Today was our meeting with Max’s preschool teacher for his his mid-year review. I remember when we met with Max’s teacher last year, Rachel and I both felt a bit defeated. There were a few areas that Max was struggling with, that really came as a surprise. Especially when his teacher said Max was not expressing himself, and using his words to explain things. He’s a chatterbox at home, and has no trouble expressing himself. In the presence of other kids his age, it was a different story. He was also not doing well with counting and while he could recognize the letters of the alphabet, he had a lot of trouble writing his letters.
This year, his report car that they sent home with him on Friday was pretty solid. There were only two things that his teacher noted needed improvement. 1) Doing what he was told, instead of doing what he wanted. This didn’t really come as a surprise. Max is an only child, so he is used to being able to do what he wants. His teacher explained that her #1 priority is keeping the kids in her class safe. So she went on to explain that when she asks the kids to sit and read a book, or to complete an activity sheet, it’s important for all the kids to remain seated. She said that Max sometimes continues to walk around the classroom on his own, looking at the artwork, or the toys. We’ll have to chat with him about this and make sure he cooperates. It didn’t sound like she was overly worried about it, but she made her point clear. She was worried that Max would wander out of the classroom while she was attending to the other kids. So it’s important for all of them to be seated and in one central location.
2) He needs to be more vocal when asked a question in front of the class. One on one when she asked him to count, she said he counted from 1-200 singularly and in multiples of 10. They have a board in the class, that marks counting milestones for each child. They start at 15 at the beginning of the year, then get rewarded when they can count to 50, 75, 100, 150, 200 and beyond. When she asked him to count in front of the class so he could get his 200 milestone sticker, she said he got a bit flustered and stopped at 69. She said he didn’t really like all those eyes from his classmates on him.
She told us he is a good problem solver, good with numbers and had very good attention span. Other areas she noted were his ability to arrange items based on size, shape, color, etc and he was good at noticing patterns and differences. He does a lot of activity books with his Nana, so I’m sure that is why he is so good at that sort of thing.
She also said something that made me very proud. As part of the mid year evaluation, she said he grabbed a handful of small building blocks (probably Lego’s) and set them down in front of the child, then asked him to count them. Most of the kids just tried pointing at the blocks, and would get confused and would either miss some or count the blocks more than once. Max was one of the few kids who picked up each item he counted and moved it to a separate pile once it was already counted. Over the summer, I would give him a cup of Fruit Loops or Cheerio’s and I would dump them out and have him count them. Then we would arrange them in groups. So I feel like doing that with him over the summer, helped him get a better understanding of numbers and counting.
He’s come a long way and has really done well in his 2nd year of school. Im not sure if he is more mature, if his teacher this year is better, or if it’s a combination of the two. But he seems like a little sponge. Need to get him to come out of his shell a bit, but glad to hear is doing so well. Now the hard part, deciding where he will go to kindergarden next year.