Classroom Management Advice

Discussion in 'Elementary Education' started by ovrslov, Feb 14, 2018.

  1. ovrslov

    ovrslov New Member

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    Feb 14, 2018

    I graduated with my degree in December and landed my first job teaching Kindergarten in January. The classroom I took over had a teacher that did not enforce rules, had no structure, and basically let the students do as they please. The students fight, have no respect for adults, bully each other, and will not follow directions. They are very rambunctious, loud, and most of the time out of control. We struggle being able to finish even 1 lesson a day. I have practiced and practiced routines. I have created visual voice level charts. I've tried music as a cue that we are working quietly. I have rearranged seating. I have given incentives. I have taken recess time. I have sent to office if needed. I've contacted parents, use class dojo, and even send home behavior charts daily. It has gotten to a point where during our Valentine's party today, 2 parents were shocked at the way the kids behaved. They in no way blame me. Other teachers can enter my room and get them on task, but it only lasts 2-3 minutes. They struggle listening to almost every teacher and school faculty. I constantly have other teachers asking if I need them to come in and get them wound down. It's beginning to feel like maybe my classroom management skills are simply awful. So I guess I'm looking for advice on other strategies and techniques i could try to get control over my class. What works for others?
     
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  3. readingrules12

    readingrules12 Fanatic

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    Feb 14, 2018

    It sounds like you are working very hard in this difficult situation. You have been dealt a tough hand. I do think you can improve the situation.

    With Kindergarten, it is best to choose one classroom management strategy and stick with it for the rest of the year. Make it seem this is the way it has to be. I wouldn't change it, but keep it to the end of the year. Model it over and over again. Keep it as simple as possible.

    It sounds like other teachers are getting a little success. Watch them closely and also ask for some advice. Also, if you can watch other Kindergarten teachers in action that can really help.

    Also, make sure you have some fun with them. You deserve it after all your hard work.
     
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  4. Been There

    Been There Habitué

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    Feb 16, 2018

    I'm a fan of intrinsic motivation because I hate having to deal with behavioral issues using conventional methods that often don't work for me or the students. Kindergarten presents so many opportunities for IM to take effect - the key is for you to understand how to structure your teaching methods so that students are self-motivated to learn.

    Effective IM starts with what I call your opening hook. This is an irresistible gimmick designed to grab everyone's attention from the get-go - for example, you can simply use a box placed on the front table (don't waste time decorating it!). Add a bit of theatrics and tantalizing questions before calling on a student (the one that tends to be the most rambunctious) to assist you with opening the box and removing its contents - the more unusual and unexpected the better. But first, ask him/her a couple of questions related to what is about to be revealed and have the class agree or disagree with his/her responses by way of a thumbs up/down. Keep a fast pace throughout the opening hook for maximum effect. The variety of opening hooks is limited only by your imagination!

    I assume you do a lot of whole-class oral language practice using repetition. Whenever this takes place, I would appoint another rambunctious student to assume the role of director - this student stands at the front of the class and orchestrates the oral language practice by extending and retracting his arms according to an established rhythm. This serves to keep everyone in sync and intrinsically motivates everyone to participate. Refrain from calling out stragglers or non-participants - by doing so you will undermine the magical effect of the process. Everyone will all come around soon enough.

    Another way of integrating IM in all of your lessons is through the use of technology. All of my lessons are on PowerPoint so that I can insert a variety of opening hooks: a photo of a student-of-the-day, a brief video clip, music related to the lesson, etc.

    I've described just a few ways that you might try to intrinsically motivate your students. Once you get started, it becomes easier and easier. I'd be interested to know what results you get with your class!
     
  5. kpa1b2

    kpa1b2 Aficionado

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    Feb 17, 2018

    Think about what you would do if it was the first day of school. Practice, practice, practice, with lots of praise & rewards. I use the little stickers, where there's about 100 on a page. Make a big deal about the good things. Set little goals, like students being able to move in the correct way to the carpet. Lining up quickly & quietly. If they accomplished the goal maybe they've earned an extra minute of recess.

    Take the distracting things away. Books, toys, games, special chairs, "fancy" pencils anything that causes a disruption in the classroom. No special pencils or markers.

    You don't say where you are at and you don't need to tell us, but have your students been able to get outside and get some fresh air? If not, it may be worth it to take them outside for a walk if they can't play. Outdoor recess can work wonders.

    It's not easy coming into a classroom in the middle of the year, but you can do this.
     
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  6. Tyler B.

    Tyler B. Groupie

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    Feb 18, 2018

    Here's an article I shared with a former student teacher who was in a similar situation. It goes along with the strong advice already posted.
     
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  7. Been There

    Been There Habitué

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    Feb 20, 2018

    OP, I'm always curious to know if teachers ever achieve success by implementing suggestions from this forum. What strategies from us have you attempted and have you seen any change in your students' behavior? Usually one must persevere with a new approach for a period of time before any lasting improvement can be realized.
     
    Last edited: Feb 20, 2018
  8. Amanda Berry

    Amanda Berry New Member

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    Mar 31, 2018

    I teach preschool and I had one of those classes a few years ago. Classroom management is a key to success, but it needs to be implemented from day 1. I'm not sure how to earn your respect back, but I do know that you can strengthen your classroom management strategies.
    Can you find a group of teachers at your school who all want to hone your classroom management skills together? If not I suggest finding an online group where you can pull together resources and talk about what does and doesn't work with your group. Create a professional learning group, this will help you stay motivated to follow through with research and give you a safe place to vent as well as find solutions
     
  9. Master Pre-K

    Master Pre-K Virtuoso

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    Apr 12, 2018

    It’s really hard when you don’t start the year with your class. I imagine there were a series of subs before you came. Maybe their teacher left. Whether it was by choice or not, younger kids really feel impact of teacher turnover.

    Here’s my suggestions:

    Start by bringing some personal things to your room. A family portrait or picture of your pet. You’re trying to create empathy, a community and team/family setting. This is YOUR room too! Additionally, your class needs to feel safe. Their behavior IMO is typical with high turnover. They don’t feel trust, you’re going to leave - like everyone else. Why should they listen to you?? That’s how they feel, so they act out. Attention is attention - good or bad. Bad is easy, and more fun.

    Show them you’re different. Give hugs. Long talks. Sit down with ring leaders and get inside their heads. All they want is somebody to talk to, sometimes. They want to trust you. Give them security they crave and some of that drama may slow down.
     
  10. ali.zamaani

    ali.zamaani New Member

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    Apr 16, 2018

    Hi
    In my opinion, first of all, I have to communicate with the kids
    I know it's hard work
    But after communicating, they feel close
    Maybe they guided them
    It takes time, of course, and it's hard to say
     
  11. Master Pre-K

    Master Pre-K Virtuoso

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    Apr 16, 2018

    BTW....I didn't notice anything about a job chart in your post...

    Now would be a good time to start one. Having responsibility gives ownership to the classroom. Make up or buy a good chart, and give EVERYBODY a job. Soon some of the foolishness will stop because, hey...you got a job to do! Pair up the silly ones with the good ones. Somebody will have to fall in, and hopefully - they will work together. And if you don't stop playing around, you can lose your job. There's motivation for you.
     
  12. Master Pre-K

    Master Pre-K Virtuoso

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    Apr 16, 2018

    Sometimes you can't do this. Principal, curriculum guidelines, state standards, director, school board and parents all dictate that you must have x amount of things at all times in the classroom. I feel that way about my books. Way too many. You can move things around, and scale it down a bit. Bring things back. But, IMO...you can't always change your room arrangement or remove materials.
     

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