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  #1  
Old 02-13-2013, 09:07 PM
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DrivingPigeon DrivingPigeon is offline
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2nd Grade Teacher
Student who is struggling all-around

I have a student who began the year as an "average" student, but has barely made any progress. She exited first grade reading at a level J (however, I really don't believe she was a true J...I think her running record grade was inflated), and entered second grade reading at a level I. She is just now barely a level J. I had her reading a level J today, and she made a ton of errors. Some of the things she struggles with are:
-Long and short vowels
-Blends and digraphs
-Beginning and ending sounds

She is also below-average in math (struggles with basic number sense), and writing. Although she does not qualify for Title 1, the Title 1 teacher is looking over her file and some writing samples to come up with suggestions for ways to help her.

I feel like I am failing this student! Every other student from her beginning of the year guided reading group is now reading at a level L or M. I need to do something differently with her, but I'm not sure what. It's almost as if she's regressing.

Does anyone have any suggestions for me? I have tons of games, flashcards, worksheets, etc., but I feel like I need a tried-and-true program or website or something to help her out.
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  #2  
Old 02-13-2013, 09:43 PM
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bella84 bella84 is offline
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Second Grade
Look into Orton-Gillingham methods. I use a program called SPIRE, which is based on those methods, to teach the things your student struggles with in reading. I doubt you are able or want to spend a ton of money on a full-blown program. However using some of the same instructional methods may be helpful.
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Old 02-13-2013, 11:09 PM
EdEd EdEd is offline
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I like SPIRE as well, but it does cost a few hundred to get into by the time you buy various materials. Still, a good program.

In terms of helping her, what are the current reading supports/services she's receiving (e.g., guided reading 20 min/day, whole group instruction 70 min/day), and what interventions are you doing during small group/individual work with her? What target skills are you working on? You mentioned several areas of difficulty, but those areas of difficulty are at different points in a sequence of skills to be introduced. For example, "beginning sounds" would come well before long vowels.
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Old 02-14-2013, 11:22 AM
Tyler B. Tyler B. is offline
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I think it's normal for students' skills to develop unevenly. You might just want to give her some space to grow by focusing on her motivation to read. During sustained silent reading, make sure she has a book she loves and read the first two pages with her then back away once she's hooked.

You can also assign her a reading buddy this time to partner read with her. Try to get her to read at least 1,000 words during her SSR time.

Just by reading a lot, her brain is getting ready to learn those skills she's struggling with right now. You can't rush a child's brain development.
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Old 02-14-2013, 09:01 PM
EdEd EdEd is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tyler B. View Post
I think it's normal for students' skills to develop unevenly. You might just want to give her some space to grow by focusing on her motivation to read. During sustained silent reading, make sure she has a book she loves and read the first two pages with her then back away once she's hooked.

You can also assign her a reading buddy this time to partner read with her. Try to get her to read at least 1,000 words during her SSR time.

Just by reading a lot, her brain is getting ready to learn those skills she's struggling with right now. You can't rush a child's brain development.
So, I agree that some children seem to kick into high gear at certain points in their career, but I don't think that means that we pull back and wait for kids to learn by making sure they have a good book in their hand. It's not that some kids won't learn this way, but there are legitimately struggling readers out there who do need more specific intervention, and who will not simply start to read when their brains decide it's time to start.
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Old 02-15-2013, 03:54 PM
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BioAngel BioAngel is offline
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Just throwing this out there...
1) Is there a way that you can work with her one-on-one without any other students around? I ask because I have a failing student and I now meet with her- just me and her in my classroom- once every other week and there's been a huge difference. I get to see how much she truly knows (she has anxiety around other students) and she now seems more engaged with what we're doing because she knows I care about her.

2) Can you model for her how to do a certain skill and then have her assess your work? For example, if you're teaching a specific language skill give her a sheet of examples that are correct. Then provide some examples that are incorrect and work with her on how you would fix those sentences. When I've modeled writing with my students first- I have them observe me actually writing and then going back to fix any errors in my writing- they do a lot better.

Good luck! Sometimes a child just needs to grow up a bit to get the skills- she may just be developing more slowly but I applaud your concern and hard work with her
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Old 02-15-2013, 09:33 PM
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DrivingPigeon DrivingPigeon is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EdEd View Post

In terms of helping her, what are the current reading supports/services she's receiving (e.g., guided reading 20 min/day, whole group instruction 70 min/day), and what interventions are you doing during small group/individual work with her? What target skills are you working on? You mentioned several areas of difficulty, but those areas of difficulty are at different points in a sequence of skills to be introduced. For example, "beginning sounds" would come well before long vowels.
Thanks for the ideas, everyone! I would love to meet with her one-on-one, but I'm finding it difficult to meet with my 5 groups already. She is in a small group of 3, though.

To answer your questions, Ed, I meet with her guided reading group for 20 minutes, 4 days per week. She is not low enough to qualify for intervention, so she is in the classroom during all whole-group instruction time. During small group, I'm working on dolch words, and her spelling words (Words Their Way, late alphabetic).

Her group is focusing on chunking words, but lately I have realized that there is more of a need to focus on cross-checking. She never self-corrects.

Perhaps I should pull her separately to work on decoding, since the other students in her group do a better job with decoding than she does. Then I could focus on cross-checking during her group time, while applying the decoding skills that she is working on.
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  #8  
Old 02-15-2013, 11:57 PM
EdEd EdEd is offline
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Originally Posted by DrivingPigeon View Post
Thanks for the ideas, everyone! I would love to meet with her one-on-one, but I'm finding it difficult to meet with my 5 groups already. She is in a small group of 3, though.

To answer your questions, Ed, I meet with her guided reading group for 20 minutes, 4 days per week. She is not low enough to qualify for intervention, so she is in the classroom during all whole-group instruction time. During small group, I'm working on dolch words, and her spelling words (Words Their Way, late alphabetic).

Her group is focusing on chunking words, but lately I have realized that there is more of a need to focus on cross-checking. She never self-corrects.

Perhaps I should pull her separately to work on decoding, since the other students in her group do a better job with decoding than she does. Then I could focus on cross-checking during her group time, while applying the decoding skills that she is working on.
That sounds like a good idea. Do you have a lower reading group, or is that the lowest? I definitely hear that it's challenging with such a wide skill range. Sounds like working on decoding individual letter sounds would be a good place to start if there is a group for her?
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Old 02-16-2013, 06:45 AM
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Tasha Tasha is offline
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I have a low group where they all read on the same level but have different skill sets. What I do is pull two first and spend 5 minutes on decoding or whatever skill/strategy they need and do a book preview. Then I pull the rest of the group and have my regular lesson. It seems to be working well and is a good confidence boost for my two that need extra help.
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  #10  
Old 02-16-2013, 07:24 AM
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DrivingPigeon DrivingPigeon is offline
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2nd Grade Teacher
Quote:
Originally Posted by EdEd View Post
That sounds like a good idea. Do you have a lower reading group, or is that the lowest? I definitely hear that it's challenging with such a wide skill range. Sounds like working on decoding individual letter sounds would be a good place to start if there is a group for her?
She is currently in an I/J group (her independent level is an I, and her instructional level is a J). The other 2 students in her group tend to do a better job with decoding, but they also struggle with cross-checking. Comprehension is their biggest struggle. I do have one lower group, but they are reading at a level F, which would be too low for her.

And thanks for the suggestion, Tasha! That may work for me.
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