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assessments in year 2
Q for teachers

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#1 seven times 3

Posted 30 November 2012 - 01:25 PM

Briefly, my DS is in year 2 in NSW and has PDD-NOS. He has had some cognitive testing which indicates low levels of ability and he is struggling in a range of areas.

Overall his teacher tell me he is doing ok and is not the worst in the class (small consolation seeing as he is in the upper part of a 1/2 composite).  However this is at odds with the child I see at home who can barely add 2 numbers together and is unable to sound out words when reading.   I don't want to doubt what the teacher is saying, but at the same time, I need 'proof' that he really can do these things at school, as he most definitely can't do them at home.  
I need to get a real understanding of his 'at school' knowledge base, so I can work out how we can start applying these skills outside of school, because at the moment it is like he leaves all his knowledge in the classroom.

I have a meeting coming up with his teacher. Our psychologist has suggested I ask to see copies of his assessments.  I am just wondering what sort of assessments are done in year 2 so I know what I am talking about?    Will there be actual sheets of work that the child has completed on his own as a measure of his ability?  

Any information about what I should be talking to the teacher about or the best (non confronting) way of discussing this, would be much appreciated.


Edited by quangle~wangle~quee, 30 November 2012 - 01:27 PM.

#2 DrFeral

Posted 30 November 2012 - 01:49 PM

My ds is also at the end of year two. He has told me that he has done maths assessments, a reading level assessment and some literacy based assessments such as writing a narrative. If it was me, I would just ask the teacher for an appointment and be honest how what she is saying isn't messing with what you are seeing at home and you have some concerns.
Yes, you should be able to see actual worksheets etc... I've asked/been shown this kind of thing before.  Good luck with it!

#3 EsmeLennox

Posted 30 November 2012 - 02:01 PM

My middle child is in year two and I am a teacher, although not of primary students. We get regular packages of work sent home - they have been working on addition, subtraction, fractions, volume, weight etc in maths. In terms of reading and writing some children can read short novels, others are still at the beginning stages of reading, however difficulty with sounding words would concern me quite a bit. Recently they have been writing more extended texts like narratives, persuasive texts and letters.

I am not going to kid you OP, I would be very concerned about your son. He might not be the 'worst' in the class, but that is largely irrelevant if he cannot, by the end of year two, reach the achievement standards. It annoys me no end when teachers fob off parents with that kind of line, it is unhelpful and completely dismissive of your concerns.

As a guide, you might find it useful to take a look at the Australian Curriculum and arm yourself with knowledge of the achievement standard for year two students in English and math. Although the AC is not in full swing as yet, the achievement standards are a pretty good guide as to what a child should be able to do by the end of a year level.

See Achievement standard English year 2

Achievement standard mathematics year 2

There are also work samples which you might find useful to look at.

If your son has a recognized learning difficulty has the school implemented an individual education plan and discussed this with you?

Edited by Jemstar, 30 November 2012 - 02:02 PM.

#4 lotsa

Posted 30 November 2012 - 02:01 PM

OP, often your paed or psych can request the results, so explain to the teacher you would like a copy of all assessment results and his percentile so that you can provide them to his specialists, your teacher should be obliging, knowing that specialist are involved.

Yr 2 can be a tad light on the assessment front, it tends to pick up from yr 3 onwards.

#5 *Lena*

Posted 30 November 2012 - 02:14 PM

Yes the assessment could be sheets of work completed by your son or it could be a writing task etc. written by your son in his book. It will look just like a normal work sheet. The teacher is meant to keep the assessment tasks, to prove their marks/grades given to the children so it should be no problem.

#6 baddmammajamma

Posted 30 November 2012 - 02:26 PM

QUOTE (Jemstar @ 30/11/2012, 03:01 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I am not going to kid you OP, I would be very concerned about your son. He might not be the 'worst' in the class, but that is largely irrelevant if he cannot, by the end of year two, reach the achievement standards. It annoys me no end when teachers fob off parents with that kind of line, it is unhelpful and completely dismissive of your concerns.


I am totally with Jemstar on this one. There are some fabulous teachers out there who know how to get the best out of kids with special needs, but it doesn't sound like your son's teacher is one of them. My personal pet peeve is when teachers set a very low bar for kids with SNs or LDs and think it's acceptable if that very low bar is met. Since when is "Not the WORST in class" an acceptable goal?!

