Class unable to write homework/notes

Discussion in 'Elementary Education' started by Momma5, Sep 11, 2012.

  1. Momma5

    Momma5 Rookie

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    Sep 11, 2012

    Or anything for that matter. I teache second grade.I have been in many second grade classes, both in the very beginning of the year and mid year and the kids have been able to copy both homework and notes. I am in my second week, but only the 2nd full day. My class is unable to write ANYTHING I write on the board. It has been taking my class close to 25 minutes to write 3 sentences of homework. I even put it up first thing in the morning, so all they have to do is write it in their homework notebook. At least half the class is unable to do that. I then put it up again at the end of the day and have 3 or so students who sit there and do NOTHING, say they can't copy it or my ADHD kid who is bouncing off the walls at that point so I end up copying the homework for him and about 3 other students who either can't or refuse to copy anything from the board. I am loosing my mind bc it's going over into my lessons. Even to get them to copy a defenition, like, what a plant is, it will take about 20 mintues to copy down one sentence. I am beginning to think the first grade teacher never had them copy down a single thing since one parent appoproached me asking where the homework sheet is.

    I also had about 5 students who are unable to turn the page themself, or if I say turn to page 5 they will sit there fumbling through their pages of stay on page 80 not following long. I have one child who has fell ASLEEP 2 days in a row. Another girl and hardly read and can not even say the word "was" and sit there nostop talking to the kid next to her. They sit in desks that are connected:dizzy:. This is the also another teachers in my schools niece.

    Please help!!
     
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  3. thirdgradebuzz

    thirdgradebuzz Comrade

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    Sep 11, 2012

    I teach third grade. I've never had as much trouble as you are describing gettings kids to write. We do use a lot of interactive notebooks, which means the students are often cutting out pages of notes, etc. to put in their notebooks. They are very, very slow at cutting and getting the pages glued in at the beginning of school. For the first few weeks, every time we do it, I give stickers to the first 5, 6, 8, (whatever number works for you) students to finish neatly and silently raise their hand to signal they are done. Not sure if anything like this might work for you.
     
  4. teacherpippi

    teacherpippi Habitué

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    Sep 11, 2012

    Copying isn't a skill many second graders have. Many don't have the visual memory to copy things down. I'd break the skill down and have them practice their visual memory to help them learn to copy better.
     
  5. ecteach

    ecteach Devotee

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    Sep 11, 2012

    AMEN! I was going to say the same thing.

    Anyway, try telling them what to write, and watch the difference!
     
  6. TulipsGirl

    TulipsGirl Cohort

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    Sep 11, 2012

    As a first grade teacher, I don't specifically have my students copy things from the board into a notebook very often.

    We do brainstorm ideas on the board before writing, so students can (but are not obligated to) use that as a reference in their writing. They will also copy the date from the board. But I havent had them COPY word for word from the board.

    My students have done a lots of dictation,
    Copying over a rough draft from one page to the next
    Using charts around the room as references
    Looking up words in their dictionaries, and using them in writing

    But not copying word for word from the board.

    For some students, the idea of tracking from looking up at the board back down, keeping in mind what you are trying to write.... takes working memory.

    My suggestion is to make an actual lesson out of it. If you want them to do this effeciently, your going to need to teach it to them step by step. Act as a student who is copying from th board and talk your way through it.

    "Ok, I need to copy the homework. One way to do it is letter by letter... but look how long this takes....(look up) H.....(look down, write)H.... O.....
    But I can do it much faster if I read one word, then write one word, Read one word, then write one word. Later on, you can try to read 2 words at a time, then write two words. You will get very fast at this! now at the end make sure that you read over what you wrote to make sure that it makes sense!"
     
  7. bison

    bison Habitué

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    Sep 12, 2012

    I agree that most second graders will struggle with something like this at the beginning of the year. Especially three sentences at once off the board. It sounds like this drives you nuts. Have you considered creating a weekly homework sheet rather than spending time on this? If not, you'll have to keep practicing.

    In a lot of your posts, it sounds like classroom management is a struggle for you. That's normal as a new teacher, but it's something that needs to be worked out ASAP. It might be good to look to your colleagues and see what works for them, and maybe pick up some books like Tools for Teaching to learn strategies to implement. As someone who observes a LOT of classes, I'm seeing more than ever that there's a WORLD of difference between the behavior in a room of a teacher who practices good classroom management and one who doesn't. It's not usually the kids that are the issue.
     
