Classroom Management HELP

Discussion in 'General Education' started by Ms.Holyoke, Aug 29, 2018.

  1. Ms.Holyoke

    Ms.Holyoke Connoisseur

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    Oct 13, 2018

    What are thoughts about "stamping" Do Nows to increase completion? I don't want to grade them but I want some sort of accountability.
     
  2. Ms.Holyoke

    Ms.Holyoke Connoisseur

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    I love the mystery # idea = it is exactly what my students need!! I'm wondering if I can say something like "I have a short game planned for us at the end of the day IF we are productive." I have heard of elementary teachers erasing letters when kids are not on task. How would you phrase this?
     
  3. rpan

    rpan Cohort

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    I usually tell my students at the beginning of the class that I have an agenda for today’s lesson and if i don’t have to stop the lesson because of disruptions, if I don’t have to spend time telling people off and giving detentions then we will be able to play a game at the end of the lesson. So if you make the right choices then the lesson ends in 50 minutes and we play a game. If you make the wrong choices then the lesson ends in one hour and we work all the way to the bell. So how your lesson goes is entirely up to you.
     
  4. Loomistrout

    Loomistrout Devotee

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    Oct 13, 2018

    You may be talking about "sponge" activities - easy, fun, learning related, self-directed and easy to correct activity that is a matter of routine no matter when students have "free time". If they have five minutes at the end of day routine is to work on sponge. Finished with bell work = sponge. Waiting for help = sponge.

    On first day I gave each student a generic scantron answer sheet with their seat # at the top. Desks were marked with sticky notes. On the board (done in advance) were two problems with a-b-c-d solutions (like test format). I also gave each student a sponge activity. Standing at the door I greeted each student (shook hands) and gave directions: "Find your seat and follow the written directions on the board." In addition to the "two problems" were directions of what to do and what to do when finished - work on sponge activity. A key thing was the sponge activity. As you know, students finish at different times. If they have nothing structured to do they will find ways to entertain themselves all of which you won't like. Both the answer sheet and sponge activity were kept in students' binders. Extra sponge activities were kept in baskets in the back of the room - when they finished one they turned it in and took another one. Some students liked "Hidden Picture" so much they asked if they could take them home for homework. Hidden Picture reviewed things like X facts, place value, GCF, simplest form fractions etc. By coloring in the correct answers students would reveal a picture which was easy to correct at a glance. And none of this demands extra time from the teacher except to copy sponge work sheets and initial routine training.
     
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  5. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    SKUNK is a favourite with my classes.

    "What Number Am I?"--I choose a number and give them the range--between and 100, for example. They ask "yes" or "no" questions to determine the number.

    "Hit the Target"--give the students 4 numbers with 1 or 2 digits and a "target number" that has 3 or 4 digits. The students must use all 4 numbers and any operations to get as close as possible to the target number.
     
  6. Ms.Holyoke

    Ms.Holyoke Connoisseur

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    Today was surprisingly not horrible. I gave 3 detentions for talking/laughing across the room during classwork. I think the new seats also helped but the kids for the most part were quiet during classwork. I’m hoping that the detentions (and being strict during them) will help the kids. I didn’t get a chance to try the working for an activity today but maybe tomorrow.

    Before, I had the kids do nothing in detention after their reflection sheet or do homework. I also didnt give a consequence for talking during detention! My mentor suggested making them write out multiplication facts which I am doing tomorrow. (I did it for one kid that I had today & he liked doing it LOL)

    My math coach still tells me to try stations though and makes me feel bad for not wanting to do it!!
     
    Last edited: Oct 15, 2018
  7. TrademarkTer

    TrademarkTer Groupie

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    Think of the math coach as like a bad ex. It isn't you, it's her. Get over her and move on.
     
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  8. Ms.Holyoke

    Ms.Holyoke Connoisseur

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    Yeah I was like things are finally getting better and you want me to go back to what wasn’t working before??
     
  9. Ms.Holyoke

    Ms.Holyoke Connoisseur

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    The first part of today's class went really, really well with my tough class. It went better than it did with ALL of my other classes. It was an exploration lesson and I had tons of participation. (My other class barely participated and I had to use popsicle sticks to get kids to talk.) Again, they lost focus in the last 20 minutes so I need to figure that out. I gave two detentions for talking and called a few parents. I had the kids write out their multiplication facts in detention and was very strict about being silent and they hated it. :) I'm basically doing what the science teacher does in terms of detentions and one kid has two with me so he has to come next week too. She said that eventually they do not want to come to detention twice a week. I am no longer dreading this class and I actually like that they participate a lot more than my first class of the day.
     
