Parents are not being parents and I'm held responsible - ProTeacher Community


Home Join Now Search My Favorites
Help


      The VENT

Parents are not being parents and I'm held responsible

>

Reply
 
Thread Tools
MiddleMan MiddleMan is offline
 
Joined: Oct 2016
Posts: 18
New Member

MiddleMan
 
Joined: Oct 2016
Posts: 18
New Member
Parents are not being parents and I'm held responsible
Old 11-03-2017, 07:54 AM
 
Clip to ScrapBook #1

I found out that a majority of my 4th-grade students have very low Lexile scores, I'm talking K-2nd-grade levels. I decided to send home a note to the parents, that the students would be sent home a book from the library every night w/ a worksheet and they need to help them read the book. To make it easier for the kids, I only send book reports and vocabulary work and occasionally a worksheet of math. So every morning when I collect the book reports, they are never done, some of the students don't even have the book. I call the parents for the SECOND time. After telling them about what I'm going to do for the week. Most of them don't answer, and some of them give me the little excuse I've heard a million times already in my first two years. "I wasn't good at reading growing up." Then when the principal meets with us, she asks me why do I have all these F's in reading and I tell her that the parents are not helping me nor the kids complete homework. She basically told me that I need to find a way to get a process that works. I sent a book report over the long 3-day weekend, let's see if they do it this time.


MiddleMan is offline   Reply With Quote

msd2
 
 
Guest

msd2
 
 
Guest

Old 11-03-2017, 08:27 AM
 
Clip to ScrapBook #2

Have you considered that some of them might be functionally illiterate?
  Reply With Quote
Cat woman's Avatar
Cat woman Cat woman is offline
 
Joined: Dec 2009
Posts: 4,497
Senior Member

Cat woman
 
Cat woman's Avatar
 
Joined: Dec 2009
Posts: 4,497
Senior Member

Old 11-03-2017, 08:52 AM
 
Clip to ScrapBook #3

Hmmm ..... I do wonder if book reports are the best way to get better at reading? What does your reading program look like? Are you teaching whole group, guided reading/strategy groups, using a basal? I know in our district we can not expect much to happen at home and have to do what we can within our school day.
Cat woman is offline   Reply With Quote
NerdTeach's Avatar
NerdTeach NerdTeach is offline
 
Joined: Aug 2017
Posts: 45
Junior Member

NerdTeach
 
NerdTeach's Avatar
 
Joined: Aug 2017
Posts: 45
Junior Member

Old 11-03-2017, 08:59 AM
 
Clip to ScrapBook #4

What about instead of book reports, you could have the students write two things that they really liked about the story and two things that they didn't like or would have done differently than the main character?

They might find these more motivating to answer and it also gives the "why" of why we read! We read to identify with characters and learn about life. Even the little, simple books do this. So use it to your advantage.

Also, those types of questions can't really be answered unless they have read the book.

Would your principal be open to having independent reading time during class? We used to have quiet reading time at the end of Friday's to encourage reading.
NerdTeach is offline   Reply With Quote
bookgeek59's Avatar
bookgeek59 bookgeek59 is offline
 
Joined: Jun 2008
Posts: 13,338
Senior Member

bookgeek59
 
bookgeek59's Avatar
 
Joined: Jun 2008
Posts: 13,338
Senior Member

Old 11-03-2017, 09:57 AM
 
Clip to ScrapBook #5

I think you may have parents who are functionally literate, and/or had terrible experiences with their own education. This makes them feel dumb, incapable, like bad parents, you name it. They definitely are none of those things.

Ideas:
1- Spend some class time with your kids making "make and take" games they can take home to play with their parent(s). Have them write a sentence or two about what they learned, or have quick feedback talks with them. Make copies of the games for use in your class, too.
2- Invite parents in to a make and take workshop. I did this a few times a year when I taught elementary reading in a high need school.
3- Give families info on different apps they could load to their phone or other device. Have them screenshot their child's score to you.
4- Have family game nights (or during the last hour of the school day) that involve learning games.


bookgeek59 is offline   Reply With Quote
cruxian's Avatar
cruxian cruxian is online now
 
