Thursday, January 28, 2010

She's distracted by the cat

Merri has always been obsessed with the cat.  She gets upset that he won't come near her.  However, at every chance she gets she lunges at the him, furthering his distaste of her. 

Last year we received a note home regarding her inability to complete her work.  We, being first time parents of an elementary schooler, immediately contacted the teacher and had a conference.  Without much input from the teacher we enrolled Merri in Kumon, hoping that it would help with her focus.  After eight months of Kumon we realized that the intented lesson had not manifested, so we stopped going to Kumon.

I had a meeting last night with her first grade teacher after receiving her report card last week.  The report card showed some improvements in the areas of concern, like, finishing her work.  However, the teacher showed me the "writing prompt" that is given to them to gauge their progress in their writing skills.  The topic was "What I like to do in winter."  She drew a picture of the two of us sitting at the table drinking hot cocoa.  She wrote:  "I like hot cocoa.  I say mmmmmmmmm.  I like when the cat sits under the table.  My mom says mmmmmmmm too."

Do you see it?  Because it is of concern.  Nothing grave and nothing that has yet to impeded her progress, but it has the potential to keep her from flourishing.  I like when the cat sits under the table.  Has nothing, I repeat, NOTHING to do with what she likes to do in winter.  Her teacher when on to report that she is a very smart girl is appropriate in all areas, i.e. social, emotional and academic.  She has already reached the milestone with regards to the reading level for her class, so by the end of the year, she will be that much farther ahead. However, when given three pages in the morning with two hours to complete them, she fiddles with her pencil and chatters on, luckily not bothering the other students. Her teacher has to prompt her to get her back to the task at hand. It has been a year now that this was first brought to our attention. 

Her teacher is bar none the most fabulous teacher for Merri.  She has attempted to use different strategies, with minimal improvement.  It is the minimal improvement that leads us to the conclusion that there is a need for intervention. The level of distractibility will eventually impede her, so we will be filling out the Conners' Rating Scale to determine what, if anything that we will need to do to ensure her success.

In the meantime we know that school for her is perfection because of her teacher.  And that makes us feel comfortable, for now.

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