Where to begin???

Discussion in 'Special Education' started by karebear76, Sep 5, 2011.

  1. karebear76

    karebear76 Habitué

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2005
    Messages:
    987
    Likes Received:
    3

    Sep 5, 2011

    I have 4 students that are very low academically (2 are classified multi-handicapped, and 2 are cognitively delayed - there's a 1:1 aide assigned to one student). I have to teach them math, language, and spelling. Another teacher is doing the reading.

    For math, I had them try out basic math facts to get a baseline. Only one of them was able to answer more than 10 basic addition facts independently. I said no tools b/c I wanted to see what they could do, and they had as much time as they needed.

    Where do I begin? These kids are transitioning from self contained to my resource room. They were doing double digit addition with a calculator in the SC room. Do I start there and forget teaching them basics? Or do I go way back to the beginning and work on 1:1 correspondence and build from there?

    I've never had 4th graders that low in math before. They've at least been able to do some basic addition independently. I'm trying to make lesson plans right now & I'm at a loss. :help:
     
  2.  
  3. Emily Bronte

    Emily Bronte Groupie

    Joined:
    May 28, 2006
    Messages:
    1,265
    Likes Received:
    11

    Sep 5, 2011

    Go back to the beginning with counting and see how they do. They might get it quickly and you can move on quickly, depending on how fast they catch on. Use counting chips and the like as a visual. They should pick things up quicker with those. That has been my experience at least.
     
  4. catlover

    catlover Rookie

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2011
    Messages:
    48
    Likes Received:
    0

    Sep 6, 2011

    What do their IEPs say? I wouldn't want to remove the calculator if that is spelled out in the IEP as something they're supposed to be using. On the other hand, I agree that going back to the basics would be good, but if you have to go against the IEP to do that, I think you would have to have a meeting to revise the IEP first.

    At least, that's what comes to my mind.
     
  5. waterfall

    waterfall Virtuoso

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2011
    Messages:
    6,145
    Likes Received:
    993

    Sep 6, 2011

    That's what I'm thinking as well. I got a 4th grader last year who literally couldn't count very well, and couldn't do single digit addition (believe it or not, she is not identified for anything- we're going through the RtI process for her and just made a referral to test for math disability). I started with unifix cubes and 1:1 correspondence, and then showing her how to "count up" to add one more. We gradually moved on to touch math for simple addition and subtraction, and we're currently working on double digit addition/subtraction with carrying and regrouping. I think it's more important for her to have those skills even though it took a lot of time rather than using a calculator. However, if you're going to change what's on the IEP you should have a meeting and write an amendment.

    My other thought is, aren't you a mild/mod. teacher? Why are students with multiple disabilities being placed on your caseload? I don't know what your school situation is like, but I'd raise a fuss about that. For me personally, I'd say it's not fair to me since I have no training/experience to work with that population and that's not the job I signed up for, it's not fair for that student to only get moderate support from a resource room when they have so many needs, and it's not fair to the mild/mod. students who should be on your caseload that are missing out on time with you because you're working with high-needs students. :2cents::
     
  6. karebear76

    karebear76 Habitué

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2005
    Messages:
    987
    Likes Received:
    3

    Sep 6, 2011

    It's a battle I'm not going to win, just like having more students on my caseload than I'm supposed to have. My P seems to think that the 1:1 is practically as good as a teacher, so all's fair. We do not have a self contained room anymore. All 4 teachers are resource and restricted to specific grade levels.

    Thanks for the tips. IEPs are due end of this month anyway so I'll be revisiting their needs/accommodations then. Doing replacement like I do makes it really hard to follow IEPs to the letter anyway. I never know which way to go, teach grade level material for the access to gen ed and let IEPs go, or let grade level go & follow IEPs, which is automatically no good as far as the state tests go...it's a lose-lose situation.
     
