5th grade ideas for behavior management

Discussion in 'Behavior Management' started by 4myclass, Jun 2, 2007.

  1. 4myclass

    4myclass Cohort

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    Jun 2, 2007

    I'm new to 5th grade. What works best at this age? I'm used to Pre-K where I used sticks for each student and moved them for not following rules from "happy cup" to "straight face cup" to "sad cup". At the end of the day, if a student was in "happy cup":) , they earned a sticker for their behavior chart. When the sticker was full, they got to get into my treasure box.
    Would this type of system work for 5th? I don't know.
    Please, if you work with this age group, let me know what works for your class.
     
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  3. ChangeAgent

    ChangeAgent Comrade

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    Jun 2, 2007

    I just student taught for seven weeks in a sixth grade inner city school. The students were not dangerous (as some inner city schools may be--just saw a news of a third student death this school year due to guns/gangs in Chicago), but unruly and confrontational toward one another.

    I used a whole-class behavior management system. Granted, I was student teaching, so I had to capitalize on time, since I did not have much of it.

    I gave them a "Challenge." Each day, they could earn up to either one or two points. The points gathered day after day. Once they reached 10 points, we'd watch a part of a movie and have a snack. Tangibles work--as undesirably as extrinsic motivation seems to be.

    I had three classes, so each class had a small box drawn on the dry-erase board with the homeroom number and the total points they earned.

    Beneath that, I wrote numbers 6 down through 1 (six on the left, one on the right).

    The Rules of the Challenge:
    - Keep at least a 3
    --Whenever the class as a whole got unruly (it could not be the fault of just one or two students), I would erase a number, starting with 6. If, at the end of the 90-minute block, there was still a three on the board, the class would get a point.
    --This focused on behavior

    - Everyone gets at least a 3/5 on a quiz
    --I gave a five-point quiz just about every other day (simple, multiple-choice, three choices per question) to review from the previous class. If everyone got a 3/5, the class got a point.
    --This focused on academics.

    - Everyone turns his or her homework in
    --Since I noticed that students were not doing homework, I provided this part of the challenge. If everyone turned in their homework for each day when it was due, the whole class got a point. It didn't have to be correct, just completed.
    --This focused on responsibility.

    I created this system after teaching for two or three weeks, so was able to gauge how they were doing on homework, on quizes, or behavior-wise before I created the "Challenge." It can be adapted to anyone's needs. I was really surprised at the effect in general. The homework one still lacked, but they continued to do well on quizes and the behavior improved (if just a little). Had I more time with the students, I would have changed the stipulations as they increased (increase behavior to keeping at least a 4, get at least a 4/5 on the quizes, etc.).

    Walking over to the part of the board with the numbers usually quieted most of them down ("Shhh, shhh, he'll erase a number!"). It was a great non-verbal cue.

    The only major problem was that it was not individualized. Those students who always behaved did not get an individual reward. However, it's a starting point.

    Don't be afraid to use visuals, and tangibles work well for ANY age, as childish as it may sound. Also, wording it as a "challenge" and perhaps telling them they may act as a "team" may get 5th graders pumped up and ready to meet your challenge.

    Hope this provided a little insight from my student teaching experience!
     
  4. Schöne Lehrerin

    Schöne Lehrerin Rookie

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    Jun 2, 2007

    You can use something similar. Just adapt it for fifth grade. With my kids I use the colors green, yellow, and red. The colors look like stop lights and they are attached with magnets to the side of my chalk board. Each students name is writen on a paper crayon, and attached to the chalkboard with a magnet, so they can be easily be moved up and down.

    At the beginning of each day each kid starts on green. If they do something wrong I warn them once. If they do something again I ask them to change their color to yellow. The student can be moved back up if they drastically improve their behavior, and they can be moved down to red if they continue to misbehave. By recess time if a student is on yellow they owe 10 minutes of recess time, and they have to complete what I call an "Action Plan" where they write about what rule they broke, and how they plan to improve their behavior. If they are on red then they owe their entire recess. At the end of the day any student that is on red gets a phone call home, and has to get their "Action Plan" signed by a parent.

