First Grade ?s — The Bump
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First Grade ?s

We started school on Sept 9 and have had no days off so we are in our 5th week.  Today is the first day that the kids could choose a good from the media center (library) and DS was so excited about today.  He was hoping they had an American Girl book he could take out.  He came home today and said they were only allowed to take out a book from the shelf, so he took out a level 1 book on butterflies.  He read the book in 3:49 with no  t one question about the words and while he knows some about butterflies it is not like he is an expert on the subject.  At what point would you send the Librarian an email asking if he can take out a level appropriate book?

Also, at what point did your kid get independent reading or guided reading in school?  As best I can figure out DS' class is not doing it yet.  From what he tells me in all my prodding is that the only time the kids read is when they are doing centers and that is when he reads the specific lesson from Storytown.  The only other time he has to read is when they get back from lunch and the books are sorted according to type and not level.  As best I know he has never been assessed for his reading level except when he took the PMAP assessment test which is a computer test and most kids got a level of beginning reader in Kindergarten but he had an Lexile level.

I wanted to see how common this is or if this sounds weird to others.  Thanks
Jen - Mom to two December 12 babies Nathaniel 12/12/06 and Addison 12/12/08

Re: First Grade ?s

  • Ds1 is in second grade now and it wasn't until the end of 1st grade that his teacher gave him appropriate readers. When I asked her, she said she was going to form reading groups soon (this was in Nov) and it never happened. Then she went on maternity leave, and he had to start fresh with a new teacher. She didn't do reading groups either, but she tested DS and told me he was reading at a 4th grade level and she had to borrow readers from another teacher.

    For this year, still no reading groups and DS came home with a Henry and Mudge book that he read in kindergarten. I will ask his teacher at our conference what she thinks, but I'm honestly just giving him harder stuff at home. I use the public library lists to get ideas.
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  • Cmeon, if would be THRILLED if that was what I was hearing. But he is only reading the Storytown textbook one lesson at a time which he actually read the entire textbook (a few words per page) the first week of school and now he is reading one lesson a day to a classmate. He is also given a choice of books books that are level one or level two type books like Disney. He said there are no harder books to choose from. Even by the end of last year his Kindergarten teacher brought in mini American Girl Books for him. He has no idea if she even knows he can read because she has not heard him read. And in Library it was the first time he could take home a book but it was the type of book he read in preschool. So, would you email the teacher yet? And what would you ask? Cmeon, how or why did you speak to the teacher so early in the year? Just asking so I can get ideas.
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  • Can you ask if he can bring in his own reading material? DS's teachers have never minded if he brings in his own books from home.
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  • I would contact the teacher first, ask what level is reading at because you want to make sure you are getting books for him at his own level.

    Reseach has shown that kids make the most growth in reading when they are reading books that can be successful in 95% of the time, this includes comprehension. So it is important that the books he is reading, are at HIS level and that he can read independently and with success.

    First step is always contact the teacher to get more info.  Ask what the book checking out policies are and how you can help support him at home.   

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  • I'm in my 6th week of school and am just starting reading assessments on kids.  So, it doesn't surprise me that she may or may not know his level yet.

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  • BTW I just realized I am not logged in on my laptop as my real name!  The other day I could not remember my password and I logged in as this which I created years ago as a backup.  Oops 

    abartow, do you mind me asking what grade you teach?  And how often you assess them throughout the year?  Do you ever have good students whose parents never contact you with questions?  I had to contact her about something before school started and then asked her a question about lunch in another email.  I feel like a crazy person sending another email already but honestly our school does not have tons of parent involvement so it is not like I am in the classroom, even if I was in there I would not ask questions about my kid at that time but at least I would see what is going on.

    I think I am going to draft a short email stating what you said above. 
    Jen - Mom to two December 12 babies Nathaniel 12/12/06 and Addison 12/12/08
  • I am a school librarian and I will weigh in on this. 

    In the first few weeks I really limit the sections of the books that the first graders can go to. Not because of "reading level" per say but just the way the shelves are organized. The easier section is pretty much like a horseshoe with shelves. 

