Another pull-out schedule question

Discussion in 'Special Education' started by waterfall, Jul 21, 2013.

  1. waterfall

    waterfall Phenom

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    Jul 21, 2013

    I thought of this when I saw the other thread but didn't want to hijack! My first year I pulled kids out at the same time every day. It was an easier schedule and the teachers always knew when they'd be gone, but the problem was that they were missing the same subject every single time. I was allowed to pull them out any time basically outside of direct instruction for a subject (the first 20 minutes of most subjects and the first 45 minutes of reading). So if I pulled them out of math or writing, they'd miss a chunk of work time every day. My principal had said that they weren't required to make up work that they missed, but it still didn't sit right with me. So my second year, I varied the schedule so that they got the same amount of time with me but it was different every day- for example 2:45 on Mondays, 10:30 on Tuesdays, and so on. I thought it would be better because they wouldn't miss the same thing all of the time, but a lot of the teachers couldn't keep track and never knew when the kids were going to be gone. My kids who liked having a set schedule didn't really like it either. So which one do you think is better? Or do you have another solution? I know the program I'm going to next year is basically all pull-out because the caseload is very large.
     
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  3. agdamity

    agdamity Connoisseur

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    My school pulls them during the subject they receive services in. So they are pulled for math during my math block (I have 90 minutes, so they are pulled after the first 30--they still get the lesson, but miss the rotation portion). Our literacy is 2 1/2 hours, so they are simply pulled sometime during that block. Because my grade is tested in science, they do not pull at all during our science time, but sometimes they pull during that time in other grade levels. I definitely think it's easier on everyone if they have the same schedule each day.
     
  4. bella84

    bella84 Connoisseur

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    I much, MUCH prefer having the same time every day. I know I can't even keep things straight when the time is different every day. So many of my students have trouble staying organized that I feel bad expecting them to keep up with a schedule that even I cannot keep up with. I find that having a routine works best for 99.9% of my students (and it sure doesn't hurt the teachers either!). It seems better, in my opinion, to have a student miss the same thing every day than to have them miss something one day and be further behind all of the other students when they are in class the next day. Most of them have a hard enough time keeping up as is.

    I typically try to pull out during the second half of each area... So, for example, I pull kids out for math after math has already been going on in the regular classroom for about 20-30 minutes or so. It's become harder to plan pull-out times for reading and writing because my school has switched to a units of study model with common core now being implemented. Each teacher's schedule has about a 2.5-3 hour block that simply says units of study. They could be doing reading, writing, spelling/phonics, grammar, or content (social studies, science, health) at any time during that block, and the specific time for each activity changes on a daily basis. I have to work with each teacher to help them determine which work the students need to be help responsible for completing and which work is okay to excuse them from. We're required to "double-dip" our students so that they receive instruction in reading and math in the regular room as well as the sped room, so I do my best to make that happen. If a student totally misses out on a particular subject (i.e. spelling), then I make sure to cover it in my room and provide a grade on the report card.

    I have to say that I was extremely lucky for this upcoming year. The majority of the teachers I'll be working with told me to plan my schedule FIRST, and then they would plan AROUND ME. Amazing, right?!? :woot:
     
  5. waterfall

    waterfall Phenom

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    Jul 21, 2013

    That's awesome!

    My problem was that every class had their 90 minute reading block at the same time, and all but a couple of my students saw me for reading goals. So I could pull one group during the second half of reading (was not allowed to pull out the first 45 minutes, so that was my planning), but then I had 5 other grade levels to schedule a reading lesson for at some other point of the day. So I could have a kid with reading goals only and the only time I am able to pull their group might be during writing or math. They get the lesson, but if I pull them out at the same time every day they NEVER do the assignment or practice any of the skills, so then they fall behind in those subjects even if they didn't originally have deficits in them. I picked the kids up every day, so the kids didn't need to remember times- I just know that some of them liked to know something was always set for the same time. It's possible that my new school won't have everyone doing reading at the same time, but from what I've seen that's basically how it is done around here so that kids can go into other classes for reading groups if they need to. "Walk to reading" is very big around here right now.
     
  6. bella84

    bella84 Connoisseur

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    Hmmm... That does make for a tough situation. My understanding is that my current school used to have a similar predicament before my time. Our admins kindly requested, but didn't require, that grade-levels stagger their reading blocks to better accommodate the need for pull-outs (whether they be resource, counseling, reading intervention, or something else). Most grade-levels seemed to grasp why this was necessary and were willing to accommodate. As a sped department, we also made sure that we shared the wealth when it came to reading services. By having more than one sped teacher provide reading services, more kids could be pulled at the same time. But this was an option for us because of our supportive admins and the number of sped teachers we had. I don't know the parameters of your situation... Perhaps you could share the predicament with your admins or co-workers and see what they suggest? Especially since you're new to the school... They may already have a plan for how to work around this.
     
