Classroom Management HELP

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

  1. Ms.Holyoke

    Ms.Holyoke Groupie

    Joined:
    May 14, 2012
    Messages:
    1,390
    Likes Received:
    398

    Oct 7, 2018

    I need some advice about using manipulatives in the classroom. I am required to use fraction tiles to teach fraction division next week and I am freaking out!! I have no idea how to handle this with my difficult class! I was talking about this to the English teacher on Friday (who also switched from groups to rows because of the same group) and he wasn't sure either.

    The math coach is modeling the lesson for me with my higher class of 26 students. I wish she could come in to my larger morning classes but she is unable to. I am really grateful that I get to see the lesson modeled once so I can teach it to my morning classes the next day.

    I am just concerned because every single person needs a set of fraction tiles. That's a lot of materials and I know they will end up falling on the floor, causing chaos. I also remember that the last time I gave markers to the kids, a few kids threw them around the room. The class has gotten better managed since then, however, they are still not as well behaved as my other classes. My mentor said that sometimes the classes like my tough one actually end up doing a great job with fraction tiles.

    My questions are:
    -How do I pass out the fraction tiles to all of the students? Should I call one person up to distribute them to the row?
    -How do I handle kids throwing things? My plan might just be to observe/watch and give the kids a fraction tiles printout if they throw things (where they have to draw it out by hand.) That's what my mentor suggested too. The problem is that if I'm working with kids, they might throw the ties without me seeing.
    -My mentor suggested that I also teach the "hands off" procedure so their hands need to be off their tiles when I say "hands off."

    I was talking to the science teacher who has most of the kids in this class at the end of the day. She has been giving detentions to almost the same offenders that I have for talking during class. I gave one girl a final warning at the end of class Friday and said that her only two options right now are detention and a phone call home or doing better on Tuesday. The behavior isn't terrible but it's unacceptable that I have to stop more than twice a class because the same girl is talking. I think this "scared" her enough and most of the other kids are at least doing better behaviorally in that class. I'm a little frustrated because I feel like I am constantly "yelling" at this class. I obviously don't yell, but it's constantly saying "We aren't meeting my expectation, we will try that again" over and over again. The english teacher told me that it is similar in his class. We switch groups so my first group is really well behaved for me and not for him. His first group (my tough class) is better for him (but still not great) and tough for me. Everyone tells me that the second class of the day is always the worst behaviorally.
     
  2. TrademarkTer

    TrademarkTer Groupie

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2017
    Messages:
    1,285
    Likes Received:
    870

    Oct 7, 2018

    I would probably make the ENTIRE CLASS draw out the first one by hand so they can see how terrible it is. Then give out the tiles, and tell them they're doing it by hand if they cant handle the tiles.
     
    otterpop likes this.
  3. LouiseB

    LouiseB Cohort

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2006
    Messages:
    692
    Likes Received:
    65

    Oct 7, 2018

    You are just going to have to do this "yelling" with this group until they shape up. They know that your attention is off of them especially when there is a large group! I would give everyone the tiles with the expectation that they follow directions and rules of the classroom. Do not tell them not to throw tiles because now they realize that you don't want them to throw tiles! Anyway, I would tell them that as 6th graders they are well aware of how to handle manipulatives with a reminder that they have been in school for 6 years or more and this should not be new to them. Then have your container ready to pull their tiles and you put in the box. Hand them some boring worksheet to do. You do this for a couple kids and they will step it up. Also even though this should be the teacher, I would ask someone who is in the know to help a student. Be vigilant in that the partnership will work. This way you can continue to monitor the off task students. I know that this stinks because as teachers we want to help those who need the help but you really need to get the discipline under control.

    I would watch how the mentor teaches with tiles and pick some particular things that she did that really made a lot of sense to use in this rough section.

    I like the "Hands Off" when given. Again, if a student isn't following directions, then away go the tiles!

    Now admin is saying that you need to use manipulatives and you are giving students opportunities to do so. The students just aren't following directions.

    You may get a group who think it is "funny" to not follow directions during this instruction but then use that detention that you have! Call home to parents. Even if parents do not respond, document this so that you can say you tried. This is especially true if admin gets involved.
     
