They are just not getting it

Discussion in 'Elementary Education' started by QueenB, Sep 9, 2007.

  1. QueenB

    QueenB Rookie

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    Sep 9, 2007

    OK - we're finished with week three and I'm so scared my kids are already failing! I've talked to them about their grades, and how important they are. If they fail 2nd grade, they will have to do it again next year. They just don't seem to care. I know they know how to do the work, but they just don't want to take their time and think about their answers on tests, seatwork, anything! And reading directions? When I ask them to find the directions on their page they have no idea what I'm talking about. They want to talk and play around and they just keep getting in trouble for that. We are already so behind in our curriculum that I feel like if I slow down to really teach them how to read directions, and do the activities then I'm going to be even further behind, but if I don't do that then they will never get it. I don't know what to do.
     
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  3. LAH2

    LAH2 Companion

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    Sep 9, 2007

    The beginning of the year is always tough, and every year I have to keep reminding myself of that. You should definitely take the time to review the rules and procedures of your classroom as well as any other skills that they are lacking (like finding and reading directions). Even though you may feel like you are falling behind in the curriculum, if you take the time to do this it will be beneficial in the long run because things will go smoother. Things will eventually get better, but it may take a little while because the kids are still in "summer mode." Just make sure they know your expectations and stay consistent. Good luck!
     
  4. terptoteacher

    terptoteacher Connoisseur

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    Sep 9, 2007

    I feel your pain! I think back to my kids last year at the end of the year and how much they knew and then I flash to this year--the beginning of first--and they don't know anything!!!! Asking them to turn to page 4 is torture! I physically have to walk through the room helping those that don't know how a book works to find the number 4 at the bottom of the page.

    My biggest complaint with my kiddos this year so far is that they can't seem to stay quiet. I get their attention with lots of reminders about how to do it..."you hear this bell your job is to be quiet and stay quiet" So I get their attention and i have it for about 4 seconds before they start chatting again!!! Some hum as they do their work too!!! Giving praise to those who are doing what I want by being quiet and working is starting to work. I sometimes feel like I should bribe them with candy to get them to stay quiet.


    I just have to keep
     
  5. Darkhorse

    Darkhorse Companion

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    Sep 9, 2007

    I could have written this exact thing myself. They know my quiet signals but can't seem to understand that you have to stay quiet afterwards. And the humming......:|

    I am also having issues comparing my end of the year 2nd graders last year to my new 2nd graders this year. I have just started forcing myself to not compare and realize that these kids will eventually get to the point that I need them to be.... (I hope)
     
  6. 3littlemonkeys

    3littlemonkeys Comrade

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    Sep 9, 2007

    LOL--I am having the same problem getting my kids to find the right page! I say "Turn to page 4, 'Writing Sentences,'" and I wind up with half the class on page 4, a third on page 4 of the introduction, and the rest looking at the table of contents where it has a big 4 for Chapter 4--or else randomly on page iii or something at the beginning, lol. I have a few that hum, too.

    I have been teaching mine about directions as we do our work, because we too need the extensive work on procedures but also have a lot of material to cover. They will eventually be doing workbook pages as independent work, but last week, I walked them through it, step by step. "First, tear the page out of your book. Next, put your book away. Now, what do you think you should do next? Hmm, we will do that, but not yet...yes! Write your name on your paper! Ok, I want each of you to write your name on your paper, up at the top where it says "Name." Now, who can find the word "Directions?" Yes, right there at the top. Everyone, put your finger on the word "Directions." _____, please read what it says next to "Directions." (student reads: circle all the word groups that are complete sentences) So what are we going to do? Are we going to underline the sentences?" etc.

    OH MAN it was painful, lol. But seriously, if I don't walk them through this now, I am going to get a handful of papers later with nouns circled and verbs underlined instead of vice versa, kids copying sentences when they were supposed to add words to them, etc. I just keep telling myself that a month from now, they're going to know what they're doing and this will all have been worth it!
     
  7. terptoteacher

    terptoteacher Connoisseur

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    Sep 9, 2007

    oops got interupted and didn't finish


    I just need to keep the faith--they will learn!
     
  8. heartofateacher

    heartofateacher Companion

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    Sep 9, 2007

    They will get it. They don't really understand grades per se. They understand that 100 is good and 0 is bad. :) But lecturing them about grades is probably useless. Explain that they should do their best, which I'm sure you have. I tell them they have a certain amount of time to copy things from the board and when that time passes I start to erase it. Yes, several of them miss some of it, but it pushes them to speed up. I also talk to mine about repeating 2nd grade and that they have to work hard to get awards because I don't give them freely. This seems to work with my class. But it usually takes a month or maybe more for them to start to really get in the flow of things. But they will get it. I have had several teachers say that my kids can run my class when I'm not there and that's what I want. It doesn't happen overnight though. It happens over a period of many weeks. Be patient. It will come...
     
  9. MissHunny

    MissHunny Comrade

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    Sep 9, 2007

    About grades- I actually don't really talk to the kids to much about grades...I want them to always try their best whether I am grading it or not. I think that when I do start talking about "tests" and "grades" many of the kids stress out .
     
  10. Charger

    Charger Companion

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    Sep 9, 2007

    QueenB, if you figure out how to get kids to care about what they are learning, let me know. I teach 6,7,8 math and they just don't care either, or at least most of them don't seem to.
     
  11. cinaminsweet

    cinaminsweet Companion

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    Sep 9, 2007

    I don't know if this would work for you, but I always go for a little friendly competition in my classroom. When we take our math quizzes and such, I make a big deal over the kids with the high scores and those who improved a lot since their last quiz. I put their work on my super star bulletin board and ask "Okay, who's going to join this bunch next week?" You just have to be careful with it, because there are of course the kids who ARE trying their best, but they just won't get good grades no matter what. So I always try to mention to them something that they did on their quiz that was good and tell them to see if they can do that same thing next time. And for the lazy ones (the ones who CAN make good grades, but just CHOOSE not to put forth the effort to do so) I always act shocked and indignant when reading their scores and go into this big thing about how I'm sure next week they will do this and that to make sure they get the best score they are capable of. It's worked for the majority of the kids in my class as they all strive to be on my super star board and to get one of my award certificates to take home and show their parents.

    Also, as for them taking too long to find a page or whatever, this also worked for me when I taught first and second grades. I sat my students in teams (groups of 4) and whichever group was ready first (on the right page, sitting quietly, name and date at the top) would get marbles in their jar and at the end of the week I'd count up the marbles and see which team had the most and they got a treat.
     
  12. Charger

    Charger Companion

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    Sep 9, 2007

    I usually struggle to make it thru all the curriculum, but I have an idea that I got from a 6th grade math teacher at a school where I worked at for a while.

    All week, he would time the kids on how long it took to get thru transitions (amount over how long it should take them) or to get quiet when they were supposed to be and deduct that from a 20 minute period on Friday where he would play math games with them. However much time was left over on Thursday is how much time they would have to play.

    I need something to make them want to at least follow procedures and pay attention. If I use this, am I wasting time that could be used for curriculum? And do you think I'm going to get flack from parents because we're playing games?
     

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