Student really doesn't give a rat's behind about school

Discussion in 'Fifth Grade' started by Peachyness, Aug 25, 2007.

  1. Peachyness

    Peachyness Virtuoso

    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2006
    Messages:
    6,181
    Likes Received:
    1

    Aug 25, 2007

    I have a student who really doesn't care about school. I had my students write a letter to themselves for Writers workshop about what they think 5th grade will be like. Everyone was really optimistic, but this student of mine only wrote, I wish we didn't have to go to school.

    She turned in only 1 homework assignment. She doesn't try in class. She's clueless and can't do the work. I just got my test scores back from last year for all of my students and she is EXTREMELY LOW in math and L.A. I'm sure that's a good reason for her not trying. She just doesn't get it or understand. I have no clue on how to help her. I tried on the first day of school and she refused to talk to me. She wouldn't tell me what she didn't help with, how I could help. I told her that I struggled in math when I was growing up and that I understood how frustrating math could be. I got her to do something different at least, but I can't do that with every assignment!

    I'm at a loss as to how to help her. I believe she's on an IEP because she does go to a reading resource room for most of the morning. She will be going soon.
     
  2.  
  3. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

    Joined:
    May 13, 2005
    Messages:
    29,706
    Likes Received:
    1,122

    Aug 25, 2007

    That's hard, Peachy. You have my sympathies. Sounds like there's a genuine downward spiral here.

    Wonder if there's a grandparents' group in your area that might be interesting in coming to your room to work with her...
     
  4. Danigirl

    Danigirl Rookie

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2007
    Messages:
    28
    Likes Received:
    0

    Aug 25, 2007

    That is a tough one. My suggestion would be to try and find something that she really likes (a certain topic) and is interested in and try to incorporate that into as many lessons as possible. My younger sister had a learning disability related to reading and she wouldn't read much, then she discovered that she had a passion for learning about the Titanic. It was the first time we could get her to look forward to reading and she would write pages of notes on the topic.
     
  5. Peachyness

    Peachyness Virtuoso

    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2006
    Messages:
    6,181
    Likes Received:
    1

    Aug 25, 2007

    I've had them fill out a ton of questionnaires for that very reason.

    OY! Okay, on one of the questionnaire she wrote:
    how do you spend your free time? Sit down and do nothing
    what is something you do well? watch tv
    My feelings about school: I don't like it

    The rest she left blank


    I like her. She seems interesting. But, she has this hard shell. She won't tell me what's up. This is so frustrating. Not only is this a brand new grade, with new curriculum to learn, but I also need to learn how to deal with this age group.

    During tests, she just sits there. She tries one problem, then erases it. I don't want to embarrass her, but I do really want to help her.
     
  6. Upsadaisy

    Upsadaisy Moderator

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2002
    Messages:
    18,935
    Likes Received:
    679

    Aug 25, 2007

    Why didn't they provide her IEP for you?

    I really don't think that any child truly doesn't care. By 5th grade, some kids who haven't experienced success are very aware of that and they shut down. They may not be willing to risk trying because in their experience, it only causes embarrassment and continued failure.

    Also, a 5th grader wouldn't necessarily know what you can do to help her. How could she? It will take time to develop a relationship. I think that all you can do is provide opportunities for success - call on her when you know there's a good chance she can answer, encourage every effort she shows, make sure you have reading material at her level, make use of books on tape (I had to get my reading and social studies curriculum on tape because of one or two kids), match her with an appropriate partner for group work, and, of course, see if her IEP sheds any light. Are alternative assessment methods suggested?
     
  7. sunfl3815

    sunfl3815 Rookie

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2005
    Messages:
    59
    Likes Received:
    0

    Aug 25, 2007

    I'm not sure how it works where you are...but ouir students with IEP's get modifications. You shoul dbe aware already of her IEP and what mod's she shoul dbe getting. I had students in 5th grade who were on a 2nd grade reading level...so they woul dhave been very frustrated to be doing the same work as everyone else.
     
  8. uclalum

    uclalum Groupie

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2005
    Messages:
    1,257
    Likes Received:
    0

    Aug 25, 2007

    Upsadaisy is right about how this child probably feels. She probably knows that she hasn't excelled academically and she is using her only known defense mechanism to prevent feeling failure. This of course is her not doing work and showing disdain towards learning. It's easier for her to say she hates learning than try and end up failing.
    Last year I found out that I was most likely going to get a few troubled kids. I decided to include them in my rules and procedures video. We spent 2-3 hours recording the video, laughing, and getting to know each other. On the last day of school the two boys helped me collect textbooks from the kids and put them in the closet. I feel like they know me now and want to please me. We will see what happens on the first day of school.
    Try to praise and love this girl as much as possible. I mean even overdo it! Have her stay in at recess if she wants and help you around the room. Laugh with her and make her feel important. She doesn't hate school, she just hates the way it makes her feel.
    Do what you can, but if you can't get through to her, always remember that you have more than 20 other kids who need you.
     
  9. MissNikki

    MissNikki Comrade

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2004
    Messages:
    294
    Likes Received:
    0

    Aug 25, 2007

    I second the concern about the IEP issue. You should already have gotten her IEP with information about her learning style, necessary modifications, etc. This is your primary concern for right now.
     
