Classroom Management

Discussion in 'Elementary Education' started by mudpie1598, Mar 3, 2011.

  1. mudpie1598

    mudpie1598 Companion

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    Mar 3, 2011

    Hi,
    I'm the 3rd teacher to be teaching this class, but even when I did have my own class they always seemed so wild and out of hand. In comparison to my other colleagues who had such well-mannered students. Please tell me what I'm doing wrong. They have gotten out of hand where they are talking way too much and just don't care about the rules anymore, even though they get consequences & rewards for being good.

    My classes have always been known to be loud. When they do work I give them points if their table is quiet or take away points if they're talking too much but that doesn't seem to work anymore.

    Our behavior system is a green face for being good, yellow face, then a red face. I have 3 super active boys who were acting out after they landed on red and if they did they didn't get a treat on Fridays. It seemed to me that their behavior got worse so I told them that if they were good that they could go back to yellow or on "treat day" if they behaved that one day that they could get their treat. Though, their behavior has slightly improved they are still incredibly loud when they are working independently. Any suggestions?

    Thanks!
     
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  3. EdEd

    EdEd Aficionado

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    Mar 4, 2011

    Hey mudpie! Sorry to hear things have gotten worse. A few thoughts/questions for you if you don't mind:

    1) What do YOU think the issues are in your classroom in terms of management? If you were to guess what an outside observer would say, what do you think it would be?

    2) When you say "wild and out of hand," what kinds of things are they doing?

    3) Is it the whole class, or just a few?

    4) When you add and take away points, what does all of that add up to - what are they working toward, how many points to they need, and how often can they cash them in?

    5) When you mention your card system of green, yellow, and red, one problem with these is that there isn't enough to add or take away. Move two "faces" and you're on red - game over, unless you decide to allow them to earn back to yellow. One thought is that you need a lot more steps between the best and worst a child can do - you mentioned points, and I'm curious how those relate to the faces?

    6) Treat on Friday is probably too far away - many third graders need more opportunities to cash in their rewards - multiple times a day. Having a long-term goal or prize is okay, but smaller prizes in between are probably important too.

    7) Do you have any other classroom management systems in place - any other procedures, like social skills training, class meetings, etc? Using any books in particular?

    Thanks!
     
  4. Hoot Owl

    Hoot Owl Aficionado

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    Mar 4, 2011

  5. callmebob

    callmebob Enthusiast

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    Mar 4, 2011

    How tall are you?

    Voice volume?
     
  6. EMonkey

    EMonkey Connoisseur

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    Mar 4, 2011

    I would change the points for the whole class to either negative symbols and positive symbols then the one that beats at the end or only give positive points and do not take them away. By negative and positive points I use smiley and frowning faces each day we try and beat out the frowning faces with the smiley faces.

    How long have you had the class?

    If the kids are doing the work I would advise then training them on voice levels. I have a red, green, yellow sign that I used to use as you do that I have now changed to a voice level guidance system instead. I move the clothes pin to guide the children in the level of voice I want them to use. I have them practice the different levels. I have children show the rest of the class what I mean. If they start getting off the goals I go back and train them again.

    I found the stop light system difficult for children who are already not doing well. They often get frustrated and do not see a way of being successful. They also often get embarrassed.

    What is the reward? Do you set it up so the whole class can successfully get a reward often enough to work for it? Are the consequences enough for them to try and avoid them? Do you try and make them successful in their working towards the reward?
     
  7. TamiJ

    TamiJ Virtuoso

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    Mar 5, 2011

    You are the 3rd teacher with this group? That right there is an issue. What happened to the other 2? They might be waiting for you to leave as well.

    How engaging are your lessons?

    How much direct instruction are you doing?

    Are you creating units and lessons that incorporate things they are interested in? Using their learning styles?

    Can you change the scenery for some of your lessons? Like do reading outside one day? Breaking up the monotony might help.
     
