SOOOOOOOO SSSSSSSLLLLLLOOOOOWWWWW

Discussion in 'Second Grade' started by just-n-educator, Mar 20, 2008.

  1. just-n-educator

    just-n-educator Companion

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    Mar 23, 2008

    That is something to think about...I will mention it to the Moms. Also our school doesn't have any counselors :(! I work at a small private school.
     
  2. teacherstudent1

    teacherstudent1 Companion

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    Mar 23, 2008

    You could be dealing with one of several possibilities:
    The students have a processing/learning disorder.
    The students have difficulty with selective and/or sustained attention.
    The students are unmotivated and/or bored.

    The fist thing you need to do is analyze what exactly is happening when they are working. You said you do not have a counselor so I am guessing you do not have a diagnostician either. You might try the following.

    After giving the class an independent assignment, stay in close proximity to these students and watch their behavior. If they stop, try to redirect them to task. If they are able to continue with only this prompt, they may be having difficulty with attention, either being internally or externally distracted.

    If they appear not to be struggling with what they are to do, clarify for them in simpler language/smaller steps and see if that helps. If you see that they do better with clarification, (simpler vocabulary, one-step directions, visuals, etc), they may have some type of processing disorder. (Students can be intelligent and still have a processing disorder.)

    If they appear to be able to easily do the work and stay on task but demonstrate indifference, appear to be waiting for you to leave before they stop, or appear truly bored, they may be unmotivated.

    Once you think you have identified the source of the slow pace, you may be able to come up appropriate interventions.
     
  3. just-n-educator

    just-n-educator Companion

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    Mar 23, 2008

    This is all really good advice...I am going to work on this and see what happens! Thank You :)
     
  4. lemonhead

    lemonhead Aficionado

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    Mar 23, 2008

    teacherstudent1,

    Thank you for laying this out so well. It all really makes sense. I copy and pasted your suggestion and placed it in my files for the future.

    I am curious, if I call the attention issue problem 1, processing problem 2, and motivation problem 3, What do you suggest be done after you determine it is problem 1 or problem 3?

    Thank you again,
    Lemonhead
     
  5. TulipsGirl

    TulipsGirl Cohort

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    Mar 23, 2008

    Teacherstudent1:
    Those are very clear observations - thank you! How long have you been teaching for? It sounds like you have a lot of experience.

    lemonhead - thanx for the tip/reminder to copy it for future references :)
     
  6. lemonhead

    lemonhead Aficionado

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    Mar 24, 2008

    You're welcome

    I am subbing today in a classroom with situation #3> I remember him from last year. It is frustrating.

    Lemon
     
  7. teacherstudent1

    teacherstudent1 Companion

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    Mar 29, 2008

    Then you pray.

    Seriously, though, identifying the broad category is only the beginning. (I apologize up front if I get to long here...)

    If it is attention, then you'll want to first try to identify if it is a problem with selective attention, sustained attention, or both. Selective attention is being able select which stimuli is most important (the teachers voice, the sound of the pencil sharpener, a random thought). A student with this problem attends to everything because everything is equally important. For them you want to try to eliminate competing sensory input, such as background noise or too much visual stimuli. Some of these children benefit from a person FM unit (such as hearing impaired children use), earplugs/phones to block background noise, study carols to block visual distractions, and frequent redirects to task.

    Sustained attention is the ability to stay on task. This child has difficulty staying on task, even if he is interested and knows it is important. He will require frequent redirects to task in a nonjudgmental tone (remember that he can't help it). The accommodations above may also help, although he may be more apt to stop anyway as his mind constantly shifts to other things.

    Both of these often occur as comorbid conditions, and may be combined with excess motor activity (hyperactivity). For both of these you want to be sure you have the child's attention before beginning, use visuals whenever possible, and check often to keep them on task. If they still have difficulty, document the behaviors and discuss them with the parents and diagnostician.

    For lack of motivation, it often helps to identify what that student likes and set up a reward system of some type. These can range from simple acknowledgment or a star/stamp/sticker on the work, to complex point systems in which the student earns increasing levels of rewards. (My suggestion, start with frequent acknowledgment/verbal recognition or stamp/sticker).

    For a processing problem, there a several broad catagories:
    Auditory processing (difficulty understanding, frequently ask "Huh, what?", difficulty following directions/multi-step directions)
    Visual processing (dyslexia, reading fluency/speed/comprehension, etc.),
    Sensory processing (hyper or hypo sensitive to touch/taste/smell/sounds/visual stimuli),
    Motor (either fine or gross, difficulty with letter formation, etc)
    or some combination.
    Your best bet here is to seek help from your diagnostician (if you have one), as each of these will have different accommodations.

    And you are right, Tulipsgirl, I have been doing this for quite awhile. I've taught for 25+ years, with 20 of that being in special ed. One of the benefits of having circled the sun so many times is that we can't help but learn from experience!
     
  8. lemonhead

    lemonhead Aficionado

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    Mar 29, 2008


    Thanks teacherstudent! I was hoping you'd be back to answer. Currently I am a sub but I am praying hard that I get a teacher job. I am lucky in that I sub in special ed quite a bit and I get to chat with the diagnostician but usually it is just in regards to a student that is all ready in the special ed program.

    Thank you again, it is in my file:)

    Lemonhead
     
  9. teacherstudent1

    teacherstudent1 Companion

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    Mar 29, 2008

    I probably won't have much time to read and post until weekends.

    But I'll try to stay in touch!
     
  10. SwOcean Gal

    SwOcean Gal Devotee

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    Mar 30, 2008

    Wow, what great input here! I am currently taking a course about special education and if you do discover that this is a serious learning disability by looking through the files, your personal knowledge base, observations, and input from others in the field, and know for a fact that the behaviors consistent with the possible learning disability are present in at least two unique settings (ie home and school)- your next step would be to make a referral for testing. That requires the parent to call the local public school SPED dept, and ask for her child to be tested, sign the paper and within 30 days the school dept is required to have your child tested/assessed. Is there any indication of this being observed from previous teachers? There should be something in the student records. Good luck. It is a hard road, but if you are seeing possible signs now in second grade, its important to act because the critical period where aid will really make a difference is fast approaching. Good luck! These kids are lucky to have you! Keep detailed observation notes and def look deeper into it- it might not be an LD, but it might.
     
  11. Writer02

    Writer02 Companion

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    Mar 30, 2008

    I agree that your concerns about the students' abilities to complete work would be a great reason to refer them for additional testing (i.e. child study). I work in a big county, so I don't know if you have that available in a small private school.
     
  12. teacherstudent1

    teacherstudent1 Companion

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    Mar 30, 2008

    Contact the student's home public school to request information on assessment if the parents want to pursue this. These students should be able to get an FIE (Full Individual Assessment). But be aware that it's not as simple as it sounds to get help when the child is in a private school.

    I'm not sure how it works in your state, but in ours once a child has entered first grade, if the parents reject public education, they also reject the special education services the district provides.

    However, the districts are required by law to share a small % of their federal IDEA funds with private schools based on the number of identified special education students in private school in that area. That may be done by way of services, but considering the % of all special ed students in public schools vs the % served in private schools, the services/funds would be very minimal.

    The point is, even if they qualify, it may be a challenge getting adequate services if the child is still enrolled in private school.
     

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