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<p>DD has notes coming home every day.  She is 7 and in 1st grade.  She is behind in reading and writing, but is good in math.  Her notes are things like, "xxx needs to ask for help if she doesn't understand the assignment".  "xxx needs to use the charts we have in the classroom".  "xxx gave up on this assignment and was the only one in class that did not finish."  These are coming home EVERY DAY.  Her friend gave her a gift from the treasure chest because apparently you have to get so many stickers on a chart before being allowed to get into the chest.  DD is not getting stickers every day like most the other kids, so she still hasn't been allowed in the chest and her friend felt bad for her so when she got something out of the chest, she gave it dd. </p>
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<p>OK so here is the deal.  She went to K in PS, but the school lost funding for spec. ed. so they stopped providing her the services she needed.  So I homeschooled.  Well apparently, the teacher had assumed that dd was behind because I failed to teach her.  I tried explaining to the teacher that dd has trouble learning and reading was painfully difficult for her.  She brushed it off as if I was exaggerating and now I wonder if she is starting to understand.  The problem I have is that dd KNOWS she isn't getting stickers.  She KNOWS there are notes coming home every day and now she is starting to act out because of it.  She has run off without informing us twice in the past week, she has had some complete meltdowns (which we had almost gotten rid of completely).  She cannot handle this whole sticker thing, or the notes.  Plus, she is required to read for 20 minutes a night.  Well, reading for her is difficult so that always leads to fights. </p>
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<p>I need help.  How do I help the teacher?  She keeps sending me these notes, but I have no control over how she teaches dd.  I mean with dd there has to be constant encouragement and high fives to get her to read at all.  She may not even understand that there are charts on the wall and since I haven't seen the room I don't know how to help with that.  I mean the things I'm getting notes for are not things that I can control or really help with.  So what do I do with the information that the teacher keeps sending home?</p>
 

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<p>I think you need go meet with the teacher.  Talk to her about your dd's situation.  Does the school have reading programs besides special ed?  If she was actually in a special ed program, did she have an iep and can you get new goals for 1st grade?  </p>
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<p>For students that do not qualify for special ed, we have a program here called Title 1.   Students can go to the resource teacher to work on reading skills in small group setting that helps develop reading skills. Something like Title 1 might make a difference for you dd's success.  </p>
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<p>For the 20 minutes reading, do they allow you  to read to her for 20 minutes?  Usually at that age group it is considered just as beneficial to have parents read as the kids, so long as they are in some way participating.  They just have to be an active listener and not reading along.  </p>
 

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<p>I agree completely with the PP. It is time to request a conference with the teacher. You need to explain to her the negative consequences of the sticker system and the notes and work together to find an alternative that will work.</p>
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<p>For example, our school uses a point/prize system, too. One little boy in my son's class has behavior issues, and just could not earn a prize in the beginning of the year. The teacher came up with extra prizes that were available just to him and which would be attainable. So for example, one of the prizes the kids really love is lunch in the teacher's lounge for 30 points (mostly because the teachers put on a cartoon, I think ;)). Thirty points was pretty unattainable for this little boy, so he can (and apparently does) buy lunch with a teacher's aide (in the classroom - no cartoons, but he gets one-on-one time) for 10 points. Maybe her teacher could help come up with sticker goals that she can achieve, and which are actually encouraging her to earn those stickers.</p>
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<p>As for the notes, those are classroom issues. Either she needs to deal with them in class, or she needs to give you more guidance as to concrete things that you can do with your daughter to help her succeed. I'd let her know what you are willing and able to do (maybe go over concepts which were difficult for your daughter at home), and remind her of what you can't do (explain a chart on the wall that you have never seen).</p>
 

