How do you handle the frustration with slow students?

Discussion in 'Second Grade' started by kayina, Oct 15, 2013.

  1. kayina

    kayina Rookie

    Aug 5, 2013
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    Oct 15, 2013

    I have a handful of students that are quite low in all subject areas. I have my reward systems in place in the classroom, but these students are so far behind that they don't even have the skill to copy well, nor the stamina to copy the length of what we are writing down.

    I had to keep a student an hour and a half after school today because he kept on talking and all of his work was empty. Seriously like 85% of his work today was not done. I try to pass by more frequently to make sure that he's on task, and when I saw that he wasn't doing his work, I would sit with him and make sure he understood what we were doing and make sure he had an answer to write down. When I came back a few minutes later, he didn't write anything down and when I asked him what he was supposed to write, he forgot. So I stayed with him and repeated the process and waited until he wrote it down in front of me. After that, I made sure he had the answer for the next question, made my rounds, and his paper is blank. I'm getting this from several students, and it's very hard to keep tabs on all of them when the rest of the class is more proactive about asking for help or they finish early.

    So after school today, I was going over his work because he either wrote in nonsense answers to look like he was finished, or he just didn't do it. Part of a math question was talking about the days of the week. He wasn't able to tell me all 7 days of the week, how many days there were in a week, and I had him repeat it with me several times, sing a song, etc. and when I asked him the question again, he didn't retain any of it.

    I'm very frustrated with him, which I shouldn't be, because it's not his fault that he has trouble retaining information. I have conferences with many parents and I try to keep things positive regarding their child so it doesn't seem so doom and gloom, but I'm finding it difficult when their child can't read, write, add numbers up to 10, and they aren't doing any of their work. They don't seem to care about losing recess, earning prizes, getting a special privilege, or losing a privilege either.

    I've done the paperwork for our student study teams, but it seems year after year, the answer is, "Let's work with them, give it some time, and see how they are doing."

    I have 32 students and 3 preps a week. I'm spending most of my recess, lunch, and after school dedicated to helping them catch up and searching for materials that are at a more appropriate level for them.

    I guess my question is, in a situation like this, how do you keep things in a positive light for yourself, the parents, and the student?
  3. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

    Sep 30, 2001
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    Oct 15, 2013

    Why on earth would you keep student after school for an hour and a half to do work you feel he is unable to do? Have you thought about differentiating his work? Modifying his work?

    As far as losing recess, rewards and other are unfairly holding a student responsible for things it seems he can't do...he doesn't care because he has given up....he feels like a allure and punishments are reinforcing that perception.
  4. MissScrimmage

    MissScrimmage Aficionado

    May 29, 2007
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    Oct 15, 2013

    If he really can't do the work then no amount of punishments or rewards are going to help him. He needs work at his level. Perhaps giving him less to copy from the board, scribing his answers for him or pairing him up with another student for support are better options. The logical consequence in my class for talking instead of doing work is making it up during choice time/recess, but then I only keep my kiddos in for a maximum of 5 minutes. AND I only keep them in if I am sure they know how to do the work.

    It sounds like your kiddo needs more support. An hour and a half after school was too long, and it sounds like you realize that he wasn't retaining the information anyway. Keep hounding your student services teams. I met with mine weekly last year - the squeaky wheel gets the grease.
  5. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

    Apr 12, 2006
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    Oct 16, 2013

    Can you imagine how frustrated HE is? He can't do the work that his classmates seem to do with ease. He has conferences with his parents confirming that what he already knows-- that he's not as smart as his classmates. He can't read, write, add numbers up to 10, and it's not getting easier as his friends get further and further ahead of him. Ad he loses recess, fails to earn prizes or get special privileges, and loses the privileges he does have. And no matter how he tries, it doesnt help.

    He probably learned a long time ago that the only way to get through is to pretend it doesn't bother him that he's staying after school while his friends are out playing. Because he's not stupid enough to want their pity.

    And I won't even go into how frustrated his parents are. And how they're grasping at any straws they can find to help their baby.

    This is all coming as a mom-- is there any sort of special ed evaluation that you think might help? My younger daughter was evaluated by the district audiologist, and it was determined that she has Auditory Processing Deficit-- that explains the huge issues with reading. It sounds to me as though this young kid needs an advocate, not a "Wait and see" as he falls further and further behind. Push the issue with a Special Ed evaluation. I imagine they're waiting because getting an evaluation might mean added expense to the district-- an extra kid with needs to fill.

    But this little boy has one shot at a 2nd grade education, and it seems to be wasting away. He needs an advocate.
  6. queenie

    queenie Groupie

    Feb 13, 2008
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    Oct 18, 2013

    Listen, there are two kinds of unsuccessful students- those who CAN'T and those who WON'T. It seems that you aren't sure which your students are.

    You have to determine which category each students falls into. If they CAN'T do the work, then you shouldn't punish them for not doing it. Imagine being punished for not doing the impossible :confused: PLEASE stop taking recess away from students for not doing work they are not capable of doing :wub:

    If they WON'T do the work, that's a different story.

    As far as being positive, you need think about how to make the low students grow. Some students won't leave your classroom being on level. Period. BUT if they show growth this year, that's terrific! :D If a child is just a slow worker, perhaps you could cut the assignment from 20 problems to 10 or have them write 2 sentences instead of 4? Assign a reading helper or a math helper or a buddy to keep giving reminders to stay on task! :thumb:

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