This week would in theory be our third week back from winter break but last week we only went to school two days and one of those days we were let out early. Then we were out this week on Monday for MLK day. My kids have been wild. They haven't been bad it is just like they have forgotten everything they have learned about being in school. They were great the week back from winter break. This week was another story. They were getting up in the middle of the class and leaving the room without asking; they were interrupting my teaching to ask to go to the bathroom. I can handle those things. But it seems they have forgotten everything they have learned in math especially. We were finishing up our unit on number patterns and it was like they just weren't getting it. We'd be counting by 2s, 5s, or 10s and they could do it with no problem but then when it came to apply that knowledge it was like they had no idea how to count by those numbers anymore. I was getting frustrated which definitely didn't help anything. We got through it and I still have a couple of kids that don't seem to get it but it was time to move on. Yesterday we started our unit on place value. We've talked about place value already and do some work with it each day in our morning meeting. The problem wasn't that they weren't getting the lesson it was they didn't seem to know how to work together. I gave each group of students 50 unifix cubes. Then I gave them a number. They had to get the number of cubes out and make groups of 10 out of it. This is where it all falls apart. They couldn't seem to work together to do this. So I made one student in charge of getting the cubes out and the rest of them were suppose to help count. Then they were suppose to take turns making the groups of 10. It was fine when there were enough cubes for each student to make a group of 10 but then when the number was smaller like 21. They started pulling more cubes out of the bag so they could all make groups of 10. It was so frustrating. But as I'm typing this, I'm thinking maybe I should have them work in pairs instead of their table groups which either had 3 or 4 students. Then I have the problem of the 2 students who have no idea what I'm talking about. They don't understand anything we are doing in math right now. So here are my questions that I'm hoping you can advise me on:
- How do you get your kids to cooperate in groups and work together without doing it for the other person?
- Do you group your students in groups of 4 or so or do you do pairs?
- What should I do with these two students who don't seem to know what is going on?
- Should I let my assistant teach separate math lessons for them? Should these lessons be during the whole group lesson or another time?
Ok so I've moaned and groaned enough. I'm just struggling with getting it all in and it is frustrating. I hope that I'm not the only one who has these frustrations and I'm also hoping there are some teacher friends that can help me with some of this. Hope you have a great Friday. I would love to hear your thoughts.