Someone please help me with my 2nd Grader!

Discussion in 'Elementary Education' started by RJJohnsonFam4, Feb 10, 2017.

  1. Feb 10, 2017

    I don't know where else to go or what to do so I'm hoping someone here can help me! My daughter is currently in 2nd grade. She attempted 2nd grade last year and struggled so much we followed the schools advice last year and placed her back in a 1st grade classroom. She did great! When she started 2nd grade this year, her teacher was out on maternity leave until the beginning of November. We had a long term sub who was very good at communicating with me if she was struggling on certain concepts. If she noticed that she missed a lot of questions in a certain area of a test, she would have her retake it and would take the average of the 2 scores. She had an empty desk that sat next to hers that my daughter could go sit at to work anytime she felt uneasy about her work which she would often do. She would have some focus issues here and there but I was concerned that there were many problems with her struggling and needing the teachers help so often. Her grades however, remained at A's and B's. I asked the school to have her retested (they did testing with her the 1st round of 1st grade) because I felt something is there hindering her learning. The 1st round of testing showed ADHD (and a speech impairment with Blended letters, S, L, and TH) so she is on medication for the ADHD but there just seemed like something wasn't adding up.
    Her actual teacher returned the beginning of November and things have dramatically changed. Her testing results showed learning disabilities in Decoding, Reading Fluency, Dyslexia, and an Anxiety Disorder along with her ADHD. I had an IEP meeting with the school to determine what we could do to help her. We decided to cut back her spelling words, 10 instead of 20. (Spelling is her worst subject as she doesn't say words correctly so she doesn't hear them correctly to try to sound them out.) She is enrolled in the RTI program (I'm really not sure what exactly that does). She is in remediation as well as a resource room where she gets extra one on one help.
    It has been about 3 weeks since that meeting. I went in and talked to the teacher on Monday and she said she is doing fine in class. On Wednesday evening, I pulled her grades up online to see if these changes have helped. Her grades are currently C's and even a U/F in Math which is her strongest subject! I was floored! Obviously, she is NOT doing fine! So, On Thursday, I go talk to her teacher again. I tell her I'm concerned about my daughters grades. She says let me pull them up and look at them. She notices the C, C, and U in the 3 Major areas of learning as if it was news to her. I ask what we can do to help her because something isn't working. She says she will talk to the principal because she can't think of anything else they can do for her. I ask her about retesting sections and taking the average and she said she won't do that because she needs accurate depictions of her work to show the special education department or they won't do anything. We had previously discussed verbal testing, putting the empty desk back next to her desk, as well as other suggestions that seemed to work with the sub...none of which she has ever tried. I spoke to the principal and he said it was the first he was hearing of her grades dropping (of course it is because I brought it to her teacher's attention) and that he would talk to her teacher.
    I go in Friday morning (Today) and see the principal who says he has her teacher gathering data and he will give me a call and set up a meeting for next week but that she had some good ideas. I then go see the teacher to see how a test went on Thursday. She says at this point there is nothing else the school can do for her that they aren't already doing. (Not the impression I got from the principal)! She said the only thing she can do is make a list of the areas for us to work on at home.
    What do I do?? She comes home from school and we immediately start on homework. We are often doing homework until 8 and 9 o'clock. It is like a chore to get her to do the work. I have to ask many questions and hee-haw around the answers so that i'm not just giving her the answers. I often write the answers down as she is explaining to me what to do (what do you do first? Then what do you do? What's the final answer?) So I know she understands the process. I don't know what else to do! I haven't even started on the grading and points system! Someone help! I'm about ready to pull her out altogether!
     
  2.  
  3. viola_x_wittrockiana

    viola_x_wittrockiana Comrade

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2016
    Messages:
    288
    Likes Received:
    140

    Feb 10, 2017

    Ok, the first thing you need to do is get her vision and hearing checked. She's at the age when many kids first need glasses, and do hearing to confirm what's going on with her speech. (my best friend had speech issues because of scar tissue from ear infections) Her speech will be treated a little differently depending on if it's a sound perception issue or a sound production issue. If it is her vision, that would explain the sudden dyslexia diagnosis and the drop in her math grade.
    It's good that they have her in pull-out services and RTI. RTI is a program that splits instruction into tiers based on student needs. Every child gets tier 1 instruction, the students who struggle a bit get extra instruction and practice, and tier 3 usually involves pull-out help or assignment modifications for the kids who struggle a lot. It's a narrow, focused intervention meant to keep small problems from snowballing. A child who normally does well in math might have problems with say, subtracting 3-digit numbers, but be fine with adding them. That child's grade might still be fine, but if the problem area isn't addressed, it may cause future struggles.
    Having been through it myself, the process to get the right supports/accommodations in place can be a long pain in the butt. The school has the ball rolling, so you're doing better than others already. You can try to get it into the IEP that she be tested verbally, but don't panic if this doesn't happen at the next meeting. It takes time and there's a million hoops to jump through. If you feel like you're not being heard or you're at a point where your daughter is in crisis, you are allowed to bring an advocate to the meeting with you. That person will know the system, the jargon, and the legal stuff that may facilitate communication.
     
