Student struggling to copy down or trace answers...

Discussion in 'Elementary Education' started by Backroads, Oct 12, 2017.

  1. Backroads

    Backroads Enthusiast

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2010
    Messages:
    2,288
    Likes Received:
    969

    Oct 12, 2017

    2nd grader, lowest in my class across the board. He's new to the school next year, and I am already collecting data for the child-assessment team. Mom told me her worries about this academic struggles the moment she dropped him off the first day of school.

    He's a nice kid, and we've already overcome the first hurdle of him having terrible self-esteem and insisting he couldn't do any work. Hooray! Most days, he's really putting in an effort.

    We are doing some writing responses, answering questions to something we read. He has been working on answering one question for two days and has managed to write one word. I wrote the response on the board for the whole class after we talked about what the answer was. He was able to copy one word. The next day, I wrote it out on his paper in a high lighter for him to trace. He was able to trace one letter.

    He doesn't have the best handwriting, but I don't think it's a struggle to write. He can't pay attention. He's rolling on the floor, on his desk, on the table. He's wandering the room. He's talking to me. He's talking to other kids. He is willing to be redirected back to his work, but he won't stay redirected even in quiet environment (He's gone up to the library to try to trace).

    I've allowed copying, I've allowed tracing. I'm not really sure what to do next for accomondating him.
     
  2.  
  3. futuremathsprof

    futuremathsprof Companion

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2014
    Messages:
    226
    Likes Received:
    67

    Oct 12, 2017

    It seems like he needs to be assessed for learning differences. Does he have dyslexia? Extreme ADHD? Etc. I once had a student who was physically unable to sit still because his ADHD was so severe. The best thing for him was placing him in a corner of the room where he couldn’t turn around to talk with other students and to put him by the more studious classmates to limit distractions. I also would stand near him when I was instructing and lightly tap the top of his desk when he got off track. This was our secret code for, “You need to refocus.” Also, I allowed him to make origami figures because his hands had to stay preoccupied, otherwise his hands would wander all over the place. His mind was just so active, but he was able to find coping mechanisms because I told him I do not hold it against him for something he has no control over. I worked with him and it helped put his mind at ease.
     
    Obadiah and Backroads like this.
  4. Backroads

    Backroads Enthusiast

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2010
    Messages:
    2,288
    Likes Received:
    969

    Oct 12, 2017

    We don't know yet. I have about 4 more weeks of interventions before the CAT meeting, and Mom seems content to wait for testing then instead of asking for it earlier.
     
  5. Zelda~*

    Zelda~* Habitué

    Joined:
    May 18, 2008
    Messages:
    928
    Likes Received:
    14

    Oct 12, 2017

    Type? I had kids in the past who could hunt and peck for at least a short response.
     
    otterpop and Backroads like this.
  6. Backroads

    Backroads Enthusiast

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2010
    Messages:
    2,288
    Likes Received:
    969

    Oct 12, 2017

    Maybe, but he's still mostly learning typing. I'll see if I can't set up a program regardless.
     
  7. futuremathsprof

    futuremathsprof Companion

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2014
    Messages:
    226
    Likes Received:
    67

    Oct 12, 2017

    Does this student know their alphabet? It does not seem like it based upon what I’m reading.
     
  8. Backroads

    Backroads Enthusiast

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2010
    Messages:
    2,288
    Likes Received:
    969

    Oct 12, 2017

    He does know his alphabet and some basic sounds. I think if I had something for him to copy, he would be able to use a keyboard to find the appropriate letters.
     
  9. Tyler B.

    Tyler B. Devotee

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2012
    Messages:
    1,029
    Likes Received:
    218

    Oct 12, 2017

    It seems this child is lucky to have a teacher who's reaching for every chance to move him forward.
     