  10. LouiseB

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    I would say the class did very well. You just need to mix it up a bit and find something for when they "are done." I don't know what that is but it is the next step.

    I think finding solutions is best by talking to the teachers who also have these kids. The math coach sounds like a "textbook" not someone in the trenches! You are beginning to find those who can help you.
     
  11. Ms.Holyoke

    Ms.Holyoke Connoisseur

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    ^
    Right, it's the last part of class (and any time that is unstructured, ie. classwork) where they are struggling. Still trying to figure out what to do because I have a lot of material to get through. I haven't lost a day to behavior in this class recently however. I think being strict with detentions will help. Before, I didn't even give them a detention assignment. The science teacher has 29 f the same kids and she continues giving detentions which is what I'm doing to. However, I have 4 more kids as her and 3/4 of the "extra" kids in my class are behavior problems. That's why I think I need to be more strict.

    My coach came to observe this class when they were really good and we are debriefing tomorrow. I hope she has some useful feedback. I did gain a lot from the lesson she taught, like having a student read the objective every day.
     
    Last edited: Oct 16, 2018
  12. LouiseB

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    Oct 17, 2018

    Tell us about the debriefing!
     
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  13. Ms.Holyoke

    Ms.Holyoke Connoisseur

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    Oct 18, 2018

    ^
    The debriefing was good and she said she would recommend more than one minute of think time and more time to turn and talk. I told her that it was hard to check in with kids during the Do Now because when I work with a kid, a lot of kids start misbehaving. The behavior was good during the lesson and good today. I did give 3 detentions...one for turning around and laughing repeatedly, one for making a paper airplane during the lesson and not taking notes, and one for shredding paper and not taking notes. The science teacher gives detentions for chewing gum so I figure that these detentions are justified. Instead of multiplication facts, I'm going to have the kids organize their binders or make up assignments during detention.

    The good thing is that the class is finally more under control (fingers crossed). I can pass out papers or set up the doc cam and the kids will talk (which is totally fine) but I can get their attention back without an attention signal or I can just do a quick countdown so it's not like I'm wasting a ton of time. Interestingly, I have been focusing on this class so much that the behaviors in my other two classes have started to show up!
     
  14. Ms.Holyoke

    Ms.Holyoke Connoisseur

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    The behavior wasn't too bad again today. I finally had one week with them where I didn't have a horrible day! I did have to give two detentions again (poking another kid with a pencil and talking when he wasn't supposed to) and to one girl for coloring instead of taking notes (repeated issue every day). (The VP walked in and also stopped at this girl's desk to confiscate something she was drawing.) I figure that a logical consequence is that you copy the notes in extra help or do academic work since you missed. Academically, the class is struggling but that's another issue. The computer teacher gave me the advice to talk to one student who is getting repeated detentions and explain to him that when I look at him, that is one warning. I have been able to ease up a little bit on this class and I don't give warnings anymore, but I just say 'turn please, etc' which has been working better. I also took attendance today while they had 30 seconds of unstructured time and they are doing a lot better with that too. (Although I did have one kid get up to fix another boy's ponytail in the 30 seconds I was passing something out...lol)

    Interestingly, the behavior in my high class has gotten worse + it is after lunch. I feel like higher kids can sometimes be more argumentative with redirections. I gave two detentions for repeated talking to people they were not supposed to be. The class didn't start great because I ran out of copies of a worksheet somehow so they had to share and write the problems on a separate sheet of paper. (However, if any class could handle it, it was them and they did great with it & it was just for the beginning. There are two kids that I am struggling with and both of them have attitudes every time I correct them. (Ex. I expect that they are working during a Do Now, not turning around and laughing. One particular student was turning around and laughing and he complained that he got a warning when he wasn't talking. Same issue with another student. These kids did not even get a detention!) And whenever I correct one of This is why I honesty prefer the kids in my morning classes at times because although it's harder to teach and the behaviors can be harder to manage, they don't have attitudes like I am encountering here. I don't have concerns about their behavior as a whole but it's just two kids that are obnoxious.

    Finally, my other issue with my tough class is the bathroom issue. Literally every 5 minutes, someone wants to go to the bathroom. I do not want kids to miss instruction when I can't give individual help and it is getting ridiculous. And then they complain "I asked before her, etc." I want to be like "I CANNOT KEEP TRACK OF ALL OF THESE REQUESTS!!!" LOL. My policy with my other class is one at a time and it works well but this class is ridiculous! Any ideas? My mentor says she has the kids put their name on the sign out sheet and they go when the next person comes back. However, this is a loI might try this policy now & if they go during instruction it is their choice to miss whatever they are missing. They are good about coming back quickly but still...it is obnoxious.
     
