Makes me sad...

Discussion in 'Elementary Education' started by MissFroggy, Sep 30, 2008.

  1. MissFroggy

    MissFroggy Aficionado

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    Sep 30, 2008

    Today a mom came to me this morning and her child had brought some special books to school. He is one of my low readers, and is just becoming enthusiastic about reading. He was SUPER excited to share them with me today! I was THRILLED! they were those books "Brand New Readers" where there are 4 in a set and they are very repetitive.

    During reading block today he was "reading" independently. I was trying to have reading conferences and do running records. I had 4 kids on tapes, 2 on computers, and the rest were doing silent reading.

    When I called this little boy to come read to me, he was crying! Another child had told him that those were "5 year old books" and made him feel bad. I talked him down and had the other boy write him an apology. I think they worked it out, but kids are so fragile sometimes, especially when they are lower academically! I hope I handled it right! He read me 2 of the 4 books and did GREAT! He in fact has just started reading since school started and in my opinion is totally taking off! When I did my first assessment on him he knew about 10 sight words and 20 out of 26 letter sounds and no diagraphs! He now knows all his letters, all the diagraphs (out of context) and is doing great invented spelling in his writing!

    I am very mad at the boy who said that. I also realize he pushes and punches other kids when no one is looking. I talked to a former teacher who said that was happening before as well.
     
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  3. tchnzfun

    tchnzfun Rookie

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    Sep 30, 2008


    I completely understand. I had a student last year who is a very big bully. I don't know that this is always the case, but this student came from a very rough and unfortunate home life and was rather starved for attention. He also did not know how to apologize or show remorse. One thing I did for the whole class was talk with them about how we could all help this student to be better (when he was absent). We talked about what we could say to him as individuals when he did something we didn't like. It really helped when the kids thought of him as the victim instead of the bully. Collectively and without being outright or mean, all of the kids really worked together to help him understand how he should treat them. This was kindergarten. Just a thought... :)
     
  4. Matt633

    Matt633 Comrade

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    Oh Miss Froggy I know how you feel. I have a 13 year old boy in my fifth grade class and he has so many learning problems it is not funny, and is just now being evaluated (long story) but he works harder than any student in my class. He is dyslexic and oh I just can't tell you what great character he has, always helpful, a peacemaker and a good friend to everyone and I have this girl (the highest GPA) and she will say something like "Why are you in 5th grade, etc, etc, She is a bully and it is sad that she still feels she must put others down. But in that same vain I look at her and see her behavior as a weakness too. So, the teacher in me knows I will work on her issues too.

    And they think all we teach is the ABC's............
     
  5. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Sorry MissFroggy- I teach with a reading workshop approach and have books ranging from level A through P in my second grade classroom...The kids have been taught with this approach since K so they know that they should all be reading in a book that is JUST RIGHT for THEM...as a result we have very little of the 'you are reading a baby book' stuff...It's important for kids to know that there are even books I don't read (like a medical or law journal...) I could read them very convincingly , managing to decode most words but would have difficulty with a complete 'retelling' of what I had read...I liken it to lifting weights for the kids. Some of us have been working out a LONG time and have BIG muscles and can lift heavy weights, some of us are building up our muscles with smaller weights that are just right for us. If a small weight muscle person tried to lift the big circus weightlifter's dumbbells, he couldn't do it. And the circus muscle man wouldn't get much out of my 3 pound weights...It's like that with books. We all need to be working on our reading muscles in the books that are just right for us...I draw funny pictures of the weights and muscles and my kids get it...feel free to borrow the idea if your class needs a reminder of why we are all reading different books.
     
  6. MissFroggy

    MissFroggy Aficionado

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    I need to do that again. Of course I have given that talk and we discuss often how people need to read books that are just right for them... but this little boy seems to hurt people's feelings quite often. It especially made me sad that he said that at a time when this other boy was just gaining some confidence in himself!
     
  7. ecsmom

    ecsmom Habitué

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    That makes me sad too. I think you handled it well. Praise from the teacher goes a long way in helping to soothe the injuries caused by classmates.
     
  8. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    I think that one of the overriding priorities in our profession should be to put an end to the bullying wherever it exists. More important than raising reading scores or obesity awareness or NCLB or anything else, we've got to put an end to bullying, even at this young an age.

