Man, I've got to post something to get that crazy crazy picture of me OFF the top of my blog!
So today I had an "ah ha!" moment with a few of my students...
I have a group of kiddoes who have various issues: one has realy low textual comprehension (as in, when he reads something, he doesn't usually get it) and REALLY low written output. If he hears something, however, he gets it, and really shines orally. (Still... his parents have refused testing for him, which would get him a designation and hence learning support. I just don't get it.) Another just has really low comprehension all round, and I'm constantly trying to figure out what to do with her, because, as terrible as it sounds, I really doubt she is capable of the type of work she brings back from home. Or at least, there's a huge discrepancy in what she does at school and what comes from home. My guess is that mom helps her heavily, which is ok, but I can't really assess what she knows! There are three others with similar issues - related to written output - in this little group of kids I'm particularly worried about.
I've been racking my brains trying to come up with what to do with these kids, especially in subjects like science, where I want to know that they know the info, but language gets in the way of that. So I've just started going to them and asking them verbally to give me the answers to the questions. I can tell if they've got it or not fairly quickly, and at least assess them on that, even if I have to note that they can't do the written part or that I can't mark anything that comes from home.
Sounds simple, eh? I don't know why I didn't think of that before. BUT, when the light went on today, it worked great! Of course, there are 5 kids in this situation, and it all has to be one on one, so where I'm going to find the time to do that, I'm not sure, but hey. It's a start.
It sure was a weight off my shoulders today, though, to find a solution to something I've been banging my head against the wall over for the last month. I did a little happy dance inside! We'll see how it works.
Actually, this whole afternoon was one of a very few times when I felt like everything was coming together. Kids were finishing up a science assignment then taking out their art project to work on, and I had a small group of students at the board giving them the math lesson they missed while out working with the resource teacher. The kids were working, I had just found my solution (I hope) to my assessment worries with my lowest students, and everything seemed to be humming along just tickety-boo.
It was a rare moment, so I enjoyed it!