Behavior management question

Discussion in 'General Education' started by AdamnJakesMommy, Aug 28, 2014.

  1. AdamnJakesMommy

    AdamnJakesMommy Habitué

    Jul 1, 2012
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    Aug 28, 2014

    So, I've got my rules, got my consequences. But how do you know if your rules are too strict? For example, I really really really hate talking. When I'm teaching it's zero tolerance. But I'm finding I am avoiding group work and partner work (which is unacceptable, I know) because I just like my room quiet. Now I'm thinking of cutting out the interactive notebook because they have a tendency to get chatty while they cut and paste.

    I am trying to think back to when I was a student, and I know I chatted when I cut and pasted, so I assume chatty is normal during cut and paste, which is not when I am talking.

    My students can and will work quietly for me, but they talk whenever there's an opportunity (such as cut and paste).

    My question is: am I going overboard on the hatred of talking? Or is it normal and reasonable to expect silence during the entire class period?

    I don't want to be so draconian that the kids are so used to the consequences and getting them all of the time, that they don't take the punishment system seriously---and that's when someone loses complete control of the classroom--when the kids do not take the consequences seriously.

    I just feel like it's a fine line and it's one that I want to tread on the correct side of. I want my classroom to be a tight ship, with minimal disturbances and disruptions.

    How do you ensure that that you aren't too draconian with your management plan? I feel like this year I'm being overly cautious of that given my new age group I am teaching, so at the same time I don't want to be to lenient either! Grrrrr!

    My 4th graders were easy, my alternative class was very easy---that was a school-mandated behavior system. But a normal, middle school class. Not so sure about.
  3. gr3teacher

    gr3teacher Phenom

    Sep 13, 2013
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    Aug 28, 2014

    For "mindless" tasks like that, I usually put up a digital timer. They can talk, get up... They can do the hula for all I care... As long as the mindless tasks is done when the timer goes off.
  4. chitown

    chitown Companion

    Jul 9, 2014
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    Aug 28, 2014

    The kids in my last school (all grade levels) were super chatty. It drove me nuts. Then I started wondering, why is it all across the board? Many of the students didn't get to socialize with each other outside of school. The kids might go home and stay home all night--no playtime with neighborhood kids, no socialization at the park, nothing like that. Then, they'd get to school and have 10 minutes or less to talk to friends and classmates depending on how early they arrived at school. School started, and they'd have to be quiet for most of the morning--during morning work, lessons, specials, in the hall. Lunchtime would roll around and they got 15 minutes for lunch. The lunch supervisors wanted everyone to finish eating in the allowed time, so the last 5 minutes of lunch was "chew time" which was completely silent or detentions would be handed out. Recess was 15 minutes long, and for some kids, it was really the first time they got to talk to each other all day. Then, it was back to the grind, mostly silent in the classroom, in the halls, afternoon specials. After that, the kids left. Some may have had a few minutes to talk to each other before leaving, but some may not. These kids might only get a half hour of socialization with peers during the day. When I thought of it that way, I realized that they really needed more time to just be kids and talk to each other. I really loosened up after that. I still would not tolerate talking while I was talking or talking in the halls, but I stopped being so militant about talking during some of our work times. As long as the volume didn't get out of control and they weren't sharing answers and were still getting their work done, I tried to just let them be kids.
  5. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

    Aug 8, 2005
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    Aug 29, 2014

    I build in a lot of opportunities during the day for my students to talk with each other (purposeful talk, not socializing). When I am teaching, I expect them to be quiet, but when working, I do allow, and often expect, them to be talking with each other about what they are doing. Through conversation, they are able to expand their understanding of concepts and they learn to recognize how others think about ideas being presented. I give reminders about appropriate noise level and do talk with the students whose conversations are off-track. Oral Communication is one of the strands of Literacy that we evaluate--I need to give them lots of opportunities to hone those skills (appropriately) if I'm grading them.
  6. Rockguykev

    Rockguykev Connoisseur

    Mar 3, 2008
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    Aug 29, 2014

    I too like a quiet classroom. When I get bothered by noise or chatter I have to remind myself what teachers are like in every PD and staff meeting I've ever been too. They constantly chatter about everything while it is going on (sometimes even on topic!) as that is simply how we function as a people. We are social creatures.

    I definitely would put a timer on such things but it is something I've come to accept.
  7. Peregrin5

    Peregrin5 Maven

    Aug 25, 2011
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    Aug 29, 2014

    You can still like a quiet room but have partner and group work if you create clear boundaries between each. For instance, I have a signal to get attention and I tell kids that I expect that I should see everyone's eyes, pencils down, and side talking stopped when they hear that signal. Then from there I can tell them to work in groups, partners, or do something quietly. Regardless if we do group work, and the classroom is in chaos, if I give them that signal, no matter how quietly, they need to stop everything and have their attention at the front. I check every single time before I begin giving instructions and provide consequences to those who aren't complying for wasting the class' time.

    I also have them wait until I've finished giving directions and give them a start signal so they don't start moving and miss directions as they start working.

    This lets me get amazing amounts of work done in the classroom because transitions are very smooth.

    I too like complete silence as I teach but get kind of uncomfortable with students quietly working all the time, so I do a lot of group work, but I'm doing a lot more chunking of the different types of work to keep the group work efficient.

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