News & Events
LSEM Teachers Share Mid-Year Student Success!
- March 16, 2017
- Posted by: LSEM
- Category: The Advocate Newsletter
Indiana Teacher Reports on Student Success
Carmen Cleaveland, an LSEM educator located at Suburban Lutheran School in Fort Wayne, Indiana, shares the following student success story:
My student is in the 3rd grade and after her case conference last spring, she was given an IEP with an exceptionality of a specific learning disability. This past August, her STAR Reading score was 1.3 Grade Equivalent (GE) and in October it had come up to 2.4 GE. Her STAR Math score this past August was 2.0 GE and in October it was 3.1 GE. I work with her seven times a week, with two of those times having one other student with her. I am using red word cards, sight words, and readers that focus on a specific digraph for each book. We are reading to improve her accuracy and fluency, with accuracy being the most important right now (she is aware of these goals), and we stay with a book until she can read it with 95% accuracy before moving to the next one.
I really think the key has been consistency and lots of encouragement and making our time together fun. She is working really hard, but I don’t think it feels like hard work because of how I interact with her and the relationship that I’ve been trying to establish with her. For her math gain, we have focused on the basics and she works on IXL for several minutes 3-4 times a week, using counters to help her “see” what she is calculating. Her classroom teacher and I check in with each other about how she is doing, specifically her AR quizzes, and how she is keeping up with her reading log at home. Although I knew she was improving, I was completely surprised that each score came up as much as it did!”
Pennsylvania Program Sees Quick Success
Megan Govan, One of LSEM’s newest teachers, reports progress at Our Redeemer Lutheran School in Oakmont, Pennsylvania. One of LSEM’s newest partner schools, everyone is pleased to see the difference LSEM is already making! Here’s a report from Megan on a special moment with one of her students:
“There is a 7th grader with autism that I teach math to this year. New to the school, he doesn’t show much emotion and is pretty quiet. I have been trying to get him to open up, and he has some since the school year started.
One day in math class I was teaching the “distributive property” to him, but he just wasn’t getting it. I was at a loss… then, for some reason “birthday cake” popped into my head. I began explaining that everything that is in the parentheses are people at a birthday party, and the number or variable that is outside of the parentheses is the birthday cake. I asked my student if he always ate cake when he went to a birthday party and he replied with a simple “yes”. I continued to say, “That’s right! Everyone at birthday parties want birthday cake!” So, you need to distribute the birthday cake, which in this problem is the number outside of the parentheses, to all the people at the party, or the numbers inside the parentheses.
Out of nowhere he looked at me and busted out with the best belly laugh I’ve heard in a long time! I was shocked that the boy that hardly even smiled at me was laughing this hard. I mean, I completely understand that what I just said to him was unusual, but he understood what I was talking about! He understood the distributive property when I explained it in terms of getting birthday cake at a birthday party. All that I do now is draw a birthday cake at the top of his paper or near a problem and he can successfully solve the problem on his own, which is something he couldn’t do before.”
Illinois Program Makes a Difference
Arlene Lapansky, LSEM teacher at Trinity Lutheran School in Tinley Park, Illinois, loves her time changing the lives of children. Here’s one such story, in her words:
“Three years ago, a little boy entered Trinity’s first grade class. His mom knew he struggled with kindergarten concepts and had him repeat kindergarten at another school. She was hoping yet for a new beginning at Trinity. He had been at his third school in 3 years.
During his first few weeks of first grade the teacher noticed that he struggled with letter names and letter sounds. This student was very active and could not pay attention to instruction like his peers could. He was becoming more frustrated and did not like school, but loved the religious stories he heard in class.
A referral was made to Arlene Lapsansky with LSEM. Soon after his mom made an appointment with his doctor and was placed on medicine so he could focus better in class. The student worked on strategies to pay attention in class. Mrs. Lapsansky worked with the student three times a week on letter sounds, decoding words and retaining sight words.
The student was making consistent progress. In addition, he was found eligible for speech and language services to work on memory strategies and language processing. After collecting data the team diagnosed the student with a learning disability.
Today the student is in third grade at Trinity and still loves his religious stories. He is independently reading his third grade stories and takes science fiction books out of the LSEM library. His mom cries because she is so proud of his accomplishments.”