Sigh - I have 3 students that are

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-27-2003
Sigh - I have 3 students that are
Sat, 09-17-2005 - 1:57am

challenging the assumption that "every child can learn." One is ELL - but can't seem to follow any directions whether they are in English or Spanish. He just doesn't seem to understand anything. It's so frustrating. The girl who I have tranlate for him only had marginally better English skill than he did 2 years ago - yet she gets As and Bs. I just think there is more going on with him than second language issues.

Another student, also ELL did show some response to the spelling/phonics intervention I did with both of these students but she's so far behind. She got a 30% on her spelling test and I was thrilled because last week she got 5% and today I actually heard her breaking down the sounds to spell "not" correctly which is one of the things we worked on in intervention. But still - it's 30%.

The third student is not ELL - she is probably very low SES - and I couldn't even grade her reading test because she had filled in 2 bubbles for almost every answer. This is after I talked to the kids about not doing this and drew a picture on the board to demonstrate the concept. Now how in the heck is she going to take a standardized test if she can't get this? She is also extrememly behind - so how much difference it would have made I don't know. Sometimes I feel like my mouth is moving and no sound is coming out.

Luckily 2/3 of my class is on grade or above grade level. I actually have a fairly high class for this school. I have 6 that are below - 3 I feel have some skills for success but are way behind. The three I talked about above have little or no skills to build on - I'll be getting some first grade readers for them and even then I'm afraid they will struggle.

To end this post on a positive note - their math skills are pretty good. I think all but 2 are probably on grade level at this point. Stephanie

iVillage Member
Registered: 08-26-2000
Sat, 09-17-2005 - 11:57am

I teach resource, but a long time ago, I did have 2 Vietnamese sisters in my class (though not at the same time). They had other issues besides the ELL thing. So that is possible.

What grade are you teaching again?

I am the mom of 2 native born, only English-speaking children, and it was not uncommon for them to get a whopping 40 or 50% on their spelling after writing their words and studying all week.

What their 2nd grade teacher let them do was to pick half of the words that the other kids had and test on them. She also let them have their choice of which sentence to learn. This helped, but even so, my youngest had 5 A's and 1 C (spelling) on his last report card last year. I would definitely cut down the number of words that your struggling spellers have to learn. If they can only get 5, then let them go with 5.

It sounds like you might possibly have some referrals for Special Education. Talk to your SBLC chairperson and see what they say.

Good luck!



PJPIIadoration.jpg picture by Kimberly_sahm

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-24-2003
Sat, 09-17-2005 - 12:27pm

I agree with Karen. Refer, document interventions, and see if the parents will get involved and offer input that might shed some light on their problems. This might be a challenge, but that's all you can do.

I'd also start modifying their requirements and see if this helps. It looks like you're seeing some small steps toward improvement. It will just take some time to define their problems, select methods, and adjust their assignments to their needs.

Best wishes! Overall it sounds like your group is pretty good, so this will give you an opportunity to work with these students more closely.