Consistent Failure to get Started

Discussion in 'Secondary Education' started by Peregrin5, Oct 10, 2012.

  1. Peregrin5

    Peregrin5 Maven

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    Oct 10, 2012

    I have a class in which they are made to leave the classroom EVERY DAY and practice entering again, because they are not prepared by the time the bell rings.

    They KNOW they should be in their seats with their kick-offs out and it should be silent. All my other periods have it down pat, but there are a large number of problem kids in this period, who don't care and may even enjoy forcing the entire class to leave the room and ruin it for everyone else.

    They KNOW I mean business too. I am consistent and firm with them everyday, and they receive their consequences as they are due.

    I don't really have any ideas at this point about how to deal with it. Well I do have one idea, and that is using PAT. I am planning on implementing it in our class and providing bonus minutes if everyone is sitting in their seats and ready to go by the bell, but is there anything else that I can do to solve this problem?

    I could feel myself beginning to lose my cool (and I NEVER lose my cool - I'm basically Queen Victoria [yes a male teacher imagining himself as Queen Victoria] as Fred Jones describes, but my patience wore very thin today).
     
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  3. KateL

    KateL Habitué

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    Oct 10, 2012

    Don't lose your cool! That's what those "problem kids" are waiting for. They figure that if they can just wait a few more class periods, they will get to see you explode. Stay firm.

    If it's just a few students who are ruining it for everyone, have separate consequences for them - a step on a referral, a trip to the office, whatever is standard at your school. Take care of those few students, and let the others who are more compliant continue on with class.
     
  4. EdEd

    EdEd Aficionado

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    How does the rest of the class go? Are they well behaved throughout the rest of the period, or just when starting?
     
  5. Peregrin5

    Peregrin5 Maven

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    Oct 10, 2012

    Well, the few jokers do make a few disturbances here and there, but once I get them all settled in, I generally have pretty strong control for the rest of the period.

    It's mostly at the beginning. They know my expectations and they know that by the time the bell rings, they should be sitting down. I refuse to yell over them, so I wait until they are all quiet and seated and pass out a fair amount of glares.

    With my other periods, they may be slightly rambunctious when we start class, but all it takes is for me to stride in slowly, stand at the head of class and 'stare' students into silence, and it takes about 3-5 seconds. Then they all get to work.

    This class simply doesn't quiet down, until I tell them to all leave the classroom and practice entering again.
     
  6. Peregrin5

    Peregrin5 Maven

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    I won't lose my cool, but I could feel the wear today. If I were to ever come close enough, I would step outside for a few breaths before I entered again. I never raise my voice and rule my classroom with my presence. It's AMAZING how much my management has improved this year.
     
  7. GemStone

    GemStone Habitué

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    Oct 10, 2012

    Maybe they enjoy that? It is less time they have to spend actively working. Many kids love to waste class time.

    I would start class right away. If they're left scrambling to catch up because they were playing around, that's on them. I would also take away PAT time if you go that route.
     
  8. Linguist92021

    Linguist92021 Phenom

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    How about this:
    - you pre-write 5-10 detention slips for not following procedures, talking, delaying instruction, etc. The only thing missing are the names. They come in. You wait, and if they talk, you simply pull out the detention slips in a way that they see what they are. Pick 5 kids that are talking the loudest, let them know they will have detention that day. If they argue that they weren't the only ones, let them know others will get it tomorrow.

    - this might work: start your classes with a quiz. Have it up on a Powerpoint, put up a timer that shows when it will be taken down. Give them just enough time to copy the questions if they get started right away. If they talk, space out, they lose. Do this every day.
     
  9. EdEd

    EdEd Aficionado

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    Oct 10, 2012

    So how long does it take for them to settle down? You definitely seem to be doing well throughout the class period, which means it must be just a transition thing. The rest of your management structure seems like it's working.
     
  10. TamaraF

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    Oct 10, 2012

    They don't want to work, so you are giving them exactly what they want! Forget the going and coming. That is punishing ALL the students, even the ones who are ready to settle down. Instead, keep a list on the board (with no discussion) of students who are being disruptive. Those students "owe you time" at the end of class, and must stay behind for however long it took them to settle down.
     
  11. Peregrin5

    Peregrin5 Maven

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    Oct 11, 2012

    The kick-off is only up for a limited time before it is taken down. The loudest most disruptive students simply don't do the kick-off each day, or any work. I've stopped chasing after them, since they're doing their best to fail my class.
     
  12. Peregrin5

    Peregrin5 Maven

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    If I don't have them practice, they would probably all be talking throughout the kick-off and most likely not doing it.

    I'm hoping PAT may change this (they get bonus points if they're in their seats and working by the time the bell rings).
     
