Skill backsliding...

Discussion in 'General Education' started by Backroads, Jan 12, 2018 at 12:34 PM.

  1. Backroads

    Backroads Enthusiast

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    Jan 12, 2018 at 12:34 PM

    The following, of course, is being documented, but I'm not sure what to do in the meantime.

    My morning work is very simple as we don't have much time before specials. We practice handwriting. Two sentences, the odd focus on specific letters/numbers, nothing outrageous and nothing that really grows over the course of the year. It's... handwriting practice and is pretty much the same skill level all year.

    Yet... I have two students backsliding in, not exactly their handwriting, but simply getting this task done. At the beginning of the year, it was fine. They could come in, sit down, be on task, reasonably get a half-sheet of handwriting practice done.

    Now... they can't. It doesn't get done. They can't focus, the most they can do is doodle on the paper. Now, half of the paper is tracing. Even the tracing has become "too difficult".

    Yet... it's not like this handwriting is really advancing. It's merely a time to practice handwriting, no more , no less. While other students are becoming faster and neater at handwriting, these two do nothing.

    Now, with other skills, one would tend to take them back a step. And I have done this the past two weeks. Yet, I'm not sure sure how I feel about that. Both of these kids are, while not penmanship artists, certainly capable of legible handwriting. If it were a case of, oh, this handwriting truly does seem more than your current skill, I'd feel better about just asking them to trace or significantly shortening the assignment.

    But in this case, is doing so just teaching them to do... less? I do suspect both of them of having attention disabilities, but one is at the point where it can take her all week to write a single word.

    I give consequeneces, but they don't seem to affect them.
     
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  3. MissScrimmage

    MissScrimmage Fanatic

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    Jan 12, 2018 at 2:16 PM

    Are they bored with the activity? Is changing up the morning work a possibility? Quietly read?
     
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  4. 3Sons

    3Sons Connoisseur

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    Jan 12, 2018 at 2:38 PM

    Sounds kind of like boredom. If their writing is legible, is this a problem? They'll be able to write on tests, and they'll likely type essays anyway, no?

    I mean, it sounds a little like you're trying to teach them to complete a boring task because you say so. While this isn't a terrible trait for a student to have, it's a bit hard to teach explicitly.

    And, umm, I'd stop giving consequences. If they're not working to get the change you want, they're going to be more harmful overall.
     
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  5. Backroads

    Backroads Enthusiast

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    Jan 12, 2018 at 2:51 PM

    I have tried that with them (alternative for the whole class), but these two students actually can't focus on... anything in the mornings.
     
  6. Backroads

    Backroads Enthusiast

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    Jan 12, 2018 at 2:57 PM

    You make excellent points here, thank-you.

    Part of the issue is this is 2nd grade, and practicing handwriting and proper penmanship is part of the curriculum. They write legibly, but they're still developmentally behind on where they should be on that skill.

    It might just be something I will have to let go, or find other ways to tackle.
     
  7. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Jan 12, 2018 at 6:08 PM

    Change it up:
    Word work
    Math review
    A short reading passage wirh questions
    Sentence corrections

    And send any work not done to standards back to be redone.
     
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  8. JimG

    JimG Rookie

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    Jan 13, 2018 at 11:14 AM

    Have you contacted the parents?
     
  9. a2z

    a2z Phenom

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    Jan 13, 2018 at 7:06 PM

    I wouldn't give it up, but I would move it around and tackle it in different ways. I would include legibility in some classwork. Let them know that it is part of the "grading".
     
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  10. Obadiah

    Obadiah Habitué

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    Jan 14, 2018 at 7:09 AM

    A couple of ideas that might help. I'd probably start from the premise that this is a task that must be done, and ask the students for their suggestions on how they can get themselves to do the task. I'd probably do this with both students at the same time; the two thinking together with teacher guidance might be more profitable than doing so separately. I might also demonstrate to the students how I evaluate their handwriting improvement or point out specific improvements to look for. This might better help them understand the goal that they are working toward and cause them to work harder to obtain that goal. Neurologically, the psychomotor learning circuits are probably craving for insulation, and this will guide the students into concentrating specifically on the task of insulating that learning experience.
     
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  11. Backroads

    Backroads Enthusiast

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    Jan 14, 2018 at 10:45 AM

    Yes. One parents actually has special needs and mostly worries about her daughter's behavior. The other parent is in denial. (Both of these students have special needs but as of yet no official plans).
     

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