How do I get a child interested?

Discussion in 'New Teachers' started by srfjeld, Apr 24, 2007.

  1. srfjeld

    srfjeld Companion

    Mar 1, 2007
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    Apr 24, 2007

    I am in the early stages of my practicum for student teaching and am currently tutoring at a diverse elementary school with many ESL students. 2 of the students I have been asked to work with have only been at the school for a week or two.

    One student is in second grade and his teacher says he is smart but that he lacks any interest and would rather just sit and, literally, stare at a wall for hours. My job is to work with him one on one for about an hour a day and try to get him to read and write a bit. I've only worked with him one day so far, before knowing his background, and he seemed fine to me. I only have a few weeks at this school, how can I make my time with him fun and interesting so that he does not choose to stare out the window rather than work with me. He is apparently only reading at levels 3 and 4 so far.

    My other student is a kindergartener. I was asked to use picture books and level 1 readers with her to get her to start recognizing words. When I first sat with her, I grabbed an alphabet chart so we could start there. That's when I learned that she doesn't know the alphabet yet. How am I supposed to expect her to learn words if she doesn't know the alphabet? This child has been throughout a lot in her life. I would like to make the alphabet lessons fun.

    As I stated earlier, I'm only here for a few weeks so I don't expect miracles, but I'd like to know that these students get something out of my time with them.

    Thank you in advance. I can see where this forum is going to be VERY useful to me over the next few years.

  3. MsWK

    MsWK Habitué

    Dec 29, 2005
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    Apr 24, 2007

    I think as a practicum student, your best bet is to start with what the children love.

    I had an assigment similar to yours in one of my placements... one-on-one with ELL children. I found out that one little boy LOVED dogs & loved to draw, so I brought in a photo of my dog & cats, along with some writing paper with a space to draw above.

    I got him to write a story about my dog, & draw a picture. He was in 1st, so the short vowel practice (d-o-g, c-a-t,) was useful. Starting with what he loved helped him do what he didn't (writing). It also made him feel successful. In the end, I think he wrote, "I am tkg the dog for a wok." That took about half an hour, but hey, it's a start!

    Good luck!
  4. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

    Apr 12, 2006
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    Apr 24, 2007

    I think that, whenever applicable with younger kids, that's great advice.

    (And, no, I have absolutely NO background in elementary ed, aside from my own 3 kids.)

    I think that 20 minutes of conversation about him, his interests, his favorite game/team/sport/TV show-- whatever-- will probably give you a great return for your time. Whatever it is, you can find a way to use it once you discover it.

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