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Elementary School Kids Elementary School Kids

Welcome to Elementary School Kids, "Ask the Teacher" post!

Ask anything and we will do our best to give you an honest, informative reply. 


I've been teaching elementary school for 14 years. My master's degree is in reading education and I'm certified in Exceptional Student Education, and ESL. I've taught a variety of grades and more kids than I can count. 

If you'd like to check out the hundreds of questions that have already been asked and answered check the old post here

by on Oct. 27, 2011 at 7:44 PM
Replies (41-50):
liebefoo
by on Nov. 7, 2011 at 1:35 PM

My eight year old is a pistol.  Her behavior at school is fine.  She has no physical or mental ailments.   She is a blast and fun and incredibly smart.  She is failing math and social studies.  I sit with her and she gets it.  She can do it.  Her teacher doesn't seem to give a rip at all -- I've talked to her several times.  She says she goes too slow but isn't the last one finished.  My two older kids have never failed anything and while I never compare her to them, she compares herself to them and says she's stupid.  I can't figure out how to motivate her.  She doesn't really care about grades and taking things from her (like she loves cheerleading and I told her she can't go until her grades are up).  It doesn't bother her.  She is not a bad kiddo -- she is busy and very hands on.  She reminds me of me, but even I was terrified to get bad grades because my dad would kill me!  Any ideas on motivating her or getting her involved and finding a way to get her to do the work right the first time???  She is bored with it and is happiest when she is doing experiments or any hands on but I find it hard to do that with Math and Social Studies and, as I said, her teacher doesn't seem to care.  Any thoughts? 

soymujer
by Mikki on Nov. 7, 2011 at 3:29 PM

Sometimes it's because we are not for sure who did it so we punish the group that way we know we got the culprit.  Other times is because we have punished and punished and to no avail so if we punish the group, the innocent ones get mad and will make the others stop.

Quoting periwinkle163:

 Here is my question, why does the whole class get punished when a few kids act up. It has been driving me crazy since last year. To me it makes much more sense to punish the instigators not every single student. My son has been unfortunate in classmates, he loses a privilege almost every day not because of something he has done, but because of a few kids behavior in his class.


family in the van   Mom of four


maxswolfsuit
by Max on Nov. 7, 2011 at 8:42 PM


Quoting liebefoo:

My eight year old is a pistol.  Her behavior at school is fine.  She has no physical or mental ailments.   She is a blast and fun and incredibly smart.  She is failing math and social studies.  I sit with her and she gets it.  She can do it.  Her teacher doesn't seem to give a rip at all -- I've talked to her several times.  She says she goes too slow but isn't the last one finished.  My two older kids have never failed anything and while I never compare her to them, she compares herself to them and says she's stupid.  I can't figure out how to motivate her.  She doesn't really care about grades and taking things from her (like she loves cheerleading and I told her she can't go until her grades are up).  It doesn't bother her.  She is not a bad kiddo -- she is busy and very hands on.  She reminds me of me, but even I was terrified to get bad grades because my dad would kill me!  Any ideas on motivating her or getting her involved and finding a way to get her to do the work right the first time???  She is bored with it and is happiest when she is doing experiments or any hands on but I find it hard to do that with Math and Social Studies and, as I said, her teacher doesn't seem to care.  Any thoughts? 

She might work better for a positive outcome than working to avoid a negative one.  It's hard for 8 year olds to understand how grades really work. So working to earn good grades that won't really show up on a report card or progress report for weeks might not be something she's ready for. 

You could try an incentive chart or something for each assignment she brings home with a good grade on it. 

Have you asked the teacher to explain how she's too slow if she's not the last one done? If she's off task and doesn't finish on time because she's not doing it, that's a problem. But if she's working the whole time and just takes longer than average she shouldn't be penalized or even criticised for it. 

You need to request a face to face with the teacher. If you've already had one, ask for another. But this time ask for an administrator or guidance counselor to be there too. 

Ask the teacher flat out what she thinks you can be doing differntly and exactly what your daughter needs to do differently in class. 

Come to the meeting with suggestions of what you think the teacher should be doing differently. Did she struggle last year? You might want to come up with a list of things previous teachers did that seemed to help motivate her. 

Good luck, let me know what happens.

jeweledolphin
by on Nov. 7, 2011 at 8:46 PM

My DD refuses to talk to her Pre-K teacher. I know its a new experience. She says she loves going and playing and I know she is learning. She got her first report card and I know she knows most of the things on there but her teacher doesn't know what she knows because she wont talk. Any idea's how to get her to talk?

maxswolfsuit
by Max on Nov. 7, 2011 at 8:51 PM


Quoting jeweledolphin:

My DD refuses to talk to her Pre-K teacher. I know its a new experience. She says she loves going and playing and I know she is learning. She got her first report card and I know she knows most of the things on there but her teacher doesn't know what she knows because she wont talk. Any idea's how to get her to talk?