  10. Peachyness

    Peachyness Virtuoso

    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2006
    Messages:
    6,181
    Likes Received:
    1

    Aug 25, 2007

    Yes, I have no clue where those things are. Our school is undergoing remodernization and so all cums, documents, files were sent to other schools for safe keeping. I will have to ask where, when, and how I can get my hands on her IEP.
     
  11. kabd54

    kabd54 Cohort

    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2005
    Messages:
    520
    Likes Received:
    0

    Aug 25, 2007

    Did she attend your school last year? If so, maybe you could talk to last year's teacher and get a head's up regarding the info on the IEP. If nothing else, s/he could give you a good idea as to the student's level.
     
  12. noreenk

    noreenk Cohort

    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2007
    Messages:
    631
    Likes Received:
    0

    Aug 25, 2007

    talk to the parents and her previous teachers! see what's been done before so you have a good starting point.
     
  13. Ms.Jasztal

    Ms.Jasztal Maven

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2005
    Messages:
    5,363
    Likes Received:
    0

    Aug 26, 2007

    You need to get the IEP and talk to the parents ASAP. Speak with last year's resource teacher, particularly. See if the parents have the same attitude as her concerning school. Take a notepad down to the cum room as well and get some essential information on her. Last but not least, document, document, document!

    I'd also see how many words she can read per minute. Try fluency with her once this week, and if she reads 70 words or less entering, that's a major red flag coming up. Comprehension may most likely be inhibited if she's sitting there, trying to decode. Still, 70-110 at this time isn't phenomenal, but there may be strengths- she might just be slow at comprehension, though she may be decent with it. Every year, I have had at least one student in that range, and this year, one who isn't even close, but I'm patient with him and he's realizing his education is my concern. :)

    Or... the funniest situation of all... maybe she's extremely smart and she's trying to see how far you'll go... or try to convince you of something. I've had small scenarios like that this year.
     
  14. Ms.Jasztal

    Ms.Jasztal Maven

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2005
    Messages:
    5,363
    Likes Received:
    0

    Aug 26, 2007

    I know the feeling. Last week, I had a boy do 6 multiplication problems in a minute (the 2's, which sends up a red flag)... but... I praised him and asked if he tried. He nodded, and I told him, "You know what? I am proud of you. That's what matters right now. Just try."

    In reading, he reads about 10 words a minute. He struggles.

    He knows I know. I told him we'll work as much together as possible.

    He also loves our class pets and wants to check on them at least 2-3 times a day. He gets really excited, and that is the time where I see him laugh. We then laugh together, and he listens to me about caring about them. He's VERY gentle with them. That's one of his strengths- I am so glad I discovered at least one of the areas where he's strong.

    Then he turned out doing his homework this week, so I can tell he cares about what I say!! :woot: I tell my students that I like them a great deal and their education is a major concern of mine, always.

    Keep us updated! :wub:
     
  15. shouldbeasleep

    shouldbeasleep Enthusiast

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2007
    Messages:
    2,233
    Likes Received:
    0

    Aug 28, 2007

    Wow! Terrific advice. I have one that comes to me for one period a day with other very low readers. We're trying to give them extra reading during the Social Studies period, so I'm teaching SS a different way with them. She acts just like your student, and she does have an IEP. I know I've reached her because she stops and hugs me in the hall. I think it's because we have a blast in there with other troubled learners. Put downs are handled seriously, andthey're away for one period from other kids who don't have so much difficulty, so they're so much more willing to speak up and interact.
    But if you can't do that, I'd follow the "make her feel special to the teacher" method--one on one when the others aren't around, or please pass out the papers, or something to make her more active in the class setting. Pick your battles with her regarding classwork. In the long run, you do have 20 other children who need your teaching, and what she seems to need is special counseling.
     
  16. Peachyness

    Peachyness Virtuoso

    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2006
    Messages:
    6,181
    Likes Received:
    1

    Aug 28, 2007

    I've gotten her excited about science. She was really, REALLY interested in our science experiment today. I was so glad. Yesterday, she answered a question right in science. She ALSO wrote a story during writers workshop about a jack rabbit that she saw in the mountains and today she read it OUT LOUD in class. I am feeling really proud of her. She still hates math and today refused to take the multiplication test. She also checked three books out for readers workshop.


    Yesterday, I mentioned to her reading resource how I would like some tips/ideas on how to help my kid. She only said, "yeah, she has an attitude" and that she's not motivated about school. I heard from other teachers that the resource teacher is not really helpful. I'll ask her again when I see her.
     
  17. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

    Joined:
    May 13, 2005
    Messages:
    29,706
    Likes Received:
    1,122

    Aug 29, 2007

    As well you should!

    See if there's something here that might engage her... she might like the Penrose books by T. Pappas (Penrose is a cat with a bent for math). Or try Go Figure by Johnny Ball, another fine effort from Dorling Kindersley.
    Phooey on the resource teacher! (Can I get away with saying that?)
     
  18. Peachyness

    Peachyness Virtuoso

    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2006
    Messages:
    6,181
    Likes Received:
    1

    Aug 29, 2007


    Thanks for the book ideas. I will definatley look into those!

    And yes, you can say phooey!! I've said worse :eek:
     

Share This Page

Members Online Now

  1. msleep,
  2. futuremathsprof,
  3. renrupa2u,
  4. Ima Teacher
Total: 385 (members: 6, guests: 355, robots: 24)
test