Classroom problems

Discussion in 'Middle School / Junior High' started by mrsnikki, Aug 28, 2009.

  1. mrsnikki

    mrsnikki Companion

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2008
    Messages:
    169
    Likes Received:
    0

    Aug 28, 2009

    So yesterday was the worst sixth period ever!! It is only getting worse. The rest of my day is easy peasy until that class so I know I am doing something right the rest of the day. Here is the thing they are out of control talking and getting up and yelling. I am not sure what to do. I have done book work instead of science labs and they don't care! I am a little flustered over this one. ANY IDEAS APPRECIATED!!!:(
     
  2.  
  3. Limegirl

    Limegirl Rookie

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2009
    Messages:
    15
    Likes Received:
    0

    Aug 28, 2009

    Do you have a behavior management plan? This year I'm going to use monopoly money with my 8th graders and focus on the positive behaviors. Then throughout the year, they will get to buy things using their money.
     
  4. Ima Teacher

    Ima Teacher Maven

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2005
    Messages:
    5,478
    Likes Received:
    990

    Aug 28, 2009

    It may be the time of day more than the kids.

    One year I had the same group of kids twice day . . . first thing in the morning and next to the last period of the day. I absolutely LOVED them for the first period of the day, but I couldn't stand them at the end of the day.

    Try routine, routine, routine. And then practice your expectations and routine until they do what you want.
     
  5. chemteach55

    chemteach55 Connoisseur

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2007
    Messages:
    1,710
    Likes Received:
    13

    Aug 28, 2009

    You are right about the time of day. Our schedule rotates so I see classes at all different times of the day. The same group can be angels in the morning and little devils in the afternoon. I would keep this group on as much of a routine as possible. I have noticed that keeping one group from doing lab activities sometimes does more bad than good. Maybe modify the labs so that you have half the class working on the lab and the other half doing some sort of book work and then swith the groups the next day. This helps to minimize the amount of students that you have to supervise doing the lab. You could also modify the labs so that you do it as a demo and have a few of the students who are behaving as your helpers to the lab. Good Luck!!
     
  6. Marci07

    Marci07 Devotee

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2008
    Messages:
    1,017
    Likes Received:
    0

    Aug 29, 2009

    The monopoly money sounds like a great idea. I tried something similar using raffle tickets awarded to groups with best behavior and then they could buy things including homework passes. It worked like wonders.
     
  7. sciencegurl

    sciencegurl Companion

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2008
    Messages:
    127
    Likes Received:
    1

    Sep 4, 2009

    In my class they get pinked slipped. Any misbehavior (talking out of turn, late to class, forgetting materials, wasting time) they get a warning. Any major issues (swearing, confrontations, cheating, bullying) get immediate detentions with me at lunch. I've had virtually no problems even with my roughest class. I give them 3 warnings/month for minor violations and an immediate detention for major (and all detentions need to be signed by parents--if slips aren't signed a letter goes home).
     
  8. sciencegurl

    sciencegurl Companion

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2008
    Messages:
    127
    Likes Received:
    1

    Sep 4, 2009

    Also we give awards for good behavior "Caught you doing good" slips....so we try to focus on the positive and make a big deal of it. They turn the slips into the office for a raffle.
     
  9. SingBlueSilver

    SingBlueSilver Companion

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2007
    Messages:
    190
    Likes Received:
    0

    Sep 7, 2009

    I think the key is doing something immediate. Immediate praise when someone is being good...Immediate reprimands/warnings/detentions when they are not...Also always follow through on what you say you are going to do. If you threaten to send them to the office or hold them after school if they are out of control, do it. I love parent conferences. My 2nd week of school is going to start tomorrow and I already have a list of students who I would like a parent conference with. A teacher next door had a parent conference the 2nd day. I feel like the more immediate I address any issues, the less likely they will appear again. Also, if you send a note home with a student who needs behavior adjustments, try to send a note home with a student who has been doing exceptionally well to keep things positive.
     
  10. MissEducation

    MissEducation Companion

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2009
    Messages:
    151
    Likes Received:
    1

    Sep 11, 2009

    Is there another teacher who can "switch" you classes for a period and give you ideas? They may behave better for a new person, but it's just a thought if that's an option at your school...
     
