Need ideas for 2nd grader

Discussion in 'Elementary Education Archives' started by thumper, Jan 14, 2003.

  1. thumper

    thumper New Member

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    Jan 14, 2003

    I need ideas for my second grader who is loosing interest in school.
    She is not doing bad yet, I just want to avoid it.
    What do you do with a child who is capable of doing the work and then some but just doesn't have an interest?


    Thank You
     
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  3. Maxine

    Maxine Companion

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    Jan 14, 2003

    second grade blues

    Dear Thumper,
    Have you tried a one-on-one talk in which you offer verbal encouragement and add special certificates and sticker pages with positive messages about her work. Any little thing may appeal to her. She may have a situation at home with parents having to pay extra attention to younger siblings an she feels ignored now that she's older and can do for herself. A parent conference by phone with your concerns and an inquiry as to what you can do to help her while she's in your classroom will probably give the parents the heads up to watch her for signs of being upset at home whether it's about school or something at home.
    Sometimes a sticker chart with a reward works, although you'll have to consider doing the chart for the entire class. This may make her feel more a part of the "sticker team" effort to get to 100 total stickers and have a movie in school with popcorn & juice. Just some ideas. Bring her into the fabric of the class and give extra visible signs of encouragement until she is secure.maxine
     
  4. thumper

    thumper New Member

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    Jan 15, 2003

    Thanks for your ideas Maxine.

    I hope I'm not breaking a rule or something here and maybe I should have pointed this out in my first post. I'm not a teacher, I am a very involved parent of 2. I spend atleast 1 hour every day in my childs class which allows me to keep in constant contact with her teachers, including special area teachers.

    Now that you'll probably see my situation in a different light you'll know that your suggestions may not work well for me. Her teacher does positive reinforcements but she's not interested. They are doing a reading counts program which allows children to get points depending on the books they have read and passed a test on. Kids who get to milestone points get a certificate and a spot on the AM news. She got a small amount of points and then stopped. She tells me it is boring and that is why she doesn't want to do it. I guess the problem is that she is bored with the work. I try to enforce fun work study at home but it doesn't seem to be enough. I thought fresh new ideas would help.


    Thanks for your ideas and if I'm not suppose to be here I apologize and will quietly leave. But please don't make me leave I like the ideas and information I have gotten from the site.

    Again Thanks
    Thumper
     
  5. Upsadaisy

    Upsadaisy Moderator

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    Jan 15, 2003

    I am sure I speak for just about everyone when I say that you are more than welcome at this site. Hopefully, it will help you to understand even better how much teachers want to reach every child.

    I am all for positive responses and behavior mod techniques, but sometimes you just have to impress upon your child that you expect her to do exactly what is required of her in school. Let her know that you support her teacher (she probably knows this already because of your interest and involvement) and that you expect her best efforts at all times. Then I would stay out of it, at least for a while. Sometimes kids who balk at their parents' (particularly mothers') suggestions will take more responsibility for themselves when the parent backs off. Of course, if she appears to be backsliding you don't want to ignore it. But, sometimes a child may put up a wall about school merely because everyone else seems so interested in her performance.

    About reading, does she see you read every day? Do you go to the library for fun? Do you share books on tape in the car? Do you still read aloud to her? Is there a topic or hobby she might want to read about? Have you considered a monthly book club such as those offered by Scholastic? Is she friendly with children who do enjoy school?

    Just a few suggestions ....... sounds like you have her best interest at heart.
     
