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MrsSR MrsSR is offline
 
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MrsSR
 
Joined: Aug 2011
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Pre-primer and in third grade
Old 10-02-2012, 06:11 AM
 
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HELP! I have a new student this year. He comes from a billingual classroom at a local public school. He is now in an English speaking classroom at a private school.

He was tested by special services and is at the pre-primer level for reading-oral, silent, word recognition, and listening.

He cannot add/subtract simple digits unless he has counting cubes to use. I do not understand a thing he writes.

Since I am at a private school, I do not have any resources to help him. He is in the classroom all day and it is getting really hard to work with him, and be able to help my other students.

Any ideas???


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Old 10-05-2012, 02:16 PM
 
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Hi MrsSR,

You have a beginning ELL. He's obviously had education prior to coming to you, so I'm curious, does he read and write in his native language? Is he on grade level in his native language?

He's trying to make sense of everything around him. Is there a "buddy"n the classroom who speaks his language? Expect a "silent period." It could last for months. My advice to you is to focus on building his vocabulary. He might be able to add and subtract without counting cubes, but the language is getting in the way. (side note - put a list of numbers with their English names in his math journal, ex: 1 one, 2 two, 3 three) Building his vocabulary is key. He won't understand anything (reading/writing/science/SS/math) without vocabulary. Model writing a simple sentence with hewly taught vocabulary. Find content materials at a low reading level. If you are teaching animal habitats, ask the kindergarten and 1st grade teachers what materials they have on that topic. Simplify his classwork activites and his homework. Reduce the amount of work you give him. He is doing double the work just by trying to translate and make sense of what you are asking him to do. Recognize that he is translating in his head all day and its exhausting. Add meaningful visuals and use simplified language in class, on his classwork and assessments. Assessments might include him pointing to pictures, drawing, labeling, matching, identifying. I know it's a lot of exra work, but he will learn so much in return. Try to put yourself in his place, in a country you don't speak the language. How would you learn best? Good luck. He obviously has a teacher who cares
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I do
Old 10-06-2012, 10:37 AM
 
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I am doing all of these things already-having a peer translate, having lists in English/Spanish, giving him books at his level... He does not do the regular reading or spelling with us and he doesn't do English or math with us (I've made him binders for subjects with work from lower grade levels in them-I'm sure he knows it's lower, but at least kindergarten or first grade isn't written all over the workbook).

During reading I do Hooked On Phonics with him (luckily I have a student teacher so while she's teaching the rest of the class I can work with him-but come December I'm on my own). During English he works from a first grade grammar book.

In math I told him he can count in Spanish if it made it easier, but he still seems to struggle.

Is there a good vocabulary program I can get to help him? I already took pictures of things around the classroom and in his desk so I can show him the picture while I say the word (for example, I show him the picture of his take home binder while I tell him "take out your take home binder"). Should I just focus on vocabulary in the classrom and within the content area?

Do you think I need to worry about working on spelling or just focus on getting his vocabulary up and getting him to write in complete sentences?

I guess I just feel like he is really low and needs a lot of one on one. Which I can give now, but it's going to be hard when I'm on my own and have other children who need help. Hopefully by then he will be a little more independent.
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Old 10-06-2012, 04:32 PM
 
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It's great that you've been able to spend so much time with this student. I know that when I have a beginner, I just want them to be able to understand and I feel for them because I think they must feel so frustrated. Don't worry. With everything that you've been doing, and you've been doing a lot, he will learn. He certainly won't be on grade level at the end of the year, but he will make good progrrss. As long as you continue to simplify, reduce, and add meaningful visuals, he'll be fine. And the strategies you use with him will benefit the entire class.

I don't think I'd worry about spelling right now. If you can taylor it so that he's learning vocabulary instead, that will be more beneficial. Don't give him more than 10 terms each week for now. If you want I can send you what a spelling/vocabulary test would look like for one of my beginners. We use Words Their Way spelling program, so it's individualized to the students' needs. I took the 15 words each week (mine were in 5th grade), but instead of focusing on the spelling pattern (although they really were learning it) the focus was on teaching the meaning of these words. I'd include a visual, and if I couldn't find a visual I translated the term. Sometimes their spelling/vocabulary terms would be months of the year, days of the week, colors, shapes, etc...

If you google, or go to Amazon and look for vocabulary programs for ELLs, you might find some resources.

You are doing a great job, and when your student teacher is gone and you no longer have the extra time available to meet with this student individually, he'll be OK.

Do you have a computer in your classroom? Did you know that National Geographic Young Explorer has a great online magazine that students can listen to? It's a wonderful way to expose them to some new vocabulary. There is a vocabulary program called "Look, Listen and Speak." I'm not sure how much it costs. Your school might be able to purchase it. You can upload it onto a classroom computer and he could use that for some vocabulary activities.

If you'd like you can message me and then I can send you some of the stuff I've created for my beginners. it might be helpful, or give you some ideas. I'd be happy to share what I have.

Good Luck....it'll be great, and at the end of the year you'll be so thrilled to see just how far he's come.
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