Group working and listening skills

(13 Posts)
vinyard68 Mon 04-Jul-16 13:19:05

Hi, my daughter's (Yr 3) school report has really focused on her problems with working in pairs/groups, being easily distracted and not listening to instructions in class. She is on the gifted spectrum for maths. Any useful tips on how I can work with her on these things outside of school? Best books on social-emotional development issues? Thanks!

steppemum Mon 04-Jul-16 13:37:49

I would:
play lots of board games. Simple ones if you concentration is poor.
Takes turns, she learns to lose and win.

Do activities together (make a cake?) Make it inot a game where you can only repeat each instruction once. (remember 'Allo 'Allo?? I sometimes do the voice "listen very carefully I will say this only once...") so she has to listen and do each instruction before getting the next.

Once she gets good at this, get her to give you the instructions. Or give her 2 at once. (weigh 100g of sugar AND 100g of butter)

In fact make a spy game for you both over the summer. Instruction only given once, maybe given as a whisper in your ear. celebrate each time a spy completes a mission (does what is asked) You can do this for everything from 'go and get you pyjamas on and brush your teeth', to actual fun spy things 'there is a clue hidden under the blanket, in the blue box, in the shed' and she finds a small pack of sweets.

make a spy chart, with some goal at the end.

get a friend round and give them separate instructions, which they have to put together. (so in above example, you tell one about the shed, and one about the blue box)

attheendoftheday Wed 06-Jul-16 21:13:14

Steppemum I love those ideas!

steppemum Thu 07-Jul-16 11:45:34

glad someone does - I hate OP who post and then bugger off, what a waste of time trying to help.

EricXXGmex Fri 08-Jul-16 09:41:02

Stepmum makes some great suggestions (although it is possible Lord Lucan is living in our shed) and they sound fun ideas regardless of the report (considers the cost/benefit and likelihood of saying something "There is £10 hidden in the attic" by week 5 of the holidays in order to buy some quiet smile ) but - I wonder if the problems with listening to instructions is a school thing, or does she do it at home too?

If your DD is not being adequately challenged at school, it may be that her mind is wandering because she can 'see' the answers almost before she's begun. I would imagine that this is more likely is she's paired with someone less able (which she will be all the time if she is the most able) because the work will most likely be set so it's accessible for the other child. Similarly, not listening is something gifted children can 'learn' to do as a coping mechanism if a lot of what they are being told seems to them to be simple, obvious or repetitious.

vinyard68 Fri 08-Jul-16 10:53:41

Hello, many thanks for all your suggestions. I didn't "bugger off", just very busy during the last week of term...The listening thing is definitely something we also experience at home, we have to repeat ourselves many times as DD has her nose in a book or is just very focused on what she is doing at the time. Her concentration on things that she enjoys is very good and she can be very self managing running her own little projects. But she hates being interrupted, doesn't like transitions, and loathes not winning at games (so board games need to be treated with caution). We made the point about boredom to the school but were told that she is already in the top sets for the subjects where they stream so they do differentiate by ability.

EricXXGmex Fri 08-Jul-16 11:06:03

If the work is too easy, they don't differentiate effectively. It doesn't matter what set she is in, or what the other kids are doing. It can be very difficult to explain this to school though.

Your DD sounds quite a lot like Eldest.

steppemum Mon 11-Jul-16 17:22:32

yes, I would want to know if it is for maths that she is zoning out,or other things. Given that she is G&T in maths it is quite likely she is bored.

If she is always wanting to win board games, then that is a good reason to play them and learn about sharing, turn taking and winning and losing. Those skills will go a long way with working in pairs and groups.
Given that she has good maths skills, why no teach her some basic probability?
In a game of luck, when 4 people are playing, what is the probability of winning, and the probability of losing? My mum did this with my nephew. Once he realised that with 4 people playing, if each one won once, then everyone else had to lose 3 times, he actually found it much easier to lose, he thought about it in terms of Granny's turn to win, sister's turn to win, daddy's turn to win, etc.

vinyard68 Tue 12-Jul-16 18:32:03

Hi again, there was fairly consistent feedback from all subject teachers, not just maths. In fact the maths teacher was the most proactive in coming up with ideas on how to keep her engaged, give her additional challenges etc.

We'll give your ideas re board games a try, many thanks; I remember being an incredibly sore loser as a kid so she probably inherited my competitive streak...

Obeliskherder Sun 17-Jul-16 20:54:19

DS is also very able in maths. When he became a very bad loser we responded by playing a lot of games with him and playing to win ourselves.

The teamworking I see as different to the following instructions, mainly Tbh because DS really struggles with following instructions but I'm told he is good at teamwork. I suspect having an older sibling helps enormously - younger children are often good sharers because they are used to it from birth. I think teamworking might break down into something like:
- good sharing,
- reflecting on how the other person might feel
- being polite & respectful of the other child(ren)
- adapting ideas to include everyone & compromising
Is she good at all of these or are they things you can work on with her? Could you give her more opportunities to negotiate at home, or invite her to see things from your side if she says something rude? Her own little projects sound fab but if you could get involved in them sometimes and try to inject your own ideas, it would give her a chance to practice teamworking, compromising etc.

DS tended to define maths as the most important thing so anyone less good at maths than him (ie everyone, in his opinion!) was inferior. Luckily he goes to a fab school which really values every child and he has come on leaps and bounds at respecting his peers.

tartanterror Fri 22-Jul-16 21:51:47

You could consider social stories. They are for children on the autistic spectrum but are useful for anyone really.

LockedOutOfMN Fri 22-Jul-16 21:56:26

Love Steppemum's suggestions.

Simon says is also a good game for this (you could let your daughter have a go at being "Simon" too).

Have you asked the school for any ideas?

When your daughter starts back at school next term, talk to her regularly about what has been going on at school and encourage her to comment more generally, e.g. not so much what she did personally but what was going on around her, what others did, and what people said.

vinyard68 Thu 28-Jul-16 17:58:04

Hello, just realised there are more suggestions here and wanted to say thank you! Great tips re encouraging aspects of team work at home, asking more about social goings on at school. Had never heard of social stories so that's definitely something to follow up on.

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