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Embarrassed student what to do?
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amother




OP


Post  Wed, Sep 18 2019, 5:20 pm
I am a SETTS provider and work with students one-on-one who struggle to keep up in class. One student is 2/3 grade levels below in math and is embarrassed to do any work below her grade level. When I give her work that is on her level she states that it is so "babyish" and says she wants to do math in her regular math book. I tried to take examples from her book and break it down in the areas that she needs help with, but her math book is just way too high.

Any advice on how to deal with this student who is embarrassed every day and lacks motivation?
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amother




White


Post  Wed, Sep 18 2019, 5:24 pm
OMG, this is exactly my daughter. She needs help in school but every day is s struggle because she's embarressed. Every. day. is. a. struggle.
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FranticFrummie




 
 
 


Post  Wed, Sep 18 2019, 5:40 pm
That could be my daughter, too.

Try getting worksheets for her that are just one step above what she is doing now. Tell her that if she can get 100% on the worksheet, she can go up another level, etc. Keep things light and encouraging, and keep the steps very short and clearly explained.

Celebrate victories, but not too much, and not over baby steps. An extra treat or privilege for each new level would be appropriate. (DD also gets embarrassed when she feel over-praised.)

It's really hard when kids struggle, especially if they are 2 to 3 grades behind in a subject. Their internal voices are telling them they are "stupid, hopeless, dumb, worthless" and they want to give up. Tears of frustration are not uncommon. Anger is often common as well, tearing up paper and throwing it across the room, yelling "I can't do this!"

If you sense the meltdown coming, offer to take the student for a walk around the building, get a cold glass of water, or a quick bathroom break. "Pushing through" will not work in this situation. What you need here is for her to come back a bit more refreshed, and start over.

G-d bless you for doing this difficult work. In DD's case, once she got a grip on algebra, her self esteem went through the roof. She's feeling happy about school for the first time in her life. People like you make a huge difference.
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amother




Amethyst


Post  Wed, Sep 18 2019, 5:47 pm
I would try to give harder work and say that it is super hard and she doesn't have to know it. Math builds on itself so she will need to use lower math skills to solve. This is what I do with my ADHD child.
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teachkids




 
 
 


Post  Wed, Sep 18 2019, 5:47 pm
I used to let the kids do practice problems on white/smart board. Just one at a time, no worksheets, so they didn't know where they were coming from. I found anxious kids were more comfortable when it was so easy to erase their mistakes.
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FranticFrummie




 
 
 


Post  Wed, Sep 18 2019, 5:51 pm
DD also preferred to do math problems on the computer, where after 10 problems it would tell you which ones you got wrong, and then give you a chance to do them over. Once you mastered that, you could level up, and it would keep score for you. I think she was using the IXL program.

I asked her why she was so relaxed with this method, and she said "The computer doesn't judge me." I thought that was very insightful.
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amother




Sapphire


Post  Wed, Sep 18 2019, 5:55 pm
Sometimes this happens with my students too. A lot of times I say we’re gonna start with a review bc I know u learnt it already but we just have to review to remind ourselves before we can go on- that way it doesn’t seem as babyish even when they don’t know it
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amother




OP


Post  Wed, Sep 18 2019, 7:03 pm
Thank you for the advice!

One of the biggest problems is that she knows that she learned the material in the past years so if it is a worksheet, or done a whiteboard/ computer she will still exclaim that it is for babies...

So frustrated with this, I'm trying to make her comfortable with the situation, but no matter what I say or explain it's not helping!! Sad
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trixx




 
 
 


Post  Wed, Sep 18 2019, 7:47 pm
You're right, these are baby steps. And usually kids younger than you learn them. But it doesn't make you a baby to go over it now. If you want to take big leaps, you have to first master these baby steps. You should be very proud of yourself that you are working so hard to perfect technique by going over and over these baby steps instead of trying blindly to solve harder problems. Once you master these baby techniques you will be a pro at the harder problems.
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amother




OP


Post  Wed, Sep 18 2019, 8:27 pm
trixx wrote:
You're right, these are baby steps. And usually kids younger than you learn them. But it doesn't make you a baby to go over it now. If you want to take big leaps, you have to first master these baby steps. You should be very proud of yourself that you are working so hard to perfect technique by going over and over these baby steps instead of trying blindly to solve harder problems. Once you master these baby techniques you will be a pro at the harder problems.