    Otherwise there are too many kids who will never get the other lessons we're trying to teach. They'll be too busy being terrified of their classmates.
     
  9. ~mrs.m~

    ~mrs.m~ Comrade

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    When I was growing up, my older brother read everything! he could put his hands, including my nancy drew books. He is now the smartest person I know...aeronautical engineer, airline and U2 pilot, etc. Nothing was too easy or hard for him. As an adult, I love to read picture books on interesting topics. The whole idea of a book is for just one age is ridiculous.
     
  10. 3Sons

    3Sons Connoisseur

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    My older son had a problem with bullying last year. It's almost ridiculous that he would have that kind of a problem: he's smart, athletic, good-looking, has a good sense of humor, and is nice to people. Socially and emotionally, however, he tends to pretty dense and/or immature. Stories about his classmates centered around how they would intentionally bump into him while passing his desk or ostracize him in various ways.

    The school we're in now is very close-knit and he's been warmly welcomed by his classmates. It's a world of difference. He's happy to go to school, has nice stories about his classmates and school in general, and doesn't seem to find school as boring.

    Anyway, the school also officially encourages everyone to go back to picture books on its library website: "However, please consider reading picture books at any age because you are never too old for picture books!"

    ** incidentally, I also did a post on the move to the new school where I referenced my younger son as well. He's doing quite well also, is gradually learning English and is *loved* by his teachers and classmates.
     
  11. bonneb

    bonneb Fanatic

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    I have to watch out for this in my class also. I have each child reading books at his/her level. We talk about how we are all extra good at something, and we are all just learning about other things (all the time!!!!). I also try to pound into their little brains the idea of "just right books."

    But every year, up comes the phrase, "I already read that book . That book is easy." To which I reply "Maybe easy for YOU, but maybe not for everyone else."

    You are right to be protective of your early readers. Good for you! Try to keep your struggling little guy physically removed from the other. and just keep reassuring him how great he is doing. I understand your description perfectly, that he is just about to take off! I might have said to the little guy, "Is Billy the teacher here or am I? Right I am the teacher. I will tell you when a book is just right for you. How could this be a kindergarten book when it is right here in first grade being read by a first grader?? haha! Because you are reading it, and because I say so, it is a first grade book!"
     
  12. Hoot Owl

    Hoot Owl Aficionado

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    Miss Froggy, you did the right thing, we have to be advocates for those little helpless babies. Kids don't realize that things like that make us want to show our claws and teeth grrrrr......

    Little bullies grow up to be big bullies, I don't know if it can be prevented but they sure can be curtailed. My best new thing this year has been How Full is Your Bucket? Educator's Edition by Tom Rath & Donald Clifton. There's also a children's edition Have You Filled Your Bucket Today? by Carol McCloud. I may read the book once a week too just as a reminder why some people are fillers and some are emptiers. I'm attaching a link where you can print off drops for the children to fill out for each other. I'm using it as a weekly writing assignment, they are encouraged to write classmates or they may give a drop to anyone on campus. It's working good, I have some kids who want lots of extras & I let them have them. I made 200 copies today to have on hand.

    http://www.bucketbook.com/drops/print.aspx
     
  13. Elena5

    Elena5 Rookie

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    Have You Filled Your Bucket Today? by Carol McCloud

    Hoot Owl, I have a question about Have You Filled Your Bucket Today? by Carol McCloud. Do you think it is appropriate for 4th graders, or would they think it was too babyish? Thanks!
     
  14. BioAngel

    BioAngel Science Teacher - Grades 3-6

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    Dec 30, 2008

    I would have been crying too! I couldn't read on level until the end of second grade and I couldn't stand it :(

    I'm glad you let the kids work it out and I hope that the apology the one kid gave him was sincere. I remember back in 3rd grade, I had a really good friend in my class. He did a drawing on the board and I laughed because I thought it was cute. He took it as me insulting him and the teacher calmed him down and explained why I laughed. She didn't make me apologize or anything, but while we were doing our own work, I went up to him and explained that I really did like his drawings and thought they were cute. He forgave me and we're actually friends at Facebook :D

    I remember afterwards I went up to my teacher to hand in some work and she said she saw what I did and knew I would do the right thing (apologize even if I didn't mean any harm). It taught me an important lesson about forgiveness and caring for others~ even that I remember it all this time. :)
     

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