Friday, November 20, 2009

Novermber 3, 2009

As soon as I showed up to the program this day the graduate assisstant sat me down to explain the program for the child that I was mentoring. The graduate assisstant and my student had an agreement. The agreement was that if he was able to stay on task with any type of school work, he would then have some free play time. If he did not fill his end of the bargain, he would not be given any privleges of play time. The other child that I mentored was with us as a reward for the child with behavior issues. They were good friends and they could be together if he followed the guidelines of the deal with the graduate assisstant. This was used as an incentive for the child with the behavior issues.
The two kids I mentored first started out with studying spelling. The child with behavioral issues was the leader of the two. Half the time he would not allow the other to spell the words. I made the mistake of not addressing the situation right away. When I did address the situation I demanded the one child to stop. To my knowledge, I thought I was doing the appropriate correction to the situation. I later found out that instead of making a demand, I should try to give hime a choice but let him no the cosequences along with the choice. The graduate assisstant told me he responds better to that. If you make a demand to him like “Can you please stop interrupting and give him a chance to spell” its like it doesn’t have an effect on him whats so ever. If you say something like “Do you think it’s polite to interrupt someone while their trying to spell and would you like someone to interrupt you?” and it actually worked. It was a very affective tool that I now have and can use in those types of situations.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Oct 29th, 2009

Today I started out the day with the same fourth grade boy as the first day. When I sat down with him he did not remember who I was. I discussed with him all the things we did the first time I was with him. I usually go Tuesdays and Thursdays, so on the days I’m not with him he is with someone else. That someone else happens to have the same name as me. I also had my hair done differently then the last time I saw him. We played a game the first time we met and after I reminded him of that, he remembered me.
Right before snack time, the graduate assistant came up to me and reassigned me to two other kids. One of my peer teachers and I switched children. The graduate assistant thought that I would be better equipped to handle this one fifth grade boy than my peer teacher because of his lack of experience. I would have struggled if I was working with a child with this level of behavioral issues so early on in my education.
There was a set plan for this child in order for him to be successful and to stay on task that the graduate assistant would explain to me. She did not have time to explain the plan to me that day. All she wanted me to do is to get to know him and the other child that I would be mentoring. They were both fifth graders and they were very good friends. One of them had Asperger’s and the other did not have a disability. It was hard not to notice the child that I was now mentoring because he was always acting up in some way. I noticed that the teacher who was working with him before me used somewhat of a passive way of tending to his behavioral issues. I knew that I had to be more assertive with him. I let him know that there will be consequences for his actions and that he needed to behave when he was with me.

Oct 27th, 2009

Today was the first day of my observations. The program was organized so that as soon as the children would arrive they would help setup the room, by setting up the table and chairs. It was a good routine to teach the kids some structure and responsibility. This is something they would do everyday. After the tables were all setup the kids would sit with their mentors and do any homework they had to do. Seeing though it was my first time, I filled in for one of my peers who couldn’t be there that day.
The child I mentored that day was a fourth grade boy. As soon as we sat down he got right to work on his spelling. After he went over his spelling for a few minutes he then asked me to quiz him. He seemed to be very intelligent. I could not tell what or if he had a disability. The one thing I did notice was he struggled to focus on one task at a time. I thought of ADHD but at the same time his energy levels weren’t incredibly high like you would typically see in a child with ADHD. Later I caught up to the woman who ran the program and she told me he had Autism. I would have never known. He had a very high functioning form of Autism called Asperger’s.