  13. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Oct 11, 2012

    What's the consequence for not doing the kick-off? Aside from failing I mean. Do they have to make it up after school? Have a parent receive an email stating that they opted out of a classroom activity and thus received a failing grade?

    I'm so glad things have gotten better for you this year.
     
  14. Peregrin5

    Peregrin5 Maven

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    Oct 11, 2012

    If students regularly do not do work in my class I do send out an email to their parents, but these particular students have unresponsive parents most of the time, and I know that many of their parents simply do not have a computer, or haven't given their real phone number to the school.

    I only have consequences for behavioral issues. If a student doesn't do work in the class, the only consequence is failure. I do however give them the "look" when they're sitting around doing nothing, and 9 times out of 10, this is enough to get them started, so I stay there until I see that they're engaged in the work, and then move on.

    It's tougher to do with this class though since I have more disruptors in this class, so I can't just sit idly and wait for one student to get into the flow of working because there are 3-4 others messing around.
     
  15. EdEd

    EdEd Aficionado

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    So if you have them practice the time is significantly shorter? How long is the time if they practice, and does practicing consistently result in a short amount of transition time? If the time is shorter but not short enough, what's the current time with practice, and the goal you'd be acceptable with?
     
  16. Peregrin5

    Peregrin5 Maven

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    That's a lot of question condensed into a short space. I may have trouble picking apart exactly what you're asking but I'll attempt to answer.

    The time still ends up being MOSTLY exactly the same with my other classes. Students are only given 5 minutes to finish the kick-off.

    With this class, if they don't get started, they leave and enter again. This takes about 3-4 minutes. When we practice, they leave the classroom and stand in the hallway, where I come out completely grim and silent. They immediately become silent. I question them about my expectations for entering the classroom and being prepared, and asking if we can get it perfect this time. They nod, and enter, this time entering perfectly silently. If one of them talks up, the others shush him immediately because they don't want to get up again.

    By the time they get back, there are 1 or 2 minutes left on the kick-off clock. Those who don't need to practice generally are done by then anyway. Those who haven't started yet, generally would just sit around and not start anyway.

    Then we go over the answer to the kick-off, and if they don't have it down yet, or they didn't understand the question, they would copy it down. Again, some students will still just sit there and not copy down the answer after I have given it.

    So I review the answer basically at the same time as I would my other classes, 5-6 minutes after the initial bell rings and then we get started.

    My problem is that they are not meeting my expectations of being ready AS SOON as the bell rings, and they are dilly dallying and making noise and messing around. Again, it's a few who are ruining it for the rest.
     
  17. EdEd

    EdEd Aficionado

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    Oct 11, 2012

    Gotcha. So, it seems that they enter, don't start to work, then have to leave and line up again - at this point, with your intervention of "stern look" and review of expectation, they quiet down. Upon re-entering, all is good, with a total time lost of a few minutes?

    Next question is the procedure for entering the first time - do they line up and wait for you to permit them to enter, or do they just walk in individually and then are expected to get settled?
     
  18. Peregrin5

    Peregrin5 Maven

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    This is where I am thinking of making a change. I generally let them come in, and expect them to be settled by the time the bell rings. That may not be a realistic expectation. I should probably change my procedure to the one you described, where they wait, in line and take a seat.
     
  19. Linguist92021

    Linguist92021 Phenom

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    Oct 11, 2012

    Why don't you have them line up before they come in, remind them of the rules, go in the classroom and let them in? It seems like the problem is that they come in one by one, chatting and relaxed and forget.
    At that point if someone is talking, make him go out, end of the line and come in quietly.

    This is what I've always done when i was subbing in a new classroom, or I've been there and knew that the start of the class can be rocky.
    It always worked.
     
  20. EdEd

    EdEd Aficionado

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    Sounds like that might be a good idea, especially since you are already successfully using that strategy, just a few minutes later. You can always fade out that procedure too over a couple of weeks, or attach a consequence/reward as others have described.
     
  21. Peregrin5

    Peregrin5 Maven

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    It worked pretty well for that period! It worked less well for another period, but still worked. =]
     
  22. McParadigm

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    Cross your fingers and hope for the best. Changes in policy or approach tend to be very hard to evaluate in the short term. Often, they indicate significant skew in either the direction of success or failure before normalizing somewhere close to the status quo.
     
  23. Peregrin5

    Peregrin5 Maven

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    This is very true. I will continue doing it and see what happens. I have also implemented PAT to the best of my ability now, to see how that works. I sold it by having them make ice cream today.
     
  24. PolarBear

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    I don't have anything significant to contribute, but wanted to subscribe to this thread because I'm having the same problem in two of my classes.
     

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