Classroom Management HELP

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

  1. Ms.Holyoke

    Ms.Holyoke Groupie

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    Sep 5, 2018

    I had a MUCH better day today. The kids really responded to the chime and they did a great job with turn and talks...and getting quiet when they heard the chime. I still had to do a lot of "I'm going to wait until everyone is ready, etc." but hopefully that will get better. We were also organizing binders so it was a bit crazy getting organized. I did have to move a kid's seat today which I think was a good idea. I'm going to work on a new seating chart this weekend and have the kids move on Monday. It's easy for me to know who needs to be separated now! :)
     
    Last edited: Sep 5, 2018
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  2. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Sep 5, 2018

    So glad for this update, Ms.Holyoke!
     
  3. Ms.Holyoke

    Ms.Holyoke Groupie

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    Sep 7, 2018

    I have three classes and I feel like I have two of them under control. All 3 classes are at the same level but one is much easier to manage and is higher because these are the kids who are in honors everything else.

    I feel like I have gotten one of my other classes under control and they respond to me well. However, my second class always feels horrendous. I always have to wait for kids to stop talking, they leave papers behind in the room (maybe it's my fault...I do tell them where to put papers at the end of class, but I should tell them to put stuff away right away), and I do not like teaching this group. They are always asking to go to the bathroom, etc. The English teacher said that both lower groups are not easy for him either & I feel a bit better knowing that it's not just me. I'm tired of them talking every.single.time I ask them to do something. I do a lot of turn and talks, group work, etc. BUT every time I stop talking, they start talking. It's hard to give consequences because it's often times not just one person. I have stopped talking over them and I just wait but waiting takes away learning time. They do eventually stop and listen but it is exhausting. I did keep one kid after class for walking around the room a lot without permission...but I'm not sure what to do about the talking/off task behavior. I changed seats for this class today after having a tough day with them yesterday. It might have helped a little bit but not a lot.

    I have the lower level classes and I like working with lower kids but it's frustrating that all of the behavior problems seem concentrated in these classes. My 3rd class (which is still a lower level class...but consists of kids in honors english, science, etc.) is soo different. I've had almost no classroom management issues with them. It seems like an honors class or a pre-AP class would be easy to manage in comparison.
     
    Last edited: Sep 7, 2018
  4. rpan

    rpan Cohort

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    Sep 7, 2018

    Give it some time. You have yet to establish relationships with the kids in the second class and this is the key to classroom management with behaviour students. Keep being consistent and fair, follow through, model respect, get to know them, call them out on good and bad behaviour, back this up with engaging pedagogy and eventually they will come around because if they like you as a person and respect you as a teacher they tend to be good for you. It won’t be overnight but they will come around.
    Can I suggest the 10 essential skills for classroom management. It’s a positive approach and one that in my experience works.
     
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  5. Ms.Holyoke

    Ms.Holyoke Groupie

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    Sep 7, 2018

    ^
    I also feel like I don't know how to establish relationships with them. I have a class of 34 kids and it just feels like too many. None of my kids are getting any individual attention right now.

    I have gotten to establish relationships with my homeroom class, which is half of my first class. This might be why this class is better for me.
     
  6. rpan

    rpan Cohort

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    Sep 7, 2018

    I know you want things to run to plan as soon as possible, have your classes ‘managed’, but you can’t rush some things. 34 kids is a lot of kids, but try to have some chats with kids individually. Start with the ones you perceive to be the most problematic, but move around the class. Share some things about yourself like your hobbies or sport or food, find some common ground, and make the students see you as a person, a human being, not the enemy.
     
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  7. Ms.Holyoke

    Ms.Holyoke Groupie

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    Sep 9, 2018

    So I spent many hours getting parent contact info together.I probably have emails/phones for 70% of parents. I have sent some "good" parent emails (with no response so far) and I also want to reach out to parents of kids who are having some difficulties. Any ideas for what to say over a phone call or email? I have one student in particular in my difficult class whose dad came to BTS night that I want to reach out to next week if his behavior continues. My thought is first reaching out with something positive about his participation, which he does a good job of. I'm a little confused about consequences because it is a lot of kids at the same time. I might need some sort of system to document behaviors on the spot.
     
    Last edited: Sep 9, 2018
  8. Loomistrout

    Loomistrout Devotee

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    Sep 9, 2018

    Like your idea about "positive" contact. Fred Jones suggests the first contact, written or phone, should avoid mentioning behavior problems. Parents can be very defensive especially if they have experienced a lot of calls from school which is likely if you are dealing with chronic behavior. Instead of building an advocate there's a good chance you could stir the coals and promote an adversary. Yes, mention what he has done correctly thus far but consider holding off for another day behavior issues.

    Somewhere in your conversation (or letter) ask, "Is there anything special you want me to know about your child?" Often parents will tell "you" all about Name's problems before you have to tell them. Then if you do have to make a call later they can't accuse you of picking on their child since they have already admitted the problem you are calling about. I've seen this type of introductory call (positive) turn parents around. I recall one parent crying. She said this was the first time a teacher called to NOT report that her kid was in trouble. Of course, none of this comes with a guarantee. There's always a chance the parent may be in denial and bitter, looking for anyone to blame.
     
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  9. Ms.Holyoke

    Ms.Holyoke Groupie

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    Sep 10, 2018

    ^
    So I talked to my mentor today and here is my "plan of action":
    -Tomorrow I am creating a social contract with the kids. Things we like, things we don't like, and what they can expect of me.
    -I am also going to be very, very clear with what I expect. "Ex. How loud should it be when you take out your agendas?" and talking about how there can be SOME talking but I shouldn't have to wait 3 minutes to get their attention.
    -My mentor suggested making parent phone calls during my prep and giving detentions if necessary.

