Friday, November 18, 2011

Report Cards: Quarter 1

Rebecca is an 8th grader this year. Top fish in the middle school pool. She earned all As... HS Algebra, HS English, HS Arabic (actually at the HS), PE, Science, Civics... and a B+ in Chorus. Chorus was the class she was so looking forward to this year. Great teacher, fun class, she really enjoys learning music. That was her excitement level at the end of last year. It hasn't turned out as hoped. The teacher is rarely in school, easily missing 2-3 days a week. There's a concert coming up in 2 weeks and they don't know a single song all the way through yet (after an entire quarter??). And worst, when the teacher isn't around he doesn't allow subs to do any form of practice, even though the accompanist is there every day anyway and knows what they are working on. Instead, they rewatch movies (they've seen "Newsies" multiple times) and they do worksheets. Worksheets are rarely finished in class but are used for grades.

It's also frustrating for Rebecca because she's used to being a class favorite, a teacher's pet if you will. She works hard, she volunteers, she's responsible and smart and helpful. On the days she comes to school after Arabic (bussed from the HS) and doesn't have English to run to, she goes to the math class as an assistant. Her Civics teacher adores her. So to have the Chorus teacher not only play favorites but honestly not give her the time of day, hurts. She'll go to his classroom after lunch with the teacher's actual class pet, and he'll ignore her. To the point that even if she's talking directly to him... he'll walk away. He doesn't call on her in class, he doesn't choose her for small groups. He has his favorites that he goes to every time whether or not she volunteers. I'm honestly not sure what is going on and not sure what the next step is. It sounds petty, and a B+ isn't the end of the world, but it's also a tiny knife to the heart for the kids who prided herself on straight As the past 2 years (yes, one B+ allowed even then, they came in 4th quarter), and Chorus as a gimme grade.

Anyhow, for her effort this quarter, she earned a new alarm clock for her room. Sounds a bit evil, doesn't it. But she asked for one as the last one is roughly 5 years old and doesn't show numbers anymore. This one charges her ipod, plays chosen songs for her alarm, and all sorts of other nifty things.

11/17/11: First quarter grades: Rebecca

Nicholas is a 6th grader. Little fish in the middle school pool. He seen what neat stuff Rebecca has gotten the past couple years due to her excellent grades. He wants the same thing, especially getting As for the year... and an iPod touch for his efforts. This quarter was all As but for a B+ in Language Arts. He's been lacking PJ pants for a while, so we got him these (they are quite long.. and he still could use a couple additional sweatpants) and tossed in the slippers too.

11/17/11: First quarter grades: Nicholas

Jonathon is a 5th grader. Top fish in the elementary school pool. He earned 3 As and 2 B+s, the best report card he's ever gotten. One B+ in Writing, no surprise that it's not a top grade, but a big surprise it's as good as it was! The other B+ in Science, which is actually a little odd. But we'll take it. We gave him a Triop raising kit. The best part was not only his excitement at getting it, but when he said "I have to keep getting good grades!"

Last night he set up the tank with the sand and water (we glued the tank to some heavy tiles, the tank is light weight plastic without feet to keep it from easily tipping over) and this morning added the eggs. We'll see if anything hatches!

11/17/11: First quarter grades: Jonathon

So there you have it. Good grades not only get rewarded at school... Nicholas has his Honor Roll Luncheon today... they get rewarded at home. We acknowledge tough subjects (a B+ in Writing for Jonathon is equal to an A in our eyes) and try to let the hard work that goes into good grades get proper respect.

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