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Really shocked after parents' evening - my perception of DD is totally different to her teacher's

(17 Posts)
RTchoke Thu 18-Oct-12 19:50:18

DD is Y2 but as an August baby she is very young for her year. Thankfully she has always done brilliantly at school and her reports etc have been glowing.

Today we went to parents evening and were shocked that the teacher thinks DD may have "problems that could need investigating in the future" because she is not progressing "evenly" in all areas.

Basically DD reads very well and voraciously (free reader for over a year), does v well in spelling tests (full marks on every test this term), has a good understanding of maths (knows most of her times tables and can do quick mental addition and subtraction of one figure numbers). But at the other end of the spectrum she writes all her numbers the wrong way round most of the time, can't rotate shapes, struggles to use a number line (bear in mind she is good at mental maths) and fails to spell correctly in her story writing despite being able to do well in tests.

Are these disparities really a sign of a possible problem as the teacher suggested? I'm really surprised by her assessment.

AlphabetiSpaghetti Thu 18-Oct-12 19:55:21

I'm no expert at all, but good mental abilities but writing numbers backwards, spelling and all the things you describe may point to possible dyslexia/dyspraxia. The teacher is possibly suggesting she is tested in the near future. Tbh, I would see this as a positive, as the earlier these discrepancies are picked up the more help she can get. I really wouldn't worry yourself. Your daughter obviously has a perceptive teacher who wants to make sure she is fulfilling her potential.

neverquitesure Thu 18-Oct-12 19:58:10

Sounds like you've got a very intelligent girl who could possibly be using that intelligence to 'work around' the things that are causing her problems. This seems to be the case with her spelling where, when she concentrates she excels but when her mind is in a different gear she forgets to use the same methods and makes mistakes.

I'd have a large wine, digest the shock, then be really thankful that the school are so on the ball and have so much faith in your daughter's intelligence and ability level that they know these mistakes are not normal for her.

Easier said than done of course!

HumphreyCobbler Thu 18-Oct-12 20:01:54

I would send a child like that to a behavioral optometrist in order to rule out a visual tracking problem - it is something that needs to be checked out given your description of her abilities.

I know things like this come as a shock but the school sound like they are doing the right thing.

mrz Thu 18-Oct-12 20:07:31

Most children who achieve 10/10 week after week in spelling tests get the same words wrong in their daily writing... it's why spelling tests aren't particularly useful.

mam29 Thu 18-Oct-12 20:19:16

It could be she just learns in different ways.

number square visual aid for kids who cant do mental maths.

reading-you says thats good how do they say her phonics are?

My dd year 2 10/10 spellings bit her written work is very bad spelling mostly struggles silent letters and spells phonetically.

Mrs Z-do you think spelling tests are waste of time?
as my dd seems to forget so does well to the test.

NotWilliamBoyd Thu 18-Oct-12 20:24:05

I think that spelling tests are pretty much a waste of time as children learn the words for the test (sometimes only being able to spell them if the words are given in a certain order) and do not transfer their spellings to their wider written work. Also, the way most schools do spellings is a new list every week (maybe with any errors from the previous week repeated) so longer-term retention is not checked for.

I would also say that most teachers are very aware of this, and IMVHO lots of schools set weekly spellings simply because parents expect them to..... certainly I am aware of the outcry when schools try to change the system (round here anyway).

girliefriend Thu 18-Oct-12 20:34:19

She sounds really bright, what does free reading mean? Does it mean they can read independently?

My dd is in yr 2 as well and has similar problems, in particular writing her numbers backwards ie the number 21 will be written as 12, I have parents evening next Monday so am going to be interested to hear if this is still a concern. I am not overly concerned tbh as I think her understanding is good and she is only 6yo.

Am interested to hear the views on spelling as my dds school has a no spellings policy - now I understand why!!

TheBuskersDog Thu 18-Oct-12 20:57:41

girliefriend I assumed when the OP said her daughter writes her numbers the wrong way round she means the individual digits, i.e. 9 looks like P, rather than in the wrong order.

BlueSkySinking Thu 18-Oct-12 22:22:24

I think most issues iron them selves out by 7. Past this they do look at things like dyslexia. It's great if your teacher has a feel for things and can help get your DD's needs recognized. She is obviously bright girl.

Tgger Thu 18-Oct-12 22:28:05

Well, it could be because she's only 6 and won't be 7 until August, or it could be because her brain struggles with certain things. I would be inclined to think the first, but prob best to watch how she gets on over the next year or so and see how things are then. Just bear in mind that a lot of kids abroad at her age are only just starting to learn to write so that puts some of her "problems" in context!

KatyCustard Fri 19-Oct-12 17:23:12

I know it must have been shocking and hard to hear as a parent, but I think you are very lucky to have a teacher who has picked this up. I have been convinced my daughter has some underlying and subtle difficulties that never the less really hamper her achievement but school just won't listen. If there is no problem then this will become apparent as time goes on and with further assessment. If there is then the fact that it has been spotted now can only be a good thing.

Kerryblue Fri 19-Oct-12 18:13:35

I agree with KatyCustard. I have been convinced my dd has underlying problems since mid way through year 2. I have been told she hasn't, she is fine. They did not listen.

Only Monday just gone, at a private consultation paid for by me, she has been diagnosed with dyslexia and has a reading age 18 months below what it should be.

I would say to you, the earlier anything is spotted the better. My dd has huge issues with self confidence at school (not socially, but academically) now.

Revel in what she can do. And if she is tested for any problems in the future and doesn't have a problem, then brilliant.

Girliefriend, try printing out some arrow cards (google numeracy resources) to use in forming numbers from 11 to 19. My y1 dd 'got it' in half an hour using these, after having struggled.

Spelling tests are well known to be fairly pointless (among teachers at least), but popular with parents. I look at the five words dd gets every week and use them to talk about spelling rules (eg this week she had 'like' and we talked about the split digraph and worked put how to write spike, Mike, etc.

Don't know whether it will help her spelling, though!

There was a ) missing there. blush

RTchoke Sat 20-Oct-12 09:46:25

Thanks for all your advice. I do appreciate that the teacher obviously has a close eye on DD. I still don't quite "get it" though. Her evidence of a problem is poor spelling in everyday writing but not on tests (which you all tell me is normal), back to front numbers which again seems sort of normal for a just turned 6 year old, poor use of a number line (which I think can be explained by the fact DD prefers to add and subtract in her head - and if she gets the right answer does the method matter?), and not being able to rotate shapes.

Anyway, I am less freaked out than I initially was. It is good they are watching her. I will watch her too.

auntevil Sat 20-Oct-12 12:45:39

RT - one thing to remember. Regardless of whether she might or might not have any further issues, there is growing evidence that there is a higher than average IQ in those with Dyslexia. I have been repeatedly told this by professionals that have dx my DS with this (he also has dyspraxia).
DCs develop strategies to help them find ways around the things that they can't do. The above posts are right when they say that it isn't until 7/8 that a dx of dyslexia would be confirmed as there are still possible developmental stages that could change the outcome.
Re the maths. DS mental maths is amazing. His results when using a calculator are pretty woeful. I would say encourage your DD to make sure she shows her working out. The sums that they do will get increasingly more difficult, and when they get to division and multiplication combined with decimal places, mental maths might not cut it.
Showing her workings will show several things. It will show that she understands the principal techniques, will help practice writing the letters the right way round and can be self checked at each stage. What it might also do is give evidence if there is a continuing problem.

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