Discussion in 'Elementary Education' started by Pisces_Fish, Apr 2, 2011.
Apr 2, 2011
And then these students get to high school were it does matter if they fail a class.
Apr 3, 2011
(Most of) my school believes that instead of retaining you need to refer them to get testing done because they could qualify for resource or special ed.
However, I have a student whose BEHAVIOR is so outrageous that I can't tell if he needs help or what. He REFUSES to do any work and throughout this whole year has only done 1% of the work asked of him. When I say he doesn't do any work that could be just sitting there not even trying to "doing it" but not paying attention, moving on when he shouldn't, making patterns for his answers "just because". I flat out want to retain him.
Last year, I tutored a 1st grader who had been retained for 1st grade. Everything basic that we reviewed or I taught, he would make short-term progress, meaning between Tues and Thur he would "forget" and I would basically reteach EVERYTHING all over again. I used hands-on games, drills, traditional flash cards, visual aides and he would just not remember the next session.
His mom pulled him out of NC schools and moved him to SC with his grandma. This year she moved him back to our school and he was on my roster. This child, who I was beginning to think was learning disabled in some way, was a normal average 2nd grader. He is able to retain this year and his phonics issues are non-existent. His fluency is steadily improving (he's already reading at an end-of-year 2nd grade rate. I have NO idea why but I think that extra year in 1st helped him.
I agree that it was beneficial for him to repeat 1st grade because if he had been in my 2nd grade last year, he would not have received as much time with "the basics" (phonics, phonemic awareness, etc). Now he quickly picks up sounding out words based on the more advanced spelling patterns that we learn in 2nd grade (digraphs, consonant blends, etc) whereas last year he was struggling with CVC words.
Since 2nd grade doesn't spend that much time on CVC words, him being in 2nd for 2 years in a row wouldn't be helpful to him. We only spend a short time at the beginning of the year reviewing that K-1 material. Then we focus more heavily on grammar and comprehension.
I always hesitate to adopt the attitude of "Well, when you're a [insert higher grade level] grader you won't be able to get away with this" or "Well, when you're in [insert higher grade level] grade you'll have to do this so get used to it now" because I don't think children should always be forced to live in the future, but instead be who they are at any given moment. It doesn't always have to be about preparing for them for what they'll face next year or the next when there are age-appropriate concepts and skills to be dealt with in the present. Obviously guiding students through transitional periods is important—I just think it's done to an extreme at times. BUT, this said, I worry about your point as well. I've heard from students personally who were shocked to discover you must pass classes in high school to earn credit hours. It's a major surprise to them and it hits many like a brick wall. Are we setting these low-achieving students up for failure by accepting their complete lack of effort in middle school? Then we just shake our heads when they drop out and say, "Called that one four years ago!" :unsure:
A student retained can suffer more emotionaly than academicaly because of retentions being so isolated. If more students were retained, then, it wouldn't be much of a big deal. However, when there is only one of 2, it can be devastating for a student. I can see this student shutting down and losing any confidence left.
Could it be possible that one day classrooms can be grouped based on readiness instead of age? If this becomes the norm then students won't feel bad around spending one more semester or year repeating subjects. Some students also struggle more in one subject and yet would have to repeat an entire year just for one subject.
If we can foster a schoolwide environment of collaborative learning vs. comparing and competing students wouldn't have much negative effects of repeating content.
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