    At the end of each day I have a chart next to my board with each students name, and I record what color they ended the day on. Students that end the day on green for an entire week are able to apply for a classroom job. To keep the job they have to continue to end each week on green. If they end just one day on yellow or red then they loose their job, but they can gain it back again if they can stay on green for a week.

    Students who end every day on green for an entire month get a certificate for that month for outstanding behavior, and they get rewarded with a party during lunch. For example an ice cream party, pizza party, Happy Meal party, etc.

    I also pass out fake dollars to studens who behave throughout the school day. Each time I see them doing something right, or doing something good they get a play dollar. Every Friday the students get to cash out. I have a price list with different things they can buy like fancy pencils, sitting at the teacher desk for a day, treasure box, eating lunch with the teacher, teachers assistant, good phone call home, candy, etc. I like having this incentive for students who will have a hard time accomplishing the weekly, and monthly goal of ending the day on green. This way they can get rewarded with smaller things when they do the right thing.

    My behavior management plan seems to work out well. I'm a first year teacher, and I have had the least referrals out of my whole school for the entire school year so far. Also on average between 11 -12 of my students are able to reach the monthly goal of ending the day on green for an entire month out of a class of 20 students.

    I hope this is helpful advice.
     
  5. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Jun 2, 2007

    I've just taught a year of seventh, so maybe I'm too far removed from 5th. And all those years before this one were much older kids.

    My behavior system is simple: explain what you want and expect them to do it. For the most part, they do.
     
  6. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Shades of Rafe Esquith's classroom rules, which I quote in full:

    "Be nice. Work hard."
     
  7. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    OK, I blushing admit to my ignorance: who is Rafe Esquith?? (I just KNOW I'm going to hate your answer!)
     
  8. Tasha

    Tasha Phenom

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    Jun 2, 2007

    Newingham Class Economy
    Classroom Economies work well for this age group and the site I posted gives you detailed directions for every part of setting it up. I am not a big fan of stoplight systems for any grade and beleive that the behavior of one student is between the teacher and the student.

    Here is a link on 4th grade ideas, many of them will work for 5th too :) 4th grade link
     
  9. Schöne Lehrerin

    Schöne Lehrerin Rookie

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    Just to add to my earlier post, and to reply to a few new ones. The Newingham Class Ecomony system looks like a good classroom management plan too, and I would probably use that or take ideas from it. I think as a teacher you have to decide what works for you, and what works for your class. What I use works well for me, and for my class. I took and adapted most of my ideas from Harry Wong's book The First Days of School. Some teachers may not like what I do, but thats their personal opinion, and they are entitled to it. But I've only had 10 referrals the whole school year, when some teachers in my building who really don't have structure, or incentives, and just yell at their students have over 100. So I guess its a matter of personal preference, and what works best for you.
     
  10. Tasha

    Tasha Phenom

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    Jun 2, 2007

    I meant to add that many teachers do use some form of stoplight systems and my comment was just a general one. I have seen them in many classrooms and most often it seems that the same student changes their color everyday. I think that something has to be done on top of your plan if the same students are behaving the same way on the first day as the last. If you are already making a behavior modification plan for them, why not try something different. Behavior systems have to work for the teacher and the students, if a stoplight system is working in your class, then use it :)

    Here is the link of the stoplight discussion from a few weeks ago.
    Stoplight behavior management
     
  11. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Alice, Rafe Esquith has written There are No Shortcuts and Teach Like Your Hair's on Fire, both about his fourth grade classroom in a underprivileged part of the Los Angeles Unified School District in which he has his kids performing Shakespeare and a great many other things that people think are beyond kids that age from that socio-economic stratum. He is in some ways more than slightly showboating, but his passion's undeniable.
     
  12. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    OK, I'm slightly mollified: I HAVE heard of both books, but had no idea of the author. Thanks for the info.
     
