Monday, November 24, 2008 ;
11:25 PM
12 Nov
Parent-teacher conferences

On Wed, I went to school. I was scheduled to have ds2's conference first in the Nursery classroom. It was from about 3-3.30pm. His 2 teachers talked to me at length regarding what he does in class, his strengths, weaknesses... How we can work together to help him reinforce his strengths, to achieve his fullest potential, and then how to improve on his weaknesses.

They also described several anecdotes and amusing situations involving him in class. We had a really good chat. I was able to better understand what goes on in class and how he behaves in class too, which can be sometimes totally different from at home. Yet some egs were so typical of him that I could just laugh.

eg. When they described him being at once very busy with something else whenever they signalled it was time to tidy up, it was exactly like how he is at home. It's just so funny to hear that.

Then the school admin arranged for ds1's conference to run right after ds2's so it was perfect. I strolled over to the Kindy class and the teacher was waiting for me already.

For Kindy, because it involved more work, like reading, writing, math etc so there was a lot more concrete evaluations the teacher showed me. For ds2, the teachers mainly told me about his social behaviour, art work, numeracy and literacy in general but they have no sit down work or writing etc so there was not much in that to show me.

For ds1, I was shown his reading level at the start of the school yr, and his current level, how they assess the kids, and I was also shown many pieces of his writing work, how they developed from Sept till now. Some were too precious, it was funny and so heartwarming at the same time.

I bought him some shoes, and he actually wrote a piece on the shoes. I didn't know the shoes meant so much to him. Stuff like that.

The teacher also said they tested him on his phonics and were surprised that he didn't know them. He didn't know the sounds to the letters, so they were surprised because his reading level is very advanced. I don't know what system of grading they used, but she told me his level is above 15 now, when most kindergarteners (here) start off at level 0 at the beginning of the year. He started at level 10.

I laughed and told her it was because I myself don't know phonics, and all that he learnt in reading was through me reading stories to him. So he remembers the words are pronounced that way but doesn't know how to break them up or sound them out. She told me I didn't have to worry cos they are teaching the kids phonics right now. Good!

We also talked about his social strengths, about Math (he's supposedly very strong in this area too), and his amazing knowledge about animals and such general knowledge.

She told me he has a habit of peeling his finger skin though and we both need to work on getting him off the habit.

I think ds1's conference was very detailed and I was very happy with both conferences. I knew exactly what to do when I got home also.

Their elementary school head has also called me up twice at home, just to discuss at length about my kids and asked my views about the school. I was quite impressed. I don't think my primary school principal had that much time. I don't remember her calling my mom up to ask her for her views.

I am getting to like this school community a lot, even if there are some things they may not organise well, and perhaps my kids are not doing as much work as the kids back home in Spore.

I also got the chance to talk to their Chinese teacher, and she is really good. I only wish they had more time for Chinese, just 2hrs a week for ds1 and half hour a week for ds2 is not enough. I have to do my part with them myself I think.

14 Nov
Assembly and awards

I wasn't there! I didn't know he was going to receive another award, because I thought every student will get one and ds1 had gotten his already.

So when N smsed me that "T got a cert and is smiling from ear to ear. Z took a video of him for you." I smsed her back "you must be kidding". Cos she had tried to trick Z this way the last assembly.

Then I received an email from Y (the Japanese/ German mom friend) later that morning with 2 pics of ds1 receiving his cert! I was like, huh??!?

She said he got it for PE, and I was incredulous. I still didn't quite believe it. Then I was on the phone with Z, who told me all about it, and said she will pass me a copy of what she filmed.

Then I received another email from PC, who is the Msian mom whose hubby is with GSK, and she too emailed me a pic of ds1 receiving his award!

I was flabbergasted.
1st: I didn't know so many moms were there, even when it was not their child's class that was performing. I thought if ds1 is not performing then I wouldn't go.

2nd: I didn't know ds1 was getting an award. I wonder how he felt about my absence.

3rd: I didn't know the other moms were all so nice to me! They knew I wasn't there, saw my son getting an award and all helped to snap a piece of memory for me! Then they went straight into action, sending me the stuff right after assembly. They sure are some good friends. How blessed I am!

(later on the teacher emailed me another copy, because she said the specialist teachers are not familiar with the procedure of informing parents when they have selected a child for the award. they're sorry i wasn't aware.)

This is a class book that ds1 brought home. The class, together with the teachers and TAs will make class books periodically and each child gets to bring them home to share with their family then bring the books back.

There was one on UN Day that I liked. Another on the Teddy Bear's Picnic (I didn't know so many YouTube videos on Teddy Bear's picnic were available, was surfing the other day and enjoyed so many different instrumental renditions).

This one is on Animal Classification.

How to take action.

Can you see the pic in the center? That's me with ds1 sitting in the red sofa, reading a book together.

Finding out.. (Conclusions)

My mom, kids and me were taking a stroll through our estate's garden after picking ds1 up from the bus stop.

Our estate used to be a train station, so the train tracks and tank engine is still here. A lot of history, this place. The kids love to walk along the train tracks and pick up pebbles to toss.

rainbows every day, do not worry for the morrow

about us ;
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-{dear-son}-ds1 T
-{dear-son}-ds2 J
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