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skipping 1st grade?
Old 07-16-2012, 05:47 AM
 
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Good morning,
My husband mentioned last night that he thinks our daughter would benefit from skipping 1st grade and going straight to second. She has always been very bright for her age, since she was small, and she did show signs of being bored during Kindergarten. We had several conversation where she said they worked on things all day that she already knew how to do, so she just read a book instead. She is already reading some chapter books (Junie B Jones) by herself and can is showing great comprehension after reading. Her math skills are good and she is very interested in science! She would be a little young, 7 in January, but has always been very mature and outgoing.
'm not really sure how to address this with the principal at the school. Is there some sort of test she could be given?
Thanks for any info you have!


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In our district...
Old 07-16-2012, 06:14 AM
 
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There is a test that is given, and the student has to get a 98% on it independently and without any help reading the test (and this is for just going to the next grade's math). It is very difficult for students to skip a grade level. I personally am very hesitant about students skipping grades- some have the academic skills needed, but their maturity level is just not there.

If this is something that you think she is really ready for (academically and emotionally) talk the the principal right away. Our district has certain time guidelines for them to even consider a jump in grade levels.

It sounds like she is bright ( I had 4 or 5 first graders that came in reading Junie B) last year. It also doesn't sound like she had a very challenging class atmosphere last year, yes silent reading in an option, but there are other differentiation options for higher level thinkers and readers. What did her K teacher say about her strengths and any areas for improvement?
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I wouldn't
Old 07-16-2012, 06:17 AM
 
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There is a huge jump between kdgn. and 1st grade expectations, so I think she'll be fine. I have plenty of incoming 1st graders with strong skills, so I make sure to give them work at their level. I would maybe ask that she be put with a teacher who is strong in differentiating for the higher level students, but I wouldn't deprive her of a year of her childhood. What's the rush? Good luck with whatever you decide.
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Old 07-16-2012, 06:21 AM
 
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No way. A child may be "advanced" academically at that age, but due to developmental ranges-they could "even out" by 3rd grade.

Moving a child ahead that early on is very difficult for the child socially. I'd rather my child be "bored" in school and have friends, and eventually be placed in a gifted program or just be "the smart kid" who is well adjusted, than to skip my child ahead and have him/her end up being "just average" academically and socially awkward.
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Old 07-16-2012, 06:28 AM
 
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This decision is one that will impact your daughter's peer group also, not just her academics. She might be fine stating 2nd as a six year old, but how about starting high school as a thirteen year old?
I agree with pp - ask for a teacher that provides differentiation in the classroom. Does your district have a program for gifted and talented students? I'd just look at this decision from all directions.


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Old 07-16-2012, 06:48 AM
 
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Quote:
Moving a child ahead that early on is very difficult for the child socially.
I had 2 1st graders like your DD last year. They both benefited in being with their age group. I can't image either one skipping a grade.

I'd suggest waiting a few years. I agree with the PP. A teacher who provides provides differentiation is the way to go.
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skipping 1st
Old 07-16-2012, 06:54 AM
 
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The maturity issue would be my concern as well. Often the youngest child in the class is the first to cry. Thinking years into the future, your daughter would also be the last one in her class to get a driver's lis. It would also send her off to college a year earlier. Are you sure you want that?
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Skipping a grade
Old 07-16-2012, 08:20 AM
 
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My DS's first grade teacher strongly suggested I home-school him or skip second grade and go to third because she thought he was so academically advanced.

I said no because of all the reasons the pp's posted and more.

So he was placed in the gifted program and graduated from high school this year in the top ten of his class with a full scholarship. He was also accepted into the college honors program. I honestly don't think that would have happened if I had moved him on.

Be sure you really look at the "big picture". Just my 2 cents!
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please do not
Old 07-16-2012, 08:45 AM
 
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take a year away from your child. I have seen this trend many times over and although academically it may work there are so many other things to consider as other pp's have said. As a teacher and a parent we all know how much children learn and grow in one year. I know you do not want to take that away from your child.
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gifted
Old 07-16-2012, 10:49 AM
 
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As stated before, inquire about gifted programs in your district. Did you ever discuss this situation with the teacher? Very often parents believe their child is exceptionally bright, but that doesn't mean they should skip a grade.


