Chatty daughter - how would you handle this?

Discussion in 'Elementary Education' started by alabama, Nov 11, 2018.

  1. alabama

    alabama Rookie

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    Nov 11, 2018

    My daughter apparently is "chatty" while at school. That is, she is disruptive to the class by talking to other students at inappropriate times (like when the teacher is teaching the class). We have been asked to help problem solve.

    Talking with my daughter, she complains that she is bored during class. For example, she brings home sheets where she is writing letters (the letter 'G' for example). She already knows how to write the letter G and her writing (printing) is beautiful and well done. She first learned to write letters in preschool, and then again in kindergarten, and then again in 1st grade, and now for the 4th time she is practicing writing letters in 2nd grade. While I wish she would not be disruptive, I understand why she loses focus.

    Early on, she expressed boredom in math. I was aware this might be an issue because she scored in the 93rd percentile on the Cogat test she took in 1st grade. At the district's learning coordinator's suggestion, I asked if she could be assigned additional problems. Apparently she has to complete more math problems at school than others, so she is the last one done. She says that she doesn't talk while doing the extra problems and has not complained about having to do more work that others.

    As a result, I asked if she could be asked to complete additional work in all subjects, to keep her focused and to limit her disruptive nature. The teacher didn't respond favorably to that, and instead, wants her to sit in isolation away from the other students until she learns to not talk at inappropriate times.

    She has expressed boredom in other subjects as well. When I review her work, it is usually very well done. Neat, tidy, meeting standards and expectations. She reads chapter books that are mid-4th grade level. We have spelling homework at home, which she puts minimal effort in and usually gets everything write including the bonus challenge words and using the words in a sentence.

    I'm concerned. No, I don't want her being disruptive in class. However, I don't want her to get the label as the "bad kid" in the classroom by having her sit in a separate isolation desk. She does good quality work and is very capable as a student. I wish that she wouldn't talk, but my wishing does little good.

    I have a parent-teacher conference coming up this week. What suggestions would you have for me?
     
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  3. futuremathsprof

    futuremathsprof Aficionado

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    Nov 12, 2018

    Have you considered having her skip a grade or requesting for her to be put in more advanced classes as she isn’t being challenged?
     
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  4. alabama

    alabama Rookie

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    Nov 12, 2018

    I wouldn't expect that she could do 3rd grade level work in all areas - she still has plenty to learn before she's ready for 3rd grade.

    I have asked if she can do more challenging work. As far as I can tell, they keep the whole class on the same level, with the exception of those students who score well on the Cogat and are enrolled into the district's highly capable program. They want to see scores of 95th percentile or higher. While her quantative was close (93rd percentile), the remaining scores were average. She'll take it again this year and perhaps her scores will be high enough to qualify for services.

    In the meantime, we have chug along in the situation she is at. I am curious if others have comments about having her sit in a desk by herself while the remaining students sit in groups? I am concerned that isolating her may not be a good thing, especially since she does very nice quality work.

    For example, I asked her to write out the alphabet last night, and this is her work. I provided no help on it whatsoever. As you can see, she got every letter correct except for the lowercase q. (The tails on some of the letters are a bit long, but I think that is 2nd grade creative freedom rather than lack of knowledge.) There were a couple she messed up on the first attempt, but as you can she, she chose to draw some extra lines and redo them. I don't see that additional practice of doing letters would be highly beneficial to her.

    (Along the same lines, apparently her teacher doesn't like the method in which she draws her letters. Some of the strokes that she uses aren't congruent with the HWT method. I'm having a hard time understanding, since her letters look just fine, why it makes a difference what direction she draws her lines?)

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  5. futuremathsprof

    futuremathsprof Aficionado

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    Nov 12, 2018

    I don’t think isolating her is the right approach to take, but if the teacher decides to do that, then why not ask if she can return to sit with her peers once she finishes her work?

    I think her work looks fine, except she should not scratch things out and instead use an eraser, she should write some of the letters smaller and not extend lines needlessly, and use a straight edge to keep everything neat.
     
  6. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    Nov 12, 2018

    The work is surprising to me for Grade 2, it is more along the lines of what I would expect from much younger students (our Grade 2 students wouldn't spend time practicing writing out the alphabet). If this is the class work, your daughter may, indeed, be bored by what she is being asked to do. However, in my opinion, being bored is never an excuse for being disruptive. Giving extra work to keep her busy so that she isn't disturbing others isn't going to be very effective, especially in the long run. For the teacher, it means sourcing, copying and marking extra work, and your daughter will likely begin to resent having to do more work than the rest of the class.