    The first week the first graders come in they can choose the paperbacks off of a cart---it usually holds about 300-400 different paperbacks, this is just to have the students review the check out procedures (I also don't have a media secretary most days, so I check in/out the book, answer questions, and do a lesson)

    The second week they choose books they are allowed to chose books from the cart AND the books displayed on the top of the shelves. 

    The third week they are allowed to choose book from the inside the square--which is roughly 36 shelves of books. They are all the easy fiction books. They are also allowed on the cart and the top as well. 

    The reason why I limit in the beginning is first grade TENDS to leave the shelves a mess--we use shelf markers so the books don't get out of order, and unfortunately it is a hard concept for 5/6/7 year olds--so I try to limit the area.

    I do welcome e-mails from parents--and if they have kids requesting a certain book--I usually display plenty of them on the top of the shelves/tables. (Easier chapter books, non-fiction) I also have between 300-500 students a week that visit me in the media center, and in the beginning of the school year I don't know their reading abilities. Some teachers inform me. Others leave me in the dark. Many first graders just AREN'T that great a readers. Usually by January, I am able to gauge which book is on their level. By January the first graders are allowed on the outside square--easy non-fiction and easier chapter books. They do get access but "limited" until then--plenty on the top, cart and even on display on the table. 

    Sorry so long!
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  • MNgirl326MNgirl326 member
    edited October 2013
    BTW I just realized I am not logged in on my laptop as my real name!  The other day I could not remember my password and I logged in as this which I created years ago as a backup.  Oops 

    abartow, do you mind me asking what grade you teach? I teach a First and Second Grade multi age class (the school I teach at does combine grade classes)
     
     And how often you assess them throughout the year? Once I have an initial assessment, I start them on that level of book.  I conference ith them at least one time a week and move them up in levels as they show growth.   I do formal reading assesments every 6-8 weeks.
     
     Do you ever have good students whose parents never contact you with questions? Yeah, but honestly there is big difference between contacting with a few questions and being "that mom".  I'm big into relationships and I want my parents to know that if they have questions, they should ask.  So, I welcome questions. Especially by email so I can return them during the day when I have a few minutes.   .   And of course you should ask questions, its your kid.  Just phrase it, as I would like some info so I can help support at home and I would like to understand how things work at school so I can be consistent. 
     
     I had to contact her about something before school started and then asked her a question about lunch in another email.  I feel like a crazy person sending another email already but honestly our school does not have tons of parent involvement so it is not like I am in the classroom, even if I was in there I would not ask questions about my kid at that time but at least I would see what is going on.

    I think I am going to draft a short email stating what you said above. 

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  • Fixed my name!

    Starearedkid, I really appreciate the info. I totally realize there are a lot if kids in the library but never have it any thought because this is his first year going since last year they had half day Kindergarten. I am thinking of sending the Librarian an email telling her my son wanted to know if they have any American Girl books and if so if it is possible for him to take one out. He really wants me to ask. But please let me know if you think it is better to just let him ask next week. I feel like I am balancing being an annoying parent versus having an annoying kid! And honestly he is never the one to ask questions like Cmeon said about her son but he is so excited to pick out a book that he actually wants to read. Then again he begged for his own Library Card at 4yo.

    abartow, thanks. I am going to send an email and hope not to annoy her. Honestly I do want to know where he is assessed at not only to know he will eventually get instruction to his level but also to balance his reading at home. He now mostly reads independently and the books seem to be a good level for him but I honestly don't know. Today I did a quick assessment with him using books from Reading A-Z and he got 98 percent at level O and would not read more. He read the first two pages of Little House in the Big Woods and had no mistakes but twice repeated a few words when he lost his place. He is enjoying reading also so am sure we are doing well but I want some feedback and do not want to wait another month and a half for feedback.
    Jen - Mom to two December 12 babies Nathaniel 12/12/06 and Addison 12/12/08
  • I dealt with this with both of my kids as well because they both read at a level much higher than their grade level.  

    My kids filled in the gaps by checking out non-fiction books, even if they were pretty easy to read.  Most family bookshelves are long on fiction, but can't compare with an elementary school library for depth and breadth of non-fiction selections.

