I don't know how to help my new student

Discussion in 'Elementary Education' started by Kat., Jan 29, 2018.

  1. Kat.

    Kat. Companion

    May 14, 2016
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    Jan 29, 2018

    Today I got a new student. He told me he's never been to school before (I teach 1st grade). He just moved with his dad to the area and dad told the school while he was technically enrolled in another school, he never actually went.

    This poor baby is SO far behind. My lowest student wasn't this low when she came to me at the beginning of the year. I did a letter/number knowledge assessment on him, and he could only correctly identify 6 letters and 3 numbers. I didn't even try a sight word assessment yet.

    He is so far behind the rest of the class that he can't do much of anything that we do. He struggled through centers today, but was just looking at pictures of books and guessing for the rest. I don't have time in my day to meet with him one on one as much as he needs...he honestly needs to be moved to kindergarten , but he's already 7 years old so the district likely won't allow it.

    Basically...this is my second year of teaching. I've never "dealt with" the level of learning this child needs. Letter knowledge hasn't been something I've had to teach (aside from things like b/d and p/q confusion).

    Sorry for rambling, but are there any kinder/pre-k teachers that could help me with ideas to help my new student as much as I can? He's a sweet little guy and I'd love to teach him as much as possible.
  3. YoungTeacherGuy

    YoungTeacherGuy Phenom

    Oct 21, 2007
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    Jan 29, 2018

    Start with the very basics: letters/sounds, name writing, kinder high frequency words, etc.

    With numbers, start slowly. Here's the number 3. Model the number 3. Write the number 3 with him. Show him how to place 3 of an object in a ten frame.

    Thankfully, he's sweet. He could be out of control, too!

    Is RtI available for him?

    Is there an instructional aide who can work one-on-one with him for 15-30 minutes each day?

    He's definitely too old to be moved back down to kinder. During the time(s) that you can't pull him individually or in a small group, he'll be getting exposed to grade-level curriculum--which isn't a bad thing. Do you have access to an iPad, Chromebook, or desktop? Lots of educational games he can play, too, when you absolutely can't work with him.

    Once you've given him several weeks of intervention and have deemed whether or not he's making growth, I'd recommend a referral to the Student Study Team (or whatever your district calls this particular team). They may or may not lean toward retention (or, at my school, we'd want to meet again in May before we made that decision).
    Last edited: Jan 29, 2018
  4. svassillion

    svassillion Companion

    Aug 23, 2017
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    Jan 29, 2018

    I teach K and my lowest would perform this way on a letter assessment in September. So you're looking at a 1.5 year deficit right now for this kiddo. We use Fundations to teach letters/keywords/sounds and it honestly works wonders with my kids. I'm sure you can find these with a simple google or pinterest search. Two or three new letters are introduced each week for about 12 weeks. It would seem tedious doing with just one kid, but if he doesn't know letters, he won't know the sounds and won't be able to decode words so it's really necessary. It can be a quick 3 minute warm up in the morning for him. I've had kids come in knowing four letters know almost all their letters and sounds after the 12 weeks.

    You may also want to refer him to your school team. Sounds like he'll be needing some extra services outside of the classroom to catch up, so your school team is the first stop on that journey. And share what you use at school with his parents so they can reinforce the skills at home. Half the school year is already over, so I wouldn't expect him to get to even level B books. If he is held back at the end of this year he could be on his peers level next year. Not sure how your school feels about retaining, but here the disruptions to his education would justify being held back.

    I get why he may not have gone to K, but how did they get away with not attending the first half of 1st grade in their previous school? Poor kid!
    Backroads likes this.
  5. otterpop

    otterpop Phenom

    Jun 14, 2013
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    Jan 29, 2018

    Do you have any intervention programs on the computer that he can work on?

    If not, can you sign up for something free that he can do during your center time to learn letters and sounds? Starfall.com could be a good place to start.
    a2z likes this.
  6. Backroads

    Backroads Aficionado

    Apr 23, 2010
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    Jan 30, 2018

    Hmm. We had a student the other year in 2nd with a similar story (kinder isn't required in our state and the kid had never properly attended first grade). He did have more knowledge than your kiddo, but we did have the power to kick him back to first.

    Y'know, even if you think it's unlikely, I'd still put forth the suggestion. Though, if it's like my state where kindergarten isn't legally required, the leveling plus his age might still not be good enough. But, hey, the worst to be said is no.

    However, I currently have a couple of kiddos (in 2nd grade) who aren't too far ahead of yours. We do have RtI for them, we do have computer programs (our school subscribes to Imagine Learning, which I think aims for ELL but still works great for learning to read regardless, plus good ol' Raz Kids).
  7. a2z

    a2z Virtuoso

    Sep 16, 2010
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    Jan 30, 2018

    Get the child in RTI quickly. Get intervention asap.

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