Classroom Discipline - Needs Improvement

Discussion in 'Secondary Education' started by adavant, Jul 28, 2013.

  1. adavant

    adavant Rookie

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    Jul 28, 2013

    I'm going into my 2nd year as a teacher. I am teaching 6th, 7th and 8th grade English and 8th Grade Spanish. I struggled most with discipline last year, some might call it classroom management.

    MY main issues last year were students getting up during class, students interrupting during class, and student's talking excessively. I need to nip these things in the bud early. I believe I need MORE structure and procedures, but I don't want too many that I won't be able to be consistent with long term.

    Suggestions?

    Thank you!

    Alyssa
     
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  3. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Jul 28, 2013

    What did you do last year?
     
  4. adavant

    adavant Rookie

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    Well until about 2 weeks in nothing I felt like they were in control not me. Then I went to my boss and asked how I should be disciplining b/c they had not told me the options.

    He told me to give them break detention, which was about 15 minutes and they didn't get their morning break, when they were able to eat a snack and visit with friends.

    HOwever, the kids could care less and didn't take this seriously. So I ended up sending overly unruly kids to the office, but they often came back grinning. UGH!

    I think the biggest issues I had were kids not staying seated during class time, wanting to work together instead of alone, and talking and disruptions. Those things I Need a strategy for curbing.
     
  5. readingrules12

    readingrules12 Aficionado

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    I know that when I improved in classroom management, it felt like I lost 20 pounds and had hours of extra sleep. It was so worth the time to do some reading and make some changes.

    The two things that I would recommend would help a lot, and I know many other teachers have posted their success with either of these 2 methods or both.

    #1) Go To YouTube and watch Power Teaching videos. They are really helpful, even though the actor they chose can get a bit annoying after awhile.

    #2) Buy the book "Tools For Teaching" by Fred Jones. It is the best book on classroom management and motivation I have ever seen. A used copy on Amazon is less than a dollar plus shipping (when I checked today).

    Good luck to you.
     
  6. thatgirlyouknow

    thatgirlyouknow Rookie

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    I do something of a point system kind of like Whole Brain Teaching, but the way they do it, the students CAN'T lose. You're supposed to make it seem like they might, so they'll try harder to win, even though the "game" is fixed. The way I do it, they absolutely CAN lose. They don't do it often because when the class sees there's a good possibility of loss, they sort of reign each other in. If they lose, they get homework.

    In addition to this, I have a points war between classes. At the end of the week, the class who beats me by the highest point differential (I keep up with their points during the week) wins a prize on Monday. I'll bring oreos, pencils, healthy snacks.... just different things.

    That method works pretty well and I rarely send kids to the office or write them up. The main thing is consistency. The year before, I wasn't consistent and it didn't work as well. Now I try to be hyper-consistent because it saves you grief in the long run.
     
  7. adavant

    adavant Rookie

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    Can you give me more info on your points system?
     
  8. thatgirlyouknow

    thatgirlyouknow Rookie

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    [​IMG]


    Sure! :) It's kind of hard to see, but in that pic ^^^ by the Smartboard, do you see the blue tape that makes a sort of T-Chart? One side says teacher, one says students. If we're in monologue time (me instructing, others presenting, or me calling on individuals to answer questions) and someone is disruptive, or off-task, I put one point in the teacher column. I really stress the importance of knowing the difference between Monologue and Dialogue times. Now if they're on task and being awesome, raising their hands before they ask questions, and being helpful to their fellow students, they get points added under the students column. If they are COMPLETELY silent at the switch from Monologue to Dialogue (or the other way around), I'll give them 5 points. (I do a countdown and announce the switch.)

    At the end of the day, I'll usually average 30 points total (or less) between both columns. They rarely win by more than 3-5 points. Some days they lose, but they don't lose often.

    [​IMG]

    ^^^on the left side of the blackboard you'll see a points chart. Let's say on Monday, 1st hour has 12 points and I end up with 15. In the correct block, I'll put "-3." I keep track of it this way so I can just wipe the whiteboard clean at the front of the class and reuse it each class period.

    So now at the end of each week, I'll tally up their scores.
    1st: -3, +4, -1, +1, +3 = +4
    2nd: +2, +6, -4, -1, +2 = +5
    3rd: +3 +1, +1, -2, +4 = +7 <----winners on Monday

    They don't ever tie because the scores are posted and they all try to beat each other. Hope this wasn't super confusing!
     
  9. adavant

    adavant Rookie

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    Awesome and what did you say they win?
     
  10. thatgirlyouknow

    thatgirlyouknow Rookie

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    Oh it depends. It's really just whatever I have or happen to pick up. Sometimes it's oreos, sometimes gummy worms (I had quite a few chocolate/peanut/gluten-allergic kids last year), healthy snacks, pencils, pens, cheap-y little kid toys. They really liked those for some reason! Haha.
     
  11. adavant

    adavant Rookie

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    What grade was this. . would it work with 6,7 and 8th?
     
  12. thatgirlyouknow

    thatgirlyouknow Rookie

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    I came up with it while working with inner city 6th graders, but "perfected" it (you know nothing is really perfect) teaching 10th graders. I absolutely think it would work for 6, 7, and 8th.
     
