Case Title: 1. Rethinking Grading Part 1

Element Title: What Katie needs (13 of 16)

To identify priorities for intervention, teams of exceptional and struggling learners need to ask two questions: 1) Which of the standards expected at this grade level is this student not on schedule to master? And 2) What other critical skills does this student need to acquire in order to participate meaningfully in daily classroom routines? Each person involved in the planning has a role in answering these questions.

Katie’s special education teacher began the meeting talking about the amazing progress Katie has made with reading.  She is on grade level in reading comprehension, and her reading pace has improved enough that it no longer stops her from reading for pleasure.  Katie smiled, hearing everyone praise her hard work and accomplishments.  Katie then talked about some of her favorite books she has read lately.

Next the team discussed her writing skills and the improvement she has made.  Her language arts teacher noticed that when she writes lengthy texts the number of errors she makes in punctuation increases dramatically after the first page.  Katie’s father said he had noticed the same sort of problem in mathematics.  On all of her work, she starts out strong and then makes simple calculation or sign errors toward the end of the work. Katie was able to pass most of her math work at the C level.

The special education teacher talked about how the conventions of writing and the simple pieces of mathematics are automatic for most 5th graders.  But for students who have learning disabilities who are gifted, like Katie, the more complex pieces can be easier for her than remembering to punctuate, capitalize, or attend to spelling in her writing.  The team seemed to think the same pattern was evident across the curriculum for Katie.  Katie agreed that it was hard to remember the punctuation and spelling when she was thinking about the topic of her writing. The ELA teacher was really concerned because Katie's writing mechanics are at a 3rd or 4th grade level.

Katie’s mother then expressed a concern with Katie’s forgetting to do her homework.  She seems to want to remember her homework, but even with a calendar, she forgets to write down the assignments.  Sometimes, Katie completes the assignment but then forgets to turn it in.  Katie’s general education teacher agreed and said that even when asking the class as a group to find the assignment to turn in, that Katie sometimes sits at her desk and doesn’t look for hers.   Katie’s mom explained that Katie really has a difficult time remembering to do lots of things—and remembering items.  Katie’s father agreed, saying that Katie carries her books with her all day and won’t use her locker because she is afraid she will forget something in it or forget the locker combination.

The team came up with the follwing goals for Katie.


Priorities Chosen 

Annual Goals

We want Katie to write with correct punctuation, capitalization, and spelling.

In language arts, social studies, and science, Katie will write paragraphs with no more than 3 punctuation, spelling, or capitalization error for every 5 paragraphs on 15 pieces of writing.

We want Katie to present a topic clearly, and write supporting paragraphs, each with a topic sentence, supporting details, and a variety of descriptive words and phrases to add depth.

On language arts expository writing assignments, Katie will use an introduction, 3 supporting details in each paragraph, and a conclusion on 10 assignments in a row.

We want Katie to remember to do and turn in her homework assignments and projects.

For language arts, mathematics, science, and social studies, Katie will consistently complete all 7 steps of submitting complete and timely homework, and no more than 1 late assignment per month.

Element Assessment: What Katie needs

Katie needs modifications in:

A) All of language arts
B) Mathematics
C) Math and Language Arts
D) Writing