31 October 2008

6th GRADE IS GOING WELL...


It's almost the end of the first marking period and my daughter is doing great. Her average score in each subject dances around 90%. But it's still alot of hard work. We're just getting better scores than last year for the same amount of work.

For Social Studies my daughter and I review a few pages every night - vocab words, names of people and places, who did what etc. I also have her practice writing out words that might be used in the answers for an upcoming test's essay questions. This all adds probably an extra half hour each night to the homework but it's worth it.


My daughter started taking Adderall in September. She got an EKG and ECG before taking the meds to rule out unknown heart problems. She's so much better able to do one-on-one studying with me during homework without being distracted by the cat walking by or random thought popping into her head. She's reading test questions much better, following directions better, and making fewer "dumb mistakes" or BF's on tests.


The way 6th grade is set up is also a big improvement over how things were done last year. This year the 6th grade teachers share teaching subjects to all of the 6th grade children. Getting up after each subject and changing rooms is great for the ADHD kids. Another thing that is great is that homework for one subject only is written down at the end of it. Just one sentence or phrase to write. This is so much better than asking the children to write down 5 things at the end of the day when they are hurrying to pack their backpacks and listening for their bus numbers to be called.


I am a happy mom. My daughter's self-esteem is improving and I see her blossoming.


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16 October 2008

WHAT THE SCHOOL & TEACHER CAN DO...


Seat the child in a quiet area with few distractions, preferably up front and close to the teacher. Avoid open doors and windows where children on the playground might be distracting.

Providing an area where the child can move around to release excess energy.

Scheduling difficult subjects in the morning.

Mixing classroom lectures with brief periods of physical activity, such as washing the blackboard or going to the bathroom.

Keeping assignments brief.

Allowing the child to participate often. Ask the child questions, even if their hand isn't raised. Ask the child to help out writing something on the board, handing out papers, collecting papers. This gives the child a break from their chair as well as makes them feel more a part of the class.

Giving the child extra time to answer questions or complete tests and other assignments.

Providing the student with a simple outline and notes for lectures.

Providing practice tests or quizzes to do at home.

Allowing the student to use a calculator.

Preparing the student for transitions or changes in routines, such as field trips or changes from one activity to another. Give the 5-minute warning that things are about to end or change.

Encouraging the student to check in with the case manager regularly.

Giving immediate feedback and rewards for desired behavior or for achievement.

Making sure homework assignments are clear and that the student has all the materials needed.

Providing an extra set of books to keep at home.

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13 October 2008

MY DAUGHTER'S STORY-

When my daughter finished kindergarten her teacher told me she was "young" and worried that she might have trouble getting tasks completed in 1st grade, even eating lunch in time. As the years went on my daughter continued to be "young" and did indeed have difficulty meeting deadlines and time limits with her assignments.

In 4th grade her school started handing out letter grades and report cards. I helped her study for tests and quite honestly she sometimes seemed like an airhead. I'd tell her a fact, then immediately ask her a question to which the fact was the answer and she'd guess something else. It was frustrating. I had frustrations with the 4th grade teacher (didn't bother to make sure homework was written down or books were brought home). Almost every afternoon I had to rush back to school in the afternoon to get books.

5th grade was painful! My daughter confused this information with that. Most of the facts were in her head, but they were a jumbled mess, not organized at all. She was also very forgetful / scatterwitted. Unfortunately the teacher was very authoritarian and strict. He was also an unfair grader, refusing to give my daughter partial credit on answers even though he did so for other students. Yes - I called other mom's to see how their children's papers and tests were graded. The teacher refused all of my requests under the cop out, canned excuse of "We the 5th grade teachers feel children of this age need to be more responsible..." He even told the school counselor no on her requests in my daughter's behalf! My daughter received low grades on her report card and yet she scored high on state tests in 3rd, 4th and 5th grade, not to mention the school's counselor telling me my daughter's IQ was in the 130's. That year ended with a long email to someone of higher authority in the school district.

MY daughter has been tested by several experts and now sees a psychologist twice a month (for anxiety) and psychiatrist (anxiety & ADD) once a month. She started Adderall just before 6th grade- I noticed a difference right away with the meds at home. Most of the forgetful stuff is gone and she's on top of things.

Sixth grade was great! All teachers were cooperative and helpful. My daughter received two-thirds A's and one-third B's on her quarterly report cards. We celebrated every quarter with a trip out for ice cream and a slumber party.

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