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Parent-teacher conference for 15yo with some difficulties


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#1 Pen

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Posted 17 November 2017 - 04:29 PM

My 15yo son is doing okay in terms of grades officially (A's and B's). However, he is not getting work done till last minute in many cases, and tends to get depressed and anxious and to shut down and go into serious anxiety-depression–> procrastination-avoidance downward spirals and I am trying to avoid that.

 

When I read ktgrok's thread on her 18yo who would get all A's at one moment and then D's and F's it struck a chord.  Starting with that ds won't work for me hence is back in BMS school.  

 

My ds has a tendency toward lot of 100% scores, mixed with a few that are less than that but still high, and then can get a few low scores in weak areas, which includes zeroes for the weak area of Executive Function and actually doing and turning in  assignments.  And this includes that he seems to recognize an assignment to be something the teacher says is "homework due-the-next-day."  But not long term assignments and not studying.  And anything not stated clearly enough to be due, or "homework" comes through in his mind, apparently, as being optional.

 

 

My conference was set up to be all teachers at once for a half-hour (I guess more could be scheduled with individual teachers if need be.

 

Any thoughts now on preparing for the conference, or even things to tell you about the situation so you can better suggest things for me would help!

 

Ds will be home soon, but I will check in and try to put more info as I can over the weekend.

 

[Ds's learning challenges and related, as I now know them:

 

He is 2E. He has dyslexia/dysgraphia (officially give some other name, like disorder in written communication, but I was told that it is same as dyslexia and dysgraphia).  

 

He probably had/has SPED, sensory seeking. He does not have ASD. He has acted somewhat like he could have ADHD--though it may be that inattentive and manic sort of behavior is actually anxiety, or maybe it is sensory seeking behavior in new teen form. When he was screened he was not thought to have ADHD, but...there is something going on that is at least very much like ADHD, IMO, and it was not a thorough evaluation. He is very reactive to sugar. He not reactive to caffeine, neither stimulating nor calming.

 

Ds saw a therapist last year for anxiety and depression, but the therapist he had was not  very good.

 

Ds is very "into" sports, things physical, girls, superheroes and similar. He does not like to study. He is not "into" academics.  He does not like to be seen as studying and having a nerdy (or current equivalent) reputation.  The kids all pretend not to study, though parents tell me that they do. Ds believes that they don't.  

 

Ds lacks good study skills and does not want to develop them. OTOH he also does not like feeling lost and behind and the anxiety that brings him.  He says he would like to do school work an hour per day (in addition to a study hall), but that he cannot get himself to do it. 

 

DS is in need of a new, thorough and updated neuropsych evaluation.  I need to find someone good for this in our area.

 

I am a single (adoptive) mom, with some chronic illness issues.

 

We live in a rural area with little internet access beyond dial-up.]

 

His classes:

 

Spanish: grade A, but feels lost in it. Afraid to join in class conversation practice. Thus getting more behind and lost feeling, and not getting pronunciation help. Cannot take notes due to (dysgraphia) speed with writing trouble. Might be willing to try a Livescribe pen? Not clear if note taking is important or if handouts and book have all of what is needed.

 

more to come when I can...



#2 PeterPan

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Posted 17 November 2017 - 04:34 PM

So you write the ps a letter saying you suspect xyz (make a list) is affecting his ability to access his education and that you request they do evals to determine if he needs an IEP or 504.


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#3 Arcadia

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Posted 17 November 2017 - 04:49 PM

Spanish: grade A, but feels lost in it. Afraid to join in class conversation practice. Thus getting more behind and lost feeling, and not getting pronunciation help. Cannot take notes due to (dysgraphia) speed with writing trouble. Might be willing to try a Livescribe pen? Not clear if note taking is important or if handouts and book have all of what is needed.

For my DS11, getting handouts in advance is important so that he can pre-read the handouts before class. For my kids brick and mortar german class, note taking is important because their teacher gives useful handouts and whatever she writes on the board and explain are all stuff that are not in handouts or their textbook and workbook. Their german teacher doesn’t require much note taking and if she sees that the kids have trouble copying down fast enough, she would write out on paper and photocopy for them. It’s usually extra explanations on grammar.

For DS12, he had been relying on his memory to remember notes that he wasn’t able to copy down fast enough. He is still able to intuit for languages so whatever his photographic memory miss out isn’t so bad a consequence for him. He reads very fast so not having a chance to pre-read handouts doesn’t hinder him.