    Last edited: Oct 19, 2018
  15. rpan

    rpan Cohort

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    What I do to manage the bathroom requests is to ask the students to ask me again in x minutes. Usually it’s a weird number like 6 minutes or 7 minutes, something like that. Many of my students, especially in my tougher class, use bathroom breaks to take a break from work or avoid work or because they are bored from doing work etc. If they remind me again in the stipulated number of minutes then they can go. This helps to weed out the ones who want to go for genuine reasons and those who want to go for a walk and take a break. If we are within 10 minutes of the bell, no one leaves the classroom, so they don’t even bother asking because they know what the answer will be. My students are older than yours though.
     
  16. Ms.Holyoke

    Ms.Holyoke Connoisseur

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    I have tried saying 'Not right now' and they REMEMBER and get mad when someone goes before them. I cannot keep track of it. I can say 'ask me in 10 minutes' and see if it works Monday. I don't have this issue in any other class. It is super annoying.
    I'm wondering if I should do bathrooom tickets or charge school $$ for the bathroom (which is probably not allowed.)
     
  17. rpan

    rpan Cohort

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    My students usually know who’s asked first. If i’m unsure, I just ask the kids, who asked me first, and usually they can sort it out amongst themselves. You could try this if a kid has asked you. You can say it’s now 10.12am. Ask me again at 10.22am. So if you give the student the current time, then if you can’t remember who’s asked who first, then the kids know. They are usually honourable and don’t ‘jump the queue’.

    Prob not a good idea to charge school dollars for it. If they have to go they have to go. But the trick is to weed out the ones who want to go genuinely from those who do it to avoid work or avoid the lesson. Those who just want to avoid work are not as good as remembering to remind you in 10mins, as those who really need to go, they count every minute till it’s their time.
     
  18. Ms.Holyoke

    Ms.Holyoke Connoisseur

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    Do you let the kids go during a lesson? My issue is that I do not want kids to leave during a lesson. Ex. If a kid asks during the Do Now, I would rather them go then than during the lesson so they don't miss it.
     
  19. rpan

    rpan Cohort

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    Yes I do let kids go during the lesson, I mean if they need to then they need to. But if they take advantage and take too long to come back, I tell them that the next time they ask, it will be a no because they have taken advantage. If they are quick about coming back, then they usually don’t miss more than a few minutes. Sometimes, if it’s something really important I’m teaching, then I say no, but otherwise, I do let them go.
     
  20. Ms.Holyoke

    Ms.Holyoke Connoisseur

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    Maybe I will try this on Monday, thanks!!

    My other concern is that I'm wondering if I am giving too many detentions. My mentor only gives 10 a year. I probably will have 10 kids on Tuesday alone. (Not for the same day though.) However, I have seen it improve behavior. (Ex. a detention for shredding paper instead of taking notes & the kid didn't shred paper or not take notes the next day even though he hadn't even come to his detention yet.) I also gave a session to a girl for drawing instead of taking notes (and this is a repeated behavior that I have talked to her about, etc.0 I am planning on talking to the one kid who is a repeat offender and saying that "a look = a warning" so he understands and is not upset when he gets a detention.
     
  21. rpan

    rpan Cohort

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    Is detention the harshest consequence you can give them? I’m thinking, if they assault another kid, or tell you to F off, what consequence would that entail? Can you give other consequences? I make my students stay in at recess or lunch to do work if they are lacking focus, have no work output or just for a quick detention because they haven’t followed instructions. They eat their recess or lunch while they are with me, so they aren’t lacking in sustenance but it’s still a consequence they thoroughly dislike. I usually only have to do this for the first half of the year for a very tough class. In the second half of the year, relationships are established, classroom management and expectations are established; they don’t see me as the enemy, they behave for me because they want to please me, and I don’t have to do this anymore.
    I guess what I’m trying to say is, if you give your harshest consequence at your disposal for relatively minor indiscretions, then what is the next step up for the larger major indiscretions?
     
  22. Ms.Holyoke

    Ms.Holyoke Connoisseur

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    All of the things that you said would be automatic write ups and would be sent to administration. One of my kids was fighting in the hallway and admin took care of it right away. I even had a kid hit another kid in my class (a few weeks ago when it was a chaotic day) and admin took care of it.

    I can't make kids stay for lunch (and I don't want to either) and they don't have recess. I figure that a logical consequence of not taking notes in class is taking the same notes after school.

