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Help! Getting a Fourth Grader Who Can't Read!

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ga9044 ga9044 is offline
 
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Help! Getting a Fourth Grader Who Can't Read!
Old 07-18-2009, 09:27 AM
 
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Hi All
I am having a situation that I would appreciate any input you may have. Next year I am getting a student in my fourth grade class who can not read at all and has no word attack skills. I tutored him as a third grader to try and get him ready for fourth grade, but he was so far behind I wasn't sure where to start. He just learned his alphabet in third grade and has no knowledge of vowel sounds, blends, etc. His third grade teacher did not know how to teach phonics so just gave him alphabet worksheets. He is not yet in special education because of the Response to Intervention Process. I went to the special education teacher at my school for assistance, but he wasn't able to offer much help because he does not have his special education licensure yet. Any help, suggestions, curriculum ideas, would be greatly appreciated. I am just not sure where the best place to start is. Thanks in advance!


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Cindy B Cindy B is offline
 
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4th grade non-reader hints
Old 07-18-2009, 09:59 AM
 
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It is a big elephant in the room when you have a non-reader in your class. I'm a third grade teacher who had someone transfer into my room without knowledge of all letter names or sounds. He was in special ed, but that meant mornings with me and afternoons in the SE room. Morning work, textbook explorations, etc. had to be modified for him.

My experience is a bit different. I taught Reading Recovery for 10 years before being moved into the classroom. I was used to seeing children at this level of reading, but without the first grade gullibility (a third grader has so many more walls built about life and what they can accomplish.)

My advice for curriculum. Select 5 goals for this student to learn from each lesson. If the student can draw, divide a paper into four sections and have the student draw four important ideas. Write important words on the board. Have the student copy the words that go with the important idea. Focus on beginning sounds and letters. Have the student identify the word that goes with the picture and help the student find the word with the particular beginning letter.

Dictation is also important. When other students are writing, take time to dictate for the student. Assign a kind student-helper to dictate or work with him.

Make books for each topic idea that you want your student to learn. This can be only a few pages stapled together. The student draws to illustrate the idea. You read it together. Have him copy you to point to the words. After you read it together several times, it becomes a rote deal. You are not really teaching how to read, but modeling the directionality and importance of spacing. Initial letters and sounds will be come important to the child.

Alphabet worksheets are good to practice on. Alphabet puzzles and such are also good. Center work can be focused upon word studies for simple words (c-v-c) and rimes.

Here is the jewel: write a sentence on a sentence strip. Read it together. Cut it apart between the words with the student watching. Rebuild the sentence with the student watching. Do it twice aloud. Now, have the child locate the words and rebuild the sentence while you read it slowly. Make the sentences simple at first: Bobby can go to the zoo. (If his name is Bobby!) Use words that are familiar and meaningful to the child: mom, dad, school, dog, cat, zoo, up, go, I, am, happy, sad, ...) If you need to draw a picture on the piece with the word to help, go ahead (happy face, sad face, dog, cat.)

If you need more information, I will be glad to come up with more ideas. Send me a private message through PT. I will respond with advice.

Good luck,
Cindy
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Cindy B Cindy B is offline
 
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Another reader idea
Old 07-18-2009, 10:04 AM
 
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Just had another thought:

Find books at the appropriate reading level. (Very basic, low level with few words on the page, in one line if necessary, with good picture cues.)

Put them into a special bag that this child can take into a corner, out in the hall, or near your chair during morning work. If the child needs privacy to explore the books, the hallway is a good idea. Remember that this child has avoided reading for a long time. You will have to check on reading efforts and share the reading with the child often!