    I think that it's important for you, the teacher, and your daughter to work together to come up with a plan for minimizing her disruptive behaviour--what can each of you do to make that happen? I would ask the teacher what is available for your daughter to do once she is finished the assigned work. In my classroom, those who finish are able to read, work on unfinished work, work on special projects (researching a topic of special interest), or work in their art sketchbooks.
     
    Last edited: Nov 12, 2018
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  7. nklauste

    nklauste Comrade

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    Nov 12, 2018

    While handwriting practice is important to continue every year, when I taught 2nd grade we had riddles they would copy to practice handwriting (never just 1 letter at a time like is done in K).

    I do have to disagree with you in regards to the importance of letter formation. I know we started teaching cursive halfway through 2nd grade and if the students didn't use correct letter formation for printing, it made learning cursive very difficult.

    When my students were done with the assigned work, I always had them keep a writing notebook, reading book, and math flashcards near their seat. They knew that if they finished before others, they were to move onto 1 of those 3 options. It eliminated the need to chat and they never were "done" with everything.
     
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  8. alabama

    alabama Rookie

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    Nov 12, 2018

    That makes sense. My daughter is bringing home sheets of 1 letter at a time, for the 4th year in a row. I can understand why she is not being engaged with doing that.

    Cursive is no longer taught in my district, so I am not sure that the method of letter formation is important as long as her printing is legible, which it very much is. (We aren't supposed to compare, but often the teachers hang work the students do on the wall, and my daughter's handwriting is either the best or second best in the class). I don't disagree that letter formation is important, but I am not sure it's worth a fight if her handwriting is already nice.

    I know she and read and write. I didn't think of flashcards. She can always use practice with addition and subtraction. I can see if math flashcards can be made available.[/quote]
     
    Last edited: Nov 12, 2018
  9. alabama

    alabama Rookie

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    Nov 12, 2018

    I am not excusing her being disruptive. I am not sure that isolating her is the right solution. It seems that she might earn the label as the "bad" kid in the class, and since her work is of high quality and well done, and previous instructors have said that she is "very capable", I hesitate that the solution for her issue is to give her a special desk that everyone knows where the "bad kids" sit.

    The number #1 issue that my daughter has brought to my attention is that the work she does is easy and not challenging. She has said this consistently from the beginning of the year.

    For example, she says the teacher repeats things three times. She says it is tedious to listen and she gets tired of listening when she listens the first time and other students don't. She says this happens during normal instruction and also during spelling tests, where the teacher repeats the word three times, and she writes it down the first time. I suspect that a lot of what she is telling me is just whining, but I think there is a kernel of truth there - she picks up on the material rather quickly and has a hard time focusing when the teacher is slowly working her way through the material.
     
  10. alabama

    alabama Rookie

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    Nov 12, 2018

    I know that last year, she was in a teacher who ran a "busy classroom". She appeared to be a hyper and energetic person herself, and I suspect that there was always a lot of stuff going on. While we heard an occasional comment about our daughter being "chatty", we were continually assured that she did great quality work and was a fine student to have in class. In Kindergarten, we received notes about her being disruptive to others as well, but that was solved in-class without parental help.

    This year is different. I'm really at a loss at how to approach the conference this week.
     
  11. otterpop

    otterpop Aficionado

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    Nov 12, 2018

    There are two different issues here. One, she's talking out of turn. Two, she's not being challenged. Yes, one can cause another, but I'd recommend approaching them separately.

    For the first issue: Sometimes we all are asked to do things that are boring. Should that happen in a classroom, well, not ideally, but it does, and finding an assignment boring isn't a reason to misbehave (you also already know this). Getting the work done well, and quickly, will free up your daughter to do other things. It also builds good work ethic for the future. Talking throughout the assignment will only hurt her, because first of all, she's going to get in trouble, and second of all, she is wasting her learning time by making an easy assignment last way longer than necessary.

    I'll also say that if her teacher is isolating her from other students, her talking is probably a quite significant issue. Teachers usually try multiple strategies before separating students from their classmates. It's also worth noting that although she can do quality work while chatting away, her classmates may not be able to get quality work done while she's talking to them. The talking is your daughter's responsibility and she needs to be managing her own behavior. Is there a privilege you can try taking away at home until she gets a better report from the teacher? One thing I've seen work well for talkative kids is a policy that if they get a good report from the teacher at the end of the week, they get to use their iPads or play video games during the weekend. No good report, no electronics. You know your child best, but I have seen that system work very effectively for a few students.

