Should I retain or not?

Discussion in 'General Education' started by minnie, Mar 6, 2019.

  1. minnie

    minnie Cohort

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    Mar 6, 2019

    Hi all! I have a student who struggles in my class. He is adopted by a loving and supportive family but he was born with drugs in his system. I'm positive he has ADHD and his speech is horrendous to where I have a hard time understanding a simple sentence from him. He goes to speech twice a week for 30 minutes and he also goes to RTI three days a week for 30 minutes. He is also in a small classroom to where he gets a lot of attention. Even though he has tons of support at school and at home, he has a hard time retaining any new information. It took forever for him to know his letters and his numbers 0-10 and he still misses them from time to time. We are now working on counting by 10's and recognizing numbers 11-20. He cannot recognize these numbers even though he has had a ton of support. His speech really affects his ability to count and recognize these numbers. It also greatly affects his ability to read. However, he is much better in reading. He is able to read most CVC (consonant/ vowel/ consonant) words. The reading curriculum we have is very rigorous so I am impressed that he does ok in this area. But I think the reason why he does ok in this area is because he uses information he has already learned (such as letter sounds to help him read and sight words he has already learned) and he gets tons of help in this area.
    This students is extremely impulsive (more so than a regular kinder boy) and has a very hard time focusing (WAY more so than a regular kinder boy). He is very immature but at the same time, is very socially aware. He understands feelings and emotions very well. He gets embarrassed easily and at first he thought my classroom was a "baby" classroom because I had dolls in my kitchen area and he didn't want to go in.

    I am so torn with retaining him or sending him forward. I've seen the first grade work and I am very concerned that he cannot keep up. But at the same time, he is not the lowest that I have had and I am afraid that he will be very bored at the beginning of the year. He has done ok the first half of this year but is starting to decline in math because of his speech and his inability to recognize or write numbers 11-20.

    He has so much support here. If he still struggles with all of this support, why would another year in my class make a difference? However, all of the evidence points to retaining him. Plus, the first grade teacher next door to me is not looking forward to having him because he is low.

    If this was your student, how would you go about this? I've taught for 12 years but I am seriously torn as to what to do which is embarrassing to admit. Any advice would be greatly appreciated!!!
     
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  3. a2z

    a2z Maven

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    Mar 6, 2019

    I'm surprised he doesn't have an IEP given his history.

    Is there any way to have him get more RTI for the math? The fact that he is reading is a very good sign, but the retention and recognition of numbers could point to a disability that area. He may not be making the connection between the number and what it represents. Given it has no meaning to him, it is just a random word.

    I would probably push for more RTI with regards to number sense with a conversation that retention might be a possibility.

    I really am surprised there is no IEP for the inattention and exposure to drugs. Had he had Early Child services prior to K?
     
  4. minnie

    minnie Cohort

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    He has a speech IEP and I work at a very small school so we only get our RTI instructor three days a week. We have to share her with the other small schools in our area. I talked to the RTI instructor and we both agree that his speech is really holding him back in math. He cannot properly say a lot of the numbers 11-20 which affects his ability to write them and to count objects that have more than 10. He knows when he is wrong when he counts. He just has a hard time saying it the right way.

    I am notifying his parents that he is at risk for retention. I am also going to give him the first grade readiness test to see how he does in about a month or so.
     
  5. a2z

    a2z Maven

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    Mar 6, 2019

    How so?

    How is he being taught number and quantity correspondence? How is his speech causing problems writing what he hears or sees?
     
  6. minnie

    minnie Cohort

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    Well we are doing go math curriculum. Right now we are learning numbers 11 through 20. They have to count a group of objects and put the number below it. When he counts, the numbers 13, 14 and 15 sound identical when he says the numbers because of his speech. His mouth cannot form the right sounds to say those numbers correctly. So, when he gets to 13, 14 and 15 he gets lost because they sound exactly alike so he gets mixed up. Also in our math we have to solve math problems that incorporate these numbers. So he struggles with the math problems that have these numbers in them. We are also learning to count by tens. He has difficulty with that because the numbers 30 and 40 sound exactly alike to him. We are also learning to count by tens. He has difficulty with that because the numbers 30 and 40 sound exactly like to him. He cannot differentiate those numbers. So his speech affects the way he says the numbers and it affects the way that he writes the numbers because he doesn’t hear it correctly in his head. I hope this is making sense. I am texting on my phone.

