Classroom mgmt. and bored math students

Discussion in 'General Education' started by Pi-R-Squared, Apr 24, 2014.

  1. Pi-R-Squared

    Pi-R-Squared Groupie

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    Apr 24, 2014

    OK, I think I have a better handle of classroom mgmt. Class isn't as disruptive as before. Group work has been essentially eliminated. I've made power point slides of the math problems that I want to show as examples. I've been implementing the "I do, we do, y'all do, you do" method of my showing how problems are solved and then we all do them together and then they do them and finally independent seat work. For the most part, the classes are quiet and work is being done. I've also noticed improved performance from those who needed the independent ability to solve math problems. Now, some students are clamoring for "Can we play games so we can learn this? This stuff is so boring!"

    I am sticking to my guns for the remainder of the year, so, very limited group work, if any, and no games. Just book work, solve problems, practice, practice, practice...... I also know that to grow as a teacher, I will need to get group work involved, maybe? What would be good advice for me to have kids maybe pair up or triple-up without causing disruption and commotion? If I had total say, I would do this all year all the time for all my classes but something tells me this isn't good in the long run!
     
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  3. Mr. Radiohead

    Mr. Radiohead Rookie

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    Apr 25, 2014

    Kids are on-task and learning? Stick with what is working. I wouldn't bother doing any group work for the remainder of this school year if it causes a loss of classroom management and learning.

    Next school year, plan and implement group work if you feel that is what you want to do. It takes a lot of modeling of what efficient small group work looks like. Setting ground rules. Having a "fish bowl" lesson where a group sits in the middle of the room and models how to work in a small group. Classroom discussions on how their groups are going/what is and what isn't working. Creating strategies on how to work efficiently.

    My class year is middle of August-First week of June. At this point in the school year I can break my 5th graders up into efficient small groups where meaningful work is getting done with minimal supervision. The kids do enjoy the freedom- but work/learning still needs to get done.
     
  4. Linguist92021

    Linguist92021 Phenom

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    Apr 25, 2014

    I agree that generally you should stay away from group work if that caused problems before, or at least for a while to get classroom management under control.
    But doing the same thing day after day might result in boredom to set in, and that can cause bigger problems. You don't want the entire class to get against you, sort of 'revolting', losing interest and deciding that misbehaving is more fun even if it ends in consequences.
    You could pick 1 or 2 days of the week to include some pair work, or small group work. Try it for one day, for a short part of the class period, and see how it works. You might be surprised.

    At my school my P encourages us to change up our lessons to make sure our students don't get bored, because by now they're pretty tired of just going to school in general and you want to keep them engaged. She's not saying to make it fun, or do group work, or anything specific, she just wants us to keep in mind how they're feeling this time of the year.

    My lesson plans right now are very fast paced, we do several activities in 1 class and each activity lasts maybe 5 minutes, so they don't have time to be bored. We read, discuss, write down answers, watch short video clips (1 in almost every class, 5-7 minutes max), and I picked a topic that is very interesting to them. So far it's working out great, better than lately.
     
  5. Rockguykev

    Rockguykev Connoisseur

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    Apr 25, 2014

    Kids being on task does not necessarily mean they are learning. It is dangerous to equate compliance with knowledge. There are plenty of studies showing that a brain that is engaged in the task at hand learns far faster and far more than one that is not.

    If you think group work engages them (which I'm not sure I'd agree with) I'd say take a shot or two at it this year so you are aware of what you don't want it to be. Next year start off with those things in mind and prep the students like crazy.
     
  6. Loomistrout

    Loomistrout Devotee

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    Apr 25, 2014

    Of course students whine. If you played games they would tell you the games are too boring and they need seat work with lots of practice. Consider advice from Madeline Hunter: "What you put into kids is not that critical. The critical part is what you get out." To this end, whether you have groups, partners, rows, worksheets, volcanoes exploding or whatever the real test of any management intervention should be, "Is it working"?

    Whole group instruction can be exciting or boring. So can groups. Whether students reach their full potential in either of these arrangements will depend, for the most part, on the skills of the teacher not where they sit.
     
  7. Pi-R-Squared

    Pi-R-Squared Groupie

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    Apr 25, 2014

    I have gotten better results when kids are working independently. Of course, the ones who can get the stuff will get the stuff no matter what.... The ones who can't just won't. That's just logic and seeing results from tests and homework effort.... I've implemented some independent work first and then group to check and that seems work a little. Also, it's nearing the end of the year and no one wants to do any work. Feels like pulling teeth to get anything out of them! They know their grades are good enough to pass so they do little but at least the class is more controlled. :lol:
     
  8. kcjo13

    kcjo13 Phenom

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    Apr 25, 2014

    Unfortunately for students, you run the class, not them. If in your professional assessment they are learning, then stick with what works. Students will say anything to get out of the task at hand, including and foremost trying to make you second guess yourself.
     
  9. a2z

    a2z Maven

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    Apr 25, 2014

    Are the kids who are asking for games actually learning by your current method?

    If not, you may want to do a bit of extra teacher:small group work with the strugglers to find out where they are having a breakdown in learning. For some it is as simple as a difference in understanding vocabulary or a faulty understanding of something you expect they know. They may just need a bit more interaction with you to get it.
     
  10. otterpop

    otterpop Aficionado

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    Apr 26, 2014

    Would a whole group game work, either on special days or at the end of a class period? I have in mind jeopardy or a trivia type game for review.
     
  11. Special-t

    Special-t Enthusiast

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    Apr 26, 2014

    One thing you might be able to try is posting problems at stations around the room or in the hallway. The students have to copy all the questions into their notebooks and then sit down and solve. It's just a way to add some movement. If they can't handle it, then go back to the routine you've set.
     

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