    Obadiah likes this.
  4. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2001
    Messages:
    24,950
    Likes Received:
    2,104

    Feb 10, 2017

    Ask for a child study team evaluation. Without paperwork/documentation, retesting and other modifications, while well intentioned, present a skewed picture of how your kid is performing.
     
    Backroads likes this.
  5. mrsammieb

    mrsammieb Devotee

    Joined:
    May 2, 2006
    Messages:
    1,062
    Likes Received:
    101

    Feb 11, 2017

    You could also asked for her to be tested for Special Education. It's called a direct parent referral. If you ask for it, they have to test her. They hate doing that BUT if you feel she has processing problems and needs accommodations to get through her day then it might be a good choice for her.
     
  6. Obadiah

    Obadiah Groupie

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2015
    Messages:
    1,323
    Likes Received:
    807

    Feb 11, 2017

    You are on top of things. I wish all parents were as diligently concerned about their child's education as you are.

    I wonder if the anxiety could be from doing school work until bedtime and from the stress of low grades. A more professional evaluator could find other causes, but I'd recommend cutting back on the homework time and easing up on the grade expectations. However, I wholeheartedly recommend you continue working with your child. Parent/child interaction does more than any teacher can provide. I'm wondering if the stress of all the extra homework and the grades are interfering with her development. At a mid-second grade level, I would suggest focusing on reading aloud to your daughter, and encouraging her to spend time interacting with books. I'd recommend she choose a few books at a library. The ones that are too hard to read independently, they become read-alouds. It's OK and beneficial if she prefers for you to re-read these books to her, and for her to read or try to read the same book several times. (In my recommendations, I'm not trying to overstep the teacher; she would have a more precise idea of your child's needs). In summary, I think anxiety should be a major factor to work on; this could increase her development in the other areas.

    I tend to view learning disabilities as learning differences. This is how Albert Einstein was at this age. It is often assumed that he had learning differences. Frankly, every child in a classroom has some kind of difference in ability, but some, as your daughter's, are classified as a learning difference. Decoding and fluency are connected with dyslexia. Basically, reading can be defined as deriving meaning from written text; decoding and fluency are just parts of the process. I view ADHD as a difference, too, which I also have. It's just a difference in how my brain uses the brain chemical, dopamine. I credit my ADHD for my ability in playing the piano; I wouldn't trade my ADHD for anything. And I do agree with your pediatrician's prescription for the stimulant to assist with ADHD; stimulants are sometimes overprescribed, but on the other hand, they can help students focus as needed.

    A few other tips which assist with all academics (not that these are being neglected), plenty of sleep, time for active play especially outside, and good nutrition help tremendously. For dyslexia, another helpful hint is to provide plenty of talk time with parents (which it seems you are already doing). There are also games on the market that encourage conversation that might be fun to try. Sometimes kids with learning differences for some reason end up watching too much TV or spending an excessive amount of time with video games. True, TV involves language and communication, but research indicates it has little value in a child's development when coming from a TV show. In summary, I agree in your being proactive, but remember, your daughter is who she is, and her grades right now don't determine her future.
     
  7. agdamity

    agdamity Fanatic

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2007
    Messages:
    2,680
    Likes Received:
    450

    Feb 11, 2017

    This might vary by state. I've been told numerous times that a parent request means we have to have a meeting about testing, but we do not have to test unless it is determined at the meeting that testing is necessary.

    OP, where was your testing done? I'm not sure how testing by the school diagnosed ADHD and anxiety disorders. Do you have an IEP in place? The reason I'm asking is because of the teacher's comment that the special education departments wouldn't do anything for your daughter if she was allowed to redo portions of the test. As awful as it is, students in my area will not be tested for special education if they are making A's and B's on classwork and tests. If you do have an IEP, I'm sure there are a variety of accommodations that could be added to your daughter's IEP. I've had several ADHD kids who were allowed to redo assignments they failed because it was written into their IEP.
     
  8. Obadiah

    Obadiah Groupie

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2015
    Messages:
    1,323
    Likes Received:
    807

    Feb 12, 2017

    Another quick tip: I'd recommend adding some classical music during the week, perhaps as background music, or watching a concert on PBS, etc. Not that popular rock music is harmful, but including classical (or even jazz, older forms of popular music, or kids songs from the 50's-60's) can promote even more brain growth in areas that also effect reading and math. It's not a cure, but the orderliness of the music in melody, rhythm, harmony, and even acoustic overtones is kind of like taking an academic vitamin. If not used to these forms of music, I'd recommend shopping around on the radio dial or the Internet to find a style you and she enjoy. My comments made me think of one more caution, I wouldn't take any of the newer kids' brain supplements (such as drug stores sell) without first consulting a pediatrician.
     
