behavior??

Discussion in 'Fifth Grade' started by mustang sally, Sep 30, 2009.

  1. mustang sally

    mustang sally Rookie

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    Sep 30, 2009

    Have any of you ever had a problem with your kids telling you when giving an assignment they didn't want or didn't like the assignment? If so, how did you respond? I had this happen and I responded, "Oh, well. It's too bad we don't get to go through life just doing what we want or like to do." The child then started balking. Then he and I had a one-on-one talk (in the hall) about this behavior. I really think he could have cared less about our talk, so I figure I will see this again. How can this behavior be prevented in the future? Thanks for any help with this!!!:)
     
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  3. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Sep 30, 2009

    Was it the type of thing that had a real, apparent benefit that you could have pointed out?

    Lots of the stuff I cover early in the year serves as a building block for later activities. So my freshmen are working hard now on solving linear equations, because I've explained that every word problem they see for most of the year will eventually end up as a linear equation-- this is one of those BIG IMPORTANT topics. They don't balk at endless (well, seemingly endless anyway) examples because I've impressed on them just how important this is.
     
  4. mustang sally

    mustang sally Rookie

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    Sep 30, 2009

    I included the importance of the assignment. I don't have enough time to cover what I have to cover for tests, so I don't have time to teach nonessential information. The bottom line is it was a writing assignment. They hate writing. I wouldn't ever tell them, but I probably hate grading their writing even more than they hate the actual writing process! I was just blown away with the entire attitude. Geez, how hard is it to just follow instructions?? I fear these kids are going to face some severe consequences down the road for such negative attitudes.
     
  5. KLSSwimmer

    KLSSwimmer Habitué

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    Sep 30, 2009

    I simply say "I'm Sorry" or "Nevertheless" or "I'm sorry you feel that way."

    It usually solves the problem. I don't have to justify myself to the kids. Good luck! :)
     
  6. nattles19

    nattles19 Comrade

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    Sep 30, 2009

    In addition to a "sorry you feel that way" I'd include "but keep it to yourself." I don't need to hear that kind of commentary. It's rude, plain and simple. If it keeps up, there's a consequence, because it's breaking the rule of "be respectful".
     
  7. Zelda~*

    Zelda~* Devotee

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    Sep 30, 2009

    I tell my guys, "You don't have to like it, but you do have to do it." Or, "I know you feel that way, but try to think it not say it."

    Kids who are ED are brutally honest. :D What cracks me up is when I call them on it they'll try to back-track and say "No, no, I really like it Miss Zelda!" God love 'em. I reassure them that they don't have to like the work, and I don't mind if they don't like it, but they just can't complain about it, lol.
     
  8. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Oct 1, 2009

    I would still take the time to explain how incredibly much we value the ability to write well. And now, even more than ever, kids are getting swallowed up in texting and the "language" that accompanies it. The ability to write well will have an effect on their ability to get that great job with the corner office they're all dreaming of.
     
  9. shouldbeasleep

    shouldbeasleep Enthusiast

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    Oct 1, 2009

    "Well...do you like your recess?"

    "Hmmm....fascinating."

    "And your point is?"

    "Well, I don't much like you, but I have to teach you."

    OK. No. I don't really say those things (except maybe the "fascinating" one under my breath.) I just look at the kid. One eyebrow cocked. Like he's some kind of odd new insect who has said something in alien language.

    Lately I've been too tired to deal with attitude. He doesn't do the assignment to my satisfaction, he can do it at recess. I'm not going to waste my time arguing about doing it right then. Ignore the comment, when it's time for recess, direct him to another class to sit and work on it. Continue each day until the assignment is done. Tell him he can join the class when he is finished. Turn around and walk away. No discussion.
     
  10. kim@kto5

    kim@kto5 Rookie

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    Oct 16, 2009

    I have used the saying "Sorry you feel like that" and it seems to work. Sometimes if you say it too much, though, they get tired of hearing it, so it's good to vary the response if you can.

    The other thing you can do if they say they don't like an assignment is to thank them for their feedback. To go further, it they persist, genuinely ask them for ideas for future homework assignments. This may or may not work, but if they see that you are willing to listen to their feedback, they might be more receptive to follow your lead (reverse psychology).