Does she not talk at all?

Does she talk to the students?

Is she new to a school setting?

What does the teacher say about it?

liebefoo
by on Nov. 7, 2011 at 8:55 PM

 Thanks for the reply -- here's the kicker, last year they decided to do a thing where the teacher moves up with the kids.  So her 2nd grade teacher is her teacher again this year.  Last year she did great -- no problems, no failing.  This year, a mess.  I have asked her for suggestions on ways to motivate her or what I can do.  I get a shrug and a "let me know if you find the answer".  Her behavior is good, so it's not that.  I am so frustrated and I've been wondering if the familiarity of the same teacher is NOT a good thing.  Too comfortable?  maybe on both their parts??  My daughter has changed, as all kids do, but she is not as mature as the other kids -- mostly because most of the kids in her class are latch key kids who have had adult responsibilities since they were 5.  I was wondering if maybe a change after the Christmas break, to a different class and teacher might not help.  Any thoughts?  AND thank you again for replying -- this is eating me up inside -- it makes me a little sad because I know what a smarty she is and feel something just isn't meshing.

Quoting maxswolfsuit:


Quoting liebefoo:

My eight year old is a pistol.  Her behavior at school is fine.  She has no physical or mental ailments.   She is a blast and fun and incredibly smart.  She is failing math and social studies.  I sit with her and she gets it.  She can do it.  Her teacher doesn't seem to give a rip at all -- I've talked to her several times.  She says she goes too slow but isn't the last one finished.  My two older kids have never failed anything and while I never compare her to them, she compares herself to them and says she's stupid.  I can't figure out how to motivate her.  She doesn't really care about grades and taking things from her (like she loves cheerleading and I told her she can't go until her grades are up).  It doesn't bother her.  She is not a bad kiddo -- she is busy and very hands on.  She reminds me of me, but even I was terrified to get bad grades because my dad would kill me!  Any ideas on motivating her or getting her involved and finding a way to get her to do the work right the first time???  She is bored with it and is happiest when she is doing experiments or any hands on but I find it hard to do that with Math and Social Studies and, as I said, her teacher doesn't seem to care.  Any thoughts? 

She might work better for a positive outcome than working to avoid a negative one.  It's hard for 8 year olds to understand how grades really work. So working to earn good grades that won't really show up on a report card or progress report for weeks might not be something she's ready for. 

You could try an incentive chart or something for each assignment she brings home with a good grade on it. 

Have you asked the teacher to explain how she's too slow if she's not the last one done? If she's off task and doesn't finish on time because she's not doing it, that's a problem. But if she's working the whole time and just takes longer than average she shouldn't be penalized or even criticised for it. 

You need to request a face to face with the teacher. If you've already had one, ask for another. But this time ask for an administrator or guidance counselor to be there too. 

Ask the teacher flat out what she thinks you can be doing differntly and exactly what your daughter needs to do differently in class. 

Come to the meeting with suggestions of what you think the teacher should be doing differently. Did she struggle last year? You might want to come up with a list of things previous teachers did that seemed to help motivate her. 

Good luck, let me know what happens.

 

maxswolfsuit
by Max on Nov. 7, 2011 at 9:04 PM

You might be onto something. 

Are they willing to switch kids at your school? Some principals will, others won't. Also consider how she will feel about switching. She might now want to. 

Who knows? maybe letting her know something drastic might happen will motivate her. 

I would defiantly ask for a meeting with another school employee. Maybe someone else can step in and work with her. Sometimes having someone else check in on their grades can motivate them. I do it with former students all the time. They have to bring me their graded papers. It helps keep quite a few kids on track. 

Quoting liebefoo:

 Thanks for the reply -- here's the kicker, last year they decided to do a thing where the teacher moves up with the kids.  So her 2nd grade teacher is her teacher again this year.  Last year she did great -- no problems, no failing.  This year, a mess.  I have asked her for suggestions on ways to motivate her or what I can do.  I get a shrug and a "let me know if you find the answer".  Her behavior is good, so it's not that.  I am so frustrated and I've been wondering if the familiarity of the same teacher is NOT a good thing.  Too comfortable?  maybe on both their parts??  My daughter has changed, as all kids do, but she is not as mature as the other kids -- mostly because most of the kids in her class are latch key kids who have had adult responsibilities since they were 5.  I was wondering if maybe a change after the Christmas break, to a different class and teacher might not help.  Any thoughts?  AND thank you again for replying -- this is eating me up inside -- it makes me a little sad because I know what a smarty she is and feel something just isn't meshing.