  8. cheer

    cheer Comrade

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    Mar 5, 2011

    I feel for you. I have been in a similar situation. Good news, the year does end! LOL Seriously, classroom management is the hardest part about teaching. (I think) We are here and are ready to help. All the other posts had great questions. Fill us in and we will help. I agree, the friday reward may be too long for some. I like the class meeting time. We do a wow, pow, and wishes session at the end of the day to discuss what we liked about the day, what we didnt like, and our wishes for tomorrow. Sometimes just being heard might be all they need. (it works kinda cool when the students say I am sad that so and so didnt get a green face today so my wish is that so and so gets a green face tomorrow) This would open the door on a discussion on how to earn green faces and as a class how we could help people make green faces. I also like the bucket idea and filling it with pompoms for all the good they have done. Try and find little things they do and reward them with a pom pom. You may have to start out finding small things the kids do well.. "oh see "johnny" picked up "sarah's pencil" That is being a great classroom citizen..here is one pom pom for your bucket." Try and catch them working quietly, even if its them walking across the room to get something,and say "oh thank you for helping us learn by being quiet, thats a great classroom citizen. Here is a pom pom for doing so." Once you have rewarded them alot, make a goal of say 5 pompoms and they get a candy. This hopefully will happen the first day so they can feel the effects of a great reward. Hopefully they will see that being good and doing good things has its rewards. I would also have a lesson on friendship salad. This helps them see how one "rotten banana" (for lack of a better word) can mess up the whole salad. Talk about how to not be a bad banana by following all the rules and especially not talking when learning is going on.
     
  9. ChristyF

    ChristyF Moderator

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    Mar 5, 2011

    Coming in this late in the year is hard. You have gotten some great advice, just know that things won't change overnight. These kids have been "trained" to behave the way they are. They are used to it and you have to retrain them. That's a slow, difficult process. Be consistent and be fair. Don't be afraid to set high expectations. When kids see that you have those expectations, they will strive to reach them. My best advice for you is to ask a teacher that you feel comfortable with to observe you teach (all day if possible). Talk with them about what they saw and their suggestions. Also, observe them and see what tips you can pick up. Another great tool is to video yourself. Watching yourself teach is HARD. But it's the best, true picture of what we do. Good luck!!!!
     
  10. PowerTeacher

    PowerTeacher Comrade

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    Mar 5, 2011

    If you are interested in trying WBT let me know, I am an instructor for that method.
     
  11. heavens54

    heavens54 Connoisseur

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    Mar 5, 2011

    I swear by this website;

    http://www.smartclassroommanagement.com/

    I have implemented everything that he says and it works like a charm. I am amazed by the power of this plan. My rules rule in my classroom. My students break a rule and they know it will be noted and the consequences will be enforced. I have to rely on it at all times in order for it to have its full impact. It is easy, simple and effective. It isn't too late to try it out. His website for Dream Class makes so much sense. Good luck to you.
     
  12. time out

    time out Comrade

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    Mar 5, 2011

    I agree about the Friday reward being too long for some kids. My first year I had a Fun Friday reward (this was 7 years ago) and some kids never earned it. With these students, once they lost it they had nothing to worked toward. So now I use a currency system. At the end of each day, students can earn stamps for good behavior. Then, they can save the stamps to purchase different educational prizes ranging from 3 stamps to 20 stamps. This way if a student has an off day, it doesn't ruin the whole week.

    Hang in there. With time and experience you'll find a classroom mangement style that works for you.
     
  13. YoungTeacherGuy

    YoungTeacherGuy Phenom

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    Mar 5, 2011

    I think part of the reason you're having trouble is that you're the 3rd teacher the students have had!

    When I was in middle school (7th grade), our math teacher took another position in October (I think she got a promotion to work in the district office), so we had a sub until they hired another teacher in early December. Anyway, the teacher was pregnant and went out on maternity leave in February, so we had subs until we got yet another new teacher in March. By the time the new teacher arrived in March, we were heartbroken and felt abandoned by our former teachers. We ended up making the last teacher's life a living h*ll because we felt upset that everyone kept quitting on us.

    Anyway, I think I went way off topic, but I'll never forget that year! It was terrible!!! :(
     

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