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Discussion Starter #4
<br><br><div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>melissa17s</strong> <a href="/community/forum/thread/1285804/wondering-what-to-do#post_16120290"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border-bottom:0px solid;border-left:0px solid;border-top:0px solid;border-right:0px solid;"></a><br><br><p>I think you need go meet with the teacher.  Talk to her about your dd's situation.  Does the school have reading programs besides special ed?  If she was actually in a special ed program, did she have an iep and can you get new goals for 1st grade?  </p>
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<p>For students that do not qualify for special ed, we have a program here called Title 1.   Students can go to the resource teacher to work on reading skills in small group setting that helps develop reading skills. Something like Title 1 might make a difference for you dd's success.  </p>
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<p>For the 20 minutes reading, do they allow you  to read to her for 20 minutes?  Usually at that age group it is considered just as beneficial to have parents read as the kids, so long as they are in some way participating.  They just have to be an active listener and not reading along.  </p>
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She is in a class called RAP (Reading Assistance Program).  The problem with that is that even though they are helping her with reading, she still has to complete the classroom reading assignments as well, which are too difficult for her.  So she comes home with speech homework, classroom homework, RAP homework, and any assignment that she failed to finish during class time.  Last week she had one day where she came home with 1 pg. for RAP, 1 pg. for Classwork, 1 pg. for speech, and then there were 4 pgs. that she failed to complete for classwork.  In one night she had 7 pgs. of homework.  Considering it usually takes her about 30 minutes to complete each pg, it took her over 4 hours to complete her homework that night.  The only good thing is that they get out of school by 1:45, so we had time to complete it.  But, it wasn't without tears, hyperventilating, and anxiety (on my part LOL) and massive breakdowns on her part. </p>
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<p>Her previous school had her in speech but refused to test her to find out what was preventing her from learning as well as the other kids in her class.  I had notes coming home from her there daily too, and they kept saying that when the spec. ed teacher had the time that she would be evaluated.  Of course, winter break came and went and they still hadn't had "time" to do so basically she never got the assistance that everyone knew she needed. </p>
 

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<p>I wonder if all her different teachers (I'm assuming she has different teachers for speech and RAP) aren't communicating about the homework issue, and don't in fact realize how much is being sent home when it's all added up? Sometimes resource and classroom teachers have a difficult time communicating day-to-day stuff like this because of schedule/time constraints. They might not all realize just how much it all adds up to.</p>
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<p>As for the sticker system... it might not be something that can be gotten rid of, but perhaps your daughter needs individualized goals so she can start out having some success.</p>
 

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<p>This would be a good thread for the special needs board. Has she been evaluated for dyslexia?</p>
 

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Discussion Starter #7
<br><br><div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>Emmeline II</strong> <a href="/community/forum/thread/1285804/wondering-what-to-do#post_16121599"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border-bottom:0px solid;border-left:0px solid;border-top:0px solid;border-right:0px solid;"></a><br><br><p>This would be a good thread for the special needs board. Has she been evaluated for dyslexia?</p>
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I've thought of having her evaluated for it, but her previous school was unwilling, and she hasn't been at this one long enough.  I am going to bring it up next semester.</p>
 

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<p>She needs an IEP.  Public schools are required to test her and provide her with one.  Learn the law, call the school and push, HARD.</p>
 

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<p>Look up <a href="http://www.wrightslaw.com" target="_blank">www.wrightslaw.com</a>, they have all sorts of info that would be helpful for you.</p>
 

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<br><br><div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>Petie1104</strong> <a href="/community/forum/thread/1285804/wondering-what-to-do#post_16121744"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a><br><br><br><br><div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>Emmeline II</strong> <a href="/community/forum/thread/1285804/wondering-what-to-do#post_16121599"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a><br><br><p>This would be a good thread for the special needs board. Has she been evaluated for dyslexia?</p>
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I've thought of having her evaluated for it, but her previous school was unwilling, and she hasn't been at this one long enough.  I am going to bring it up next semester.</p>
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I searched "Wright's Law" in the special needs forum and got this <a href="http:">http://www.mothering.com/community/search.php?search=wright%27s+law&containingforum[]=157&sort=relevance&output=all&newer=1&action=disp</a>. I only read the first one, but it addresses your situation.</p>
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<p>Always request services (i.e. testing) in writing as it creates a paper trail that will be helpful if they drag their feet.</p>
 