  4. LouiseB

    LouiseB Cohort

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2006
    Messages:
    692
    Likes Received:
    65

    Oct 7, 2018

    I like the idea that Tex had. Then when you pull tiles away, they will know how awful it can be!
     
  5. Ms.Holyoke

    Ms.Holyoke Groupie

    Joined:
    May 14, 2012
    Messages:
    1,390
    Likes Received:
    398

    Oct 7, 2018

    ^
    I think that would take the whole class too long and be a waste of instructional time because I honestly believe that most kids would not throw them. My math coach also says she does "fraction tile norms" and she tells all of the classes not to throw them, etc. so I'll probably tell them that and take them away permanently (for the whole unit) if I see anyone throwing them or not taking their hands off when I ask. I need to figure out how to pass them out though. I could just call one person up from each row to get tiles (so that would be 8 groups total) but I also have no empty desks or anything to stack the tiles before the day starts.

    My admin has been supportive so far. I wrote up behaviors for a few kids that were talking and didn't listen to redirections. I wrote up one kid twice for disrespect because he told me "he didn't know why I gave him a damn detention." My VP came to my room to talk about it and said that with my class size, it doesn't make sense to try stations/differentiation and that my coach should come in to co-teach occasionally. I also gave her 3 names of very low kids and she will try to get them intervention. It probably won't happen but at least I documented that I asked for help for these 3 kids. My VP also talked to all of the kids I wrote up, even though I checked off that I don't need admin action and the report is for documentation only. I have heard mixed things about our admin but I've had a good experience so far with them (especially compared to the school that I student taught at).

    I will say that the good thing about the fraction tiles and being required to use them is that my math coach has lessons already planned and I don't have to plan the one she is modeling. :)
     
    Last edited: Oct 7, 2018
  6. LouiseB

    LouiseB Cohort

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2006
    Messages:
    692
    Likes Received:
    65

    Oct 7, 2018

    I'm not sure what you mean by "taking too long". What would take time? Honestly no one can expect you to teach without some order in the classroom. I hate to say this but you can only teach those who want to learn. The others have excuses and I really don't mean forget about them but I can tell that those few students are taking ALL your time. It is time away from those who are doing what they need to do! Yes, you need to do something about behavior but don't let them consume you. Think about the kids that are doing the right thing!

    As for passing tiles out, use some type of boxes, even shoe boxes if you don't have anything else. Put what tiles are needed and have kids pass them out. I have no idea if these are sets or what. Even use zip lock bags to organize. Whatever you have that would make passing them out and picking up easier.

    Maybe you will get some help from the mentor for this class period! That will be good.

    Documentation goes a long way for admin. Keep doing that. You just have a very large class. There is no way to be everywhere and be everything to everybody. Just keep doing the best you can. Is there anyway to have a smaller class size? You said the other was 10 students less and that is a higher functioning class.
     
  7. Ms.Holyoke

    Ms.Holyoke Groupie

    Joined:
    May 14, 2012
    Messages:
    1,390
    Likes Received:
    398

    Oct 7, 2018

    ^
    I meant having everyone draw out fraction tiles would take too long. I might just give a print out to kids who can't handle the tiles. The tiles come in a tray for every kid so I could have one kid come up to get tiles for their row or something.

    My school tracks extensively (for EVERY subject) so while I teach all of the same level, my last class is smaller and has higher students. They're in lower level math but honors English/Science and they're a much higher group. It makes no sense but that's the way my school is.

    I agree that I can only teach those who want to learn. But there are kids taking away from the learning of others and it has gotten better and I hope that it will continue to improve. My mentor said that this will always be a class where I have to be on them all the time. The science teacher told me that she is planning a different activity for this group next week...I'm glad it is not just me!
     
    Last edited: Oct 7, 2018
  8. heatherberm

    heatherberm Cohort

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2014
    Messages:
    502
    Likes Received:
    195

    Oct 7, 2018

    My first year of teaching I had a group who I *dreaded* using science experiment materials with so I feel your pain. I agree with most of the advice you've gotten so far - be very clear with the expectations, clearly teach some kind of "hands on/hands off" prompt, explain that students who can't follow the expectations will use paper tiles instead, and then follow through with taking the tiles from those who can't meet the expectations. Having a good alternative (paper) for those who can't use the real thing is a bonus so definitely don't be afraid to go that route if/when needed. I personally think you have to give them the opportunity to prove the can handle it though, especially for those kids who won't be a problem.
     