I actually like this and will try it tomorrow, thanks!!
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amother




OP


Post  Wed, Sep 18 2019, 8:30 pm
amother [ Sapphire ] wrote:
Sometimes this happens with my students too. A lot of times I say we’re gonna start with a review bc I know u learnt it already but we just have to review to remind ourselves before we can go on- that way it doesn’t seem as babyish even when they don’t know it


great idea, thank you!
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amother




Amethyst


Post  Wed, Sep 18 2019, 8:32 pm
Have you tried rewards? Also you can switch off hard and easy worksheets. I know with my son that I tried to teach him to read phonetically. He got bored so fast but he was also too intimidated to read big words and wasn't reading at all at age 8 and a half. I got books from the library and told him that he doesn't have to be able to read any word cuz it's really hard and whatever he doesn't know I will read. 9 months later he is reading beautifully. I did go back to phonics bec I saw he needed it but I limit it to about 40 words a day. I also reward him. See what the problem is and try to solve it. Not every shoe fits every child.
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professor




 
 
 


Post  Wed, Sep 18 2019, 8:44 pm
Did you try letting her use her regular math book, and break down each example in a way that she can do it. For example ... Well what grade is her regular math book at?
Let's say they are learning to add fractions. You can just break it down for her using manipulatives and such.
It's just *math* it's not like it's hard or anything...


Last edited by professor on Wed, Sep 18 2019, 8:56 pm; edited 1 time in total
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amother




OP


Post  Wed, Sep 18 2019, 8:47 pm
[quote="professor"]Did you try letting her use her regular math book, and break down each example in a way that she can do it. For example ... Well what grade is her regular math book at?[/quote

I opened up her math book, it's way above what she knows... I'm talking about not even knowing simple multiplication, division, double digit subtraction...
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professor




 
 
 


Post  Wed, Sep 18 2019, 8:57 pm
amother [ OP ] wrote:


I opened up her math book, it's way above what she knows... I'm talking about not even knowing simple multiplication, division, double digit subtraction...


What does she know? I can help you with that. If you want PM me.
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teachkids




 
 
 


Post  Wed, Sep 18 2019, 9:00 pm
Frame it as review before you move forward
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amother




OP


Post  Wed, Sep 18 2019, 9:13 pm
teachkids wrote:
Frame it as review before you move forward


That's what I say, but still get the same response of " I did this when I was younger"... and and then she becomes annoyed because she doesn't know it at her age...
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amother




Cobalt


Post  Thu, Sep 19 2019, 5:58 am
amother [ OP ] wrote:
That's what I say, but still get the same response of " I did this when I was younger"... and and then she becomes annoyed because she doesn't know it at her age...


"I know, that's why it's a review to move on and not our goal. But you haven't used it in a while so those muscles got weak and we need to wake them back up. Let me know when they're woken up and you're ready to move forward"
Depending on the kid you might be able to add in funny "muscle waking up routines" too to make it more fun.
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Iymnok




 
 
 


Post  Thu, Sep 19 2019, 6:08 am
Try a sheet of basic addition or multiplication. At the beginning of each session time set a timer for one minute or time how long it takes to finish. It’s a game and she’s competing against herself.
Alternatively, use flash cards, she keeps what she gets right within one minute. Record how many cards.
Afterwards continue onto your regular tutoring.

Have you heard of math magic? Apparently it’s very helpful.
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imasinger




 
 
 


Post  Thu, Sep 19 2019, 6:38 am
You could also try asking her to come up with a math work page for younger kids. Of course, she also is responsible for providing an answer key.
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