Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Smarty Pants

We've always known that Thomas was a smarty pants. When he first started talking, he said "ki-hee" (kitty), "cup", "ball", and then..... "hydrau-kiss" (hydraulics).

Yes. His fourth word was hydraulics- and he knew what they were too. He could point them out to you on ANY contstruction truck, and tell you what they did for that truck. Smarty pants.

When it was time for him to start Kindergarten, we weren't sure whether or not to send him- he turned 5 two days before school started. But he was big for his age, and, like I said before.... a smarty pants. So we sent him. It's been a struggle, and I will say that I wish we had waited another year. He's always gotten good grades, but it takes a LOT of work to get him to focus and learn.

Starting in Kindergarten, the kids take standardized achievement tests on an annual basis, but they don't really "count" until third grade. Thomas is now in third grade. He started this school year at a new school with new ways of teaching everything from basic math to reading comprehension. I didn't realize there were so many ways to add 4 plus 4. The answer is always 8, but they get there in a LOT of round-about ways.

The standardized tests are given twice a year- in the fall and in the spring. The fall test is only for reading, but the spring test is reading and math. If they don't pass, they don't go on to 4th grade. Thomas has been struggling to learn the new techniques utilized by this school. He's been in reading intervention all year, even though he passed the fall reading achievement test with flying colors- 426 out of a possible 520. We were SO proud of the little dude!

Since he passed in the fall, we didn't place any more emphasis on his reading to help him increase his score in the spring... but he did. We just got the results back, and he scored a 442 out of 520, putting him in the highest category of achievement in the state- "Advanced". The school average was 423, the district average was 420, and the state average was 415. My baby scored a 442- nearly 7% above the state average.

But wait... what about the math? Remember- there wasn't a math component in the fall. Out of a possible 520, Thomas got a.... *drumroll*..... 502!!!!!!!!!!!!
The school average was 434, the district average was 419, and the state average was 418. Thomas scored 84 point over the state average- a whopping 17%. HOLY CRAP! I am stunned. We've had him tested before for intellegence and learning disabilities, because his IQ is genius level, but he's underperforming in school based upon that IQ. His grades in school are still below his abilities, but his achievement tests show he IS picking up the concepts and applying them correctly. OUT-FRIKKIN-STANDING!

We still haven't determined where Thomas will go to school next year- my new house is in a different district. I would LOVE for Thomas to go to school in my district because their overall achievement scores are better than his current district- on a school AND district level. No matter where he goes next year, I hope we can continue to improve upon his daily performance in the classroom to ensure his success on next year's tests.



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