    Ms.Holyoke likes this.
  9. Ms.Holyoke

    Ms.Holyoke Groupie

    Joined:
    May 14, 2012
    Messages:
    1,390
    Likes Received:
    398

    Oct 8, 2018

    I agree that I need to let them prove that they can handle it. The class has gotten better (because I've been more strict) so I'm hoping they'll surprise me!
     
  10. Loomistrout

    Loomistrout Devotee

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2007
    Messages:
    1,100
    Likes Received:
    106

    Oct 8, 2018

    Canceled
     
    Last edited: Oct 8, 2018
  11. otterpop

    otterpop Aficionado

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2013
    Messages:
    3,519
    Likes Received:
    1,195

    Oct 8, 2018

    How did it go?
     
  12. Ms.Holyoke

    Ms.Holyoke Groupie

    Joined:
    May 14, 2012
    Messages:
    1,390
    Likes Received:
    398

    Oct 9, 2018

    The fraction tiles lesson is on Friday for them. Today was average. It’s still not as good as my other classes + I need to keep reminding them, waiting, etc. It feels like I am always yelling at them. It’s getting ridiculous at this point. I’m refusing to slow down or waste time anymore though so we are on track with pacing at least. It is still better than a few weeks ago.

    I would say that transitions are the worst. Like if I erase the board, they start talking. If I’m passing out papers, it starts again. Obviously some talking is fine but it shouldn’t get so loud!! I’m trying to minimize any down time but sometimes it’s tough. The other challenge is classwork because they can get off track...we’ll see how tomorrow goes.
     
    Last edited: Oct 9, 2018
  13. LouiseB

    LouiseB Cohort

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2006
    Messages:
    692
    Likes Received:
    65

    Oct 9, 2018

    It is just going to be this way unless you are able to just stop all talking. This group just can't handle any unstructured time, even erasing the board. Maybe you could add time after school for all the time they waste. I know you can only stay certain days or kids can only stay certain days but I believe this won't stop until there are some consequences. The consequences have to be something that the kids won't like. Good luck!
     
  14. Ms.Holyoke

    Ms.Holyoke Groupie

    Joined:
    May 14, 2012
    Messages:
    1,390
    Likes Received:
    398

    Oct 9, 2018

    I did give two detentions today for repeated talking and laughing. I need to start keeping track of names on a sticky note again because I got away from it.

    I'm a little frustrated because there is a sped teacher at my school who I think disapproves of giving detentions. She was saying that she likes to do positive rewards, ex. "If you don't laugh/talk in class for the whole day, you'll get school $$." I would love to do that...however, I can't find any time to talk to kids individually. Even in the beginning of class, I have all of the kids trying to ask me questions and I don't answer any because I have to watch them to make sure they are working on the Do Now silently. They are such a needy group. I think sped is different because there might be more extreme behaviors but handling them is obviously different in a smaller setting compared to a larger setting. The science teacher teaches all of the same kids as me (except a few less kids) and she gives detentions for talking too. We were talking about how some of the same kids were racking up detentions with her too. It is ridiculous... Her class is still probably better managed than mine because she's very strict and she has a lot more experience.

    I don't know how to have no unstructured time. Even now, I pass out handouts during the Do Now, have responsible kids pass back work, etc. but how can they not handle erasing the board?! Like obviously there can be some talking but there shouldn't be so much that I have to talk loudly to get their attention. I wonder if I need to explicitly say "when I'm erasing the board, how loud should it be?"

    It's interesting because I don't think these kids particularly dislike me. Obviously, I could do better on the relationship building but I had to watch their science class for a few minutes in the afternoon while the teacher was fixing the copier. They were all asking how my day was, etc. and I of course had to remind them to work on the Do Now silently for the second time today. LOL

    It is interesting that my first period class gives me very little trouble but they are tough for 2 other teachers. It definitely has to do with time of day.
     
