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  #1  
Old 03-31-2012, 12:14 PM
HufflePuff HufflePuff is offline
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drama and gossip!

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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  #2  
Old 03-31-2012, 12:44 PM
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1st-yr-teacher 1st-yr-teacher is offline
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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?
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  #3  
Old 03-31-2012, 12:53 PM
HufflePuff HufflePuff is offline
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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.
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  #4  
Old 03-31-2012, 01:06 PM
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mopar mopar is offline
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Are these older 5th graders born in Sept/Oct?

Instead of assigning seats, could you set up special interest tables?
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  #5  
Old 03-31-2012, 01:51 PM
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cindy lou cindy lou is offline
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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!
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  #6  
Old 04-01-2012, 06:53 AM
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knitter63 knitter63 is offline
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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!
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  #7  
Old 04-01-2012, 08:48 PM
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agdamity agdamity is offline
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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.
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  #8  
Old 04-04-2012, 08:26 PM
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readingrules12 readingrules12 is offline
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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.
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  #9  
Old 04-04-2012, 08:43 PM
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Linguist92021 Linguist92021 is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by readingrules12 View Post
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.
Yes, gossiping and drama can lead to bullying.

2. Find out as many facts as you can. Talk to students one on one with every skill you know of as a teacher.
How about provide the students with a journal? This can be a very small composition book, it's not expensive and assign 5 minutes every day to journal their thoughts. Let them know they you would read it, but everything is confidential. You could find out more information and maybe get a better idea on how to approach the situation. You could also find out if someone is being bullied, and provide them with counseling, etc.
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.
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  #10  
Old 11-15-2012, 05:24 PM
sdouglass sdouglass is offline
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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!
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