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Kindergarten Intervention - Can I do this at home?

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 

My DD (July birthday) is 5 and in a half day (AM) public K.  She enjoys it and has made some friends.  Her teacher called last week and said she scored slightly below the benchmark for knowing the uppercase and lowercase letters.  She is now being referred to a half day intervention program 2 days a week with 7 other in-need K students. 


So, I've been going over alphabet flashcards with her among other things and she only seems to have a problem with lowercase b,p and d. I didn't lead her or show her pictures to prompt, just showed her the card and asked what letter it was.  I asked the teacher what additional things we can do to help her and she said to just keep at what we're doing.  She brings no papers home from school except a homework handout once a week so I have no way to gauge her progress other than to talk to the teacher.  Would a few class papers sent home each week be too much to ask? (Apparently, yes!) Her teacher is new to teaching K in our school, and was previously a K Intervention teacher.  I dislike her lack of conveying information.


The teacher said she is saving "in class" work for the progress report conferences, but I feel as if I am being left out of the loop.


Also, I was given no information regarding the schedule/goal of the Intervention class other than that concepts in her regular class would be reinforced. 


This just makes me uneasy.


My DH and I are considering declining her from this program and instead give her one on one time at home (I am a SAHM, she is my youngest so time is not an issue).   DD is very reticent, and this was pointed out in PreK, but it didn't seem to be an issue there.  I am certain her timidness is contributing to her class performance (she's afraid to be wrong and afraid to speak up)


We are reinforcing phonics at home.  She gets all the letter sounds. 


Is is possible to effectively give my DD the same level of supplemental instruction as she would get in this intervention class? 


We have to let the school know by tomorrow.  TIA!

post #2 of 12

Sure it's possible but you might consider that she'd find the intervention fun. These days, kids are pulled out for SO many things. We had kids pulled out for speech, intervention, subject acceleration, and stuff I had no idea about. Kids typically enjoy their time with a small group and a teacher just for them. At this age, it's not going to mar them socially as, like I said, kids get pulled for all sorts of reason. If she's timid, this small group work might be just what she needs to pull her out. Certainly, keep doing what you are doing at home but I would consider letting her participate. It's always in your power to pull her out... much harder to put her in if you change your mind.


I tutored slightly behind level readers (those not eligible for serious intervention but needed a little extra personal attention to get up to grade level.) I only had one that didn't love this time and all of them were up to grade level in 6 weeks.



post #3 of 12

Well, my oldest son did reading intervention for the first few months of 1st grade and I have to say, it made a huge difference. He was having a hard time learning to read even though we worked on it over the summer, and the reading expert got him where he needed to be by the holiday break. A full quarter of his class was getting intervention. When he was caught up, they took him out of reading intervention. I do not think it's possible to give the same level of instruction without having spent years in school studying how children learn to read. The intervention was fun for my son, they play a lot of games and he really didn't mind. It's in small groups so it might be a good environment for a shy child. We had a great experience with it.

post #4 of 12

The thing about the intervention classes is they have tons of resources to make the learning fun.  I'm not sure why you'd decline it at this point?  I'd absolutely schedule a meeting with the teacher to find out exactly what is going on instead of waiting for conferences.


My son is almost the same age and in K.  He gets a weekly note sent home about what they're doing that week and brings home papers every day.  He tells us what letter they're working on for that day as well, so it doesn't seem like it should be a big deal to know what's going on.


If you do choose to do this at home, there are a zillion resources out there to reinforce letters and sounds.  I do alot of teaching at home too because both of my kids want to learn beyond what they're getting at school and I follow their lead.  So it is entirely possible for you to do this, but I'd talk to the teacher first and find out exactly what's happening so you can make an informed decision.

post #5 of 12
Originally Posted by MJB View Post

 I do not think it's possible to give the same level of instruction without having spent years in school studying how children learn to read. The intervention was fun for my son, they play a lot of games and he really didn't mind.

Yeah, it sounds like she is right on the cusp of being where they would like her to be. It could give her that little nudge, most likely in a fun way. It also sounds like part of the issue is confidence, and getting comfortable speaking up in a small group would give her something that, even if you were a reading specialist, you couldn't give her at home.


