Monday, May 13, 2013

IEP Day

Today was Kennedy's annual IEP. It also happened to be Field Day thanks to the original Field Day being rained out, so that made for kind of a crazy, busy day! I think everyone will sleep well tonight!

Kennedy has made SO much progress in 2nd grade!! She mastered almost every one of her goals and has graduated from Occupational Therapy! :) I never thought that would happen! LOL Her handwriting has really come so far this year and we are all so proud! Of course her OT said that she would be around if anyone needed her and we'll all say a little prayer that Kennedy doesn't cut her (or anyone else's) hair off next year. *ahem* :)

Kenn has come a LONG way with her reading... she has progressed an entire year since her last IEP meeting, which is fantastic! She met all her sight word, reading and writing goals and is now working on writing longer sentences, forming paragraphs, and working on capitalization and punctuation (which she already has a good understanding of, but we still have to remind her sometimes.) They said she's doing a great job with her comprehension and being able to listen to a story and tell the main idea, setting and characters and other details about it so they're going to work on expanding that next year. I am excited to see her continue to progress with her reading and writing. I love to hear her read little stories to me and see the little notes she writes in her notebooks.

She will continue to get speech therapy, but her ST was very happy too with her progress this year. Kennedy mastered her speech goal from last year... and I can't remember exactly what that was, but it had to do with retelling stories, so they're going to continue working on intelligible speech. She's come a long way, but she has a long way to go... When she knows exactly what she wants to say, her speech is VERY clear, but when she is not quite sure what she's trying to get out and needs to think and speak at the same time, it's still hard for her. Her classmates have been fabulous this year about asking her to repeat herself if they don't understand something, and usually they will understand her the second time. :) I have more to say about speech stuff that's not really school related, but that's another post for another time.

Math is still slow going... she did meet almost all her math goals for the year, but it was a struggle. About the end of the 3rd quarter we decided to try her with a calculator and things got SO much easier for her and she actually started to enjoy math a little bit. I think things will pick up for her next year with this modification written in. I figure at this point, it's function over form. I realize that (most) math is important, but I also realize that in today's world she will probably always have access to a calculator, so let's just get her REALLY good on a calculator. She loves any type of technology so she's much more willing to play with numbers if she can push buttons to do it. Thankfully her team is totally on board with that idea. :) They'll also be working hard on money next year which will help finish up some math goals from this year that she didn't quite finish. I hate math... it makes my eyes glaze over. LOL

So... we're moving onto 3rd grade... we talked a little bit about her inclusion time which has been right around 90% still. They pointed out that 3rd grade is a lot different... a lot more writing, a lot harder math, and, oh yeah, those pesky TCAPs (bleh!). We all know how much Kennedy loves to be in the classroom, but we talked about making sure we weren't letting her education suffer at the expense of her being "included" and I agree. I think that A LOT of what the 3rd graders are going to do next year can be modified to fit Kennedy's educational needs, but I certainly don't want her to be sitting in the classroom staring at the ceiling if the content is just way above her head. Thankfully I already met with her resource teacher and we came up with some great ways to modify different things like long writing assignments... she has the calculator for math and we have a few other things in place, but for those times when modifications won't work, they'll pull her out and work on other areas where she needs more help. Right now it looks like this should still keep her inclusion time in the 80-90% range, which is great because socially, she does love being with her friends... but if we see her slipping academically, we'll regroup and figure out a new plan. She came so far this year and I don't want to lose that! As for those pesky TCAPs? Ain't nobody got time for that. ;) I'll just opt her out and be done. Too much stress! haha

And that summed up our IEP meeting... short and sweet... and then we ate cake! :) Here's hoping they'll all be this way! :) I'm so thankful for her amazing IEP team and a fabulous 2nd grade year!! Onward and upward!

6 comments :

Kaylee114 said...

That's awesome that she progressed so much in a year! I was wondering how the inclusion process will work as she moves up in the grades and the gap between Kenn and her classmates widen academically. Will it end up being more frustrating and harmful for her to see her peers move on easily to master more difficult work that she will struggle with, or perhaps be unable to do? That is the part of inclusion that would concern me most and want me to protect my child from. Will you at some point (in a higher grade) consider moving her to a special Ed classroom where she won't have to struggle so much to keep up with her peers academically?

Joy said...

So happy for you guys that it went so well! Way to go Kennedy!! I have a feeling next year you will see a big difference in her speech ;)

Anne B. said...

Congratulations Kennedy!!! Welcome to 3rd grade.....my goodness, how did you grow up so fast??? So happy that you had something to celebrate.....the cake looks yummy!!! (((BIG HUGS)))!!!

Kristin said...

It's nice that you are able to opt out of your state testing. I am a 3rd grade teacher in Florida and it is extremely hard for anybody to opt out, even children with an IEP (though they do get accommodations).

JoDee said...

She is doing Awesome! Sounds like you have a really great team at school.
I don't know how well it would work for Kennedy but if part of her problem with writing is legibility you may want to look into keyboarding. She would probably love it given she loves technology. Lexie has an AlphaSmart provided by the school and the use of it for anything over 1 paragraph as well as when she wants to use it. It really is a blessing because she can then work on her thoughts behind the writing instead of trying to make it legible. She is in the 6th grade and her writing resembles that of a lot of 1st maybe 2nd graders.

Kaylee114 said...

Oops I forgot to ask if Kennedy is actually doing all the same exact work level/requirements as the other students are to graduate each grade, or does the school lower the expectations/requirements for the inclusion kids? Im confused if inclusion meant just having them sit with their same age peers in the same classroom, or is inclusion actually also doing the same level of work, too. Thanks for educating us on this new concept to many of us!!