I would be setting up a meeting with the teacher and the head of learning support (or equivalent) as soon as possible.

Do you guys have an ILP?

I know this is not a small ask, but can you afford some private testing with someone who routinely works with kids on the spectrum and can really probe the extent of your son's knowledge?

#7 LiveLife

Posted 30 November 2012 - 02:56 PM


My DD is about to finish year 2.  I would definitely be asking for assessment evidence and not workbooks or portfolios (I can certainly confirm that parents assisting in the classroom or over enthusiastic students, aka my DD, will often assist students in the classroom with spelling, paraphrasing, maths answers etc etc so workbooks are a reasonable reflection but will contain elements of assistance.  Assessment should be a much better reflection of performance, perhaps with the exception of a highly anxious child.

Our class has had individual reading level assessment --> there may be a running sheet from the teacher for this and to give you an idea the worst student in our class would be about level 17.  There have been a few maths tests with questions like 68 +24=, 3/4 of 12, name the prism, write the clock time etc and I've heard of scores ranging from 50% to 100% in our class.  There have been two different levels of spelling tests, everyone did a 40 word test ranging from words like "and" through to words like "picture" and those that did well also sat a second harder spelling test.  There were also literacy tests on punctuation, grammar and comprehension (I think 2 in total).  There were also two writing tests at the end of this term (one on persuasive writing which is a new genre and I have seen some childrens efforts are less than a page through to 4 page answers, and the other was a procedural report on "how to make a sandwich" where a two page effort was pretty typical).  


#8 seven times 3

Posted 30 November 2012 - 03:05 PM

Darn it, typed a reply and lost it.

The psych who did the IQ testing (borderline disabled in 3 areas BUT not really a true indication of his abilities due to the ASD) placed his reading at mid year 1 level (this was in term 2 of year 2) and his spelling at late kindergarten level.  She didn't do any maths testing.

I have spent a lot of time during the year looking at those achievement standards (thanks Jemstar) and from questioning him at home, he is unable to do many of the things required.    (in fact just now in the car I asked him  6+5 and he couldn't do it. He tells me he can only do questions like this (ie. with an answer greater than his 10 fingers) if he has beads to count with.  To me, that sounds pretty weak for an end of year 2 skill.

I accept that his ASD can be affecting his 'at home' performance but there comes a time when being able to do something in a school environment becomes irrelevant if he can't translate it into an ability to count out 50c from my purse to take to the canteen.

The problem in a nutshell is that his mid year school report and all subsequent discussions with the teacher, indicate that he is achieving the necessary standard at school, yet at home, he is far, far from doing so.   All discussions at school come down to them saying he can and me saying he can't.  We are at a stalemate without one of us actually calling the other a liar and I am at a loss as to how to get past this stage.

And BMJ, we did have an ILP this year, but it was pretty vague and didn't really achieve anything.  Part of what I am doing now is working on getting something much more extensive for next year, however this is where I run into this problem, because I might want to put on it something like ,  'be able to make collections of coins up to $1.00 and yet the school would say, 'but he can already do that'.

As far as assessments go, this is what concerns me. I have looked at his work books many times, but it is not clear to me whether this work has been done entirely on his own, or whether there was the potential for other kids at his desk to have helped him. I have spent enough time in the classroom to know that a lot of the time the kids share ideas and answers even if it sometimes just inadvertantly by thinking aloud, so it is impossible to know if the work in his books is a true reflection of his own ability.  I was hoping there might have been some actual 'tests' done, where I could be confident that the sheet was all his own work.  It sounds like this might not be the case?

Thanks for the responses so far, any more suggestions on how to proceed would be fantastic.

#9 liveworkplay

Posted 30 November 2012 - 03:37 PM

OP, I think you have every right to be concerned and would be asking the principle to show evidence of his learning. I have a dd who is finishing year 2. she can add and subtract 4 digit numbers in her head and multiple and divide 2 digit numbers in her head. She is also reading chapter books. I have another dd just finishing her fyos who can add and subtract one digit numbers without using her fingers but does have to start at the higher number and count up if the answer is greater then 10. She  is I'm level 16 pm readers.

Edited by liveworkplay, 30 November 2012 - 03:39 PM.

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