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I had a meeting with his teacher, the school social worker and the learning specialist at his school today to come to an agreement about how to teach Random Guy math this year. I went with his most recent IEPs and his previous report cards in my green expanding folder.
I went in asking for him to be pulled out during math and a separate math curriculum. I explained that I had to reteach everything taught in class these past few years and that with two children having homework and therapies to go to I just don't have the time or ability to teach my son Everyday Math, every day, without any training. I explained that he is cognitively different than most of the other children and being so, needed mastery of a concept before being asked to move on to another one.
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I left with a modification for less homework, an agreement that Random Guy would not be shuffled among the teachers and put into a "low" group and that the algorithms taught would be the standard ones not the loopy multiple ways Everyday Math has to solve the same problem. I was told the homework emphasis will be on the traditional algorithms and that the problems to be worked will be marked discretely on his worksheet or booklet, so there is no misunderstanding what work needs to be completed. I was assured that this was going to be the last grade that they will be using Everyday Math. Next year, for middle school there will be a traditional math curriculum.
|Wait, what was your strategy?|
Some would say that I didn't get what I was asking for, but really I think I got quite a bit. I got the modification spelled out by the learning specialist to the teacher. I got an agreement not to move my child from teacher to teacher to learn math, but rather stick with one teacher who now knows the modifications. There are 12 units this school year, so I kept Random Guy from having to move between three different teachers, two of which were not there for the meeting, and haven't got a clue about Random Guy. I also got a chance to see what the reworked test format will be and what the standards are for the grade.
I got a meeting of the minds that Random Guy's teacher was going to follow the program. She also showed me how she is going to track his progress and increase the difficulty level of his work as he improves his performance.
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I sent a email (with a copy going to my husband,) thanking them for the meeting and outlining the agreed modifications and requested that the modifications be listed in his IEP.
It is best when faced with difficulties like this to find a way to solve the problem so your child gets the benefit of a modification rather than fight and fight and no movement occurs on their part for an adaptation or accommodation. It is a fine line to walk when advocating for your child. You risk being viewed as helicopter parent, when really, experience has taught you to be proactive rather than reactive to save yourself and your child a lot of wasted time and energy. Part of being a special ed. parent is having to teach the teachers every year. Part of being a special ed. parent is also learning from having to teach the teachers every year.