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Problem Overview: Rosa’s problem is Rosa staring out the window and being "off task" during math. She stares in every other direction but the teacher or her independent work. Rosa is constantly inattentive, distractible, and fails to complete math assignments. Sometimes Rosa seems like she is daydreaming and looks as if she is sad about something. Sometimes she cries, walks around the room, and makes frequent trips to the bathroom. Other times she will sit there fidgeting with her pencils or anything that is in her desk or doodle in her notebook. This behavior is always during the math portion of the day. It is suspected that the teacher is not modifying the lesson to be ESOL friendly.
The Principal respects the teacher and her second year of teaching and is impressed by the teacher’s commitment to constructivist education. Throughout the observation, the principal was concerned with the lack of one-on-one attention Rosa received. It was initially suspected that the teacher had a subconscious gender bias problem. It was apparent that the teacher paid much more attention and asked the majority of the questions to the boys. She did give many examples on the board and had students answer questions, but the principal noticed that they were not doing any hands-on activities.
The principal also suspects that the teacher
is not using adequate discipline procedures in her class and views
this as a critical mistake on the part of her teacher. She believes
that nothing will be done if Rosa is sent to the principal’s
office all the time. She is thinking about having a meeting with the
teacher and the ESOL resource teacher, to figure out how to solve
the problem. The principal has had experience in the past with ESOL
children exhibiting some of the same behavioral problems; therefore,
she is suspecting that Rosa needs more ESOL instruction.
The teacher attempts to meet with Rosa for one-on-one sessions at least once a week but reports to not have enough time or resources for individualized and differentiated instruction. During this independent instruction Rosa is comprehensive in math but really moves at a slow pace. Rosa speaks in Spanish and English, but she is more fluent in Spanish. The teacher notices this but believes Rosa speaks uses Spanish because of how much she hears it at home
The teacher notices Rosa is disruptive by poking at her peers and doesn’t focus on work while in group settings. Rosa has also been paired with a peer tutor that’s first language is Spanish. The teacher reports that Rosa is more attentive when she works one-on-one with this partner but begins to stare out the window and fidget during independent seat work. The teacher makes all efforts to put Rosa in pairs but is now feeling the pressure of the onset of standardized testing. Although the teacher doesn’t want to, she is forced to assign worksheets of drill and practice to cover all the material for the upcoming test. In order to help her English skills, the teacher lets Rosa sit at the computer and practice on a software program designed for Spanish/English students. Rosa seems to enjoy this but computer access is limited and the software doesn’t operate correctly most of the time.
He also believes Rosa’s is exhibiting escape/avoidant behaviors during math. The counselor believes that time out is not working for Rosa because she finds the seclusion reinforcing.
He visited from room to room on open house at the beginning of the year prior to the report of Rosa’s off task behaviors. Rosa’s mother was in attendance at open house but the counselor was not able to meet with her then because of the overflow of other students families that he was speaking with. He has met with Rosa on one occasion, and that was in an informal interview asking about her likes and dislikes. Rosa was responsive and energetic during her one-on-one interview but the counselor observed Rosa to remain withdrawn and isolated from the other classmates during math. He knew it wasn’t due to shyness so he suspected she may be using all means necessary to escape and avoid the math work.
He recommends that Rosa’s math lessons be reduced to a lesser amount of problems. Upon completion of her work, her reward is getting a break from the task and having time on the computer. He believes that if you gradually increase the amount of work Rosa needs to complete and reward her every time that she will slowly increase her on-task behavior.
The ESOL Teacher
The ESOL teacher is also appreciative of the general ed teachers time spent with working on Rosa’s fluency in English. However, the ESOL teacher recognizes a need for more academic language instruction.
The ESOL teacher recommends that Rosa’s
teacher put math problems in situational contexts. Having Rosa write
more about math should also reinforce her knowledge of math and clarify
concepts. The ESOL teacher also encourages the continued practice
of math with Rosa and a partner. She is confident that this type of
setting will help Rosa feel safe and secure with her ideas. She also
recommends an increased use of visal aids with english words and language
supports during whole group instrucion. The pairing up for Rosa should
also extend throughout all aspects of math including going to the
board together and moving across math centers together. Asking the
class to provide key words in spanish during whole class instruction
could also help Rosa open up more.