Classroom Management HELP

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

  1. CharRMS

    CharRMS Companion

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    Nov 9, 2018

    If you're not good with PowerPoint, maybe try Google Slides. It's a little easier to work with if you're okay with its limitations.

    I think the whole silent classroom is up to each individual teacher's preference. Personally, I don't mind my students talking with each other while they work as long as they CAN work while talking. I give them a three strikes and you're out deal. If they can finish their bell ringer while talking quietly, then I'm fine with it. I do have them sitting in groups though, so I know it is going to happen. However, I do expect that while I'm talking or someone else is addressing the class that they are respectful and keep silent. During assessments, I tell them upfront that I expect their behavior to be the same as it would be when taking a state test: no talking, stay in your seat, face forward, etc.

    I feel like kids need time to talk. If you think about it, most adults don't sit and do their work without talking to someone else about something, but we also know when it is time to stop talking and listen. Collaboration is good, and you will always know the students who can't talk while they work because they never get anything finished. I usually tell them that if I can hear their conversations enough that I know exactly who is talking and about what, they are too loud. Maybe you could give your kids more time to collaborate or talk out what they're doing with a partner. I've been known to tell mine that if I can get through all I need to do that day because they are well behaved, then they can have the last 5 minutes of class to talk quietly. They have to stay in their seat and be quiet, but they respect my time because they know they will get that 5 minutes. I don't do this often, but I feel like every once awhile is okay.
     
  2. Ms.Holyoke

    Ms.Holyoke Connoisseur

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    Nov 9, 2018

    ^
    I also let my students talk during classwork and I don't expect it to be silent except for the exit ticket, the Do Now, or when I'm teaching a lesson. I personally prefer silent Do Now's and I don't want to change it because they've been doing so well with it. I also tell the kids that I don't answer questions during the Do Now because the kids get off track and we talked about why. My Do Now completion has gone up by a lot since I've enforced silent Do Nows and no questions.
     
  3. Loomistrout

    Loomistrout Devotee

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    Nov 9, 2018

    Good move regarding cam. The gain you realize using projectors etc. during lesson delivery can be off-set by the behavior you lose by being tethered. From students' perspective they would be foolish to try some stunt with the teacher constantly near them. Proximity doesn't eliminate discipline problems. It takes care of most of the problems most of the time. Anything you can do to help yourself be more mobile is something to consider.

    Does the math coach ever teach your classes while you observe? Also, is there any program at your school where teachers can observe colleagues?
     
  4. Ms.Holyoke

    Ms.Holyoke Connoisseur

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    Nov 9, 2018

    ^
    I've asked her to come in to model a lesson but she hasn't. She said that she wants me to observe the English teacher and she also wants to videotape me and the kids working on Wednesday.
     
  5. Ms.Holyoke

    Ms.Holyoke Connoisseur

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    Nov 16, 2018

    So, I am not sure if it is because break is coming up, but my kids are driving me crazy! It's like they won't stop talking. Today, I told them that I was not happy with their behavior and we need to work silently for the rest of the period. They are in a place where they listen to me if I ask them to work silently, etc. Near the end of class, I asked the kids "Who likes working silently?" I was hoping that no one would raise their hands but over HALF the class did. I wonder if I should just incorporate more silent work time. This goes against everything my college math program said but maybe it's a good idea.

    I also have an interesting situation with another kid in my high class. This student has hated me since the beginning of school when I entered grades as a percent instead of points, so it looked like he had an F on a homework. I was just figuring out the gradebook and the same mistake happened to all of the kids. I fixed it within a day. Anyways, today/yesterday his behaviors were:
    -Calling out regularly + usually to complain
    -Not following a procedure: I told the kids that if they had a question about their specific quiz, they can write me a note and turn it in OR they can stop by quickly after school. He tried to argue about his quiz as usual during the Do Now. (He gets mad when I ask him to label ratios!)
    -Yesterday, he put his hood on (over his whole face) for a few minutes after I told him to take it off. He took it off after a few minutes but denied having it on when I spoke with him privately. He then said to his friends, "my hood was only touching my neck and she got mad!"
    -Called out to go the bathroom during a lesson. (I just told another student not to ask about the bathroom while I'm teaching and he called out right after.) Walked out of the room without permission (he refused to ask the correct way, by raising his hand)
    -Today, he had his hand up, but I waited to call on him because I wanted another student to finish his thought. I called on him after a minute, and he said "I don't even want to say it anymore!" (This is obviously not a behavior that warrants a consequence but it's the kid's attitude)

