Scene 1

Kevin slams his locker door and lets out a heavy sigh. It's his second week of middle school and it's the same old thing. As he gathered his books for reading class a few moments earlier he tried to hide them from his buddies under his notebook. He's become friends with this group of guys that are just like him. They love skateboarding, hanging out and listening to their favorite music LOUD. John had become an especially good friend in only two weeks. They had traded Limp Bizkit CDs and got together at lunch to look at John's Skateboarder magazine. I don't want them to see these stupid baby books I have to carry around, Kevin thought.

He attended special classes with Mrs. Henson in elementary school since he was in first grade. His reading wasn't much better than 3rd grade level even though he was a 6th grader. His new friends attended other elementary schools in their district and didn't know how hard it was for Kevin to do all the homework in middle school, not being able to read the textbooks himself. His mom tried to help, but they just ended up in fights. Kevin always got frustrated and his mom always seemed to push too hard. He went to a different reading class than his buddies, but Kevin still felt like it was a waste of time. It's the same old stuff, he thought. Just give me the little kiddy books and let me fade into the crowd. I wish I didn't feel so stupid. Kevin was hoping middle school was going to be different than his earlier years. Didn't look like it was going to happen now. "So much for a new start," he muttered as he shuffled into Ms. Lisa Dever's 2nd hour reading class.


  1. How should Kevin's reading instruction differ in middle school compared to elementary school?
  2. Think about your contact with students with special needs. Have you met a student who struggled this long with reading and never got better? Have you met someone who excelled in middle school due to different approaches?
  3. What could Ms. Dever do to help motivate Kevin and improve his reading skills?
  4. Evaluate the importance of Kevin's friendships to his academic progress. Should this be a consideration in his program planning and instruction?

The University of Kansas prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, ethnicity, religion, sex, national origin, age, ancestry, disability, status as a veteran, sexual orientation, marital status, parental status, gender identity, gender expression, and genetic information in the university’s programs and activities. Retaliation is also prohibited by university policy. The following persons have been designated to handle inquiries regarding the nondiscrimination policies and are the Title IX coordinators for their respective campuses: Executive Director of the Office of Institutional Opportunity & Access,, 1246 West Campus Road, Room 153A, Lawrence, KS 66045, 785-864-6414, 711 TTY (for the Lawrence, Edwards, Parsons, Yoder, and Topeka campuses); Director, Equal Opportunity Office, Mail Stop 7004, 4330 Shawnee Mission Parkway, Fairway, KS 66205, 913-588-8011, 711 TTY (for the Wichita, Salina, and Kansas City, Kansas, medical center campuses).