  11. mollydoll

    mollydoll Connoisseur

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2009
    Messages:
    1,640
    Likes Received:
    57

    Sep 11, 2009

    I could have written this. I hate them. I really, really, REALLY hate them. They are obnoxious, illiterate, disrespectful jerks. They informed me today that everything we do is stupid and that the class is not going to do any work. The bad part is this is almost ALL of the students; so many that I can't even tell who to call out and kick out of the room to time out or referrals.

    Other two classes are wonderful, for the most part. Also freshman, we even had a great round table current events discussed in my first block. Can't even get past "take out paper and pen" in this one. I hate them. Did I mention that?
     
  12. SingBlueSilver

    SingBlueSilver Companion

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2007
    Messages:
    190
    Likes Received:
    0

    Sep 11, 2009

    This was me last year. I had one period of "those". I literally told people that they made me want to die because I felt like dying would be better than to teach that class. I could barely teach a thing if anything at all. Do you have a Vice Principal of Discipline or anything that can support you? Maybe visit that class randomly? It helped a lot when I personally switched some of their schedules. After I got to know them better (about a month or two after the school year started) I knew who were the fire-starters and sat some of them close to me. I could tell who the followers were and I switched them to better behaved/more intelligent classes where they then had to follow the lead of the better behaved students. Switching their schedules around helped A LOT. To do this, I talked to the counselor at school and they were able to do it for me. Also check with your colleagues who have those students to see how they behave with them.
     
  13. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2006
    Messages:
    27,534
    Likes Received:
    6

    Sep 11, 2009

    Molly, I wouldn't be quick to ask for outside help (aside from kids/situations where things are out of control, and there's some sort of risk.) Every time you give a little of your authority to someone else-- the AP, the dean, whoever-- that's a little less that you have. The kids will sense that YOU don't have the authority to make them be quiet.

    Start getting to know one or two of them outside of class. Get to a Freshman (right??) football or soccer game, even for 20 minutes. Let them see you suppporting them, and congratulate or sympathize with them about the gave.Hang out outside your room at the end of the day and chat with the kids at their lockers. Talk to some of the good kids in there about what kind of a class they deserve and why they don't have it. Stop and decide which kids have leadership potential in that group, and call them in for a chat about how THEY need to step up and use peer pressure to make this work.

    Peer pressure is the best weapon you have. Get the strong kids in the class on your side, and the battle is won.
     
  14. mollydoll

    mollydoll Connoisseur

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2009
    Messages:
    1,640
    Likes Received:
    57

    Sep 11, 2009

    Lockers are at the complete opposite end of the building. I have tried chatting with a few based on the interest forms I had them fill out. Most of them put question marks, said they didn't have interests or left things blank. When I tried to ask them what they do for fun, they mostly said stuff like "I don't know" or "nothing."

    The "good kids" in there mostly tell me everything I am doing is "stupid" or "lame." These are things that are getting GREAT feedback from my morning class. I even gave my morning class a textbook scavenger hunt that I thought might be busy work, but allowed 20 minutes for it anyway since most of the department sometimes does it. They ended up loving it and didn't want to stop working on it!

    Today I tried talking to the couple of kids I have seen sketching and drawing about participating in an extra credit word wall project with some morning kids, and they were not interested. Morning kids were excited.

    My mentor and a colleague suggested the scary AP as a last resort, but we are going to have me do a professional day soon so I can observe some tough classes around the building. And, one of the football coaches who is also a science teacher is going to come into my room to "work" on some stuff around the lab materials in the back. In reality he will be observing them and me without them knowing and will then give me feedback.

    I am depressed, but my department is definitely supportive. I think I need to focus on how great the other classes are and not let this one get me down.

    I think on Monday, I will just proceed with my lessons. I will give them a packet of handouts instead of having them take notes or use their own paper, and I will follow my plans. If they talk or don't listen, I won't yell, but will pause until they stop. What we don't finish will be homework and they will keep getting extra tests. Right now, I can't think of anything better. I am at a loss. Their grades on assignments have been better than expected. I gave them a quiz today that most actually did reasonably well on. This was material I just told them to go study. Apparently they did (some of them, anyway).