If your son is anxious about conversation practices in class, does the library have conversation practice he can participate in? As in when you go to the library for internet access, does your library has meetups organized for conversation practices? Sometimes my kids don’t want to embarrass themselves in class so they rather practice on Duolingo app chat bot by typing or talk to each other in german.
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#4 Pen

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Posted 17 November 2017 - 06:22 PM

So you write the ps a letter saying you suspect xyz (make a list) is affecting his ability to access his education and that you request they do evals to determine if he needs an IEP or 504.

 

He has had IEP's in the past. For speech and maybe some OT during preschool.  And concurrent with homeschooling for dysgraphia / dyslexia.  He was considered to be within normal limits and moved out of his last IEP in 4th grade. 

 

The school, or at least the SPED coordinator, is aware of such issues for him.  They are willing to work with ds, more than ds is willing to do anything that makes him stand out and seem different.  

 

The issue(s) for the upcoming parent-teacher conference are what could perhaps be done that would help ds, that the teachers could do, that I could do...

 

 

For my DS11, getting handouts in advance is important so that he can pre-read the handouts before class. For my kids brick and mortar german class, note taking is important because their teacher gives useful handouts and whatever she writes on the board and explain are all stuff that are not in handouts or their textbook and workbook. Their german teacher doesn’t require much note taking and if she sees that the kids have trouble copying down fast enough, she would write out on paper and photocopy for them. It’s usually extra explanations on grammar.

For DS12, he had been relying on his memory to remember notes that he wasn’t able to copy down fast enough. He is still able to intuit for languages so whatever his photographic memory miss out isn’t so bad a consequence for him. He reads very fast so not having a chance to pre-read handouts doesn’t hinder him.

If your son is anxious about conversation practices in class, does the library have conversation practice he can participate in? As in when you go to the library for internet access, does your library has meetups organized for conversation practices? Sometimes my kids don’t want to embarrass themselves in class so they rather practice on Duolingo app chat bot by typing or talk to each other in german.

 

 

Getting a chance to speak with people who are not his social peers sounds like a really good idea!  Our library does not have that, but maybe something would. Including maybe something computerized.  We used to be able to access Duolingo when it was in its infancy, but it got "improved" beyond what our dial-up could handle. What is app chat bot?



#5 Arcadia

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Posted 17 November 2017 - 06:26 PM

We used to be able to access Duolingo when it was in its infancy, but it got "improved" beyond what our dial-up could handle. What is app chat bot?


This one by Duolingo. http://bots.duolingo.com
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#6 Pen

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Posted 17 November 2017 - 06:28 PM

Hand-outs in advance so they can be preread is a good idea.  The teacher would  need to tell them to pre-read and that it is homework due tomorrow, explicitly, or ds probably would not do it.

 

 

DS's geometry teacher writes everything that he wants the kids to have in their notes on the board. He also provided an excellent assignment sheet for them, at least for the first 1/4 term, not sure if they got a new one, and he posts a copy of it with all assignments on the wall of his room so that ds can copy it and if he misses something go look back at it without having to ask the teacher or anyone else. This has been a Huge help, and I think I 'd like to know if the geometry teacher could share his assignment sheet with everyone else and they also could put notes on board and assignments on wall like that. (geometry teacher was in the military and it works for ds)
 
DS's science teacher has slide projections of the notes he wants the kids to have written down, which works similarly for notes in science as for notes in geometry. But there were a number of errors in ds's science notes. Particularly on worksheets that glued in place as examples of how to do certain types of problems.  So some way of going over those sheets--maybe after the first few lines are completed and errors in understanding caught is needed.  By the time the whole thing is done and it is glued in, ds seems to be discouraged about correcting things that are wrong.  The science teacher is more likely to give a lot of leeway in when to get things done, and not to call it "homework" and "due tomorrow." This seems to leave DS thinking that what to me are clearly science assignments are just optional.
 
 
 


#7 Pen

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Posted 17 November 2017 - 06:42 PM

Clarifying the above, the errors in DS's science notes are errors that DS made.  For example, writing potassium iodine instead of potassium iodide--but not just the one time, but a whole list of binary combinations where he forgot to change the ending of the second element to -ide.  

