I have 10 boys and 29 students. FIVE of my boys are seriously clueless. One of my babies, can’t count to one. No clue, not in English, not in Spanish. I hold up one finger and ask him how much it is, and he holds up one finger. Uno, dos, what comes next? No reponse. Big happy grin. This is killing me because this is NOTHING to be happy about. How can you be so clueless that you don’t know you are clueless? Four of the five are competing for the honor of being crowned King of Cluelessness. I want to check them for a pulse except they are always rolling around on the floor goofing off.

I have someone who started coming in this week to do interventions with the low kids. (we’ll see how long THAT lasts). After two days, they are already making her crazy.

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“One”, like “zero”, are not usually good places to start even though they are at the beginning. Try a set of numbers that is larger than one or zero (and start by modeling not by interrogating)… “Look, here are five boys rolling on the floor, let’s count them… 1, 2, 3, 4, 5!” “Oh, now I have your attention, let’s see there are only three boys rolling on the floor… 1, 2, 3!” Maybe tomorrow you’ll have a chance to deal with one or zero… Count the children, they love counting and you might have 29. One and zero can be dealt with later once the concept of “number” or sets of numbers is established. With one and zero it’s not so obvious. The kids aren’t clueless; they just haven’t learned what the task is. (P.S. Once they’re experts and ready for zero I always use the “number word” zero and they show it by having all fingers down, as in a fist. Enjoy. Reference: John Van de Walle (try Teaching Student-Centred Mathematics K-3)

Oh, we’ve done and are doing ALL that. I’m just pointing out that at 45 days and counting, THAT’s the response I’m getting if I ask. MOST of the class, if I say, 1, 2, 3,4…. can tell me the next number. They do the same things with days of the week or the Alphabet. They might not know what day of the week today is, but if I go, Monday, Tuesday….. they will say Wednesday. Two or three of these can’t do it. Not with numbers, or ABC’s or anything else.

We count all the time, in a variety of ways with numerals, with how many kids there are, the calendar, with unifix cubes and other counters, math to this point has been zero to 10- for 45 days. For numeral recognition, we practice them random and say their names. My math program is moving on. The one who can’t yet count at ALL (and I have another who can’t count past 3), has an older brother who is in resource, I found THAT out yesterday. I have 29 kids to teach, with very little help. I can’t hold the rest of the class back, while I try to catch 6 or seven kids p (besides the 5 boys there are 2 girls)these kids up. They will fall further and further behind. They will get what help I can give them, but so far, it hasn’t been enough.

I am sorry to hear that. Really. I have been working in the field of ECE for the past 20 years and I have seen the serious breakdown of the family structure. The stress on the parents (if they are involved) the economy..job situations & housing has played a factor in how or whether adults evern spend time with thier children. Oh…I am in NO way excusing anyone…I have just seen a fraction of a sign of the times. Unfortunately, most parents look to the teachers to educate their child…the truth is, a child educated ONLY at school is still an uneducated child. I had worked with at-risk and children in social services. You’re overwhelmed because this is a job for a “team”….okay maybe a swat team, who knows. What I’ll say is this…I can tell you are doing a marvalous job-do the best you can with what you’ve got…unless you’ve wearing a cape and boots (allergic to cryptonite-no less)make sure you leave work smiling & with your sanity…the kids need your care and support and a positive attitude…they will be receptive to learning and the environment will be pleasant-who knows…maybe the assistant will want to stay… Be Blessed

I feel your pain. I was discussing this very thing with a colleague yesterday. Most people do NOT understand how serious these problems can be at such an early age. We cannot implement “no child left behind” if some children can’t even find the starting line. And everyone is so up in arms about the idea of separating these children from the herd, but I truly think it would benefit these children to be in their own groups learning at their own pace as long as the groups weren’t static. Move the children to another group as soon as they are ready. The problem of course is that WE are supposed to do that in our classrooms and monitor ALL the groups, when the solution is for each group to have an adult working with them. If we can’t afford several teachers, then at least we should have assistants and volunteers. I can’t tell you how excited I would be if I only had a half-day assistant like I did years ago. Makes such a difference!!!

Most of them are responding some to small group instruction, not sure yet on the “rate” of growth, too early to tell yet. Pretty much the same group has problems in language arts as well. I get an aide that comes in one time in the morning for about 35-40 minutes and she works with one group in reading. The timing isn’t ideal because she comes in during whole group “core” time, but they need the small group instruction and help more and they can’t keep up in large group anyway. I pulled them some for math this week and I can see some movement on the counting.