  10. Been There

    Been There Rookie

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2017
    Messages:
    29
    Likes Received:
    16

    Oct 19, 2017 at 10:04 PM

    As a former special education teacher, I had many students who presented a variety of different learning disabilities that often called for extensive testing and numerous meetings with many different "experts" on the IEP team. Unfortunately, while teachers are busy collecting data, analyzing assessment results and commiserating on the best possible instructional approach, the student in question continues to slip farther and farther behind his peers academically along with his declining self-confidence.

    Since you have a whole month before the CAT meeting, you may want to consider trying something that has the potential of helping the student to catch up with his peers. My top priority was always to find the best way of accelerating the learning process using the most effective means to circumvent any obstacles. Take advantage of the the child's current willingness to work with you by introducing him to the magic of Microsoft Word. Open a new Word document on your laptop or PC and press the function key (fn) twice. With the student watching you, point to an object on the table such as a pencil and dictate a descriptive sentence: "This pencil needs to be sharpened." Point to a sheet of lined paper and dictate another descriptive sentence: "This paper has many lines." The program will automatically type the sentences as they are dictated. Just be sure to speak into the computer's microphone.

    Now direct your student to dictate the same two sentences while pointing to the same objects. Et voila! With a little bit of practice, he'll be able to use his new dictation skills with Word or PowerPoint on a laptop or iPad to complete all of his written assignments. Try to avoid falling into the trap of spending most of your time attempting to remediate the child's deficits. Instead, teach him how to succeed academically by exploiting his natural strengths.

    Another potential mistake would be to let the student take off on his own before he is ready to fly. Assignments may need to be modified in order to provide necessary constraints that will ensure success. For example, instead of having to write a paragraph for homework, why not just have him "write" five sentences on a given subject? The mechanics of writing a paragraph should be introduced after he has learned to compose several related sentences. Don't forget to model each activity as described in the above example. Let us know if this works for you and your student!
     
    Obadiah and Backroads like this.
  11. Been There

    Been There Rookie

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2017
    Messages:
    29
    Likes Received:
    16

    Oct 20, 2017 at 2:15 AM

    You may also want to avoid the use of "I" sentences which can become a difficult habit to break. Many young students seem to be stuck on writing sentences that begin with "I" - instead, have them begin sentences with The, This, That, These, Those or with nouns. I would have them first copy a model sentence and then change a few words to compose new sentences.
     
  12. Backroads

    Backroads Enthusiast

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2010
    Messages:
    2,288
    Likes Received:
    969

    Oct 20, 2017 at 10:13 AM

    Bad news: Mom no longer wants testing because he can pay attention to video games so he must not need help.

    I will try the Word dictation for him, though I worry about neglecting his handwriting skills. Which is a separate battle, I suppose.
     
  13. Been There

    Been There Rookie

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2017
    Messages:
    29
    Likes Received:
    16

    Oct 20, 2017 at 11:34 AM

    Is the development of handwriting skills a priority at your school/district. If not, I wouldn't worry about your negligence in this area. I'm somewhat of a contrarian - my primary objective as a resource teacher was to always get underachieving students back on track as quickly as possible so that they could be academically competitive with their peers, lest they remain illiterate as 6th graders going into middle school.

    Here's something else that might interest you. For my grand finale, before retiring, I volunteered to work with the lowest class of 2nd graders in a chronically low-performing school - 100% of 6th grade failed to meet reading standards. The class was composed of mostly ELLs and 5 of my special ed. students who were all reading at the pre-primer or primer level (i.e. non-readers). For my ultimate challenge, I decided to flip every contemporary teaching convention in my unique version of a "flipped classroom". Much to my surprise, in just a few day the wide range of student issues in this poorly managed classroom all magically disappeared as everyone excitedly ascended the steep learning curve that I had prepared for them. You can read more about my unconventional methods for accelerated literacy intervention by typing the following search words: intelligent intervention welcome. You may even want to try out sample lessons with your students that can be found at the bottom of the page entitled A Better Mousetrap. I look forward to hearing about your students' response!
     