Quoting maxswolfsuit:


Quoting liebefoo:

My eight year old is a pistol.  Her behavior at school is fine.  She has no physical or mental ailments.   She is a blast and fun and incredibly smart.  She is failing math and social studies.  I sit with her and she gets it.  She can do it.  Her teacher doesn't seem to give a rip at all -- I've talked to her several times.  She says she goes too slow but isn't the last one finished.  My two older kids have never failed anything and while I never compare her to them, she compares herself to them and says she's stupid.  I can't figure out how to motivate her.  She doesn't really care about grades and taking things from her (like she loves cheerleading and I told her she can't go until her grades are up).  It doesn't bother her.  She is not a bad kiddo -- she is busy and very hands on.  She reminds me of me, but even I was terrified to get bad grades because my dad would kill me!  Any ideas on motivating her or getting her involved and finding a way to get her to do the work right the first time???  She is bored with it and is happiest when she is doing experiments or any hands on but I find it hard to do that with Math and Social Studies and, as I said, her teacher doesn't seem to care.  Any thoughts? 

She might work better for a positive outcome than working to avoid a negative one.  It's hard for 8 year olds to understand how grades really work. So working to earn good grades that won't really show up on a report card or progress report for weeks might not be something she's ready for. 

You could try an incentive chart or something for each assignment she brings home with a good grade on it. 

Have you asked the teacher to explain how she's too slow if she's not the last one done? If she's off task and doesn't finish on time because she's not doing it, that's a problem. But if she's working the whole time and just takes longer than average she shouldn't be penalized or even criticised for it. 

You need to request a face to face with the teacher. If you've already had one, ask for another. But this time ask for an administrator or guidance counselor to be there too. 

Ask the teacher flat out what she thinks you can be doing differntly and exactly what your daughter needs to do differently in class. 

Come to the meeting with suggestions of what you think the teacher should be doing differently. Did she struggle last year? You might want to come up with a list of things previous teachers did that seemed to help motivate her. 

Good luck, let me know what happens.

 


jeweledolphin
by on Nov. 7, 2011 at 10:05 PM

Yes she talks all the time at home and her speech has improved alot since starting school. She talks to some of the kids but not the teacher. School is new for her and being around alot of kids is also new. She never went to a day care or anything. Today she was asked to count to 10 and she refused. When asked at home if she lieks her teacher and if shes nice, my DD always says yes. She won't tell me why she won't talk. The teacher is a little worried but has noted she sees an improvement every week.

Quoting maxswolfsuit:


Quoting jeweledolphin:

My DD refuses to talk to her Pre-K teacher. I know its a new experience. She says she loves going and playing and I know she is learning. She got her first report card and I know she knows most of the things on there but her teacher doesn't know what she knows because she wont talk. Any idea's how to get her to talk?

Does she not talk at all?

Does she talk to the students?

Is she new to a school setting?

What does the teacher say about it?


maxswolfsuit
by Max on Nov. 8, 2011 at 9:29 PM

At think at this point time is what she needs most. If she's improving you might not want to put pressure on her to do something she's not ready for. 

I would ask to meet with a guidance counselor and discuss your concerns with him or her. You can never get enough input when it comes to stuff like this. :)

Quoting jeweledolphin:

Yes she talks all the time at home and her speech has improved alot since starting school. She talks to some of the kids but not the teacher. School is new for her and being around alot of kids is also new. She never went to a day care or anything. Today she was asked to count to 10 and she refused. When asked at home if she lieks her teacher and if shes nice, my DD always says yes. She won't tell me why she won't talk. The teacher is a little worried but has noted she sees an improvement every week.

Quoting maxswolfsuit:


Quoting jeweledolphin:

My DD refuses to talk to her Pre-K teacher. I know its a new experience. She says she loves going and playing and I know she is learning. She got her first report card and I know she knows most of the things on there but her teacher doesn't know what she knows because she wont talk. Any idea's how to get her to talk?

Does she not talk at all?

Does she talk to the students?

Is she new to a school setting?

What does the teacher say about it?



Fairymom32
by on Nov. 9, 2011 at 6:02 PM

My son is in the 5th grade and is struggling so bad with math. When he was in second grade, even though he had all very good passing grades, His teacher suggested at holding him back because of his maturity level. He was the youngest in his class. We didnt hold him back {pride goeth before the fall} and now I am wishing I wouldve listened. Cause second and third grade he started slipping, He passed fourth by the skin of his teeth and now I am afraid that we may have to hold him back this year. Do you think we should or should we consult his teacher or wait and see if he improves by the end of this year. His teacher says he can do the work but he rushes through because he wants to be the first one done. What do you suggest.

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