EDC 353: 501: Saif is a 9 years old Emirati student

EDC 353: 501: Saif is a 9 years old Emirati student. He attends a private school that follows an American Curriculum and is in Grade 3. He was identified as at-risk following a national exam that was administered at his school, when his mathematics score was lower than the benchmark, placing him in the bottom 20% of his class.

EDC 353: 501: Saif is a 9 years old Emirati student

Introducing Saif

Saif is a 9 years old Emirati student. He attends a private school that follows an American Curriculum and is in Grade 3. He was identified as at-risk following a national exam that was administered at his school, when his mathematics score was lower than the benchmark, placing him in the bottom 20% of his class.

His teacher, Miss Amal, reports that in spite of several short-term interventions earlier on in the school year, Saif continues to perform below the grade level. Saif’s parents note that his poor math grades are inconsistent with his performance in other classes. He usually scores B’s and C’s in other subjects.

Family History

Saif lives with his parents in a small family compound in Dubai. His mother is a teacher and his father is a banker. He is an only child who spends his free time with his two twin cousins who live in the same compound and who are one year younger than him. At home, Saif uses Arabic as it is his native language.
Saif’s mother, Mrs. Loulowa reports that he met his developmental milestones as expected and is in good health in general. He is absent from school on occasions due to asthma. He uses an inhaler on an as-needed basis, typically no more than five days per month. She indicates that mathematics was difficult for her in high school. Saif’s father, Mr. Omar,  does not report any learning difficulties.

Personal Characteristics

Saif’s parents describe him as an easy-going child. He has three close friends, in addition to  his twin cousins Mohamed and Ahmed. He enjoys playing soccer in a local sports club and participates in Boy Scouts. His parents note that he  puts in considerable effort into homework, especially in math, but believe he is becoming discouraged and embarrassed by his poor grades. They report that they typically spend at least an hour every school night doing homework.

Academic History

Saif attended kindergarten and first grade in Abu Dhabi. However, he has been in this school in Dubai since the beginning of Grade 2. He attended summer school for math following Grade 1 and Grade 2. His mother noted that math has always been more difficult for her son, and that he was notably slower than others of his age in learning skip counting and in grasping the concept of subtraction with regrouping.

In Grade 2, Saif struggled with time and money concepts. Now he is facing difficulties in recalling his multiplication facts and in solving problems using fractions. According to his teacher, Mrs. Amal, Saif began the year already behind.  It is now 8 weeks into the school term and he is still struggling with several mathematics concept including multiplication tables.  At this stage, and after discussing the situation with his parents, she decided to place him in an after-school intensive intervention program that focuses on recalling multiplication facts (multiplication tables 1-5). This is one of the key pre-requisite skills for learning multiplication and division concepts.

Pictures taken from: https://www.deviantart.com/famoalmehairi/art/Happy-emirati-boy-382545127

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