Last year, N was so chatty about his days at school. I’d get to hear about everything. But in Year 1, he’s a lot more forgetful…supposedly. We still chat about school after he’s had a story at bedtime, but he quite often can’t remember what they’ve done. I don’t know if this is due to him being across 2 classrooms and teachers – so he’s still in class 1 with foundation stage, but he and his fellow year 1s in that class go up daily to Class 2 to join the rest of the year 1s and year 2s.
Here’s the week 3 happenings.
Last year N was really slow at reading. Mostly because he wasn’t interested, the books were boring and he found it hard. As well as it being late (around 6pm) when he gets in from wraparound care. This year, after only a few weeks he’s really doing well and is much more fluent with words, being more confident in his ability as well. It’s still hard work getting him to actually do his reading but he now doesn’t take over 30 minutes to read a book. Now even with all his distracted looking at pictures and asking questions, he’s still usually done in 15 minutes.
Now I’m getting impatient though. He’s still on the same level books as he was in the summer, still level 3. I don’t know whether it’s because he tells me no-one’s really heard him read (although I’m not sure how true that is) since being back, or because he still hasn’t learnt the rest of the phonics that the other phonics group had learnt ahead of his group last year. But I can’t believe there’s still more books in this level to read before he can move up.
He gets 6 books a week, 2 books 3 times a week which is ok, because they’re only 12 pages long. One book this week came home for the second time despite him having read it well to me…and that one only has 5 pages with writing on. I compare that to Year 1 reading for those who moved up a class, and they’ve got 5 sentences a page in their books with a big step up. While I know N probably isn’t ready for that yet, I know he can do better than the books he’s getting at the moment. Hopefully he’ll be getting next stage books soon. I wouldn’t worry so much if he’d read his books at home, but he refuses.
I was surprised when he told me that the other day they did quiet reading when they went up to Class 2 with the others. N is still lazy about doing his own following the lines he’s reading, so I’d be amazed if he was actually reading and not just looking at the pictures, if they were left to their own devices. When he told me he chose a Roald Dahl book to read, I was even less convinced. Fingers crossed he gets to do more reading to others, because I’m not convinced he’d ready for reading in his head yet.
N’s love for maths continues. It really makes a difference with him thinking he’s good at it. So much of education is about confidence. The only thing he told me they’d done was as long as number line as possible. He seemed pretty pleased although his explanation of what a number line was didn’t really help my understanding much.
Coats and jumpers
With warmer weather and him not wearing a jumper for most of the day, I lose track of how many N leaves at school. One day this week he came home with 3 jumpers. I thought he only had 2 at school. We also had 2 coats left there. It’s a relief that on a Friday I’m there to check and rootle around to find the missing forgotten items.
What I love about N is how much joy he manages to find in things. Things that I wouldn’t ever find funny he thinks are hysterical. This week they’ve been completing profiles…of themselves and family members. Trying to get him to think of activities he liked doing was like drawing blood from a stone. He was pleased with what he wrote eventually, even though getting him to sit down and complete work relies a lot on negotiating and reasoning. He is coming round to understanding that if things aren’t done gradually each day, he will end up having to struggle through them at the last moment.
He’s already decided that he’s going to do a profile on his dad next week. So after his dad picked him up from after school tennis club for the second week running, there’s no denying that his dad does exist despite him having not been seen in the school vicinity until this year!
Friday lunch tables
N came home really excited on Friday. Not because of anything learning based, but about lunch time seating arrangements.
On Fridays, the children are allowed to choose where they sit for lunch rather than being on their house tables. So N was really pleased to have been sitting on the same table as his cousin, as well as his best friend sitting there too. Success all round.
Each year, the younger children have a buddy, and this year it’s a new person. N had a girl buddy last year, this year he has a boy. Already he’s talked more about L his new buddy, than he did the whole of last year about the old buddy. This week he got excited about his buddy running the computer for the Friday assembly…and he got to sit with him. I’m not sure how it works with the buddies. According to N, they take the younger ones into assembly and sit with them. But we don’t see that on the class or target assemblies the parents go in to watch. For those they just sit in classes. So it’s a mystery to me.
I think the buddy system is great, not only for settling in new children, but also to give the younger children a role model student to look up to.