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Brittany Byrd 11/4/13

Classroom Description of Special Services

This classroom has 8 students that receive special services (Speech, OT, and TDT, ). Three of the students are ESOL Spanish speaking students. One of these students is receiving TDT for behavioral problems, one student is SPED, and one student is receiving Reading Resource and OT. One student has a lisp and is receiving speech services, and another student has a 504 for a genetic condition that is actually similar to the one I have. We also have a student who is being evaluated for autism and has a few more weeks of observation. The three ESOL students are at WIDA level 1: entering. All three students are actually very smart, and are doing very well in the class. I have to repeat, or re-word things, for them sometimes. I use a lot of hand gestures, and I use their L1 when I can. The good thing about kindergarten is they are all still learning how to read and write, so a lot of the handouts and signs have pictures. They are all receiving ESOL services. One of the ESOL students has an impulsivity disorder (way out of the range of normal 5-6yr old behavior). He is receiving TDT, which is a form of day counseling, and is on medication now which seems to be helping. I just tested him with PALS, and he knows all his letter and letter sounds, so he is doing really well with the English language. He is one of our higher students. Another student that has a developmental delay has an IEP, and also has the same type of impulsivity problem as the ESOL student mentioned earlier. He has

problems testing, and is on the lower end of PALS. Our lowest student knows none of his letters or letter sounds. My teacher says he is the lowest she has seen in a while. He is receiving reading resource and OT for his fine motor skills. If this does not help he may have a learning disability and need an IEP. We have one student who is receiving speech services for a lisp, but as far as academic skills go she really is on par with her classmates. She does well with letter recognition, letter sounds, and COW. The last student has a 504. She just requires accommodations that include no gym due to her genetic condition. She rotates between art, music, and library. She is very high with her PALS testing, and for her and a few other students, I will be getting their reading level, and will start guided reading for them soon! We have about 5 students that qualify for free or reduced lunch. We do not get this information directly given to us. Based on being in the class, collecting lunch money, and parents asking questions, we usually have a pretty good idea who receives it. This is especially true since they are in kindergarten and some parents are just getting used to the program. We also have one student that qualifies for Friday Friends. Friday Friends is a program, at least at our school, where students get a bag of food to help them through the weekend. This food is also easily cooked food, so students who are young can cook on their own if their parents are working. An example of the types of food would be Easy Mac. We have a variety of needs and services in this class, but it makes for a lot of great experience and opportunity!

Reflection You can learn a lot about your school from the community that your school serves. Our school has about 30% of the student population receiving free or reduced lunch. That is fairly average compared to the country, but this means we do not have a super rich community. We are serving a largely middle class working community. We have a fair amount of ESOL students, but that is not surprising since Virginia has one of the fastest growing ESOL populations. As I mentioned earlier, we do have programs, such as Friday Friends, to help those families that need food. We do have a few homeless students in our population, and it is important to keep them healthy so they have an equal chance to succeed in school. We have the largest elementary school in our county. We have over 700 students. This means we need more teachers and supplies. There is only one ESOL teacher in our school, and she rotates between schools in the district. We also only have one reading specialist. This is sad, because those students need the extra help, and there isnt a lot of money to get it to them. That makes the teachers job even more critical for helping those students reach their goals. This is the reality of teaching, and our countries financial state. We have a close-knit community where there is a lot of involvement from restaurants and bowling allies to help make the school some extra money. Also, it brings the students closer! Its great when students really get to know each other, and that is harder in a larger school. There are more male students in the county than female students, which makes sense. In a developmental psychology class I

learned that more male children than female children are born each year, but as they get older that number evens out due to deaths. I think it is interesting, however, that we have slightly more female students in our school than males. Our classroom reflects this by having 13 girls and 10 boys.