An Independent Study in Math
After several months of pushing and prodding, our district finally agreed to allow Smarty to shift from math in the classroom to an independent study option online. We met with student success study team where Smarty's teacher actually surprised us by saying, "Let's cut to the chase. Yes, she needs a different approach. In all my 20 years of teaching I haven't seen a student like that, and she needs to be taught material beyond middle school". It was bittersweet - if this admission came a few months earlier, we would have probably let Smarty finish her middle school where she is at. However, we already applied, paid a deposit, and got accepted to a private school for the next year, and we plan to stick with that path. But in the meantime, at least she gets to try this online option where she will tackle Integrated Mathematics 1 class.
On Saturday, Smarty fulfilled her personal goal of taking SAT in 7th grade. She did put on some work into it using Khan Academy for practice tests. Interestingly, she felt that a real SAT test was easier than practice tests. In practice tests, she was running out of time on timed no-calculator math section, but she said that in real test she managed to complete all questions on time and only had to "guess intelligently" on two math questions out of an entire test. We are very curious to see what her scores will look like once SAT results are released.
Going on a Cruise
We have a lot of special events to celebrate this year. My parents had their 50th year wedding anniversary in February, my Mom is turning 70 in June, my husband is turning 50 in July, and I am also turning 50 in December. We decided to celebrate all these events by going on a cruise on Baltic Sea in early August. It's quite expensive, especially the flights, and I am grateful that both my husband and I are "gainfully employed" and can afford this trip. My husband and Smarty will depart a couple of weeks earlier and visit our German family on their way to Coppenhagen.
Second Trimester Ends
Smarty's second semester ended quietly. They don't have conferences for middle schoolers unless the teacher feels the need. I don't think any teacher feels the need to talk about Smarty unless we bring it up. She is easily delivering straight As, and the only reason her grade is not at perfect 100 is because sometimes she forgets to turn in her work on time and loses points. We hope that she continues to shine in the third trimester, and will keep up the same focused attitude in her new school next year.
Environmental Advocacy Project
Smarty really enjoyed her second term's elective which was called environmental advocacy. First, kids spent some time brainstorming "an umbrella topic" and eventually agreed on ocean health. Then they were divided (randomly) into teams of 5-6 people and chose a project that would tie in with an umbrella topic. Smarty was her group leader yet again, but this time she managed to get her team to agree and perform. Over the course of a couple of months they created several issues of a digital magazine Ocean Observer and shared it with everyone at school. Smarty was quite happy with how this project turned out and her teacher was quite complimentary about her leadership skills. It was great to see that Smarty can have a positive experience of working in groups, because last year she had a much harder time with this.
What have you been up to this week?