 

Or showing an ionic formula combining Chromium(III) with Carbonate as Cr3(CO3)2, rather than as Cr2(CO3)3.  But again, not just once, but for a whole lot of compounds that included a metal with multiple possible oxidation states.  Brought to DS's attention, he'll say he knows, but he won't correct the the errors.  When there end up being a whole lot of such errors though he can no longer remember what was correct and what was miswritten and then may start following the wrong version as if it were a correct model, and then cementing wrong learning into his head.  Or at least, that is what I think may be happening.

 

Anyway, DS had had many assignments with individual types of problems, say just work on acids, or just work on binary molecular compounds, correct.  But then when he came to an assignment with many different types of problems all mixed in together so that the first step was to identify what sort of situation each was, he went from near 100% to near 50% accuracy, and at least in part it was due to problems in his notes, which are essentially working as their study text.



#8 Storygirl

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Posted 17 November 2017 - 07:01 PM

DS13 has that problem with filling in worksheets. We had some study guides come home, on which he had to fill in answers and then use the guide for studying. It was useless, because he would have incomplete sections, some completely wrong answers, and some answers that were correct but written on the wrong line.

 

In his IEP, he is supposed to receive copies of study guides already filled in, so that he has the correct answers to study from.

 

He is also to get copies of teacher's notes from the board. With a smart board, this is easy, because the teacher can just have it print. If your school does not have smart boards, could he perhaps be allowed to take a picture of the notes with his phone, if he has one? If not, he should be able to have a note-taker. DS's special ed teacher takes notes in DS's math class and gives him a copy of her notes. Is there a co-teacher in the room for any of these classes -- an intervention teacher who checks in with the IEP students?

 

I think many of these things can be in a 504 plan, if he won't qualify for an IEP.

 

These things won't solve the motivation problem, of course. That's a tough one.

 

 


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#9 Arcadia

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Posted 17 November 2017 - 09:35 PM

Brought to DS's attention, he'll say he knows, but he won't correct the the errors.
...
Anyway, DS had had many assignments with individual types of problems, say just work on acids, or just work on binary molecular compounds, correct. But then when he came to an assignment with many different types of problems all mixed in together so that the first step was to identify what sort of situation each was, he went from near 100% to near 50% accuracy, and at least in part it was due to problems in his notes, which are essentially working as their study text.

Regarding motivation and correcting the errors, would a pep talk by his ice skating or track and field coach help?

How was he with his math? As in did he get the unit tests correct but have a hard time with end of semester/year tests? Or was in plain sailing for math?

I am wondering if it is problem with consolidating skills for a mixed assignment or semester test, or if it is a problem with information overload from chemistry. For example my DS11 finds biology the hardest because of information overload, chemistry is second, math and physics is easier because he can remember most of the stuff by practicing so he doesn’t need to make such a big effort to get information into his long term memory.

His notes are at the moment not useful for revision or test prep. Does your library have Cliffnotes for Chemistry? Link is to a copy of an old edition that a school uploaded for their students http://sman78-jkt.sc...s/Chemistry.pdf

My relatively independent 8th grader still needs my help for chemistry. We are at week 12 and his 3” ring binder is almost full. I still have to make sure he prints all that needs printing and submits all that needs submitting. Also that his filing is properly done and not haphazard. His physics have about half the amount of printouts so it is easier for him to keep track himself. So just saying chemistry does demand a higher level of time and paper management skills from my kid. He won’t work for me so we outsourced at an early age.

I have sugar issues but blood test turns out nothing when I was a teen and during college days. It was just obvious that whenever I was dizzy, sugar works. The doctors ruled out juvenile diabetes. I don’t get a sugar high but I do get a sugar low. I don’t know how costly it would be to run medical tests for your son but the first thing my doctors did was to try to rule out diabetes, liver or kidney failure for my case. My lecturers did allow me to eat chocolate in the exam hall as long as I did It quietly. I ate M&Ms during classes and my classmates didn’t want me fainting so they were gracious about it (and they ate snacks discreetly too). So I would get that check out if possible while your son is still under 18.
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#10 Heathermomster

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Posted 18 November 2017 - 03:45 PM

I was an honors student in high school and took chem during 10th grade and geometry during 9th grade.

 

If he is a 9th grader and doesn't like academics, why not take an intermediate algebra and physical science or biology?  He may do better taking chemistry when he is older and more mature.  My DS does not fare well with online textbooks.  Could you possibly purchase and keep a hardbound copy of his math text at home?

