Am I expecting too much?? - ProTeacher Community





jmhurst07 jmhurst07 is offline
 
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Am I expecting too much??
Old 02-01-2011, 10:20 AM
 
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I am always battling myself because I am unsure of whether I am expecting too much. My students are struggling with staying on task and completing tasks. They are expected to read independently for 20 minutes and write independently for 20 minutes. At this time I am pulling small groups or conferencing with students. However, I have a few Kindergartners and First Graders who are unable to stay on task (write / read). If I pull them in a small group then they are able to stay focused but otherwise they are off task. Is it too much to expect this of them?? I have left crying because I feel like I am such a Grinch when I tell them that this is what I expect and it is not an option. Also, I struggle because centers are not recommended and my students do not explore on their own. I teach a mini lesson and the students apply what is taught in writing / reading/ etc. They are then told to come back to the carpet to share. This is my first year so I feel that I am really unsure of what to expect. I hate that it is already so far into the year but I kept thinking that if I give the students time they would build up the stamina to do so. This has not happened. Please help!!!

Also, I started a reward program but am questioning my intentions. Is it wrong to teach students to only behave for extrinsic rewards?? Is this hurting their ability to become self motivated individuals? Or is this appropriate for this age group?


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mrshollywood mrshollywood is offline
 
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Old 02-01-2011, 05:17 PM
 
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I am a first year teacher too. I teach 4th grade and must do centers during my reading and math block. Let me tell you, I'm having a good day when 12 of the 19 actually accomplish ALL of the work they are required to do during these center/independent work time. I can't imagine expecting a k-1 student to sit and read or write for 20 minutes solid, if that's what you are saying they have to do.

I don't know anything about your school, curriculum, or any details for that matter, but here are some things that help my to keep them on task.

-between each small group I meet with I do a 1-2 minute walk through of my room. I bring a clipboard and jot quick notes about students off task and students working diligently. I also redirect and answer questions if I can. Like I said, it's only 1-2 minutes and I really use a timer (we have a VERY tight schedule)

-I make sure to give my kids a break. Although they are in the same center for 60 min. 15-20 of those minutes are spent on the computer and 15 minutes in my small group. This way only about 25-30 minutes is actual independent work

-I have a specific rotation that I use for each group and where they go in what order. This took some time to figure out, as in which students could handle waiting to be last with me and last one the computer, but it helps those that need a change of scenery more often.

As rewards go, I don't see anything wrong with it. Obviously it will work better for some students than others, but if it gets them to get their work done and keeps them learning I don't know why it would be bad. I use tickets as a reward (earn tickets and trade them for treasure box goodies). When I do my walk through I might jot down a student that is doing exceptionally well and reward them with tickets after centers. I also use the tickets as a form of payment. If they are not making good choices, they might have to pay me a ticket or two.

Hope this helps at least a little. I don't really know much about your situation, but I do know how frustrating it can be. Good luck!
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Daily 5
Old 02-01-2011, 07:55 PM
 
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Look in the Peony room on info for this. It sounds like you could benefit from implementing this management system in your room. THere is a Daily 5 for DUmmies manual somewhere in the Peony room. It walks you step by step. You spend about 25 days training the students and helping them build stamina.

It REALLY works. Patience and consistency is key. Best wishes!
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Daily 5 - build stamina
Old 02-02-2011, 07:31 AM
 
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I second thing1thing2. Do some research on building stamina. If some of your kiddos are already able to stay on task 20 minutes, then apply the pacing to those who can't and work them up. I started using ideas from Daily 5 2nd semester a couple of years ago, and it went really well. In my experience, most kiddos are on a television pacing (10 minutes MAX and they get a break) They really need some stamina built so they can stay on task for testing. Lots of kids know the info being tested, they just can't attend long enough to demonstrate working independently. Try it.
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Love and Logic
Old 02-06-2011, 09:38 AM
 
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I'm a first year teacher too, teaching 7th grade. I was having issues with students taking their "work time" to socialize. Let's just say that my reaction was not good. After talking it through with my mentor, she suggested that I try out Love and Logic. Let me tell you, what a difference! The various techniques the book suggests put the behavior and accountability on the students--not the teacher. I'm feeling so much better teaching these days. It's worth a shot and works for all student age levels.


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Stamina practice... Graph it
Old 02-06-2011, 01:53 PM
 
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To build stamina make it a class goal to reach a certain amount of time (Start small). Tell them your goal to start is 5 minutes or something you know they can reach. Get out a timer and as soon as the first student falls off track stop, return them to their decks and graph the time. The next day have them all look at the graph, discuss the long term (example: 45min) and short term goal (example: 1 min more than yesterday), time them again and graph it. Once the class meets the goal dish out some rewards
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hoot_hoot hoot_hoot is offline
 
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Daily 5
Old 03-29-2011, 05:01 PM
 
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is amazing! I really had my doubts but after modeling and "practicing" as much as we did my second graders could read for an hour straight if I let them! They love it! I actually had a student this morning who was reading with a partner come back to his partner after being pulled and asked "hey what did I miss?!" You should definitely check it out!
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