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hikinghiker hikinghiker is offline
 
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I'm in a tricky situation with an IEP
Old 10-12-2020, 08:40 AM
 
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I teach kindergarten and right now we're all virtual. I have 18 students. One of my girls has an IEP for hearing. We just had her IEP meeting and her goal is to self advocate more if she didn't hear or needs me to repeat or needs help, etc.

During small groups, my students can unmute at any time and ask for help. I'll only tell them to mute again if it's during a video or I'm in the middle of saying something, then I'll just ask them to repeat their comment or question after.

During whole group, my rule is no un-muting, for any reason other than an emergency (which there really shouldn't be one during distance learning). One, because it occasionally causes audio issues. Two, because it disrupts other kids and then I always have a handful that unmute after and don't understand why she can unmute but they can't. Or it disrupts the flow of the lesson and then it's difficult to get the kids on track. We do a lot of phonics drills in the morning and the flow is important.

Mom mentioned during her IEP meeting that sometimes she tries to unmute and I tell her to mute herself again. This is true, but I follow it up with 'tell me during small groups'. But also, I consider it important that she not unmute for the benefit of the entire class.

We've come up with a silent signal that I'm going to teach the entire class, but I'm still caught in a weird situation where there's times I shouldn't repeat, because it will disrupt the flow. For example, rhyming words or when we're blending a word.

Not sure if anyone can give me advice, but I felt like I needed somewhere to write my thoughts out. I want to her this girl but also there's times where I question if the needs of the class outweighs her needs, which is awful to write down but...


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My two cents...
Old 10-12-2020, 09:32 AM
 
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FWIW, I think the "silent signal" is a reasonable solution... assuming you can notice it--that can be challenging if it's a large group and you're focused on teaching/delivery.

Asking the question of whether or not the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the one is perhaps more important than finding an answer that fits every situation. If she were older and your platform could accommodate it, a chat feature would help by allowing her to message you (and you to answer) without the rest of the class even knowing.

The day will likely come when technology permits automatic subtitling but we're certainly not there yet!

I applaud you for recognizing the challenge and wanting to do right by everyone.
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Repetition is truly needed
Old 10-12-2020, 12:08 PM
 
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I don't think she should wait to tell you during small groups. In your situation, I would either allow her to unmute at will even though others can't (it really is OK) or I would keep her in your view at all times and always respond as soon as possible to her silent signal. Unlike the other students that might just want to chime in, this child truly cannot follow the lesson at times. Maybe her silent signal can mean that you will repeat what you just said. That'll help you preserve your flow while still doing a better job of meeting her needs.
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Index Cards
Old 10-12-2020, 12:25 PM
 
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What about using "parent made" index cards with help words/sentences on them. The student might/would display the message on the screen (from home) if/when she needs help. Then, she could be allowed to un-mute to ask the question(s) if/when time/lesson allows?
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Since it’s kindergarten
Old 10-12-2020, 01:13 PM
 
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I assume her parent is right there. Why can’t the parent repeat what she misses? She’d be acting as an aide. Or have the child use headphones where she can turn up the volume.


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Old 10-12-2020, 03:07 PM
 
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I like the idea of a silent signal that she needs to ask a question, but I understand asking a question can be disruptive. Perhaps a second silent signal that indicates “I didn’t hear that” would be helpful? If she’s young enough that might get confusing, then try the idea of using index cards. If she can’t even hear what you’re trying to rhyme or blend, then she is truly missing the entire lesson. I understand the need to keep the flow of the lesson, but she can’t miss significant parts of every lesson. Having a signal specifically for that would also let you see how frequently she’s not hearing. If she truly can’t follow the lessons, then more accommodations might be needed. Maybe those are skills that she needs to work on in a one on one situation with the special ed teacher instead of a group as long as your virtual. Appropriate headphones could certainly help and that should be considered.

Something else that might help would be to ensure that she knows you’re about to speak. Maybe you could use a hand signal that lets everyone know you’re about to speak. One program we used to use had us hold up one hand for 1 to 2 seconds to elicit attention then drop our hand as we began to speak. We used that signal for things like listening for rhyming words and getting ready to blend. That little extra warning might help her follow along better.

It might also be helpful to record a couple of lessons and let mom or the special ed teacher go over them with her. Make sure she understands the flow of the lesson and what she’s supposed to be listening for. That might make future lessons easier for her.

One additional thought - was a teacher of the hearing impaired included in the IEP conference? It just occurred to me that not all districts have access to those services. If not, then check to see if you can access those services. Not every hearing impaired child is going to be able to do phonics.
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Old 10-12-2020, 04:12 PM
 
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As a K teacher, I'm thinking through how I would address that as well. I have the same thing - muted during whole group unless I specifically ask you. Otherwise they just don't get it.

I love the idea of a signal for her to have you repeat. It could be a hand signal, or a colored card, or a card that says repeat. That seems like the most logical and least disruptive solution. If it's something like rhyming or blending, you can just repeat the whole thing a second time (not just part - I get what you mean in that situation).
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Expanding the index card idea...
Old 10-14-2020, 06:04 AM
 
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I've seen a version of the index card idea used in live classrooms as a way to avoid disruption... the students each have a card "tent" that sits on their desks. It allows them to easily flip to green (I'm doing okay, don't need help) to yellow (I can keep working but could use some help) to red (I'm really stuck and can't go any further without help).

I'm not sure how it would work with kinders... but some version of it might be a way for all students to ask for clarification without unmuting.

Another question that comes to mind is whether or not there might some sort of "hearing assist" technology available, that might be question for IT.
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