    Later, when the teachers and librarians had a better feel for who was a more advanced reader, the whole system loosened up and my kids were able to pick books that were in the right ballpark in terms of reading level.  Finding a "just right" book is a big skill in my kids' elementary school, and once kids who were fluent readers complained that the books on the bottom shelf were too easy to be "just right" the librarian guided them to appropriate choices.

    Hang in there!
    High School English teacher and mom of 2 kids:

    DD, born 9/06/00 -- 12th grade
    DS, born 8/25/04 -- 7th grade
  • MNgirl326MNgirl326 member
    edited October 2013
    That's great he is reading so fluently. Just be aware that compression is just as if not more important then reading fluency. He should be able to re tell what he read, using names and correct pronouns, he should be able to answer questions like why do you think, he should be able to connect with the book in some way ( this reminds me of...), he should be able to tell his favorite part, and he should be able to make some predictions of what will happen next.

    Often times kids will read and yeah they can read without making mistakes, but they don't have a clue what they just read. They NEED to be able to understand what they read and internalize it otherwise being at a higher level doesnt do any good.

    O books are usually 3rd grade reading levels. They usually have multiple plots going on with multiple characters and they draw on prior knowledge, and inferencing. It is possible to have a first grader reading at an o, but honestly it's pretty rare. In my class right now I think my highest 2nd grader is at a j.

    As for the books at library I agree with PP about the books being limited while the kids are learning where to get books and how to check then out and so forth.

    I would email the teacher and tell her exactly what you said here. I leveled him at home so I could make sure he had accurate books at home. I think he is at an o, but I'm not sure. Have you leveled him at school? I want to make sure I leveled him correctly because I know o is pretty high. I want him to have books he can read at his right level, so can you touch base with me so I can be on the right track and stay consistent at home.

    Nothing in an email like that wound be annoying to a teacher. In fact it would be nice, because it's obvious you want to be supportive and involved in you'd Childs learning. It takes a village! Good luck!

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  • Thanks. And to clarify he Readin A-Z level O is really a level M. Last year the PMAP tested him with an upper Lexile of 400-something. I am pretty sure it tested comprehension as part of that but could be totally wrong. I know he tested the highest level for comprehension. He definitely reads better now. I think his comprehension is good but probably not quite where is reading level is. He laughs when he reads and it is not funny books but he gets when something is funny. He runs to tell us when he is find out something cool and he asks questions when he is confused but probably not all of the time. I will make sure to ask why questions more so I can see how he is doing with that. He can relate the books sometimes but I obviously am not asking enough to know if he always come.

    I have not sent any emails yet so I will skip the Librarian and tell him to ask the Librarian if they have the books he wants and if yes when he can take them out.
    Jen - Mom to two December 12 babies Nathaniel 12/12/06 and Addison 12/12/08
  • Did she bring home the AR?
    Jen - Mom to two December 12 babies Nathaniel 12/12/06 and Addison 12/12/08
  • My older DD is in 1st grade, we started the week before you.  The kids spent the 1st few weeks being assessed on everything and last week, they started reading groups.  My DD has ADHD and Dyslexia and started her RTI reading and math groups last week.  She is also in class for the regular reading and math times.  The class has time each day when they are either reading alone, reading with a buddy or the teacher reads to them.  They can go to the media center once a week (they don't go as a class but the kids can go during certain times of the time once a week) and she takes out 2 books at a time.  They vary on reading level - some books are geared for parents to read to or with their kids while others are for the kids to read to a parent or alone based on skill.  They are age specific in content and vary in skill if that makes sense.  I know she has friends that are already reading chapter books and she is still at a kindy level with reading.  I am assuming the gifted programs started last week as well for the 1-6 graders.  Kindy starts later for the break outs and reading groups.
    Jenni Mom to DD#1 - 6-16-06 DD#2 - 3-13-08 
  • Just wondering how this went? Did you talk to the teacher?
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  • No I have not yet because I had a second grade Mom tell me another first grace teacher in the school started assessing after the Fall PMAP testing and that is going on right now. I am going to give it a little longer. I am trying not to get frustrated. Right now I am trying to focus on a few other things. I will update when I have one.
    Jen - Mom to two December 12 babies Nathaniel 12/12/06 and Addison 12/12/08
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