 

BTW, my DS had to type his chemistry math.  With all the symbols and math prefixes, he really didn't have a choice.  Typing the math was very hard but got better, and the typing improved his attention to detail considerably.  He used Word with the math add-on.  

 

 


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#11 Pen

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Posted 18 November 2017 - 04:53 PM

I was an honors student in high school and took chem during 10th grade and geometry during 9th grade.

 

If he is a 9th grader and doesn't like academics, why not take an intermediate algebra and physical science or biology?  He may do better taking chemistry when he is older and more mature.  My DS does not fare well with online textbooks.  Could you possibly purchase and keep a hardbound copy of his math text at home?

 

BTW, my DS had to type his chemistry math.  With all the symbols and math prefixes, he really didn't have a choice.  Typing the math was very hard but got better, and the typing improved his attention to detail considerably.  He used Word with the math add-on.  

 

 

His science is officially physical science.  The first semester it does the same thing as the 11th grade chemistry class does, then when the chemistry class goes on to more advanced chem topics, ds's goes on to cover roughly a first part of the year of a non-calculus based physics.  I do think it is a lot more advanced/difficult than the typical physical science class. It is pretty much required for all 9th graders unless they are incapable of it, or have already taken it.  There are only 10 or so 9th graders total since it is a small rural school, and ds's class is particularly small (the current junior class and 8th grade each have around 20-25 kids). The teacher is trying to meet the needs of everyone from honors level down to the lowest in the class.

 

 

The same will be the case with biology next year, that one bio class will be trying to meet everyone from the kids who will want to take an AP test in bio to the bottom of the class.

 

This lack of multiple differentiated classes is a challenge, but otoh, it is also a reason that teachers can give some individual attention to kids that is hard to come by in a big city or suburban school.

 

 

IF, and it is a big IF, ds would study (15 minutes to one hour per day, plus utilize his study hall time well), I think he could handle all the work well and not get so anxious with the feeling lost and behind and bad spiral he gets into.

 

He will not accept mommy telling him to study--even if he spends the time under bribe or duress, his brain is not in it.  

 

Are there any things that teachers might do or say that could help?

 

Break up longer assignments themselves for ds so that he cannot put off doing things till late?

Make what is assigned more clear as his geometry teacher does with the assignment sheets on the wall?

Require something extra of ds, like flashcards or other things along those lines?



#12 Heathermomster

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Posted 18 November 2017 - 05:27 PM

What text book is he using for science?

#13 ktgrok

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Posted 18 November 2017 - 06:40 PM

The copying notes wrong thing is part of his learning disability - my son has the same problem. Can memorize spelling words but would memorize them wrong because he couldn't copy them correctly. Taking a photo of the board or having the teacher give him a print out of notes would be a HUGE HUGE thing, and fairly common as an accommodation. In my local high school kids are encouraged to take photos of the board, actually. 


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#14 Storygirl

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Posted 18 November 2017 - 07:32 PM

Breaking assignments into smaller pieces can be an accommodation. In our case, it is the special education teacher who would do this for DS. I don't know if your regular teacher can be required to modify assignments, because that goes beyond a 504 and into IEP territory. Perhaps you need to ask them to re-evaluate him to perhaps reinstate his IEP.

 

It sounds like he would object to being pulled out of class for special help. But could the school give him an intervention study hall, where he works with the intervention specialist to break down his assignments into smaller chunks?


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#15 Arcadia

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Posted 18 November 2017 - 07:50 PM

Are there any things that teachers might do or say that could help?

Break up longer assignments themselves for ds so that he cannot put off doing things till late?
Make what is assigned more clear as his geometry teacher does with the assignment sheets on the wall?
Require something extra of ds, like flashcards or other things along those lines?


I would request that his science teacher gives very clear homework expectations. My oldest is taking physics with PAH. The teacher is very clear on what is compulsory work and what is optional. My kid does the optional work since he is a fast worker with too much free time. If he is bored with the optional work for a particular week, I won’t nag him to do it.

At this age, most kids won’t do extra work even if it is beneficial unless the teacher says it is compulsory. So what the geometry teacher did regarding assignments is beneficial to the students.

My DS11 benefits from paper flashcards but not my DS12. My kids did not benefit from Quizlet. If I copy what is on Quizlet assigned by my kids teachers into paper flashcards, DS11 absorbs better. So as a quiz tool, it is good. As a learning tool, it didn’t work for my kids for now.

