Elementary Intervention: Replacement or Supplemental?

Discussion in 'Elementary Education' started by bella84, Aug 26, 2017.

  1. bella84

    bella84 Aficionado

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    Just curious how your elementary school structures pull-out reading and math interventions... Do your students get pulled during reading for reading intervention (replacement instruction), or do they get pulled outside of reading for reading intervention (supplemental instruction)? How about for math?

    I won't go into details right now, but I HATE the way my school schedules reading intervention! Honestly, it stresses me out about as much as thinking about my student loan service provider does - which is to say more than literally anything else. In fact, it makes me question if I even want to continue teaching (which, I know, is a bit dramatic... but it's true). I love most everything about my school, but this is one of only a few areas that just truly makes me question what we're even trying to do here and if I want to be part of it anymore.

    Secondary teachers can share thoughts, too... But, frankly, it's the scheduling that frustrates me, and the same issues wouldn't apply in a secondary setting.
     
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  3. mathmagic

    mathmagic Enthusiast

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    IEP time is in replacement, other intervention time (ELL, "Safety Net" - the latter of which we didn't have for our grade level last year) is supposed to be in addition...though it's certainly tough with our schedule!
     
  4. bella84

    bella84 Aficionado

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    So, for those students getting supplemental instruction, how do they decide when to pull the students? Can it be at any other time of day, as long as it's not during the reading or math block?
     
  5. Leaborb192

    Leaborb192 Enthusiast

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    During my first year, they pulled my kids in the morning DURING the reading block... so I ended up switching my schedule because I didn't like that AT ALL. :(

    I currently sub in a district where they pull the kids outside the reading block during a scheduled interventions/ enrichment time so the kids who are pulled aren't missing anything instructional that they shouldn't. The other kids usually get re-teaching or enrichment as needed. It's quite nice.
     
  6. bella84

    bella84 Aficionado

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    Was it their intention to pull kids during the reading block? Is that why they scheduled it when they did? Or was is totally random and just happened to be during your reading block? If it was intentional, how did they feel about you changing your schedule?
     
  7. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    They are pulled during math or literacy for a replacement program. We arrange our classroom schedule around support schedule, so are told when we must schedule our math and literacy blocks.
     
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  8. mathmagic

    mathmagic Enthusiast

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    It's tricky, for a couple reasons. First, last year (outside of ELL) we didn't have any supplemental instruction, as that person was only 1/2 time (thus doing primary). We've been able to fit our ELL time into after our morning recess, when our literacy block comes before recess (though then they miss science/SS). Two years ago, when we had the supplemental instruction help, our reading/writing supplemental help happened during that same time as ELL, but since we couldn't find a separate time for math, we utilized her as being able to take a small group of kids during the second half of our math block, where she could then work with them more intensively on our current work instead of being in a sea of 25-30 kiddos.
     
  9. Leaborb192

    Leaborb192 Enthusiast

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    Totally random because they didn't even pull ALL my kids at one time. We had TAs providing the interventions (yeah AZ is super cheap and I'm sorry but TA's can't replace licensed reading or math specialists/ interventionists, if they could we wouldn't need graduate programs in these areas (totally off- topic gripe :toofunny:) so they pulled them randomly throughout the morning... it wasn't like a specific block of time that my kids were out. Some would come back and others would leave.
    :mad:
     
  10. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    To Add, if a replacement program isn't needed, the classroom teacher provides modifications and/or the students receive support in the regular classroom.
     
  11. waterfall

    waterfall Maven

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    We're supposed to be supplemental, but we've gone back and forth on scheduling. My SPED director took a group of us to this "guru" last year who talked a lot about the importance of making sure that struggling readers actually get more reading instruction, which isn't accomplished by pulling out a group during the gen ed reading block. He gave some scheduling examples. The problem is, in his examples the gen ed reading block was only 90 minutes and there was a 45-60 minute block just for Science and Social Studies. Writing was also taught at a separate time. He recommended that schools do a 30 minute "intervention/enrichment" block for each grade level, and that kids that needed additional pull outs beyond that get pulled during SS (acknowledging that yes, that content is important- but when we're talking about kids that need additional support beyond an intervention block, we're talking about kids that can't read and that does take precedence). The problem for us at my school is that the ELA block is 3.5 hours with reading/writing being integrated rather than being taught at separate times. There is no dedicated SS/Science time- the content is integrated into ELA.

