How do I handle this?

Discussion in 'Kindergarten' started by MsKayy, Dec 17, 2012.

  1. MsKayy

    MsKayy Rookie

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    Dec 17, 2012

    I teach American Sign Language to 38 kindergarteners in the afternoons. We are making our way and everyone is doing pretty good. However, there is one. A little boy, for the sake of the arguement we will call him Matt. I have had one on ones with him, we have played games to review everything. I usually beat every new sign to into the ground, so to speak, to make sure they get it.

    I thought, maybe it just doesn't come easy to him. Well we are learning our colors. Ill sign the colors, make sure everyone knows the color before I sign it. And then ill sign "Find something___". They all go and find the right colored items except Matt. Ill say find something Blue and he will find something yellow, etc. same with signing letters. Ill say sit on the letter K and he will sit on Z.

    I'm just not sure how to handle it. I just keep correcting him, but 37/38 kids get it, and they know the signs. I don't want to leave him out or anything but I'm just not sure what to do. Tips?
     
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  3. EdEd

    EdEd Aficionado

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    Dec 17, 2012

    First, it sounds like a cool class! Also, from your title/description it looks like you are doing this at a boys & girls club? If so, that's pretty cool that you are looking to be so specific in your instruction in a community-based environment!

    In terms of your post specifically, I have two follow-up questions:

    1) How does he do with other academic areas? Does he struggle with anything in particular, but do well in other areas (e.g., struggles with math measurement but good with learning math facts)? I'm guessing you don't work with him in other areas, so you may need to ask others. Unfortunately you may not have a great source of information at the BGC, but if you are able to get in touch with the child's teacher at school, or parent if reliable, that may help.

    2) You mentioned having done several follow-up & review activities - what specifically have you done and with what skills?
     
  4. EdEd

    EdEd Aficionado

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    Dec 17, 2012

    I should also mention that I have no training or experience with ASL, but I've found that principles of learning tend to be similar across content areas, so I'm going off that...
     
  5. MsKayy

    MsKayy Rookie

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    Dec 17, 2012

    Thank you for your response! The class itself is really fun! The kids enjoy themselves and being able to communicate using their hands! I've found that our "busiest" children who find themselves feeling like they have to do something to keep busy often times excel in ASL.

    With Matt,
    I do know for a fact his teacher works with him after school 3 days a week. His parents also insist he does homework at home so they can help him. Its not that he doesn't understand how to sign, he just doesn't seem to have the Vocab to keep up. Like colors for example. In order to associate the sign with the word you already know, you must first know what the color is. I'm very visual with them...

    So lets say I'm teaching them the color red. Ill tell them we are going to sign the color red, ill then sign the color while saying it out loud, they will then mimic me and we will go through several times saying the sign, associating with a visual, and signing the word. Eventually we move into total sign language.

    Even with that, Matt will still find the yellow object when the color signed was red.

    As for one on ones, we have gone through signs together as we not only do colors and letters but also numbers, finger spelling our names, talking in complete sentences and classroom management. He does understand what time saying for the most part, but something just isn't clicking when I sign and connect that with a visual.
     
  6. terptoteacher

    terptoteacher Connoisseur

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    Dec 17, 2012

    Gee, my first thought was if he knows his colors.
     
  7. EdEd

    EdEd Aficionado

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    Dec 17, 2012

    MsKayy, sounds like you've gone above and beyond! If the issue is that he doesn't have the background knowledge to be able to identify the symbols (e.g., color or number), then I'm not sure there's any specific "intervention" you'd be able to use in terms of sign language, at least unless you were also going to try to teach those colors/numbers as well.

    How is his behavior in your class? Is he enjoying it at all? I'm wondering if it may just not be too likely that he learns ASL from you, but still is enjoying the process? If not, are there other groups of kids doing something else in another room that he could join?
     
  8. MsKayy

    MsKayy Rookie

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    Dec 17, 2012

    He is pretty well behaved in class, I don't usually have any problems with him. Unfortunately whe we are learning ASL, they all stay together as their "program time". I really don't want to leave him out or send him to another grade level but I'm not sure what else he can do :(
     
  9. EdEd

    EdEd Aficionado

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    Dec 17, 2012

    Maybe it would be helpful to think of specific accommodations during each activity. What's an example of an activity you do in class where he is expected to participate, and is having difficulty?
     
  10. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Dec 17, 2012

    Does Matt NEED to know ASL?
     
  11. MsKayy

    MsKayy Rookie

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    Dec 17, 2012

    We try to make a game of everything! One game we do almost everyday (kids love it). I will put them in groups of 3 - 5. I will then sign a letter for one team member to find on the alphabet rug, after which they will all make the letter on the rug using there bodies. Not sure if you've ever seen that game done? Where a teacher calls out the letter and the kids go spell it using their bodies. It's fun!

    Anyways EVERYONE get a turn to find a different letter on the mat before the group part. When it's Matt's turn, his team members will even help him. It's the sane problem at the colors. Ill call out R and be will find A...
     
  12. MsKayy

    MsKayy Rookie

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    Dec 17, 2012

    No he does not, none of them "need" to know really.
     
  13. EdEd

    EdEd Aficionado

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    Dec 17, 2012

    Sounds fun! So, one idea is to let kids find letters in pairs - that way Matt would have help. Another idea would be to only do 10-20 kids a day in terms of finding letters, and not call on Matt unless he wanted to take a turn. (If he's fine with not getting things right, there's nothing really wrong with him trying and not succeeding. If you think it upsets him, it may be a better idea to not set him up for failure.) Still another way would be to let him know his letter in advance and practice it with him - even letting him go to the mat and find it in person (all this would be done before you started your activity). I'm sure others reading may have some other thoughts too?
     
  14. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Dec 19, 2012

    Did his parents sign him up for ASL or is it just part of the program the kids are in?
    Do you happen to know if he is color blind or has any learning issues in his dominant language? Could it be that by the afternoon he's just really tired?
     
  15. MsKayy

    MsKayy Rookie

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    Dec 20, 2012

    All of the children's parents have signed them up to be apart of the program. I do believe he has learning issues with during school hours as his teacher tutors him 3 days a week. I'm thinking this might be the issue but I'm not exactly sure how to handle it problem because he is the only person having an issue, understandable so, but seeing as the other children understand I'm not sure if I should keep slowing down...or...?

    Just at a crossroads. We are on winter break until the 3rd so I have two weeks to somehow come up with a plan, although the first week we get back will be nothing but ASL review.
     
  16. MsKayy

    MsKayy Rookie

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    Dec 20, 2012

    Thank you for your reply!!
     
  17. EdEd

    EdEd Aficionado

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    Dec 20, 2012

    For sure! Your kids are lucky to have you!
     
  18. Joyful!

    Joyful! Cohort

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    Dec 20, 2012

    Could you ask him words he would like to know? Perhaps if he were more connected to what you were doing (and you were certain it was information to which he already had a connection) and enjoyed a little success in ASL he might be able to make gains in the other areas of your instruction?
     
  19. Dr Kevlar

    Dr Kevlar Rookie

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    Jan 5, 2013

    I was thinking that color-blindedness might be an issue for Matt or perhaps general visual acuity.

    That said, if he is already receiving tutoring from his teacher 3Xs per week at the K level, then potentially there could be other issues that present roadblocks to learning for this young man.
     
  20. Blue

    Blue Aficionado

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    Jan 9, 2013

    Can you give him a visual that sets him up for success? When you ask him to find a color, can you show the color as a visual so he can match? If he doesn't know his colors, he needs to match them. If he still can't do it, is he color blind?
     

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