On the long assignments can you give an example? I am wondering whether it is something that a 8th/9th grader could learn to cope with or the expectation on task management is too high. For example the 5th grade compulsory science fair project, the local school expect parents to help with project management. For the 8th grade compulsory science project, parents are expected to be hands off except to help get whatever materials needed.

I agree that taking photos of what is on the board is useful if the teachers are okay with it. I had done that for my kids German homework when the host school’s janitor needs to lock up on time and so kids couldn’t take their time to finish copying from the board. Their teacher is okay with that.
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#16 Heathermomster

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Posted 18 November 2017 - 09:39 PM

DS has used his phone and taken pictures of handwritten notes written by other students.
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#17 Pen

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Posted 19 November 2017 - 02:02 PM

What text book is he using for science?

 

They don't have an official textbook.  The notes they take, plus handouts the teacher has gathered from a variety of sources become their text equivalent.

 

However, the teacher lent me a textbook to take home as a reference which is Addison-Wesley Chemistry, Wilbraham et al, © 2002.

 

The copying notes wrong thing is part of his learning disability - my son has the same problem. Can memorize spelling words but would memorize them wrong because he couldn't copy them correctly. Taking a photo of the board or having the teacher give him a print out of notes would be a HUGE HUGE thing, and fairly common as an accommodation. In my local high school kids are encouraged to take photos of the board, actually. 

 

That is probably something teachers would agree to. Not sure if ds would go for it given his reluctance to be different.  I am surprised that photos of board come out in a way that allows the info to be readable.  I'd have thought it would be too small.  ?

 

Breaking assignments into smaller pieces can be an accommodation. In our case, it is the special education teacher who would do this for DS. I don't know if your regular teacher can be required to modify assignments, because that goes beyond a 504 and into IEP territory. Perhaps you need to ask them to re-evaluate him to perhaps reinstate his IEP.

 

It sounds like he would object to being pulled out of class for special help. But could the school give him an intervention study hall, where he works with the intervention specialist to break down his assignments into smaller chunks?

 

 

Yes. Perhaps he could get a new IEP.  

 

He is already in a study hall that mixes both intervention and regular in that period.  He'd be doing far worse without the study hall.

 

The biggest problem is that all its teacher is mandated to do is to make sure the kids have C's or better.  So long as DS is getting A's and B's he is meeting that, and so far as I know even if he had an IEP no more would be required.  His SPED /study hall is last period, and I think the teacher is exhausted with some of the really hard kids he has earlier, and I am thinking he may also be sick... he's missed some days of school and said something about pneumonia.

 

 

 

Though they are not required to help, I think some of the teachers may be willing to do so.  

 

 

 

His English teacher is in process of retiring, and has only 2 or 3 classes total right now, all of which she has taught many times for many years. I think she has a total of 25  students at most in all her classes combined this year, and thus may be the person with both the most teaching experience, and the most time available.  

 

 

And DS is doing the worst in her class currently in terms of actual grade (B-), though he feels more lost in Spanish and science.

 

 


Edited by Pen, 19 November 2017 - 08:07 PM.


#18 Pen

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Posted 19 November 2017 - 07:57 PM

His science teacher, otoh, has a class every period, and a different subject for most.  He is enthusiastic, knows his subjects, to me can teach extremely well, and usually engagingly, in general, but also is one of the younger teachers.  He is also ds's best friend's stepdad, adding another emotional dynamic.  And ds's science teacher co-teaches with ds's art class teacher in a design and engineering class. DS is taking it for a fine arts credit with an emphasis on the design part, and other kids are taking it for science credit with an emphasis on the engineering part.

 

His Spanish teacher has previously taught at college level. I gather not language, but history of Latin America taught in Spanish language. This is her second year teaching high school Spanish. She apparently lived somewhere in the Andes, so her accent and some regionalisms are different than Spanish from Mexico or Spain. I've not met or even seen her yet, but am guessing that she is pretty young. I am not sure if she is from South America or from the USA, but lived for awhile in South America. The text is called Paso a Paso, and I think the worksheets are part of that text's system, rather than things pulled from here and there.  



#19 Pen

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Posted 19 November 2017 - 08:01 PM


Arcadia, on 18 Nov 2017 - 4:50 PM, said:snapback.png

On the long assignments can you give an example? I am wondering whether it is something that a 8th/9th grader could learn to cope with or the expectation on task management is too high. For example the 5th grade compulsory science fair project, the local school expect parents to help with project management. For the 8th grade compulsory science project, parents are expected to be hands off except to help get whatever materials needed.

