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Teaching a child to care
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amother




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Post  Thu, Jan 11 2018, 9:15 am
My daughter is in 1rst grade. She has a difficult time staying on task when she doesn’t want to do the work. Her teacher and I have been in touch since thanksgiving time. I’ve tried different charts, reward systems, punishing- nothing works long term. She will behave for a week or two and then go back to her previous behavior.
For example, if she has a math sheet with 30 subtraction. In a 20 minute time slot, she will complete 5. All or most of the other girls will complete the whole sheet. Her teacher tells me she is looking around, being silly, etc.. when I ask my daughter what happened, she tells me there wasn’t enough time. Or she will tell me that she hates math so didn’t do it.
When she does hw, it is the same. If she is in the ‘mood’ to do it, she can finish in 10 minutes. If she doesn’t want to, she required constant prompting to complete it. It’s not that she doesn’t know it, she doesn’t want to do it.
I’m at a loss what to do. How do you teach a child to care? We have tried telling her that the teacher works hard and it’s disrespectful to them to not do it. We told her that it’s her job even if she doesn’t like it. We give her examples of things we don’t like to do but still need to. As said above, we try charts, rewards, instant rewards (a candy, Time on the iPad). Nothing works for more then a couple of weeks.
Anyone else deal with this? What helped? Thank you
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MiracleMama









  


Post  Thu, Jan 11 2018, 9:23 am
I have a child like this. She can do the work when motivated, so it’s not a learning problem or attention problem. Charts and rewards work a few days at best. She has to want it for herself. For us what has helped is to 1. talk about the pride one feels in always doing their best work 2. utilizing and not wasting her mind and talents Hashem gave her and 3. pointing out the life-long usefulness of the subjects she is learning in school.
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Chayalle









  


Post  Thu, Jan 11 2018, 9:27 am
Have you done testing to rule out any learning disabilities, ADD/ADHD, etc?
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amother




Cyan


Post  Thu, Jan 11 2018, 9:43 am
I agree with Chayalle. My daughter is the same way. She has ADHD. She can hyperfocus on things she enjoys, but otherwise has trouble staying on task. Very typical of ADHD.
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amother




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Post  Thu, Jan 11 2018, 9:44 am
We haven’t done any testing. I spoke with an education specialist (a friend) who said her problem isn’t focus so it’s not ADD/ADHD. When she wants to do something, ex:build with LEGO, color- she can spend an hour on it. When she wants to do her HW, she can complete 2 sheets and kriah page in under 20 minutes. And get majority if not all correct. The issue seems to be more behavioral.
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amother




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Post  Thu, Jan 11 2018, 9:45 am
Amother cyan- good to know. Maybe I misunderstood what ADHD is. I will definitely look into that
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oliveoil









  


Post  Thu, Jan 11 2018, 9:48 am
If you've only been working on this since Thanksgiving, there's no way you can have given all these things a proper try. Don't expect instant results. You need to choose one approach and do it consistently for 3 weeks before determining it doesn't work. If you're jumping from tactic to tactic, your kid probably doesn't know what's hit her!
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amother




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Post  Thu, Jan 11 2018, 9:50 am
Amother cyan- are u comfortable sharing worked for your daughter?
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Squishy









  


Post  Thu, Jan 11 2018, 9:50 am
Can you ask the teacher to give extra positive reinforcement right now? Perhaps her desk should be moved to the front next to the teacher's. Tell the teacher you are in the process of getting her tested.

I agree that she could have ADD/ADHD.
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amother




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Post  Thu, Jan 11 2018, 9:59 am
We set up a chart system with both her Hebrew and English teacher. The day is divided into 3 parts, each with 3-4 categories (paid attention, completed work, etc..). It gets sent home daily as a form of communication. The first 10 days (2 weeks) she did great, had maybe one area she was weak. Then since then (4 days now) she has half or more areas with a (-). English is worse then Hebrew. I know her teacher is the hardest 1rst grade teacher (out of 4 classes) but I see similar behavior when it comes to HW so I can’t blame it on just that factor. She also has to complete her unfinished work at home, so she doesn’t misbehave as a way of not having to do the work.
She tells me ‘Morah is wrong, it’s not true, I did good’. So she is definitely trying, or thinks she is. I don’t want her to hate school, she is so young. It’s also extra hard for me because I was a good student so I can’t fully ‘feel’ what she is going through Sad
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Chayalle









  


Post  Thu, Jan 11 2018, 10:06 am
I really think it would be a good idea to have her evaluated. Maybe it's a behavioral issue, and then, if your charts, etc..aren't working, it would be a much better idea to work with a behavioral specialist than to punish a child, and try all sorts of interventions, without professional expertise. As you say, you don't want her to hate school...and you don't want her to hate life in general. This is not only about school - if your daughter has behavioral issues, you want to address them the right way.

