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Steps for When a Student is Struggling

Ms. Smith is a fifth grade teacher who has a class of 30 students, 5 of whom have mild disabilities. She has two students with autism, one student with an emotional disability, and two with learning disabilities. There are also several ELL students in the class as well. She currently works once a week with a special education teacher who comes into her classroom to provide services and support to the students with disabilities in the classroom. Ms. Smith has recently started feeling concerned about one of her students, Jimmy. Jimmy is a student who is experiencing difficulty at school, particularly with reading comprehension and reading fluency. Jimmy is approximately two years below grade level in reading. Also, Jimmy struggles behaviorally. He has had multiple discipline referrals over the last year. Most of these referrals are for being off-task and disrespectful behavior toward his general education teacher. Jimmy does not currently have an IEP, so he does not receive any direct support from a special education teacher within the general education classroom.

It is your job to develop a plan to provide greater support for all students in the classroom using a collaborative model. Consider what changes to situation could result in increased student support for all students in her classroom, including those with disabilities or those who are struggling (Jimmy). Your discussion should be no more than 450 words and should address the following models:

- Co-teaching model of support
- The role of an advocate in the multi-disciplinary/special education process

Solution Preview

As a fifth grade teacher who faced a similar situation last year, I would start by scheduling an IEP for Jimmy. While that is in the process of happening, I would rearrange the desks so that students are in groups with each of the students who have identified special needs in a separate group, one student who is always willing to help (not necessarily a high performer, but compassionate), and one high performer. In cases where an ELL student does not speak/ understand English as well as necessary for success, I would make sure that one of the students in that group speaks the same native language and is able to help communicate assignments ...

Solution Summary

A real-life example of how to proceed when a student is experiencing difficulties including data collection and meetings with other staff members.

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