Joined: Dec 2011
Posts: 6,359
Senior Member

cruxian
 
cruxian's Avatar
 
Joined: Dec 2011
Posts: 6,359
Senior Member

Old 11-03-2017, 10:22 AM
 
Clip to ScrapBook #6

We've been told flat out that we can't rely upon anything being done outside of school. Because to be honest, we can't. I'm not with them. I have no idea what is going on at home. I literally can't make them read at home. I do tell them it's homework and that's the expectations but you know what? I can't do make them. I can't make the parents help.
So move on from the assumption that making them read at home will fix things.
Concentrate on what you can do in your classroom. What are you doing in the classroom?
cruxian is online now   Reply With Quote
PrivateEyes's Avatar
PrivateEyes PrivateEyes is online now
 
Joined: Oct 2005
Posts: 3,377
Blog Entries: 5
Senior Member

PrivateEyes
 
PrivateEyes's Avatar
 
Joined: Oct 2005
Posts: 3,377
Senior Member
4th grade students
Old 11-03-2017, 11:09 AM
 
Clip to ScrapBook #7

By the time students get to fourth grade, they (not their parents) should be responsible for completing their homework and they (not their parents) need to be held accountable.

Their parents "little excuses" are a confession that they are not able to help their children become better readers, and that they are looking to you, their child's teacher, to help their child succeed.

So when your principal asks why all these children are failing Reading, and your answer is that they are not doing their homework, I am not surprised that she would not find this an acceptable answer.

My answer would be something like this:

Quote:
Johnny came into 4th grade reading on a DRA level 18 (end of first grade). Therefore, his scores on grade level appropriate texts are an average of 52% out of 100%. His scores on classwork, because they are highly scaffolded, average at 79%, and his homework average is 30%. In class, I am seeing him 30 minutes per day in small group instruction, and the school interventionist sees him for an additional 30 minutes.

In my small group instruction, we are working on books at a DRA level 20-24, and I intend to administer the DRA at the beginning of next quarter to see if he has progressed. We've been concentrating on using visualization strategies and identifying the main idea of a paragraph, as well as predicting and text to self connections.

I reserve Fridays for reviewing previously administered tests and practicing close reading strategies.

Johnny has increased his sight work recognition from 188 basic sight words at the beginning of the year to 210 sight words presently. He is practicing his reading fluency during station time. He has increased his reading fluency from 45 words per minute to 53 words per minute.
See, when your principal asks "why are they failing," what she is really asking is, "what are you doing to help this child read better." You need to be prepared to answer THAT question, and not blame the parents for not doing enough.
PrivateEyes is online now   Reply With Quote
Peaches Pears Peaches Pears is offline
 
Joined: Mar 2009
Posts: 7,085
Senior Member

Peaches Pears
 
Joined: Mar 2009
Posts: 7,085
Senior Member

Old 11-03-2017, 11:24 AM
 
Clip to ScrapBook #8

The parents are telling you they can't read. They are not able to provide an environment rich in literacy.

Do you use volunteers?
Might be quite helpful for your kids.

I wouldn't do a book report every night or weekend.

Ask you principal what she would recommend since home is not able to help.

ETA --- This is not your problem alone to solve. It is a community problem. Your admin needs to contribute to the solution. eg Family Literacy Nights, Family Fun Nights to show parents how to embed reading and literacy in every day activities.
Peaches Pears is offline   Reply With Quote
travelingfar's Avatar
travelingfar travelingfar is offline
 
Joined: May 2017
Posts: 543
Full Member

travelingfar
 
travelingfar's Avatar
 
Joined: May 2017
Posts: 543
Full Member
Book Reports
Old 11-03-2017, 11:41 AM
 
Clip to ScrapBook #9

Requiring students to do a book report every night is too much. They are going to eventually dislike reading because they will associate it with numerous worksheets that needed to be completed.

You can't control what the parents do or don't do at home. Do the best you can with your students in your classroom. It isn't always easy, but there isn't much you can change about their home environments. Good luck.

Last edited by travelingfar; 11-03-2017 at 02:27 PM..
travelingfar is offline   Reply With Quote
KatrynG's Avatar
KatrynG KatrynG is offline
 
Joined: Sep 2015
Posts: 226
Full Member

KatrynG
 
KatrynG's Avatar
 
Joined: Sep 2015
Posts: 226
Full Member
In-class book discussions
Old 11-03-2017, 03:00 PM
 
Clip to ScrapBook #10

Try in-class book discussions to jump-start your students' reading skills. Today, I read the picture-book, Carnivores to a group of low lexile level 7th and 8th grade students. We had a very interesting conversation every couple of pages. We talked about the 5W/1H questions to promote reading comprehension and help the students to connect with background relevancy.