Plus if there is some sort of diagnosis here, like ADD/ADHD or some other such issue, you certainly want to be aware of it.
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amother




Cyan


Post  Thu, Jan 11 2018, 10:07 am
amother wrote:
We haven’t done any testing. I spoke with an education specialist (a friend) who said her problem isn’t focus so it’s not ADD/ADHD. When she wants to do something, ex:build with LEGO, color- she can spend an hour on it. When she wants to do her HW, she can complete 2 sheets and kriah page in under 20 minutes. And get majority if not all correct. The issue seems to be more behavioral.


My ADHD daughter is absolutely brilliant. She was clapping her hands at 4 months, while sitting, and talking at 6 months. She remembers things from when she was a year old.

ADHD is not a measure of IQ or ability to understand. It is about distractibility and focus.

As for finding what helps:

1. My daughter has a huge amount of energy in her body. She goes once a week to a dance/gym program where she can move. It helps a lot, for that day. When she comes home, she can focus much better. I plan to start soon, IYH, to get her involved in exercise activities a few times a week.

2. Before I ask her to do something, I have her repeat back exactly what I said, otherwise, if I ask her to bring me a pamper for the baby, she'll end up bringing a book instead, because she got lost in her thoughts along the way.

3. As for homework, I have to sit with her and watch her go from one step to the next, or, I'll have her call a friend and work on it over the phone together, such as spelling quizzes. The phone interaction keeps her focused. And there are days she gets very, very frustrated and just "can't!"... when that happens, I pen a note to the teacher. The teacher has to understand.
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ValleyMom









  


Post  Thu, Jan 11 2018, 10:11 am
I'm a teacher and I just want to add that I think your daughters teacher is very odd.
(forgive my bluntness)

WHY is she giving 1st graders THIRTY math problems????

Here's the deal:

If your daughter can do FIVE math problems perfectly WHY should she be required to do an additional 25 math problems?

She already SHOWED the teacher she mastered the skill.

This is what we teachers call BUSY WORK and should be banished from all classrooms.

Young children learn best in real life situations. If she really wants to see how children solve math problems she can do something like this:

Hand a group of 3 girls a box of goldfish crackers to be divided equally among the class.
Once they solved the math problem they can share HOW they obtained the results with the class and then everyone can enjoy a precise handful of crackers.

OR

The school bus holds 30 children and 90 children want to go on the trip. How many busses will the teacher need to rent?

She can have them draw a pictorial representation of how they solved the problem.

Worksheets with multiple math problems are:
Overwhelming for some children it looks like 10,000 title math problems.
Visually overstimulating- they can't even figure out where to begin.

I hope I gave you some food for thought so you can start a conversation with the teacher.

(She could split the 30 page worksheet into several cut up strips and do 10 math problems a day... that's one way of handling it...although I still believe if a child has indicated mastery of a skill there is no need for more 'drill and kill')
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amother




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Post  Thu, Jan 11 2018, 10:25 am
ValleyMom wrote:
I'm a teacher and I just want to add that I think your daughters teacher is very odd.
(forgive my bluntness)

WHY is she giving 1st graders THIRTY math problems????

Here's the deal:

If your daughter can do FIVE math problems perfectly WHY should she be required to do an additional 25 math problems?

She already SHOWED the teacher she mastered the skill.

This is what we teachers call BUSY WORK and should be banished from all classrooms.

Young children learn best in real life situations. If she really wants to see how children solve math problems she can do something like this:

Hand a group of 3 girls a box of goldfish crackers to be divided equally among the class.
Once they solved the math problem they can share HOW they obtained the results with the class and then everyone can enjoy a precise handful of crackers.

OR

The school bus holds 30 children and 90 children want to go on the trip. How many busses will the teacher need to rent?

She can have them draw a pictorial representation of how they solved the problem.

Worksheets with multiple math problems are:
Overwhelming for some children it looks like 10,000 title math problems.
Visually overstimulating- they can't even figure out where to begin.

I hope I gave you some food for thought so you can start a conversation with the teacher.

(She could split the 30 page worksheet into several cut up strips and do 10 math problems a day... that's one way of handling it...although I still believe if a child has indicated mastery of a skill there is no need for more 'drill and kill')


You aren’t the first person to tell me this. She can have 2 double sided sheets with 25-30 problems per side. And 40 minutes where she has to sit still and complete it.
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amother




Forestgreen


Post  Thu, Jan 11 2018, 11:10 am
Another vote for looking into ADHD. My husband and several of my children have it, hyperfocus is a pretty common symptom. Also I agree with valley mom that the workload sounds inappropriate for the average first grader. Even without ADHD, kids that age shouldn't be expected to sit still for that long and do that many problems at a time.
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amother




Azure


Post  Thu, Jan 11 2018, 3:43 pm
I have ADHD - what you describe could be ADHD, so it's worth having her evaluated.