    Last edited: Oct 9, 2018
  15. TrademarkTer

    TrademarkTer Groupie

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2017
    Messages:
    1,285
    Likes Received:
    870

    Oct 9, 2018

    This is going to sound like a bizarre suggestion, but I'd probably get rid of Do Nows.

    I've mostly gotten rid of them unless I have something really important I want them to do.

    The kids need a little downtime between classes to chat. Particularly in middle school. Let them socialize a little bit until the bell rings. Once the bell rings, then it's down to business. Maybe they can get some of it out of their system between classes.
     
  16. LouiseB

    LouiseB Cohort

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2006
    Messages:
    692
    Likes Received:
    65

    Oct 9, 2018

    I was thinking that maybe a reward for working would be some down/talking time at the end of the period. Yes, I know we need to teach bell to bell but maybe the talk time could be a reward (positive.)
     
  17. Ms.Holyoke

    Ms.Holyoke Groupie

    Joined:
    May 14, 2012
    Messages:
    1,390
    Likes Received:
    398

    Oct 9, 2018

    I wish but we are not even allowed to dismiss before the bell. They are required to be working until the bell and admin walks through a lot...so I would get in trouble. :(

    I think that it part of the issue. These poor kids take 7 classes a day and they have 70 minute math/ela back to back. So they're coming to me after 70 minutes of English. They're still in 6th grade but they get no recess or anything. Some of the kiddos don't even have gym this semester. It is a lot for them coming from elementary school which I think is part of the reason. :( Even if the reward is a game, it has to be standards based.
     
  18. Ms.Holyoke

    Ms.Holyoke Groupie

    Joined:
    May 14, 2012
    Messages:
    1,390
    Likes Received:
    398

    Oct 9, 2018

    I don't even expect the kids to come in and start their Do Now. In all of my classes, I have 5 kids that start right away, but I usually get their attention, go over the agenda, announcements, and then have them start their Do Now. They do have a few minutes to socialize and chat which is fine by me. It's really good for review and I use the time to pass papers back, pass out any handouts, check hw (if any) and take attendance. The Do Now is actually one thing that is going pretty well in this class. I'm still not sure if everyone is actually doing it though but I think most are.
     
    Last edited: Oct 9, 2018
  19. ms.irene

    ms.irene Groupie

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2010
    Messages:
    1,499
    Likes Received:
    680

    Oct 10, 2018

    This is not your fault, but I think it is so sad to think that this is what school has become. Sixth graders are still children....they need to play and use their bodies. I wonder if, once you have things under control, you could incorporate some games using movement or even throwing something (not at another student, obviously). I have had kinesthetic classes that loved trashketball as a review game.
     
  20. Ms.Holyoke

    Ms.Holyoke Groupie

    Joined:
    May 14, 2012
    Messages:
    1,390
    Likes Received:
    398

    Oct 10, 2018

    Agreed---it is crazy. I actually really want to do fun activities like stations and games but I'm worried that they won't be able to handle it. I feel like at least now the class has gotten more under control compared to when I first posted about this class.

    Today was better. We worked on quiz review and we are finally able to have a silent Do Now after I remind them once. (I ask them to start silently, they talk, and then we try again which works..) Kids were also well behaved during the quiz.

    I am having difficulties with one student in particular. He is demonstrating a lot of work avoidance (asking to go to the bathroom as soon as he comes in, etc.) and other kids understandably don't want to work with him. He is low however he doesn't even do things like copy notes from the board. His mother apparently thinks he is a genius and is not being challenged enough. He is supposed to come to extra help Wednesdays but he doesn't come.

    Anyways, today he and another boy were repeatedly talking during the test, laughing, and turning around. He didn't get his Do Now binder out when asked, etc. and redirections did not help him. I was glad that the rest of the class did not get off track because of their behavior but it was still ridiculous. I'm 100% sure it was because of work avoidance/not knowing how to do the test. I wrote up a behavior report for it.
     

Share This Page

Members Online Now

  1. YoungTeacherGuy,
  2. TrademarkTer,
  3. mathmagic,
  4. Mrs. K.
Total: 326 (members: 6, guests: 287, robots: 33)
test