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IEP Case Study Part 1

For my IEP Case Study, I have chosen to study my student A.M. I do not actually have
any students on IEPs, but over the course of the last month or so, we have decided to
begin A.M. on the path to an IEP. A.M. went through the first two tiers of the RtI process
last year and started the 3rd tier this year with me. What with different difficulties at our
school, it has been difficult to move A.M. through the process as efficiently as we would
have liked, so we are doing everything within our power to get A.M. onto an IEP as soon
as possible. I decided it would be interesting and informative to follow A.M. on this path
since for one, I do not have any students currently on IEPS and two, she is starting the
process. I am looking forward to learning how this process works and having a better
idea of what I can do as a general educator to help A.M. in the best way I can. Below, I
have included interviews done with A.M. as well as our Special Education teacher. I will
also speak about my personal experiences with her.
Student Information and SummaryInterview with Special Educator-What are the specific disabilities of this scholar and what would be
some related accommodations?
**Because A.M. is not quite through the Special Education process,
their is no disability label documented. While I suspect A.M. will
qualify for services under a Specific Learning Disability in reading,
this decision cannot be made until our team of professionals have
evaluated A.M. and then come together to decide if this label fits.
This happens at the Eligibility Determination meeting, where evaluates
will be discussed and the committee (including her family, teachers,
and related services staff) all agrees on eligibility for Special
Education. Related accommodations include: Extended time on
assessments, Assessments read aloud, Separate environment for testing,
Shortening lengthy assignments, Breaking lengthy assignments into
sections, Reducing repetitive test and homework questions, etc.
-What support/ services should this student be receiving?
**Students who have similar needs as A.M. receive between 1-2 hours
of reading services per week. The model I've created includes pullout
small group reading intervention using the curriculum LLI. This
curriculum targets specific skills through word work, reading
comprehension, and written expression. Additionally, some students
receive indirect services through consultation. For students who do
well in their general education class but need extra accommodations,
this option is utilized. Services through consultation include the
general ed teacher and special education teacher collaborating to
create materials that "level the playing field" (differentiated
instruction, leveled books, graphic organizers, etc.).
-How does that compare with what they are actually receiving?
**At AXL Academy, the services I write on their IEP are services I
actually provide. Last year, I was pulled to sub or test often and was
not held accountable to actually serve students their legally required

hours. However, as the Staffing Chair this year, I have made a change
in the special education model so students are coming out of class
everyday to see me in a small group setting. This has made it more
difficult for administration to ask me to do other tasks that are not
in my job description, which results in students seeing me on a
consistent basis.
-How has the student developed over time, therefore impacting her IEP or RtI?
**In A.M.'s case, RTI has been a slow moving process. Last year she
made some progress in tiers 1a and 2, which made it difficult to move
her to a tier 3. However, now that A.M. has been on a tier 3, she
has appeared to hit a plateau and stopped progressing. Currently, she
is reading at an end of kindergarten level. This is problematic
because this is her second year in 2nd grade and she is still not
catching up to her grade level peers. Her lack of progress in tier 3
RTI has helped develop a case for A.M.'s Special Education
Interview with scholar-What are you really good at?
**Im really good at math because thats my favorite subject in school. Math is my
favorite because I like to subtract and add stuff. I like that math is numbers and not
letters because its easier because I can count them in my head. I like math and reading
the same. I like that with reading, I get to sound stuff out and sometimes I get the words
right and I just like reading. Its so fun. Whats fun about reading is reading a lot of pages
that are probably more your level and its fun for me to read books.
-What do you struggle with?
**I struggle with reading. Sometimes when I struggle with reading, I dont know how to
read it. I need help sometimes. I dont always get reading. When I struggle with reading,
I still like it but it just makes me get frustrated. Sometimes when I read, the letters look
blurry and sometimes they look regular.
-What is your favorite part of the school day?
**My favorite part of the school day is reading during content. I like reading our script
(note- script from a mock city council meeting). I like that I get to relax while Im reading
and have a calm, peaceful day. I feel like Im able to do that at home. I like reading the
script because I get to come up and I like doing fun stuff in reading. I like reading out
loud to the class. I like reading to people because it makes me comfortable because I
think it is fun to read to my crewmates.
-What frustrates you most about school?
**Reading frustrates me. Reading frustrates me because I get frustrated when I cant
read words. It frustrates me because I dont get the words right. I sometimes want to
throw my head down when I dont get the word right but then I lift my head back up and
try it again. Its important for me to keep trying even when I get frustrated because I
know when I give up I wont get the words right. When I keep trying, though, I will get the
words right and I will learn and get to read it.