  13. adavant

    adavant Rookie

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    Can you tell me some of the things you teach them like the monologue / dialogue. Are there other things like that?
     
  14. thatgirlyouknow

    thatgirlyouknow Rookie

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    We do a lot of modeling in the beginning, so that helps a lot. We talk about the difference between monologue and dialogue, go through examples where they do it wrong on purpose, then do it right and I add the points. I can't think of anything else really specific like that that I do.

    Well, I have a president and vice president every day. In that first picture by thte scoreboard, I have the duties of the president and vp posted with cards on O-rings underneath. Each student gets a student # (mostly for filing and random questions), so when they come in, they look to see who is president. If it's their number, the job is already posted and they know what to do. At the end of every day, I just flip to the next number. This takes a bit of practice, too, but is AMAZING once they get it down. When you're observed, they operate on their own, needing no prompts. I got a highly effective in the student-led section for my evaluation.

    I do keep their early finisher work in a super easy location and we talk about that. In the beginning, I have to give lots of prompts when I see a student finished with their work and they're just sitting there, but eventually they get it all on their own. :)


    Here are my early finisher folders.

    [​IMG]
     
  15. Crono91

    Crono91 Rookie

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    Jul 31, 2013

    Always on the look out for another good teaching book. I'm amazed this book has zero 1 stars on amazon! That never happens. Would you say this book has information that is also useful for the elementary years?
     
  16. readingrules12

    readingrules12 Aficionado

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    Yes, I used it a lot when I taught 3rd grade. I currently use it as a 5th grade teacher. I know teachers who have used it middle school as well. What is nice is that it takes the difference in grade level in mind. For the reward system it uses it differently depending on the grade. The author understands to differentiate depending on the grade level.
     
  17. MissCeliaB

    MissCeliaB Aficionado

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    The most important thing is to be firm and consistent. Do not let things slip at the start. Now that you know that you can give break detentions, give them to people when needed, the first day of school if you have to. Your school should have some sort of policy about discipline. Follow it. Spend the first day going over your rules and expectations. Model it. Practice it! Even though they are in middle school and should know, show them what it looks like when they are sitting in their desk properly. More than any gimmick or behavior management system, just being firm and consistent is what you have to do. Otherwise no system or anything else will work.
     
  18. SpiffyScience

    SpiffyScience Rookie

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    Similar Issues

    I was going to write a VERY similar post, but then I saw this one... hope you don't mind if I piggyback on it, Alyssa, but it looks like we're looking for the same advice.

    I have the same issues with my 9th grade science class. Students interrupt, talk during class, get up to "sharpen their pencil" but its really just to annoy another student. They clearly don't respect me, but I don't know how to make that happen.
    I believe everyone's advice about being firm and consistent, but I don't know WHAT to actually do - when half of the class is talking, what can you do to make them stop? (By the time I reprimand them all, the first ones are talking again). When I have to tell the same student five times in class period to be quiet, or leave so-and-so alone, or tell them EVERY DAY they aren't allowed to line up by the door before the bell rings, what can I do? Administration doesn't care about small-time things, half of the time calling parents doesn't help (at least half of the time it does!). I'm at a loss... I see teachers that say "when I stop talking and get silent, they know they will be in big trouble"...but what is "big trouble"? We're not allowed to do anything to them!
    So when I stop talking and glare at them, the really good kids try to shush everyone, and the rest of the class just continue ignoring everything. :(
     
  19. Le Prof

    Le Prof Rookie

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    Reading some of these posts is worrying me a little. I've only been teaching four years and I teach French. Most of the students with discipline problems take Spanish, so I've only had to deal with a few troublesome students each year...no more than four in the same section. Therefore, discipline has never been a problem. Every now and then, a gentle "shhhh" and occasionally correcting individual students has really been all I've had to do over the past four years. However, I've heard from many freshmen teachers at my school last year that the group of incoming sophomores (who will comprise most of my new French I classes this year) are unusually unruly and very difficult to control. I sure hope my semi-lax discipline strategies that have worked in the past will work with this group of students. It's a pretty large group, too, only divided among three sections (roughly 90 kids total).

    My advice would be to start off acting strict and impersonal towards the students...just for a week or two, so by the time you lighten up they already have it set in their minds that you're not one of the teachers they can take advantage of. If students are continuously disruptive, I'd send them out of the classroom...because it's not fair to the well-behaved students to have to lose valuable minutes of instruction due to some students who don't know how to conduct themselves properly.
     
  20. Señorita G

    Señorita G New Member

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    Would this be effective for high school students?
     
  21. readingrules12

    readingrules12 Aficionado

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    Yes, if you take it with a large dose of common sense. The techniques and philosophy can be applied well for high school. If you follow the program to a T with no "wiggle room" your high school students could find it too stifling or immature. If you know high school students well and adapt it so you are not overly strict with it, it should work well. For high school, I'd recommend the PAT once a week or twice a week at most.
     
  22. Mrs. K.

    Mrs. K. Enthusiast

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    I taught seniors and used “class/yes” with them. Very effective, even with them.
     
  23. Reality Check

    Reality Check Habitué

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    If your administration doesn't take the ball and run with it after you've done your 7 or 700 preliminary disciplinary steps, then anything you do will be meaningless.
     

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