help! out of control 1st graders!

Discussion in 'First Grade' started by abrummitt, Jan 28, 2009.

  1. abrummitt

    abrummitt Rookie

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    Jan 28, 2009

    Hello Everybody,

    I have started observing in the 1st grade class that I will be full time student teaching in (this spring). I have only spent a few days there, but I can already tell this class is out of control

    There are 30 students (which is so horribly big for 1st grade) and mostly boys. The biggest issues is that they NEVER listen or pay attention to the teacher. They are constantly talking to the person next to them, fooling around in their chairs, etc.

    At one point the teacher asked if I would like to read them a book, which I did, but no matter what I did I could never get them all to be quiet! I felt so helpless... like nothing I learned in school could help!

    Any advise for managing difficult 1st graders? Their teacher is a "screamer" which is just not me, and I don't see that as being very effective, anyway...

    Mainly, I'm looking for ways to get their attention when they're all seated on the carpet and I'm looking for a clear behavior/consequence/reward system.

    Thank you all you experienced teachers!!
     
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  3. aek471

    aek471 Rookie

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    Jan 28, 2009

    You're in a difficult position, becuase if the teacher appears to lack control, then it'll be hard for you to come in and get them behaving how they're supposed to be. The only thing you can really do is treat it like the first day of school. Explain some of your rules, such as how they are to walk in the hallway, how you want to get their attention (I just count down from 5), etc. Then practice these things over and over and over again. You'll get sick of it, and so will they and so they will start telling each other to be quiet.

    Now, as to behavior for the day, I used a point system. Some people won't use this b/c they don't believe in giving out rewards for good behavior but if it's for the sake of your sanity, go ahead and do it. I grouped the kids by tables and anytime they did something right (got out the book on time, started working quietly, etc.) the table got a point. Of course if they do something wrong, a point is taken away. At the end of the day, the table with the most points gets a treat. Again, you won't belive how much they get on each other to behave so they can get a point.

    Good luck! And even if you don't succeed with them during student teaching, don't be discouraged. It'll be hard to change a group like that. When you have your own classroom and can set up your own rules from day one, it makes ALL the difference.
     
  4. 4alicat

    4alicat Companion

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    Jan 28, 2009

    Have you heard of Power Teaching? I just heard about it last week & it seems amazing. It's a classroom management/student engagement philosophy.

    Here's a link to some classroom video clips of power teaching in action: http://starpower.wordpress.com/2008/11/03/primetime-tutorials/

    The main website is: http://homepage.mac.com/chrisbiffle/Menu38.html but you can also see tons of "tutorial" video clips on youtube or Teacher Tube.

    There is also a real big forum right here on AtoZ Teacher Stuff forum. It's under the "Professional Groups" subforms: http://forums.atozteacherstuff.com/forumdisplay.php?f=114

    By the sounds of the classroom you'll be student teaching in, I think Power Teaching might work with these kids. Hopefully the teacher whose class you're in will be receptive & let you try it.
     
  5. 4alicat

    4alicat Companion

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    Jan 28, 2009

  6. abrummitt

    abrummitt Rookie

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    Jan 29, 2009

    Wow, thank you for sending me those quotes, alicat! I have never heard of Power Teaching, but it seems very intriguing. Even if I don't have the freedom to implement it during student teaching, I'm going to look into it for my own classroom.

    PS - is your name ali? i'm allie, too!
     
  7. ladycajun1105

    ladycajun1105 Rookie

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    Feb 24, 2009

    I hope that the children are undercontrol; however, I wanted to just state what worked in my classroom.
    I did not have as many students; however, I had the same problem and I did not want to scream.

    I read the book assertive discipline by Lee Canter and that helped. I also adapted some of the techniques by power teaching because I was trained by Chris Biffle. Using both these techniques helped. I did have a few more behavior issues in which I used an individual system for that child where they worked for stickers for every thirty minutes. It worked wonderful and I now do not have to use the stickers and the child went from an F every day in conduct to now an A.

    Teaching is a joy, I sometimes have to remind them of the rules but they get the idea. Also positive praise works; reward those with stickers that are showing the correct behavior: smelly stickers are wonderful for first graders.

    I also have a sound o meter;
    0 silence
    1 toy car
    2 row boat
    3 motor boat
    4 teacher
    5 fire engine

    just think of the sound that each makes and that shows the volume level; I blow a whistle only once to get their attention and I tell them that their volume is too loud and I tell them what volume to go to, it works wonders.
     
  8. cmgeorge626

    cmgeorge626 Companion

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    Mar 1, 2009

    I read this thread a couple of weeks ago and immediately looked into Power Teaching. I've been using it ever since and I LOVE IT! Thanks for sharing!
     
  9. firstgradeteach

    firstgradeteach Comrade

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    Mar 1, 2009

    I would definitely suggest power teaching as well! One thing that helps is by saying ,"hands and eyes!" I always act a little goofy and they show me "bug eyes", I act like I'm scared because they are staring so intently.

    Power Teaching also helps the kids be helpers. They will silently put up 1-5 fingers to remind their classmates of the rules. For the first month on school we reviewed the rules after/before every transition.

    I'm sure if you ask your cooperating teacher, "I just learned about a new classroom management technique. I really excited about it. DO you mind if I try it in your classroom?"

    Good luck! Hopefully it works out! :-D
     

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