each negative. What nonsense. I wonder who came up with that stupid idea? Hope you strike a teacher who is a better communicator next year.

  11. #20
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    Another option is you could homeschool part time. You could have the kids attend school during the pe, music and art, or you could homeschool say 2 days a week and attend school the other days. The best of both worlds.
    Or look at the other schools near you and compare and see what they are like.
    Good luck!


 

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