drama and gossip!

Discussion in 'Fifth Grade' started by HufflePuff, Mar 31, 2012.

  1. HufflePuff

    HufflePuff Cohort

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    Mar 31, 2012

    I've taught 5th grade for three years now...with a year of 3rd and half a year of middle school thrown in there and have never experiences so much drama between my students.

    Almost everyday they come back from lunch complaining about what other students are saying about them, about all the gossip, etc. They are already so clique-y and many of them are just SO mean to each other. Now, none of this happens in front of me of course and I've had numerous conversations with the principal about these incidents. Clearly something needs to be done in lunch, but that's not happening.

    So any suggestions on how to get these kids to be nice to one another?!?! The secrets, gossip, rumors, are getting ridiculous. I've talked their ears off about it...I've done various kindness initiatives in my classroom and they do it all in front of me but they can't transfer it.
     
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  3. 1st-yr-teacher

    1st-yr-teacher Comrade

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    Mar 31, 2012

    Could you assign the spots where they sit to decrease the gossip and ugliness? What about having them sit spaced out for a while until they learn to "play nice"

    Is it a group of students or the whole class?
     
  4. HufflePuff

    HufflePuff Cohort

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    Mar 31, 2012

    It's something I may bring up with my 5th grade team. The issue in lunch is that there is no control and no one pays attention to the nonsense taking place. I am afraid assigned seating may not go over well but it's worth a conversation at least. Another issue is, is that I never actually see the gossiping...I just see the body language (I've never seen so much eye-rolling) and the second they see me they stop! Of course, I gave them the whole talk about how if they know it's wrong to do it in front of me then it's probably wrong in general.
     
  5. mopar

    mopar Multitudinous

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    Mar 31, 2012

    Are these older 5th graders born in Sept/Oct?

    Instead of assigning seats, could you set up special interest tables?
     
  6. cindy lou

    cindy lou Rookie

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    Mar 31, 2012

    drama free zone

    Saw this idea on another forum and thought it was great. The idea was for recess, but would work well for the caf as well. Designate a table as the drama free zone and only students who are unwilling to participate in this nonsense are allowed to sit there. If you have a good rapport with them, maybe you could make an appearance for a little while each day just to spend some time with them. Before you know it, everyone will want to sit there.

    BTW I think there is a special place in heaven for fifth grade teachers. The drama always seems to multiply at that age!
     
  7. knitter63

    knitter63 Groupie

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    Apr 1, 2012

    cindy lou, you are so right! Check out my post on the General education forum-I am walking in tomorrow after my class was horrible to the sub!
    I know my girls are into the cable program "Mean girls"-where the actresses are mean to everyone. My girls emulate this program. Lunch is a nightmare for us in 5th grade. I wish I could just teach through lunch, and let them go home early.
    No magic words for you, Huffle. I do know that I will not tolerate such behavior in the classroom, and I will call parents on the spot. If I think of something I do that will work for you, Huffle, I'll PM you!
     
  8. agdamity

    agdamity Enthusiast

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    Apr 1, 2012

    I have thankfully had very little drama this year, but 80% of my fifth graders were born in March or later, so they're still on the younger side. Is the gossiping interfering with learning? Perhaps you could have the counselor meet with a group of them to discuss the effects of gossip. Sometimes, you just have to level with them. They don't have to be best friends, but they do have to be respectful of each other. If they can't be respectful, they get consequences. 5th graders think they are grown, especially if they are the oldest in the school.
     
  9. readingrules12

    readingrules12 Fanatic

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    Apr 4, 2012

    I really feel for you. I have been through this as a 5th grade teacher, and it is very tough. I'm glad you are addressing the issue and not giving up. Here are some things that I do that you might already do that might help.

    1. Who is getting picked on the most? Is there a child really being bullied. This needs to be stopped as quickly as possible.

    2. Find out as many facts as you can. Talk to students one on one with every skill you know of as a teacher.

    3. I give a note card to every student and have them tell me the 4 students they'd most like to sit by at lunch or work with at a group. (Don't tell them why you are doing this.) This will tell you a lot. If you see that students are hanging out with students they don't like or no one is listing a certain person--you can see better who is probably getting picked on.

    4. Don't be afraid to go to call parents once you have enough facts. Just share with them the facts--not blame.

    5. You MUST show them Jodee Blanco's you tube video (except not the end). They need to see how much gossiping can really hurt others.

    6. Use random ways to choose partners so they get to be away from their peer group and have a chance to value others.

    There is much more...but hopefully this will give you a start on a tough, tough problem common in 5th grade.
     
  10. Linguist92021

    Linguist92021 Aficionado

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    Apr 4, 2012

    If things are staying the same, maybe you could arrange with the counselor to come in one day and talk to the students about the effects of gossiping, etc. It could be a whole class discussion, etc.
     
  11. sdouglass

    sdouglass New Member

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    Nov 15, 2012

    I have a similar problem with my 5th graders in the lunch room. What our team started doing to facilitate a sense of community and having students branch out of their cliques is by implementing what we call "lunch bunch." The three teachers on our team eat lunch in our classrooms with about 5 students every day, and they differ. The students are generally from different "cliques" or neighborhoods, so they all eventually are becoming friends and since they are eating with teachers, they can't be gossipy. I know this post was a while ago, but I thought I'd throw this out there in case any one comes up with this problem in the future!
     
  12. GemStone

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    When I read your title, I thought you were talking about teachers, LOL.

    Could you ask the guidance counselor to come in and give a talk?
     
  13. readingrules12

    readingrules12 Fanatic

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    Nov 17, 2012

    My experience is that if I talk to students about bullying--they kind of listen. If instead I read a children's literature book that has to do with being friends with a larger range of students--they really listen.

    The book I use is Bridge to Terabithia. This book is enjoyed by all, but is especially enjoyed by the girls. The main characters are a girl (Leslie) and a boy (Jesse). Jesse has decided his life is fine with his group of friends (all boys) and why would he ruin this to be friends with Leslie (even though he likes her). When they take a risk and become friends their lives become filled with adventures and a deeper friendship than they have ever known.

    I use this to make our own Bridge to Terabithia. I connect this with how much we miss out when we don't branch out and be friends with students who are in different groups and seem different. I make a bridge and students walk over it to a student who is in a different group/clique. They then plan their magical Terabithia together in writing and illustrations. We have a special celebration at the end where they celebrate with someone who is not in their group in special games in the Terabithia they create. They (especially the girls) really start to see that the walls they create in cliques are blocking them from some possibly great times with other students.

    There is more to this activity, but I think you can see the potential of this book project. It has been a great help to dealing with drama that can be experienced in 5th grade.
     

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