Suggestions, please!

Discussion in 'Behavior Management' started by pwhatley, Jul 21, 2011.

  1. pwhatley

    pwhatley Maven

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    Jul 21, 2011

    I just saw my roster for this year, and while 21 kiddos isn't too bad, I seem to have been given the worst kid in school (not kidding). This little guy (last year in K) liked to scream, hit, kick, bite, spit, curse, etc., at EVERYONE, including our ex-military principal!

    I'll take any and all suggestions!

    I'm planning to use the "ready to learn' clip chart for conduct this year, and am really working on providing LOTS of positive reinforcement, but this kid was really a piece of work last year. I know his home life must be absolutely horrible (no one ever came to school for any conferences or anything, not even kindergarten graduation), but how am I gonna (a)turn him around and/or (b)do the rest of the kids justice when I have to deal with him?? (Of course, if he's had a miraculous change over the summer, then this post is moot.)
     
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  3. mopar

    mopar Multitudinous

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    Jul 22, 2011

    To help him learn to control his behavior, you are going to need lots of data to figure out what is triggering his behavior. Does he show these behaviors when tasks are too difficult, when you ask him to right, to get your attention, to sit out of recess, etc?

    Does he do anything before you see the behaviors (does he shout out, hit his head on his desk, throw his pencil, etc?)

    If you can figure out the triggers for the behavior, you can step in before the behaviors escalate.

    I think that you are going to need to set up a plan for the behaviors. Is there a safe place that he can go to either get extra help or work independently where he cannot hurt other students? This may need to be a place in your classroom (sometimes working under or behind my teacher desk helps some of my students with similar behaviors...).
     
  4. pwhatley

    pwhatley Maven

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    Jul 22, 2011

    I just ordered Rules at School from the Responsive Classroom Group. I'm really hoping I can learn new techniques that will help me be a good teacher for this child, and a better one for the rest of my class.
     
  5. mopar

    mopar Multitudinous

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    Jul 22, 2011

    I've heard good things about that book! I hope that it gives you more ideas.
     
  6. Rabbitt

    Rabbitt Connoisseur

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    Aug 17, 2011

    Document, document, document

    Something is causing this behavior and it needs addressing. It's either a learned behavior or a medical behavior.
     
  7. EdEd

    EdEd Aficionado

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    Aug 18, 2011

    pwhatley, you already thinking about it and planning shows your commitment to this boy, which I think is a huge part of it! You will clearly go out of your way to find ways of connecting with him, creative ways of teaching him new ways to interact with others, etc.

    I think you're off to a great start by trying to prepare by stocking up on your strategies. I think mopar is right as well - once he gets to you, it will likely be very helpful to have as much information as possible to start problem-solving/preparing for opportunities.

    Of course, the first thing is to build an incredibly strong relationship with him - connect with him so that he trusts you, understands you, predicts you, and wants your approval. All of that good stuff I'm sure you do at the beginning of the year.

    The next biggest thing is just taking it a step at a time - I like to think of challenging behavior cases as 1,000 piece puzzles - it takes a while, you may not always pick up the right piece at the right time, etc. - but, stay the course.

    Looking forward to hearing more about your adventure in the coming weeks.... :)
     
  8. MissAbbeyMarie

    MissAbbeyMarie Rookie

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    Aug 19, 2011

    Try Teaching With Love and Logic by Jim Fay and David Funk

    great material and extremely helpful for me, but take notes because it's a lot to take in in one book.
     
  9. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Aug 19, 2011

    I'm in over my head here, both in terms of the age group and the behavior.

    But I think that, from day 1, he's got to know that your class is a place where he's welcomed and accepted. That you're an ally, not the enemy. That with a horrible home life and a rough year in Kindergarten, he's finally found a loving presence in his life.

    I'm not suggesting you accept bad behavior, just that you create an atmosphere where it's easy to meet your expectations for good behavior.
     
  10. clarnet73

    clarnet73 Moderator

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    Aug 19, 2011

    I've got one in my class with this year who has some very challenging behaviors (been kicked out of a couple of daycares... I had her last year when they exhausted their options). She's super intelligent, just very challenging.

    I agree with the document document document. I have a data sheet that helps me break stuff down into sections of the day, which makes it easier to find the triggers. I noticed HUGE improvement once we were able to give her some supports as well as very consistent consequences for misbehavior.

    For mine, it's a challenging home life as well as some probable sensory issues. What helped her was her own schedule, so she could predict what was happening next, even though she had free access to the classroom schedule, as well. Breaking up her tasks with a short (1-2 min) "break" helped her, too. I don't know if those will help or are feasible in your room, but I thought I'd throw them out there.
     
  11. trayums

    trayums Enthusiast

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    Aug 19, 2011

    I had a very similar sounding child last year. One thing you might consider is somehow preparing the rest of the class for his/her outbursts. I taught my children that when I needed to get up and help that child, to sing a few well known songs. The leader of the day would be the leader for that too and would count 1,2,3 and the kids would sing. This gave me a few minutes to be able to help the child who was having an outburst. I found it to be hlepful.
     
  12. Rosy0114

    Rosy0114 Rookie

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    Sep 12, 2011

    I agree with the documentation. Write it down - keep it! Get it in his file to follow him to next year!

    I am a strong behaviorist. All behaviors we demonstrate are skills we have learned. This child needs to be taught replacement skills for his negative skills (screaming, kicking, biting, throwing, etc.). You have to do it in a safe environment. Do you have a circle time? or a reading time? You could teach skill steps to the entire class, then reinforce your expectations when the student starts to lose control. In addition, if you can find time to "process" or talk it out after a tantrum, you will go a long way.
    What behavior did you do that I (your friend, etc) didn't like?
    How were you feeling when you did that?
    What happened to make you feel that way?
    OK, so I understand when you feel __________, you do ___________.
    Let's talk about what we can instead of (biting, kicking, screaming, etc.) when you feel that way next time.

    This isn't an immediate fix. It takes time. But it does work. I've used it for years.

    Check out Boys Town Press. The book is called "Teaching Social Skills to Youth." The last agency I worked for used their model and that book for students in pre-school - 24 year olds. We even used the skill steps in that book to teach parenting classes to adults older than 24. It works. Good luck!!
     

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