Friday 20 May 2016

Update on Bob!

This week I really tried to change my mindset around Bob.
Due to the success on Monday, I felt so encouraged and motivated that he could change and make huge progress.

As Bob is always saying "I don't know" to everything you ask him, I thought I needed to change my attitude from inwardly rolling my eyes and writing him off as he wasn't listening etc, to maybe he actually doesn't know... Maybe he didn't understand the language I used to explain, maybe he isn't familiar enough with the task he is supposed to do, or the tool he is supposed to use, to understand the verbal instruction given, maybe, he actually doesn't know. 

I decided to change my mindset around this particular student, and the ones who are always with him and whom show similar behaviour patterns. I was going to be more supportive, more involved, show them physically/digitally instead of just explaining with words, guide them onto the right task/tool and explain how to use it, show where to click etc, and work more closely alongside them for longer periods of time than I have previously. I also talked more with them - explained in more detail what/how to do, walked through the steps with them, talked more about the thinking we are doing and why we need to do it, how we can support each other, etc. I made deals with the students, for example if you finish two pages of writing (which I wasn't expecting) you can draw a picture of your story. 

And guess what,
it worked. 

Yes, he was not perfect. I'll be the first person to admit that. He still punched someone (only one person though, which is a decrease on his average), and he and his buddy broke a pair of school headphones in our class. He still got distracted sometimes, he still played around during mat times.
But lets keep positive - it was soooo much better than his norm.

I got him to read aloud with some degree of fluency, to write independently and of his own ideas, to collaborate and share his ideas with friends, to take turns to talk, to listen and answer questions, but most importantly for me - he finished a piece of work. More than one actually.. I don't think that happened the whole of term 1 - him actually finishing something on his own, to a standard acceptable for his age. (i.e. one sentence doesn't count as a story).

He wrote two stories - one about his birthday (a follow up from the story we read together) and one about a girl escaping a giant (a writing task using a picture prompt). He was so engaged in these tasks, knew what to do, wanted to finish the work, wanted to add his own picture to support what he had written, came up with words like 'whacked' instead of 'hit' to make his story better, helped me fix the mistakes in his story (e.g. capital letters after full stops). It was so encouraging. He definitely felt that I was making more of an effort for him, and I could feel he was more open to me and more open his learning as well. Our relationship changed for the better.

I also noticed a change in his attitude towards learning as the week progressed as well. On Tuesday, he played up during reading because he wanted to do his writing already.. By Wednesday and Thursday, he was bursting to read the story, then write about it, then draw his picture about what he wrote. He wanted to learn. He wanted to work, and he knew he could! 
He began to increase his self-efficacy, which is really what I wanted. 

This kid can work. He can read. He can write. He can listen. He can make good choices.
Now I just need to make sure he knows that, everyday. 

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