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teachright7th
 
 
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teachright7th
 
 
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7th grader
Old 12-22-2007, 05:37 PM
 
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Hi I have posted this on a diff board but did not get any responses so i decided to post here--this kid im talking about IS NOT in special ed!! Just wondering if anyone could help---thanks!

I just recently got a new student. I teach 7th grade reading, writing, english...boy is she behind in everything and Im really not sure what to do!! She came in about 2 months ago; dad and mom also just went through a divorce. she stays with her mom and dad has no rights at all.
Anyway back to her-she has so much trouble comprehending what she reads, understanding what i say in class...she DOES read well though. She does not raise her hand in class, very very very reluctant, and withdrawn from the class. She does not want to be singled out; I know she is definitely not wanting or looking for attention from me. I work with her one on one every day after school, but am really unsure how to help her understand. I constantly repeat what I say very slowly, even for essays I have to help her understand what she is supposed to do! She also has a low low vocab level-like seriously probably around beginning 5th grade level. It has come to a point where she honestly tells me she understand things eventhough she really doesnt just because she is embarrased.
She has very neat handwriting, but is constantly erasing to make it perfect so tha there are literally holes in the paper! Her writing is not terrible.
She really has no idea what im saying in class and she is just gets so frustrated; it really makes me cry to see her struggle so much...I reallly wish i knew how to help her. I spoke to her mom who really doesnt care; she doesnt care about her daughter at all! I wrok in a private school so theres really not much help i can get...if anyone has any advice i would really appreciate it!!! thanks so much.


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lakeviewSPED lakeviewSPED is offline
 
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lakeviewSPED
 
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7th grade student
Old 12-22-2007, 06:30 PM
 
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How does this girl do socially? Has she made any friends? Have you talked with her teacher(s) at her previous school? They can often give insight into whether she had identified learning disabilities in her other school.

From what you wrote, it sounds as if she might have a language problem, which could be low enough to qualify for SPED services...if you have them available in your private school. You said that she doesn't understand when you give her directions, does that mean that if you ask her immediately afterwards, she can't repeat the directions...or can she repeate the directions but doesn't seem to know how to carry the directions out.

I think if I were you, I'd start building her vocabulary, by exempting her from some assignments to allow extra time to work solely on vocabulary. I would also likely modify her assignments to match her abilibty level (instead of assigning 20 vocab. words at a 7th grade level per week, maybe 5-10 words at a 5th grade level.) Another thought is to give her written directions, and have her begin by re-stating the directions, either re-writing them or summarizing them to you.

Another thought is to make her feel successful where she is now. This will hopefully help her feel more comfortable and perhaps open up to you about what she does and does not understand.

Hope this helps!
Michele
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teachright7t
 
 
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Old 12-23-2007, 05:08 PM
 
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hi, thanks so much for responding. I did speak to the teacher she had in fifth and sixth grade (she had the same teacher). At that time this kiddo was not able to read at all; so she has improved since then...the teacher also helped her a lot privately. The teacher also did some joint compressions because she was very uneasy in class and got very frustrated. I know when this kid first came to the class she was a little uneasy and fidgety so I moved her to the front closer to me and it stopped. She was not tested for any ld becuase neither parent wanted it.
No sped services in the school, but what I meant was that she can repeat to e what I said she just cant reword them. She does not understand what I am saying, but she hears me just fine.
I like your idea of giving her fifth grade vocab words, instead of 7th. I think I am going to try that.
I have a question though, everyone always says make her feel sucessful...how exactly should I do that. She knows she is not "up to" the rest of the class. I praise her for what she can do, but I do not think its helping much
Thanks so much for responding!
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teabreak teabreak is offline
 
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teabreak
 
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Hmmmm
Old 12-24-2007, 06:42 AM
 
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Sounds like you are going to have to differentiate her curriculum. Don't make a complete curriculum change, but bring it to a level that she is successful at and slowly build her up. Have you spoken with the administration about this? Does your school run an RtI process or a discrepancy in score process to qualify for special ed? Is there anyway you can get her some intervention help from an at risk coordinator? I'm not entirely familiar with private schooling, but I would think they would at least have an AR person available to help.

Good luck with this girl.
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bis4betsy bis4betsy is offline
 
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bis4betsy
 
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Language processing problems
Old 12-26-2007, 10:50 AM
 
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Sounds like she has some language processing problem, which could be auditory. Just because she hears you does not mean she can process the words quickly enough to think of the answers. If she can read but has no idea what she's reading it means she's probably working so hard to decode the words she can't remember them in any context!
What grade level does she read at? Can she read sight words out of context? How does she do with math? Does she know her multiplication facts cold or does she struggle with them as well?
You should modify her work and make it match her ability level, if she's at 5th grade great, but don't just randomly choose. See what her Dibels fluency reading rate is and start teaching her from where she is successful.
A good resource for you would be Rick Lavoie's video called "F.A.T. City (Frustration, Anxiety, Tension)" it really gives you an idea of the challenges that students with language processing problems face. Check with the local school district to see if they have a copy or you can buy it online. (Rick Lavoie and Mel Levine are excellent resources for struggling students.) You might want to have her screened for dyslexia also. check out this website www.dys-add.com It's called Bright Soultions and it has a good checklist of warning signs of dyslexia. Look at www.ldonline.org/ for more information on language processing and dyslexia.
Good luck with her, she sounds like she needs caring adults in her life now to help her out.


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mcolthompson
 
 
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7th grader
Old 01-13-2008, 02:15 PM
 
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The student you have described as "She has very neat handwriting, but is constantly erasing to make it perfect so that there are literally holes in the paper!" may be experiencing academic problems due to the trauma and instability in her home life. Divorce and abuse issues can shatter a child's motivation. My suggestion would be to focus on life skills rather than academic skills. She must understand that she is not the reason for the split in her family. It is important to build her self-image.
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