Disrespect for property

Discussion in 'Elementary Education' started by Pencil Monkey, Oct 5, 2013.

  1. Pencil Monkey

    Pencil Monkey Devotee

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    I am having an issue with my male students disrespecting my property. I teach an all boys class. I apologize in advance for the long post.

    I have actually had to remove my classroom library from my room because they have torn up books intentionally and thrown them around the classroom. I had a sub the day that they did it a few weeks ago. A few days before that I had the issue and spoke to the class about how to properly handle the books and gave a stern warning that if my books were not treated correctly I would take them back to my house. I followed through on that promise and took the books away.

    I had a different sub in last week when I went for a PD. I came back to find my students had taken my stuffed animal and tore it up along with my fake flower. They also broke up pencils and threw them all over and I found it upon return the next day. Each time I have asked the subs about what happened and they claim to have not seen this or not be sure who it is.

    Friday I had PAT time. One of the choices was coloring and obviously the kids picked all the coolest activities first. The kids that wound up at the coloring station had a brand new box of crayons, a brand new box of markers, stencils, cool paper, etc. After PAT time and everything was cleaned up for the day I discovered one or more of the students had taken some of my crayons and snapped them into bits under a table behind a box. I made sure to put the coloring station in an area of the room where students could not hide their behavior from me. I monitored closely and these students were upset they didn't get to pick the coolest activities but I explained to them that they did not make the choices to earn enough points for those activities on class dojo.

    I'm feeling very disrespected. I'm also completely aghast that my boys are tearing apart my things. I have explained several times that I am buying these supplies, that I won't buy more, and that they need to be treated with respect. Honestly, I think that just gives them more reason to do it.

    What would you do?
     
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  3. HorseLover

    HorseLover Comrade

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    Do you have a school counselor? Maybe you could ask him/her for tips or even to come in and teach a lesson on respect?
     
  4. Pencil Monkey

    Pencil Monkey Devotee

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    yes, but that takes at least two weeks to take place. I need something I can do right away.
     
  5. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

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    How is behavior otherwise?

    Since you know who was at the coloring center, what did you do?
     
  6. Sarge

    Sarge Enthusiast

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    How old are these kids?
     
  7. Pencil Monkey

    Pencil Monkey Devotee

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    Fifth Grade
     
  8. HistoryVA

    HistoryVA Devotee

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    What consequences have there been besides the removal of books?
     
  9. EdEd

    EdEd Aficionado

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    Good question from Sarge about age. I'd start with doing some social skills lessons about respecting property. Consider a discussion where you ask each child to share the most important thing that they have. Then, ask how they would feel if it were ripped up by a sister, parent, etc. I might also start to list the cost of various things, what they mean to you, and how you went about buying them. Potentially how long you've had them, how many classes have used them, etc. The goal of that discussion is to teach values about property, not just skills about respecting them.

    Then, I might have a practice session/game where you assign each child a delicate but cheap item like a piece of paper folded into a box. Their goal is to keep that box in tact for an entire week, and to share with the class during a designated time each day the steps they've taken to care for the box. Whoever keeps the box in tact by the end of the week gets a certain prize. If a box gets damaged or lost, and the child can give you steps taken to care for the box but something happened, consider a replacement. If someone's box gets damaged by someone else, have a discussion about it - How did the child feel when his prize was compromised because of the carelessness of another student?

    If this doesn't seem enough, I might consider some sort of accountability system. For example, with centers, assign one student to be in charge of making sure all materials are cared for. Check each center after use, and if anything is damaged the whole class convenes and the student responsible for the materials (NOT necessarily the student who actually damaged them) has to report to the class about how it happened, what steps could have been taken to prevent the damage, etc.

    How does that sound?
     
  10. readingrules12

    readingrules12 Aficionado

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    I tell my class that while I don't have to spend $$$ on them, I am going to be spending some. I have put aside a certain amount of money for pencils, colored pencils, and also treats for them. (By the way, this is true so if it isn't for you, you might want to change wording.) If there are broken, damaged, or stolen items, then the money will go to replacing those items, and there won't be money for them. I ask if they understand.

    Then some years I take it one step farther. I ask the students to sign a large piece of paper that says, "I promise to respect the property in the classroom as it has been bought because my teachers and others care about me." (Language is for 3rd grade--I would use different words for a different grade.) This has helped a lot. When something is broken (I let them know that I will replace it but now we won't have $$$ for ____).

    If I know the individual who did it, then I handle it between the child, the child's parents, and me instead. Good luck to you.
     
  11. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    I'd put the subs you had on my 'do not call list'....but then again, the crayon breaking happened when you were in the room, so maybe they just shouldn't have any down time. Load them up with work. Teach bell to bell. Grow eyes in the back of your head.:rolleyes: No PAT. Consequences....
     
