Teaching Students with LD and ADHD

accommodations in general ed classroom

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Joined: Sep 21, 2007
Posts: 1
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Posted Sep 21, 2007 at 3:32:31 PM
Subject: accommodations in general ed classroom

Several of the teachers on our staff are having difficulty with classroom management in regards with the use of calculators. Many of our LD students have in their IEP that the student may use a calculator in math class. All other students are not allowed to use a calculator. Those students not allowed are complaining rudely to the teacher, "How come they get to use one, why can't I?" Without telling students that it is in their IEP or they are in special ed. What are some ideas to explain the difference?

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Joined Sep 06, 2007
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Posted:Sep 23, 2007 12:05:57 PM

As a LD teacher myself, I would hope that calculators aren't written in for constant use. If possible, I would limit their use for checking accuracy of daily work,and homework assistance. Calculators shouldn't take the place of the mind and pencil/paper work unless the child has a serious need for one.

I teach in a huge urban elementary school with a high level of LD/CDB students, I can't think of more than 1 student who would need to use a calculator more than a couple of times a week in class and never during a testing situation. While I agree that skill with a calulator is something that ALL students need to be proficient at, mathematical facts and functions are things all students need to know and show. I definitly don't agree with constant and continued calculator use for most LD students.

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Joined Aug 01, 2006
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Posted:Sep 23, 2007 5:44:54 PM

As a general ed teacher, I have mixed ability classes for physical science. Due to that, and the fact that is is NOT a math class, I allow any student to use the calculator.

I don't allow 7th graders taking math with me to use it, but I do allow 10th grade geometry students to use it (I teach the lower level geometry class some years at my school). It is a matter of what is being taught. If one is teaching arithmetic, use of fingers and maybe a times table is an appropriate accomodation once a certain point is reached (ie, the kid has tried and tried and still cannot get the math facts). If the class you are teaching involves the process of arithmetic, and the student can do the process but not know the facts, ask the intervention specialist if a table might not be more appropriate. If the student is learning scientific concepts (not math), why not allow all students to use a simple calculator?

BTW, what grade and subject are these students in now?

"Never give up, never surrender" -Galaxy Quest

“In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity” -Albert Einstein

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Joined Nov 03, 2004
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Posted:Oct 05, 2007 12:46:11 PM

This is a really vague question. Thinking need is different based on what the concepts, grade, etc., Algebra student using it for calculation much different than a first grade lerning two add double digits.

If your concern is that you feel this is written into the IEP's to frequently than you need to discuss that with the IEP Team. They will be able to explain the reasoning.

As a parent that has to fight for every accommodation my child receives I am sure that this is not being giving out easily.

Shel If your not kicking hard enough your not making waves!

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Joined Apr 13, 2005
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Posted:Oct 11, 2007 9:23:20 PM

While it is really none of their business why one student is allowed to use a calculator and another doesn't, I know kids ask questions. Here are some responses I have heard to questions such as these. 1) Every kid gets exactly what they need to be successful. 2)That's really none of your business. 3) If you (speaking to the student) needed to sit close to the board to be able to see it, should I let you, or is that not fair because everyone can't sit that close to the board? 4) That's really none of your business. 5) If (insert student's name) needed CPR in class, would I refuse to help because I could only help that one student and not anyone else, cause that just wouldn't be fair. If you can't tell, I work with LD/ADD students all day and have to put up with questions such as these from "normal" kids all the time plus I have an LD/ADD kid myself. What's wrong with letting kids use a calculator, especially if it's in their IEP? How is that any different than using spell check or a dictionary? I sure can't spell every word that exists but I know how to look one up in the dictionary. If it was in my daughter's IEP that she could use a calculator, I would want it available AT ALL TIMES. As long as she knows the mechanics of a problem, who cares? If you need to figure the correct tip at a restaurant or the price of an outfit when it's 35% off, use the calculator on your cell phone. Unless they don't know how to figure that out because they couldn't use a calculator at school.

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