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Kids Behaving Badly and Teachers Teaching Badly!
I am raving again – there are so many problems with children in schools. Then you wonder why they behave so badly.
I recently said that there are only two directions for kids to go when they have no idea what’s going on in the classroom. Often they cannot read well, so their chances of succeeding in class are very limited. One direction they can take is to behave more and more badly. The other meaning is to withdraw and hope that no one notices that they can’t make it to class.
The first group… They are intelligent but use their intelligence destructively. These children are intelligent, but severely undereducated. They can’t use their intelligence to expand their knowledge – they don’t have the basics to build on. They have no idea what they can accomplish because their abilities have not been explored. It is assumed that because they are late to class, there must be something wrong with their level of intelligence.
A kid like that just started in my band. His behavior at school is appalling. — Daily violent confrontations, verbal abuse towards adults and peers. He is also rated by his regular school as “brilliant”… Why can’t he do basic arithmetic then? He is 10 years old for God’s sake… He has to use his fingers to count until he calculates his 2 times tables… He can’t do basic addition and subtraction calculations… He has a reading age of almost 2 years below his chronological age… Yet he is considered “brilliant” by his school!
How was this decided? And why don’t they ask, “If this child is so brilliant but doesn’t reach such a terrible level, what’s wrong?” Or do they ignore that he is not succeeding?
But that’s not worth considering… It’s so much easier, because of the boy’s alarmingly bad behavior, to blame it for his underperformance. Couldn’t that be something the school does (or doesn’t do!), right? The child is not without academic ability, but his academic results certainly do not indicate this…
Another example, this time of a little girl who falls into the category of ‘I don’t understand but I’m not going to make a fuss about it’…
I was in a 3rd grade class recently. All the children were working on a computer math game about fractions – they had to color a flag in different colors depending on the fraction shown. I looked at this little girl and she just clicked a square or two over and over. I kindly asked her if she understood what to do. She shook her head and I saw she was almost crying…it was heartbreaking to see a small child so upset but lacking the confidence to handle the situation. A quiet, unassuming little girl who didn’t know what she was supposed to do…
It became clear that she didn’t even understand what a fraction was! But she was brilliant…in no time she got the basic idea and was happily coloring her flags. What happens to little children like this little girl – who don’t understand but have nothing wrong with their level of intelligence? Poor little things – their time at school must often be a misery…
So much material is collected about children, but what’s the point if it doesn’t help children get the help they need, or if children are fine and need challenges to learn more and keep them interested.
This reminds me of a major behavior problem that I helped a few years ago. A very small guy – he was only about 5 or 6 years old and his behavior was seriously deteriorating. I was called at school and just randomly asked him if he would like to read me. He was delighted and chose a book. I was amazed — his reading was remarkable… Unbelievable for such a small boy. When I asked the school what reading age his assessment indicated, I was told that they didn’t know because he hadn’t been graded. But when he was assessed, they found he had a reading age of a 10-year-old! A baby with an upper junior reading age… When the school took into account his abilities, the behavior problem was solved! It’s not rocket science, is it?
If you take the time and trouble to assess children, then for heaven’s sake use the data you collect – or is it just a paper exercise required by Ofsted and the government ?
If you start to see major behavioral issues, start wondering why this is happening… It could be due to improper behavior management or poor teaching. In this case, my definition of bad teaching does not meet the needs of the children in your care! I know, no one teaches badly on purpose, but differentiation is a major consideration – and it can prevent so many problems! A valuable and vital investment of time…
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