    Hope that helps.
     
  11. SpecSub

    SpecSub Comrade

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    Oct 18, 2009


    I will tell a child why they need to do the assignment because I think learning needs to be meaningful, but let's be realistic - sometimes they have to do it because they have to. So I will explain it in as meaningful a context as I can, and if they balk or argue, then I will tell them I'm available to discuss it at recess. (I think I got that idea here.) Works well. I don't mind a child asking why, but they still need to do as they're asked if they don't like my answer.
     
  12. futureteach21

    futureteach21 Habitué

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    Oct 18, 2009

    I like Kim's response. Maybe the reason they hate writing is because there is some writing assignment they would rather do. Make sure they are just complaining and don't have any real ideas that could help you out! That said, if it is just complaining and not wanting to do the work then I would tell them, "If you really are unhappy with the assignment you can write me a letter during recess explaining why you don't like it, and what you think we could do instead to make this assignment better. But, no comments during class anymore. You will do the assignment but if you feel strongly that it's not a good assignment, please write me and let me know."
    They aren't going to want to write that letter. And if you set it up right, the next time they complain you can just say "I said no comments in class, if you don't like write a letter." Plus, if they do write a letter... they're practicing their writing skills :)
     
  13. tgim

    tgim Habitué

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    Oct 31, 2009

    The main reason they hate writing is that it takes TIME, and many kids of this generation are so geared for a quick answer, then move on.

    We are using a paragraph-of-the-week writing assignment that is done at home, and while not every student and parent is loving it, the gains I have seen in their writing in just 5 assignments is phenomenal! They get the prompt on Friday and turn it in late the next week. We gave them a folder w/ lots of info on the writing process, strong word choice, etc. I cannot believe how well they write!

    Yesterday for our Halloween party they WANTED to read aloud their most recent writing assignment, a Halloween prompt about being at the creepy old ***teacher's name*** place. They asked to read them aloud to the class in lieu of a game or activity!!! What a dreamy Halloween party - just snacking, sipping, and laughing at funny and creative stories!
     
  14. tgim

    tgim Habitué

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    Nov 2, 2009

    Mustang Sally - go to Elem forum and look for "How do you teach writing/English" - I reposted the original thread from which I got the idea for my Paragraph of the Week. I will send you my files later from school.
     
  15. Atman

    Atman New Member

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    Nov 10, 2009

    I like the idea asking for feedback! I think it's important that we try to keep our ego out of things. I agree that an established mechanism for feedback, such as letters, or a sentence or two at the bottom of an assignment saying what they thought of it or with suggestions for next time. That would circumvent those comments, give you a quick response for when they occur, and to boot it would empower students with the idea that they can have some influence over their learning.
     
  16. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Nov 10, 2009

    tgim, you sound thrilled! Congratulations to you and your students!
     
  17. wrice

    wrice Habitué

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    Nov 14, 2009

    The last step in the writing process is publishing- the kids' work should be posted on the wall, go out in the hall, be bound in a book for the library, or go home for the parents. Tell them their work is important then prove it!
     
  18. tgim

    tgim Habitué

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    Nov 14, 2009

    I am excited!! It is so cool to see them develop as writers! Lately we are discussing how to transition to more limited parent involvement - just to get them more independent (several parents are limiting help already). We also changed our format to make it match our state testing writing prompts.

    I am keeping all of their final copies in a folder. I am torn between keeping them all year to put into a special folder or binder - or send them home at the end of the semester. Parents asked about them at conferences a few weeks ago. Maybe I can scan them in and then send the real one home. At the end of the year I could surprise them with a book of their own. I'd really like to mount them on construction paper, laminate them (or put them into plastic sleeves?), and use the book binder to make them each their own BOOK. I know this would use loads of laminating film (or plastic sleeves)...does anyone have another idea for me?
     
  19. wrice

    wrice Habitué

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    Nov 14, 2009

  20. tgim

    tgim Habitué

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    Nov 14, 2009

    Thanks - I'll check out these great links, Wrice!
     
  21. runsw/scissors

    runsw/scissors Phenom

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    Nov 23, 2009

    "That's OK. Students who are satisfied with zeros don't have to do the assignments."
     

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