    However, knowing my kids, I really can't see any of them swearing at me, etc. They are overall really good kids and I have nothing like the behavior from my student teaching. If I look at my tough class now, it is actually better managed than what my mentor or I had in my student teaching. (Kids playing on their phones, kids constantly yelling across the room, etc.) Right now, my worst behavior problems are off task behavior, turning around, and talking. (ex. during the Do Now, so I have to remind them.)

    Personally, I wouldn't give detentions for things like gum (as I really don't care that much.) and I'm hoping to ease up on the number of detentions that I give.

    There is one kid who has had about 5 detentions with me. He is a good kid & his behavior has improved, but he is still not behaving appropriately. He poked another kid with his mechanical pencil (in front of him) and was yelling out/talking when I was a few times. Calling his mother hasn't helped because he tells her that he has a "loud voice" and that's why he's in trouble, and she believes him. Yes, he did stop when I looked at him, but it is still a waste of time. Was it appropriate to give him a detention for this? I asked the science teacher and she said that's fine and that eventually they do not want to come after school anymore.

    The English teacher, on the other hand, hasn't given any detentions. He has more experience but he's working more on the relationship building, etc. He does still struggle with them but his worst class is my 'ok' class. However, he told me that my tough group was really bad for him on the 1/2 day when he had them last period. He has my tough group first period when they are better behaved. My first period class is well behaved for me and not as well behaved for him. My mentor showed me her test scores from two years ago when she taught the classes that I am teaching and the test scores were twice as bad for the 2nd block class! It is crazy!
     
    Last edited: Oct 20, 2018
  23. LouiseB

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    Please use the bathroom suggestions given by rpan. Great advice! You will get the hang of it. The most difficult part to learn as a new teacher is when the need for the bathroom is necessary. Many times it is an avoidance. Do they have time between classes? If so, that's when they should use it. those that really have to go will let you know.

    The consequences for needed for students will probably cause you to lose your lunch or time that you need to prepare or just relax. Sometimes you have to do what you don't want to do so students know you mean business. No fun, but the way it is. By the way, this happens for parents disciplining their kids!

    You are making progress and things will get even better.
     
  24. Ms.Holyoke

    Ms.Holyoke Connoisseur

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    It's just not standard procedure in my school to make kids lose their lunch and we only have 25 mins. I have never heard of anyone giving a lunch detention and it's not a consequence listed on our behavior form. I feel like I do not want to take away the only free time the kids have but detentions after school Tues-Thurs is usually what is done.
     
    Last edited: Oct 20, 2018
  25. otterpop

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    1 - I tell students to ask me to use the restroom when the student who's out gets back. I tell them I don't take reservations.
    2 - For students trying to avoid work, I usually say to complete a problem or two and then ask me again. Half the time that gets them started and they forget they need to go.
     
  26. rpan

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    Maybe they don’t have to lose their lunch? Maybe stay back for 5 mins to tidy up the classroom, or do an additional question?

    If detentions are working for you at the moment, then stick with them, since they are the consequence of choice at your school. It doesn’t mean that just because you give more detentions, it means you are doing something wrong. Just keep working on classroom management and relationships with your students and the detentions will naturally decrees because the kids behave better.
     
  27. LouiseB

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    I don't have kids for lunch but I'm in high school. However, we can have detentions before and/or after school every day.
     
  28. TrademarkTer

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    I just don't like the detention for not taking notes. Not taking notes is an academic thing so I don't like behavior consequences for academic issues. It would be like giving a detention for not doing homework or bombing the test.
     
  29. Ms.Holyoke

    Ms.Holyoke Connoisseur

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    Yeah, good point. I don't think I will do this anymore and I could just continue to confiscate paper balls, etc. I could tell them that if they have a good day on Monday, they can earn their way out of the detention.
     
  30. Ms.Holyoke

    Ms.Holyoke Connoisseur

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    Omg the kids were horrific today!!! I’m not that upset about it but it is ridiculous!

    The problem is that I’m always afraid to let them talk and work like my other classes so I ask them to do stuff silently which is probably too much! But they are getting obnoxious!!
     
  31. otterpop

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    I hear you! It's getting to that time of the year too.

    We're all getting worn out, the shiny-ness of the new school year has worn off, and holidays galore are coming up. Students who are usually fine are starting to bend/break rules just because they can. I plan to really crack down on behavior this week in my classroom too.
     