  9. Rabbitt

    Rabbitt Connoisseur

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2007
    Messages:
    1,875
    Likes Received:
    102

    Feb 14, 2017

    At home, I would take some walks with her, play games, origami, do puzzles, make crafts, scrap book, cook/book, jewelry, color books with fun markers, woodworking, knitting, fishing, or latch hook. Find something to take her mind off of school. She may be more inclined to work on school stuff if likes what comes after. She will also develop an interest for a possible future career.

    I had a student once (3rd grade) who could not do any math or reading. Extreme dyslexia. But he began to compose his own music. He is a natural and music is his future as now at 14 years old, he still reads at 1st grade level and he is winning awards as a young composer!
     
  10. showmelady

    showmelady Companion

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2011
    Messages:
    143
    Likes Received:
    25

    Feb 21, 2017

    What kind of homework is she having in the 2nd grade that could possibly take from the time she comes home until 8 or 9 at night? That seems really out f line. I mean, even if she does not get home from school until 4pm, that is 4 or 5 hours of work! I am totally puzzled on this. There are high school students who d not have that much homework.
     
    Backroads likes this.
  11. ChildWhisperer

    ChildWhisperer Groupie

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2015
    Messages:
    1,226
    Likes Received:
    422

    Feb 21, 2017

    I think it takes that long because, like the OP said, it's more of a chore to her daughter and OP is having to ask specific questions to get her to answer and so it's taking longer than it should, especially if she has ADHD and if she's showing signs of all the others OP listed. It's just harder for her
     
  12. showmelady

    showmelady Companion

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2011
    Messages:
    143
    Likes Received:
    25

    Feb 25, 2017

    I understand about the child having difficulty, but I was really wondering about the QUANTITY of homework, not so much the difficulty factor. I work with 2nd graders sometimes as a sub, and the most homework I have ever had to give them was maybe one worksheet. And even if they resist at home, I am just wondering at the QUANTITY, because taking until 8 or 9 PM seems unreal.. I have worked with students with learning problems as well as those learning life skill, and special ed students who come for one-on-one help, and have not had any times when it took even an hour to work through a worksheet with a student.
     
  13. ChildWhisperer

    ChildWhisperer Groupie

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2015
    Messages:
    1,226
    Likes Received:
    422

    Feb 25, 2017

    If the parents of my preschoolers are requesting homework, I can only imagine how much homework a second grader gets these days
     
  14. BioAngel

    BioAngel Science Teacher - Grades 3-6

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2007
    Messages:
    3,642
    Likes Received:
    108

    Mar 1, 2017

    Two ideas (there's more)...
    1) She has struggled in the past, so she will continue to struggle. (I was and am in the same boat as a learner.) She will always have to work longer and harder than others. Teach her that there is NOTHING wrong with this, but as long as she is working hard (and longer if needed), then she should be proud of herself.

    To go along with this, ask the teacher how long she expects a child to work on homework in minutes. My 3rd and 4th graders stick to around 15 minutes an evening for my subject (science). I have one girl in 3rd who is really struggling - has an evaluation ADHD related- and her Mom will have her stop after 15 minutes and jot a note down in her planner on what she was able to accomplish that evening. I then either find time for her to finish it in science class or for homework. Since I don't give science homework every night, this allows her to catch up. Ask the P and the teacher if extended time on homework is something that you can do, as long as, it is with an understanding that your daughter will do all of the assignments eventually. A modification is to cut back on homework, such as less math problems, but that doesn't work for all assignments (such as my science homework).

    2) Please look into having her learn anxiety coping mechanisms. I had anxiety since I was very young and I wish parents - who know their child has anxiety - would do something about helping them learn how to work THROUGH the problem. Not just avoid it or just fail the situation. The sitting next to the teacher seemed to help, but she needs to learn how to self-soothe and work through something that makes her nervous or is difficult. She can not expect the teacher to sit next to her while she works or come over to help her all of the time. (It's not fair to other students who need the teacher's attention too.)

    https://www.understood.org/en/frien...echniques-for-your-young-child?view=slideview

    https://www.responsiveclassroom.org/teaching-self-calming-skills/

    Ask the teacher if she could incorporate some brain breaks before or after a stressful activity (such as taking a test). Look into the site called Go Noodle - we use this at my school a lot. That might help your child to self-soothe and refocus on her work.
     

Share This Page

Members Online Now

  1. K1teach,
  2. Lisa Jones
Total: 289 (members: 3, guests: 266, robots: 20)
test