    Thinking about the second issue: What are students supposed to do when they're done with an assignment? That is on the teacher. When your daughter finishes an assignment, is there something more challenging she can work on? Do you have proof of some sort that she needs to be more challenged? Does the teacher give tests, and is she consistently acing them? If so, the teacher needs to provide material that pushes her. You mention spelling words. I'd recommend asking if there's a tougher list she can be tested on. You might also ask if your daughter can bring in a workbook from a higher grade level to work on when she finishes an assignment. Costco has some great jumbo ones for around $8.

    I wish you the best of luck! I hope you'll keep us updated.
     
    Last edited: Nov 12, 2018
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  12. rpan

    rpan Cohort

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    Nov 13, 2018

    There will be many occasions in life where a student will be bored in class or has finished something earlier than their peers. It’s good practice to be able to sit still and be content to be still and quiet for a length of time. Some of my students bring a book they enjoy and if they have finished a task earlier than everyone they can read their book quietly without disturbing others. Or they ask me for paper and they do some drawing or doodling, or I print out mandalas, give them coloured pencils so they can colour in. It takes precision to colour between the lines so they are concentrating and quiet. Perhaps your child’s teacher might be happy with that arrangement?

    As for the work not being challenging enough, I’d hesitate giving her work from a higher grade because at some point, this is not going to work, especially in higher grades and this will be a practice that the teacher in subsequent grade levels have to follow on, whether they agree with it or not. It’s going to challenge a student equally if they have to think laterally rather than upwards i.e. work from the same grade level but using more lateral thinking skills rather than working on work in the next grade up.
     
    Last edited: Nov 15, 2018
  13. alabama

    alabama Rookie

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    Nov 14, 2018

    Thanks all.

    I'll try to post one more update after the conference today.

    My suspicion is that the school will want us to take her to her pediatrian to have her evaluated for hyperactivity and potentially be prescribed medication to help her calm down. At home, she's definitely overactive but it hasn't presented itself in an out-of-control manner at school so far.

    So we will see. Medication would help bring sanity to our home as well, but I am concerned about the "cost" that goes along with medication.
     
  14. a2z

    a2z Maven

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    Nov 14, 2018

    Proper letter formation has more to do with how quickly one can print or write cursive when taught than it is making the letters look neat.

    The other thing, learning proper letter formation and practicing does help students learn persistence even in tasks that are less than engaging. There is something said for people to learn stamina. I know many people are against it, but it is a missing skill that went by the wayside in favor of creativity.

    I'm against group seating, in general. I think it is distracting for many and disruptive for others. I don't mind students coming together for some group work, but the grouping of seats has done more harm to learning than it ever helped. It enabled more opportunity for poor behavior choices during the school day than the old seating of rows and columns. Not only do you have kids right next to each other to talk, but they are there to touch, and across from one another to give looks and use non-verbal communication throughout the lessons.

    Good luck with your meeting. I do agree if she is finishing correctly ahead of time, she needs some better options than more of what she is getting right. If she is being disruptive when "bored", she may need to learn some coping skills rather than being disruptive. Supporting her by saying it is ok the letter formation isn't the way it is supposed to be done, reinforces that it is ok to behave in the manner she does when she doesn't want to do the work the way the teacher wants. You should be supporting that proper letter formation is part of the assignment. Maybe her boredness isn't boredness but frustration that she can't remember how to do it right after so many year of being able to do it incorrectly because she was not taught proper formation.
     
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  15. TeacherNY

    TeacherNY Phenom

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    Nov 14, 2018

    This is what I was going to suggest. Also, if the teacher needs to repeat things 3 times then there's a reason for that. If your daughter is talking to others around her (even though she might have caught on to the teacher's directions the first time) she is distracting others so that they do need the teacher to repeat things.
     
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  16. alabama

    alabama Rookie

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    Nov 14, 2018

    Interesting comment.

    I don't think it would be appropriate for me to discuss the classroom seating arrangement at this afternoon's conference.

    Letter formation was mentioned here as an example only. As you can see, my daughter's printing is very nice, yet she spends time doing practicing writing one letter a time like she is in kindergarten. It doesn't make sense to her why she is doing kindergarten work, and she then becomes disruptive. While I don't agree with her being disruptive, I do understand that she is frustrated with going over material already has mastered. She's ready to move on to more complex topics. In this example, writing riddles (like another poster mentioned above) would be far more interesting than single letter practice.
     

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