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Irritated by parent



I have a parent that I actually like - she is a nice woman and does a lot for our school (volunteer, etc....) but she has now told me twice that her daughter doesnt like school because she is so bored.
I know her daughter is very smart and she is above grade level in every subject and I think that's great but i can't teach the class like everyone is a 3rd grader just because she happens to be smart. I teach 1st grade. I have the core content for first grade that I must follow to be sure that the other students learn what is expected.

her daughter is in the highest guided reading group and there are 3 other students in the group with her that read just as well as she does and the books I do with them are challenging. I make centers so that all students can do them independently - for example my word zone center has vocabulary for low, medium, and high functioning students. Writing center is designed so students write to their abilities. I've told the student she is welcome to select any book to use with the leap pad because I know some of the books are very easy. I've put more challenging books in the library center. I added 4 challenge words to our weekly spelling list. But some subjects I just have to do what the core content tells me to but it's not like I do ditto's all the time. I do activities where she can express her knowledge while at the same time my lower functioning kids can be learning as well.
I know she will want to bring this up again at conference and i'm out of things to say. I dont know what else I can do?

Miss C

Senior Member

What a tough situation! Have you thought about putting her "to work"? Occasionally, I'll let a student who really gets it help a student who doesn't. I've not done that much this year, but I used it the other day and it worked well. I had explained a math thing to one student multiple times, and he raised his hand yet again and said, "Miss C, I still don't get it!" I was in the midst of helping yet another struggling student and couldn't get back to him. Another kid ("W") was finished with the exercise and really understood it, so I said, "'W', would you help 'J'?" "W" was happy to do it. It gave him something to do, and, whatever he said to "J", "J" got it! Anyway, it's a thought. :)


Senior Member
Above grade level student

Have you thought about sending her to a second grade classroom for your Literacy block? At the beginning of this year I had a student who was extremely smart in all areas. I had initially done all of the things that you are doing for your student. Even though he was in my highest guided reading group, he was still bored and not challenged. After meeting with his parents and my administrators, we decided to send him to second grade for just reading/literacy. He did so well in second grade that he actually left my classroom and skipped into second grade full time. I even heard that there is a chance they might skip him into third! Of course, we were worried about him being socially mature but he seems to be doing fine and he knows that he has the option to do what he feels comfortable with.

Anyway, back to your student, is it possible to put her into second for just reading and see how she does? If she doesn't do well, she can always come back to you and mom might back off if she sees that her daughter didn't do well when challenged.


High students

We've let one really high kid attend the next grade level's language arts class. They didn't "move up," they just attended for that one hour.

Check out the Centers posts. There's a *great* post on Smart Box Centers. It might take a little bit to get started, but she'd always have something to do. (Worth it-- and the whole class would have the same opportunities!!)

She could researd the Olympics or Iditarod for 2006. I like to approach my classroom like a newspaper does: local, national, world. So, I always try to bring in what's happening in current events.

I was thinking of implementing an extra project once a month for anyone with extra time. It would parallel the Smart Box Centers, but I was going to pick a monthly theme. Students would research a book, a magazine/newspaper article, and the internet as resources. I was thinking of creating a general rubric that would be applicable to any research project, and the topic or theme could be anything: animals, food (like researching chocolate history or something like that), health. It would be totally optional, but would be that extra challenge for such students. And it wouldn't take up a whole lot of time for me.
Try to extend any current lessons you are doing even farther. Send home a project, offer extention activities in the classroom. Add a step to her lessons. I know you're offering higher level reading, and that's good, too. You also need to access what kind of learner she is. Would she rather sit and write or read or have hands-on projects? Then determine some extensions to her learning from this. Good luck.



It sounds like you are doing lots in your classroom to plan open ended activities so her progress is not limited. Be proactive in the interview instead of waiting for mom to bring it up and then reacting to it. Make it clear that you are aware of her daughters high skill areas and you are allowing for that in your daily planning. Detail how you do this as you just did here.

Gifted children are not necessarily gifted in every area - its likely she needs grade level materials in, say, math or science (or social development). Perhaps at the conference you could suggest that this bright little girl get started in piano or art lessons where her high level skills would be challenged and expanded. School isn't the only place she needs to be challenged - challenging her after school would help.

Does the girl act bored in class, or does she seem happy to be there? Be sure to mention that in the interview. All grade ones find a way to get some extra attention from mom, and saying she's bored seems to get that for her. (So her skills are "at grade level" in that area. :) )

I'd be wary of using her too much as a peer teacher, as parents can get defensive if they feel you're doing that in place of giving their child her own learning opportunities. That being said, if she responds really well to that, perhaps she'll at least stop telling Mom she's bored.

We do have a small group of highly skilled Grade One readers/writers doing a research project with the school librarian - they meet with her weekly and work at a very high level on the internet as well as using the library books, and then present their findings to the class at the end of each research unit.

Carrie in WV

Full Member
"Mastery Club"

Have you ever heard of the Mastery Club, developed by Heather Renz? She is a teacher in Oregon that has a long list of great things to learn that go "above and beyond" the normal classroom topics. She teaches 4th grade, but I was able to use her ideas and add some to it for my 5th graders. Maybe if you took some extra time you could search out other teachers who have used this club geared for younger kids. I never have kids say, "What may I do now?" anymore!

Check it out!