 

 

 

examples:

 

 English: Independently read a book and then write a 2-3 page paper about it; finished papers due ~1 week before the end of each 1/4. There is a typed sheet that gives what the finished paper must include, and the basic grading rubric.  Ds leaves it until last couple of days prior to due date. He can dash off a first draft paper good enough for a B, but it adds to stress/distress/anxiety, and he does not learn anything that way.  He'd be better off with 2 drafts required, making him spend more time and to work through improvements.  The writing is how they are supposed to learn grammar as well as some thinking skills, and the teacher is giving good feedback on his completed work, but he is not looking at her comments.

 

English: Vocabulary/Spelling worksheet packet (from Sadlier Vocabulary), a new one given out every 2 weeks, and supposed to be turned in every 2 weeks, but are accepted up to last day of quarter (with some points off for lateness), and ds tends to save all of them until the night before final absolute deadline.  Since he has generally not even done the basic worksheet prior to the quizzes, quite aside from possible flash cards or other studying, he tends to get D's on the quizzes, possibly an F, he told me, on the quiz this past Friday.

 

Phys Sci/Chemistry: Stapled together work and study packets, usually 2- 4 pages double-sided.  They should be worked on ASAP and difficulties or confusions brought to the teacher's attention. With (apparently) often no clear statement of "this is homework" or "this is due ____" (according to ds), ds does not seem to understand that it is something he is supposed to do.  Last quarter was periodic table, atoms, elements, bonds, molecular and ionic compounds, nomenclature, Bohr diagrams, Lewis dot diagrams, polyatomic ions, salts, acids.  

 

This quarter the subject matter is chemical reactions. So far, they've learned about moles and formation of salts from an alkali metal and a halogen, lattice energy (not in a lot of detail), watched a film of actual sodium and chlorine combining and are studying what the molecules do via on-paper exercises, as I understand it. There was also a little started at the end of the week on rust and fire, and slow and fast oxidation. They  saw a film on various explosions: Nitrogen fertilizer exploding, C4 plastic exploding etc.  (As reported to me by ds.  He has not revealed if they have or have not received a work/study packet yet.  He said they have a  big take-home test coming up, but either does not know, or will not tell me when this will be or on what.)



#20 Arcadia

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Posted 19 November 2017 - 08:23 PM

The text is called Paso a Paso, and I think the worksheets are part of that text's system, rather than things pulled from here and there.


Pass a Paso 1 worksheets posted by a high school http://spanish-1-e-l...parent=17693856
Resources by Pearson http://www.phschool....k&wcsuffix=0001

examples:

English: Independently read a book and then write a 2-3 page paper about it; finished papers due ~1 week before the end of each 1/4.
...
English: Vocabulary/Spelling worksheet packet (from Sadlier Vocabulary), a new one given out every 2 weeks, and supposed to be turned in every 2 weeks, but are accepted up to last day of quarter (with some points off for lateness), and ds tends to save all of them until the night before final absolute deadline.
...
Phys Sci/Chemistry: Stapled together work and study packets, usually 2- 4 pages double-sided. They should be worked on ASAP and difficulties or confusions brought to the teacher's attention. With (apparently) often no clear statement of "this is homework" or "this is due ____" (according to ds), ds does not seem to understand that it is something he is supposed to do.
...
He said they have a big take-home test coming up, but either does not know, or will not tell me when this will be or on what.)

For the book report, I would say the time given is too long. The longest deadline I was given was a month and the language teachers started nagging 9 days before deadline. It would just be put at the backburner by a typical kid and forgotten. My kids would happily procrastinate given such long deadlines.

For Vocabulary Workshop, I would prefer the work coming home on Friday and the deadline to be Monday because it would likely get done over the weekend instead of being forgotten.

I would really discuss homework deadlines with the English teacher because it is procrastination friendly as it stands. My oldest had needed accommodations for homework so BTDT on negotiations with teachers.

My gut feel says the take home test for science would be just before thanksgiving break. Work and study packets are always expected to be reviewed and work on. It is kind of understood by middle school even though I was not an industrious student but I did know I was slacking. So there is a disconnect there.

If his teacher explicitly states that the work and study packets needs to be done, and quiz questions are likely to come from there, would that help? There was a time or two where my DS12 did not read his physics textbook and notes carefully and miss out salient information so he was stuck with homework. I told him to reread his textbook again before I help him.