    Backroads likes this.
  14. Obadiah

    Obadiah Habitué

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2015
    Messages:
    882
    Likes Received:
    499

    Oct 20, 2017 at 1:45 PM

    Bingo! Some research indicates overuse of video games weakens the upper brain and strengthens the lower brain. TV can do the same thing. I see another clue, here, too. We never know what goes on behind the scenes after school, but sometimes parents get contrary information from well meaning friends, from Internet sites with false information, or sometimes parents become concerned about labels of special education.

    If it could be done in a democratic and supportive manner, and if the games are being overused, I'd recommend a detox period, a week or two, of no video games at home. By democratic and supportive, I mean for the parents and child to cooperate together, decide together that this is important, and assure the child that the games won't disappear forever, (but they will return within limited time frames). Then find constructive activities to do together. This sounds like a student who desperately needs to play outside. Inside, ensure enough air is circulating within the house (a small but sometimes vital step). As I'm writing this, I'm also realizing that my suggestions might be far from how a teacher may intervene, but sometimes parents are open to suggestions. I'd also recommend fun family activities to replace the games. Visiting museums such as art museums (modern art museums are quite fun for youngsters), history museums, etc. Farms often have activities this time of year. And most importantly, the parents should be reading to the child.
     
    Backroads likes this.
  15. Been There

    Been There Rookie

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2017
    Messages:
    29
    Likes Received:
    16

    Oct 20, 2017 at 3:15 PM

    It would be wrong to hastily conclude that the boy does need to be tested for dysgraphia or some other disability that may be impeding his academic progress just because he's able to remain focused to watch TV or play video games. I would try to convince his parents to proceed with further testing.
     
    Obadiah and Backroads like this.
  16. Backroads

    Backroads Enthusiast

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2010
    Messages:
    2,288
    Likes Received:
    969

    Oct 20, 2017 at 5:47 PM

    I did bring up the fact that ADHD does not mean inability to focus on everything and that it presents itself in different ways and that, hey, it might not even be ADHD. I'm hoping we can get the kid back on track for testing because I think further advice and maybe even some official services would do wonders for this kid. Kiddo is Mom's oldest, so she just might be new to the whole thing.
     
    Obadiah likes this.
  17. Fun_Teacher

    Fun_Teacher Companion

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2017
    Messages:
    106
    Likes Received:
    15

    Oct 20, 2017 at 8:14 PM

    In my classroom:
    If a student is having difficulty copying notes, I would pass out a handout with the notes already written on it. In this case, I would verbalize the information and the n have the students play a fun activity. Then, a quick check would be given to assess understanding.
    Sometimes I hand out a notes formatting guide.
     
  18. Backroads

    Backroads Enthusiast

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2010
    Messages:
    2,288
    Likes Received:
    969

    Oct 20, 2017 at 9:58 PM

    Unfortunately at the 2nd grade level, writing and reading are part of what we're supposed to be learning; it doesn't yet make sense to accommodate by giving them stuff they can't read.
     
  19. Obadiah

    Obadiah Habitué

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2015
    Messages:
    882
    Likes Received:
    499

    Oct 21, 2017 at 7:46 AM

    Good point! Parents are sometimes confused by the various information, especially on the Internet, about what conditions are and how they are experienced. About 15 or so years ago, there was a push on news media condemning stimulants, and I heard one famous talk show host (I forget which one, now) advise parents to give their child a coffee bean to eat instead of psychoactive drugs (as if caffeine is not psychoactive). I've twice encountered print media that condemns the common practice of giving ADHD kids "sedatives"; (I've only encountered 1 ADHD student who had a sedative rather than a stimulant, and that was for another reason entirely, not his hyperactivity). A quick side note: I asked a Hershey Medical doctor in a workshop once why we don't give caffeine instead of Ritalin; he explained that Ritalin targets the proper area of the brain and caffeine targets several areas.
     

Share This Page

Members Online Now

  1. Kelster95,
  2. LittleShakespeare
Total: 459 (members: 4, guests: 349, robots: 106)
test