No progress with alphabet

Discussion in 'Elementary Education' started by MissK2015, Dec 10, 2017.

  1. MissK2015

    MissK2015 Rookie

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    Dec 10, 2017

    Hello All! I have a student who is not making any progress with letter recognition. He only knows 2 letters. We go over letters daily. His family at home claims they work with him as well. I sent home flash cards. I even tried staying on one letter for a day and tried to see if he could remember the letter throughout the day-which he couldn't. He doesn't focus when the letters are in front of him. He is a smart child though. He uses big words and is able to understand other lessons quite easily-the only major problem is with his letters. I know it is only half the year but I think I might have to hold him back. I would hate to hold him back when I do see potential but no progress. Any help would be appreciated. Thanks!
     
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  3. Obadiah

    Obadiah Groupie

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    I'm seeing several possibilities. One is a learning difference, often demonstrated by a student who is otherwise proficient but lacking in one specific area. Another thought I had, and I'm not meaning this as a criticism of your teaching, but school has become increasingly academic at all grade levels, including pre-school and Kindergarten. Imagine if children were taught to talk the way they are currently taught to read; (and I'm fearful even that might occur in the near future). Not that there's anything wrong with standard skill based reading lessons, even at such a young level, but in the process, many other basic activities are sacrificed to make room for more sit-at-your-desk academic-style lessons. Along with that comes the pressure to perform; not that students at this age shouldn't work toward a goal--they should. But now parents are fearful that their child is a failure over normal, everyday developmental progress at the preschool level. Again, this is a nationwide shift in educational practice and not reflective of your own personal teaching.

    I would recommend a more holistic intervention, rather than just focusing on the specific objective of letter recognition, although I'd also continue the specific lessons. I would increase the read alouds from picture books, especially including "big books". Another possibility that might spark his brain to focus even more on letters and words would be to explore the old teacher closets at your school or others for filmstrip projectors and the even older filmstrips, the ones that had captions under the projected pictures. It would be the same as reading a "big book" but a different, fascinating method of presentation. I would increase his exposure to free "reading" time, even though at his stage he's just looking at the pages; this is an essential stage in reading development. This would also be the homework I'd assign, and I would probably de-emphasize the flashcards, maybe even eliminate them for the time being. I'd recommend to the parents to also de-emphasize TV, or, as an alternative, possibly obtain more language focused DVD's from the library or internet such as Blue's Clues, Mr. Rogers Neighborhood (if available), and another thought, are the older Captain Kangaroo episodes still available anywhere? (the ones with Bob Keeshan when he was still at the "Treasure House"--not the newer ones where he was on a ship). But again, as an alternative to TV, I'd recommend the parents ensure he is experiencing enough play time such as outdoor play, playing with Legos (very excellent for brain development in math and reading) or other building sets, and especially spending time playing, walking, talking, etc. with a parent (which might already be occurring considering his strong vocabulary). I'd also recommend adding some classical music and/or nursery rhyme or standard children's music (such as Hap Palmer for classroom activities). The orderly structure of such music develops areas of the brain for reading. Older classroom games, such as London Bridge and circle games, develop the brain towards reading, also, especially due to each individual cooperating to form the entire game structure. In other words, I'd recommend trying to squeeze in some old fashioned procedures that strongly contribute to skill development. I would try to ensure the parents are not threatening the child with the possibility of "flunking"; retention needs to be seen by the parents as a step in progress rather than a step backwards. I like to use Albert Einstein as an example, overused, I'm sure, but who knows. This little guy might be the future Einstein.

    I'd still focus on the specific skill by including some of the following. I'd use Play-Doh to form the letter, squish it up, and reform it. This will emphasize three skills, recognizing the letter, forming the letter, and recognizing variations of the same letter. (And this might be part of a learning difference, too, that he is focusing on tiny individual sections of a letter rather than the letter as a whole). Play sand (be sure it's asbestos free) sprayed with a bit of water is great for drawing letters with a finger. Sometimes fingerspelling can effectively supplement classroom languaging skills; (I'd recommend checking ASL Pro on the Internet for correct formation because printed charts are difficult to see the exact formation, especially letters t, n, m, and e).
     
  4. MissScrimmage

    MissScrimmage Aficionado

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    Dec 10, 2017

    In addition to all of the great suggestions from @Obadiah, I would start with the letters in his name. Anchor everything to the sounds in his name and the names of the students in your class. He needs to make a meaningful connection to his schema, and learning letters in isolation on flashcards is not allowing him to do this.
     
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  5. EdEd

    EdEd Aficionado

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    Dec 10, 2017

    Great strategy ideas Obadiah - I like the multi-sensory approach. Also, to the OP - what's your instruction look like at present when you're working with him?

    I would also start collecting some data on letter-sound identification or letter ID (e.g., list of 10 letters, how many does he get right) so that you have some information if you need to escalate the situation to help outside the classroom. If you find the strategies above (and/or other multi-sensory & direct instruction techniques) aren't working after another few weeks, I'd begin the consultation process for getting more help.

    In terms of retention, basic question would be why would another year of the same instruction work if it isn't producing any benefit the first time?
     
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  6. Leaborb192

    Leaborb192 Enthusiast

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    ,
     
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  7. MissK2015

    MissK2015 Rookie

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    Dec 10, 2017

    Would you mind putting the direct link or exact app name? There are so many that come up. Is it only for iTunes?
     
  8. MissK2015

    MissK2015 Rookie

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  9. Leaborb192

    Leaborb192 Enthusiast

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    Dec 11, 2017

    ,
     
    Last edited: Feb 4, 2019
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  10. Leaborb192

    Leaborb192 Enthusiast

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  11. Rabbitt

    Rabbitt Connoisseur

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    Dec 14, 2017

    Tucker signs is another option
     

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