  8. Em_Catz

    Em_Catz Devotee

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    Sep 12, 2012

    If you're trying to get them to remember the definition of a plant, I might require they draw a picture of a plant and label it. I teach first grade and for some reason when I say to label or have the kids copy something I've labelled it goes a lot better.

    Maybe you want to consider typing up a list of definitions, have the kids write down the word list from a word bank you provide on the board and then glue the definitions under their matching word.

    During small reading group time, right before the kids leave my table to go back to their seats to start independent work, I have them practice copying directions from the board while they're still at my reading table. I watch them and coach them through different issues.

    I know it's annoying but you have to figure out what works for you or it's going to drive you nuts all year which leads to teacher burnout (my 1st year teaching, I felt burnt out around October. I remember standing at the visualizer as my students went nuts all around me, closing my eyes and thinking, I should just walk out of here, get in the car and drive to my Mom's house. Then I'll call the P and tell her I quit and can't do this anymore.

    Thankfully that passed. Keep your head up, observe your teammates and believe it will get better. A to Z teacher forum and sites like this are amazingly supportive and helpful too. I always feel safe posting on here
     
  9. MissScrimmage

    MissScrimmage Aficionado

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    Sep 12, 2012

    My first graders copy 1 word off the board and then I give it to them letter by letter. I imagine copying 3 sentences off the board that are already there would be very difficult for second graders. It took my grade 1s 10 minutes to copy the word 'strawberry' yesterday and we went 1 letter at a time. Some still didn't get the whole thing written down!
     
  10. DrivingPigeon

    DrivingPigeon Phenom

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    Sep 12, 2012

    I keep homework descriptions to just a few words. If it requires a longer description, I type it up and send it home.

    By the end of the year, most of my students can successfully copy something. There are always a handful who really struggle, though.
     
  11. pwhatley

    pwhatley Maven

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    Sep 12, 2012

    During the second half of the year, I have my first graders editing sentences on the board. However, that comes after much, much practice and modeling, even on a small white board at my table. We (teachers) are not encouraged to teach "copy skills," because it's not considered "higher order." This is hard for me (the extensive modeling, teaching, and starting small) because by nature I want to start off running, and I can't. You have to be methodical, and very explicit in your expectations. Take very small steps, and repeat them often. As another posted, it would probably make your life a lot easier if you just printed a homework sheet.
     
  12. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Sep 12, 2012

    It's the beginning of the year...they're babies. I taught grade 2 for 8 years..I made homework packets with a cover sheet listing the HW for the week.
     
  13. YoungTeacherGuy

    YoungTeacherGuy Phenom

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    Sep 12, 2012

    I do this, too. The parents are oh-so-thankful because it helps keep everyone (parents, students, and teacher) on the same page!
     
  14. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    Sep 13, 2012

    Some of my older students (grade 5 and above) have challenges with far-point copying. The continual change in focus is difficult. In addition, if the students can't fluently read and understand what is written, they are copying letter by letter and get no meaning from what they are writing. I attended a workshop several years ago where this was discussed. The facilitator asked us to copy about 5 sentences that were written in a language I didn't know (don't remember what it was now). Although, as an adult, I had the skills to chunk letters together to make the copying easier, it was still an arduous task.
     
  15. MissCeliaB

    MissCeliaB Aficionado

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    Sep 13, 2012

    This topic is amazing to me. I remember in second grade there were still many students in my class who were working out how to read. That some would expect them to copy more than a few words from the board seems unrealistic.
     
  16. smurfette

    smurfette Habitué

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    Sep 13, 2012

    For the book problem, you might want to take those who have problems aside in a small group and teach them how to find pages in a book, or during reading groups. At some point, you can tie it into a math lesson on number sense. Something along the lines of "Well, it's page 25, and there are 250 pages in a book. Do you think you should start near the beginning, middle, or end?" You could put number lines up on the board to illustrate. Good luck.
     
  17. iteachbx

    iteachbx Enthusiast

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    Sep 14, 2012

    I find it really isn't worth the time to have students copy down their homework. Many students can't, and those who can just can't do it fast enough. Plus then I have to worry about them writing page 16 instead of 116 or whatever. It's much clearer for them, me and their parents to understand what needs to be done.

    They never copy anything from the board during lessons, except maybe a few vocabulary words and simple math problems.
     
  18. TerriInCa

    TerriInCa Companion

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    Sep 15, 2012

    I do this too! Only mine is daily. It lists all the HW, and then everything is stapled together. It is really working really well this year! More than 1/2 of my class goes to study hall after school. So It also helps those teachers check they didn't skip anything.
     

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