Wednesday, October 20, 2010

For the love of...

Is someone playing a very cruel trick on me? It's as if some horrible blob is hovering above my class and sucking the ability to follow directions right out of my students.

I'm about to lose it.

I'm not talking about following three or four step directions, I'm not talking about walking in the hallway correctly, I'm talking about, "do you hear the words coming out of my mouth?"

Example #1:
Me: "Friend, please stop at look at me."
Friend stops and looks at me.
Me: "You are using way too much glue. There is glue everywhere. You don't need anymore. Please put it down."
Friend nods and then squeezes a huge blob of glue on his letter sort.

Example #2:
Me: "Okay friends, the first thing you are going to do is put your name on your paper. Can someone tell me what the first thing you're going to do is?"
Kid: "Cut."
Me: Deep breath... "No, not yet. What's FIRST."
Kid: "Write your name."
Me: "Yes! Now go do it."
Kid returns to his table and starts cutting.

I could go on and on, but my blood pressure is rising just typing this.

We have had class meetings, class discussions, I have listed directions in 1, 2 or 3 step fashion. I've had the kids repeat back what the directions are. I've had kids model, kids explain, and kids help their peers. Not following directions is the leading cause of green cards going to yellow and then to orange in my room. NOTHING IS WORKING.

And it's not just 3 or 4. We're talking like HALF MY CLASS.

Please, for the love of my sanity, share some advice. I would greatly appreciate it.


Cynthia said...

I wish I had some advice. My day was much the same. and I teach 6th graders.

bunkobeth said...

I use these wonderful glue tops that only allow the child to dispense a dot of glue. They are red with a mechanism inside - it's hard to describe!! But there is a red ball at the tip that needs to be pressed to the paper and it only allows a small dot of glue to come out.
I purchased them from a catalog - Office Supplies Direct (if memory serves). I no longer have glue puddles!!

I have no other suggestions other than self medicating with chocolate (I did that a lot last year!)

Mamie said...

Huh, must a a disease making it's way through every grade, in every school, in every state...!

My kids flat-out don't listen. You say their name and they don't look you. You give directions and the majority of them can't (or won't) do the first step.

Is it too much media/video games? Lack of socialization? Whatever it is, it's driving me NUTS!

Alicia said...


luckeyfrog said...

Our kids do the same thing when it comes to following directions. Written directions are no better. I try to verbally review, and sometimes I'll provide visual cues. With kindergarten, you'd probably have to have clip-art pictures for things like cut, paste, and color that you could move into the right order on the board or something. I hate putting the steps in front of them, though, because I worry it enables them just plain not listening.

With glue, the best I've seen is modeling and using the saying "Just a dot, not a lot!" over and over. My 2nd graders still say it after learning it in kindergarten!

teach5 said...

Somebody sucked the brains from this years kids.......

Chrissy said...

First, I am laughing and empathizing. Are you sure you are not in my classroom?

Sandra.Ink said...

I am definitely going to refer your blog to my husband. He teaches kindergarten at a charter school and I've heard these exact things from him since school started!