Creating a community...

Discussion in 'Substitute Teachers' started by JadeCrane, Nov 27, 2008.

  1. JadeCrane

    JadeCrane Comrade

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    Nov 27, 2008

    I subbed in an extremely difficult 4th grade room yesterday. The biggest problem (not the ONLY problem, just the biggest one) was the propensity for these kids to throw each other under the bus. VERY immature, very divisive... "He looked at me", "She touched my finger" "his chair tripped me". I am not exaggerating when I say that these kids were bombarding me the ENTIRE DAY with this stuff. A steady onslaught of immature first grade nonsense in a fourth grade room.

    So my question is - does anyone know of a way to encourage more community quickly? I don't expect these kids to be holding hands and singing kumbaya by the end of the day - but I would very much like them to lay off of each other a bit...

    Ideas?? :dizzy:
     
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  3. stepka

    stepka Comrade

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    Nov 27, 2008

    JadeCrane, I don't know how to help you on that b/c it sounds like the teacher likes to use competition to motivate the kids. Could you maybe google "cooperative games" and see what comes up? I just did, and most of the stuff I found was for PE, but some of the games looked like they could be adapted for the classroom. Cooperative games are good b/c they teach the kids how to work together to solve a problem and we use them at our summer camp every year. FISH also has some good ideas for creating community, though I'm not much familiar with the program--some of the schools are trying to adopt it. Since you don't have much time though, a game would probably be the quickest way to work.
     
  4. JadeCrane

    JadeCrane Comrade

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    Nov 28, 2008

    I think you are right Stepka. I spent about an hour and a half reading about this last night and I found games designed for the first day of school, but which may help serve my purpose.

    I left that room on Wednesday very sad. Usually I feel great. Things go well - I don't have classroom management problems but I did on Wednesday. I felt like I had failed the "good" kids in the room. But I also feel like I need to go back again and see if I can do something to change my situation there. It is just not okay with me.
     
  5. Special-t

    Special-t Enthusiast

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    Nov 28, 2008

    You can do a complaint jar. Have them keep a piece of paper nearby and write down all infractions for the teacher to see tomorrow. They have to put their name at the top of the paper or you won't save the note for the teacher to read. Most kids won't follow through - some will (they'll write up a storm!). But when you see hands raised ... you can say "If it's a complaint - write it down - I'm only answering questions about XYZ".

    * This kind of class usually does lots of tattling after recess and lunch. You can give them 5 minutes to write down these complaints while the other kids get their books out, etc.

    I've found that at this age they respond well to dividing into table groups (give all the groups fun team names) or sides of the room (East Side, West Side). They really like scented stickers for rewards. OR I've also found that if I do star rewards on the board next to the group names with a note on top that says, "Ms. Smith (their regular teacher) will see these stars tomorrow!" they get excited about showing off their good behavior and teamwork.
     
  6. MissHunny

    MissHunny Comrade

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    Nov 28, 2008

    Just the fact that you are trying to find ways to build community while with kids for a short period of time is great. I will admit that when I was subbing in a rough situation I told myself "This is one day then its over and I dont have to worry about this class again", so I commend you!
     
  7. JadeCrane

    JadeCrane Comrade

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    Nov 28, 2008

    Special-T... AWESOME ideas!! TY!!!

    Miss Hunny - the thing is, this teacher needs a break too - and it is hard for her to get subs to come to her room. Couple this with my inability to say no - I figure I will be back. And I owe it to the well-behaved kids in this room (there actually are a few of them) to control the situation. So... I will try again at least one more time... Thank you for your kind words - I really appreciate that!
     
  8. Ross

    Ross Comrade

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    Nov 28, 2008

    I have been dealing with some 7th graders that behave the same way.

    I am also looking for solutions for this grade level. Anyone have something for this age group?

    One way to handle this problem has been to give them a healthy dose of reality when it comes to blaming someone else. I will take a short time to educate them on the difference between those that are successful and those who are not. One of the key elements is the ability to be concerned with the work and progress of yourself. Don't blame others for your failure.

    I tell them the successful students come into the classroom, listen to the teacher and do their own work. The students who do not do well come into class and immediately find reasons to blame other people for all sort of activities and distractions. They do this day after day and day after day they continue to fail.

    So they have a choice: success or failure.

    I guess I won't know for about 20 years if this method of mine works.
     

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