Fail 1st graders?!

Discussion in 'First Grade' started by banana, Jun 1, 2009.

  1. banana

    banana New Member

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    Jun 1, 2009

    The school that I'm at this year is very workbook oriented. (boring!) I have a number of students that seem to get the concept (in any subject) but when it comes to doing the workbook on their own they can't. I like to work in groups and do more authentic assessment than just grading workbook pages. Do any of you just teach the lesson and complete a workbook page and then what they get on the page is what their grade is or do you always include different types of assessments? I also would like to include in their grade classroom participation because some of the students are done with their workbook page in 10 seconds and then disrupt the rest of the class for the next 30 minutes and some try really hard on the workbook but don't quite get it. I can't see failing a first grader if I feel they are grasping the concept but just don't pull good grades on the worksheet.

    I don't know if I'm explaining this well enough but hopefully someone out there will know what I'm talking about.:dizzy:
     
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  3. MsX

    MsX Companion

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    Jun 1, 2009

    I certainly wouldnt fail a first grader who understands the concepts but has difficulty showing his or her understanding on a workbook page. That being said, however, I would have some other forms of assessment (observational or otherwise) that supports the grade you give them.
     
  4. Sarge

    Sarge Enthusiast

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    Jun 1, 2009

    What programs are you using?

    Workbooks fall under what is called "guided practice" or "independent practice" depending on where they are in learning the concept and how the particular workbook page is structured.

    No. The workbook page is not the assessment unless you have thoroughly taught and reviewed the concept and it's time to assess.

    You should not continually base grades on how the students do on workbook pages. Use other assessments for that.
     
  5. Peachyness

    Peachyness Virtuoso

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    Jun 1, 2009

    Do you do centers in your classroom? After they are done with their worksheet, the students should have another job that they should begin working on.

    At my school, we do centers as in, they have must do jobs and may do jobs. That way, kids can work at their own pace. May do jobs are centers around the classroom to keep them busy while the other kids are finishing up on their must dos.

    And, no, I would fail them just because they can't do their worksheets. There are other ways to assess students that doesn't necessarily require worksheets.
     
  6. TulipsGirl

    TulipsGirl Cohort

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    Jun 1, 2009

    I agree with previos posters: I would definitely not fail a child simply because they do not do well on worksheets - provided that you can show that they understand the concept from some other assessment. And please do use other assessments - first graders can have so much fun outside of workbooks!

    HOWEVER, if a number of your students, as you say, are finding the workbook pages difficult, then you need to figure out why. Are they not able to read the directions? Are the directions unclear? Are there too many problems on a page? Are the pictures unclear (y'know some worksheets have copies of coins that are so tiny it's rediculous...) Are your students especially needy when it comes to independent work? Or is it simply because their learning style is more "hands - on"?

    I found that in first grade, it is crucial to explain to the children who are less independent exactly how to complete these sheets. How to read directions... (recognize key direction words like "draw, circle, underline, write, color" etc.), how to look for word banks, cross of answers you have used, process of elimination. If children have a hard time with these skills, they wont be able to complete the sheets in a timely manner no matter how well they know the subject. They will become very needy and dependent on you unless we teach them the skills that come so easily to other kids.

    I don't know it this helps you or not, but I hope that you are able to pinpoint what the trouble is because whether we like the workbook mentality or not, they will be moving on to second grade and the demand to complete worksheets will only increase, unfortunately - at least in the school you described.
     
  7. Mommateach

    Mommateach Rookie

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    Jun 3, 2009

    I wouldn't fail a child if they couldn't do worksheets/workbook pages, but understood the material and were able to express it in a different way. I am a parent though not a certified teacher.

    When my son was in kindergarten he had a horrible time with worksheets and trying to figure out what he was suppose to do. He took so long to do just one sheet that his teacher was worried. When his teacher asked him orally or in a different way though he could do it just about 100% correctly! The teacher had 22 other kids in the class, so she expected that the children could do their work independently. My son seemed to be needy and cried when he didn't understand or had a difficult time. My son's teacher and I both had talks with him about raising his hand for help instead of crying. After a while he did do that instead of cry. At one point the teacher was thinking that my son should be held back. The teacher said that my son had trouble with projects that had more than 3 steps. She said he would forget the directions.

    One example of a worksheet in February of the kindergarten year was read and draw these words on one side of the sheet. Instead of reading and drawing the words (such as hat, sock, ten, zipper, bus, flag) my son just copied the words down in the boxes. On the other side of the sheet was write the words from the given pictures (weird little drawings-one looks like a lamp, but it's suppose to be a flag and another drawing looks like a broom, but I have no idea what that's suppose to be). My son only got one right and that was the fish picture. I can see why though. I can't figure out that worksheet either.

    Another worksheet he had trouble with (took him about 30 minutes to do because he had trouble cutting per the teacher) in the fall of that year was a worksheet that said cut and glue to match the beginning sounds (b, m, r and s). Each letter and picture was suppose to have another 3 pictures cut out and glued next to it. For example S and picture of a sun needed to have a picture of a sink, sock and snake glued next to it.

    For kids who finished their work early in my son's kindergarten class they had some educational toys (puzzles, geoboards, unifix cubes, magnetic letters, blocks and books) that they could play with for a few minutes until it was time for the next subject.

    I hope in some way this helps you.
     
  8. dr.gator

    dr.gator Comrade

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    Jun 13, 2009

    Retention should be based upon the whole child. In other words, I wouldn't retain because of one thing. You need to have a clear picture of exactly what the child can do and can't do in different settings. Although, I was once against retention in K and 1 after teaching a year of 2nd I can see where having another year of "experiences" would have helped some children. 2nd in my opinion is that review year that helps reinforce skills taught in K and 1 and allows the kids to put those skills in to practice. If you are constantly reviewing those skills in 2nd you have no time to put them in to practice. Just my thoughts.
     

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