Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Parent Teacher Conference

Last week Derek and I went to Carver's parent teacher conference. If you've only ever been to a typical PT conference you are WAY missing out! These preschool conferences are amazing. We spent nearly a full hour talking to Carver's teacher, as well as one of his occupational therapists. It's such a different experience than talking for 10 minutes with his sisters' teachers! I love it.

First of all... Carver is extremely well behaved at school - no tantrums, no hitting at all. They were really surprised that we even asked. We were surprised that THEY were surprised! For awhile there Carver was saying about school, "hit... sad... cry." And we'd wonder what that was all about! He hits plenty at home and tantrums are just a part of communication between us. It's relieving and disappointing at the same time to know that he's so much better those 3 hours a day he's away from us! (makes me wonder what we are doing wrong...) But mostly I'm grateful that he's good and that because of that, he's able to get the most out of the program.

He's their "color boy" and knows at least 8 colors. I see him doing shapes at home, as well - stars, triangles, squares, circles. He still knows a few letters, but hasn't been as interested in that lately. They said that he answers questions right, that he sits criss-cross applesauce on the floor (they found that the cool cushion his old teacher liked was making him wiggle more), participates in singing time and knows the routine. He helps other students with their coats and backpacks and LOVES to help bring out the heavy car road map every day. He showed us and and just beamed. Too cute.

Oh - I loved that they said he was VERY good at quiet hands, that he does it instantly! It's your basic folded arms and we told them that he does it for prayers at home, too. Pretty cool to see the overlap and the success in both areas because he's very good at folding arms for prayers at home. Keeping them folded and not eating his food is another story.

He's meeting milestones and goals from the beginning of the year, some of which might have been too low. But cognitively, it was hard to guess what he knew back then. Now we're seeing an explosion of language and participation, even at home at his grumpiest. Interestingly enough, they said that since the class split into 2 smaller groups, lots of kids have been talking more and making better progress. I'm so grateful that the district hired another teacher! These kids definitely needed the space. His teacher seemed great. We're very happy with everyone there.

In his gross motor occupational therapy, Carver's working on catching balls, throwing balls, bouncing balls, swinging on platform swings, scooting on a "bike" with his feet, riding a scooter down a ramp, and lots of jumping. Jumping off steps and jumping around like a frog. It was great to get tips of things we can try at home. That was the OT we met with so I have more details from her.

As far as speech goes, he's labeling really well with one word. They are working towards categorizing items - name a food or a vehicle, etc... I thought that was interesting. I love seeing how the learning process is broken down to individual steps. Also, they are working on using more verbs in his speech. I've been thinking about that, too. simple sentences like "I like milk" and "want" have been goals I've had for us. He says "hold it" (when he wants to touch something) and other verbs that are slipping my mind at the moment, it's definitely an emerging skill that we'll be working on.

It was super cool to take him with us because he knew right where to go, led us up to his classroom and knew which door to go to and everything. It was so fun to see his place! I can't say enough how GRATEFUL I am for preschool - the very best thing to happen to Carver!


Jilly Bean said...

Wow, Rachael. That is so neat! I'm glad you have that resource.

donna said...

I have always loved parent/teacher conferences or school open houses, but this is just amazing. Chris told me Carver was speaking a lot more the last time he was there. I can hardly wait to see him again.