There is tremendous value to learning in a group, esp of small group that is in about the same place as one's self.


When are conferences? We just had ours. It sounds like part of what you are frustrated by is a lack of information about what is going on. I understand being very frustrated about feeling like you've been left in the dark.




post #6 of 12

I wouldn't refuse the intervention classes.  I can't see how that would be in your dd's best interest.  It's fine to do supportive work at home-really, reading together and reading aloud are the best activities you can engage in.  IME, kids are in and out of classrooms a lot for various needs, and both the kids, and the needs, can change throughout the year.  Kindy is a very normal time to target any gaps that are going on.  I can assure you that some of the best readers in my ds' kindy class had some gaps.  My son, who is grade levels ahead in reading, still benefited from phonics intervention. 


Most pull out intervention is considered fun by the kids.  It's brief, focused, and usually very successful.  I wouldn't be freaked out by it at all.


Communication on the teacher's part sounds like it's not meeting your needs.  I would make that a separate issue from your daughter's needs, if you can.

post #7 of 12

It sounds like you have questions about your DD's progress and the reasoning for this intervention that haven't been answered.  That means it's time to schedule a meeting with the teacher - even if it's just a few weeks before PT conferences.  Give her a heads up on your questions so that she's prepared to answer them.  Schedule a meeting so you both have time to focus on your questions.


I take it this supplement is on top of, not instead of the regular kindergarten day.  


Sometimes teachers are seeing something they can't quite put their fingers on to motivate the intervention.  Missing a few letters seems about normal for kindergarteners.  A program with just 7 kids to me means there's something else there.  (Unless there are only a few dozen at the school).


Another point to consider is that the process for identifying learning disabilities and getting an IEP in place requires evaluation and testing, as well as a response to intervention data.  If it happens that you refuse this intervention and it turns out down the road she has a learning disability, then you've delayed the start of this intervention process.  Extra help early, and identification of any disabilities early will get things in place before the child gets too frustrated with school.  


If she does get up to speed quickly, then no harm done and they'll probably dismiss her from the program. 

post #8 of 12
Thread Starter 

Thank you!! for all your positive remarks about this!  I do feel better that she may gain some confidence with this small group which might help her timidness.  I do have to say, she is sociable at home and with neighbors/close friends.  I would have never realized this if it weren't for her PreK teachers saying this about her last year. 


I have signed the permission form for her and she will be going twice a week after her AM class. I did write on the form that I would like timely updates and notification if she no longer needs this help.  I will also staple a letter asking for a schedule of some sort of how their time is used so I can talk with DD about her day.  Maybe the second time's the charm!


There are approx. 40 Kindergarteners in 2 morning classes (there's the same amount in the afternoon K classes).  So it's about 20% of the morning class that is offered this intervention class.


Yes, my questions to her have not been answered in a satisfactory manner .  I did speak with her again on the phone a few nighst ago, but she seemed almost (and I hate to say this about her because she does seem dedicated otherwise) "flippant" when I asked for a daily schedule (like from 9-9:45 is math, etc..) of what the kids do so I can get a sense of the learning environment.  I will try to schedule a meeting next week.  I would like my DH to attend, hopefully she can accommodate us. 




post #9 of 12

It's definitely possible!  Your local library will have lots of books to help you and there are many many MANY totally free kindergarten worksheets you can print from the internet for free and use at home with your child.  Good luck - you can do it!

post #10 of 12
Thread Starter 

She is going to her first class today!  My DH and I have been working with her and she can read some BOB books, but she still mixes up her lowercase d, b and p's.  We'll give the program a shot and see how it goes.  But, we will still work with her at home and read with her.  She loves the poems in the Children's Treasury of Poetry! 

post #11 of 12
Thread Starter 

Thanks MomtoDandJ for the great worksheet website!  It's awesome!

post #12 of 12

I know, I love that site too.  Each morning I just get on the computer with my son and together we pick what worksheets to print.  Today it was some tracing letter worksheets, yesterday it was sight words flashcards (the kindergarten level).  This afternoon I'm going to steer him towards some pictograph worksheets! :) The variety is really nice!

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