ETA:
I could take a photo with my old iPhone 4 of the entire whiteboard for german and it was okay.

Edited by Arcadia, 19 November 2017 - 08:25 PM.

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#21 Heathermomster

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Posted 20 November 2017 - 07:35 AM

Paso o Paso 1 and Sadlier Vocab grade 9 have study decks created on Quizlet. If your boy doesn’t like Quizlet, he could still download and print the decks.

I’m concerned about compliance. Are you being counseled by anyone that is knowledgeable with older child adoptions and families? What type of supports are available to you? Does extended family live by?
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#22 Pen

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Posted 20 November 2017 - 11:07 AM

1) Paso o Paso 1 and Sadlier Vocab grade 9 have study decks created on Quizlet. If your boy doesn’t like Quizlet, he could still download and print the decks.

2) I’m concerned about compliance. Are you being counseled by anyone that is knowledgeable with older child adoptions and families? What type of supports are available to you? Does extended family live by?

 

 

1) Pre-made decks that he can Download and print  might be good.  I'll check that out.  

 

Yesterday he got a paid Duolingo subscription that allows offline use and did one lesson.  It does not match up to what he is doing in school at all, but for a goal of eventual fluency, I think it will help, and he likes doing Duolingo.  I could hear what he was doing, and his pronunciation/accent improved hugely in just the one lesson. 

 

 

2) Thank you for these reminders.  

 

There is a post-adoption support thingy, which alas is too far for easy use of much of what they have, but I'll call and see if they have any phone support, or advice for local help.  And while at it ask if they know any good neuropsychologist for a new evaluation.

 

 One of ds's former social workers, was a teacher prior to becoming a social worker and might have some ideas, plus actually knew him personally.  I know in past it was her view that some of ds's noncompliance and stubbornness was also part of what helped him to survive his early childhood, so has to be looked at as to some degree a positive adaptation.

 

My ds's biofather might be a help.  I'll try to reach him by phone ASAP.  He may have some insight about what is going on and how to deal with it.  As well as whether ds is having early symptoms that resemble the biofather's issues. He may also be able to talk with ds and have some impact...or not.

 

My brother does not live nearby, but may be around for T-giving, and might be a help: ds looks up to him, and they have similar personalities-- even look strikingly similar, though not biologically related.

 

We have an aunt and uncle who live nearer, and might be a help.



#23 Heathermomster

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Posted 20 November 2017 - 11:13 AM

With Quizlet, the decks ask for a specific language and have a text to speech option. DS would listen to his Spanish words in the correct pronunciation as he studied.

I need to add this. It’s always a good idea to verify the accuracy of decks created by other people.

Edited by Heathermomster, 20 November 2017 - 11:15 AM.

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#24 Pen

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Posted 20 November 2017 - 12:49 PM

Pass a Paso 1 worksheets posted by a high school http://spanish-1-e-l...parent=17693856
Resources by Pearson http://www.phschool....k&wcsuffix=0001

 

Thank you!!! These should be a big help!  And it looks like that gives us the handouts in advance without special request.

For the book report, I would say the time given is too long. The longest deadline I was given was a month and the language teachers started nagging 9 days before deadline. It would just be put at the backburner by a typical kid and forgotten. My kids would happily procrastinate given such long deadlines.

For Vocabulary Workshop, I would prefer the work coming home on Friday and the deadline to be Monday because it would likely get done over the weekend instead of being forgotten.

I would really discuss homework deadlines with the English teacher because it is procrastination friendly as it stands. My oldest had needed accommodations for homework so BTDT on negotiations with teachers.

My gut feel says the take home test for science would be just before thanksgiving break. Work and study packets are always expected to be reviewed and work on. It is kind of understood by middle school even though I was not an industrious student but I did know I was slacking. So there is a disconnect there.

If his teacher explicitly states that the work and study packets needs to be done, and quiz questions are likely to come from there, would that help? There was a time or two where my DS12 did not read his physics textbook and notes carefully and miss out salient information so he was stuck with homework. I told him to reread his textbook again before I help him.

ETA:
I could take a photo with my old iPhone 4 of the entire whiteboard for german and it was okay.

 

 

I asked ds about practicing speaking with strangers and he said that speaking in front of strangers would be even worse in terms of causing anxiety.