They had a lot to say about the characters: lion, shark, timber wolf, and the owl. We laughed about every other page! I think they added new words to their vocabularies, too! I'm sure this is one simple book they won't forget.

I usually read books like this to 3rd through 6th graders, and then have students write something about the stories using the Who-What-When-Where-Why and How? questions... tell me about one of these questions in the story.

The public library has access to many books on cd/tape/ipod/ and play-viewers. Students can follow and read the story in a book as they watch/or listen to it on headphones. Find stories that are INTERESTING to your students and have them borrow books/ebooks from the library to practice reading. Carnivores also comes on a cd. Your students might also like Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing.... it's easy reading and very humorous. Good luck!


KatrynG is offline   Reply With Quote
teacherwriter teacherwriter is online now
 
Joined: Apr 2011
Posts: 3,904
Senior Member

teacherwriter
 
Joined: Apr 2011
Posts: 3,904
Senior Member

Old 11-03-2017, 03:51 PM
 
Clip to ScrapBook #11

At this point, I think you need to assume that these students made it to you without being secure in their reading skills, and that they live in families with low reading skills, few resources and (maybe) little desire to read. That's rough, and it's lousy for you, but you have to work with what's given, so start there. As others have suggested, I would bring as much practice into the classroom as you can.

Get down to the basics. Work on some phonics to help them learn to decode words. Look for short selections that are leveled for your students--online, or maybe the leveled readers with your basal series--and work on accuracy and fluency. Assign one selection at the beginning of the week. Read the same selection several times, because the more you practice the same thing, the better you get. They should read to you in small groups, and toward the end of the week, once they're more secure with the selection, they can partner-read to each other. Then next week, start with another one. This year I've found the Evan-Moor daily reading comprehension passages are working well. I also searched for leveled passages and found a California site with years' worth of grade-level passages from an old version of the Treasures basal.

FYI, you can also find Fry phrases and sentences online to read aloud. Sight word practice is good too. You can use the Fry or Dolch lists. Add a few words a week to the spelling lists (which should be phonics based and follow patterns).

Ditch the book reports (at least for now). It sounds like a good idea, but it isn't helping them improve their reading; it's only frustrating them and everyone else, and it's wrecking their grades. You can use the fluency selections to work on comprehension too; just write a couple of questions to go with them, and/or discuss the articles in class.

It would really help if you could have some parent volunteers or teacher assistant help. That way, you all could split the workload and help more students at the same time. If that's not possible, try to figure out a way to work with a small group while the others do something independent (not reading! maybe math practice, or I don't know what). Is there any way you can pull a small group daily during recess or early morning or something?
teacherwriter is online now   Reply With Quote
marguerite2 marguerite2 is offline
 
Joined: Oct 2013
Posts: 1,359
Senior Member

marguerite2
 
Joined: Oct 2013
Posts: 1,359
Senior Member

Old 11-03-2017, 04:32 PM
 
Clip to ScrapBook #12

Maybe something like this would work

http://www.scarymommy.com/reading-log/
marguerite2 is offline   Reply With Quote
TAOEP TAOEP is online now
 
Joined: Feb 2017
Posts: 194
Full Member

TAOEP
 
Joined: Feb 2017
Posts: 194
Full Member
Help them WANT to read
Old 11-03-2017, 04:55 PM
 
Clip to ScrapBook #13

I have been a good reader ever since I almost instantaneously figured out how to read back in first grade. I read ALL the time as a kid--while I brushed my teeth, while I walked to school, while the teacher was giving instruction, when I was supposed to be cleaning my room. But I HATED book reports. My attitude was--why don't you just let me read?

Anyhow I think your challenge is to figure out ways to get your students to want to read.

Such as, reading part of a book out loud to the class and then making multiple copies available to students who want to find out what happened.

Or practicing reading some picture books aloud and then going to read to the kindergarteners (and making copies available to take home to read to little brothers and sisters). I've even heard of libraries where kids can read to a dog.

Can they read to grandparents or to people in a nursing home?

