I'm not sure what this behavior is called (I'm sure there is a name for it) but it's when a child isn't happy about you or the game/lesson (for various reasons, mostly when they don't get what they want), they decide to not engage or participate. In other words, they'll say something like, "I'm not going to play/I'm not going to answer". They also influence one or more kids to follow them and they join in on this "we're not going to play" attitude. Other times I'll hear them actually say to each other, "don't answer it/answer it with a wrong answer" (intentionally answer wrong as a form of protest). I don't know where kids learn this behavior from. It's actually a very early form of manipulation and they are learning how to manipulate you by using this sort of behavior/attitude. How do you handle this situation? It's not like you can really force kids to do something they don't want right? I could just say, "fine, don't play. Go sit in the corner or go sit at your desk with your head down" etc., but in the end, as a teacher, I have to find a way to get them involved in what I have prepared without allowing them to control the lesson and the class and tell me what to do. I don't think we should allow them to manipulate us as it would only encourage them further to do this behavior when they don't like something or don't get what they want. In my personal approach, I'd love to just exclude them (give them what they want) so that I can focus only on the ones that actually do care or want to learn/play/listen etc. It would actually make my life easier if they wanted to just behave that way and didn't want to participate, that's fine by me. But obviously, as a teacher, we would not be doing a good service to those kids by just ignoring them and just carrying on with the ones that participate.