    Anyways, most of the kids in the class are not like this BUT this one kid is starting to influence the classroom climate. I usually just ignore him when he's being annoying (like when he didn't want to talk when I called on him, I just moved on and it wasn't a big deal.) However, I did give him a detention today for talking back and I asked him if he understood why. He said yes, he understood. I honestly stopped giving a lot of detentions but I've been giving them mainly for defiance. (I had another student who walked out of class.) I'm not sure if I should keep trying to give detentions for talking to my difficult class but it doesn't seem like it's effective anyways and I really don't like managing them.
     
  6. Ms.Holyoke

    Ms.Holyoke Connoisseur

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    Nov 20, 2018

    So I feel like I have completely lost control of one of my classes. They won’t stop talking and it is basically the whole class. I have to stop almost every 2 minutes because someone starts talking. I called admin for a student who threw things in class again and two students lost their lunch for this reason. I was going to play a game with them tomorrow but I’m instead making them reflect on their habits of work silently. I really don’t know how I am supposed to teach them anymore!
     
  7. otterpop

    otterpop Aficionado

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    Nov 20, 2018

    What I'd do?: Worksheets. Quiet packets, at their level so they can work independently. You might make two or three different packets depending on your students' levels. No talking, at all. I think you said they aren't in groups anymore, but make sure desks are all facing forward and seperated if possible. Sit or stand in front of the room and just watch them and call them out every time you hear them talking. Keep your cool, and decide on a simple repetitive phrase to use every time someone is off task "Voices off please" or "We're working silently."

    Have a separate area where you can move students if they can't sit without talking. Warning 1 - they remain at their seats. Warning 2 - they move to a separate table or close to you. Warning 3 - detention. (Or whatever you decide on.)

    It sounds harsh. It sounds boring. It really isn't either of those in the extreme, because it will be a better use of their time than what they are doing now, which is wasting their learning experience entirely. For every kid who hates it, there will be one who loves it. You just won't necessarily hear that from them.
     
  8. Ms.Holyoke

    Ms.Holyoke Connoisseur

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    Nov 20, 2018

    ^
    Unfortunately, I don’t have any extra desks or any space I can move kids who are talking. (I wish I did!) I have been doing a lot of silent work but the kids need a lesson before they can work on a packet. Today, they couldn’t even handle a lesson without talking. And the issue is that I don’t always know who is talking.
     
  9. rpan

    rpan Cohort

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    Nov 21, 2018

    It could be that there is an imminent break coming up and kids are just unsettled. It happens like that sometimes.
    How about trying to give them a choice in how they want their lesson to go? Option 1 is to not disrupt the lesson and then spend the last ten minutes of the lesson playing revision kahoot (or any other educational game) or Option 2 is work all the way till the bell. We really can’t make the kids do anything they don’t wanna do so perhaps giving them a choice is the way to go. If they have made the choice then the ball is in their court.
    With my tough class I have a movie they enjoy running through a few weeks. I tell them if I finish what I had planned for the lesson we can continue the movie and it works a treat. They ask to watch the movie at the beginning of the lesson and I tell them that they know how they need to behave to watch it. I know you can’t do anything non educational with the kids but I mean the alternative here is to not be able to have any meaningful teaching at all rather than a good chunk of meaningful teaching and then a nice way to end the lesson. That’s how I’d justify it to anyone who walks by or questions it. I’m not even the least bit ashamed or do I try to hide it.
     