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missing out....
Old 07-16-2012, 11:49 AM
 
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That's the grade I teach and there is SO much that the kiddos learn in that year. Even the high kiddos benefit from a lot of the whole group stuff - especially in phonics. Her teacher should recognize that she is high and give her more challenging assignments. I'm afraid your daughter would just miss out on so much academically and socially by skipping that grade.
Just my opinion. You do what you think is best as a parent.
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Not me
Old 07-16-2012, 03:47 PM
 
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My daughter was much like yours, but I didn't skip. We just had her tested and placed in the gifted program. She scored at the 99.8 percentile on the math portion of the test! However, I felt she would be better off socially with her own age. She also had an AMAZING first grade teacher who met her needs at her level!
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Skipping 1st?
Old 07-16-2012, 05:37 PM
 
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I teach 1st and there is a big jump from K to 1st like PP have pointed out. I don't think parents realize how much! The maturity level is a big factor as well. She would be the youngest in the class, especially with a bday in January.

I would say let her go to 1st and inquire about gifted programs, if you think she still needs something "extra." However...give her 1st grade teacher a chance to challenge her as well!

Good luck!
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Skipping
Old 07-16-2012, 05:46 PM
 
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My granddaughter skipped 1st grade and went directly from k to 2nd grade. She did just fine and in fact during 3rd grade scored a perfect score in the state testing. She is not having any trouble socially . I think it is a personal choice and the decision has to be made that is best for each child.
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You are the best judge!
Old 07-16-2012, 06:02 PM
 
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A year ago I would have said don't skip a grade. HOWEVER, as a teacher I actually experienced this for the first time.....
I teach 2nd grade and had 2 girls in my room last year who skipped first grade. One child was truly gifted and she would have wasted a year in first grade. Parents were so glad they made the decision to skip first grade! She scored at the top of the class and will be in the gifted program next year. (our district does not serve gifted students until 3rd grade) The other child did fine in second grade. She was not gifted but needed a more challenging curriculum than first grade.
I think it depends a lot on your school. Do they offer gifted instruction in first grade? Will teachers differentiate to meet her needs? Go with your gut. I know both parents were happy with their decision to skip a grade.
BTW, both girls were tested before the decision was made.
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Old 07-16-2012, 06:13 PM
 
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I can honestly say that the jump from 1st to 2nd is almost as big as from K to 1st now. Our expectations for 2nd have increased dramatically in the last few years. Developmental time is not currently appreciated. The biggest thing about skipping first is not the academics in most school districts. First is primarily focused at social and "structure" for lack of a better word. We teach expectations in first. Procedure, behavior, responsibillity, homework, routine. It is a much longer day without kinder naps. It is an enormous year for social skills: problem solving, using words, compromise, co-operation... The right teacher would make all the difference. I had kids reading that high or higher in first grade before. It is not out of the range of normal. I suggest looking more at the writing. It tends to be more of a developmental indicator.
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Old 07-16-2012, 06:56 PM
 
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I was a child that was a year ahead. I graduated fifth in my class. My sister was in the same situation and graduated as salutatorian. I started high school at 13 and just felt ahead, which was nothing but positive. I even had the nickname "13" from several boys in my class who liked me (so socially I was just fine). I liked getting my license last because I didn't have to drive to lunch and waste my gas. I went to college at 17 and was one of the few who couldn't go to bars on Thursday night. That's NOT a bad thing!

School was never a challenge for me, so I never really got the fact that I was there to learn. I looked at it as I was there to get the job done. I was in gifted classes that were a joke. I told my mother I was going to coloring class. It wasn't until post-graduate work that I realized that the process of learning could be fun and that learning was the goal, not getting the next A and crossing it off my list.

Only you know your daughter and how far ahead she is. I would contact the school and see about a test. The test may answer your question, and she may need to stay in first. Think about second if it becomes a possibility.

