Discipline

Discussion in 'Secondary Education' started by wcormode, Sep 10, 2010.

  1. wcormode

    wcormode Rookie

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    Sep 10, 2010

    I had kind of a bad day today. We are only a week or so in to the year and I am a first year teacher in math. For the most part the students have been silent thus far. I have kept them busy the whole period every period and I get very few students asking questions during my lesson and a few during work time.

    One of my classes in particular (Geometry) has been very good. They have all completed their assignments every day and they have been good at asking for help and coming in outside class. Participation has been decent during the lessons. I do have foreign exchange students though and one of them seems intent on getting sent home early. She doesnt pay attention and doesnt do homework. I try my best to make sure that her attitude doesnt drag others to her side.

    The last two days the mood has changed though. Half of the students in this class worked very hard yesterday during work time and the other half either never started an assignment or went slowly while messing around. I have no problem with this as long as the classroom is not disrupted AND completed assignments come back the next day. I do give points for note taking by grading their notebook so the students who are not paying attention will take a grade hit there later this year. I also do not grade each assignment but I do take random assignments to grade on test days. Maybe because we are not to that point yet they wont get the point until their grade suffers.

    Today the students that were not working on their assignment did not return with it completed. One of the students who frequently participates was making snide comments almost the whole hour. Other students were asking the age old question "Why do we have to learn this stuff?" my explanation had them saying "my dad builds things and he doesnt know how to do this" or "my dad just guesstimates". It turned into a pity party really quick.

    I was mad but I am not sure if I showed it. I just plowed through the lesson and they didnt get any time to work on the assignment in class. I did explain that I wont accept negativity in my room and bad attitudes will affect grades but until their grade is actually affected I am not sure they will care. Maybe they wont even care then.

    If this is the direction that the class has turned to how do I right the ship? Do I lecture them about respect monday? Do I give a quiz over the homework? Do I need to show some fire?

    I just am really down in the dumps now because as a para I saw classrooms that had fallen into the disrespectful attitude and the teachers were at their wits end trying to figure out how to correct it.

    HELP!:help:
     
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  3. MsMar

    MsMar Fanatic

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    Sep 10, 2010

    One thing I'd definitely do is give them their grades on Monday, or Tuesday if you don't have everything with you for the weekend to grade. Don't wait to show them how slacking off will affect their grade. Will all of them care? Nope. But hopefully enough will that it can help reset the tone of the class.

    As far as the negative comments, you can give a warning with the first one and then a detention if it happens again.

    My issue right now are two students in one class doing way too much random calling out and off topic conversations. I'll be working on correcting that on Monday and we'll see how it goes. So anyway I know how you feel about needing to "turn it around" while it's still early in the year.
     
  4. wcormode

    wcormode Rookie

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    Sep 10, 2010

    I have started reading Teaching Challenging Teens from Whole Brain teaching.com I read about it on the other discipline thread. I like the idea of the scoreboard game but my first inclination would be to increase the assignments for particular students. That would defeat the purpose of the game though and it would give me way too much to keep track of.

    Has anyone else tried increasing or decreasing assignments based on behavior? Should I do less lecture and more participation? I only have 47 minutes so I am generally having to hurry so that I can get through it all. Should I print off an outline so they dont have to write as much?
     
  5. MathNrd

    MathNrd Rookie

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    Sep 13, 2010

    I don't like tying students' grades to their behavior. A grade should reflect their understanding of you subject.
    If a student is talking I give him/her a warning, "Alex, please stop talking or I will need to see you after school" If Alex continues to talk then I issue a detention and we discuss Alex's behavior during that time. If Alex is not cooperative then I contact his/her parents.
    If several students are talking then I issue a warning to the class. "Too many people are talking during instructional time. If the talking does not stop then I will be seeing some of you after school." The key is follow-up. If they continue to talk then issue the detention(s). And if they do not attend then contact their parents.
    I follow the same procedure if / when students waste class-time.
    I always check to see who has completed their HW. If a student a habit of not completing their HW then I start to assign academic detentions and I contact their parents.
     

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