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book_lady book_lady is offline
 
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Title 1 Questions
Old 02-04-2009, 10:46 AM
 
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I am having some issues lately with who to pull for Title 1 in our school. Here's a little background on me... I am the only Title 1 teacher and see students k-5. I work with K-4 reading and 3-5 math. I feel extremely overwhelmed. Teachers are constantly asking me to add more students and I feel like I am more than maxxed out right now.

Here are my questions:

How many students do you pull in each group?

How many students do you see total?

What are some requirements you have before the teacher refers a child for Title 1.

What type of testing do you do for Title 1 placement?

Any ideas would be helpful, I'm fairly new at this and feel overwhelmed and confused.


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Old 02-04-2009, 01:18 PM
 
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By law, you district or school should have identification criteria for
Title I. This should state what data is used and what the "cut-off" scores are.

Generally speaking, our Title groups do not exceed 5 students. The Title staff have the same amount of duties and plan time as classroom teachers. The total number of students then depends on the number of groups that can be scheduled within the remainder of the duty day.

Some of our data includes DIBELS, STAR, common grade-level assessments, etc.
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Old 02-04-2009, 01:40 PM
 
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My school is definitely not the norm, but here is what we do.

There are two "interventionists" payed with Title I funds. I am the Literacy Specialist and then I have a Math counterpart.

I pull 4-6 students per group. I have 11 groups, grades 1st-6th. Some grade levels recieve more support based on need [for example, I have 3 different 4th grade groups because we have some non-reading 4th graders]. I don't support Kinder at all, because the expectation is that students shouldn't really be behind, since they just started school.

I think right now, I'm servicing a total of 58 kids.

Teachers don't refer children to Title I. We create our groups based on various pieces of data [NWEA, our state test, reading levels, etc.] and teacher input (but we ultimately make the final decision).

I don't do any testing in regards to placement. We use the data we have on the students.

In additon to working with 11 small groups, I also do an entire day of teacher coaching, to improve literacy instruction school-wide. We have an emphasis on balanced literacy so I do observations and coaching based on teacher need.

Like I said...not the norm, but I think it's a good set up [except for days like today when I'm so worn out that I just want to fall over].
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school wide or targeted?
Old 02-04-2009, 08:51 PM
 
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It really depends on whether you are a school wide or targeted school. If you are school wide you can work with the whole school in flexible groups. That's what I do. I go in the fourth grade, fifth grade and 3 kindergartens (4th and 5th group for reading) I am part of the rotation in 5th grade, and I conference with all students in reading and writing workshop in 4th and kinder. Then in 1,2,3, we have intervention groups based on common assessments. those change often depending on the concept tested.

We use DRA, teacher developed assessments, and others.

back in the dyas wehen we were targeted we tested all children at the beginning of the year using a variety of common assessments, and then took teacher input and ranked them all. I usually took about the first 75 or so students. i had a half time aide, and never took more than 6 kids at a time. (she would work with half of them if she was available)

It's common to feel overwhelmed and confused when you start out in this job. It's huge, and it breaks your heart in a targeted situation to say that you can't work with them. But you dilute your effectiveness when you try to do too much. Hang in there! After 15 years in Title I I still feel overwhelmed.
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Your state Title office...
Old 02-05-2009, 08:06 AM
 
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may help you. In my case, it was all I had for advice. In my 3rd year now, I still refer to the website or call for answers.

We are a targeted school and I service grades 3,4,and 5 and a very undefined agreement with our catholic school a block away. I took over for someone who had been doing our title program since it started, in the 70's, I think, so she did what she wanted, when she wanted. I have been trying to follow guidelines, and it hasn't always been so accepted by teachers.

I have to have 3 objective number scores to set up groups. I use the NWMAP rit band score, their Star Reader score, and a fall placement test I give to all 3,4,and 5th graders and the catholic school. ( I correct test papers for a very long week!!!!!) I also have their last year's report card score and final reading test from their previous year, then I look at teacher referral. Our primary title person can use teacher referral as a # 1 criterion.

Coming up with groups is tough; I also establish a waiting list. Currently I have 42 students (state cut off is 45) but 35 is about right.
My largest group is 6, which is too large. I do not have an aide so I go constantly, many days without a break but a shorten lunch period.

After an argument with a veteran teacher this week, who TOLD me her recently released from LD services student WOULD BE coming to my room, I have to keep reminding myself that I can't please everyone.

Making groups and scheduling are the toughest part of the job. Let me know if you have questions.


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Old 02-05-2009, 06:30 PM
 
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How many students do you pull in each group?
I work with K-2 for reading. There's another reading specialist who works with grades 3-5. Our math specialist works in grades 4,5.My kinders meet in groups 3-5. My grades 1,2 are in groups of 4-6.

How many students do you see total?
40- the max for district regs

What are some requirements you have before the teacher refers a child for Title 1.
In reading, we look at preliminary PALs scores, spring test scores (from the school year before), and teacher referrals from the previous year's teacher


What type of testing do you do for Title 1 placement?
preliminary PALs scores, spring test scores (from the school year before)
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Title I - Making it better
Old 02-11-2009, 05:54 PM
 
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Your situation sounds much the same as mine when I began teaching reading eight years ago. The following, though perhaps not of immediate assistance, offers a solution that, in the long run, has the potential for being of great benefit to you and to the students who are at-risk in your school. Here is what happened for me.

My first order of business was to convince the staff that early intervention is absolutely key (to her credit, my principal was already on board). Fortunately, the staff did agree and made the decision that kindergarten and first grade were to be given top priority in my daily schedule. Second grade would come next and so on up the grades (the score a child received on the district needs assessment would also be a factor in deciding who would receive services).

Over time, the staff also recognized that the larger my group size, the less effective were student learning outcomes and the longer it took to get them reading at grade level. Desiring to reduce the numbers of students needing remediation and believing these numbers, in large part anyway, to be preventable, this is what we did.

In kindergarten, we began using a musical, multisensory approach (called Steps for Success) during reading center time with all students (and that is where I spend the first hour of my day). By the end of that first year after using this approach, we saw a drastic reduction in the number of students qualifying for Title I and in the placements for Sp. Ed as well. That outcome is still a reality today - and our school has over a 76% poverty rate.

The next task was to assist classroom teachers in understanding that if a child was struggling, they were not someone else's problem. Of course, as reading teacher, part of my job is to be an information resource for them, but it is their job to first explore alternative methods or different approaches for teaching the child in they way they learn best (I will offer suggestions if they are open to that). Next, they should investigate other available options of help for the child (such as parents, 21st Century, volunteer tutors, paraprofessionals, etc.) before requesting Title services, especially if homework help is really what is most needed.

If you accept responsibility for providing intervention help for struggling students not already on your list, then expect that many teachers (because they're busy, too) will gladly hand that responsibility over to you. But the fact remains, when a child's name appears on the classroom teacher’s roster, then he or she is the one responsible for that child's adequate yearly growth. We, as reading teachers, are to be a resource, (a well-trained, highly effective one to be sure), but in the end, we are not THE one responsible.

Attitudes can be difficult to change, but my suggestion would be to start with your principal and get his or her backing first, for without it, you won't get past first base. Second, gather the research (the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development is a good one) to share with staff that provides evidence to prove the benefits of early intervention and the types of approaches that are most effective in reducing the number of students needing intervention services later on. A favorite quote of mine is: an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of... intervention, which has proven to be so very true.

As someone who's been there – done that – I can testify (with data as proof) that it can and does work. My situation is totally different from when I came eight years ago. The staff is great to work with, my schedule is super, and my job is rewarding and fun. Hope your story ends as happily.
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