My class this year....

Discussion in 'General Education' started by Sarge, Feb 18, 2013.

  1. Sarge

    Sarge Enthusiast

    Jan 13, 2007
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    Feb 18, 2013

    Among my first grade classes, this has been one of the more problematic. I've never had first graders who were as apathetic as this bunch. A whole lot of "I don't want to do this" and really, really poor quality work from some of the brighter ones. And the kids who are struggling often act as if they don't really care if they learn to read.

    I also have many to act as if getting in trouble is funny. Many will misbehave immediately after getting a consequence for the exact same behavior. I've joked that if I took away recess for every time a kid ignored me when told them to do something, we would have to extend the school year so there would be more school days with recess that I could take away.

    I have 13 boys and 7 girls. Only three of the girls and four of the boys are consistently well behaved. But what concerns me more are the five or six students in the class who are below or far below where they should be and don't seem very interested in the extra effort needed to get caught up.

    Here are some random facts, perhaps you can help me sort them out.

    9 out of 10 students did not attend our school for kindergarten.

    My attendance for the year has been 93%. 86% for January and February. This is very low for our school. The other first grades are much higher.

    I have five students who have one or more of the following issues:
    • Recent homelessness
    • A parent who has a restraining order or is on the run from the law
    • A parent who is homeless due to drug abuse

    This is an odd one. I have a very liberal bathroom policy. If a child needs to go, I let them. And yet, this year, I've had more kids have "accidents" on the playground than ever. Every couple weeks. In the past, it's only been a few times a year.

    I have 5 kids who had not yet turned 6 when the school year started. Most of the accidents are among this group. Among this group are 3 out of my 5 students reading far below grade level.

    These kids just don't seem interested in doing anything.
  3. TamiJ

    TamiJ Virtuoso

    Sep 18, 2007
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    Feb 18, 2013

    Uh oh! And didn't you just have a rough group the year before last?
  4. YoungTeacherGuy

    YoungTeacherGuy Phenom

    Oct 21, 2007
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    Feb 18, 2013

    It sounds like you've had rough groups for the past few years in a row... :dizzy:
  5. 1st-yr-teacher

    1st-yr-teacher Comrade

    Jun 3, 2006
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    Feb 18, 2013

    When there is so much to deal with outside if school, it's a wonder these babies are able to function at all. :( so sad what some of our kids go through outside of school.
  6. readingrules12

    readingrules12 Aficionado

    Jul 3, 2010
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    Feb 18, 2013


    With students of tough home lives, I find that they will get attention however they can get it. I would do the following:

    1. strictly enforce consequences--1 warning or none. Give as little attention to them when you give consequences.

    2. praise, praise, praise--praise students for whatever they do right. Show them if they want attention--that is how to get it. (Of course, don't back off from giving consequences)

    3. Positive incentive EVERY day. Have them earn time for a fun learning game. This costs you nothing, they still learn, and they have something to work towards. (Fred Jones' PAT is an example if you've seen that book.

    4. Give them an individual learning incentive. I have always been able to get any class to do work with this--it always works. When they are about to do work--make it clear that what your expectations are. (i.e. getting the 1st 10 problems correct the 1st time.). Let them know that anyone who you catch with their work done correctly the first time, will get to ____________

    Give them some fun learning options such might be found at centers. This is well illustrated in Fred Jones' Tools for Teaching book.

    5. Don't be too tough on yourself. It sounds lke you have a tough group.

    Good luck to you.
  7. Proud2BATeacher

    Proud2BATeacher Phenom

    Dec 27, 2005
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    Feb 18, 2013

    I hear you Sarge! I am experiencing the same thing and the only thing keeping me going is the fact that there is only 80 more student days left.
  8. ktdclark

    ktdclark Comrade

    Dec 4, 2012
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    Feb 19, 2013

    OMG...I also have a tough group this year! I had to actually restrict the Valentine Party on Thursday due to several complaints from yard duty and lunch duty folks complaining about obnoxious behavior! I feel like it is ground hog day every day with a review of the rules and expectations before every activity. It is the sneakiness of some of my little guys that irk me the most..they smile and nod to my face but as soon as my back is turned, erupt into inappropriate behaviour!
    I will NOT be sorry to see this group move on in May!

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