For whatever reason, this group of students is having a heck of a time dialing things back after any unstructured time. I noticed it almost immediately which, given all the other chaos accompanying the first days of school was quite an accomplishment. Some of the problems that are interfering with getting back to work: excessive socializing and inability to stay focused on the afternoon’s lessons and activities. We use a behavior chart as part of our positive discipline climate: for more than two days in a row I’ve discovered one or more students who have moved a classmate’s behavior card instead of their own.
It appears that the students have developed some less-than-acceptable work habits, doesn’t it. And before we can begin purposeful work on the academic gaps, there clearly needs to be a correction – stat.
Many of the students in my room — possibly 50% of the group — are reading at the first grade level and their math skills are pretty low as well. Are the behaviors at the root of distracting student? I don’t think it takes a PhD to say yes. So, like most teachers I know, I’ve spent the weekend obsessing over the situation and how we can get on track.
Tomorrow I plan to begin a more purposeful outreach to parents of my students. Although we are not scheduled to conference with parents until the first report card in December, I hope to reach out to each family. If we are going to make up some of the ground lost, there needs to be lots of hard work at home and at school.
I am hoping the parents will agree.