'Topping' Troubles

Discussion in 'Elementary Education' started by PinkLily, Mar 13, 2008.

  1. PinkLily

    PinkLily Companion

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    Mar 13, 2008

    I need some advice... I have a child in my class that is struggling in both reading and writing. Although her reading is approaching grade level (I teach 3rd), she has a lot of difficulty writing sentences. Aside from her spelling, which is very weak, she almost never adds appropriate 'toppings' to the end of her words, such as -s, -ed, -ing, -er, etc... As a result, her sentences rarely make sense. I often go over her work with her, but she doesn't seem to see a problem. When I have her reread her sentences to me, she reads them correctly as if the 'toppings' are there. When I point out her mistake, she usually says "I don't get it." I have also noticed that she sometimes makes the same mistake when reading. She'll say, "The cheetah ran quick than the lion." I have no idea why is doesn't read and write these 'toppings' and I can't figure out how to solve this problem. Suggestions?
     
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  3. TulipsGirl

    TulipsGirl Cohort

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    Mar 13, 2008

    I'm not sure but it sounds like she needs a very direct lesson in roots and suffixes.

    When I do this with my first graders, I spend a lot of time asking them to "mark up" my words. i.e. I do activities where they circle the root word, underline the "ing", the "ed".... I do this kind of stuff on the board, or on worksheets. They become very familiar with the chunks this way. I might also play "I Spy", with different variations of words. I might put look, looking and looked, along with color, colored, coloring, and lots of other verbs. then I say "I spy the word 'looked.' I looked for my glasses." Then the child will go to the board, find the word and mark it up.

    Your student might need to do this in her own writing as well. She might start to see that these suffixes are missing.
     
  4. Upsadaisy

    Upsadaisy Moderator

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    Mar 13, 2008

    My third graders have been working with suffixes and prefixes.

    I downloaded games, bought some file folder games, used bulletin board sets with word cards - root words, prefixes, suffixes in different colors. They searched for words in their weekly story, and built words both on paper and in pocket charts. Our spelling words this week all had affixes. I put up a poster which gives the meanings of the affixes.

    Otherwise, it could be a visual processing problem. One of my students gets vision therapy and it has helped his reading.
     
  5. PinkLily

    PinkLily Companion

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    Mar 14, 2008

    Upsadaisy, I think that you might be right about her having visual processing difficulties. I had considered that and she is now going to be tested before March break. What exactly is vision therapy? I've never heard of it.
     
  6. Upsadaisy

    Upsadaisy Moderator

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    Mar 15, 2008

    You know, a few students at my school have gone to vision therapy, but I still don't know what they actually do. However, a child in my class now has been going for two months or so and the results are obvious. It even helps with his attention problems. His work is more organized, neater, more logical. I think whatever they do addresses processing problems, which we strongly suspected he had. The surprise was the effect on attention. I still think this child has auditory processing difficulties, which have not improved. All in all, I'm no longer skeptical about vision therapy.
     
  7. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    Mar 15, 2008

    Is English her first language? Many of our English Language Learners have difficulty with word endings when reading, writing and speaking.
     
  8. Rabbitt

    Rabbitt Connoisseur

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    Mar 15, 2008

    I agree on checking the vision for development; which is different than sight.

    How is the handwriting? If she does not have a sense of left to right with proper formation, this has been proven to effect reading and sentence structure. One year I began by focussing heavily on handwriting for one child and everything else came together.
     
  9. PinkLily

    PinkLily Companion

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    Mar 15, 2008

    The first language of this child is English; however, I do teach at a French immersion school. I'm actually wondering if maybe she'd be better off in an English program as she is not strong in either language.

    This child has very nice printing and cursive writing; however, it takes her a really long time to write things down.
     
  10. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    Are her difficulties in English writing and reading or in French? I teach at a dual-track school (English and French Immersion) and our FI kids start English instruction in grade 4.

    As one of the Special Ed teachers, we have a lot of meeitngs about FI students who are really struggling in the program. We usually try to suggest that the student be moved out of the FI program, as there aren't any special support available to them unless they are in the English track.
     
  11. TulipsGirl

    TulipsGirl Cohort

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    Mar 16, 2008

    I hadn't even thought of a visual processing problem - but that's definitely a good thing to look into. I have worked with students who have gone through visial therapy, and honestly, I'm not sure what they do either, but they met with a lot of success! I think it is dfferent for each child. For some, it means they work on "tracking", or being able to follow the text all the way from the left to the right, for others, it might mean strengthening eye muscle, or training both eyes to work together. The student I worked with made tremendous progress in reading and self confidence after going to visual therapy.
     
  12. juc162

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    Mar 21, 2008

    If direct/small group instruction on prefixes and suffixes doesn't help, she may have a learning disability. There is a student in my class who does not add endings to words either when he speaks AND writes. Is her oral language the same way? Another reason could be the student's background. The majority of my children speak like that because of their background/culture but are still can write things out properly.
     
  13. Hoot Owl

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    Mar 23, 2008

    If her vision is ok, copy a few pages from a book and have her use a highlighter on prefixes and suffixes.
     
  14. PinkLily

    PinkLily Companion

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    Mar 23, 2008

    Thanks for all the suggestions. My student was tested this week and I should be getting the results back soon. I am curious as to what the results will reveal.
     

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