Slooooow Worker

Discussion in 'Elementary Education' started by otterpop, Oct 5, 2016.

  1. otterpop

    otterpop Phenom

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    Oct 5, 2016

    What can be done for a capable, sweet student who is ridiculously slow at completing work?

    The student is a daydreamer and says the room is "too loud" or "distracting" even if it's very quiet.

    Frequent check-ins don't seem to do much. Taking away recess, emailing home, or taking away points doesn't seem to accomplish much. Moving seats helps slightly sometimes, but not always.

    I could try rewards, but this student is totally capable when putting their mind to it, and... rewards just don't seem right. But I guess that's the next step. I also don't think it's an issue of needing a shorter assignment, because when that "I should get this done" switch flips, the work gets done quickly. However, this kid can sit at their desk quietly for an hour (literally) and get only one or two sentences written down.

    There are no tantrums, rude behavior, excessive talking, etc. The student looks like they're thinking. However, no work gets done.

    Ideas?
     
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  3. MissScrimmage

    MissScrimmage Aficionado

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    Oct 5, 2016

    Sometimes a timer is a great motivator - simply playing a game of 'beat the clock.'
    Also, ADD can look this way in some students, especially girls. The inability to focus on a task does not always include hyperactivity. Something to consider....
     
  4. swansong1

    swansong1 Virtuoso

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    Oct 6, 2016

    I have a student just like that. I teach from a kidney table, and having him sit there seems to motivate him. The other teacher in the room occasionally lets him sit in the teacher chair (because he is so well behaved) and that is also a motivation.

    On a side note, my student is on meds for ADD. Is there any way you could meet with the parents and discuss the issue? I know you can't actually talk meds in public school, but you can ask if they have a Dr appt soon that they could discuss behaviors you are seeing in class.
     
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  5. Newkindermom

    Newkindermom Rookie

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    Oct 6, 2016

    Have you looked into processing speed disorder? It looks a lot like ADD.. And can even go together with it. It could be the student is having trouble processing info either auditory, visually, or the processing speed between thinking and writing aren't matching up making work really difficult. The student could need accommodations like extended time, a quiet work space, graphic organizers, or shortened assignments.
     
  6. otterpop

    otterpop Phenom

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    Oct 6, 2016

    Thanks all. Yes, I've thought of ADD as well. It's a tough topic to bring up with a parent and not sure how... (obviously, I know I can't say "ADD").
    This is a good way of bringing it up, and I may do this. I just don't think the parents realize how bad it is. I have a feeling mentioning talking to a doctor will be a surprise for them. We do have a meeting scheduled soon.

    I ended up failing this student on their last assessment, because the student didn't get the work done and I felt it needed to be done to show the parents how serious the issue is. The final score was about 15%... not because the student didn't know the content, but because the student got only a few questions answered in multiple hours.
     
  7. teacherintexas

    teacherintexas Maven

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    Oct 6, 2016

    Headphones and a study carrol?
     
  8. otterpop

    otterpop Phenom

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    Nov 16, 2016

    Update:

    After a conference with this student's parents, there has been some improvement. I'd say that an assignment that would take a normal child 10 minutes now takes this child 20 minutes, whereas as it would have been 60 pre-conference. It's not bad when it's a short, 10 minute assignment, but considering I have this child for about 2 hours, I just don't have four hours to give the student to complete all of the work I assign. When the work is completed, it's good work. :confused: This is a sweet, fairly mature kid, and I think prizes or other external motivation might be kind of babyish for them. Taking away recess makes no difference because the student really doesn't mind coming in to work on it. I'm still not quite sure what to do!

    Maybe I'll give a small group table a chance, and pull this student and a few others over to work with me. It's not my usual style - I normally circulate the room - but I'll try it tomorrow. Music does help the student block out distractions I think.

    I should add, since several mentioned timers, that I use this already with somewhat neutral success.
     
    Last edited: Nov 17, 2016
  9. lacombk191

    lacombk191 New Member

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    Nov 17, 2016

    I also have a student like that. I opted not to have a desk this year and to have a kidney table. I pull that student over during tests because they seem to work quicker.

    Something else that is worth trying is a timer. I will say to them "How much do you think you can do for me in a minute?" and I'll set the timer for a minute. Usually they get more done in that minute than they would in 10.
     

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