Classroom Management HELP

Discussion in 'General Education' started by Ms.Holyoke, Aug 29, 2018.

  1. Ms.Holyoke

    Ms.Holyoke Groupie

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    Oct 10, 2018 at 7:18 PM

    Also, my math coach is modeling a lesson for me tomorrow with my high group of kids. I'm glad to see her modeling the lesson, but she disapproves of me putting the kids into rows from groups even though I have them turn around to work with a group almost every.single.day. My team teacher also moved his desks into rows because the talking was just way too much. I feel like the focus has improved for all of my classes when I'm teaching a lesson or we are having a group discussion. (For all of my classes except my tough one.) I also feel like sometimes working with a partner is beneficial too because no one ends up getting "lost." She was talking about how I shouldn't punish my classes who can work in groups just because one class can't. But I also can't have kids move the desks because that would waste time. So am I supposed to do it in the 3 minutes between classes?? And she said that even for the class who can't work in groups, there still might be some kids who benefit from groups. However, we were wasting so much time in groups because of behavior. My mentor agreed when she observed me that groups would not work for my tough class. At the school I student taught at, the instructional coach modeled one strategy that my mentor could use which was really nice.

    So anyways, tomorrow before she models the lesson, I have to move ALL of the desks into groups and make new seats on sticky notes for the kids. I feel like the point of modeling a lesson should be modeling a lesson that I would do in my classroom, not a lesson that I wouldn't be able to do in my classes!
     
    Last edited: Oct 10, 2018 at 8:12 PM
  2. TrademarkTer

    TrademarkTer Groupie

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    Oct 10, 2018 at 8:01 PM

    That math coach sounds like a piece of work I'lll tell ya what. And how convenient for her that she's teaching your high class, rahter than your troublesome class. To be honest I'd probably be hesitant to keep seeking help from her given how judgmental she seems.
     
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  3. Ms.Holyoke

    Ms.Holyoke Groupie

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    Oct 10, 2018 at 8:35 PM

    I really wanted her to come and help me with my tough class but she has meetings then. My vice principal also suggested that she come model stations for me so we can each take one group but I haven't heard anything from her about it. I think she would have modeled for my tough class if she could so it sucks that she wasn't available.
     
  4. Ms.Holyoke

    Ms.Holyoke Groupie

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    Oct 11, 2018 at 3:38 PM

    ^
    That class was horrible today. I need to move seats again. Anyone who sits near the back misbehaves and I have a lot of good kids who need to sit near the front to see the board. My math coach modeled the lesson which was good to see but I don’t know how the tiles will go for my tough class. I know I have to be more strict with them but everything is tough for them. All of these kids have detentions with other teachers so some of them haven’t even been able to come to mine. It is ridiculous. My coach basically told me that if first grade teachers can handle 33 kids using manipulatives, then I should be able to do manipulatives and stations with them.

    I literally cried the whole way home. I’m really tired and this class is making me hate my job. I have thought of quitting so many times today...

    Today I had kids literally shredding paper and leaving a mess. Talking and laughing when I’m teaching, etc.
     
    Last edited: Oct 11, 2018 at 5:56 PM
  5. LouiseB

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    Oct 11, 2018 at 5:28 PM

    As someone else said, I think you should be asking someone else for help. I think your math coach is unrealistic! She is making you feel worse when things are going in the right direction. Does she even realize that you are a new teacher?

    It appears that your vice principal seems the most supportive. Maybe talk with them more?
     
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  6. Ms.Holyoke

    Ms.Holyoke Groupie

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    Oct 11, 2018 at 5:52 PM

    ^
    I might be at the point where I am referring repeated behaviors to them. On the behavior form, I have been just documenting and not requesting action. I can ask her to meet again to talk about the class or ask her to observe and give me feedback. The issue is that the kids are really good when admin is in the classroom so it's not an authentic picture.

    I told my math coach that I am a new teacher but she kept saying that inclusion classes have worse behaviors than I am dealing with and that elementary teachers do stations/groups with my class size. My mentor told me that she thinks I should keep them in paired rows.
     
  7. otterpop

    otterpop Aficionado

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    Oct 11, 2018 at 7:46 PM

    I'm so sorry.

    Don't give up! You will get through it, even if it is the hardest thing you've ever done. It will get easier. It won't get easy, but it will get easier as you learn what works for you. Keep trying. Target one area for improvement at a time. You mention shredding paper. Maybe that's a good place to start? Deal with one problem, get a hold on it, then move on to the next. Don't tackle everything at once! That's a direct route to burnout.
     