The thing about differentiation is that you have to rely on the luck of the draw every year. Some teachers are great at it. Others are bad. It sounds like you had a bad one in kindergarten. Maybe first will be great. Maybe second will be bad. If you have options in your district to select teachers, you can avoid this a little. However, most of the time, it's pure luck of the draw. Deal with what you get, and don't complain unless you want to run the risk of being "that mom."

I think the "evening out" that is often spoke about by third grade is due to a child not being challenged. If you don't challenge the top, of course it's going to even out! I kind of looking at it more as the dragging down of the top to a more manageable class environment.

Check with your district and weigh your options then. Talk to your daughter about what she would like. Really honestly evaluate your daughter's abilities and take it from there. Her parents know her best.
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my opinion
Old 07-16-2012, 07:41 PM
 
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My cousin did that as a child and struggled when she got to high school.
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Tough Decision
Old 07-17-2012, 05:59 AM
 
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I had a friend who jumped her little girl ahead. The child did fine during elementary years. Academically did great the rest of her school career. However when I asked her if she would do it again, she said," NOT on your life. I was always the last to do everything!"

Sometimes the decisions we make today are not always the best for the child in the future.

Good luck on your decision.
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Old 07-17-2012, 09:28 AM
 
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I have taught K and now teach first. Like PPs said, there is a big jump. PLEASE consider this carefully. I would never do this for my child, and would not in a million years recommend it to anyone else. I had plenty of kids in my first grade class this past year reading Junie B Jones and beyond, and they never showed boredom. Plus, in most schools, first grade is able to be more differentiated and a great teacher will be able to challenge her.
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Skipping a grade
Old 07-17-2012, 10:33 AM
 
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We were always told that we had to consider 5 areas before they could accelerate a child: academic, social, physical, psychological, and emotional.

If the child had high scores in all 5 areas, then they would accelerate them.

Then the principal changed and went ahead and accelerated 2 kids without any testing. They didn't do well in the emotional and social areas with lots of crying and highly immature behaviors.

Do you have access to this kind of testing?
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Mine did it
Old 07-17-2012, 10:48 AM
 
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she skipped 3rd grade though, went to a big 10 college and is now at MIT she did have some bullying issues, but was able to handle it. I really think you have to know your child. Mine asked to be moved for two years (she was tracked out of her classroom for most of the day already). If you were really sure I don't think you would have to ask anyone. Good Luck! I am sure there are lots of stories out there both for and against this, just follow your mother's instinct.
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Skipping
Old 07-17-2012, 12:06 PM
 
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This past year I taught at a school specifically for gifted students. I taught 1st grade and had a class of 18 high achieving students. The majority of the students in my class were extremely high in most academic areas but there were still gaps that they definitely needed 1st grade for, for instance: many could read at a high elementary/middle school level but didn't necessarily comprehend all aspects of what they were reading, could do basic 1st grade math skills but didn't have the higher order thinking skills that our curriculum required, could write stories but spelling, grammar, and basic organization was all over the map, etc.

Also, as high as they were academically 99% of them were NOT mature enough socially to function well enough in 2nd grade. I had one student out of 18 who was so high we did skip her to 2nd grade after about 6 weeks in first however that was a special case.

I really don't advocate for skipping grades and honestly, all teachers should be differentiating within their classroom. I have yet to see a typical class where all students are functioning on the same level. It's also important to note that differentiating for gifted/bright students doesn't just mean giving them more work to do either.

I definitely recommend having her tested for gifted services and speaking with her new teacher about her concerns regarding her not being challenged. I can honestly say though that after reading your description she doesn't sound that high, in my opinion. Being gifted has a lot more to do with then just being able to read well.
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I would wait
Old 07-17-2012, 12:37 PM
 
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unless your child is miserable. If she is happy and loves school I would leave it alone. However investigate what they will be doing in the class. Speak to the teacher and find out what she does to challenge students. Your child is most likely not the only one that can read well and is a math whiz. Find out about activities the school offers. A gifted program, music lessons, foreign language..etch. Involve her in extra activities after school, brownies, piano, dance, sports...