    We used to do the 30 minute intervention block thing where all "reds" and "yellows" got an extra small group during that time. We had to stop last year because we lost 1.5 interventionist positions and the EL director said EL teachers could no longer participate in the intervention block. New P is saying we're bringing back the intervention block- I'm not sure how she plans to address these issues as we haven't started it yet. The problem for me as the SPED teacher is that I have too many kids to be seen in just that 30 minute block. I could only see about half of my kids for each grade level during that time and needed an additional 30 minutes for the other half.

    Many of my low reading kids are at/near grade level for math, so obviously I don't want to pull them out of math instruction for reading. With ELA instruction being the entire rest of the day, there is no choice but to pull during that. There was a lot of discussion about doing that and some are against it, but personally I feel like sometimes we put "time in gen ed" on too much of a pedestal. If a kid is in 3rd grade and reading at a 1st grade level or below, how is it better for them to stay in class doing independent work (during something like reading rotations where the gen ed teachers is meeting with small groups) than to be pulled out for direct, targeted instruction? I also personally don't believe in pulling kids from specials (this has been suggested by my director as well), because that may be the only part of their school day where they get to do something they're actually good at. For the kids that do need math interventions, I do pull kids during the math block (again, don't want to pull them out of ELA to work on math), but for the great majority of kids it's just 25 minutes, 3 days per week and it's again during independent work time. I have found that the majority of my students can make much quicker progress in math with less intervention than reading, so not as much time is needed.

    At my previous school, they had a program where kids who weren't reading by the end of 3rd grade were put into a "replacement instruction" class in 4th grade during the ELA block, where the kids were taught with intervention curriculum rather than core curriculum. Obviously this was a small percentage of students, but I really like that it was offered. All of the "core content knowledge" in the world isn't going to get anybody anywhere if they can't read. I think it's horrible that we are sending kids on to middle school as non-readers (or reading on a 1st-2nd grade level) because we're so wrapped up about "access to gen ed."
     
    Last edited: Aug 26, 2017
  12. Leaborb192

    Leaborb192 Enthusiast

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    Was the guy's name Ken something... a buff African American dude? Because we had the SAME guy come to our school for a training!
     
  13. waterfall

    waterfall Maven

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    I honestly can't remember his name, but he was white, so not the same guy!
     
  14. agdamity

    agdamity Fanatic

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    We have a 30 minute RTI block daily. Teachers pull intervention groups during this time, and paras pull groups for scripted interventions as well.
     
  15. otterpop

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    .
     
    Last edited: Sep 11, 2017
  16. Leaborb192

    Leaborb192 Enthusiast

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    :mad:
    So basically it's a check mark on a list? "Did you do interventions?" Yup!
    I interviewed w/ a school where I asked if they have a reading specialist position (as that is what I'm studying for,) and she just said, "No... well ya know... we all teach reading.''
    Umm.... it's NOT the same thing! In fact in schools where the kids are SERIOUSLY behind, they require intensive interventions w/ a specialist; a general ed teacher just doesn't necessarily have the knowledge or experience to provide exactly what the child needs. They do what they can in the classroom, but additional supports are required. It's why I decided to go back to school. I had no idea how to help my seriously under performing/ struggling readers. And ELLS? Those poor guys. I was so out of my league. All I had to do in AZ was take some bs SEI online course and apparently that ''qualified'' me to teach them.
    Nope! I'm learning all kinds of things (and building my confidence,) that will help me when I step back into the classroom in fall 2018.
    :D
     
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  17. otterpop

    otterpop Aficionado

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    Yes, that's 100% the way it is :(

    Do schools in your state hire reading specialists? In my state, it's an unheard of position. In my home state, every school has one. Eventually, I'd like to be a reading specialist also, but it's just not a career option here. I agree, though - every school needs one!
     