Personal experience with scholar-How does she behave in the classroom?

** A.M.s behavior has drastically changed over the course of this year. At the beginning
of the year, she came in almost every day with a scowl on her face and seemingly
immediately ready to give up. A.M. clearly did not enjoy school and did not care to be
there. I believe a lot of this came from her having to repeat 2nd grade and not feeling
comfortable or capable in the classroom. Over the course of the first couple of months,
her behavior began to slowly change and she began to improve. Our crew has many,
many discussions about how our attitudes in the classroom affect our ability to learn, and
I believe that A.M. really took this notion to heart. I began seeing her proactively working
to improve her attitude and feelings about the classroom. With that change in heart, her
schoolwork really began to change and improve as well. While she is still nowhere near
where she should be at this point in the year, she is showing that she is capable of
making growth. Now, A.M. is for the most part very well behaved in the classroom and is
always working to do her best. However, it took us a long time and a lot of work to get to
this point.
-What is the student most engaged during the day?
**Whereas at the beginning of the year, I worked with my 2nd grade girls all day, I now
only work with them during math and content classes in the morning. Because of this, I
dont feel as if I can completely confidently say when A.M. is most engaged during the
day, but I can talk about the times when I am with her. While A.M. has shown a lot more
engagement since the beginning of the year, there are a few times where she is truly
engaged and excited. Its interesting to me because one of these times is when A.M. is
doing one of the things that frustrates her the most- reading. A.M. has begun receiving
books from the special educator that are right at her level. A.M. asks daily if she can read
these books out loud to the class during downtime. It is at these times that A.M. is the
most engaged and excited about school. It is very cool to see her getting so excited
about doing something that normally scares her so much in such a public forum.
-Where is she able to demonstrate strengths?
** A.M. shows strengths in various ways. While math is still difficult for her, I do believe
at times it can be more enjoyable, and therefore easier, for her since numbers are more
straightforward for her than math. We start our math class every day by skip counting
and I have seen A.M. learn how to do this over the course of the trimester. I believe the
repetition of the numbers helps her out greatly. A.M. shows strength with simple addition
and subtraction. We work mostly on 3-digit numbers and when not having to borrow or
carry, she does well with these sorts of straightforward problems.
-What are her greatest struggles?
** One of A.M.s greatest struggles is actually her self-confidence. I truly believe that
over the course of time, A.M. has tricked herself into believing that she is not capable of
doing most of what we do in class. At the beginning of the year, the first part of every
class had to be spent convincing A.M. that she was capable of doing the work and that
we could get through it together. Because of this, she always had limited time to practice
the skills in class, which caused her to struggle even more. Another struggle of A.M.s is
her ability to blend as well as recognize sounds. When reading words, she can usually
recognize most of the sounds within the word, she just has a tough time blending them
all together. With that being said, however, there are still certain letter families that she

does not recognize and is not able to sound out. This also happens in her writing, that
she does not recognize the sounds that make up a word to properly begin to spell it out.
-What are some strategies youve used to help support this student and what has been
the impact?
** I work with A.M. in small groups in almost everything we do. Often times, I will pull her
during independent work time and work with her one-on-one as well. Working in small
groups works very well for A.M so that she can get that more individualized attention
that she needs and can work through difficult work in a smaller setting. I also believe this
gives her confidence that she can do the work. Differentiation also works very well for
A.M. Her reading level and aspects of her math level are not at grade level or at the level
of many of her peers. While giving her work more attune to her abilities, she is able to
continue pushing herself, but at the level appropriate for her.
All in all, I am very interested and excited to begin working with A.M. Her interview in
particular I feel gave me a lot of insight into her feelings and thoughts about school.
From interviewing her, I felt as if she herself is even unclear about her strengths and
weaknesses at school. A.M. went back and forth a lot with her interview and seemed as if
she didnt have clear answers for what I was asking. I will be very interested to see what
will happen over the course of the IEP process and when A.M. is getting the extra help
she needs.