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  32. Ms.Holyoke

    Ms.Holyoke Connoisseur

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    I am getting very tired of the behavior. I'm definitely not letting it affect my day like I did last month but I am still over it!! Most of it now is throwing things and talking. I have one student who was disruptive today and he earned two sessions as well as a behavior write up because he has had 4 detentions for the same behavior. My mentor said it's fine to ask for admin action when it is the same student and you've contacted parents and given multiple detentions. I think that's my next step with them & I wrote up this kid for further consequences.
     
    Last edited: Oct 25, 2018
  33. LouiseB

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    You have followed the "chain of command" up to this point and now it becomes adminstration. They shouldn't have a problem with it now.
     
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  34. Ms.Holyoke

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    Thanks! I emailed the social worker about 3 students and she said she will talk to them as well as have admin talk to them. I also told her that I am writing up any issues with these 3 students in the future.

    One of the students has had detentions for talking/laughing/making noises. I want to reach out to his parents to inform them that his behavior has not improved and that administration will be speaking with the student tomorrow. Do you think I should? I hate always sending parents negative emails but still!!

    I was thinking of saying;

    I wanted to provide and update on XXX's behavior in math class. This week, XXX has struggled to maintain focus in math class and needed multiple reminders to stay on task. For example, he has been talking/laughing and making noises in class. It is for this reason that he has received detentions in class. I have reached out to our administration about XXX's behavior in math class and they will be speaking with him tomorrow to discuss strategies to maintain focus and improve his behavior in class.

    Please let me know if you have any questions or concerns.

    ***I could also wait to send this until tomorrow to see how he behaves.
     
    Last edited: Oct 25, 2018
  35. heatherberm

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    Let me just second this! In my first year, the stretch between now and Christmas was easily the toughest which I didn't expect and no one prepared me for. I mean, it's still a hard stretch some years, but that first year with my toughest group it was brutal some days. Not sure if that's how it'll play out for you, but it does seem to be a thing that a lot of teachers go through. Hang in there and be as consistent as you can. You're doing great! :)
     
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  36. Ms.Holyoke

    Ms.Holyoke Connoisseur

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    I’m also confused about what to do with one student. I thought I saw him talking to another student during a test so I gave him a session (and I told the kids that they would get automatic detentions for talking during the test since it is the district assesment). He claims he was only looking at the student and for the rest of class was complaining that he had detention for looking at someone? I’m not sure if I should keep his detention or remove it.
     
  37. otterpop

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    Keep it.

    Discuss with this student that, in the future, if he ever feels he was unfairly given a consequence, he needs to respectfully ask if he can talk to you later or in private. Complaining over and over is not a way to handle a problem. At that point the consequence is half for arguing with you.
     
  38. TeacherNY

    TeacherNY Phenom

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    Did you ask why he was looking at the student??? I'd love to hear the answer! What possible legitimate reason could have have had?
     
  39. otterpop

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    I think this is fine to send, just be sure you fix the typo. :)
     
  40. Ms.Holyoke

    Ms.Holyoke Connoisseur

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    Oct 26, 2018

    I talked to the student and said that the session was for arguing and he understood.

    My admin was very supportive today. I wrote a detailed report for one student who was disruptive (repeated behavior.) Today, he did the following...
    -got mad at me when I asked another student to turn around during the Do Now. (Oh my god, we can’t do anything in this class!!!)
    -refused to stop shredding paper until I asked him twice
    -refused to give me his phone until I said that I have to talk to him after class if he doesn’t give it to me
    - got mad at me when I reminded another student to only talk to their partner (oh my god!! He wasn’t even doing anything!)
    -talking when he isn’t supposed to

    Admin pulled 3 kids that I emailed the social worker about before my class and two of the students were better behaved. The student I wrote about student received 3 lunch detentions from admin for his behavior today after my write up. My VP emailed me and said that she gave mom an update from behaviors today when she picked him up. She also confiscated his phone for the day because of his behavior today. It’s frustrating that his behavior was the same even after admin talked to him. Maybe the lunch detentions will improve his behavior?

    The class as a whole is still tough with the talking. Today I had them do one problem as a silent exit ticket because they were talking when someone was explaining. They didn’t like it...lol! I am planning on grading harshly especially if they don’t have any work from class done.

    This class is no longer allowed to use the pencil sharpener because they left it a mess yesterday. The new procedure is that they hold up their pencil if they need to sharpen it and then I give them permission to walk to the handheld sharpener. One girl kept asking me if she could throw something away and my policy is that students are not allowed to throw anything away during class anymore because it is a disruption. Does this seem fair? She walked over after I said no, so she has a detention as well.
     
    Last edited: Oct 26, 2018

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