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    Help? Recitation is draaaaggging

    I'm finding that my morning recitation is starting to drag a bit.

    I'm teaching a small group of 7/8 year olds and doing the 2nd grade recitation. We started pretty well. I'm doing my best to following the wonderful MP recitation guidelines. But as we've continued to add more questions (Week 6 now), I'm finding that my students are not really "with me" as much as I'd like them to be. There is fidgeting, playing with their clothing, staring off into space, or more commonly, just not answering or answering without and vigor or effort I correct them, but it seems like I am correcting them too much, and its starting to feel a bit like I am nagging them. "Recitation voices, speak up, speak clearly, keep up with your neighbor, eyes ahead, no slouching, attention position, hands at your sides....."

    Is this normal? Is that what recitation looks like in the HLS primary classrooms? (I'm thinking not! LOL! ) What am I doing wrong here?

    I have the students' names on craft sticks, and I'll draw a name at a time to answer individual questions, just to mix it up and try to keep the pace going. But this is seeming to make things drag even more. My students just are not as attentive and mentally engaged in recitation as I'd like them to me.

    My assumption is that this is a "teacher problem," and I probably need to adjust something in my management or delivery. Any advice is so appreciated!

    #2
    I printed out the recitation section for the kids and put them in their school binder. Before I start rapid firing questions, I make them read it for the weeks we are covering. I only let them review it for about 2 minutes, then I make them shut the binder and I ask questions then. That helped a lot.
    Melissa

    DS (MP3) - 9
    DS (MP2) - 7/8
    DS (K) - 6
    DD (Adorable distraction) 2 1/2

    Comment


      #3
      I don't let my eldest pause too long to guess. There are a few she just hasn't tried to commit to memory, and those trip her up each time. I just say the answer, make her repeat after me, ask the question 3 more times with the correct answer each time, then we move on. If we ever hit a run of 3 that aren't known, we make that part of weekly disappearing line study or make up a mnemonic device. For the US time zones, we do it backwards from Hawaii to NY. We call it HAP MiCE. For the 5 oceans, we do hand motions for where they are on a US left map and say "APASI." For her, the hand motions cue the terms and locations. We have a cute song we chant for the continents that is different from the book's order as well. For books of the Bible I drew a bookshelf with 36 on top, 27 in the middle and 66 on the bottom. You can do an erasing technique with that until they can visualize it without it being there.

      As to the wiggles, I only get to the standing with formal/no wiggles every so often. I assume kids just get used to it as their stamina increases.
      Mama to 2

      Summer:
      MPK with SC1 Phonics & Math
      SY 20/21
      4A

      Comment


        #4
        Originally posted by ShawnaB View Post
        I'm finding that my morning recitation is starting to drag a bit.

        I'm teaching a small group of 7/8 year olds and doing the 2nd grade recitation. We started pretty well. I'm doing my best to following the wonderful MP recitation guidelines. But as we've continued to add more questions (Week 6 now), I'm finding that my students are not really "with me" as much as I'd like them to be. There is fidgeting, playing with their clothing, staring off into space, or more commonly, just not answering or answering without and vigor or effort I correct them, but it seems like I am correcting them too much, and its starting to feel a bit like I am nagging them. "Recitation voices, speak up, speak clearly, keep up with your neighbor, eyes ahead, no slouching, attention position, hands at your sides....."

        Is this normal? Is that what recitation looks like in the HLS primary classrooms? (I'm thinking not! LOL! ) What am I doing wrong here?

        I have the students' names on craft sticks, and I'll draw a name at a time to answer individual questions, just to mix it up and try to keep the pace going. But this is seeming to make things drag even more. My students just are not as attentive and mentally engaged in recitation as I'd like them to me.

        My assumption is that this is a "teacher problem," and I probably need to adjust something in my management or delivery. Any advice is so appreciated!
        How many days per week are you doing this, Shawna? And we are talking about in a classroom, right? So that means it will help to have a more formal approach. Are they doing recitation only with you or are they also doing it at home on off-days? I think you have them four days per week, but I don't remember. That info will help.

        Generally if it's dragging it is because they don't have the material memorized. With the early grades there is a lot of recitation up front and then fewer things are added each week. You may just be in the thick of it with those few long lists.

        Can you share some more? I'm doing second grade at home, so I'm tracking with you though ahead by one week I believe.
        Festina lentē,
        Jessica P

        2020-2021
        11th year HSing · 9th year MP
        @ Home, HLN, & Latin online
        11th, 9th, 6th, 3rd

        Highlands Latin Nashville Cottage School

        Comment


          #5
          My daughter, who is 7, also suffers from the wiggles and window watching. If it's a particularly distracted day we sing recitation quickly back and forth. For whatever reason that makes it easier for her to focus/me not to get frustrated. I have to be careful with the pace though, if I'm singing too slow she gets even slower.

          Comment


            #6
            You know those annoying posters that come here with their plea for help, and then get a lot of great feedback, and then disappear? Sorry. Guilty! Its been a very full six days since my original post! I've tried to get back her multiple times with no success.

            Thank you for the suggestions and support. Jessica, yes you remember correctly! I have this group 4 mornings a week, and so yes, we do recitation formally.

            And, I think you are correct. We are in the hard work part of doing a lot of memorization, and they don't have it yet. Here is how I've modified my approach, and its going better. Feedback welcomed!

            First, I have the class say the answers chorally up to about week 5. (We are in week 7 now.) They have that material much pretty dialed in. I also am mixing it up a bit by adding in the occasional individual question. So I'll ask "How many months a year?" (everyone) "Name all 12 months in order." (everyone) and then ask "Lilly, on which continent to do you live?" This seems to keep everyone a little more on their toes.

            When I get to the more recent weeks, I say the answer with them, to help them build memory. Previously, it was like this: "Name the planets in order." Crickets. Crickets. Then I would answer and they would try to repeat with me...those who were not by now picking at the extremely interesting scab on their knuckle or staring at the fascinating cloud out the window. Hence the draaaaaging.

            And no Jessica, they are not practicing the recitation at home. Although, I did provide every family a copy of the recitation questions, and a copy of all the poems we are working on this year. But, I don't think anyone is actually using them, and likely don't even know where it is!

            Thats' a question for another time....what is reasonable to require of parents to do at home, and how do you hold them accountable. I feel like I am teaching the children of some very burned out homeschool families...and they are just so relieved to have some of the academic heavy lifting done for them they have forgotten that they are still homeschooling!

            Comment


              #7
              Shawna,
              That's a great idea-answering with them for a few training weeks then gradually moving to them doing it alone. Sending you a PM with a communication idea for parents.
              Last edited by pickandgrin; 10-15-2019, 11:30 PM.
              Festina lentē,
              Jessica P

              2020-2021
              11th year HSing · 9th year MP
              @ Home, HLN, & Latin online
              11th, 9th, 6th, 3rd

              Highlands Latin Nashville Cottage School

              Comment

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