Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Black It Is!!!

You've got it! I'm obeying and painting the hutch black!
And I've to tell you all: I'm particularly happy because my Mom gave me the leftover black paint from her bookcase project. Woo Hoo! Free paint!

But I have a problem: I don't know if I can distress this monster. Here's why:

Do you see where that drill is sitting? The counter top there? It's a lovely mid-70's laminate. Oh yes it IS, girlfriends! How in the heck to I distress that?
I would think it's already distressed enough, knowing how ugly it is. Ha.

Okay, so I took all of the doors and hardware off yesterday and scrubbed it down with TSP. But I didn't get it primed.

Because I had to take a nap, that's why.
Don't hate. Sleep is important.
I'll prime today - I promise.

In other news, we had the Noodle's conferences last night.
It wasn't pretty.
We were told about her struggles with math (which we know about) and her struggles with reading in Spanish and English.
And how she needs to hurry up and learn this stuff because it's only going to get harder in the 4th grade.
I was shuffling through the papers and noticed her scores are exactly in the median of her class. I mentioned this and then the teacher then conceded that this problem is happening all over the 3rd grade.
FOR THE LOVE OF GOD. How can I fix this? I mean, last year she tested into the gifted and talented program and this year she's in the "needs extra help" program! How the heck does that happen?
She gets home at 4:30 and there's just enough time to do homework, eat dinner and read a little before bed.
I don't know what to think. I'm so upset. I looked into a math tutoring facility and it was expensive (over $200 a month), but I'm thinking we should go for it. I don't want her behind in the the 3rd grade, for Pete's sake!
Mrs. Fortner? Internets? What do I do?? HELP!

I'll tell you what I DID do: I ate my feelings.

They were delicious.

Turns out my feelings taste an awful lot like Ben & Jerry's Half-Baked Ice Cream.


Michelle said...

Hmm. Gifted and talented one year and "needs extra help" the next"? It sounds like something changed in her classroom environment. Could it be distractions from friends or not connecting with her teacher? Does she need glasses? Especially given that this is a problem throughout the third grade, maybe it's an issue with the curriculum? I'll be very interested to hear Mrs. Fortner's take on this.

My feelings taste a lot like Ben & Jerry's Oatmeal Cookie Chunk.

Cutzi said...

Homeschool her for the rest of the year. Honestly, she'd probably get more done in a few hours a day concentrated on reading and math than she would all day at school and extra tutoring too. There's no reason a sweet little third grader should need to wrack her brain at school all day, come home and do homework and see a tutor on top. It might stress the poor girl out so much that she gets frustrated.

My mom taught 4th grade for many, many years. Parents were always concerned about their kids not reading and she always told them not to worry - they'd get it. Man - I'm just realizing how strong my opinions are on this! Hold on to your seats! Reading is so foundational - it just doesn't seem like it's something she should rush through or start to hate because it's hard. My mom always told parents to just have their kids read. Anything. And read aloud to them. Good books that they'll love and that will make them love reading.

There. That's what I think. Keep it all in perspective Martha. She's sweet, she's happy, she's a little girl - she'll get it. It's just like anything - sometimes it just takes a little longer for some people.

I'm totally embarrassed by my long comment buy I'm hitting publish anyway....

And, as always, missed you!

The GG said...

Let's talk.

We had a similar issue last year with Smackie.

Catholic Runner said...

reading in spanish in the 3rd grade. Hell I am 42 and still can't do that.

Gifted one year and needs help the next ~ sounds like a school issue, not child issue.

I don't know what to say but hang in there, at this rate she could be gifted again next year.

Suzy said...

Okay. So my oldest son is in third grade as well, and last year he kicked ass in math and this year he brought home a math sheet that he totally bombed in. I asked him what's up. He says it's because the grade fours always do really fun stuff in the hallway whenever they work on their math sheets...they're loud, and they distract him.

Not likely.

Amy said...

Wow, I was so surprised when I checked your site and got to read TWO new posts!

I think in some subjects the difficulty can really jump between grade levels. You should talk to my sister, former math teacher and now does some math work with her son's second grade class. She might have some ideas on how to help the Noodle. It's worth a try before going the $200 tutoring route.

Michelle had B&J Oatmeal Cookie Chunk ice cream??? I need to find that flavor! Yum!

Sarah said...

I am at work and have lots to say, look for my insight tomorrow. Don't stress sister. I promise.

Shari said...

Martha, I've been a long time reader who has never commented before but this post really struck home with me. My daughter (now 26) started having trouble with math in the third grade. Some professionals said she had a math learning disability...others said no...but the bottom line is she struggled with math all through her school years. The only thing that got her through math was lots of extra tutoring every and at one of those expensive learning centers. We spent thousands and thousands of dollars for tutoring services (in addition to private school tuition) and I look back on it now and don't know how we ever did it on our very middle class income.

Here is something you might consider before enrolling Noodle in the learning center. Contact your local high school or junior college for the names of several honor roll girls who might be interested in coming to your home 2 or 3 times per week to work with your daughter for perhaps an hour on all of her homework, but the primary focus being math, or other problem areas. Interview them to see which one you think would connect best with Noodle. Girls your daughter's age usually think it's very cool and respond well to having a teenage "study buddy" and it will probably cost you far less than the learning center. This little extra one-on-one time might be all she needs but if after a trial period (perhaps one grading period), your daughter's grades and math comprehension don't improve, then you could always consider enrolling her in the learning center then.

Good luck! The school-age years can sometimes be a real roller coaster ride for parents.

Mara Oakvik said...

Hi there!! Your hutch project looks like fun! I have picked one up on Craigslist- so I am embarking on a similar project!! I hope all is well with you.
I do have one question though... do you remember that yummy Risotto that you made at TW? I thought that I had a copy of it for myself, but I can't find it. Do you have it??

Sarah said...

Ok, here are my thoughts in condensed version:

1) Is there a specific skill/ area that she is having difficulty with? If so, you could focus on these areas with her.
2) What curiculum is the district using? There are some that spiral and are not very good at teaching the basic skills (facts, time, money, etc.)
3). Third grade does get much more high stakes because of the state mandated testing (MCAS)... so I am thinking that is why you are maybe seeing the discrepancy between 2nd and 3rd grade?
4.) If the teacher can tell you the areas where she is having the most difficulty, you could work with her. There are great resources on the internet, or even at teacher supply stores that you can use as resources.
5.) Involve technology wherever you can. Kids think that type of learning is fun. There are some great free websites, and software programs designed for kids to improve and feel great about their math skills.

Let me know if you need anything, I would be happy to help.


Lisa said...

Hey Mart,
lots a good advice here, eh? Isnt it awesome to have such nice helpful friends..

Im totally down with Sarah the school teacher. Shes so smart! (and gorgeous) oh and pregnant. love her, and you. Dont stress out toooo much. She will get it, not all children learn exactly the same things and definately not all at the same time.

hows that cabinet coming?
Your friend here out at the beach.
coastal nest