Discipline System (grades 3 - 5)

Discussion in 'Substitute Teachers' started by Shane Steinmetz, Apr 25, 2007.

  1. Shane Steinmetz

    Shane Steinmetz Rookie

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    Apr 25, 2007

    Hi folks. How's everyone doing? I know I haven't been around and posted a detailed report of how my day went, as I was doing in the "What did you teach today?" topic. (I was hogging the screen space, anyway.) But, I thought I'd drop by and share an idea that I had in a class I worked with a short while back.

    I've been getting a lot of work lately, and have had the fortune of revisiting classes that I've had more than once. A fourth grade teacher over at a favored school of mine will be having me for the third or fourth time tomorrow, so I am fairly familiar with the students.

    Actually, I wrote a report of substituting for this teacher in the "What did you teach today?" topic in the past. It was the post where I expressed concerns about the exactness of lesson plans and the need for teachers to be specific. That particular teacher left me her phone number for me to call her. Well, after substituting for her class a few times, I've come to the realization that her lesson plans are easy as pie to complete. The teacher is very kind and patient with my progress. (We DO make progress, but she doesn't seem to get upset if we don't get a little done here and there.)

    So guess what that means?

    I now have a guinea pig for testing out my latest innovations and strategies for running an elementary school classroom more efficiently.

    The problem that I tackled last time was enforcing negative consequences against misbehaving students without having to be totally familiar with their names. I needed a system that was swift and fast. I created a "recess card" system where I would sign my name on many pieces of paper. Students would get three of them. Every piece of paper would represent a certain portion of recess. When the students misbehaved, I would take pieces of papers -- the "cards" -- away. Right before recess, they would each go up to the gate and give me their cards. Students with three cards would go right away, while those with less would have to wait the time requirement before turning theirs in and going out to recess.

    If something like this has already been mentioned and discussed, you'll have to forgive me for being repetitive. The ideas dawned on me recently.

    There's actually similar systems already being used -- the turn-a-card system, for example. However, I think that making students hold onto cards (or a mini-booklet of them) will be more efficient because I only need to walk up to a student and take a card from their possession for misbehaving.

    Students are to carry their cards with them at all times inside the classroom.

    I just used MS Paint to expand this system. I also created a form for students to go over at a certain point in the discipline process.

    http://www.silverinterlocution.org/bc.jpg
    http://www.silverinterlocution.org/steinmetz-1.html

    I also uploaded a bitmap (clear version) of the cards. Of course, please feel free to take these and modify them or adapt them for your own use.

    http://www.silverinterlocution.org/bc.bmp (1.01 MB, which will download slowly on dial-up connections)

    Anyway, I'll come back tomorrow after work and give you the results.
     
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  3. JaimeMarie

    JaimeMarie Moderator

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    Apr 28, 2007

    Be careful about taking away recess. Some schools you are not allowed to do that. Check with the office first. Also, you might want to be careful about taking recess away from the kid that really needs it. It might make your day harder if the kid can't get out to vent some of that energy.
     
  4. TeacherC

    TeacherC Connoisseur

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    Apr 28, 2007

    I agree with Jaime, becareful about taking away recess. I wonder how it went yesterday? Usually if my kids have "lunch detention" (which really is recess taken away but they can't say that) I have them write an essay (4th grade). For example, if they are too talkative, I have them write how to solve the problem of them talking in class, what their consequences should be, etc. This might be hard to do day-to-day subbing. But good for you, trying out different systems. By the time you have your own room you will know what works best for you! Good luck!!
     
  5. Shane Steinmetz

    Shane Steinmetz Rookie

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    Apr 29, 2007

    Interesting, JaimeMarie. Most of the teachers in the ten elementary schools I've been to so far use recess loss as a main disciplinary tactic -- both for individual students and for the entire class, if the class is acting up. It is so common that I never considered that there may actually be schools that have policies against it. One elementary school has a policy of inside recess only for classes run by a substitute.

    I had actually already considered recess as a need for students to exercise and move around. After carefully weighing the need for recess against its loss as a disciplinary tactic, however, I have come to the conclusion that the need for discipline is more important. Recess loss is a result of students' poor choices. If the students want to further misbehave because of their own actions' results, they won't find me appeasing them. They will learn that their actions have consequences.

    Thank you for your advice. Please feel free to further expand on anything that has been said.

    TeacherC, what a coincidence! I am doing something similar. After score 3 out of 6, the students have to make a written acknowledgement on this form that they understand certain ground rules. I will require writing and more active responses on lower scores.

    Sorry I didn't post an update as quickly as I promised. That day I substituted went wonderfully. The class was very loud at first, but it quickly quieted down once everyone got their behavior books. I don't want to take up fifty thousand pages of text on what I did specifically that day, though, so I'll just say -- it's all good! I'll be trying this system again on Friday.

    I'm saving all my class reports and personal summaries until the end of the school year. I'm keeping a journal on my computer.
     

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