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At-Risk Student Observation and Adaptation Robinson Elementary Placement 3 Today, several students in the general education classroom

remain at-risk for referral to special education services. The reason for these students referrals can range from a lack of support or intervention in the general education classroom, to a medical diagnosis requiring intensified, individualized attention. In this current clinical placement, I was given the unique opportunity to observe a first grade student in the general education classroom who is at-risk for a special education referral. This student, Student L, is very excited to learn and participates well in whole and small group instructional time. He is eager to express his knowledge in the class and expresses the desire to be a leader among his peers. However, Student L has shown some pertinent behavior that is negatively affecting his attentiveness towards his schoolwork. In the following paragraphs, I will discuss various strengths and behaviors that were observed, as well as possible adaptations that could be implemented during Student Ls class time. As I began my observations, I immediately noticed that Student L was seated away from the rest of his first grade peers. His desk was facing a wall and was located in the far right corner of the room. There was also a large anchor chart that separated his personal space from his peers. The students were just starting their reading block and had been introduced to their new spelling words for the week. The teacher asked students to orally define specific words, and Student L was quick to raise his hand in an exaggerated manor and shout out the definition. It was obvious that he knew what most of his spelling words meant. Unfortunately, his shouting out became a distraction to others and did not allow much room for other students to answer. Next, the students were instructed to complete

their spelling worksheet. Student L was quick to complete his assignment, and then he sat not knowing what to do next. It was at this point when the student began exhibiting some undesired behaviors. He began chewing on writing utensils, fidgeting in his chair, and attempting to start conversations with students who were engaged in work. It was not until Student L was called to small group instruction with the teacher that his behaviors ceased for a short time. During small group instruction, Student L was with four of his peers at a kidneyshaped table in the back of the room. The teacher was working with students on how to spell words containing silent -e using decoding strategies. Student L was eager to start these learning activities and engage in educational games. However, I observed that Student L began goofing off with his peer as instruction continued. He also started commenting on things that were off-task, and this hindered his focus on the spelling strategies he was learning. The teacher asked Student L to sound out various words, and he was unable to correctly pronounce these words due to his inattentiveness. Once the small group finished their work together, Student L was instructed to complete his station work with a group. Although he had begun his work, I did notice that Student L was distracting several of his peers by starting conversations with them. Finally, the teacher asked the student to go back to his seat and work quietly on his independent reading material. While at his seat, the student fell several times out of his chair, spoke with other students, and looked around the room rather than working on his assignment. This type of hyper-active behavior seemed to hinder the amount of effort and attention spent working on class assignments, which can hurt the student in the long run. One final observation I made was after the students station time, the teacher asked students to recall

several words that she had read from the board. When Student L was called upon, his answers showed evidence that he was relying on rote memorization of what he heard rather than the visual cues the letters provided him with. I believe one of the first adaptations that should be made to Student Ls time in the classroom is providing this student with a student checklist. This checklist could include items such as, I am facing forward in my chair; I have all my materials ready for work; I have completed my worksheet; etc. This checklist could be one way the teacher gives the student responsibility for his actions as well as his behavioral expectations in the classroom. In addition, the teacher could also score the student using the same checklist. At the end of the day, the teacher and student could meet briefly to discuss their scores. If both of their scores are similar, the student may receive some type of reward (such as a sticker on a chart). If he receives a specific number of stickers, he could be rewarded with something he enjoys. This could reduce the amount of overall disruptions during the students instructional time. A second adaptation that I believe would help this student is a small list of what learning activities he can work on if he completes work early. This list could be kept at his desk, and will hopefully reduce his time off-task while providing him with a clear focus for his next task. Finally, one more adaptation the teacher could use with Student L is giving him magnetic letters to create his spelling and/or high-frequency words at his desk. Then, the teacher could allow the student 3-5 minutes to share his work with a peer or small group. By allowing the student time to share, this could help defer the students conversational impulses and encourage his on-task behavior. Overall, there are several different strategies that can be implemented into the classroom that would aide in Student Ls learning. Each of the adaptations mentioned

could serve as foundational adaptations that are easy to incorporate and that would enhance the focus of Student Ls instructional time.