It breaks my heart for Tessie that she has YET to have a normal school year. Her kindergarten year got cut short with the shutdown and then her first grade year was far from normal. We are hopeful that 2nd grade will be her first TRUE experience at school!
Thankfully she doesn’t know any different and has loveeeeeed 1st grade so much. She struggled a good bit with the transition to kindergarten and I truly believe her first time meeting her first grade teacher made the difference in how she felt going into this school year. Her teacher made an instant connection with Tess and had a special bond with her all year long!
Tess EXPLODED this year in her social skills, personality, confidence and academic skills too! Tess is THE youngest in her class. Her birthday is literally just days before the first day of school and we opted not to “red shirt” her (meaning we didn’t hold her back a year before starting kinder) so she is literally the youngest in her class.
While I don’t regret the decision (my main reason for not wanting to red shirt her for kinder is that I developed really young and since Tess seems to be my “mini-me” in a lot of ways I didn’t want her to be super young and way ahead of her peers physically) I do think it played a role in her struggles to adjust to kindergarten and she was probably just more READY for 1st grade!
In first grade they do not yet give out numeric grades but instead, do a system to ratings for special areas with either satisfactory, needs improvement or unsatisfactory. Not shockingly, Tess scored all satisfactory across the board this year.
They also rate on a scale of academic performance level for her main school subjects. Consistent achievement mastery being a 3, progressing toward mastery is a 2, and limited or minimal progress is a 1 rating.
From the start of the year Tess received 2s and 3s in all areas and by the end of the year had all 3s in every academic area.
Most impressive though is her reading! I am blown away by how quickly Tess has become quite the little reader (takes after Kye for SURE as she is ALWAYS reading!). At the beginning of the school year she was at a reading level 7 and by the end of the year she was at a reading level of 22. CRAZY!!!
Just to give an idea of what those numbers really mean a “7” put her in the level of a 2nd 9 weeks 1st grader or 1st nine weeks 2nd grader. The “22” puts her at above a 4th nine weeks 1st grader and at the level of a 4th 9 weeks 2nd grader! She made such a HUGE leap in this area and I know her natural love for reading had a large role in that!
My favorite thing as a mama is def reading through all the teacher notes! Her teacher said “Tess is such a pleasure to have in class. She is always kind and helpful.”
She also said “I am beyond proud of Tess! She has blossomed so much since the start of the year. I have loved watching her grow in 1st grade and I pray you have a wonderful summer and 2nd grade year!”
Tess made many new friends this year and was especially drawn to the boys in her class. I think it’s so neat and really goes back to Tess and Carter being cousins born so close together and having that natural bond from birth. Since she was so close with him from the very start I feel like she’s naturally drawn towards playing with boys and having boys as friends!
Tess really surprised me in how SOCIAL she is! If you asked me of the three big kids which would be the most social I’d say Britt 100% but when it comes to the school setting TESS is the most outgoing and social of the three followed probably by Kye! It’s so interesting to me how their personalities will differ from home to school!
We are so very proud of Tess and thankful for the awesome year she had in first grade. I know she will only continue to blossom as she enters 2nd grade and I pray she’s as blessed with a wonderful teacher and fellow sweet students as she has been this year!