    This is just for one of my classes but I hope it helps.
     
  10. TrademarkTer

    TrademarkTer Groupie

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    Sep 10, 2018

    Give 'em hell Holyoke!
     
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  11. Ms.Holyoke

    Ms.Holyoke Groupie

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    Sep 11, 2018

    I will try! :)
     
  12. Ms.Holyoke

    Ms.Holyoke Groupie

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    Sep 11, 2018

    The day was a *little bit* better. We made a class expectation list together and one of the things we put up was no talking when the teacher is talking. So that was helpful. The kids also said they did NOT like the chime and they wanted me to use a different attention getter. So I am using the "hand up" attetntion getter and it's working much better.

    There are still a lot of issues to be dealt with but I'm trying to be very clear with my directions. I feel like we're wasting a lot of time though and getting nothing done. :(

    Academically, I have 34 kids in a class and I'm not sure how to give them individual attention. Right now they are getting no attention at all. :(
     
  13. heyhey

    heyhey Rookie

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    Sep 11, 2018

    I think you have the accept that individual attention during class time is simply not feasible in the long run. It would be a challenge for a well behaved class, but it is simply downright impossible in one that has behavioral issues.

    If you want to provide for individualized attention, I would advise you to do something for 30-45 minutes after school or during lunch. The kids who truly care about doing well will be the ones to show up, so you won't have the behavior problems then.

    In this kind of class, I recommend you do the seating arrangement where a stronger student is seated next to a weaker one. That way, the struggling student can have somebody as a support-buffer if they see that you are busy during class.
     
  14. heyhey

    heyhey Rookie

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    Sep 11, 2018

    I also would not fully get rid of the chime. Instead, I would try this new method, but make it clear to them that if they do not respond as you expect to the "hand-up", you will have no choice but to bring back the chime. It invests the students in their own behavior; they know now that if they hear the chime again, its because they didn't act appropriately. It takes the onus off you and instead of you seeing like the "bad cop" in the room, they will look towards each other and hopefully change their ways.
     
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  15. Ms.Holyoke

    Ms.Holyoke Groupie

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    Sep 11, 2018

    I love this idea!! Thank you. The hand was actually working better than the chime because the kids suggested it and they were responding. However, I will bring it back if they are not.
     
  16. Ms.Holyoke

    Ms.Holyoke Groupie

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    Sep 11, 2018

    I feel like a failure because about 6/95 kids got my exit ticket correct. It was on multiplying decimals and some of my kids cannot even multiply. I didn't know I would need to explicitly teach MULTIPLICATION in 6th grade. The curriculum is all new to me and my mentor suggests things after I tell her it went badly. I wish she would just share some of her resources with me because I have no clue with I am doing. We have been doing this for 2 DAYS. I realize I need to explicitly go through the process but we wasted so much time. The constant classroom management issues are NOT helping.

    The good news is that because we went through multiplying decimals SO SLOWLY, I am planned for Monday and Tuesday. There was supposed to be a quiz Wednesday but I moved it to Thursday. Now I think I need to move it to Friday.
     
  17. heyhey

    heyhey Rookie

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    Sep 11, 2018

    Don't worry about not meeting your pre-conceived schedule. Spoiler alert...you're always going to feel like you're behind. What's important at this point in the year is that the kids become used to your routines and they start to see you in a positive light.

    I would actually hold off on any quiz until you're confident that at least 2/3 of them will pass. Quizzes can cause lots of anxiety for 6th graders and an anxious person is more likely to give you behavioral issues. I would also make it clear that the kids can do corrections if they don't do well and earn some of the points back. That way, they won't see this quiz as a do-or-die thing.

    If you tell them there is going to be a quiz before they're ready, they are likely to shut down, so proceed at the pace that is appropriate. Have the quiz and copies already made so you know that you are not beholden to a specific date that it must be administered by.

    I know it feels like you need to get through so much right now, but during the first 4-6 weeks, having the students become used to your routines and building a positive relationship is the priority. I'm not saying that you shouldn't teach, but it is not the end of the world if your first unit falls 5-6 days behind schedule.
     
  18. Ms.Holyoke

    Ms.Holyoke Groupie

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    Sep 11, 2018

    ^
    I will move the quiz to Friday. Thank you! I am just a little bit worried about pacing as I feel like I wasted two days of instruction if my kids still can't multiply. I feel like I don't know what I am doing wrong. :(
     
  19. LouiseB

    LouiseB Cohort

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    Sep 11, 2018

    You are not wasting instruction! Once you get them going the way you want, then y ou can really move with instruction. Taking the time to let students know of your expectations will go a long way in your teaching. You are doing all the riight things. You are reflecting on what is wrong and moving in the correct direction.

    I was the sped teacher in a science classroom. This was 7th and 8th graders. She spend about 5 days teaching procedures with a bit of classwork thrown in. She asked me if I thought she spent too much time on procedures. My answer was no! It was going to help out eventually and it really did!

    Don't be discouraged. You are making great strides in your teaching. I can tell that you will make a really good math teacher!
     
  20. Ms.Holyoke

    Ms.Holyoke Groupie

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    Sep 11, 2018

    ^
    Thank you for the encouragement! :) I guess I am just feeling like "why are they not getting it when I have taught it for 2 days!!" However, I haven't gone through all the steps with them (of multiplication) in detail and I think that's what I need to do. I had no clue that some 6th graders would struggle with multiplication.

    It's also hard because I don't know how to anticipate misconceptions. For example, I STILL have kids who think we have to line up the decimal when we multiply. On the first day I taught it, there were so many kids who thought we had to line up the decimal point. I never even anticipated this would be a misconception.
     
    Last edited: Sep 11, 2018

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