  10. Ms.Holyoke

    Ms.Holyoke Connoisseur

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    Nov 21, 2018

    I feel bad because the reflection did not go well today! I should have just had them play the game I had and made the reflection an option if the game didn’t go well. I just feel like a game with them would be tough. It went really well with my first class though.
     
  11. Milsey

    Milsey Habitué

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    Nov 23, 2018

    I think your too hard on them. We watched a two-part video Tuesday and Wednesday.
     
  12. LouiseB

    LouiseB Cohort

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    Nov 23, 2018

    Ms. Holyoke, you are not too hard on them! It is good to high expectation for your students. This year you are finding your way as a first year teacher. It is unfortunate that you have so many students in your class. Hang in there. You are doing a good job.
     
  13. rpan

    rpan Cohort

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    Nov 23, 2018

    Self reflection is a big part of gaining experience and learning from things that don’t go as well as planned. Things aren’t going to be ‘down pat’ for the most part till a couple years down the track and even then many teachers struggle. This is why teaching is tough and the learning curve is so steep and so many people quit. You aren’t failing even if a lesson hasn’t gone to plan. Keep at it. Think of each ‘failure’ as a chance to be better and gaining experience. It’s not necc a negative thing.
     
  14. Ms.Holyoke

    Ms.Holyoke Connoisseur

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    Nov 30, 2018

    I started saying that anything that we do not get done in class is homework which has been slightly effective. This class actually has very high homework completion. I actually had a decent day with them today as 4 kids were absent. It really does feel more manageable with under 30 kids. I was actually able to tell kids to throw their gum away, etc. I realized that they usually do the Do Now quietly when I am watching them...and not when I am checking homework. I am going to try a review game with them on Thursday and I think they will do ok with it...we'll see. I've decided I do not want to do silent work anymore except for the Do Now and the Exit Ticket. I instead want to focus on teaching them how to work effectively in partners because silent work just ends up being me telling the kids to be quiet and a lot of times they need to work with their partners so they can help each other. This class actually works together well when they are focused. I have to say that moving my document camera has been the best decision I have ever made. It's been two weeks with very minimal throwing things in class. At the end of last week, I had one student throwing things again and because I wrote him up for it twice, I called admin on him. He hasn't thrown anything since. I make him leave his backpack by the whiteboard and today he asked if he can have it at his seat since he stopped throwing things for a week. I said maybe at the end of next week...lol.

    It is interesting because my friend teaches my 1st period class which is generally well behaved for me. There are issues with "mean girls" in the class and a lack of engagement but behavior and talking is generally manageable. I honestly like the kids in my "bad" class better than this class but I don't have to stop during my lesson because students are talking in my 1st period class. I usually only get about 7 kids who do homework and it's difficult to get them to turn and talk. These kids are apparently terrible in her class...don't work on the Do Now quietly, talking and out of their seats, etc. I feel like time of day makes a huge impact on behavior.
     
    Last edited: Nov 30, 2018
  15. Ms.Holyoke

    Ms.Holyoke Connoisseur

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    Dec 4, 2018

    I found out that I am getting ANOTHER student in my morning class...so I am up to 34. This is my generally well behaved class (they don't talk during lessons, are quiet during the Do Now, etc.) but it is still so many kids. This class is probably my least favorite in terms of the students in the class.

    I'm strongly considering job searching in a district with a cap next year. I do not think I can continue like this. We have no class size cap so they could continue adding students and it just feels scary to me. I just don't know how I would start the process or whether districts in my area actually cap class sizes. I know that I need to begin the process in a month or two if I do go this route.

    Everything else about my district is ok. We have some supplies, unlimited paper, etc. I wish our lunch was longer (we only have 20 mins) but I have a long planning period. (1:03-2:20) and we have to stay until 2:40 so it ends up being a lot of time at the end of the day which is nice. I really like the other teachers in the school and we also have one collaborative planning, which is more time to get some work done on some days. I just absolutely hate the class sizes and it makes it difficult to teach how I want to.
     
    Last edited: Dec 4, 2018

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