#25 Pen

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Posted 20 November 2017 - 01:27 PM


Here is what I am now thinking of asking for / about:

 

Math and other classes: awareness that we cannot access the math website from computer from home.  

 

Could ds have enough copies of the math teacher's assignment sheet  that he could use that for all his classes? Math teacher's system of putting assignments on wall is helping a lot, could  others do that too?  

Maybe posted on outside wall so that if something is missed it could be looked at without disturbing a class that is inside?

 

All classes: Very explicit statements about what is "homework."  Very explicit statements about due dates. Very explicit statements that study guides are expected to be filled out, corrected, and used (studied from).  And ideally over a period of time, not at last minute.

 

 Request permission for smartphone to be used to photograph assignments or other notes? (Though ds may or may not go with this and do it.)

 

Awareness about ds having anxiety and the anxiety -> procrastination loop problem.

 

If possible, for the teachers to break up the assignment into pieces so that ds can see how that would be done.

 

If possible, for teachers to suggest favorite study methods that might work for ds (and others).

 

English: Shorter deadlines for English, with steps broken down for him if possible--vocabulary, spelling ideally due each Monday and reminder of that each Friday.   Rough drafts for papers with due dates.  Maybe target dates for 1/4, 1/2, 3/4 of book to be read.

 

Science: More explicit statements of "homework," and that study guides are part of "homework." More explicit deadlines.  Some way to make sure that what is in notebook gets fully corrected so that errors are not getting memorized or used for open-note work.  Best probably would be to go over and review it all and for the kids to correct theirs since that would be another learning opportunity, but at least a corrected version to glue into the notebook.

 

Spanish: Awareness of ds's anxiety about speaking in class, and starting to feel lost.  

 

Possibly ds could be assigned dialogues (with someone else) to memorize that he could deliver in front of class so as to get practice with speaking in Spanish in front of others--and so teacher could help him with his pronunciation perhaps, but not having to think of actual conversationas responses at the same time as dealing with the anxiety of being in front of others?  Or if not a dialogue then maybe even a monologue or chance to read something aloud?

 

Pronunciation and how to work with that?  

 

Sound recording of parts of class? (DS does not want to do that, however.)

 

Trouble with taking notes in Spanish--not sure if any notes actually do need to be taken since it may all be on the handouts, but if there are other things not on handouts, some way to work with that?  Notes from another student? or capture by smartphone picture? or?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Other thoughts, or things mentioned above that I missed?

 

I'm thinking of mentioning the day at end of last 1/4 when ds let me know he had a big stack of undone work, and was going into his depression mode so that they can understand why I am concerned.   ???

 

 

 

 


Edited by Pen, 20 November 2017 - 02:04 PM.

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#26 Arcadia

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Posted 20 November 2017 - 01:57 PM

I asked ds about practicing speaking with strangers and he said that speaking in front of strangers would be even worse in terms of causing anxiety.


If he just want to improve his pronunciation, the google translate app might help. My kids would speak in German or Chinese using the app and be amused by what google managed to catch. My kids German pronunciation is quite accurate but not their Chinese pronunciation so they get funny results.
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#27 Arcadia

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Posted 20 November 2017 - 02:15 PM

Awareness about ds having anxiety and the anxiety -> procrastination loop problem.
...
I'm thinking of mentioning the day at end of last 1/4 when ds let me know he had a big stack of undone work, and was going into his depression mode so that they can understand why I am concerned.

I think letting teachers know about anxiety causing procrastination issues is useful to the teachers. My kids procrastinate for different reasons and it has been helpful for their teachers to know why.

I don’t know whether mentioning about the end of last quarter’s mountain of undone work would help as that occurs among many neurotypical high school kids as well. What is different is that most 6th-12th grade kids I know would go into a mild panic, very whining mode and your son went into a depression mode. So I would emphasis the depression mode aspect.

Trouble with taking notes in Spanish--not sure if any notes actually do need to be taken since it may all be on the handouts, but if there are other things not on handouts, some way to work with that? Notes from another student? or capture by smartphone picture? or?

There might be notes. My kid’s 1st grade teacher is Portuguese and she mentioned there were like at least five variants of Spanish. German has regional variants too and my kids teacher would point those out as cultural knowledge to take note of.
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#28 Storygirl

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Posted 20 November 2017 - 04:59 PM

I think you have a good list of things to discuss, Pen. I hope the teachers are receptive!

 


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