17 answers

Third Grade Teachers or Mom's

My Son is in the 3rd grade, and is having a really hard time. I am trying everything I can think of, staring with Omega 3, Herbal focus formula, Sylvan, tutor in school. On top of that, I try my hardest with him at home. He is well behaved in school, and there has never been a complaint about his behavior. He is not hyper active. Grades are sent hope every week, but I have never seen any graded work from the teacher. Homework is not graded when I get it back, and my son says that they go thru it in class. I just don't understand how I am suppose to know how to help my son, if I can not see what he is doing wrong. Every time I email the teacher She never answers the question on why graded work is not sent home. Is it normal for teachers in the 3rd grade to not send graded work home? I would appreciate any suggestions.

1 mom found this helpful

What can I do next?

So What Happened?™

I want to thank everyone for there suggestions and advise, it has really helped me. I have already set up a meeting with the Teacher, I will meet with her in 3 days. So what really helped is everyone suggestions, I have written down a bunch of things so I can go through each concern with her. I have also emailed my son's Tutor at the school (tutors my son 2 days a week) and expressed my concerns with her. This has helped so much, now I know that I'm not over reacting, and that I'm doing the right thing, by perusing this issue with the school. If I am not satisfied with the meeting with the teacher, I will contact the principal.
I have had my Sons eye's checked, and he does not need glasses. He has always done one sports activity that we let him do, because I feel that he really needs a break, but it has been too stressful this time. With game, practices during the week, he gets very tiered. I have talked with him and he agrees to take a break from that. I hate for him to stop, but I do think that is the best thing to do for now. I hope I'm doing the right thing. Thank you all so very much, I appreciate all the feed back.

Featured Answers

I would go and speak with the teacher. I try to make a point to walk into the school at least once a month and speak with my kids teachers even if it is only for a minute if there is a problem she could let you know then. I would also ask if she minds to email you often to keep you updated on his progress. Most teachers are willing to keep you updated if you ask. Good luck!

1 mom found this helpful

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Since in 3rd grade kids get more responsibility, and they go from learning to read to reading to learn, this is often the time that issues surface. My daughter went through what you describe. I contacted the teacher and she got some "reading recovery" help. Then in 4th grade things got worse. I wrote to the principal about my concerns and in Massachusetts the school has to respond in writing in 30 school days. They convened a "team meeting" with special ed folks, and at that meeting it was determined based on her record, that a "full core" of testing was warranted. The school tests found that she either had an anxiety disorder or lacking executive function (ADD). I may be skeptical, but I think in general the school will skew their testing to find something medical so they do not have to spend money. We had a private neuropsychologist test her further, and he found ADD (the non-hyperactive subtype) and dyslexia. She is now on ADD meds in 5th grade (tried Vyvanse first which did not allow her to sleep but had great daytime results, now she is on Concerta which has good daytime results and lets her sleep). She still has dyslexia issues (misreads small clues and cannot spell at all) so we are not done "fighting" the school system. The neuropsych wants her to have writing and reading instruction per the Orton-Gillinham method for dyslexics but the school finds her not eligible for an IEP since she makes decent grades. I would write your principal and express your concerns and the details you mentioned above. I would image that "no child left behind" has similar rules in SC as it does in Mass. Also make sure that his whole day is not only about school and all the things he has a hard time with. Here the rule is 10 minutes of homework per grade, so in 3rd grade that should be about half hour per day. Let the principal know you are spending 3 hours. That was exhausting for me and depressing and annoying to my daughter. School should teach her, you should just provide the love and space and time for him to do the work, not re-teach everything. You are being a good mama, but it is time to get the school to do their part. Good luck. Her is a great website about dyslexia : http://www.dys-add.com/define.html

2 moms found this helpful

The teacher should be sending home graded work. I have taught for well over 10 years (7 in 3rd grade) and ALWAYS sent home graded and ungraded work. Homework is rarely graded - only reviewed.

If you cannot get an answer through email, call and schedule a conference. She should be able to discuss with you what she is seeing in class. If you cannot get a reply from her you can contact the office to set up a meeting with the teacher and the principal.

Whenever I see a student that goes from Bs one year to Ds the next, I have lots of questions. What is different about this year than last year? Did anything change in the home? Is the child stressed over something? Did he get lots of help one on one with the teacher last year and is not getting it this year? What is happening during instruction that is keeping him from learning? The only way to answer these is with a discussion with the teacher.

As for testing, most schools have to follow federal/state/district guidelines for RTI (response to intervention). If a child is failing or struggling, the teacher should be working on RTI at some level, whether it is in the classroom or through some other program at school. If your child is not receiving help, you should know why. Although a child should not have to fail to receive help, they do need to show an academic need. To be tested, many districts require the teacher to show what interventions have been tried (there are 2 levels for the classroom teacher to work with along with another level for specialists) and have not worked (child is still struggling/failing) before testing takes place. I will be honest, the paper work can be very overwhelming with all the documentation required. Beginning paperwork can take hours to fill out, and the documentation can takes weeks/months to gather.

