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Needy Students- promoting independence.

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Needy Students- promoting independence.
Old 02-12-2011, 09:00 AM
 
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I'm at a loss.. we're past the 100th day and some of my students still can't do simple things for themselves. A pencil breaks they sit there instead of putting it in the can and getting another- which we've been doing since September. They need glue but can't get the glue out of the big glue container(push top) and don't know how to twist the bottle open out of a small bottle(I've modeled and remodeled both) so they sit there instead. We spent a day or 2 talking about problems that might happen in the classroom and outside where you had to use your head and decide what to do. Am I being unrealistic about knowing to go get a pencil or asking someone to borrow glue or help you with glue at your table if you can't get it to work??

This is mainly during Guided Reading where I can't help with glue but the pencil thing happens all day long.

Maybe I'm spoiled because even my KINDERS from last year were so much more independent in May than it seems my First Graders are in Jan/Feb. Are your students like this? What can I do to get some of these students to become independent??


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Old 02-12-2011, 09:10 AM
 
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I think this is semi-typical and varies with each class. Along with the SOLs I try to teach my class problem solving skills. I even refer to it as "problem solving" and when such instances occur my response is "problem solve". We do stations in my class during my guided reading time and I have heterogenous groups of students, so usually the "higher" level thinkers can help the ones that struggle. Maybe you could try designating a helper of the week, who can help those students who are so "needy" when you're unavailable. I hope you can figure it out.
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Old 02-12-2011, 10:05 AM
 
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I definitely have 3-4 students who could help students solve these problems. So that's certainly an idea, thanks! We've being calling it "Thinking Smart". I'm just thinking into 2nd grade and the transition and just think these are simple independence skills.. this one student who has these problems, I've talked and talked to his mother because he can't tie his shoe and just finally mastered zipping his coat not because he's physically unable because they don't make him. So I'm worried how the transition to 2nd is going to be for him because our 2nd grader teachers are expecting a lot of independence.
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Old 02-12-2011, 02:40 PM
 
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I'm thinking this child has grown accustomed to people doing things for him. I have two students just like that. One that the parents baby and he can do no wrong and the other one just doesn't understand because her mom usually just tells her what to do. But in those situations they learned because I'm not going to do it for them.

One thing I have in my class is table captains...my students don't have individual cubbies so table captains make sure everyone has what they need (if they can't get it for themselves.) When I need to pass out items like the chalkboards or dry-erase boards, my table captains make sure that's handled. During centers I make sure I have at least one higher student in all of my groups. We just started using xtramath.org I gave one student the clipboard with the passwords on them...She should everyone in the class how to log in and now they all know their numbers.

I guess I find little ways to make my students independent.
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independence
Old 02-12-2011, 05:45 PM
 
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Another thing you might do is when an issue arises is ask the student "what's the problem?" that way they have to hear themselves say what's wrong - then ask "what can you do to fix it?" again, they hear themselves say what the answer is, then tell them they have until the count of 5 (or whatever) to get their problem fixed. Then we all give a handclap and cheer that the problem was fixed (this only during the first 6 weeks) It seems that when kids are very immature emotionally, they tend to be clueless. I have one student that when she gets sick (it's happened twice) she just sits and vomits, wont even wipe her mouth... its definitely a weird situation. For the other normal problems, they do eventually get it done.


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Old 02-13-2011, 08:04 AM
 
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Hello,
My students are not so needy this year but they have been in the past. The example of the pencils is shocking though. They should be familiar with that routine! Here is a suggestion it's called 3 before me. You can discuss and post this in the room.

Ask yourself::

Can I solve this problem?

Does it need to be solved right now now? (As in a tattle)

Can a friend help me?

If they answer no then and only then can they raise their hand or come to you. Also I make a closed and open sign that I wear during centers/guided reading groups. If I am closed with a red sign (unless it is a major emergency) they are to not distrupt me at all. The sign is a great visual reminder. You can make it with red and green construction paper, cut a circle and then glue the pieces togeher and attach a string.

Good luck!
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Old 02-13-2011, 10:24 AM
 
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I have the same problem. My students don't ever do anything for themselves, only a few in my room I know can be independent.

For example, we discuss what to do everyday before we go to reading centers (I CHAMP the activity....) We discuss what you need to do if you need a pencil or if you need help. Then everyday a have the same problems, like with the pencils, their pencil breaks then they sit there until I have to interrupt my small reading group to ask them why they are not working, they always say "My pencil is broken" then I say "Well, what do you need to do then?" they always reply, "Go get a new one from the basket" and then they will do so. I just don't understand why they need me to prompt them when they know the answer. They do this with everything all day. I even have students who act like they are unable to write their name when a person who is new comes into the room when they are able to write phonetically and can write their own name...I wish I knew how to make them motivated to be more independent....
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Lack of Independence
Old 02-13-2011, 10:45 AM
 
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My students are like this and then some....I have one that rolls around on the floor and cries "loudly" (mainly fit throwing) when asked to follow any rule he doesn't want to....unclogging glue, getting a sharpened pencil or actually moving something in your desk to look for something is virtually impossible for my students this year. This is my first "young" class. Most of them will not turn 7 until June, July or August. I do think this is a factor, but also more and more I have students that are babied or raised by grandparents or have a horredous home life. All of these are contributing factors. In January I had to end all stations. They simply could not handle it and I could not work with my 2 low groups.......I say continue to teach independence....it will catch on.
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Old 02-14-2011, 05:58 PM
 
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During whole group time I tell them what they need, and yes I have quite a few boys who just sit there, so if I see that I tell them you have 5 seconds to get ready and I count down, it works great...Or I tell the class if they beat me getting ready they get a point. During guided reading I just tell them, ask a friend, or I ask a student to help so and so--I have a few attention kiddos in my class and it is very frustrating b/c they have a hard time working independently. If they don't get their work done they have to do it during recess. They need to learn to figure things out and get their work done.
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