    Maybe I need to do a mass phone call home? Call each parent and tell them there is a problem with behavior. I'll have several grades in to evaluate Monday, so I can praise the kids with good behavior/good grades, give the scoop on kids without either and do the good work so far, BUT... on the majority.

    *sigh*
     
  15. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2006
    Messages:
    27,534
    Likes Received:
    6

    Sep 11, 2009

    OK, so they're bright and bored. Maybe you really just need to step it up a bit? Give them more challenging work? Not as punishment, but to keep them thinking??
     
  16. PowerTeacher

    PowerTeacher Comrade

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2008
    Messages:
    391
    Likes Received:
    0

    Sep 11, 2009

    Look into Whole Brain Teaching. The tools are there to stop the problems you are having. The method involves an integrated classroom management strategy that is non-confrontational and involves the kids. That equals no need for power struggles.

    The teaching components are collaborative, brain compatible effective, and lots of fun for you and them. The best part- all the stuff is FREE!

    Try the main site HERE.

    Try HERE for a walk through on how to get started.
     
  17. mollydoll

    mollydoll Connoisseur

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2009
    Messages:
    1,640
    Likes Received:
    57

    Sep 11, 2009

    I wouldn't go that far. I have tried giving them challenging stuff. Today they asked for workbook exercises instead of the "lame" articles from Earth magazine, National Geographic, Washington Post, etc that I was giving them to read and discuss (250 word articles, nothing impossible). I had articles on dinosaurs, volcanoes, radioactive kitchen counter tops, flights to Antarctica, garbage in the Pacific, cave exploration, Walmart using wind power and about 6 or 7 others. I wanted them to pick one, read it, write a paragraph summary, then read a couple more articles, and then we would all discuss them and how Earth Science relates to so much. The other classes had a ball with it--they especially loved the kitchen counter article, the caves and Antarctica. When I asked them at the end what they got out of reading them, almost everyone was eager to tell me something. Even kids who were grouchy about retaking ES after failing it perked up and had fun. We ended up with a lively argument about classifying things from the articles into the branches of Earth Science (the standard we were hitting). Most of the kids went back for more articles without any prompting. The ones who grumbled at first got into it and found stuff they thought really cool. They were shocked to find out that Virginia actually has one of the largest uranium deposits in the US.

    The last class wanted to do workbook sheets. Several kids specifically said this. "Why do we have to do this? Why can't we just do worksheets?" Nobody would read more than one article and nobody would discuss any of them much at all. They couldn't give a rat's behind that Virginia has uranium.
     
  18. Ima Teacher

    Ima Teacher Maven

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2005
    Messages:
    5,478
    Likes Received:
    990

    Sep 11, 2009

    I probably wouldn't either unless it somehow related to me. People--and especially kids--are very self-absorbed. It's got to "hit home" to make them interested.
     
  19. mollydoll

    mollydoll Connoisseur

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2009
    Messages:
    1,640
    Likes Received:
    57

    Sep 11, 2009

    We had a context that got the other class interested. It was just one of the articles they had, and they got into it and kept asking questions. Out of the topics we had, it was just one that seemed to capture the attention of my first 2 classes. Basically what I did was I had the articles planned for about a 35-40 minute activity to expose them to the breadth of Earth Science, hoping that everybody would find 1 article out of the assortment that appealed to them. It ended up being a wildly successful 90 minute+ activity for 2 of my classes. Some of the articles I picked were total duds, others generated so much discussion, I had to gently guide back to our main goal. I let the kids pretty much guide which articles we spent time on. I had thought they would love the dino articles, but they actually preferred one about radon in granite countertops. And from there, we slid into the one about uranium mining in Virginia. And then into how Earth Science relates to jobs and strong economies. All stuff they started picking up and asking about. It was really neat.

    The fact that one of my former classmates' families owns the land and could potentially sell it to a French mining conglomerate for $380 million also got their attention. :lol:

    So, no, I didn't expect that any of them would necessarily care about all of these topics, but I WAS hoping for some sparks or flicker of interest, at least enough to get to the point of the exercise.
     
