Thursday, June 04, 2009

End of School

School is FINALLY over for Mr. Cameron.
He did really well, especially once we got him on the correct meds. His teacher made the comment that she was so pleased to see medication help a child out SO much.
Reading through his end-of-year papers I've come across some news.
First, Mrs. Annoying Principal Woman is LEAVING! Can you see me doing the happy dance?? Seriously. She is going to another school to go back to teaching. I'm sure she's a nice enough teacher, but she's just bugged me as a principal. My main gripe with the woman was the fact that at our FIRST meeting ever, she walked in 30 minutes late, heard us mention that Cameron hits children (but only when he was distracted) and immediately decided he needed a bunch of services that really weren't necessary. She *thought* she was being helpful, but she really just made already nervous parents even more anxious.
Over the years she's mellowed, but I still haven't really liked her. Now, I won't have to deal with her again! *Happy dance*
Second, in his papers I read news that I had already known, but was sad to see anyway. His teacher, who I REALLY love, has decided to stop teaching the DAC class and will now be teaching preschool.
I don't know who his new teacher will be, but I do have some new hopes. I hope that she has a different teaching style for reading.
Here's my main complaint. Cameron IS developmentally behind most of his peers, I get that, I do. BUT he is a smart boy. He learns something a little slower than most, but he still learns it. Unfortunately, the reading program that was set up for this classroom is the Edmark program. In Edmark, kids don't learn letter sounds and how to "sound things out." Instead they learn whole word recognition.
To me this is a completely STUPID program. Cameron has only learned 44 words in his last 2 years in this program (not counting the 30 food words that they had for lunches), and really, he hasn't learned them very well. He SOMETIMES recognizes the words, but mostly he gets the words mixed up with other words. And then he feels bad about it because he says he KNOWS the word, but he gets confused.
Poor Cameron would love to pick up an easy reading book and read it, but he can't. Unless you know of a book with these random words in it: "horse," "yellow," "car," "fish," "boy," "airplane"...
I've decided that over the summer, on the days he's NOT going to The Learning Center, I will take him to the library, let him pick out a book, and then I will help him read it. I REALLY want him to be able to read a book on his own. I know it would really help him with his self-esteem.
I'd tried to add the goal of being able to read a book into his IEP, but it never made it. I don't know if my hope for him got pushed aside because they didn't want to work individually with him, but it's not there. Instead his goal is to read 90 words by December, and 100 words by next May. I'm so discouraged over this.
Since school got out yesterday, Cameron has been HOUNDING me for things to do...wanting to do the activities IMMEDIATELY! He's SO used to a schedule, and I am NOT a schedule person.
On top of wanting to do things all the time, he's a bit confused. He's had plenty of small breaks throughout the school year that he thinks that summer break will end on Monday so he can go back to school. I have to constantly tell him that he's not going back to school until September. It just doesn't compute.
I miss him being in school, but I'm excited for the things I HOPE to accomplish.


Jewelle said...

I can't believe they use Word Recognizion! I HATE that method of learning to read. I really don't see the point of it. I was sure that D91 had a policy on learning reading through phonics. Hmph! Maybe things have changed in the past four years. I don't see a problem with you putting reading a book in his IEP. Maybe you just need to fight harder. Sometimes teachers can be opinionated on what is best for child and forget that the child's parents really know things that are good for the child! ;) Good luck finding things to do!

Deanna said...

My mom used to help us read at book a day...granted, with 7 children it was a challenge, but we became good readers because she helped us ALOT! It took a lot of time, but we really looked forward to mom 'helping' us each night. My youngest sister has some learning disabilities, and it has been challenging, but I think that if you're able to, Cam will learn more from you than his teachers/aids trying to help 28 other kids. Good luck! I think going to the library is a wonderful idea! I agree with Jewelle - word recognition...ick!

Elena said...

I swear by the book "Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons." Teaches phoneme awareness, it's awesome! (I adapted the lessons to my own style for my kids and it worked really well.)

And those nachos below....ummm hello! Yum!

Dawnyel said...

Thanks for your support, ladies. I'm just frustrated with what's BEEN going on, and hopeful that the new teacher will be more helpful.
(Oh, in DAC--Developmentally Accurate Curriculum--there's a cap on the # of students...this year he only had 12 kids in his class, but I think the max # is somewhere around it's not a matter of having a TON of kids, but they're all special needs and need a LOT of special attention...)

Kim said...

I can relate to Cam needing a schedule. ALthough this has been the first week of summer break, I'm bored and ready to go back to my classroom for a few weeks. How sick is that? There is a great word list that one of my fellow teachers found for our ESL class, which is also geared towards helping at-risk students. I will see if I can find it and send it your way. It's a little different way of thinking how to approach the reading thing since Cam is so much younger than the kids I'm used to working with. If I get some ideas I will send them along. In the mean time, hang in there.

cressfamily said...

Hang in there...Going to the library is a great idea. There are also alot of preshool/kingergarten web sites that have reading helps on them. I used to have a list of them. I'll see if I can find it, but you can google preschool and it bring a ton of thins up hope that helps.

You can always come for a play date. We are usually here.