Completely Lost

Discussion in 'Elementary Education' started by soleil00, Nov 5, 2011.

  1. soleil00

    soleil00 Comrade

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    Nov 5, 2011

    I am completely lost as to what to do. Right now, and I know it ends up being a self-fulfilling prophecy for me to say this, but I have 2 students that I'm not fully convinced they are mature or academically on-level enough to proceed to 2nd grade.

    They get intervention every day for 30 minutes in both Reading and Math. We do small group intervention, in class with me, for 20 minutes a day in Reading.

    We have a computer program for both Math and Reading that I alternate between each week. For example, this week I did MWF - Math, T/TH - Reading. This coming week will be switched subjects. This program is a form of "fun intervention" for the kids.

    They still can't do basic things they should already have mastered (things that were introduced in Kinder).

    "Susie" knows about... 15 letters and around 7 letter sounds. She's getting better, even I can see that, but she isn't progressing in a manner that either myself or the intervention specialist sees as "good enough". She is very young, one of my youngest and I believe part of this is her maturity. She does a lot of things I don't see the older girls doing---mainly playing in the floor, under her desk, standing in her chair, etc.

    "Johnny" is even worse off. He is THE youngest child in my room. He is extremely immature and has absolutely no attention span compared to my other boys, even some that are within a month or two of his age. He doesn't want to be in school. It's like it's a chore to get him to school or so I seem to gather from his mother's statements. He knows around 7 letters, 3 letter sounds, and 1 sight word (the). He fails every test, every worksheet, and every AR test. Anything that he has to do on his own, he fails. The intervention specialist basically says that she tries to get him to work but it's like "the light isn't on upstairs" some days because he doesn't care. He's flat out told her before he doesn't care to learn it. Other days, he wants to play all day so it becomes a constant behavior issue.

    I don't know what to do....it's like.. I can't break through to these two kids. They're lazy beyond imagination for (just turned) 6 yr olds. If I'm not standing over them constantly, they won't do their work.

    It seriously makes me want to cry thinking that I have a possibility of retaining kids.. I know that's reality, but ugh....it frustrates me. I just don't know what to do. I've done every single supplemental work the specialist has given me.

    They get extra homework each night from said specialist on top of my homework. I've noticed lately the homework quality is dropping, unsure of the reason why but it seems as if the parents aren't helping like they used to.. :(


    Ideas? Help me..... I know this turned out a lot longer than I had originally planned...:sorry:
     
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  3. kpa1b2

    kpa1b2 Aficionado

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    Nov 6, 2011

    I'm seeing some of those same things with a few of my kinders. We have a child study process that we have to go through. I've started it with several of my students already, as I'm afraid that I'm going to need to retain them. I need to start the process now. I need to show that the academic struggles they are facing are long term and for 1 of them the behavior struggles, which I think are a result of the work being too difficult and he just wants to play or do fun things.

    Having said that: 1. did your 2 students go to Kindergarten? (here in Michigan K isn't required)

    2. Have you started the referral process? What ever it is in your school.

    3. What's the possibility of putting them in a K class now? IMHO, it's too late in the year, but I'm tossing out ideas.

    4. Have you tried a behavior plan?

    My teammate last year retained 3 students. So far, 2 of the students have been tested and qualified as LD. One of them knows NO letters or numbers, the other knows most and knows some sounds but can't read. The one that hasn't been tested is in between those 2, but has more "street" smarts, so I don't know if he's going to qualify or not.
     
  4. DrivingPigeon

    DrivingPigeon Phenom

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    Nov 6, 2011

    It sounds like they should maybe have been held back in K, so they could have had another year of developing those very basic and fundamental skills. OR, they have an undiagnosed disability and could benefit from being in special ed.

    If they aren't being referred yet, I would start to document everything and push for a referral. With help from a SPED teacher, they may be able to focus more in the classroom, and catch up to their peers.
     
  5. KateL

    KateL Habitué

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    Nov 6, 2011

    Are they lazy, or have they just not known how to do the work for so long that they have stopped trying? Is there anything academic that they are successful with? Can you build on those successes? (I know that it's tough to be patient with students like these when you have a classroom full of other students who are ready to move on.)

    I agree that you need to start the RTI or referral process with them, if just to rule out any learning disabilities.
     
  6. readingrules12

    readingrules12 Aficionado

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    Nov 6, 2011


    I don't know what to do....it's like.. I can't break through to these two kids. They're lazy beyond imagination for (just turned) 6 yr olds. If I'm not standing over them constantly, they won't do their work.


    I think this says a lot. It could be a huge motivation issue. If there is any referral or testing procedure to get you more data on their academic situation, that would be a help. I would work with the parents on an intervention that would focus on small successes at school in a very focused area. Take it one small battle at a time. It is only November--good time to get parents and principal on board, but not the time yet to decide on holding a child back. I would not send this child back to Kindergarten. This would be devestating to the child. Research shows this doesn't work. Focus on small successes to get these children success. Then, you can move a bit faster on your expectations.
     
