This year did not go as well as I'd hoped. Some of my students did not make the gains that I hoped for. I have several students only reading 2-5 words more than what they started the year out with. Some did not progress in math. I worked on a lot of phonics and comprehension strategies. Overall I am not pleased. We accomodated and modified assignments. I'm not sure what went wrong. If there is anyone with success stories please share them. My students are fully included in the general education classrooms. I pull them out for reading along with general education students. I work in small groups during math time. What more can I do?

Tags: End, of, reflection, year

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I woud think you'd get the struggling readers for the 90 minute reading block! Of course that seems way too logical. As I said before full inclusion is doing some kiddos a huge disservice.

All in all sound like your school doesn't either understand or respect what you do. Do your students have IEPs?
Peter correctly identified your key issue-that of time. However, I might recommend a change in focus. Rather than pull-out, why not offer the classroom teacher a push-in differentiated reading fluency practice session for 20 minutes a few times a week? Working alongside the teacher, establish fluency groups at the challenge levels (ZPDs) of the students. The teachers rotate from group to group to pre-teach the few tough words in a fluency passage and begin the reading at the appropriate "challenge pace (about 20-30% above the group norm)." Peer leaders stand at each group and lead choral reads, carrying on after the teacher moves to the next group. The integrated behavioral plan is key here. See Differentiated Fluency Practice for details. Teachers and students love this strategy. I've used this differentiated fluency instructional technique with teachers of third-seventh graders.
My students do have IEPs. I try to meet their goals by pulling them out with general ed. students. I pull those students at least three times per week. I also have a praprofessional that goes into classrooms to work with students as well five days per week. She normally covers for me when I am pulled into other classrooms.
Why can't the para cover classrooms when needed. I'm surprised your contract allows for you to cover classrooms for absent teachers and work with reg ed kids. Why don't you write your kids' IEPS for more time, then the teachers can't keep them. Federal laws require the kids to get needed services. I'm not trying to be antagonistic but it sounds like the 'tails wagging the dog' in your school.

I teach gifted kids with IEPs and deal with a lot of regular ed issues so I can related to your struggles. Your alligence is to the kids not the teachers.
I never thought about that. I didn't want to write IEPs for more time because I thought it was important to mix the students for as long as possible. It wouldn't seem like inclusion to me if they were pulled out for longer periods of time. I will consider this for the Fall. I could always do an addendum to the IEPs to change the hours in the resource room.
The point is that kids with special needs need more time with the professional who is trained to meet their needs. If their needs aren't being met in the classroom they need to be with you. You building team (you, principal, parents, classroom teacher, etc) should be deciding how much service they need based on their academic needs.

They can be included for science/social studies/recess/lunch/specials and be with you for math and reading. Think about what each kid needs and not what is convenient for the classroom teacher.
Thanks.
Rauchell, my heart goes out to you. In special ed. you work hard and see very little academic gains. Success can't always be measured by academic progress. I just wrote a blog about an amazing special ed. teacher. You might like to read it. http://rhondaramblings.blogspot.com/
If you have not heard of this site for reading-www.starfall.com you should try this. I taught 1st grade one year after having taught 4th grade for eight years and I was not sure how to teach students to read effectively. I used this site and my students loved it. There are very inexpensive books that go along with it and my students liked them! Hope you have a better year this next year!
Rauchell,
I know exactly how you feel. It is very frustrating to know all the interventions you provided and all the time and effort you put into helping those students progress, and they didn't progress much at all. I have been in the same situation before. All I can say is keeping plugging away at it. Don't second guess your skills and knowledge just because you had a tough year.
I also use www.starfall.com in my classroom to help teach phonics and comprehension. You said you worked a lot on Phonics and Comprehension, so starfall might be something for you to look into. My kids love it becasue it is interactive and fun, but they are still practicing skills and learning.
Hope you have a great year!

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