  12. readingrules12

    readingrules12 Aficionado

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    With PAT, I find it is better to not have any group stations, but to do an all group activity. This can be a great benefit to you in so many ways. Choose a fun learning game such as Jeopardy or Are You Smarter than a Fifth Grader and you'll find that you will have better control with the whole class involved. Also, they are also doing important review where they are learning something.

    With a class of boys like you have, I'd take it even one step further. I would always call the quietest group each time. If all the groups are quiet, then choose the group that it has been longest since you've called on since last turn. I do this and my 5th graders are really quiet and well behaved and the game includes great review for them.
     
  13. Pencil Monkey

    Pencil Monkey Devotee

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    Consequences...my school is all about responsive classroom and logical consequences. I can't issue traditional silent lunch and that sort of thing. I am finding myself frustrated most of the time because my students take this to mean they can do as they please. I use a clip chart. But again, my consequences have to be logical. So I dont think the kids actually see the consequences as consequences.
     
  14. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Logical Consequence= they can't handle PAT, they get no PAT.
     
  15. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

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    Not sure if you saw my other response. I'm curious how they behave otherwise. Are the respectful to each other? Respectful to you directly? Do they do their work? What happened to those at the coloring center?
     
  16. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    I'm not understanding a coloring center in grade 5. I'd make centers more content driven...perhaps then they'd take this time more seriously?
     
  17. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    I feel like a logical consequence would be that they don't get to use any of the fun extras. Stop buying crayons, markers, etc. Take home everything that isn't absolutely essential.
     
  18. HistoryVA

    HistoryVA Devotee

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    That's a good logical consequence. Don't let them touch anything but desks, paper and pencils. If they can't use it like 5th graders, they don't get it.
     
  19. pwhatley

    pwhatley Maven

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    I agree with Caesar and History - to me (and in my classroom), if you mis-use the crayons, you have none to use. If you handle items incorrectly (or disrespectfully), you get one warning, then you lose the privilege of using that item (or participating in that activity). It works for me (and my 3rd graders).
     
  20. Pencil Monkey

    Pencil Monkey Devotee

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    Those that man handled the crayons were told they could not use the colors or other art supplies again. I also contacted their parents to let them know about the issue. They were coloring as part of the PAT choices I offered. The way I set it up was to have 8-10 different stations to choose from for Friday fun time. They earn points through class dojo. The top point earners signed up first and got the cooler activities. We only do this once a month so I set up really neat things to do like dance party, games, etc. We divided the activities between classrooms. I actually had some top earners at the coloring station because that is what they wanted to do!

    Anyway, the folks at the coloring station were upset they didn't get the coolest activities. I very clearly explained that the choices they had made led up to this and yes it was a privilege. Otherwise they could do classwork. It was their choice, and if they wanted a better privilege next time then they needed to work harder to earn more dojo points.

    Respect in my classroom has been an issue since the first few days of school. I have done lessons on it, we have practiced, modeled, made anchor charts, discussed it, written about it, and talk about it every day. I am having an issue with these select kids disrespecting me, each other, and other adults. My school counselor even came to teach a lesson and some of the kids totally disrespected her. :dizzy: I guess I am just flustered with all of this and I feel like a failure.
     
  21. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    What are the subs doing as a stuffed animal is being destroyed? Or when a bunch of books are being destroyed and thrown around your classroom?

    It seems to me that the kids' disrespect for your property is only half the problem.
     
  22. HistoryVA

    HistoryVA Devotee

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    So honest question (not meant to be snarky!), why are these kids getting any fun activities at all? I can't imagine I would be willing to spend my time and money setting up fun activities when I'm blatantly disrespected for it. You told the destructive ones they can't use the art supplies again. Why not tell them they don't get to participate in ANY fun activities for x amount of time? Let them write an essay on respect while the rest of the class does one of those cool activities they wanted to do.
     
  23. Pencil Monkey

    Pencil Monkey Devotee

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    My admin doesn't want kids excluded.
     
  24. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    If you have to give them these kinds of activities, maybe they need to get something like a wordsearch. If they destroy it, so be it. Nothing lost.
     
  25. AdamnJakesMommy

    AdamnJakesMommy Habitué

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    So kids can run around the classroom and destroy property and pretty much have no consequences because they can't be punished or excluded from incentives? Sounds like an impossible management situation to me. When I had the alternative classroom in the Spring, I had to have punishments and incentives or there'd been chaos. :eek:
     
  26. Pencil Monkey

    Pencil Monkey Devotee

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    I like this.
     
  27. ChristyF

    ChristyF Moderator

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    I agree. You don't have to exclude anyone, but there should be consequences. It's time to get firm in your management and hold them accountable. Right now it seems like they feel they can do whatever they want with no repercussions.
     
  28. readingrules12

    readingrules12 Aficionado

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