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Children making the same mistakes again and again

Discussion in 'Primary' started by devilsangel100, May 22, 2011.

  1. Hi everyone,
    I'm after some advice really. I'm an NQT teaching a year 4 class and have been their teacher since September. Although I feel they have made some progress in English/writing, I still find myself writing the same comment in their books time and time again, or talking to them about the same issues.
    About 50% of the children write sentences that don't make sense, and I am constantly reminding them to read through their work to check that it makes sense, but still find that when I mark books that the children have written sentences that clearly don't make sense.
    One girl keeps using capital B's and R's in the middle of words, I check her work during every lesson and underline them but feel like she is not doing anything herself to remember not to use them. Lots of children in the class forget capital letters in their work often (including my higher ability pupils).
    Another boy uses i instead of I in story writing, am always reminding him about it, since the start of the year.
    I guess what i'm looking for is advice on what I can do now to help these children progress and stop making the same mistakes in their work every single day. I mark their work and write comments, speak to them about their mistakes, praise them when they do it correctly, but they still make mistakes constantly. I don't want it to get to the end of the year and for the children to go into Year 5 still making the same basic mistakes. I am enjoying teaching but sort of feel that I am failing these children as I do not know how to stop them from making the same mistakes again and again.
    Any advice appreciated!
  2. lardylegs

    lardylegs Occasional commenter

    OK, so 50% of them don't listen to a word you say. I honestly think that's par for the course, these days. Focus instead on the 50% who DO listen, who HAVE made progress, and who you have helped this year.
  3. upsadaisy

    upsadaisy New commenter

    Make the child redo their work without the incorrect capital letters.

    As for the not making sense, reading it doesn't help them as they either make the correction in their head, as they know what they meant to say, so they don't pick it up. Or they don't see why it doesn't make sense, as their speaking is poor.

    I do find getting them to track with their finger and read it out loud to a partner sometimes helps.
  4. Hi, for sentences that don't make sense, ask them to record themselves saying the sentences out loud- use digi-blues or flip camera's. They are much more likely to hear their errors than read them. Also ask them to peer mark each others writing. Alternatively, make it into a competition, where the child who doesn't recieve the same comment for more than 5 lessons gets a merit etc. This works well for boys. I use the Ros Wilson VCOP program and we map progress by writing all the kids names on a football, they all start at the same level then move up the board depending on how many levels of progress they have made. Often it's the least able who make the most to begin with and they love whooping the kids in the top group. Check out the Andrell website for more info. It works really well, really fast!
  5. minnieminx

    minnieminx New commenter

    Half listen and make progress and half might as well have stayed at home...yeps don't beat yourself up sounds about normal!

    With the 'sentences that don't make sense' I read to the child following with my finger to get them to spot the mistakes. works and they correct their mistakes, but doesn't stop them doing it again next time.

    Take heart. I have taught for 15 years now and I have year 6, yet could have written your post!
  6. I think that writing coherent sentences must be extremely difficult for many children as it is a learned skill, not innate. So many children can't speak in sentences, have parents, siblings and peers who don't communicate in sentences, and they can't read very well, so are not constantly exposed to good 'models' of sentence writing. So they have no real understanding of, or familiarity with, coherent sentences[​IMG]
    I suspect that most teachers, of any year group, could have written the OP!
  7. mystery10

    mystery10 Occasional commenter

    This describes very well the work of a young female relative of mine whose work in year 10 fitted that description. She went on to get a full string of A and A* at GCSE and all As at A level and is now at a top uni.
    I don't know what to say![​IMG]

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