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Strategies to help dd concentrate in class.

(8 Posts)
Takver Wed 15-Jun-11 10:13:00

Following on from a couple of other threads, I've now asked for a meeting with dd's teacher & the HT (who is also the school SENCO).

I'd like to go along with some suggestions of things that might help dd stay focussed on her work.

My list so far (thank you Seeline and Mrz!) is below, but I'd love any other ideas to add to it smile

No distraction area - perhaps sitting on her own if possible when there is a longer piece of written work to be done.
Using some sort of timer to keep track of progress
More frequent verbal reminders of how long is left to complete something
If the task is to do a certain number of things, writing a list of the numbers and crossing one off each time she completes one
Using a white board (or a piece of rough paper) to quickly jot down initial ideas - even single words help
Using a dictaphone to quickly record ideas verbally and then listening back to it whilst writing down in 'English'!

I do realise this isn't magically going to help dd be able to write, but I think that it might help a bit, and also mean that she gets in less trouble (she is very bad at staying 'on task' with things she can't do).

Takver Wed 15-Jun-11 10:17:06

I should say that every set of targets that dd has had in her 2 years in this class have included 'develop strategies to complete work on time', in case people are wondering why I want to go with a list, rather than letting dd's teacher deal with the problem her way, IYSWIM.

RoadArt Wed 15-Jun-11 22:09:44

Sounds good. Have you tried any of this at home to see if it helps before putting the pressure on at school.

Dictaphone might be an issue in class - especially when kids have to be quiet.

The only downside I see is it could be adding extra pressure on your DD to check off everything in addition to her work. But unless you try, you/she wont know

Takver Thu 16-Jun-11 10:02:01

We have tried quite a few or equivalents (scrap paper not whiteboard, but I know that they often use mini-whiteboards in class).

I agree that the dictaphone sounds intrusive - but interestingly we did have quite a productive meeting with dd's teacher & the HT/SENCO yesterday, and the HT suggested that as a possibility herself.

I think in fact that the classroom tends not to be that quiet in their topic sessions (which generally are where the 'flashpoints' for dd happen) - they move around a set of activities, which often include a survey/graphing activity, so there is a lot of questioning/interaction going on already.

They're also going to refer dd to the dyslexia specialist - she felt it was worthwhile although it doesn't look like 'classic' dyslexia as there's a family history, plus their behavioural specialist because of the concentration issues. So fingers crossed we may be getting somewhere . . .

MsInterpret Thu 16-Jun-11 10:48:04

That sounds really positive Takver.

Your dd is lucky you are taking such a pro-active stance. With vague targets like, 'develop strategies to...' then I think the teacher/SENCo should be supporting her to do so; she's hardly going to develop strategies magically herself! Luckily, you are helping to make the target smarter.

Hope things continue to progress smile

IndigoBell Thu 16-Jun-11 10:55:21

Takver - are they going to get an EP to assess your DD for dyslexia? Or is the SENCO going to do some kind of screening test?

It's great if the EP assesses her, and it's what she really needs but you will probably wait months for it, and at the end all you will have is a report listing the kinds of things mrz has already told you......

So be excited about an EP assessment, but don't stop racking your brains and talking with school. Don't lose 6 months waiting for a piece of paper.

When she gets a report saying she has dyslexia, she will still have all the same issues she has now, and school will still have no more ideas than they do now.....

Seeline Thu 16-Jun-11 11:28:04

Glad you had a helpful meeting Takver and I hope your daughter gets the help she needs.

Takver Thu 16-Jun-11 11:31:58

Lots of good advice here. I take your point absolutely, Indigo.

TBH, at the moment, our main aim I think is to get school to disentangle her behavioural issues (a lot of which I think are frustration based) from her inability to produce written work to the expected level.

At a base level, I would really like to get away from a situation where she is sat with the same task all day or even all week. (The teacher / TA are trying to help her with the task, but the way they are helping isn't working, IYSWIM, and its all spiralling downhill.) I'm certain there is still at least a bit of a belief there that she could do it if she only tried harder . . . this thing of being able to read, to express herself verbally, but then not get it on paper.

We've been doing a lot of phonics work at home - which is having some impact I think - and absolutely are going to carry on with that - and keep reading all the threads on here for more good advice!

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