stricter or more fun?

Discussion in 'Behavior Management' started by Nichole906, Nov 15, 2012.

  1. Nichole906

    Nichole906 Rookie

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    Nov 15, 2012

    As we started the second quarter here, one of my classes has gotten out of control. They won't stop talking, they show very little respect, and some refuse to do their work. This is partially my fault - they were a little chatty at the start of the year and I didn't do much about it, and now they are out of control.

    Lately, I've been much stricter and things are getting worse as they like to argue about the (very fair) consequences for their actions- should I try being nicer/playing games to try to win back their respect or stick with being strict? Thanks!
     
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  3. Linguist92021

    Linguist92021 Aficionado

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    You're not going to win back their respect with being nice and play games. They might like your classes a bit more because they don't have to do as much work, or because you don't make them do things, but that's not what you want. They won't respect you and you won't be able to control them.

    You gotta be strict and enforce rules and give out consequences fairly and consistently.
     
  4. waterfall

    waterfall Maven

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    I usually talk about how I can only do more games/hands on activities when students are listening and being respectful, so their actions determine what we do in class. Sometimes I'll even give two choices and tell them which one we do depends on their behavior. For example, math is at the very end of the day. So I tell students that depending on how their behavior is during the lesson, we'll either play a fact game for the last 10 minutes or we'll do extra workbook practice. Of course the key is to actually make them do the workbook practice if they're not behaving! It's not a perfect system, because sometimes we need to do the workbook just for practice and I don't want it to feel like punishment, but I have found that in general it works for my VERY chatty class.
     
  5. Accountable

    Accountable Companion

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    Nov 15, 2012

    I agree. The more natural you can make the consequences, the faster they'll realize that their own behavior is causing their discomfort. Your main challenge is to be as consistent as gravity - the number one natural consequence.
     
  6. lucybelle

    lucybelle Connoisseur

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    Nov 15, 2012

    You can be fun and play games, but be strict with it. Never argue with children. You're the rule. The end. They have a problem with it, they can talk to the director of the school.

    Plan to play a game or activity one day. As soon as they mess up, put them to a silent writing assignment. Say you will continue to teach this way until they learn when is appropriate to talk.
     
  7. Securis

    Securis Cohort

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    Nov 15, 2012

    Yep. Stick with strict but fair. You can always loosen up but you can only tighten down with difficulty.
     
  8. Nichole906

    Nichole906 Rookie

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    Nov 15, 2012

    I have tried this a few times when they ask why we never play games - I tell them we have a certain amount of work to get through for the day, and if we finish we can play a game, but we still havent been able to get through it all.
     
  9. Nichole906

    Nichole906 Rookie

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    Nov 15, 2012

    Thanks everyone - staying strict was what I was thinking, but their behavior wasnt getting better so I was just curious if I was on the right path.
     
  10. MissScrimmage

    MissScrimmage Fanatic

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    Are you teaching bell to bell? I find my days go a lot better when everyone is BUSY and engaged in meaningful tasks... they don't have time to argue or find trouble!!
     
  11. cutNglue

    cutNglue Magnifico

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    Nov 16, 2012

    Here's an idea.

    Reduce the tasks slightly. Just enough to where you are sure they can complete it successfully. Write the agenda on the board. Talk to them about having time for a fun activity at the end if we are to finish all these activities. Throughout the class period say things like, "Jasmine is on task." "I see people are working hard. I think we might just have time today if we continue at this pace." "I like the way group A is focused." Walk the room, use proximity and support to help them stay focused. Most importantly, when they do complete a task, go I the board and check it off and take a second to tell them they are moving along really well and if they keep this up, it looks like we might have time for that extra activity today." Keep checking off the activities throughout class. Keep up this talk but not so much they can't hear their own thinking. Show your optimism and notice their successes. Then when they meet the goal, tell them this is exactly what you want to see everyday. See how much more they accomplished! Fantastic work class! Now let's play xyz game.

    If they miss it, tell them what you saw that was positive and one thing that might help if they work on it next time but that you have faith that they are getting better at it. Keep the check mark system. Once they do make it for a bit (several days) gradually increase it by one task at a time. Properly done, it shouldn't take long. Then keep the momentum going for awhile.
     
  12. schoolteacher

    schoolteacher Habitué

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    Nov 16, 2012

    Here's another idea. Write down the number of minutes you can offer them to do a fun activity at the end of the period - say 5 or 10 minutes. If the class is working well keep that time up there. If the class is veering off track, cross out the number and deduct minutes. "We're going off track here and won't have as much time for the game. We can turn this around by......" Then when you start to see improvement, add minutes back.

    Make sure they are successful the first time you introduce this. Give them a taste of it so they are motivated to earn it.
     
  13. Linguist92021

    Linguist92021 Aficionado

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    Having the reward (minutes) visible on the board is a great idea! I prefer it this way though: if they lose a minute, they don't get it back. Once it's gone, it's gone. Otherwise I feel that they will think it's ok to misbehave because they lose a minute now, but they can always get it back.

    I've used this all the time! I gave them 5 minutes, and it was written as IIIII. 5 lines, and when they lost one, I would erase a line. Sometimes I would erase half. It got to the point where I would start walking towards the board and they would get their act together, and then not too long after I would just look at the board and they knew they were going to lose minutes if they kept it up.
    This worked, because I think if they would have known they could win the minutes back, it would have been too much to deal with, and they would not have responded like that.
     
  14. jamoehope

    jamoehope Companion

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    Dec 17, 2012

    All these ideas are great for reinforcement and limiting the amount of time the students can waste so they see a consequence of their behavior! My only question on using points or minutes on the boards is what if you are not near the board? Keep it on a clipboard?
     
  15. Linguist92021

    Linguist92021 Aficionado

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    That's the only issue, that you have to go up to the board. It's not a bad idea to have to walk up and emphasize that they have just lost a point - you can do that non-verbally, just erasing a point. You don't even have to stop talking, just walk up. Although some might find it bothersome. If you want the points public, and have the students see it, you have to have it on the board.

    You can keep it on a clipboard, and only announce it at the end of the class how much they earned. I have done it both ways, and worked either way. One of my classrooms was very small, it would have been difficult to walk up to front, around the students just to erase a point. This way at the end I could decide how they got.
     
  16. kpa1b2

    kpa1b2 Aficionado

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    Dec 18, 2012

    IMO they need to see it! Once they get use to it, just walking up towards the board, or even looking at it is enough. I do that with positive rewards, I say something like. . ."I like how student x is doing. . ." I then immediately give that child a base. They all love it. Yes, sometimes, I'm doing extra walking, but hey, that's just more steps!
     
  17. jamoehope

    jamoehope Companion

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    Dec 18, 2012

    For me, the problem was my main mode of classroom management was moving around the room. So it was hard for me to make it back up to the board all the time. But I think the students seeing progress would be helpful at any grade level?
     
  18. BehaviorDiva

    BehaviorDiva Rookie

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    The rule in my class is that the consequences are clearly laid out. In writing and reinforced all day. Arguing is not honored. I remind them that there will be no arguing as this was clear before they engaged in the behavior.
     

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