Kids that won't do homework

Discussion in 'Elementary Education' started by waterfall, Sep 10, 2011.

  1. waterfall

    waterfall Maven

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    Sep 10, 2011

    What do you do for kids that simply won't do homework? I have a boy on my caseload who simply never does it. His teacher doesn't assign a lot, and the bulk of his homework is to read for 20 minutes. I know reading is hard for him, but he REALLY needs the practice. I can tell a HUGE difference the next day when he starts reading his book, on the few days that he has practiced. I make a big deal out of it and point out how nice it is to really know all the words and feel confident about reading the book once you've practiced. I send home books on his level for him to read (rather than grade level material that is several years above his head), so it's not that the text itself is undecodable or too hard for him. His parents are supportive of me and his gen ed teacher, but they both work 3 jobs and he if often at home with his older siblings who don't enforce doing the homework. On the few days I can tell he's practiced, I ask him who read with him and it's always a time where mom or dad happened to be home. I do tell him that he can always read by himself or to his brother or sister, and even tried to talk to both of the older siblings (they are just out of hs) about it when they came in to drop him off at various times throughout the school year. In general, we have the policy that homework that isn't done has to be completed at recess. However, this student has SEVERE adhd. He needs to move around and get in that play time or he simply won't be able to do a thing the entire afternoon, which to me is a bigger deal (him getting nothing out of the afternoon) than missing the 20 minutes of reading. However, with no consequence, how do we get him to care about doing it? We even tried a little sticker chart last year for days he did the homework, and rewards for certain steps, but it didn't seem to make a difference.
     
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  3. CFClassroom

    CFClassroom Connoisseur

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    Sep 10, 2011

    What grade is he in and how does he get home from school. Could he stay 20 minutes longer or come in 20 minutes earlier and read to an older student?
     
  4. Loomistrout

    Loomistrout Devotee

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    Sep 10, 2011

    And the more he feels pressured to read the possibility he is going to hate reading. Missing recess is unfair. He may not have the support like other kids and then gets punished for it. A more appropriate consequence would be making up work at recess due to wasting learning time in class -- something the teacher is in control of and can monitor.

    Many teachers use Teacher Bonus with PAT to motivate students. PAT uses the peer group to give the student a reason to complete work.
     
  5. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Sep 11, 2011

    Could it be WHAT he's reading?

    Is it assigned, or can he choose what to read?

    My son hates to read fiction. But, as a first or second grader, he would read anything on trucks. Later, thanks to a fabulous 2nd grade teacher, it was anything on bears or whales. Now, as a 13 year old, he'll read anything on ghosts.

    My younger daughter has APD, and it's difficult for her to sound out new words. But she'll willingly read, as long as it's easy reading. So this summer we concentrated more on quantity than "quality"-- as long as she was reading, it was OK if it wasn't particularly challenging. I wanted to build on the love of reading as opposed to really stretching her abilities.
     
  6. readingrules12

    readingrules12 Aficionado

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    Sep 11, 2011

    iheartrecess asked an incredibly important question--what grade is this child in?

    For now, I'll give one standard idea and then one creative idea that should help.

    Standard idea:

    Though I'm not crazy about reading logs for grades 3-5, this might be good for grades K-2. I think assigning homework to read at home to primary grades (K-2) is going to have problems as it often requires help from home. Homework shouldn't require a parent's help.

    Creative idea:

    When teaching 3rd or 4th grade, sometimes I'd have a child who at the beginning of the year who would not do any homework. I would ask that child to do me a special favor. I'd let that child know (1 on 1) that I really could use their help in making an answer sheet for the upcoming spelling or math quiz. As children at this age love to help their teacher, that child would always go home and gladly do it. I would praise and thank that child a lot for their help and make sure I actually use that answer key. It is not long that I can then ask the child to do the same thing for their homework. I usually do this only in severe cases of someone not doing homework. Some years, you'll probably find this won't be necessary. When you need to use it though, it really works. Good luck!

    Kevin
     
  7. waterfall

    waterfall Maven

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    Sep 11, 2011

    He's a 4th grader, so he's perfectly capable of going home and doing the reading on his own. It's not even like it's a written response type of thing where he might need to be able to ask someone for help. He's also the only student I have that doesn't do it, and I know several of my other students have parents that work a lot too and aren't there to get on them constantly about completing the work. He did come to our afterschool program last year, but that won't start for another 6 weeks or so. We also found that even in afterschool, he'd kind of just sit there and stare at the book rather than actually reading it, and since the teacher would be leading guided groups the whole time she couldn't constantly be by his side telling him to read. We thought about having him read aloud to someone at this time (to make sure he's actually reading), but there are no teachers available who aren't teaching and he is the lowest reader I have- several grade levels below his classmates, so we didn't want to have him read to a peer and be embarrassed about it. He also has a severe articulation disorder which makes him hard to understand, and with reading being hard already, he's usually hesitant to read aloud in front of other kids. Even if we put him on the computer reading to voicethread or something, the other kids would still be able to hear him. Alice, he can read whatever he wants. He really likes star wars so we got him some low level star wars books, and he liked them- but only to look at the pictures.

    readingrules, I actually really like that idea with the spelling and stuff, but I don't know how I could make it work for reading since there isn't anything tangible that he turns in.
     
  8. iteachbx

    iteachbx Enthusiast

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    Sep 11, 2011

    It's a school wide policy in our school to give out weekly homework sheets. My co-teacher and I circle assignments on the sheet that have not been completed and ask for a parent signature at the end of the week. This is our first way of reaching out to parents when homework is not being completed.

    I would say after 2-3 weeks of this if there is no change and the homework sheet isn't being signed, we would call home. In the past calling home has sometimes made no difference in the homework situation. In which case I continue to keep some sort of record of the missing homework assignments so that I can lay them all out in front of the parent during a conference and explain to them how the lack of homework is jeopardizing the child's education. I feel its so important to document stuff like this. It would also come in handy for me at the end of the year if the child did not pass state tests or did worse than expected.
     
  9. sjnkate

    sjnkate Rookie

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    Sep 12, 2011

    I would create a reading log to be signed by whoever he reads to nightly. After x amount of signatures I would let him pick a prize from a special treasure box.
     
  10. waterfall

    waterfall Maven

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    Sep 12, 2011

    We've tried that before, and the problem is that his brother/sister will sign the log when really he just sat there looking at a book (not reading). It's really obvious the next day in class when he's practiced and when he hasn't, and if you ask him he's really honest about it. Again, mom and dad are great about getting him to read aloud, but they're just not home much. We've tried explaining the importance of this to the brother and sister, but haven't gotten anywhere.
     
  11. readingrules12

    readingrules12 Aficionado

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    Sep 13, 2011

    Two years ago our school adopted a policy that if a child doesn't have their homework, the child stays after school for 1 hour. (30 minutes for younger grades). We don't have a homework problem any more since this policy began. Each teacher takes 1 day after school to stay after to be with those missing homework. Today out of over 200 students, only 2 students missed their homework, and most days are like that after the first 2 weeks of school.

    Possibly this would help.
    Kevin
     
  12. queenie

    queenie Groupie

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    Sep 14, 2011

    Could you have him read during recess into a tape recorder (or Ipad or other kind of voice recorder) on the days he doesn't turn in signed sheets for homework? Or help him find books or magazines/comics he really really likes so that he will want to read them?
     

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