A Mom Here..

Discussion in 'Second Grade' started by corney, Jan 19, 2009.

  1. corney

    corney Companion

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    I hope y'all don't mind me joining your forum. I have an 8 yr old that is stuggling in all subjects except math. I'm at my wits end as to what can be done to motivate her in school. Anything reading related overwhelmes her to the point of distraction. Instead of trying she guesses at her answers in order to get the work done quickly. She also freezes when she is time tested. She is also in what the school calls the ESE program for children with learning disabilities.. She isn't ADD or ADHD... she is not disruptive just uninterested in learning.. She can read, but is slow. Her comprehension is much better then it used to be, but she seems to really struggle with the basics.. Any suggestions?? From reading some replies to one another I feel confident someone will have some positive insite on how to help us..
     
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  3. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Hi and welcome!

    Sorry, no insight or answers. I teach high school math, so I'm not much good to you on your questions.

    But I did want to be the first to welcome you!
     
  4. corney

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    Thank you so much for the welcome. I was reading some of the comments to one another and I find them hilerous.. I don't envy all of you as teachers.. but I do have the utmost respect for putting up with our little wolves dressed in sheeps clothing.. I hope I don't offend anyone in my attempt to get some help for my child.. she really is a good kid, she just hates school..
     
  5. ecsmom

    ecsmom Habitué

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    Try to get her interested in reading for pleasure. It doesn't matter if it is a comic book, magazine or age appropriate chapter book. If she finds that she can enjoy reading it will build skills that will help her in the areas that are less enjoyable. Good luck! :)
     
  6. corney

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    She has a love of horses. She received some horses stories for Christmas which she seems to really enjoy.. Should I just let her read them or is it ok to ask her questions about the story or even ask her write about the story a little.. I'm asking because the writing is another one of her week parts especially when it relates to something she just read. After thinking about what you said.. if I just let her read it and not question her about it won't feel so much like school and she will be more apt to read them over and over.. I may have answered my own question..
     
  7. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    I think you have...often we, as teachers and parents, are so eager to have the children answer questions, write responses, and write reports that we take much of the joy out of learning. Helping her to find reading material at her level that she enjoys is important.

    More later--bell just rang.
     
  8. mmswm

    mmswm Moderator

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    I think you need to ask questions, but in a sneaky way. Something along the lines of WOW, that book looks really neat....and get her to tell you about it. It should be conversational. You do need to know that she's reading and comprehending, but you're right in that you don't want to scare her off by making it seem like school.

    Everybody else's suggestions about getting books at her skill level and on topics she's interested in are right on target. There's a short series about math topics that's geared for younger readers...let me see if I can find what it is...it's been so long since I've seen it, I don't remember. If she likes math so much, maybe she'll enjoy reading about it :D. That's part of what turned me into a statistician instead of a total looser...
     
  9. corney

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    Thanks MrsC.. :) She brings books home from the school library that we never get to read.. I'll make a point to working those in to our schedule.. 2 hours in the evening to do homework, eat, and play just isn't enought time most nights.. ;)
     
  10. corney

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    I don't know that she "likes math so much" as she seems to understand it better then reading words.. the numbers don't change just the solution, she is able to find the solution cause the numbers them selves don't change.. 3 is 3 no matter how you seperate it. Our language is difficult to a new reader because there are so many different rules.. She isn't mastering the rules.. an a doesn't always sound like an A knowing when it's supposed to is confusing to her. :(
     
  11. mmswm

    mmswm Moderator

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    Well, a 3 is a 3 unless you're in base one or base two, then it's a 1 or a 0, respectively....but that's far beyond elementary school math :D.

    I was just throwing out ideas....
     
  12. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    :p

    My 8 year old isn't incredibly fond of reading either. But I went to the Barnes & Noble sale a few weeks ago and got her some Hannah Montanna books, as well as some High School Musical ones. She's read one or two already.

    When we were kids, my brother HATED to read. At one point, for some reason, mom decided to read him The Old Man and the Sea. (That's right, Hemingway.) Mom got him half way through the story, then she stopped reading to him. He soon protested, since he wanted to know how the story ended. Mom told him it was up to him to finish the book-- and he did.

    I guess the point is to find a hook of some sort-- find her interests, and then find a book that she'll be interested in.
     
