When They Won't Do Their Work

Discussion in 'Elementary Education' started by KinderCowgirl, Feb 19, 2013.

  1. KinderCowgirl

    KinderCowgirl Phenom

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    Feb 19, 2013

    I was going to post this in the Kindergarten forum, but then I thought maybe other teachers, even if they teach older kids may have the same issue.

    I have a number of students who just don't do their work. I've talked to them about time management. I remind them they have x number of minutes left, even do a timer on the Smartboard. I monitor and redirect. When I collect the work, literally about 15 kids are not done-some just have their name on the paper. We are required to do journals, that's their sponge activity when they enter. I had kids today who still had their journals out at 2:00-and that's just copying the date, prompt and finishing the sentence. Which means they didn't finish any of the work that came after journals either.

    I can't send it home for them to do, because I want them to sound out their words and it comes back with perfectly spelled sentences-it's obvious someone wrote it out for them. I will send it home with "incomplete" on it and how long they were given to finish it, but that hasn't made any kind of impact. I just don't know what else to do. I take pics of their work several times a week for digital portfolios and haven't had anything to post for a number of students in several weeks. :(
     
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  3. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Feb 19, 2013

    K is so hard because so much is developmental...do kids know its ok to draw and label, use inventive spelling? Have you charted writing ideas?
    I wonder if you'd be better off doing a mini lesson and send off instead of this being sponge? I teach third and wouldn't have an entry be sponge.
     
  4. KinderCowgirl

    KinderCowgirl Phenom

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    Feb 19, 2013

    I do my mini-lessons when I do my lang arts block. We are required to do the journaling at that time. To me there is no excuse for not even copying the date off the board-they certainly all have the ability to do that (it may not be super-legible in all cases, but they can do it). I have kids who are actually top of the class who just won't put anything down on paper.

    It's not just writing either-it can be in math or science-any time they are being asked to do independent work.
     
  5. pwhatley

    pwhatley Maven

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    Feb 19, 2013

    I have the same problem with several of my 1sties. One absolutely refuses to do math independently. At. All. It's like pullinjg teeth to get him to do anything with numbers!

    Mine are just not doing well with writing at all this year. With the switch to common core (that they didn't have last year) and the new COMPASS teacher evaluation system (and the fact that several are STILL nonreaders... in mid-February), I'm too busy doing interventions and progress monitoring to teach writing in any depth! Ugh.
     
  6. mopar

    mopar Multitudinous

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    Feb 20, 2013

    I have a few students who really struggle with finishing work. I constantly ask myself, is this an assessment of what they can do or practice. If it is practice, I just send the worksheet home and allow parents to complete with their child. If it is an assessment, I will pull the student and work 1-1 with them, especially in writing. The common core standards do not say that K students need to write, they can dictate their writing. So you may want to pull the students up to have them dictate a few times a month (I usually will get them to sound out 1-3 words when they are dictating, so they practice but with guidance).

    I definitely wouldn't hold a student for a journal. If they haven't completed the journal in 15 minutes, put it on hold and move on. Allow them the opportunity to work on other tasks.

    For journals, I also use the computer. We have a speech dictation program, so my students can say a word and the computer will write it. Then they are just transferring. It's not very advanced, so if they try to say a sentence, it will not necessarily write it correctly (but some do anyways).
     
  7. MandaNicole01

    MandaNicole01 Habitué

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    Feb 20, 2013

    At the beginning of the year I don't stress about it...I tell them we all don't finish everything at kindergarten and usually send it home not completely finished. Now...it's almost March. We are in "get ready for first grade mode"... There is a difference between, "can't finish" and "refuses/too lazy to finish"... I have a few students who like to talk instead of work. I have done a few things that seem to nip it in the bud...I collect the unfinished work and then pass it back out during recess time for them to complete. If we go outside, I put it on a clipboard and head outside. As soon as they finish they can play. I emphasize they are not being punished...they just need more time to finish and that is the only "free time" for them to finish during the day. I also write on their paper, "Not using time wisely" with a bright marker followed by a sad face. I want parents to be aware of the situation. I have one student who loves to talk and what has been successful for her is to move her to a "table for one"...she sits alone and finishes her work very quickly! I hope these help!:)
     
  8. KinderCowgirl

    KinderCowgirl Phenom

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    Feb 21, 2013

    Thank you for your replies. I showed them a video yesterday about effort and how a little more effort can go a long way. Then I showed them their finished work from the day before (I covered the names of course)-so many blank papers-they were even shocked. I don't know how long it will last but it was better yesterday-most of them actually finished their writing assignment! :)
     
  9. mkate

    mkate Comrade

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    Feb 21, 2013

    I really like that idea (showing the unfinished papers)-- sounds like that with the video did the trick (at least for now!) Out of curiousity, is the video available online? I was intrigued and did a search and came up with this short one (212º: The extra degree) which is good but I'm not sure it would be as relevant for kindergarten.

    http://play.simpletruths.com/movie/212-the-extra-degree/
     

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