The ABC of Child Whispering: T is for Telling Tales

Telling tales is considered to be a very “un-Australian” behaviour but let’s face it- as adults we often call it “whistle blowing” and often admire the truth tellers!

Children tell us “tales” for many reasons.

For sure they might be seeking to get their siblings or classmates into trouble. They also might be trying to become more popular with a teacher or to in some way weild personal power.

However- over my career I have often found these 2 reasons to be more evident-

  • Risky behaviour has been witnessed – behaviours we would DEFINITELY want to be told about.
  • A child has been bullied and is frightened and definitely want the behaviour to stop.

So- the message is- listen carefully and don’t just send children away before listening to them. At least listen and if their tale telling is inappropriate tell them why BUT do not tell them they cannot come back if something is important and needs to be communicated.

Children must ALWAYS know they can depend on parents and teachers to be there and to listen in troubling and problematic situations.

The following link raises some important points. Sure- especially as teachers, we get sick and tired of tales but we need to look closely at the reasons for the tales and consider if some action needs to be taken- even if it is just to be a receptive listener or to encourage a child in a situation that is bothering them.

Children Bullying and Telling Tales: The Link

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High-School Worries for Year 7 students.

Recently I have had a spate of year seven students who are suffering extreme anxiety and are obsessively worried about getting assignments done, homework up to date and studying for what seems to be a  never ending round of tests!

The problem as I see it, is that while it does benefit children of year 7 age to have specialist teachers and to begin learning subjects in greater depth; these kids ARE still kids and do not all cope well with the pressures of high-school life.

I know there are many primary teachers employed in highschools to help the transition to be smooth and this is GREAT but the kids I am seeing are being treated like year 8 kids and-

  • are expected to do at least 2 hours homework each night
  • forget where the toilets are
  • are terrified of the “big kids” and suffer lots of teasing and bullying
  • have to carry around all their books and files on their backs like human snails because they can’t find their lockers or want to have EVERYTHING with them in case they’ve forgotten something and so on!

They are not being nurtured and helped to cope and in many cases schools are not paying enough attention to the needs of these younger students.

The transition should be made as seamless as possible but these children who were only just coping at primary school are now absolutely sure they are failures! How sad!

Whether or not there are sufficient staff or funds, schools CAN-

  • Be kind and welcoming to all their kids and ensure ALL teaching and non-teaching staff are aware of potential problems that might occur for these younger children.
  • Ensure teachers from different subject areas have an effective¬† communication system in place so that kids do not have too many assignments to do each evening
  • Be very aware that children in year 7 may have more need for home-room contact and access to counselling
  • Understand All year 7 children need regular help to develop the positive growth and mindset skills that will help them with their studies and high-school life.

This IS serious. These kids are not just presenting with academic issues. These difficulties can lead to potentially very serious mental health problems.

We all need to think back to our own childhoods and remember that daunting, terrifying day we went to high-school.

I remember the year 12s at Albany high-school looked like GIANTS.

I can still recall the smell of donuts cooking in the school canteen but being terrified of lining up with the giants to buy one! It all sounds funny and silly now but at the time was TERRIFYING!

Taking our year 7 students to highschool was never going to be easy- let’s use our emotional intelligence and just plain commonsense to ensure we don’t shred their self-confidence and kill their enthusiasm and enjoyment of education!

Please call me on 92777596 or 0409911135 or email me on victoriacarlton@iinet.net.au if you would like extra help for your child.

Here is some extra information and interesting thoughts on successful transition to highschool.

http://https://www.news.com.au/national/nsw-act/year-7-students-suffering-high-school-anxiety-need-help/news-story/bdc611cee79fe033cab7f0a8b6939394

http://https://www.tes.com/news/children-struggle-year-7-no-one-secondary-knows-child-well-we-do-primary

 

 

 

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Reading aloud DOES matter! Important research!

Reading aloud to children MATTERS!
Important for ALL teachers and ALL parents!This is an excellent article and shows what many of us suspected about animated stories- we DO need to read to children as often as possible! I have some excellent lists of books for reading aloud-if you would like access please email me separately on victoriacarlton@iinet.net.au

https://www.kqed.org/mindshift/51281/whats-going-on-in-your-childs-brain-when-you-read-them-a-story

 

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SUBITISING AND WHY KIDS NEED IT!

Subitising is a super-important maths skill but is been sadly missing in many children we assess.

Subitising was coined by Piaget and refers to the ability to instantaneously recognise the number of objects in a small group without having to count them. We do this when we play dominoes or regognise the dots on the dice.

Increasingly we are seeing children who cannot recognise small groups of items and therefore they have to count every items each time.

 

Early maths skills need time to develop. Not spending enough time on “hands-on” manipulatives and lack of experience with making and remaking groups is contributing to shaky basic number concepts.

Subitising skills are essential to basic maths. There is no fast way to accelerate these skills- the kids actually HAVE to see and manipulate materials in groups. or the understanding of concepts such as “five” simply does not develop.

This of course leads to serious problems with all 4 basic maths processes and a marked lack of understanding of number patterns. As PATTERNS are at the heart of all maths understanding, we need to help children who are lacking with these skills.

Here is some excellent extra information:

https://www.yellow-door.net/blog/what-is-subitising/

Many inexpensive ways to teach subitising skills are highlighted in this link.

https://www.littlelifelonglearners.com/2017/03/subitise-hands-on-activities.html/about the importance of subitising.

Just a few minutes practice each day will lead to a much deeper understanding of our number system and help children to build a firm foundation for this important area.

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