  13. corney

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    I know and I appreciate them.. Ok. I've got a good idea how to handle the reading.. Now on to writing. Her hand writing is less then stellar.. I have a handwriting book that has her first trace the letters then write them herself, then goes in to single words and then a full sentence.. I think her biggest issue is she goes to fast.. a result of always being timed.. anything timed throws her in to a tizzy so she rushes, guesses at answers, and scribbles what she thinks will be acceptable. If she could slow down and sound out her words her writing would be more ledgable..

    I must note.. she know how to write all her letters upper and lower case.. her writing isn't neat is very sloppy.
     
  14. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Has she started to learn script yet?

    My son's printing was indecipherable. His script is gorgeous!!

    Another idea: get her a small whiteboard (at Target for under $10) and some pens. She'll enjoy writing on that, and erasing her "mistakes" to make the letters perfectly.
     
  15. corney

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    there is a series of books the Beyer horse company has available, I got her three of them for Christmas.. I think once she finishes those we will look in to getting the rest of the series.. I sit with her while she reads, that way I can tell if she is reading or skimming..
     
  16. corney

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    No script yet.. and yes we have a white board she uses a lot.. but because it has no lines it's still pretty sloppy.. she has gotten better especially if she takes her time.. when she feels rushed or rushes on her own that is when it's pretty bad.. No spaces, all words misspelled etc...
     
  17. mmswm

    mmswm Moderator

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    Where's rainstorm when you need her...she's got some excellent ideas for handwriting....
     
  18. corney

    corney Companion

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    probably enjoying her day off.. : D :D :D

    by the way I like your signature..
     
  19. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    Another thing to look for is books on CD. For some kids, hearing the text while following along in the book really helps with comprehension. There are also several sites with on-line stories (text and audio)--unfortunately, those links are on my computer at school. I'll try to post them tomorrow.
     
  20. cutNglue

    cutNglue Magnifico

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    There is a video by Rick Lavorie called "F.A.T. City Workshop: How Difficult Can it Be?" See if your library has it. It is a VERY good workshop video where the presenter makes a group of adults feel like they are learning disabled. The most profound statement I got from it (paraphrased) was, "the bottom line is that while regular kids are processing the answer, learning disabled kids are still processing the question." It had a huge impact on me when I watched it. If your library has it, please take the time to watch it. It isn't about being smart or dumb. It's about how their brains process the information and what is typical to see from them. It also highlights many mistakes we make as parents and teachers.

    The second thing I recommend is to start making reading, math, etc. part of TEACHABLE moments instead of explicit teaching. My child used to hate reading as well when he was younger. He wasn't bad at it. It just didn't seem to pull his interest. Ironically the SAME child barely counted the required number in Kinder. By barely I mean we worked on him HARD that year. I let go. I started doing functional teaching at home. Now he is in honors math. THe point behind functional teaching is to use what you already do at home. Do you read recipes? Do you go through ads in the paper and talk about them. Do you let her pick up the mail and sort it for you and tell you what she observes and finds important for you to view? Do you ask her to tell you what the directions say (and pretend to be too busy to see them yourself)? Do you ask her to comparison shop with you and follow a list? Do you discuss decimals and unit pricing? Do you roll coins together? There are so many things you can do. Even planning vacations and reviewing websites and brochures have value. My child started out being okay with functional reading because it suited a purpose. Then he graduated into nonfiction. Now he reads books I have trouble understanding (especially in the fantasy genre).

    By the same token I have a child who could count past 200 before kinder, has almost photographic memory with things and is just brilliant except for one thing. He has trouble with abstract thinking skills. (That, by the way, is involved in some learning disabilities as well). He reads anything and he comprehends it on a basic level but if you ask him to go beyond that, he can struggle but not realize it himself. For example, in third grade (last year), he had a one page article about forest fires. Everybody knows they are dangerous and bad. The article was trying to explain that sometimes they can be beneficial. Because it didn't say, "forest fires are beneficial because a, b, c reason" my son had trouble inferring information from the article. It was plain as day for me but for him I couldn't seem to explain how it was clearly in the article but wasn't expressly written for him to copy down on paper.

    Each child has their own style. Meet her where she is and build from there. Make learning a natural part of your day instead of trying to teach "to the standard." Do help her with her homework but outside of that, just be creative and see how many teachable moments you can come up with without making her so aware of these teaching moments and without putting the pressure on her.

    Another example, if you notice her staring at bulletin boards as you drive, pretend you were looking too but missed it. Ask if she caught it. If so, have a discussion. If not, let it go. Teachable moments are everywhere.
     
  21. TeacherGroupie

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    corney, welcome to our playground.