  13. runsw/scissors

    runsw/scissors Phenom

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    I have three basic rules in my room: Respect yourself, others, and property; Contribute to the learning environment; Follow all school and classroom procedures. This pretty much covers everything you can think of. As far as a discipline cycle I follow the one offered by Jim Fay in his Teaching with Love & Logic book. What it boils down to is "Feel free to do anything that doesn't cause a problem for anyone else on the planet. If there is a problem, I will ask you to fix it. If you can't/don't then I will have to do something. Each situation is different based on circumstances and idividuals so my solution will be based on these factors." I really like L&L as it's a very practical and low-stress way of dealing with all the daily stuff kids come up with. Whatever you do come up with a few all-encompassing rules rather than many very specific ones. Kids this age a lots of fun, but some of them make it their personal challenge to look for loopholes and expose them. I swear politicians get their early training in intermediate and jr. high classrooms.
     
  14. preggers

    preggers Rookie

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    Jun 22, 2007

    I use a variety of methods to manage behavior in my 5th grade class. One particular method is my "Strikes" system. It's quite similar to the Stoplight idea suggested on one of the above posts. Using the baseball analogy, each student has a paper baseball (laminated for durability) on my display board. Each day, the baseballs start off in the "Batter's Box." When I have to address certain kids' misbehaviors, I simply turn to them and say, "Strike 1." I have a "Manager" who then moves that student's baseball to a different section on my board labeled as "Strike 1." If I address that same student again during the day, I would say "Strike 2" next, and then if needed again later, "Strike 3." Strike 3 means "You're Out," and that's when our school's discipline plan kicks in. You could definitely adapt the idea so that different Strikes mean different consequences...
    There are some other things I do that aren't directly to manage behavior, but they help me manage my classroom. My class sits in groups and each group has a Piggy Bank. Groups earn fake money from me throughout the day for doing what is expected, going above and beyond, etc. At the end of the week, the groups count up their money. The group with the most money gets Lunch Bunch (lunch with me in the classroom the following week). As well, the totals are added to their personal transaction registers (I teach them how to balance personal checkbooks). At the end of every quarter, the money they have earned is used towards a Class Auction. All of these ideas have proven effective for me... Good luck finding what will work best for you and your classroom. And welcome to 5th grade- I hope you'll love it! I certainly do!
     
  15. shasha379

    shasha379 Devotee

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    I use table points. The first table to 100pts wins. I give anything from an ice cream sundae party to a pizza party to the winners. I give out points in increments of 5. I also take away points in increments of five. Everyone in the group must work together. I give out points for having materials ready, staying on task, cooperation, etc. Each table really wants to win so they help each other. I use a timer a lot in my room. So they know when the timer goes off they must be ready to move on to the next thing. If a student from their table is out of the room( media center) they will get the students' material ready for them. If you have a student who just will not cooperate, and tries to ruin it for the table, you can give that individual his/her own points. To maintain individual behavior. I use something different. Recess is unheard of at my school. The only time they really get for outside is on Friday. I created a spreadsheet with the word OUTSIDE spelled out across the top. Each students' name is on the chart. If a student does not correct behavior after a nonverbal warning I give a verbal warning. If the behavior is not corrected after a verbal warning the student receives a check. Each check represents five minutes that the student must stand on the wall. I allow them 35 minutes of recess on Friday. If they have received 7 checks they will not have recess on Friday. Because they understand that Friday is our only "free time" day, they usually behave appropriately. I keep the chart on a clip board and carry it everywhere with me. I put a piece of store bought laminate on top of the chart, and use wipe off markers. I start over weekly. If we are in the hallway or in the media center, I use a stop watch to monitor the behavior of the whole class. If they are behaving inappropriately I start the stop watch. I deduct the time away from Friday recess. I don't even have to say anything I just press start, and someone will say quietly, "she started the timer be quiet" or "stop." I never yell. I did not have any office referrals this year.
     
  16. runsw/scissors

    runsw/scissors Phenom

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    The biggest problem I have with points and such for good behavior is remembering to use them! I get so caught up in just doing whatever (getting ready for the next class, making sure everyone is lined up, answering calls on the intercom or notes about this or that) that the good behavior doesn't always get noticed and someone or other gets upset or hurt if I award points to Jonny but not Frankie and they both did the same thing. I also don't like the whole idea of awarding prizes for doing what is expected. they begin to act like they are entitled. I just don't have an answer to this delima.
     
