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Posted on October 3, 2014 2:45 am
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Zafer Unal
Zafer Unal
Reps: 957
Heather is working alone, again
It is your third period 7th grade math class. You have just finished the lesson and your students are working either in
pairs or alone Ė their choice. You notice that Heather is working alone, again. She seems to work for a moment, then daydream out the window, and then return working again. You reflect that Heatherís face often looks emotionless or blank and you canít remember if you have
ever seen her smile since school started. However, you have seen her cry before during tests and also at times during individual or
partner seatwork. Other teachers have remarked on seeing similar behavior but to a lesser extent than in your classroom. What is next?
 
     
     
 
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Solution 1
Posted October 15, 2014 10:36 pm

yseruW
yseruW
Reps: 201
I would first ask the students if they needed any help. I would then walk around the class to the monitor students progress. When I get to Heather I would pull up a chair and to to her about the assignment and why she likes to work alone. During this conversation, I would hope to find out things that interest her. Maybe she is having a hard time on the assignment and doesn't want to ask for help aloud. I would also try to meet with her parents to hopefully get some insight. Maybe the next assignment would require student to work with a buddy.
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ypuqum
ypuqum
Reps: 207
I agree with this solution. Communicating with the student would open up a line for them to discuss any concerns they may be feeling.
  Posted on: October 16, 2014 8:03 pm

JepyBe
JepyBe
Reps: 101
I agree. I would try to use some her interest in future assignments, also. Maybe she would be more engaged if she saw that her teacher was putting forth effort.
  Posted on: October 18, 2014 1:34 pm

Jenna Herberson
Jenna Herberson
Reps: 200
I agree with your solution.
  Posted on: February 25, 2018 6:50 am

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Solution 2
Posted October 15, 2014 12:19 am

yLuVaz
yLuVaz
Reps: 102
The first thing I would do would be to go up to her and ask her if she had any questions or needed any help with her assignment. Then at the end of class I would ask her to stay and talk to her about how she is feeling and let her know that im here for her, and if she ever has any questions she can feel free to ask.
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Solution 3
Posted February 19, 2015 1:32 pm

Javuna
Javuna
Reps: 100
I would first talk with the student one on one and get to know her more. Some students prefer to work by themselves ad that is their comfort zone. If the conclusion is just that nobody wants to work with her assigning partners would be an option to make sure everyone is included. I would also try contacting the counselor and parents to see if they know any more information on the topic.
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Solution 4
Posted March 1, 2015 11:48 pm

Rachel Antis
Rachel Antis
Reps: 205
I know that when I was in school I preferred to work alone because it was within my comfort zone and I knew that I could do my work by myself. I think the best solution would be to get to know Heather and see if she is comfortable working by herself or if she has a friend in the class that she would like to be paired up with. Social interactions and learning to build ideas off of each other is important and learning what works best for Heather's specific needs should be the top priority.
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Solution 5
Posted March 2, 2015 4:10 am

JuMaPa
JuMaPa
Reps: 100
I was Heather.
What helped was when teachers encouraged my work, reminded me to work & actually cared.
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Solution 6
Posted March 16, 2015 12:25 am

ybereD
ybereD
Reps: 104
I agree that maybe opening up to heather would be a good place to start. Something else you could do is have the students make a list of 3 people they want to work with every Friday to prepare for partner work the following week. I think you would be surprised by the results. This is a good method for allowing students the choice to pick their partner but also gives you the ability to take them out of their comfort zone.
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Solution 7
Posted October 4, 2015 8:23 pm

Alyssa McGee
Alyssa McGee
Reps: 101
Communication is key with this student. But I don't think forcing her to work with a buddy is the right solution. That may cause her anxiety which will just make her more upset. It sounds like she is struggling and needs some one on one attention. Give her that time and build a level of trust with her and see where that takes you first before getting parents involved because who knows that could be one of her struggles.
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Solution 8
Posted February 29, 2016 2:34 am

Rachel Antis
Rachel Antis
Reps: 205
The first thing that I would do is ask the student why they prefer to work alone. Do they have trouble communicating with their peers? Do they have anxiety? As a student I, too, preferred to work along as I thought that I could completely the work better, and in a more timely manner, than if I was working with my peers. If there is a bigger problem, such as the student having anxiety or depression, that is preventing them from working with their peers then I would definitely refer them to a councilor. If not, then it was your choice as the teacher to allow students to work alone, and if that is what they prefer and if they are still performing well then that is their prerogative.
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