Step one - set up a conference with the teacher or the office if the teacher will not respond. This is the place to start.

Good luck!

2 moms found this helpful

Really homework shouldn't be recorded grades. They should only be a gage so the teacher can see how he's doing.
3rd grade is where things start to get harder.
Actually go in and talk to the teacher instead of emailing , she may not check email. Some people don't like to use email.
I'd also look into evaluating him for ADD-Inattentive type or dyslexia.

1 mom found this helpful

contact the principal and ask about the teacher not responding to your email. You can have a parent-teacher conference in front of the principal if need be. That's WEIRD for him to not have any grades on his work. If you are to be an 'active parent' in his learning, then you need more feedback than just a report card every 6 or 9 weeks. Good luck -Jess(former 3rd, 2nd, and 5th grade teacher).

1 mom found this helpful

Have you SPOKEN to the teacher?
In person?
And, in what ways is your son having a hard time?
Keeping up with the curriculum?
Understanding the teacher?
Has his eyesight been checked?
Can he see the blackboard
(or whatever color those boards are nowadays)?

1 mom found this helpful

Just go in and meet with the teacher either before or after class. My kids always brought home graded homework, so I'm not sure what's up with that. That gave us an opportunity to go over it and try to figure out where the mistakes were made, etc.
It sounds like his grades have really dropped and you and the teacher need a game plan to help get him on track.
Your son learning and feeling and being successful is certainly a priority so I think you should talk to the teacher about how you can work together to help him improve.
Maybe she's not grading the homework and just has the kids go over it in class to correct it or whatever. I don't know. But with his grades dwindling, I think you should have every right to ask at what point things are going downhill.

If you still don't feel like you can get a game plan in place, speak with the principal about it.

I wish you the best.

1 mom found this helpful

I would go and speak with the teacher. I try to make a point to walk into the school at least once a month and speak with my kids teachers even if it is only for a minute if there is a problem she could let you know then. I would also ask if she minds to email you often to keep you updated on his progress. Most teachers are willing to keep you updated if you ask. Good luck!

1 mom found this helpful

work is sent home weekly in a special envelope. some work is kept for conferences and for portfolios. we haven't gotten some of the graded work home but we did get other childrens' graded work. we sent it back and then asked the teacher twice if anyone had returned my daughter's work. we check online at gradespeed and see the grades, but I agree with you 100% we want to see the work. Her teacher also ignores emails so I started stopping by once a week. I was a teacher so I know to start off with a compliment and to state my support for them being responsible. Still, it gripes me that kids are sorting the graded work and not sorting it correctly.

1 mom found this helpful

Real quick....what kind of issues is your son having?

1 mom found this helpful

Meet with the Teacher.....
See what is going on IN class....
Also, if you can, talk with other parents in his class..... and see if the Teacher is just not responsive or just a bad Teacher....

I don't understand, how he can be getting D's and F's... if he is also being Tutored and you try to help him.... and he is getting tutored in school....

There is a disparity.. in the work/grades he usually gets... and now, in this 3rd Grade class... for some reason.
So.. investigate....

And the Teacher never responds to you, when you contact her...

Meet with her.... talk to her and see how she teaches/organizes/grades her class...and what "problems" if any, with your child....

My Daughter is in 3rd grade...the Teacher sends home, WEEKLY, in a folder, the kids finished in-class work AND their daily homework.
AND she always, calls back or e-mails back... when a Parent contacts her. ALWAYS. And she always explains... her curriculum and Teaching to the parents... and informs them of any concerns.... with any child, with the Parent.

Or, if your son cannot write simple sentences or read... then take him to the Doctor... maybe he has learning issues... vision, Dyslexia etc.

In the 3rd Grade as well.... there is a jump in complexity of the work... and what is expected... much different from 2nd grade.

all the best,
Susan

1 mom found this helpful

That sounds a bit strange. My two older kids are 1st grade and 5th grade and they have homework every night and work they completed at school sent home every night.
Also my oldest child (son) has a focusing problem since he was a small child. Always well behaved and polite and continusly the last one to finish a task in class. Finally towards the end of 3rd grade we with our PED dr decided to put our son on Ritalin then the dr changed the Prescription to Focalin. For us this was best choice. Now he is an A student. He still has a focusing problem but it is much improved.
I would ask if you could meet with the teacher ASAP for a parent teacher meeting. Preferably in the next week to get your son back on track. Also see if you can get a honor student from the HS to tutor. If you want to ask me anything just send me a note.

1 mom found this helpful

I would arrange a parent teacher conference to go over his work and what is happening. I would approach it as teaming up with the teacher to help your son. Can you look at his homework before he turns it in to see where the problem is?

It is pretty normal for teachers not to send home graded work, or at least I haven't seen much of it.