  17. Peachyness

    Peachyness Virtuoso

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    I have two main classroom behavior systems in place:
    1. Classroom economy- half of my class will have a job for two weeks. Then, we switch. This way, everyone will have one job for each month. Jobs will help them develop responsibility, respect for each other, classroom unity, and they will get the chance to earn classroom money that they can use to spend at the classroom store. This is not necessarily tied to behavior. If they talk, I won't take money away. But, if they do not do their job, then they won't get paid for it.

    P.A.T. Preferred Activity Time- If they use their time wisely, they earn up time to play fun, educational games. If they choose to waste time by talking, or goofing off, then they spend their PAT time. They can also bank their time and use it for a classroom party at the end of the month or at the end of the trimester/quarter.

    For individual problems: give the student the look, teacher presence, omission training, behavior contract, talking to student without embarrassing them, etc.

    This is an idea I'm toying with: Write a phrase, word on the board (Shaving Cream Party, or Popcorn Party, or Movie Party). Whenever the class receives a compliment, cross off a letter. When all letters are crossed off, they receive the party.
     
  18. Mrs.Rhinochunks

    Mrs.Rhinochunks Companion

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    I have to be honest - but respectful that this is a system that works for you...

    I do not like the idea of involving students in the "discipline" of other students. Even if it is the very small chore of helping to keep track of how many strikes a student has. I think discipline is between the teacher and the student.
     
  19. Peachyness

    Peachyness Virtuoso

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    I VERY much agree. When you discipline a student, you want to make it as invisible as possible.
     
  20. tnshoegirl

    tnshoegirl Rookie

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    I answered this question the other day on a similar thread and the ideas seemed helpful. I hope this helps.
    I teach fifth grade and have found that I have to change my plan a few times during the year to keep interest up. I even have a whole group plan and an individual plan. For my whole class plan, I cut out letters (About 5" letters) that spell GREAT BEHAVIOR. I laminate the letters and put a magnet on the back of each one. We decide as a class what our reward will be (within reason). If my class has a great morning I might give them the letter G. If they do a cooperative activity and stay on task really well, I might give them the next letter. I never remove a letter, but these are special letters. I don't give them out too freely. If I have a substitute, I may leave a letter for her and give her the option of giving the class one. When the class has spelled GREAT BEHAVIOR, then we enjoy the reward. Room moms sometimes help provide the reward.

    If I have seats arranged in pods, I may have them work as a team. I do try to spread out my challenging students to make sure each group has a fair chance. I purchase a roll of the Admit One type tickets (You can get them at office supply stores.) I buy a roll of red tickets and a roll of blue tickets. Anytime I catch a student being good, I hand them a blue ticket. (I keep them in my pockets all of the time.) If they misbehave, I give them a red ticket. Each team has a manilla envelope with a slot cut in it to hold their tickets for the week. At the end of the week, we count tickets. A red ticket cancels out a blue ticket. The team with the most blue tickets (minus the red tickets) gets a treat or maybe gets to have lunch with me in the room on Friday and I provide dessert. This is the simplest method I have ever used and allows for immediate feedback on appropriate and inappropriate behavior.

    Our school has also been training on Quantum Learning. They encourage the use of classroom traditions to build community which really is the main ingredient to classroom management. Certain songs to start certain activities. There's no need to get their attention. When they hear a certain song, they know it's time for a particular activity. There are lots of other good suggestions that you can pick from and adapt to your classroom. A Quatum classroom rule I plan on using this year is: Speak with good purpose. I like the way it sounds and all that it encompasses.
     
  21. fig

    fig New Member

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    Jul 23, 2007

    Thoughts on classroom management

    I've been reading everyones thoughts on the site. I haven't seen alot about visiting the home, eating lunch with some of these kids, playing 4 square with them, having a laughing classroom with reframing techniques, etc... Just food for thought. I have an account on teacherweb.com and I use it alot to post pictures of the kids and their work and cover everything else. I'm not a big fan of points and visual punishment signals. Feels defeating.
     

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