How do you reach those low kids?

Discussion in 'General Education' started by bewlove, Feb 3, 2016.

  1. bewlove

    bewlove Companion

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2014
    Messages:
    230
    Likes Received:
    4

    Feb 3, 2016

    You know who I'm talking about....the ones who have a huge learning gap, sometimes IEPs or 504s, a short attention span, and don't seem to care about their grades.

    I feel like I am beating a dead horse with these kids! I love them, but I feel like literally nothing I've taught them has gotten through to them this year! I teach fourth grade, and we are now on fractions and decimals. These kids still can't multiply and have barely memorized their multiplication facts!

    I try to work with them and give them as much attention as possible! But, the reality is, there is an expectation of what it to be learned in 4th grade, and I can't slow down the whole class of 22 students for the sake of 5 or 6. I pull them into a small group, I question them during the lesson, I pair them with higher students....I am trying, but every day I go home feeling like I need to be doing more for them!

    Obviously, differentiation is important, and I do that as much as possible, but I still have to teach those core lessons that are past their abilities. Do others feel this way?
     
  2.  
  3. bella84

    bella84 Aficionado

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2012
    Messages:
    3,414
    Likes Received:
    1,384

    Feb 3, 2016

    Yep. Just keeping doing what you're doing. You're already pulling small groups and differentiating. You're only one person, and you can only do what you can do. Even if they aren't meeting grade-level standards, hopefully they are growing some.... Although, upon re-reading your post, I notice that you said that you feel like "literally nothing" you've taught has been understood, so I guess that's a problem... Since you asked how to reach them, I'd start by building relationships with them. Many kids, especially young ones, don't see the point in grades (I don't either, but that's a conversation for another thread) and don't care, as you've said. So you have to find ways to make them care. Do you talk to them about why the things you teach are important? Do you talk to these students individually and let them know that you are genuinely interested in their success? Those are realistic things that you can be doing... Trying to impart more knowledge on them, when you have limited time and expectations from an administrator to follow a pacing guide, just isn't realistic. And try to remember that that, even though those students only make up a quarter of your class (which is actually a lot, IMO), they are someone's child and sometimes you need to put them ahead of the other three quarters of the class, even if that means straying from the expectations for a short period of time. I don't mean all of the time... just some of the time.
     
    Last edited: Feb 3, 2016
    Backroads likes this.
  4. mathmagic

    mathmagic Enthusiast

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2012
    Messages:
    2,419
    Likes Received:
    1,172

    Feb 3, 2016

    Having thought about this recently...I split it into two possible avenues:
    • They can access the basics of the work we're doing - so I do a quick teaching and then have them practice that. For example, with our angles/lines/polygons unit, my focus the past few days has been having them successfully being able to identify acute/obtuse/right/straight angles. Now, I'll be working with them on how to read the measure of an angle. I do some quick teaching, and they're off on doing some practice with my checking in here and there.
    • If it's not something they'll be able to access, such as when we're utilizing an informational text (written at a 4/5 grade level) to determine author's point of view (and they haven't been in the room for the initial read of the text anyways), I have them do alternative task to develop the basic skills they need to work on, such as in this case - independent reading (with my checking in here and there to perhaps do some comprehension discussions around what they're reading).

    • Of course, if they're able to access the material, that's a different story.
    Occasionally, they'll also have work brought back from the resource room. Otherwise, I do my best to adjust to meet their needs while still honoring the needs of the others in class.
     
  5. bewlove

    bewlove Companion

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2014
    Messages:
    230
    Likes Received:
    4

    Feb 3, 2016

    Thanks for the replies!!!!! I also agree it's a lot of kiddos, and makes up a large portion of my class.

    I do feel that I have good relationships with them. I try to always establish a good connection! It's just....frustrating. Their parents will ask what they can do to help, and sometimes I don't even know what to tell them because they're already doing so much.

    I wouldn't say that they haven't learned "anything", but their progress is limited.

    I really like the method of looking at it in two ways. I will try that!!!!! Maybe I just need to change my perspective!
     
  6. a2z

    a2z Maven

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2010
    Messages:
    5,684
    Likes Received:
    1,586

    Feb 3, 2016

    For their times tables, have them use a multiplication chart for multiplication and division if they are not being taught by a program such as touch math. Have them do a few problems each day if possible using the chart and let the parents know that they should use the chart each time they multiply and divide. Getting the right answer every time helps them learn the facts rather than guessing. It is like following directions with something. Eventually when you have followed the directions often and consistently, you don't need them anymore. You find yourself not looking at them and doing it correctly. Same thing with multiplication facts. Strugglers struggle longer because they are moved away from the aid of a chart too soon fearing they will become dependent on it. Very few will be so unconfident that they keep using it when they keep knowing the answer before they trace it out. Teach them to trace it with their fingers and say the equation as they trace it.

    Look at the subskills they are missing for the content you are trying to teach. If the parents are really capable of helping and they are asking, find ways for them to work with their child in fun ways to develop those underlying skills. Activities that build number sense are critical. Parents don't always understand what types of activities do this so they don't always see the need to include their child in activities that will build number sense. How many eggs are needed for breakfast? There are 3 of us. Each person eats 2 eggs. The child can learn to pull out 2 eggs for each person and see that 6 are needed. The parent can further challenge with if a dozen eggs is 12 how much of a dozen was used? Skip count with them, count backwards, count coins, etc All of these interactions will help far more than a parent trying to re-teach a skill the student doesn't have the sub-skills for. If the child isn't be successful anyway, it is better to work on what the child will need rather than at the frustration level.
     
    bella84 likes this.
  7. mathmagic

    mathmagic Enthusiast

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2012
    Messages:
    2,419
    Likes Received:
    1,172

    Feb 4, 2016

    Also, Xtramath.org - great site to have them get onto for <10 minutes a day (it logs you out after a certain amount of time, actually), and will build their math fact fluency in an organized manner.
     
    bella84 likes this.
  8. bella84

    bella84 Aficionado

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2012
    Messages:
    3,414
    Likes Received:
    1,384

    Feb 4, 2016

    I love XtraMath!
     
  9. otterpop

    otterpop Aficionado

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2013
    Messages:
    3,812
    Likes Received:
    1,406

    Feb 4, 2016

    In the past, when students were nowhere near capable of being able to complete the lesson, I'd have these students sit in on group instruction and discussion, and then excuse them to go work on a computer when it was time for independent work. Sometimes I'd put them on a skill website, and sometimes I'd have them watch specific youtube videos on the subject.

    I agree that you're doing everything you can, though. Ideally, there would be someone to help those kids. When I was in elementary school, we often had an aide to work at a back table with the low kids... if only!
     
    mathmagic likes this.
  10. adeeb

    adeeb Rookie

    Joined:
    Dec 23, 2014
    Messages:
    77
    Likes Received:
    2

    Feb 8, 2016

    In addition to Xtramath.org, you can try Khan Academy. It has a strong math program, and since you have the support of the parents, maybe you can suggest that they sit with their child on Khan Academy for 30 minutes or so after school.
     

Share This Page

Members Online Now

  1. catnfiddle,
  2. bella84,
  3. RainStorm,
  4. lindseymorris03,
  5. Mrs. K.,
  6. greendream
Total: 502 (members: 7, guests: 477, robots: 18)
test