  7. waterfall

    waterfall Virtuoso

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2011
    Messages:
    6,145
    Likes Received:
    993

    Sep 6, 2011

    I feel the same way sometimes and I feel this is kind of a "debate" in special ed right right now- and I think grade level so they can pass the test is winning. Personally I disagree- I follow the IEPs over the grade level stuff. I think that's the most important stuff for them to know and stuff they'll actually need to use for the rest of their life. Luckily my P and I are in agreement. There are special ed teachers in the district that pull the kids out and do nothing but test taking skills/testing strategies as interventions. They have them reading only grade level material instead of material on their level that they can actually learn with, even if the student is 1-2 years behind academically. Their kids might pass the test while mine might not, but at least I can say I'm actually teaching my kids to read, write, and do math with skills they'll actually use later on. My defense to them is so yours can fill in bubbles- mine can actually read. Really, in the grand scheme of things not passing the 3rd grade state test isn't going to matter at all to that kid- but if they never learn to read at the basic level, write sentences that make sense, or do basic "life skills" math, they're not going to get anywhere in life. It is hard though, being accountable for those scores and knowing that if you forgo the IEP skills you might be able to teach the kid to pass the test. IMO though, the student comes first. My kids actually did A LOT better than I thought they would last year, especially considering I never once did a single test prep/practice thing with them as an intervention. We have a "partially proficient" in my state, which is really nice because it's kind of an inbetween place I can try to get them too. All of my students except for one were at least partially proficient and a few were proficient on some tests.
     
  8. karebear76

    karebear76 Habitué

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2005
    Messages:
    987
    Likes Received:
    3

    Sep 7, 2011

    I'd not worry about the state tests at all, if it weren't for the constant targets placed on sp ed at my school. We are not making AYP because of the SWD subgroup. So automatically the teachers get the blame for that, because as everyone knows, we can fit all of our square pegs into the state's round holes without any trouble... There's a lot of pressure for my students to pass, a LOT...
     
  9. waterfall

    waterfall Virtuoso

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2011
    Messages:
    6,145
    Likes Received:
    993

    Sep 7, 2011

    My dad's school is the same way (in OH). His admin often pushes to have kids who really shouldn't be identified put on IEPs anyway because they think it will push that sub-group's scores up. They also purposely put WAY more kids on alternative assessment than need it, knowing that the state is going to catch some of them and no matter how much work the teachers did to do the AA, it won't even count for anything, but it's worth the few they can slip in. When they get the test scores, they literally have a staff meeting and put up a slide show of every kid, talk about their scores, and put their teacher (including my dad if they're in special ed) on the spot in front of everyone and ask they why they didn't pass. What a stark comparison- at the beginnng of the school year, my district had a little slide show called "our bright spots" or something similar, and they put pictures up of kids that had passed at least one subject for the first time ever. On top of that, they then got up and even said they knew there were other ways to show achievement, and of course test scores aren't everything! I've been in a lot of OH schools and that's just not a sentiment I've EVER felt. Last year my school didn't have enough kids on IEP's to have a subgroup, which was really nice. I'm not sure if we will this year. We've combined with a middle school, so we technically now have twice as many kids on IEPs, but I don't know if that counts or not since it's elementary/middle.

    That's why I love my P though, even though she drives me nuts half the time, she just loves the kids so much. I think being from OH it was really hard to see an admin that would genuinely place an individual student's needs as the number one important thing, and not see kids as test scores. She 100% supports "giving them what they need" over cramming testing down their throats. It's hard to describe- but all of the other schools I've been in are just test,test,test. It's unbelievable what NOT doing that can do for the school culture. My specific school faces a lot of issues that many others in the district don't, and last year we were the lowest in the district for reading. And you know what...I still consider myself to be at the best school in the district. I wouldn't trade places with anyone in those high achieving schools for the world- high test scores have nothing on what we have. We did make AYP- not sure how that worked out, but we did. I think it's because the school started out so low several years ago.
     

Share This Page

Members Online Now

  1. catnfiddle,
  2. Secondgradelady
Total: 281 (members: 3, guests: 262, robots: 16)
test