    In kindergarten, I see all kinds of speech issues. They are still learning to speak and I get that. But this little guy has so many speech issues that it is affecting everything for him.
     
  7. a2z

    a2z Maven

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    Mar 6, 2019

    Thank you for such a thorough reply. I'm not trying to pick at you. I"m just trying to see the whole picture. The fact that he is reading is good. The fact that he knows some numbers is good.

    Does he have hearing issues or is it just speech? If he can really hear the difference, he needs intervention such that someone else says the numbers he can and he can use visual aids or number cards with the written number on them to show what he wants to say or is trying to say. It certainly wouldn't be exactly the same, but it could help or show understanding.

    If most of his instruction is given the same way as the rest of the class, he might just need that extra intervention to solidify the written number with the quantity and hearing the word from someone else. He shows the card first and you or an aid says the number. That way he hears it correctly often enough to get the correspondence.

    Now, if he can't hear properly either, that is a whole different ball of wax.

    Thanks for your replies. You don't need to give another since doing it on the phone is difficult.

    As I said, I would cautiously recommend retention, but more intervention is probably the best way to go. If he is bright and emotionally sensitive to everything, retaining might be an issue and make things worse, especially if you could get a good jump on the issue.

    Now, about next year's teacher, that is a shame she has already decided she doesn't want to deal with him. I see why this is such a hard decision for you.
     
  8. minnie

    minnie Cohort

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    Mar 6, 2019

    Lol! Sorry for rambling! I was just trying to explain it the best I could. I didn’t realize I repeated the same sentence back to back.

    We got his hearing checked and there are no issues there. I agree that he needs more
    intervention specifically on saying his numbers. He has an IEP for speech. I could recommend that we add some sort of modification I could do in class like counting with him on his math assessments. I help him a lot when we do our math lessons together but during his tests, I can’t guide him. He is tanking math right now because our last two assessments focused on these numbers and he failed both of them. Sheesh! Kindergarten is definitely not graham crackers and nap time anymore.

    Thank you a2z for your replies!
     
  9. deepak

    deepak New Member

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    Mar 7, 2019

    Is there any way to have him get extra RTI for the math? The truth that he is reading is a very good signal, however the retention and recognition of numbers could factor to a disability that place. He may not be making the relationship between the variety and what it represents. Given it has no that means to him, it's far only a random word.

    I would likely push for greater RTI close to quantity experience with a communication that retention is probably a possibility. If he is vibrant and emotionally touchy to the whole thing, keeping is probably an issue and make matters worse, mainly if you could get a good leap on the difficulty.
     
  10. minnie

    minnie Cohort

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    My hands are tied with getting more RTI. Since we are so small, we have to share our RTI instructor with another school. She is only here on Mondays, Wednesdays and Thursdays. This students is very smart in other areas not related to math or even reading. He knows so much about so many things. He hates singing songs or dancing which is why I'm afraid being in kindergarten another year will devestate him. However, I don't want to be known as the teacher who didn't retain him because I didn't want to "upset him" or "hurt his feelings."
     
  11. a2z

    a2z Maven

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    Mar 7, 2019

    Understood. I'm sure with extra help, if you can fit some in, that he could get those skills. Any chance you can have his parents work with him using visuals, quantity, and speaking to work through this a bit? They may be the extra 10 to 20 minutes a day that is needed. Until his speech gets better, his parents could use a more visual way to help him learn that content. Not all parents know how to help with academic issues when typical practice and exposure doesn't work. Maybe meet with the parent(s) and student and go through a mini session so everyone is on the same page. Keep it positive and let the student know you believe he can get it but it just needs some extra work in a different way.

    You are welcome. I always admire how much you want to help and the lengths you go through to do so.
     

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