    Are you still reading to your daughter? (My elder daughter, who was in middle school when the Harry Potter books began, still remembers me reading them aloud to her and her sister.)

    And does she see you reading and enjoying it?

    I like the idea of books on CD.
     
  22. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    But of course cutNglue has said it much better.
     
  23. 4alicat

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    I bring this up often for posts like this, but have you had her vision tested with a developmental optometrist. They give specific vision tests that check beyond just a person's acuity (clearness of vision) that regular optometrists do not do. They can check for tracking, depth perception, binocularity, etc., etc. Often vision problems can manifest itself in behavioral problems - definently not always, but it's worth checking out so that you can rule it out as a possible cause.
     
  24. MrsC

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    I'll be looking for this video, cutNglue.
     
  25. mmswm

    mmswm Moderator

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    MrsC...I've seen the video cut is talking about and totally agree with her about the fact that it should be required watching for any person who deals with kids in any capacity. I'm dyslexic myself, and as such, should have a better idea about kids with certain issues, but it was a real eye opener even for me.
     
  26. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    This sounds like something my staff needs to see at a staff meeting--I'm putting in a call to see if we have it in our Professional Library.
     
  27. corney

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    Thanks everyone. I will look at for this video both in school and at the library. And I will work with my daughter at home in a more fun way. The question was asked if I still read to her. Yes I read books that are more difficult like Skippy Johnjones. I have trouble with some of the words, but she likes the stories. Other wise I have her read her own books. She also has a Nintendo DS with the Big Brain game, because her grades are so bad I only allow her to play that game and not the others..
     
  28. corney

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    I found the video on the PBS site for 10.00. I ordered a copy. My SIL is a kindergarten teacher, I'm sure she will benefit from watching it as well. If my daughter'ss school doesn't have it I will loan it them. If it's as good as the reviews here and on the site I'm sure they will benefit from viewing it as well.. Thanks for the tip. :) :)
     
  29. mrachelle87

    mrachelle87 Fanatic

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    Magazines--My daughter gets her own magazine delivered to our home. She can't wait to read them. She will discuss them with me and really seems to understand them.
     
  30. RainStorm

    RainStorm Aficionado

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    Was somebody looking for me? :)

    Corney,
    Glad you are on the forum. We love parents!

    You've been given some great ideas about reading -- especially the one about magazines. (Make sure they are written for her age, or they will be too hard.)

    When it comes to handwriting, here are a few things --

    --first, I wouldn't have her write on an unlined whiteboard. It just makes things worse. (Now a printing tracer book on whiteboard paper -- that would be better -- available from Walmart for cheap....)

    --you say that she knows her uppercase and lower case letters. That is great -- but does she start them in the correct place and follow through correctly in terms of directionality? One of the main reasons children struggle with handwriting is because of the overuse of tracer sheets in lower grades. Tracer sheets only work if someone is watching the child use them and makes sure she is starting in the correct place and has the correct directionality. Otherwise, they are a waste of time, and often make things so much worse.

    I would watch her print some things, and make sure she is starting in the correct place, and moving in the correct direction. (If you aren't sure about that, pm me and I'll try to explain it.)

    --Is you daughter right- or left-handed? Are you right- or left-handed?

    --Are you using dotted midline paper? If she's using plain notebook paper, go back to dotted midline paper. You can get it in a variety of sizes. Start with 2nd grade size, and you can eventually move on to what is called 3rd grade size (although no-one I know in 3rd grade still uses it...) Then make absolutely sure her letters are in the correct place on the midlines (for example, b's reach all the way to the top line with the loop touching the midline, t's crossed on the midline, etc.)
     
  31. RainStorm

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  32. corney

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    Raising my hand, yes you were summoned for me.. Thanks :)

    I'll start at the bottom and work up.. talk about directionality.. yes she has brought home Little Black, A Pony from school and we did read it.. she did well.

    Ok the writing. No she doesn't always use the correct directionality cause she goes to fast. But has gotten better because I keep on her about it.. when I saw her using the wrong approach I would have her practice those letters over and over again to break the habits.. she is getting much better. here teacher is taking off points if the spelling words don't meet the correct heights and directions. That has also helped. Practice Practice Practice is what I do with her now.. it's getting better. She really needs to slow down.. part of that habit is always being times in school.. that is a pet peve of mine with them.. yes the book I have has dotted midline paper, and she uses that in school. The one issue is word placement, she tends to run the words together, she doesn't space the words well, the teacher have used spacers but she isn't grasping the concept very well. There is size..she goes from large to small in one sentence not capital or lower case, just size in general, it isn't consistant She is right handed and so am I. I wish I could give an example of what her writing looks like..
     