Cindy
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Phonics
Old 07-18-2009, 02:46 PM
 
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Make sure he gets phonics instruction. This maybe what he'll be covering in the afternoons, but if there is time for him to work on any worksheets in the morning it might be good.
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4th gr non reader
Old 07-19-2009, 04:46 PM
 
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I am a special ed teacher of tooooo many years to consider.....First has this child been tested for dyslexia.....especially if he has an average IQ. If not then he is a special ed candidate. Do you do diligance the first 2 weeks of school....Use info from last year....Then get him refered ASAP....
But in the mean time do the following..
1Take this kid asside develop a rapport and a signal for when he is frustrated....The last thing you need is a behavior problem....
2 set up a buddy who will read with/for him when the class is reading independently. The buddy reads a passage and he answers the questions.
3 rely on the students strengths--ie if he is dyselxic he probably has good auditory comprehension.
4. you don't have time for ABC pages--go straight to phonics. pick a letter have him find the sound in words...there are many beginning phonic series--your resource teacher should have these in their room.
If not e-mail me and i will get you a list
5. listen to books on tape--draw a pictues representing the skill you are working on and then write a sentence that represents it (if he can write)
6. writing-do it daily---in their journal draw a picture and then write one sentence that goies with it...Tell him spelling doesn't matter. Develop a individual word wall based on dolch words. Nightly homework involves recognition of these words start with 5 and add another one each time he can state the word corretcly 3 times. Make sure you go over these daily....If he isn't tooooo self conscious a student can help.
well I got to run---I will try to post more ideas later


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ga9044 ga9044 is offline
 
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Thanks!
Old 07-21-2009, 01:59 PM
 
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Thanks everybody for your suggestions. I have been teaching for five years but have never seen a little guy this far behind who is not in special ed. Maybe someone with SPED knowledge can answer this question for me....if he is in speech does that mean he has been tested for all services? The school I work for thinks he has strictly speech issues so they have not been willing to explore that he needs more services. I will certainly be pushing for more services when he is in my classroom. I just don't want to see this little guy be in middle school and still be a non reader.
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newspedteach newspedteach is online now
 
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several things
Old 07-21-2009, 05:28 PM
 
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in your initial post were disturbing to me...

First to address your question: if he has a communication disorder (speech and lang. issues) he IS iunder the blanket of special education. So, this should work in your favor to get him qualified for more help.

No, he wouldn't necessarily have been tested in all areas. For example, if he was identified for speech/lang in preschool, they would not have tested him for academics then, BUT surely when his new IEP is written each year his speech path keeps track of his present levels and surely she or his previous gen. ed teachers have brought his literacy issues to the attention of the sped dept?? School psych??

It worries me that the sped teacher isn't licensed? How can this be? Is this a public school? How can the school not have highly qualified personnel? Even if he is in a sped program finishing up, it is part of his job to consult about this child.

Good for YOU for thinking ahead and being proactive with this child . He sounds like he should be receiving services in academics ....how is his math? Writing? I would go first to his case manager (speech path) and tell her about your experiences with him (as well as what the other teachers have told you). Make sure you have documentation of his levels right away...schedule a meeting with the sped team to discuss what is going on. It's really a crime that something hasn't been done before this, but bless you for taking it on now. Good luck. You've been given lots of good advice, but as a 4th grader, it's going to get harder and harder for this child until he gets the services he needs.
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Dyslexia
Old 07-22-2009, 05:32 PM
 
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My 3rd grade boy student, now to be my 4th grade student, was diagnosed with dyslexia in spring. This year he will begin he Wilson reading program. Last year he was pulled out daily for phonics and reading at his level (1st grade). I tried to keep him with our 3rd grade reading as much as I could within reason. He listened to our chapter books on tape, and mom reread the chapters at home. He loved being part of our discussions. We transcribed his answers for worksheets. The only books that he could really read independently were The Fly Guy books. But he tended to avoid any independent reading. I pray this will be the year where he'll have a turnaround.
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worried
Old 08-29-2010, 06:23 PM
 
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Hello, my name is Tina and I read your post about the 4th grader reading. I have a fourth grader daughter and her reading is very bad. I try to have her read everynight but there are too many words she can't read or have a hard time sounding it out. I am not a well educated mother but I am really trying to teach my daughter to read. I search here online hoping that someone can help me. I signed her up with the Huntington Learning and I pay a lot of money last year but I can't see a different. Please help me.. my email add is tinang07@yahoo.com I would really appreciate any information that you can give me. Thank you very much..God Bless you..

Thank you,
Tina
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