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  #1  
April 11th, 2011, 02:58 PM
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Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: Southern CA
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Hello, ladies! I am in need of some teacher advice...

I'm currently getting my Masters/primary credential and just finished taking a reading assesment and interventions course. I've been asked to tutor a first grader in reading because the teacher has recently told the parents that she feels the child needs to be held back.

My question is when is your/the cutoff point to ask for a child to be held back? After my assesments, I found that the child knows her sight words through the second grade level, has great phonemic awareness, is able to recall details within a story, and is doing excellent in her other subject areas. Her biggest weakness is reading fluency. She stumbles through words and "sounds out" unfamiliar words..but if you ask her questions about what she is reading, she can recall every detail in the story.

Would you tell parents this child need to be held back because of this? The parents are asking me what my advice is but I don't think I have enough time under my belt as a teacher to give a "yes" or "no."

Thanks for any help!!
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  #2  
April 11th, 2011, 04:13 PM
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IMO, from what you described, this child should not be held back if her only weakness is oral fluency. I am a reading/language arts teacher with almost twenty years under my belt, and I have never seen a child retained because of a lack of oral fluency. I would suggest to the parents to ask for another conference and ask the teacher to substantiate the need for retention. What data has she collected? What interventions have been made? Does the school offer basic skills and/or support of some kind in 2nd grade? Does she need a 504? In the meantime, I would continue to work on the components of oral fluency with her - phrasing, expression, pacing, and volume.
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  #3  
April 11th, 2011, 05:56 PM
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You're in Southern California? You don't really have the authority to make that decision. Each district has it's own procedures and policy. Check those out to figure out what is going on. It could have something to do with some sort of testing that was done. You may also want to check that the testing you did on the child is similar to what the school is giving. Different tests can lead to different results.

Good luck. If they do decide to hold her back it's better now than later. After about 2nd grade retention does very little except lower a child's self esteem.
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  #4  
April 11th, 2011, 06:05 PM
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I think I will continue to work with her and see if I can get the parents to get some concrete info from the teacher to compare. They never received any evidence to support the teacher's recommendation.

I think the parents are worried and caught off gaurd since there has been no mention of reading issues from the teacher until 2 weeks ago. According to the report cards, her testing levels are on-track for a first grader.

Thanks for the feedback!
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  #5  
April 11th, 2011, 06:40 PM
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From what you described, it doesn't sound like there would be enough at all to hold a child back. I think it would be great to keep working with her. There are a lot of activities you can do with her to improve her fluency. Good luck!
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  #6  
April 11th, 2011, 09:58 PM
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Idk that I can answer since I teach high school and held back is based of %, but I know if I were that parent I'd press the teacher about what made her say that specifically or maybe say "What can I do to catch her up? Where are her weak areas?"
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  #7  
April 12th, 2011, 07:02 AM
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Teachers are very quick to hold back in first grade, in my experience. Our first grade has by FAR the highest number of retentions. Sounds like an administrative problem to me. These kids should have been identified a long time ago for interventions to be put in place to avoid retaining. Ok....off my soap box

I also don't think you have the authority to make a judgement call to the parents. There could be implications if you step in and offer your opinion without being the teacher. I would only tell the parents to speak further with the teacher. If they can't get a satisfacory answer from her, then a meeting with the admin. should be scheduled. If she is in enough academic trouble to be held back, the parents should have known long before this.
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  #8  
April 12th, 2011, 10:33 AM
ady's mommy's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SuthrnMommy View Post
Teachers are very quick to hold back in first grade, in my experience. Our first grade has by FAR the highest number of retentions. Sounds like an administrative problem to me. These kids should have been identified a long time ago for interventions to be put in place to avoid retaining. Ok....off my soap box

I also don't think you have the authority to make a judgement call to the parents. There could be implications if you step in and offer your opinion without being the teacher. I would only tell the parents to speak further with the teacher. If they can't get a satisfacory answer from her, then a meeting with the admin. should be scheduled. If she is in enough academic trouble to be held back, the parents should have known long before this.
It really depends on the school and the administration. I taught first grade for 10 years and only held one student back. And both the parents and I had to fight the principal to do that. Most administrators do not want to hold students back. In most districts it is really up to the parents, not the teacher, whether or not a child is held back.
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  #9  
April 12th, 2011, 11:14 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ady's mommy View Post
It really depends on the school and the administration. I taught first grade for 10 years and only held one student back. And both the parents and I had to fight the principal to do that. Most administrators do not want to hold students back. In most districts it is really up to the parents, not the teacher, whether or not a child is held back.
That is how it is in this district. I didn't feel comfortable assisting with the decision to hold back and that's why I asked you ladies. And, got some great advice!
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