  33. mrachelle87

    mrachelle87 Fanatic

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    OK-- I have a student that can't write in his journal because of penmanship. We started a computer journal this month. He is doing wonderful. He doesn't spend so much time worrying about the correct formation. He can focus on content. He is even catching his own spelling mistakes. I turned the spell check off of his program. He is only 6 and is in T-1, but the same thought counts.
     
  34. RainStorm

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    Well, if she's in 2nd grade now, you just have to look at it this way ... she's had 2 years of doing it "the wrong way" -- too fast, wrong direction, inconsistent spacing and letter size. The problem isn't going to go away over night.

    It sounds like you are doing the right things -- I guess you just need to stay with them consistently over the next 8-10 months. That is about how long it will take -- with consistent practice and good motivation. There is no quick fix.
     
  35. Upsadaisy

    Upsadaisy Moderator

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    Make writing fun. Before she writes, have her 'draw' huge circles in the air, first with one arm, then with the other. Next, practice drawing large circles on paper - in varied colors. Reverse directions, too. This helps stimulate the right/left integration of hemispheres.

    You can buy white boards with lines on them. You could also use a piece of lined paper inside a clear-vue folder.

    Play games like - how are these two things alike/different? Draw what would happen next. Give clues and have her guess the main idea (the sky got darker, I saw spots in the pool .... it was raining). Leave notes for each other. Let her count the change in your purse every day. Estimate how many candies are in a jar. Get her a pen pal. Buy her a journal (or let her pick one out) and encourage her to write every day. Don't limit what she can write about.

    Is she young for her grade (summer birthday) by chance? What part of FL do you come from? I'm in PB County, but private school.
     
  36. corney

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    Thanks for the suggestions.. she does have a journal, I'll have her write something in it every day, even if it's just one sentence. We will try the other suggestions too

    Changing subjects a little:
    Last night we saw her homeroom teacher in the grocery store. We talked a little about her attitude and I watched my daughters body language when the teacher talked to her, it was distant and uninterested, as if she just tuned her out. She only has this teacher for a few minutes in the morning and for centers throughout the day, the rest of the time she is with the ESE teacher. How do we get her out of the I really dislike school mind set.. She really is a very smart bright child, she just chooses to give up when she feels the going is tough. She always says she is bored, but when something challanging comes along she gives up on it and won't follow through and figure it out. I have a jump start program she plays with on the computer. She was doing a spelling exercise, she had trouble with it so I helped her get started. Once the first exercise was over she stopped playing it because she said it was too hard.. all she had to do was follow the pattern of the words all the letters were in bubbles for her to choose from.

    As for age, her birthday is in November, she started a year later. We are in Levy Co.
     
  37. 4alicat

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    I'm sorry, but I go back to the issue of possible vision problems. I would highly suggest taking her to get her vision checked with a developmental optometrist, not just a regular optometrist as a developmental optometrist has different tests that are given.

    Here is a link to a parent survey to see if your child may have vision problems: http://www.children-special-needs.org/parenting/eyesight_eye_care.html

    Based upon your previous posts which mentioned Levy Co, Florida, this is what I found: http://www.superpages.com/yellowpages/C-Developmental+Vision+Optometrists/S-FL/

    http://www.familyeyecarevt.com/

    I don't know how accurate the above listings are (as I am in CA), but hopefully it's a start. In any case, the familyeyecarevt.com link has excellent information about developmental optometry in general.

    I certainly don't know the specifics of your daughter's case, but as a teacher and parent of children who have received care from a developmental optometrist I think it is a good option to check out. If all is well, then at least you know you can rule vision problems out as possibility. Good luck with your daughter.
     
  38. corney

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    Thanks, I will check in to it for sure.. :)
     
  39. cutNglue

    cutNglue Magnifico

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    Hehe, I have to say this part though....

    Just because little kiddos don't look interested in their teacher when they are in public or even in front of you, doesn't mean they aren't. In this case, you might be right but I never use that as an indicator. I have kids that are quite shy or "too cool" to associate with me yet are the most affectionate kids I have. It can be very interesting!
     
  40. corney

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    LOL, I see where you are coming from.. she is an affectionate child in school and does seek the attention in sutle ways. She is very unsure of herself academically and trys to kill them with kindness. However, I get the feeling if she doesn't try they allow her to just sit there and do nothing, that I don't like.
     

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