Help for 6th Grader Failing Math

Dear Teacher

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Coping with Overcrowding

My daughter’s first-grade classroom is overcrowded. The children aren’t getting quality instruction, and the teacher does not have time to accomplish all she wants to do. Volunteer parents are the teacher’s only help. Who can we (a group of concerned parents) improve this situation? A few of us have written letters to the principal, but nothing has been done to address the issue.

First grade is an extremely important year in school. During this year, time will be spent teaching children to read and do basic addition and subtraction. Realistically, the children will have wildly diverging skill levels, from those who can read to those who are just starting to learn the sounds of letters. The same is true with math abilities. It is difficult for a teacher to make sure every student gets all the individual help needed when classes are very large.

School districts recognize the importance of having smaller classes in the primary grades. Unfortunately, they find it difficult to do with tighter budgets. Parents should voice their concerns even though it may be difficult for the school to change things.

There are some things you can do. Set up a well-organized and trained volunteer program that can assist the first-grade teacher. Members can also raise funds through the parent-teacher organization to pay for an aide for this teacher as well as others in the school.

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