What about having lots of books available on all different reading levels about whatever topic you are doing in science or social studies?

A special class event to happen as soon as the class reads 200 books? (or whatever number is doable, but a challenge without taking so long they lose interest)

Bulletin board featuring one student each week with a book recommendation

Make a habit yourself of regularly mentioning a book you are reading. Be seen reading--and being reluctant to stop because it's suchhhh a good book.

Ask the principal to come in to the class to share one of her favorite books with the students.

I know that it's a challenge to get students reading in a community that apparently doesn't put a lot of value on reading, but it's so worth while. One of my greatest joys was hearing a high school girl telling me that she had finished a book I had recommended, that it was the first book she had ever read all the way through, and did I have any others like it?

This is a challenge worth the work.
TAOEP is online now   Reply With Quote
Zia's Avatar
Zia Zia is online now
 
Joined: Jan 2015
Posts: 9,932
Senior Member

Zia
 
Zia's Avatar
 
Joined: Jan 2015
Posts: 9,932
Senior Member

Old 11-03-2017, 05:17 PM
 
Clip to ScrapBook #14

Quote:
She basically told me that I need to find a way to get a process that works.
She's telling you this isn't working and you need to change. And she's right: this isn't working. So try something else. PPs have given you many good suggestions. But it's on you to find what works, and not dig your heels in on book reports.
Zia is online now   Reply With Quote
happygal's Avatar
happygal happygal is offline
 
Joined: Feb 2009
Posts: 2,926
Senior Member

happygal
 
happygal's Avatar
 
Joined: Feb 2009
Posts: 2,926
Senior Member
Reading well
Old 11-03-2017, 05:41 PM
 
Clip to ScrapBook #15

Is a complex process. You need a reading program with many different components.

For homework send home decodable phonics readers, these are reproducible, blackline stories the kids can color. In guided reading you read with them, send home as practice. Then have them bring them back and see if their fluency has increased. Then ask comprehension questions.

Find out where they are and teach them what they haven't mastered. It isn't easy, but you can do it.

READ NATURALLY is a tried and true program, very easy. Check
It out.
happygal is offline   Reply With Quote
h0kie's Avatar
h0kie h0kie is offline
 
Joined: Aug 2005
Posts: 6,467
Senior Member

h0kie
 
h0kie's Avatar
 
Joined: Aug 2005
Posts: 6,467
Senior Member
Alternative Reading Log
Old 11-03-2017, 06:03 PM
 
Clip to ScrapBook #16

I literally just saw this on Facebook. It looks like it could be fun.

http://www.scarymommy.com/reading-log/?utm_source=FB
h0kie is offline   Reply With Quote
Summerwillcom Summerwillcom is offline
 
Joined: Jun 2014
Posts: 1,823
Senior Member

Summerwillcom
 
Joined: Jun 2014
Posts: 1,823
Senior Member
Book reports are not the answer,
Old 11-04-2017, 09:59 AM
 
Clip to ScrapBook #17

but I 100% get what you are saying about more and more parents nowadays. Some are so lazy and lack parenting skills. That maybe why so many of the kids you got are below grade level. They have learned to be lazy from their parents. Phone calls home do not work with these types of parents. Lots of good ideas are above. I like having silent reading time in class too. It is a peaceful time if you have decent readers. Since yours are below grade level and their parents won't enforce a reading time, yours will probably not read at home. Maybe have them read aloud to a partner and take turns during free reading time. Then they are not sitting there with a book staring blankly! They may associate books w/ something they are interested in too. I have had classes like that where some parents have the same excuses: I had a hard time reading or this 1 KILLS me: The parent says trying to make the kid do homework is upsetting and the kid throws a fit. ( Taking hours and still not getting something very simple done.) If someone is not able to parent at 4th grade, they are going to have monsters on their hands later. I think your P really wants to know what you are doing in class too, so maybe have documentation ready as a PP mentioned. Good luck!
Summerwillcom is offline   Reply With Quote

Join the conversation! Post as a guest or become a member today. New members welcome!

Reply

 

>
The VENT
Thread Tools




Sign Up Now

Sign Up FREE | ProTeacher Help | BusyBoard

All times are GMT -8. The time now is 03:22 PM.

Copyright © 2017 ProTeacher®
For individual use only. Do not copy, reproduce or transmit.
source: www.proteacher.net