Monday, December 13, 2010

Parent/teacher conferences

Rich and I met with the girls' teachers a few weeks ago for our very first parent/teacher conferences. {Ack! How did that happen?} The girls received report cards too. They are officially big kids now. At first, it did seem weird that my three and a half year olds were receiving report cards, which is new this year in our school system, but I do like the idea. I thought that the girls were where they should be for their age but it is always comforting for a certified teacher tell you where they stand.

I'll try not to make this too boring for you. The report card highlights six different categories: Language and Literacy Development, Oral Language, Mathematics, Fine Motor, Gross Motor and Personal/Social Development. Each category is broken down further into specific areas such as identifies basic story elements, understands and uses appropriate vocabulary, counts objects accurately to 10, balances in positions and demonstrates age appropriate attention span.

There are 5 ratings:

M = Modified
1 = Emerging
2 = Developing
3 = Progressing
4 = Acquired

The Modified is for children who attend the school under an IEP. This simply means that the program has been modified to assist the child in getting to where he/she should be for that skill.

For children just starting preschool, ratings of 1 or 2 are more typical while children finishing preschool and ready for kindergarten will have mostly fours. The girls received grades across the board - they had ones, twos, threes and fours!

We met with Anna's teacher first and I have to admit that I was a bit nervous. I felt like she was doing well but what if I was missing something? Children with hydrocephalus most often are intellectually the same as their peers but there is always the possibility of issues. Her teacher informed us that Anna's learning/intelligence/skills are that of a typical three and a half year old. {HUGE sigh of relief.}

Although the girls are identical, I don't ever think of them as the same (because that would just be weird) but I do have to tell you that they have quite a few similarities in terms of where they stand right now.

For starters, they are all extremely shy. We were told by all three teachers that the girls don't talk very much if at all. Allie will speak if the teacher directly asks her a question. Anna is at the point now where she will say hi to her teacher when she gets to her classroom. Her teacher told us that one day she told Anna that she couldn't come into the classroom until she said hi. And she did.

Last month, Emily's teacher had expressed some concern over her not using her words in the classroom so I've had a few conversations with Em. I've told her to just act like she is at home. During the conference, her teacher told us that a few times she has asked Em something and her little chin has started to quiver. But there was a note in Em's backpack last week saying that Em had a great day and even talked! So they are all slowly coming out of their shells.

All three munchkins were rated a 4 on "answers WH questions" and a 3 on "matches and names two-dimensional shapes" and "sort/classify objects."

On the flip side, they all scored a 1 on links letters with sounds. They are just starting to figure this out. It's quite common to hear "b b b boy" or "s s s sock" in our house but they are still trying to link the b b b sound to the letter B.

Not to sound like one of those parents but I think that there are some categories that they could have scored higher in if they hadn't been so shy. For example, recognizing letters. Em scored a 1 and her teacher showed us the five or six letters that Em had correctly identified. I said, "Oh, she knows more letters than that." Her teacher said that she had been happy/impressed that Em had recognized any. So that night I pulled out the wooden alphabet puzzle letters and quizzed Em and Allie. Because I was splitting the alphabet between them, testing was limited. But Em knew at least 10 letters, which supports my theory that she may have been too shy when tested. Allie and Anna both received a 3 in comparison to Em's 1.

Overall, I am extremely happy with their progress except for the fact that their cutting skills need some work. Sorry about that girls!

Cute story. The teachers told us that when the girls see each other on the playground, they run over to each other and give hugs like its been months since they've seen each other. How adorable is that?

I did have some questions as to how the girls were interacting with the other kids. I wanted to make sure that they were getting along with all the kids. The teachers didn't have any concerns and Allie's teacher made a good point. She said that at this age, kids are more into what they themselves are doing, which is something I hadn't really thought of.

I'll end with somewhat of a funny story that was told to us by Anna's teacher. One of Anna's therapists has a little boy from Allie's classroom join Anna for therapy. One day, the little boy asked, "Where are the other Annas?" He was calling Anna's sisters "the other Annas." While it's funny now, it will be interesting to see what happens in the future. I should note that the girls are never dressed the same for school for this very reason.

I am working on a post somewhat related to this and my thoughts on separating triplets not only in the classroom but with friends. Stay tuned for that one....


Anonymous said...

They are all doing wonderful! My twins will not have appropriate scissor skills either because I just don't see a reason that a 2 - 3 year old needs to use scissors - just my opinion! Love the story about how they hug like they haven't seen each other in months and "the other Anna's" - ha ha!


Anonymous said...

love that they're doing so well.

Anonymous said...

I've tried to do projects using scissors with the girls but it makes me nervous. I'm afraid they might try to give each other a haircut or their own if I'm helping one of them and not looking at the other two for a moment... wouldn't want Sarah to come home and find the girls with new hair styles ;-)

Anonymous said...

You must be very proud, it's great the girls are doing so wonderfully and coming out of their shells too.
The hugging story is the sweetest.
I am so interested to hear your thoughts about separation at school. My state likes to separate multiples at age 5/kindergarten unless the parents refuse. I don't plan to separate them in pre-school as my ID girls are doing well in the same class. -Jan