4th block classroom management

Discussion in 'Secondary Education' started by riverdance85, Apr 7, 2013.

  1. riverdance85

    riverdance85 Rookie

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    Apr 7, 2013

    Hello all,

    I am a first year teacher asking what I can do about a rowdy, last period of the day class. They are very hyper and it is becoming difficult to keep them in sync with the rest of my classes. We spend a lot of time trying to get the energy level down so that we can continue with the lessons.

    What are some tricks in getting a high energy class to calm down? Any patience tips? I teach Spanish 1 and 2. Most of my students are freshman.


    Gracias
     
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  3. Linguist92021

    Linguist92021 Phenom

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    Apr 7, 2013

    I just started last week, but I could tell that the last period is a lot more rowdier than any other classes. These are the same students as I have earlier, although it's not exactly the same class, studets are mixed up. Other teachers tell me the same thing, that last period is the rouwidest over all. I think this is mostly because it's right after lunch, and they spend the 2nd half of their lunch playing basketball. When they come in they're tired, hyper, revved up, thirsty, sweaty and probably hungry again.

    I have a system in each class so that students come in quietly, get a warm up and complete it on their own, quietly. This class takes too long to settle down. I think a quiet activity in the beginning of the class should be enough, so I think all I have to do is to make sure they are silent.
    Last week was my first week, so I didn't want to change 100 % of everything, and make them all silent, when they weren't before, but this week it will be like that.

    So my advice would be to have them start with a quiet activity and have more independent / quiet work. I know it's Spanish, so you want them to be talking as much as possible, so I'm not sure how you would work that in :(
     
  4. mathmagic

    mathmagic Enthusiast

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    Apr 7, 2013

    I have zero experience with teaching a foreign language, but had an idea -- could you have each of the students do some form of "journal writing" (in Spanish, of course) related to a topic you provide? For example, you could have the question: "Describe a childhood memory". If they aren't sure of words, they could jot down the English version for the time being or look it up in a dictionary. This would be an activity for them that would require them to practice writing in Spanish in an authentic situation...but would also require them to be working quietly so they could focus on their writing. You could give them minimums that are required for a participation grade that would motivate them.

    Either that, or is there some form of review that they could be doing quietly at their desk when they come in that would not only settle them, but also provide you a chance for formative assessment?
     
  5. 2ndTimeAround

    2ndTimeAround Phenom

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    Apr 7, 2013

    Fourth block has always been the rowdiest for me. Same with those on my hallway. Just the nature of the beast. The kids are tired, their food is kicking in, they are already done for the day.

    I don't change my plans just for that class though. Instead I start out the semester a bit more strict with that crowd, and stay strict for a longer period of time. I include some type of movement in the day whenever possible. If I notice they are having a few days of excessive movement/noise, then I might buckle down and have them do silent independent (book) work. They hate that. They are still responsible for the same material that the well-behaved classes got that day.
     
  6. mopar

    mopar Multitudinous

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    Apr 8, 2013

    I agree that starting the period with an expectation of getting right to work is a great idea! You could have them work on creating vocabulary cards, studying vocabulary words, correcting a sentence or two...

    I would give them more stringent time frames for activities. Use a timer to help keep things under control. If you provide time for speaking, set the timer for x minutes and let them talk. When the timer goes off, call them all back to attention.

    Since you have many freshman, you may want some type of reward for good behavior. It might be as simple as the ability to use notes on a quiz, a Spanish movie, time in the computer lab to create something in Spanish....whatever you think would motivate your class.
     
  7. Peregrin5

    Peregrin5 Maven

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    Apr 8, 2013

    One thing that I've found that really helps students to calm down soon after they enter is after the bell rings for the start of the period, before I even show the warm-up question, I simply stand at the front of the class and wait. I settle my breathing, stand in a relaxed but formal position, and look around and smile calmly at my students.

    I simply stand there until one by one, they all stop talking at look at me to see what I'm going to say. I'll wait until EVERYONE is looking at me quietly. Some people at this point like to have a short chat with the students and calm the nerves. I just wait and then I calmly go on with the day, reading the kick-off question. Students really do feed off of your emotions, and it helps to learn how to have a calming presence.
     
  8. Ms.SLS

    Ms.SLS Cohort

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    Apr 9, 2013

    The nice thing about the last period is that you can keep them until they're done (school policy is different about how long, usually between 5-15 minutes with no call home). So, when my last period kiddos are wild, I remind them that I expect them to finish the tasks for the day, and they will be staying with me until those tasks are done. It usually helps.

    I also second the starting with a quiet activity idea.
     
  9. riverdance85

    riverdance85 Rookie

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    Apr 13, 2013

    Thanks to all! I have read all the posts and I appreciate your thoughts.
     
  10. Linguist92021

    Linguist92021 Phenom

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    Apr 13, 2013

    Just want to confirm my suggestion of the quiet activity. All my periods come in (well, supposed to) come in quietly and complete their warm ups independently and quietly. During this I pass out their folders.
    Some still talk, but this is only my 2nd week, and at least they remember to take the warm up and more than half are doing what they're supposed to.
    Yesterday was Friday, so it was their first test-day, in all periods. I didn't have them do a warm up, I just wanted to verbally review the info, and have them go through their notes and review the vocab from their folder.
    Pretty much all the classes were chattier, and I think it's because they didn't have that quiet activity to do. I probably confused them as well, so I'll never do that again.
    When kids write, they're usually quiet. You can also see if they're engaged, because they're doing something. If they read, they're also quiet usually, you might not be able to see if they really are reading though, but they do have something to do.
    I used to do 10 minute silent reading in the beginning of the class (novel) and they were to answer questions in their log as they read. I had 60 minute periods, so it worked, but now I only have 48, so there is no time.
     

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