Yup, my first grader got a big fat red F in spelling.  Who knew!!!???!!

I’m really thinking that I might hold him back and have him repeat first grade next year.  His kindergarten teacher and now his first grade teacher have dubbed him “immature.”  He is an early kid (turned 5 the May before he started kindergarten).

At his school, they have a color chart, and based on warnings, the  kid has to change his color (say from blue to green) if he or she misbehaves.  A note is sent home for two or more color changes in a day.  In B’s class, if he has more than 3 color changes in a week, he misses out on free recess Friday, which he has missed at least once that I’m aware of.  In kindergarten the color changes are monitored and a satisfactory, good, needs improvement grade is given.  In first grade, a point is taken off his score each time the color is changed (starting at 100).  As of last Friday, he was at 81!!!!  Yes, 81!!!  There are still 11 weeks of school left!  In five weeks (the first two weeks didn’t count), he had his color changed 19 times, minus who knows how many warnings he was given!  At that rate, he’ll have a 39/100! 

I’ve warned him that depending on his grades in spelling and his behavior/color change grade he may or may not be able to continue to flag football.  I’ve banned all video games, and when he comes home he must write each of his 20 spelling words FIVE times each (correctly).  We’ll see how this works.

It’s frustrating as a parent to see your child fail at something.  It’s like if he fails, you fail.  Wish us luck!


3 responses »

  1. WOW good luck honey! It seems the only problems I am having is with Natalie on listening! Her grades are good (kindergarten) she just doesn’t know how to listen and follow directions. Nicole is doing awesome in first. But I think you are right on him starting early! Mine were both late, so they both started when they were 5 but turned 6 in kindergarten! I am sure he will get better the 2nd nine weeks! They grade first like any other grade I think! She brought home 4 test she had taken Friday on math, spelling, reading, & writing and got 100% on all of them and a 98% on one. I was very happy. I don’t think they go by color at LH, but then again she has never gotten in trouble so I am not sure. GOOD LUCK!

  2. I happened on to your website quite by accident. I am a mother of two boys and have been a tutor from 2nd grade (non-reader) to college algebra. I love the expression of a child who has succeded especially one who has difficulty. Sometimes there are things that as parents or tutors that we don’t understand from a child’s perspective. I would love to give you some tips about the spelling and behavior.

    1) First set up a special time each day for homework. And set a specific amount of time for the work. For spelling in first grade I would say 10 minutes a day. Figure out the way he learns best. Buy magnetic letters, a small chalk board, colored markers and let him practice his words different ways. The last two nights before the test actually make him take a test just like he would in class. I have had kids who needed to write every thing down. I have other kids who needed to see everything.

    2) Help him locate the words in magazines or books that he is reading.

    3) Encourage him each day. Something like “WOW you did such a good job spelling “boy”.

    Now for the behavior. I have an early child – graduated high school at 16 and has a 4.0 in college. I can tell you a couple of times we had teachers say he was immature. In second grade a teacher realized that he was not immature but bored. The teacher worked out a system with him to do his work then he would get to do something that was actually more work but to him it was a bonus.

    I strongly recommend positive reinforcement for good behavior. Sit him down and let him know that you realize that it is sometimes just hard to not talk or get up from his seat in class. But because those are the rules he needs to respect them. If he has a message book where you get messages each day tell your son that each day that he comes home without a color change he can play his video game for 30 minutes. If he can go 3 days in a week without a color change do a small something special (ice cream cone, candy bar, new crayons, whatever makes him happy.)

    I tutored a little girl that was a second grader and she kept having behavior problems and the parent got permission for me to sit in on her class. The problem was that she was so excited about everything she just wanted to share. She wasn’t a bad child. If she got an answer to something she would look at the child next to her and say ” I got it the answer was 7 so it wasn’t so hard”. The teacher had no idea what she was talking about only that she was disrupting class.

    One more thing. As a parent we see everything our child does as a reflection on us. So we take it personally. DON’T. Try to understand exactly what is going on. Why his color is changing. What time of day? Who does he sit beside? Is there a window close to where he sits?

    Sorry I have written a book but I am very passionate about children and education. And although there are many great teachers sometimes the classrooms are so large that a teacher may not be able to pinpoint each individual child’s specific learning style and behavior triggers.

  3. Pingback: Thoughts on the F « Life With Beans and Weenies

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