  20. dkesch09

    dkesch09 New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2009
    Messages:
    3
    Likes Received:
    0

    Sep 12, 2009

    You could try an classroom contract, that they have to come up with. They will have to have boundries give them 4 questions that they have to come up with postive actions or words. How would you like to be treated by me? or How do you think I want to be treated? How do you want to treat each other? put it on them, sometime they are harder on them selves than you are. Have them all sign the contract and use it to refer back to when they are breaking the contract.
     
  21. SpecSub

    SpecSub Comrade

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2007
    Messages:
    322
    Likes Received:
    0

    Sep 16, 2009

    If my students told me that my activities were stupid and lame, I wouldn't ask for their feedback. I encourage feedback if it's respectful.
     
  22. Genmai

    Genmai Companion

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2009
    Messages:
    190
    Likes Received:
    1

    Sep 16, 2009

    Alice, I recall you mentioned that you weren't the "get to know me" type. :p

    I teach in an urban school, and the kids are steamrolling me daily. It is getting pretty horrible for me as well.
    T_T
     
  23. vsidhwa

    vsidhwa New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2009
    Messages:
    1
    Likes Received:
    0

    Sep 24, 2009

    I promised that after their name is on the board followed by 3 checksmarks, they would have to come back to this room and phone their parent at work while I stood there and listened to them.


    However, 2 boys violated this rule upto what would've been 5 checkmarks and so I ended up sending him to the AP where I do not wish to send them.

    What would you have done?:help:
     
  24. teaching4God

    teaching4God Cohort

    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2007
    Messages:
    589
    Likes Received:
    0

    Sep 24, 2009

    Obviously peer relationships are important. Sounds like they are trying to save face. How could ou use this to your advantage.
     
  25. apple25

    apple25 Comrade

    Joined:
    May 11, 2007
    Messages:
    275
    Likes Received:
    0

    Oct 24, 2009

    They are testing you. I can totally relate - I have one class like this too this year. I will be following this thread closely to see what others suggest.
     
  26. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2006
    Messages:
    27,534
    Likes Received:
    6

    Oct 24, 2009

    I don't think any teacher who hopes to be effective can NOT be the "getting to know you" type.

    What I said was that I'm not the "getting to know you GAME" type, and it's true. I don't play games. I don't do community building activities that first week.

    My first week of school is all about setting a tone. I dive right into the material and teach on that first day, and every day thereafter. I give a quiz on day 3.

    We've been in school since just after Labor Day. My kids and I are getting to know each other quite well, though I still have my work cut out for me on some of those quiet kids. But I'm chipping away a them.

    I had a chat with one of my freshmen the other night, at Parent-Student-Teacher conferences. (His grade was a B, but mom wanted to meet each of his teachers and ensure that he was being respectful. This is the kid who got my first detention of the year earlier in the week.) I told him that he was one of the 2 leaders in his class. That the kids listen to him, laugh at his jokes whether they're funny or not, and respect him. And that he has the potential to make his class a valued learning enviornement or a waste of time for the next four years. But one way or the other, the kids were taking their cue from him, and that he had some thinking to do. He seems to have listened; on Friday he was on task the whole period, polite and respectful.
     
  27. Mrs. K.

    Mrs. K. Enthusiast

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2008
    Messages:
    2,275
    Likes Received:
    103

    Oct 24, 2009

    Molly, I have one class of lower-level seniors. If I give them very directed work to do - like worksheets, which I generally abhor - they will sit fairly quietly and do the work, because they feel like they're "doing something" - they're filling in the spaces, and when all the spaces are filled, they feel like they've accomplished something. I'm not crazy about teaching 17- and 18-year-olds that way, and I add in as many other activities as they can tolerate, but it's important for them to feel successful.

    Or, you may just have a class of rotten apples. :p My colleague has a class of seniors right before lunch who constantly whine that they "just don't get it" or that her activities are "lame." One of her students went so far as to say he wanted to transfer out of her class because he didn't like the material. She pointed out that all English 12CP classes do the same curriculum, and that if he didn't like the Canterbury Tales with her, he sure wasn't going to like them with me!
     

Share This Page

Members Online Now

  1. vickilyn
Total: 206 (members: 2, guests: 178, robots: 26)
test