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Imagine you are 1stgrade teacher, working with 5 and 6 year old children. The principal calls you into his

Imagine you are 1st grade teacher, working with 5 and 6 year old children. The principal calls you into his

office one day, saying that a complaint was received from Shelly's mother, Mrs. Sands. Shelly is a student in your class. Here is the letter she sent:

"Dear Principal,

I am very concerned that Shelly is not getting a good education in her first grade class. She is making lots of mistakes that I don't think she should be making! For example, the other day I saw Shelly playing with dolls. At first I thought she was just playing make believe, but she got very upset when another child pretended to steal the doll's bottle. Shelly thought the doll was going to starve to death! I told her teacher about it, but the teacher laughed it off and said it was normal.

I also noticed that Shelly is acting very self-absorbed and manipulative. For example, I asked her for an idea of what could be good dinner to surprise her older brother with, and she said spaghetti. Spaghetti is her favorite food, not her brother's! I think she asked for spaghetti to try to trick me into making it. I told her teacher about it, but again, the teacher laughed and said it was normal. I'm worried her teacher is encouraging this behavior in Shelly!

Finally, I noticed that when Shelly and her brother were playing cashier at home, her brother tricked her into giving her more money than him! They each had five coins, and Shelly wanted more, so her brother made her five coins appear more spread out on the table. Even though Shelly still only had five coins, she thought she now had more than her brother, because they were more spread out than his! I told the teacher about it, as I'm concerned Shelly is not learning to add properly, but Shelly's teacher again laughed it off and said it was normal.

I do not think Shelly's teacher is doing a good job with Shelly, and I think Shelly should be removed from the class. Please help.


Mrs. Sands (Shelly's mom)"

The principal asks you to compose a letter to Shelly's mother, addressing her concerns. Your letter should include the following components:

1. Were the behaviors Shelly was displaying normal? Why or why not? Use vocabulary and examples from Piaget's theory to assist in describing each of Shelly's behaviors.

2. How do you think that the parent should respond to their children when children engage in these errors? How will you, the teacher, respond when Shelly demonstrates these errors during class? Give at least two recommendations.

3. Describe a detailed class activity that you will be doing in the first grade classroom in the future to help all of your student foster cognitive development? Be sure the classroom activity relates to a specific behavior that Shelly's mother described.  Describe the directions to the activity, the cognitive error it is addressing, and the purpose of using this activity in the classroom- why will it help Shelly and her classmates? 

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