Wednesday, 6 November 2013

Preschool 2 & Grade 1 ~ 1st Quarter Reflections

Preschool 2

Keefe started Preschool 2 in August 2013 as a somewhat quiet boy, with a tendency of not warming up easily to new environment and new people.  When we left Singapore, his Nursery 1 teacher advised us to enrol him at the international school as soon as we settled down in Basel so that he has enough time to adapt to the new school.  We didn't. 

We received a formal Quarter 1 written report of Keefe's progress in the areas of Mathematics, Language, Unit of Inquiry (Families) and Social Integration.  He was given a rating of "Independent" in all areas, which meant that Keefe could apply a concept consistently and use it in everyday situations.  During the conference, his Preschool 2 teacher commented that he was ahead of his peers in Math (e.g. ability to write the numbers 1-10 although some numbers are written as a 'mirror image' which the teacher said is normal for his age) and in Language (e.g. ability to observe details in a story and retell it - '2 ducks' instead of 'some ducks').  His teacher shared with me the final assessment she did with Keefe on the Families unit where Keefe answered some questions regarding the unit through oral responses and drawings.  I've shared with his teacher that I would like her to challenge/ stretch him more in Math since Keefe can easily recognise numbers up to 20.  As agreed with his teacher, she will be working with Keefe on his number writing (in terms of proper formation) and blending simple words.  The teacher felt that only Keefe is ready for these activities compared to other students.  She commented that although Keefe is shy/ quiet in class, he responds to questions when asked.  She will be working with Keefe in the coming quarters for him to speak up more in class so that he could contribute more in discussions.  

Grade 1

We didn't receive a formal written report of Belle's progress for the first quarter.  Her teacher commented that Belle is reading at a high level compared to her peers.  She started the year at Level L for reading and her teacher recently moved her up to Level M in after she was assessed on her reading fluency, retelling and comprehension skills.  Belle is also doing well in Math and are given more challenging task cards for her to explain her thinking, as opposed to developing automaticity/ fluency in math facts (which her teacher commented is attainable).  Belle has been working on her writing to make sure that her stories have endings.  I commented about misspelt words, to which her teacher commented that spelling is not important at this stage.  Her teacher added that Belle is able to spell the high frequency words and other phoenetic words correctly so she thinks Belle is doing great in spelling! 

My Thoughts

Belle and Keefe are happy to be in school and although the international school's curriculum is not as rigorous as Singapore's, they are not stressed and are taught more holistically.  They learn more in the areas of Social Studies and Science, the ability to communicate/ present well and to think creatively.  Hopefully these non-academic skills will help them when we go back to the dreaded local education system in a few years' time!


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