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<p>Send a letter to your principal, cc it to the special education office with the date on it that says, "Dear Ms. Happyface, My daughter, Suzy Smith, is a first grader at Smiling Valley Elementary School. I am writing to request a full evaluation for special education programs and services for her due to concerns about her language development, and her delayed academic progress in reading. This letter serves as my written consent to start the process. Please contact me at xxx-xxxx to discuss the specific assessments that will be included. Sincerely, Suzy's mother."</p>
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<p>Ideally, you would fax it to the school and special education office--but if you can't fax it, try and hand deliver it.</p>
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<p>They have 65 days from the day they receive it to give her a full evaluation and meet to determine eligibility.</p>
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<p>(I am assuming you are in the US--if not, I'm not sure of the legal requirements of other countries).</p>
 

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<p>The homework piece sounds very difficult.  Do you feel able to address this with her teachers?  I think it's appropriate to ask for a modification of the homework requirement at this point.  You would most likely be doing this as part of an IEP down the road if she qualifies for services.  I would ask the teacher and support teacher and speech teacher to address with you what exactly the priority is for homework assignments because realistically 30 mins is long enough for any child of your dd's age.  I would be clear that that is how long you will allow her to do homework, although reading/being read aloud to would continue.</p>
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<p>It is so important to do what you can to preserve a child's sense of self esteem when they are struggling in school.  It's not healthy to go from struggling all day in school to struggling all afternoon and night at home.  </p>
 

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<p>I'm still reeling at the homework aspect.  I have a 1st-grader and he's NEVER come home with homework, much less 4 hours' worth!  I definitely think you need a face-to-face with the teacher at the very least.</p>
 

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Discussion Starter #14
<p>UPDATE!!  OK so I was taking dss to the airport today and noticed I had a voicemail.  It was dd's teacher.  DD's teacher stated this...</p>
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<p>DD has been struggling in class and I think we need to get her a full evaluation to see what kind of services she needs.  I would like you to call or come in to discuss this issue as soon as you can.  I would like for dd to start recieving services no later than the end of January. </p>
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<p>So, I called and set up an appt. for today and went in.  Apparently, the teacher is noticing that dd is getting frustrated and having alot of difficulty.  She wants dd to get a full evaluation as soon as possible. At any rate, it basically was everything I could ever hope for in a meeting.  I filled out a medical release form so that her psychiatrist can forward her records to the school's psychologist so they can figure out what services need to be started.  The blessing in all this, which I was unaware of until today, is that dd's teacher has a child on an IEP, so she explained the process to me.  YEAH!!!!  I am VERY optimistic.  This teacher said that she wants to get the IEP done ASAP so that dd can get help now and hopefully start next year off on a good ground.  She also said that she is going to send home a packet that has all the charts that are in the room so that dd has them at home since those are what she is using to help her with her work at school. </p>
 

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<p>wow!  its such a relief to know what you've been saying/knowing is being validated by a teacher!!!! congrats!</p>
 

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<p>yeah! I'm really glad that the teacher was on the ball.</p>
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<p>It'll realistically probably be 6-8 weeks before an IEP is in place. Can you ask the teacher for some help on the homework front? Which homework is crucial that she complete? Which is not worth fighting over. Honestly with my 1st grader, I haven't seen anything that worthwhile.</p>
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<p>On the 20 minutes of reading a night -- does she have to do all that reading? When ds was in 1st grade, he was a reluctant reader. He was actually reading above grade level but he <em>hated</em> to read out loud (he's got a few anxiety issues). So, we worked out that we'd have him read for 5-10 minutes out loud to us, and then we'd read the rest of the time out loud to him. That helped his vocabulary and understanding a ton, because he got to hear the words in context. One of my friends has a child with dyslexia, and even in high school, she will read some silently to herself and then her parents will read some out loud to her. There's nothing wrong with her ability to learn, but processing the written language is really tiring for her (now, she's got a high schooler's amount of homework, which is a lot).</p>
 
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