  8. heatherberm

    heatherberm Comrade

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    Oct 11, 2018 at 8:00 PM

    Don't be afraid to ignore your math coach on certain things either. It is *really* hard to do, especially as a brand new teacher, but you're the one in the class every day. Be open to suggestions, of course, but if you know groups instead of rows are going to be an issue, don't be afraid to stick to your guns.
     
  9. Ms.Holyoke

    Ms.Holyoke Groupie

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    Oct 11, 2018 at 8:12 PM

    Thank you. :) I decided to take a night off from doing work today which was nice.

    For the paper, I am going to write down names of people with paper around their desks during the exit ticket and make them stay until they clean everything up. Hopefully, they will get tired of this after a few days.
     
  10. Ms.Holyoke

    Ms.Holyoke Groupie

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    Oct 11, 2018 at 8:18 PM

    Thanks...I just feel like I need to get classroom management under control before I think about the content and my other kids do work in groups by turning their chairs around! It was frustrating that I needed to move the desks just for her lesson and move them back & to be told that 1st grade teachers do stations, etc. I think I am just going to stick with what I think is best and hope for the best. I need to be more strict with detentions still. The science teacher is very strict and it works for her.
     
  11. rpan

    rpan Cohort

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    Oct 12, 2018 at 7:15 AM

    Classroom management is really the key to effective pedagogy so I agree with other posters that you should ignore the instructions that don’t work for you and keep working on maintaining strong classroom management. The math coach does not know your students like you do so really any advice that comes from her or anyone is a generalisation and you need to take the advice that will work and ignore the advice that won’t.
    I think something that may help you is to observe this class with another teacher, possibly the science teacher, since you say she has this class under control. Chat with your vp and if you need cover for one of your classes so that you can go observe, then it’s something that she can arrange to help you out.
     
  12. Ms.Holyoke

    Ms.Holyoke Groupie

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    Oct 12, 2018 at 3:33 PM

    Thank you all for the advice and the support!

    I liked the idea of focusing on one thing at a time. Today, my focus was the paper shredding. I told the kids that I would do “desk checks” during the exit ticket and student with desks with paper around them would be required to sweep after class. My two kids notorious for paper balls didn’t shred paper and my room was clean after. I had one paper balls and the kids told on the student and she picked it up.

    On Monday, my focus will be how they enter the class(which has been getting worse and worse). I’m fine with them talking but they should get right to their seat imo. We have a new seating chart so I’ll have them line up and find their seat right away. I’ll also remind them of the desk checks as well.

    The fraction tiles did’t go badly. I modeled how to carry them and I had the four good kids carry them. It was actually a lesson that the low kids could actually do which was good and no one threw the tiles. I even let them “explore” for 2 minutes (play with them) and that worked well and no one threw anything. However, I had a few kids absent which likely made a difference.

    The kids did lose focus around 50 minutes so we need to work on staying focused and getting our work done.
     
    Last edited: Oct 12, 2018 at 6:39 PM
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  13. Ms.Holyoke

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    Oct 13, 2018 at 7:52 AM

    So my plan for Monday is to have the kids line up and give them a copy of the new seating chart. The English teacher prints seating charts for them with the widows and front of the room labeled and the kids were able to find their seats. I might let them in two at a time and wait for the kids to find their seat. Does this work?

    I'm honestly considering having them line up every day. Technically, we are not supposed to but the kids have been entering the room worse recently. This has not been an issue until now but they are not walking right to their seat, etc.
     
  14. rpan

    rpan Cohort

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    Oct 13, 2018 at 8:28 AM

    Lining up is not a battle I personally would pick. If they don’t want to line up quickly, then it’s a battle you have to fight before the lesson even begins. If kids start the lesson off on a bad note, then sometimes, they care less about their behaviour. “I’m already I’m trouble, so I don’t care if I get into more trouble”.
    Give the kids a copy of the seating plan as they come into the class, and tell them, as you are giving them the seating plan, that they need to be seated by the end of the timer. (Have a timer on the board visible). Do this the first day, then on subsequent days, just put the timer on and let them come in on their own, but knowing they have to be seated before the end of the timer.

    Having a difficult class stay focussed for 50 mins is actually a really good thing and not easily achieved. This could be about the time you give them a “break”. You should acknowledge their effort and give them every chance of success (for good behaviour) by rewarding them before things start to go south. Because then if they get in trouble on the 55th minute, then it’s like their 50mins of hard work came to naught and it wasn’t good enough to please you. If they think nothing pleases you, then they won’t even bother. But giving them a reward just before they are about to lose it, 1)acknowledges their efforts 2)builds relationships because they see you rewarding for good behaviour and consequences for bad behaviour 3)gives them a mental break that helps with focussing for the next part of the lesson. They are kids and there is a limit to their focus, especially if they are not used to being “good” and on task for that length of time. It could be 5 mins of stay in your seat but otherwise “free time” to chat, it could be 5 minutes of putting their heads down on the table for a “nap”, it could be kahoots, it could be solving a riddle, 5 mins of a video/movie, having a lucky dip reward, or something that feels like a reward.
     
