Elementary/Kindergarten teachers....advice needed

Discussion in 'Elementary Education' started by ilovefh, Aug 14, 2016.

  1. ilovefh

    ilovefh New Member

    Feb 17, 2016
    Likes Received:

    Aug 14, 2016

    I need some advice for those that teach the smaller kids. I'm coming over from the middle school forums because I am not familiar with the lower levels.

    My son (5) is delayed and goes to a special needs charter school. At his IEP meeting this spring we decided he would do another year of prek because he was not ready for kindergarten. His teacher left to go to another campus, but we met his new teacher and he would be in the same room he was in last year. This would strictly be a prek class, learning prek skills and taking naps. They have 1 teacher, an assistant teacher and a para. This class has 18 kids.

    When we went to meet the teacher night we found out that they switched it at the last minute. Now he will be in a combined class with 1/3 prek kids and 2/3 kindergarten kids. There will be two teachers and an assistant and 21 kids. The letter says they will be focusing on kindergarten skills and lists the kindergarten curriculum that most of the state uses.

    At first I was okay with it and thought 2 years of kindergarten may be good, but then I started thinking about areas he struggles in. I teach middle school math so I am not fluent in the lower level standards. There are 73 ELA standards for kindergarten! I can grapple with the math standards just fine, but the ELA ones I struggle with.

    So, lower level teachers...he still does not recognize most letters, he is getting better with numbers and can recognize most numbers 1-9. While he can count to 20 and say the alphabet, it is the recognizing the visual that he struggles with. (We're on the waitlist for the developmental ped.) He struggles with his colors and shapes.

    It is a special needs charter so I assume that there are modification and accommodations happening all the time, but now I'm worried he will be lost. Any advice?
  3. Bunnie

    Bunnie Devotee

    Jun 13, 2009
    Likes Received:

    Aug 14, 2016

    From what I know, I wouldn't repeat pre-k, I would repeat kindergarten or 1st grade over pre-k. Here's why I don't think repeating pre-k is beneficial. While they do some academics, it's mostly play based and good for socialization and structure to the school day. Meanwhile in K they really dive into learning things. In K you can really see more of what a child is struggling with because they put those beginning concepts they learned in prek into concrete activities like writing, reading and simple math. If your reason for holding your child back is because they aren't socialized well enough or doesn't respond to the structure I would consider it but would still move them on and see how K goes and repeat then if needed. Plus prek isn't mandatory, many students still dont even attend full day prek or prek at all around the country. Also they would be more hesitant to hold over kids later who need it who were held over once already and I think it's a waste to do it in a mostly non academic setting like prek.

    Since you already know he has special needs and is delayed he (and most gen Ed students) are not going to master every single standard. I'm not a sped teacher but I work in an ICT. Our sped students have something called promotional criteria where the standards are listed and we project what we think they are able to meet, most of the time it falls in the 40-60% range. This document is part of the IEP I believe. All I wanted to chime in about is that each year your child is most likely not going to master every standard, if he could he probably wouldn't be classified as sped. Although I have seen cases of kids classified as ED sped and are very bright and can do grade level work. But that's a different need all in itself.

    You say he's in a special needs charter school, and if he was in pre-k this coming year it would be 18 kids with one teacher and an assistant. That doesn't sound like a sped class, here the gen Ed and ICT cap for pre-k is18 kids, a fully sped class would be no more than 12, and some areas have the highest at 15 (and that's in the upper grades) The other scenario of the prek and k mix sounds like an ICT class since there are 2 teachers.

    I'll leave the rest of the sped legalities and expertise to sped teachers on this forum, I only speak of what I know based on what I see in my classroom and students. I've been in an ICT class for 2 years so I don't have much to go on. But I will say that I taught K for a year and was placed in prek for a month as a teacher so I do have some early Ed experience and still stand by not repeating prek.

    Hope this was helpful.
    Obadiah likes this.
  4. swansong1

    swansong1 Virtuoso

    May 19, 2007
    Likes Received:

    Aug 14, 2016

    I agree. I think the new class would be the best fit for him. In this type of classroom he will be able to be pushed ahead on prek skills that he has mastered, as well as getting more help on the advanced K skills that he needs. The class may offer more advanced socialization skills, also, because the children are older. My theory on SPED (and this is how I run my classroom), set the bar really high for my students, and they will do their best to meet it.
    Obadiah likes this.
  5. mrachelle87

    mrachelle87 Fanatic

    Aug 30, 2006
    Likes Received:

    Aug 14, 2016

    I teach a transitional class and I think his placement is on point. I agree that repeating pre-K is not productive in my opinion. I also think that if you aim high, you reach so many stars. Plus I like the ratio of kids to adults with this class.
    teacherintexas and Obadiah like this.
  6. Obadiah

    Obadiah Groupie

    Jul 27, 2015
    Likes Received:

    Aug 15, 2016

    My main concern from reading the description would be to make sure the IEP has also been updated. I agree with the above, retention isn't always the best solution; a lot depends on what was taught in Pre-K and where your student is in other areas of development. The specific delays mentioned are only part of the picture. It is important to also focus on the student as a whole, including areas where he is achieving. Although it is important to focus on mastering specific standards, it is important to focus on his development holistically. It's also important to remember that all children have differences; some are more noticeable than others, but all children have differences, and some are especially noticeable at this age. A helpful book in this area is Levine, Mel. A Mind at a Time. NY: Simon and Schuster, 2002.

Share This Page

Members Online Now

  1. xenia215
Total: 177 (members: 2, guests: 146, robots: 29)