  6. Maxine

    Maxine Companion

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    Jan 15, 2003

    encouraging reading

    Dear thumper,
    As far as I recall, this is America and I would be the last one to restrict your accessing information. Teachers are parents, usually, and parents are teachers even if it's outside the classroom. So, if shawn or Upsadaisy have no objection, I'll make a few suggestions, but I am sure there are many other great ideas out there, possibly from another teacher who is a parent and has had this situation with their own child. Have you given thought to perhaps volunteering in another class so that you can determine whether your daughter is feeling pressure you may not intend, but that she picks up. We all compare our children and we all have dreams and expectations for our children. They have to find their own strengths and dreams. Perhaps you could have her do a quick project at home with you which may be revealing. Cut out a cloud from 12"x18" white paper. Have her spread glue and silver glitter around the cloud's edge. Then write "My Three Wishes" at the top of the cloud. She can then dictate to you her three wishes for you to write down. Number them and be careful not to react to what she says, just write it down as she says it. Another day, you can have her color in a blank outline of a cartoonish adult body to look like she thinks she will look when she is grown up. Help her to label three things she will do when she is grown up (not what she wants to be.) This may help you see her as she sees herself. Many children do not like competition, which there is naturally in school. They do not engage in the competition, but look for other ways to fit in and get approval. You may be helping her more by avoiding the main stream and allowing other talents or intelligences to be uncovered. Growing up and going to school is a process, not a frozen point in time. Patience is a very important "teacher feature." As I usually say, have fun. maxine
     
  7. Amanda

    Amanda Administrator Staff Member

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    Jan 15, 2003

    Welcome, thumper.... Parents are certainly welcome here, too. After all, parents are a child's first teacher, and are an important part of their education as they go through school! :)
     
  8. thumper

    thumper New Member

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    Jan 15, 2003

    Thanks ever so much.

    Maxine, I never even considered that my presence in her class may be hurting her. Perhaps I may try your suggestion about volunteering in other classes as well. Although she seems to love it when I am there, constantly asking my to stay when I need to leave. I do interact with all the children in the class when I am there. I'd like to think I know them all pretty well. So my attention is not focused on her completely while I am there. I'll try your projects to see if they give me an insight as to what's going on. If nothing else we'll have fun.

    Upsadaisy, thanks for the welcome. We enjoy reading together. We just bought a few books at B&N about penguins, which she just adores. Peguin Post and The Little penguin are her favorite. She even has her own public library card. Although we don't do the reading in the car. We also do a game where she reads the book to me then I take the book and I get to ask her questions about the book. We switch rolls in this game to.


    Thanks for being so supportive and helpful. I just want to keep her interested in school. She does well as for grades she had all A's and a B in reading. Her conduct is very good, never in trouble. I just know she doesn't put the effort into it like she could. I'll let her know she could do better but I never let her think that I am dissappointed in her. For example one of her reading scores has dropped dramatically since last year and we have come to the conclusion that the reason is because of the lack of interest. Although she is still on the level it was significantly higher than her grade level before.

    Question: This idea just popped into my head. Has anyone tried anything like a book club with children this young? I know the girls in the class wanted to start a club but it didn't happen. It could be an after school thing as I know her teacher has to fit alot of things into such a short time. Her friends come over on occasion anyway. HMMM

    I'll go now I just realized how long this was.


    Again thanks
    Thumper
     
  9. in the loop

    in the loop Rookie

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    Jan 15, 2003

    I just started doing literature circles with my second grade class this week. I introduced them to my children as book clubs. We talked about how grown up had book clubs and discussed books and they were very impressed to be doing something so grown up. They loved it. I think you could successfully start up a book club after school with some of her friends. I had children who are rarely enthusiastic about anything who are begging to do it again.

    As far as the reading for points...that just does not motivate some children. If you child is interested in reading and reads daily then I would not push her to do it. When she is interested or her friends are winning prizes, she'll pick it up again on her own. My concern about programs like those is that some parents push their children to read so much to collect so many points that the child just gets burned out and turned off from reading at all. That is why I feel strongly that the child should choose to read for the points with out the parent pushing.

    Good luck! Parents who are interested and concerned make our job so much easier!
     
  10. clarnet73

    clarnet73 Moderator

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    Jan 16, 2003

    I'm student teaching in 2nd right now...

    We're also using literature circles (we're calling them "novel studies" because novels just seem so grown-up to 7 year olds)... some of the kids go to a Junior Great Books program during lunch once a week, they read and discuss something.... they seem to love it.

    It can definately be done with kids this age, find books they're interested in and go for it. :)

    Good luck! :)
     

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