As for practical suggestions you can implement right now - teach your daughter to take breaks. Tell her she needs to do 5 problems in a row, then she can look around the room, fiddle with something, or even get up and get a drink for a minute or so, and the she has to do another 5 problems, etc. This is how I learned to focus better. This could work even if it's behavioral and not ADHD, because she'll know she has breaks built in and doesn't have to force herself to do something she is uninterested in or dislikes for a long period in one sitting. Just let the teacher know what you are doing.
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amother




Natural


Post  Thu, Jan 11 2018, 3:53 pm
Does your daughter have time throughout the day for moving her body? Or is she in school most of the day?
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MiracleMama









  


Post  Thu, Jan 11 2018, 3:54 pm
ValleyMom wrote:
I'm a teacher and I just want to add that I think your daughters teacher is very odd.
(forgive my bluntness)

WHY is she giving 1st graders THIRTY math problems????

Here's the deal:

If your daughter can do FIVE math problems perfectly WHY should she be required to do an additional 25 math problems?

She already SHOWED the teacher she mastered the skill.

This is what we teachers call BUSY WORK and should be banished from all classrooms.

Young children learn best in real life situations. If she really wants to see how children solve math problems she can do something like this:

Hand a group of 3 girls a box of goldfish crackers to be divided equally among the class.
Once they solved the math problem they can share HOW they obtained the results with the class and then everyone can enjoy a precise handful of crackers.

OR

The school bus holds 30 children and 90 children want to go on the trip. How many busses will the teacher need to rent?

She can have them draw a pictorial representation of how they solved the problem.

Worksheets with multiple math problems are:
Overwhelming for some children it looks like 10,000 title math problems.
Visually overstimulating- they can't even figure out where to begin.

I hope I gave you some food for thought so you can start a conversation with the teacher.

(She could split the 30 page worksheet into several cut up strips and do 10 math problems a day... that's one way of handling it...although I still believe if a child has indicated mastery of a skill there is no need for more 'drill and kill')


I guess I glossed over this fact on my first read.

But OMG, yes 100%. This is crazy. Wish more teachers were like ValleyMom. I am so resentful of the amount of homework sent home for my children. Kids are in school all day. They should get to come home and be kids - relax, run around, play, etc. If homework must be given it should be tiny doses just to reinforce what was already learned and mastered at school. I am so angry when my kids bring home pages of homework that they aren't even sure how to do and I have to teach it to them. It's not that I'm lazy to teach it. It's that you (you the school/ teachers) have had my kids for 8 hours. It's your job to teach my children and I pay through the nose for that service. If you can't get your job done in that time, please stop making me do it for you. And please stop making little kids miserable!!!
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imdl









  


Post  Thu, Jan 11 2018, 7:30 pm
amother wrote:
You aren’t the first person to tell me this. She can have 2 double sided sheets with 25-30 problems per side. And 40 minutes where she has to sit still and complete it.


That isn't age appropriate. Don't try to force your daughter into it. Saying this as an educator with an educational degree.

Have you spoken with the principal?
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Hashem_Yaazor









  


Post  Thu, Jan 11 2018, 9:16 pm
I have an older child with less intrinsic motivation than is needed to get work done.
We're working on an incentive program that takes time to complete for something bigger (vs a chart that gets filled quickly for a cheap prize) and it's not based on reaching a milestone of X amount of good days, but rather more specific criteria and a built-in way to redeem if the criteria is not met. I've used this type of method for another behavioral issue with a lot of success. It helps build the kid up that they can succeed and even failing once or twice doesn't mean they need to forget about it and there is no point in continuing. After that program is finished, you can increase expectations.

And yes, I agree that the homework is ridiculous, and if you can't get the assignment modified for the whole class, at least get it modified for your child.

A program can look like this (just an example, switch to suit your needs): homework needs 10 problems done a night (or whatever is worked out with the teacher). You can have one night where you did less. If you do 2 or more nights without completing the expectation, the following needs every night to be completed to meet the goal/prize. This maybe a goal reached at X time (natural breaks like Purim or winter break or whatever work well for this kind of thing). Kid usually meets whatever program you have running like this because it's a longer term thing with a strict deadline vs a chart they can fill in if they feel like it and get a prize whenever. Prize is bigger than a dollar store item -- maybe a trip to the ice cream or pizza store or a toy a little more important than a trinket that will end up in the trash.
When successfully met, you up the ante. "Wow, you did so good at that! Look how good you feel! I knew you could do it!" and discuss what a reasonable goal to strive for is after that accomplishment (13 problems a night, or whatever is a step up from the expectation you had). This builds the kid up with accountability and self-confidence and motivation.

I am not an expert at anything professionally in this type of thing, but I've seen hatzlacha as a parent when implementing this methodology.
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