  7. soleil00

    soleil00 Comrade

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    Nov 6, 2011

    1. Yes they did go to Kinder, as we are a K-1 school I have already learned they were the same way in Kinder from their teachers.

    2. They were referred in Kinder, nothing was found so the principal is really... anti-referring a 2nd time unless it's something like super obvious. She's very against labeling kids as SPED for little to no reason, which is how this school was in the past before she came along we had a 50% SPED population for tiny things that shouldn't have been labeled.

    3. No chance of that. Like SPED labeling, we are against sending them back unless it's so severe to where they are on a beginning Kinder level. Plus we have to have that done by mid-September.

    4. I haven't tried any kind of behavior plan with them because that involves our SPED teacher here and she doesn't really want to do that right now because they aren't a behavior problem per say.

    -------------

    To everyone else:

    They should've been retained in K, but that didn't happen and now I have to find a way to get them on level or keep them in 1st grade.

    KateL -
    Are they lazy, or have they just not known how to do the work for so long that they have stopped trying? The boy is 100% lazy. He can do it if he wants to, which is like 1 day a week. Yes he doesn't know things, but there's a lot that he does know and is too immature to care. The girl is probably the latter. She knows she can't do it so she's not going to try and just... mess around. When I talked to both K teachers, they both told me that they just "couldn't get them to do anything" which I am seeing as well along with the fact that they don't know the things they should..

    Is there anything academic that they are successful with?
    In all honesty? No. Nothing that I have seen yet. They are horrible at Phonics, they can't read easy simple books, they can't sound out words because they don't know letter sounds, and math is the same way. Science and Social Studies aren't any better, but they do better there because those are "introductory" topics with us. It's easy stuff, group work and projects that anyone can do.



    I'm going to ask my mentor tomorrow about what our referral process is. I have a big feeling I'll be shot down due to what I said earlier about our P being against testing and then we also have a huge parent population that get.... testy when it comes to SPED referrals.

    Thanks for the replies, I feel like such a failure because I can't get those two where they need to be.. :(
     
  8. readingrules12

    readingrules12 Aficionado

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    Nov 6, 2011

    One thing I can be very confident about is that you are not a failure. It is not your fault that you were dealt these two children where they are at now. I would focus not on where they should be, but focus on growth. If they are at pre-school level, see how far you can take them. I teach 3rd grade and I got to test an incoming 3rd grader. This child couldn't read anything, had no knowledge of phonics, and through the interview you could see she thought she was nothing. I nearly cried. I talked to the mom and I promised I would help her with reading even if it meant coming to her house. I said that I really needed her help to get her caught up. The mom agreed. It was a really tough few months, this girl fought me day after day, week after week as we did phonics and reading. After awhile we made progress. She made some good progress in 3rd grade, but was still below where she needed to be in 4th grade. The 4th grade teacher helped, the 5th grade teacher helped. By 8th grade this child loved to read and read the graduation speech that I never will forget. She went onto a great private high school where she is now doing quite well. The good news is all children can succeed. The bad news is it will take a lot of time and patience. I can tell you have the heart for this challenge. Have patience with yourself and you will be a great gift to these children who came to you failing. They are only 6 years old. There still is plenty of time.
     
  9. soleil00

    soleil00 Comrade

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    Nov 6, 2011

    Thank you, I'm totally going to cry now!

    I dearly hope these two can make a turn around. Even if they aren't up to grade level by May I hope between myself and the specialist that maybe we can get them up enough to where at least they won't have to be retained.

    I have one boy in my room that was retained and I can see the embarrassment in his eyes if someone says anything about it. I hate that. I think it helps him feel smarter because "he's already done it" and he tells me that a lot, but I can still tell that he is upset some days that his friends and classmates went to 2nd grade and he didn't.
     
  10. EMonkey

    EMonkey Connoisseur

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    Nov 6, 2011

    I would start by requesting an sst, in the state I work in you have to have met for an sst in order to retain or have the child tested. If the two children are truly struggling in reading then I would not label them as lazy but rather not comfortable in trying to do something that is very challenging.

    If you have any adults coming in the class as help either volunteers or aides have them focus on the two struggling kids, have them do word building with them, have them read with them, have them do blending, have them do letter sound recognition. If there are no other adults then in any time the children have moved to working at their desks sit next to your struggling children have all others come to you (I find the little ones really like having the right there support for as while and then they get sick of it). Do the support for the two struggling students when ever you can. Set up a couple of support kids to read with them when needed. Translate their writing for them if they are beginning writers. Document all the support you are giving the struggling students and if they are still struggling so much in a month or two start doing the steps for retention.

    I have often had children especially the young ones who at this time of the year are on the list of potential retentions who by April are fine.
     

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