  7. Tasha

    Tasha Phenom

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    I would rather have a preset time. We don't have all our schedules exactly the same and I usually adjust my schedule around my pullout students as much as possible, but that doesn't work for the grades that switch classes. I try to schedule it to be the end of reading or writing workshop because my pull out students typically don't have the stamina of the rest of the class. They still have reading and writing time to practice the skill, but aren't ready for extended self discipline to stay on task.
     
  8. bella84

    bella84 Connoisseur

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    That's awesome that you're willing to make adjustments to accommodate your students being pulled out!! I'm sure your sped teachers are VERY appreciative of your willingness to do so. :up:
     
  9. waterfall

    waterfall Phenom

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    Hopefully they do already have something in place! I'm just trying to brainstorm ahead of time. I'm the only sped teacher so no one to "share with." There is a behavior teacher and a severe needs teacher but I'm the only mild-moderate. Unfortunately my state does not set caseload limits so that's often just the way it is. I would honestly not be surprised if I had 40-50 students on my caseload. I do have a para, but I was kind of envisioning her helping out more in the regular classroom.
     
  10. bros

    bros Phenom

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    Jul 22, 2013

    They get pulled out at the beginning of the class in which they receive services

    i.e. if they have reading from 8:20 to 9:50, they go down to/start walking to the resource room at 8:20 and stay there until 9:50
     
  11. bella84

    bella84 Connoisseur

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    Yikes! That's a lot of students!! We don't have caseload limits here either, but the most I am aware of any one teacher having at any time was 22 students. I don't know how I would even handle that many. I really hope they don't put that kind of pressure on you.

    I will have a para helping me out this year too. I'm also planning to have her push-in to the regular classroom. However, I've decided that, if I have more than 6 students (K-3) in my room for any given service, I'm going to have her stay in the room with me and split the students into two groups. I think her help will be just as beneficial in my room as it would be in the regular room, in that case. In fact, I have one group that I know will have a minimum of 12 students in it, and I even have a second para coming in to provide support during that time.... Maybe you can have your one para do mostly push-in support but have him/her support you if you have a large number of students with you at one time?

    Bros, this would be ideal and create a simple solution. However, in many schools, mine included, policy prevents pulling students with mild/moderate disabilities out of the entire reading (or math, or writing) block. They idea is that they are supposed to be exposed to grade-level material, even though they may also require an intervention in that area. One reason for this is that they will have to take the grade-level state test, and it doesn't seem right to not provide them any instruction on grade-level skills and content. Another reason is that they deserve the opportunity to show that they can be successful with the grade-level material and possibly have their minutes in the sped setting reduced over time, as that success comes.

    Note that this doesn't apply to students who will take the alternate assessment and have severe cognitive delays. Personally, I think there are some students who would benefit from having all of their reading instruction provided in the sped setting, but that's typically not allowed.... and I really do understand the reasoning behind it.
     
  12. bros

    bros Phenom

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    Jul 22, 2013

    That's how my local district does it for any student who requires pull out services, they go when they have that class, at least in the elementary & upper elementary grades.
     
  13. waterfall

    waterfall Phenom

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    Jul 23, 2013

    It's also against policy here to pull kids out of an entire class unless they are taking the alternative state test, which is reserved for students with severe needs and not the type of students that would be on my caseload. We're required to allow them access to the gen ed content since they are tested on the grade level state test.
     
  14. waterfall

    waterfall Phenom

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    Well, there are 450 students at the school, so thinking they have about 10% identified that would be 45 kids. Hopefully it's less than that! In my last sped position I worked with a lot of RtI kids too so I ended up with about 35 (25-27 identified). My first year I only had 12 + RtI kids and I honestly preferred the larger caseload. With only 12 kids spread out in K-5 a lot of my groups were only 1-2 students and that really limits what kind of activities you can do. The next year I had groups of 3-6 which I thought was perfect. I will not be working with RtI kids this year! I just hope the para is really good! I could have her with me if there are a lot of kids at once. Since it's so many grade levels I just imagine there won't be a ton of kids in one group...it will probably be more like a lot of groups for a shorter period of time.
     

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