A Sub's Dilemna: I don't know how to Keep control of the classroom!

Discussion in 'Behavior Management' started by loveskids, Feb 10, 2015.

  1. loveskids

    loveskids Rookie

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    Feb 10, 2015

    I have subbed for about 8 years in a particular elementary school. I have read as much as I can to try to find a solution to my problem; but nothing REALLY seems to help. The problem I have is kids' constant talking, and the noise level in the classroom rising to unacceptable levels. No matter how many times I "get quiet" by the usual techniques ("1, 2,3, eyes on me!", clapping, ringing a bell, etc.), I KEEP having to stop and do this while students are supposed to be working quietly; every few minutes or so, the noise level rises again. This is, obviously, not the work of one or two students, but the entire class. I could ask several students to "flip their cards", or whatever, for talking out of turn -- but not almost the entire class! HELP!!!!!:mad::dizzy::(
     
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  3. miss-m

    miss-m Devotee

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    Feb 10, 2015

    You actually could discipline the whole class if it really is the majority of the class.
    I've had classes where I finally get so fed up with the noise level or whatever that I just very quietly and firmly say, "Everyone go sit and put your heads down."
    Usually my tone alone lets them know something's up, and once they're quiet and calmed down I can give them the talk and tell them I'm disappointed or whatever. Usually when kids talk over me (I don't know if this relates to you or not) I get the feeling it's because they think I don't mean business, but stopping mid lesson to tell them to put their heads down, or worse -- making them get out of line to recess to put their heads down -- lets them know I'm serious and have had enough.
     
  4. Loomistrout

    Loomistrout Devotee

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    Feb 12, 2015

    Effective discipline is 99% prevention and 1% reaction. The interventions you mention are reactions. They happen after a problem occurs. Consider an approach which asks what are the conditions, circumstances which cause talking to start in the first place?

    Talking may erupt during seatwork but more likely it is borne out of a procedure/rule which was ignored or not attended which preceded seatwork. Consider starting seatwork with a review and practice of what you mean by "quiet". Teach it like any lesson, from objective to modeling to guided practice to teach your partner. Take it slow and careful. You are not teaching kids how to be quiet. They already know. You are teaching kids about YOU, your commitment to rules/procedure and your priorities. If R&Ps aren't worth your time they won't be worth students' time either. Be prepared to can your lesson (or seatwork) at any time and kick into discipline mode. If one kid talks, stop the lesson. Do not single out the student. Merely state to the class that we need to practice "quiet" and then practice it again. You may have to practice the whole period. Students will fold once they realize you say what you mean and mean what you say. Far better to establish who you are the first day then trying to establish it day after day until the end of the year.
     
  5. TXTeacherW

    TXTeacherW Rookie

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    Feb 15, 2015

    Remember that it's natural for kids who are working to gradually get louder. Instead of telling kids to get quiet, I usually do a random "Give me a thumbs up if you are on task" followed by a reminder to bring down the noise level. Are they on task or off-task? That makes a difference as well. Do you have an iPad you can bring? classdojo works wonders! When I subbed, I brought a roll of tickets and got them out if the class seemed like it may be a challenge. This really helped with behavior. I would give out tickets, they would get put in a cup, and I would draw a ticket at the end of the day and that kiddo would get a pencil or something. I didn't have to do it with every class I subbed, but it definitely worked. I would also sometimes ask the students if their teacher did anything special for wonderful behavior, and I would try to follow suit with that. Positive reinforcement goes a long way sometimes. "Wow, I love the way Johnny is working quietly with his partner. That shows me he cares about being on task and he is respectful of those working around him, as well! Way to go Johnny!"
     
  6. loveskids

    loveskids Rookie

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    Feb 17, 2015

    Thank you for the responses/Input!

    I am grateful for the thoughtful responses I have received to my post on 2-10-15. I intend to try ALL of them! I think these students start out ON task, and end up starting to talk to others around them, and become OFF task.
    I don't think this should happen continually when they are asked to be working individually and quietly. What I can't stand is to have to stop to get attention from the entire class, when some students ARE working, and this constant having to stop interrupts them. Still it's hard to avoid doing this, when the talking regularly starts to break out almost en masse. I liked the comment that was posted about teaching the correct behavior ahead of time. Another huge challenge here is that even the youngest grades switch classes several times a day, due to ability groups. This makes it almost impossible to learn names or use name -tags, so I end up saying, "Hey you there, in the red shirt!" One of the last days I subbed recently (this was 2nd grade!), they had an extra remedial class switch; this gave me the homeroom class, the Math class, the LA class, plus then the remedial Math class, and the remedial LA class, all of whom changed rooms. So, I would have to teach the behavior 5 different times. Some of the students stay the same, others switch. Every time there is a room switch, it's a struggle to get the "new" class settled down and working, all over again. Any extra input for these situations? :eek:
     
  7. vickilyn

    vickilyn Multitudinous

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    Feb 17, 2015

    You should also try walking around the room, putting yourself in close proximity to the escalating noise. Moving in closer, asking a question about their discussion, putting your hand on their desks gives you much more presence, and with that, comes authority without having to address the whole class. The movement lets you get to the trouble spots without letting them take control, while you are still firmly in charge. If the noise is building, put each group into some quiet work - write three questions about what they learned, and you can give each group a different task, so that at the end there can be different responses to share with the class, giving each group a moment of recognition, while making each group pay attention to what each little assignment actually was. Never underestimate the power of proximity!

    As far as names, I took great pains to learn the names of all of my students. If you have been in the same school for eight years, you should know the older kids, leaving you with the youngsters to place. If there is a class picture you have access to, label the faces with the names or nicknames that the students go by. I have even scanned the picture in and taken the individual faces and lined it out on an excel sheet, for my records. I lived by those sheets, and it made all the difference in how well I could call on the students by name. A name is very personal, and when a sub or anyone knows your name, it makes you feel a little special. I know I like to be addressed by name, instead of the color of my sweater, so I just returned the favor.

    Good luck.
     
  8. csandst1

    csandst1 New Member

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    Feb 24, 2015

    What about a behavior game -- students vs. teacher. You keep tally marks. Students receive a tally mark for good behavior and you receive a tally mark when students use poor behavior. The trick is neither you nor the students can be more than 3 points ahead. So if the students have 3 and you have 6, then you are on the lookout for good behavior. Now the students have 9 points and you still have 6 then you are looking for poor behavior, for example. Kids are so competitive you may not need to offer a prize. Sometimes the thrill of winning is enough. If you would like to offer a prize for beating you, you could offer 3 minutes of freeze dance at the end of class or whatever you think the kids would enjoy.
     
  9. MissMae

    MissMae Rookie

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    Mar 7, 2015

    I circulate and use ClassDojo. I give points for those I see who are on task and thank them at the same time, and the kids who are off task get the hint and get back on track. I also have Dojo on my phone so I can walk around and give points that way as well. I use Dojo for everything, its wonderful. They build up their points to a certain level in order to win Movie Parties.
     

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