Email doesn't seem to be effective communication in this case. See if there is homework help available (our library has live online help from 2-10)

1 mom found this helpful

K.,

I would suggest that you request that the school evaluate him to see why he is having such issues. I am not discoraging you from helping him, but if you do all the work, they have no idea what he needs, and his needs may soon overwhelm your ablity to both help him and provide services and pay for them yourself. The school is obligated to eduate him. Find out why his grades are bad, he does not have to fail to get help. It sounds to me like this is in the learning disablity category, but it may not be. While sylvan has a place, it should not be the first line attack. I would suggest two things, first, make an appointment with a Neuropsychologist and get an educational evaluation so that you know exactly what your son needs, and second, write to the school and request an evaluation because he is stuggling in (blank) then list all the areas he had difficulty with. There should be a meeting to discuss what evaluations will be done, and frankly, it probably should have happend already if his grades are like they are, and the school should have initiated it.

Once you have both, you can supplement what ever he does not get from the school so that he gets everything he needs. That way, you are getting him all you can, and the school takes the first role in his education. It will probably work better that way, and you will not have so much frustration and keeping up to do with his work.

M.

I have not been seeing too much "spontanious" RTI from schools. Unfortunately, it usually takes the parent writing a letter requesting evaluation, which is expensive, to make a district follow the 3 tiered process for RTI. RTI is perfered by IDEA, but not required. It certainly does make sense, and it would be great if it were done, but what I am seeing is districts hidigng behind RTI as a defense for why they are not doing anything about the kids who struggel, or why one of them missed being identified. Theoretically, a child who is not picking up on learning in any area, should be started with the first teir of RTI as soon as in class interventions are unsucessful, without parents needed it make any request, but that is not what is happening. Kids are still struggling in classrooms wtih typical instruction and are not being refered for evaluation, nor placed in RTI, and parents like K. are finding themselves exactly where parents have always found themselves, struggling to provide so that their child is a success and not hearing from the school first, being forced to sound the alarm alone. I wish it were different. RTI would be a great alternative so that so many kids were never identified as LD, and ended up making progresss, but from where I sit as an advocate, parents still have to make the first move to get RTI, and they must still go forward and make the formal written request for an evaluation, and if there is RTI to be had, they might get it. It is sad, but I am not sure most parents want RTI once the child gets to the point where they have to make the request, it is just about too late for that once parents figure out how to navigate the system. Very sad.

1 mom found this helpful

A really hard one to answer without kowing more. If it were my son (who is also in 3rd) I would request a face to face mtg with his teacher and tell her your concerns. All teaching styles are different-my son has a teacher this year decidedly different from others but she explained all her methods and reasoning on teachers nite and it made sense. My son hardly ever even GETS homework and I rarely see anything graded. She is one of the best in the state though so I trust her.

But if you are noticing a difference in any other aspect I would talk to his doctor. Get a full physical for him. I hate to speculate but things like concussion can cause changes.

And one more thing...try not to be too frantic with him on things until you can get to the bottom of it. Sometimes we make matters much worse I think.

1 mom found this helpful

Hello~ Yes, you should be receiving grades paperwork weekly. Also, I would set up a meeting (asap) with the counselor and/or principal along with the teacher. Write things down before you enter the meeting. Express your concern for your son, not recieving graded work and no communication with the teacher. This happens more than you care to know. Be proactive for your child and look out for him. By doing this you're doing nother wrong. Good luck....

It seems like your son's school is dropping the ball. Regarding his teacher not sending home graded homework, I think that is wrong. She should be doing that and she should be answering your questions as to why you aren't getting that graded homework. I would cc the principal when you email her and ask her again. If you do not receive a response I would make an appointment to speak with the principal. Secondly, if your son is having this difficulty and he doesn't have behavioral problems, they should have referred him to have an evaluation. The problem needs to be identified so that he can get the help he needs. It may be a simple learning disability that can be treated with therapy. You're not doing anything wrong, Mommy. You just need to make sure his school gets and gives him the help that he needs.

Not only would I be demanding a teacher conference, but also emails or phone calls from her. You should be getting graded papers back-even if only for a signature and return to teacher- as you need ot SEE what your child is doing. Barring the return emails or calls, I would call the Principal of Education-if your school has one- OR just the main Principal. This is something that shouldn't be being ignored by your teacher. CC your principal, so that he/she see you are trying to get hold of the teacher. Sometimes that alone will get the teacher to respond. he/she sees that big brother is also watching.
It could be that your child needs glasses, is being bullied, sititng next to talkers or annoyers. There are alot of variables in this situation but the main one that needs addressed fast is why his grades are slipping.
If it were me, I'd be at the school! Our teachers get a break time when the children are in 'specials' to see parents, make phone calls, do conferences, as well as prepare lessons. Most all schools have started 2nd quarter and those that are showing low grades should 've been scheduled for conferences automatically. Don't wait! Good luck!!

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