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reluctant learners.

Discussion in 'Primary' started by countrybumpkin, Jan 20, 2011.

  1. countrybumpkin

    countrybumpkin New commenter

    I have a really well behaved class but a good half of them are reluctant learners and I feel this is the biggest factor in them not progressing well. Their parents are also reluctant to be involved and I have tried hard and positively with this. It is in an area where a lot of the children and their parents lack aspiration. I am struggling for how to get them to WANT to learn. I can't become an all singing and all dancing teacher. I am already exhausted! I do try to make things as fun as possible but something I think they will love often barely gets a reaction.
    I am desperate for suggestions as I feel this class could do so well if they wanted to improve. Thanks.
  2. I know this will look like I am just banging on the same old drum - but how are they with basic writing skills? Are they confident, fluent, handwriters and spellers?
    The reason I ask is that I have a broad teaching experience and I have found that reluctance is often a sign of lack of basic literacy skills - especially writing.
    I have seen many a child change their behaviour and attitude at the point of being asked to actually 'write'.
    Girls generally do pencil-sharpening or tiny, but minimal, writing.
    Boys often misbehave and would rather mess around or get thrown out of the class than put pen or pencil to paper.
    Does this ring a bell or am I miles away from what seems to be the problem in your class?
  3. countrybumpkin

    countrybumpkin New commenter

    Some of them are good writers and have good basic skills but yeah you are right there are definitely some who might be tuning off because of a lack of basic skills.
    Difficult to get inputs right because I have year 1 and year 2 with a big range in ability.
  4. Sounds obvious but have you asked them what they actually like? Is there a clear purpose for the learning. Some schools are still trotting out the lessons with no purpose to them, no end product, no big finale, no goal to work towards.
    What is their current writing about? May be able to provide some ideas for the goal for them to aim towards.
  5. You may need to change the balance of your timetable between basic skills and higher order skills.
    You can still do plenty of higher order stuff without necessarily asking for writing.
    Now that you say you have Year One and Year Two, it's no wonder that the children appear reluctant.
    I suggest that you have a rethink about the pattern of your literacy teaching and, if possible and pertinent, add lots more phonics, dictations and controlled texts activities to bump up those basic skills - oh, and handwriting.
    How well do children, for example, copy a favourite story or poem? How fluently can they write without having to think about the content.
    I suggest that there is far too much expecting infants to walk before they can run. We assess according to genre writing instead of according to sentences and personal content.
  6. countrybumpkin

    countrybumpkin New commenter

    Yeah but it's mainly Ben 10! and that would put off most of the girls!

    Current writing is traditional tales. Jack and the beanstalk. We have done some drama but they weren't bothered!
  7. Could they write a traditional tale in groups and then act out each scene themselves to an audience of other children in the school?
    Any other ideas to make this come alive for them? It doesn't have to be you 'all singing, all dancing". Given the right stimulus, they will be excited. Just a case of finding it...
  8. countrybumpkin

    countrybumpkin New commenter

    They really weren't bothered about the drama. They might be more so if they acted it to someone else but I'm not sure.

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