  18. Leaborb192

    Leaborb192 Enthusiast

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    Oh yeah! In NY where I live (I can't speak for everywhere) but in the one school I sub in, there's 8 reading specialists!!!! In AZ we didn't have any. We had TA's who did it, but again, it's not the same. I think it's hit or miss if a school elsewhere has them. In SOME schools in AZ they do have them, mostly in title 1 schools if they choose to put the funds there.
    Just one more example of how education isn't equal across the nation. But even still, I can use what I'm learning in the gen ed classroom if that's where I end up.
     
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  19. bella84

    bella84 Aficionado

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    I agree that reading specialists are necessary, but I'll throw in that reading specialists often don't have all the knowledge either. In most schools where I've worked, our reading specialists put all students in the same intervention program (either Fountas & Pinnell LLI, Reading Recovery, or another text-based program, depending on the school). Programs that focused on phonics and phonemic awareness just weren't offered, and, to be frank, most of our reading specialists didn't possess adequate knowledge about how to teach phonics and phonemic awareness to struggling readers. They learned all about running records and analyzing errors in their grad school programs, but they just didn't know much about how to help kids who haven't mastered even the most basic of phonics skills. A lot of students fell threw the cracks because the reading specialists wouldn't deviate from the programs they knew.
     
    Last edited: Aug 27, 2017
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  20. Backroads

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    We have no policy on when to pull kids as far as reading/math/specials, the school simply leaves it up to all the teachers involved to work out themselves, which I appreciate. We also try to keep the interventions concise and pointed, so no students are missing huge blocks of whatever.

    Our school is trying something rather new this year, at least a deviation from our ways. We offer Spanish language, and the last two years all ESL kids (which, being Utah, means mostly native Spanish speakers) would have their ESL when the rest of the class went to Spanish. Then we read the research suggesting further education in one's native language was only beneficial, so we switched this year to our new form: The two Spanish Intensive classes were split up and would continue to go to their Ultra Spanish classes as scheduled. The rest of the class would get the Basic Spanish instruction everyone gets during this time, followed by a block of time for other interventions as needed. It did make it tricky for the Spanish Intensive kids who still needed interventions, but it did get a lot of intervention out of the way, so scheduling the remaining kiddos was much easier.
     
    Last edited: Aug 27, 2017
  21. bella84

    bella84 Aficionado

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    Thanks for all of the responses. I would love it if my students were pulled during our reading workshop block - the part where they would otherwise be reading independently. As the classroom teacher, I could easily adjust my small group schedule so that I could pull them into a group with me when they weren't out of the room for intervention and pull other groups when they were. All they would be missing is independent reading, which most of them struggle to stay engaged in anyway.

    Instead, because my school admin believes that reading intervention should be supplemental for most students (some on an IEP may have a replacement intervention), my school pulls students during other content (language arts, social studies, and science). They are not pulled from math. On the outside, this seems fine... I'd agree. However, because we departmentalize and there are two blocks of math and two blocks of language arts daily, students are often sent to math or language arts with a homeroom that is not their own, simply so that they can go to intervention during the time that their homeroom has math and not miss math class. Again, doesn't seem like a huge deal on the outside... But, when you look closer, you see that an individual student in this position spends more than half of their instructional day with a different homeroom community that they are not part of... In addition, class sizes become lopsided - some with up to 10 more students than the other class has! Finally, it makes it really difficult to set up long-term seating arrangements and teams/partners of students, because students are switching back and forth between the two classes every time the intervention schedule changes. It's kind of a nightmare, and, although those in charge of the schedule may be minimally aware of the issue, they don't seem to understand the depth of it. It's quite frustrating. We spend so much time creating class lists and making sure that students are in a class that is a good fit for them, only to go and put them with a different class that they aren't really a part of once intervention begins. And, every time a student makes progress and moves to a different group, the schedule changes again... causing all of the same effects all over again. Our sped, gifted, ELL, and math intervention teachers don't change their schedule this frequently, if ever, so I just have a hard time understanding why reading intervention has to be this way. :(

    Anyway, thanks again for sharing.
     

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