Can I vent?

Discussion in 'General Education' started by missalli, Sep 30, 2008.

  1. missalli

    missalli Companion

    Jul 20, 2008
    Likes Received:

    Sep 30, 2008

    I've posted before about my chatty 4th graders (remedial language arts). I've been trying lots of things -- different group arrangements (I only have tables, not desks, so I can't put them in rows), individual rewards rather than table points because a few were ruining it for everyone else and not bowing to peer pressure.

    The work in this program is boring and I don't have many resources for spicing it up. I do what I can but it seems like the more 'fun' stuff I let them do the more they get out of control. When I try to bear down on them I feel like I'm being a complete b***h and wind up with a gigantic headache.

    I am hoping it's just a handful of my most difficult students that are the 'stone' tossed into the pond and these other problems are ripples. Tomorrow I'm going to give them some hard and fast rules --

    1. Listen to the speaker
    2. Raise your hand to talk
    3. Stay in your seat during work time
    4. If you can't say anything nice, don't say anything at all
    5. Work hard and do your personal best

    Any comments on these?

    I'm also going to send a behavior contract home with my most difficult students so I have some contact with the parents (I've only met ONE of my students' parents)

  3. runnerss

    runnerss Comrade

    Jul 15, 2008
    Likes Received:

    Sep 30, 2008

    I have a class exactly like this. I try simple things. It is amazing how much it helps. One of the things I do is write instructions on the board. I don't say a word and start writing. My students have responded really well to this.

    Also, to get their attention I use cue cards. They say "voices off" , "stack papers", "line up" and "eyes on me". This works really well. Again, I don't say anything and I just hold up the card.

    To help with chatter I have what is called a blurt chart. Basically, it has 2-3 "blurts" on them. You decided on how many chances you want to give them. When they lose all of their "blurts" then they lose a slip. These blurts are pictures of mouths, and they are velcroed onto a poster board. When they blurt out or talk out of turn then I don't say a word to them and take off a blurt. There is something about hearing the sound of the velcro that gets them back on track.

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