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IEP Goal: Sight words vs. Decoding...
Old 10-23-2017, 05:13 PM
 
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Hi everyone,

I have a student whose IEP goal last year was, ''Improve sight word vocabulary.''

He has a syndrome that makes his working memory low and therefore difficult to learn sight words.

Should I create a new goal this year of ''Improve decoding skills?"

Or is that a bad idea until he has mastered more sight words?


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Old 10-23-2017, 06:38 PM
 
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How old is he? I have several students at the middle school level who simply can not decode, so they work on memorizing whole words. But it's through a specific program (Edmark), not just random activities. I've seen kiddos make huge gains with it.
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Old 10-23-2017, 11:34 PM
 
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Contrary to popular belief, teaching is more of a science than an art. I've noticed that too many teachers fail to provide enough basic information about a student that they are asking about in both general ed. and special ed. programs. It would be most helpful to know the student's: age, grade level, reading level, specific learning disability or the name of the syndrome or medical diagnosis (e.g. autism, Tourette). A few examples of the most difficult academic tasks/skills that the child is capable of would also be helpful. What learning modality does the student tend to rely on most often? What is the child's primary language and how fluent are his/her oral language skills (i.e. speaks in one word utterances or short phrases or complete sentences).

Most of my students tend to be several years below grade level and have difficulty reading sight words. However, they seem to have no problem at all learning to read whole sentences (12-14 words) when presented in context. More often than not, the key is in using the right method. BTW, I have learned that the human brain is quite capable of learning sight words without specific instruction!
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Old 10-24-2017, 05:54 AM
 
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Heís in the fifth grade.

Heís also a right brain learner, so learns in whole pieces.

I guess that means deciding isnít for him and I should stick with sight words.
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Old 10-25-2017, 06:40 PM
 
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I usually just write words per minute goals for my students to improve their overall reading fluency- it doesn't matter how they get there. My school requires us to test fluency in DIBELS weekly anyway, so it's easier for me to base the goals on that. The only students I don't use DIBELS for are my K students, because I'd rather track the specific letter names/sounds they know. DIBELS has K tasks, but I don't find them to be that useful.


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Wrong Turn!
Old 10-26-2017, 11:24 AM
 
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It would be helpful to have a bit more info. Here are some of my thoughts based on what you've provided:

He's in the fifth grade and still has problems reading sight words. I would have to guess that his reading proficiency is far below grade level and that he doesn't enjoy reading much. He most likely also has very poor writing skills. Since his teachers have probably attempted to teach him to read sight words for the past several years, it may be time to try something different, before he goes off to middle school. Proceeding down the same road by continuing to focus on sight words will probably just lead to a dead-end.

In my experience, such students often respond well to a multi-sensory approach that integrates reading, writing, spelling and grammar. This is akin to the unpopular whole-language approach that draws on a student's personal experiences and interests. You'll find that it may not even be necessary to teach sight words, as they are learned intuitively! Sorry, but the limited format of a forum doesn't lend itself to going into much detail.
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Decoding
Old 11-10-2017, 05:43 AM
 
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I agree with the comment about teaching being a Science. I donít think you can make your decision without more info. Does he have letter sound association? Has a phonological awareness assessment been done? Depending on that info you might be able to pinpoint what exactly is tripping him up.
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