Monday, November 19, 2012

jus' wondering

We're hosting Thanksgiving this year so I'm a crazy busy trying to ready things.  So this will be short.

But I have a question.  Especially for you educator types.  Today I went into WonderGirl's class and helped with the literacy stations - usually games involving sight words and the alphabet and writing.  The kids are all varying levels of ability.  Today we did a word family activity where the kids would have a card with something on it like "_ig" and then some foam letters to put into that space and make a word, then write that word down.  Like pig, fig, wig, etc.

My job was to help the kids out.  Now I know they are all 5 and 6, but I'm wondering what is normal... since my child is anything but.  I had some boys that only played with the foam letters and made shapes with them, and when I tried to help them they didn't know what direction to put the letters or what the letters actually were or the sounds they made.  I understand they aren't reading like WG and that's fine - but the boys had a terrible time focusing.  They'd stab their eraser, touch the other kid's letters, and after about 4 comments from me would write the letters down.

I've read how schools just aren't geared towards boys way of doing things, but what do I do in a situation like that?  I have a boy now and I'm nervous about how he'll do in school.  I'm not nervous about him being 5 and not knowing his letters or sounds - good golly, that was depressing - but if it's my responsibility to come to show them an activity and they need to fidget, where's the line between fidgeting and being off task?  What do you expect out of kindergarten level boys?

Eeep.  Thanks smart kids!


Erin said...

That's pretty normal for little boys. For some boys the time of day makes a huge difference (not just boys, really, but boys tend to act out more noticeably than girls) in their behavior and ability to concentrate. For some, it is impossible to sit still right after lunch-they are wound up from recess and need some time to settle back down. Some kids really struggle in the mornings because they aren't quite awake etc...unfortunately, very little about the modern classroom is set up to accommodate these differences in personality and energy levels. There is a lot I would say about that issue, but I will choose not to jump on my soapbox. :-) it can help to use the boys desire to move around-let them stand up while they work, turn the work into a race (who can make the words fastest or something) or even let them make words physically ( give each person a letter or letters and have them move around to find the matches that will make the words correctly). Letting the kids do what comes naturally, rather than trying to force them to ignore the wiggles can be more effective, but definitely takes a bit more effort to manage.

Jane said...

I have no idea.
Make it a competition? Who can make a word first. Have them identify letters if they don't know words...
I know children learn differently, but is it really, boys vs. girls? I went to school with a lot of boys - same teacher, same method, same class, same books and they did just fine.
Maybe those boys aren't motivated?
Frankly, I'm apalled at the lack of interest most childen have for learning right now.

Teresa said...

A good book we were recommended to read at my school is called Boys Adrift and it is about how boys need to be educated differently. They need to find active ways of learning. He said that boys are slightly behind girls developmentally in kindergarten yet are expected to sit and be still when they are not quite there yet and need more play.

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