I have problems with kids who the principal took in that were younger because of the cut off date. They can do the work and are smart but they are not as mature as the students that are the correct age. They usually have behavior problems of some sort. She takes them early to fill preK class went our enrollment is low. (private school$$)

Think about high school would you want your child to go to the prom or be with kids who drive when she is younger.? I would let her be a child as long as possible. Why rush things? I wish I was younger...
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Speak
Old 07-17-2012, 12:43 PM
 
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with your principal soon and share your concerns. Ask for placement in the class whose teacher has a track record of meeting the needs of top-performing students. Ask about what the district offers as part of the gifted program. If they don't begin it until higher grade levels, encourage her teacher (or you could) to consult with the gifted teacher for ideas to use on a long-term basis within your child's classroom.

I'd really carefully think over the prospect of pushing her ahead. Only you and your husband can weigh all the pros and cons. Good luck in your decision.
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Bravo
Old 07-18-2012, 04:32 AM
 
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Very well said! As a first grade teacher, I agree that your child will miss out on so much socially, be put in with a more mature peer group (think high-school...dating, driving), and have some missing building blocks for the next grade. It is so much easier to challenge a student! I have always wondered why parents think it is bad for their child to be at the top of the class!

Last edited by Melissa/1st/TN; 07-18-2012 at 04:40 AM.. Reason: Thought I was only responding to one person, not entire thread
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Old 07-18-2012, 01:27 PM
 
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You've got great perspectives from all viewpoints here, but I will add my own as a child who was reading a book in the back of the room while my peers were learning something I already knew. It can be socially isolating not to be in instruction with your peers and can single the child out who is "ahead". There is also a mentality at times that the child is being asked to wait so that others can "catch up". I was in a class with same age peers and I did struggle socially, and a lot of the teasing was around being a "nerd". I also once had a terrible personality conflict with a teacher who was tired of me correcting her and pointing out where she was overgeneralizing -- all because the information was designed for kids at that grade level and not for someone where I was in my learning.

My parents considered skipping a grade with me, but I ended up being pulled for our school's gifted program instead. That was fun and I did independent study projects, but it did not take the place of a real education. I didn't really get that until I got into middle school and there was an honors track, so that I was finally with other students who were learning what I was learning and who valued achievement in school the way that I did.

I grew up before differentiation was a concept, so maybe it's different now - but I don't think it's different enough. If your daughter needs second grade level instruction, she isn't going to get it in a first grade classroom. She will get enrichment and extension in a classroom with a good teacher. Does she actually need the 2nd grade work, or does she need an enriched first grade experience? This is what I'd ask about when you meet with the principal. And I would make sure that whatever class she is in, she is actually receiving instruction from the teacher WITH other students and not just sitting in the back of the room reading by herself.
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A year ago I would have said, "No".
Old 07-19-2012, 12:29 PM
 
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Now I'd say that you need to look into skipping. I've been reading and reading about how to best serve gifted students. I think that depending on the child, skipping a grade COULD be a great opportunity. You know your child. Do what you think is best. I wish I would have moved my daughter forward.
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Old 07-29-2012, 09:12 AM
 
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I'm shocked that not a single person suggested the obvious next step:

Ask the teacher.

I certainly don't mean any disrespect to your parenting or post when I say this: Almost every parent would say their child is bright. Children, as a rule, are! The teacher can tell you where she is socially, whether she makes friends (I had a little girl spend all year in first grade just learning that!), how she works independently (can she sustain attention to 2nd grade tasks?), whether she has the basic skills ('ahead' in math doesn't cover the steps of addition with regrouping or composition/decomposition of 2-d and 3-d shapes).

Also, the 'bored' thing should have been addressed with the teacher during the school year. I've had parents tell me that, and had to respond that their child was 'bored' because he was throwing pencils instead of doing work and then confused about what to do. I frequently have kids read when they're done. I take "I'm bored" with about as much seriousness as, "What did you do today?" "Nothing."

Maybe your kid IS ready. The principal doesn't know your kid, but the teacher does. Ask her opinion and LISTEN to her response, and then go from there.
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