Insufficient background information provided by the teacher

Challenge:
Insufficient background information provided by the teacher

Scenario:
I had my second two hour session yesterday. I started out with my student by practicing saying my name is and then I brought all sorts of clothes to have as props. She loved my daughters’ clothes. I asked the teacher to fill out the information on the three kids I am working with. I am focusing on one girl the most, but the other two need lots of help in English as well. The teacher knows nothing about her except that she came to the U.S. a month ago from Mexico. There are no records or anything. So with her, I worked on identifying shorts, pants, socks, slippers, shoes, bathing suit, skirt, shirt, and sweater. I shouldn’t have picked so many words but she finally got the hang of it. Then we did the difference between pick up and pint. I then had her choose a book from the four I brought in. She chose in a people house. Some words she read along with me, so she must have read it before. On the second time through she pointed out the objects, I am not pushing speech at all with her because she is preliterate. We then colored a bat black line I brought in. I told her a color from an art kit and had her color the ears that color. (Last week we worked on body parts so this activity was a good review) She liked having the pictures. I feel like I don’t know what to do next with her. She is very eager but doesn’t seem to remember things from one week to the next. Last week we did sit down and stand up (Commands). When I said point to the sweater she stood up.

Another tutee of mine has been referred for an IEP due to his behavior, but again the school has very little background information on him. All they know about him is that he was in first grade, went back to Mexico for part of second grade, and his second grade teacher threw out all his records. He does not have behavior problems with me, but I work in a one on one context with each of my students. He was very eager to work with me and didn’t want to go back to music class when we were done. His oral comprehension is great. He likes practicing speech and repeats what I say when I read to him. He chose Houndsville which has flaps and dogs in different jobs. So we looked at jobs like postman, policeman, and teacher. He knows teacher and is a quick learner. They have a little more information on him. He lives with his mother and that’s about it. They have a reading record. He can read, but really has no comprehension at all. With him, we played the game “I am thinking of” where I sat where he was and gave clues in my seat, then he guesses in his seat. We did colors and shapes of objects in the room. He understood after I showed him. Then he made me guess when he gave me clues in Spanish. He colored a bat too. He called it a vampire. I thought this was cleaver. Then I asked him if he wanted to read to me. He picked out a book written in Spanish. I think it’s great that they have books in their first language to read. Of course I had no idea what he read. It was about kids in school, but the Spanish level was too difficult for me and he read it quickly. I could tell his pronunciation was right and he used a flat intonation.

My other student, in terms of language development, is in between the other two, but he is very social. He chose to read Mr. Brown Can Moo Can You, but he did not want to make the sounds. I had thought they called the sounds different in Mexico, but if they do he didn’t know it. He did not know anything about books. I would suspect that he had little to no education in Mexico and I know that his family doesn’t read in Spanish or English. He has trouble even in his Spanish workbooks. I need help figuring out what lessons would be best to teach them the most English possible. Also the teacher asked me to help them with geography since they will be tested in English. Does anyone have any ideas?

Possible Strategies:
Focusing on developing language one area at a time.