  15. Ms.Holyoke

    Ms.Holyoke Groupie

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    Oct 13, 2018 at 8:37 AM

    ^^
    Hmm...I like the idea of a timer. I wonder if I can shrink one and put it on the SmartBoard in addition to the Do Now. I could just give them a seating chart as they walk in. You're right that getting them in a line would be annoying!

    I do want to give them a break but admin is very strict about teaching bell to bell and they walk through a lot. I heard of one teacher who got a bad evaluation because she had her kids clean up too early and she had 2 minutes left and no exit ticket. So if admin is walking through while they are doing a riddle or having free time, they wouldn't like that. I wonder if I can think of a standards based "game" that would take 5 minutes. When we had a few extra minutes, I put exponents to evaluate on the board and called on kids quickly. It was really high engagement because I had tons of hands up. (9^0, 100^0, 45.6^0, and then I "tricked" them with 45.6^1, etc.). Pacing wise, we are finally in a place where this class is not losing much time and is on track with my other class. I literally have no time though because our district test is in 1.5 weeks and I have so much to cover (with all of my classes) before them. I am teaching something new every day.
     
    Last edited: Oct 13, 2018 at 8:51 AM
  16. rpan

    rpan Cohort

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    Oct 13, 2018 at 8:58 AM

    You could play “round the world” with times tables. Students need to know timestables for division and fractions so it is standards related. This takes about 5mins, is super fun and this break will be productive in the long run because the kids are more productive because they have had their short mental break.

    Google PowerPoint timers and you can use that for your do now.
     
  17. LouiseB

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    Oct 13, 2018 at 9:11 AM

    We are to teach bell to bell but really how much teaching is going on when kids aren't focused? With large classes and such restrictions, I'm not surprised kids are acting as they are. As rpan said, they are kids! And 6th grade at that!

    Be sure to take a mental break this weekend and unwind! Take some time for yourself.
     
  18. Ms.Holyoke

    Ms.Holyoke Groupie

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    Oct 13, 2018 at 9:13 AM

    ^
    So my mentor actually plays around the world with multiplication but she said that admin might not like it because it's not "standards based." Most of the teachers in my school think the expectation is ridiculous because not everything will be standards based & we would start a new lesson with 5 minutes left! I had a bin for math challenges but they were fun (things like math puzzles, etc.) for kids who finish quizzes early and my mentor told me that admin may not like that!
     
  19. Ms.Holyoke

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    Oct 13, 2018 at 9:13 AM

    Yes I will!! :)

    It is ridiculous to me that they don't even have a recess!!

    Any other ideas for 5 min games I can play at the end of class? How does around the world work?
     
  20. rpan

    rpan Cohort

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    Oct 13, 2018 at 9:36 AM

    Select a student at random and they stand up behind another student who is seated. You ask a question e.g. what’s 5 x 6 or what’s 30 divided by 5 and only the kid standing or the kid who is seated in front of the kid standing can answer. If the kid standing answers correctly first then he moves on to the next kid seated and then you ask another question. If the kid who is seated answers correctly first then he replaces the kid standing. So the kid who is standing becomes seated while the kid who was seated now gets to go around the world. The kid who makes it to the beginning wins. It’s fun as long as the questions are quick fire and most of the kids can answer. You could also throw in some fun questions in between the “educational” questions (so that every kid has a chance and not just the smart kids win all the time) e.g. which day comes after Saturday or what colour do you get when you mix blue and red or the New England football team are called the ? .

    You could also play mystery number. You have a mystery number from 0 to 100. They have to figure out what that number is by asking you only 2 types of questions, one alternating with another. Is the mystery number divisible by x followed by is the mystery number bigger/smaller than y. And you can only answer yes or no. Give them a play card that has the numbers 0 to 100 so they can cancel out the numbers that cannot be the mystery number, until someone can figure out what it is.

    If admin questions you, just give the reasons about productivity, about how it is standards based because times tables are crucial, about how it’s important for students to be engaged for learning to occur, about how young minds do need a mental break etc. They are valid reasons. And if you are keeping up with the pacing then there’s really no reason not to?
     
    Last edited: Oct 13, 2018 at 9:45 AM

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