Frustrated

Discussion in 'First Grade' started by 1stGradeNewbie, Aug 20, 2007.

  1. 1stGradeNewbie

    1stGradeNewbie Rookie

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    Aug 20, 2007

    It's the 4th day of school, and I'm already getting frustrated with my kids. I can't seem to articulate what I expect of them, and they are too chatty. It seems all my kids would be on red, missing all of recess and a note home, if i gave them all the consequences. It is so hard to be consistent, and I feel like they are already sliding from me! I use the positive with "I like how Johnny is walking," but it is usually always the same kids that are being good. I have already had kids missing 5-10 minutes of recess (I have the walk the perimiter of the playground, not just sitting.), and it's frustrating that I'm already seeing this.
     
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  3. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Aug 20, 2007

    OH boy, you have to get on top of this now. You need to get FIRM. You can be positive and still FIRM. Let them know you mean business. Tone of voice, proximity, consequences can all be used effectively to manage behaviors. You're only on day 4- take care of it NOW! If you let it slip too much longer it will be too hard to reel them back in.
     
  4. MsX

    MsX Companion

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    Aug 20, 2007

    I agree. I struggled with this last year too. I had a particularly tough class (other teachers commented to me, so I knew it wasn't just me). I'd say, stick with your consequences. If lots of kids are on red, so be it. Otherwise, they arent going to understand there are consequences for their actions. I dont know what your consequences are, but I know that once my students saw that I WOULD send a note home or call home when they didn't follow the rules, the trouble makers shaped up a bit.

    Do you have some sort of reward system in place? This helped me too. At the start I had table rewards, but this didnt work great since I had a handful of students who would ruin it for their whole table. I changed to an individual system, where I gave out coins to students who showed exemplary behavior. At the end of the week, I'd open up our classroom store and students would use their coins to buy items (erasers, pencils, stickers, things like that). It didnt completely fix my discipline problems, but it helped. The kids definitely wanted those coins!
     
  5. teacherpippi

    teacherpippi Habitué

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    Aug 20, 2007

    It takes a decent amount of time to establish a routine- longer than many think.

    Have you practiced the routines for the classroom? Everything from lining up to putting things away to getting a drink of water. You can ask a student to show you the wrong way and then the right way. Maybe even take some digital photos of the right way.

    I've also had "test outs" certain years. The kids have to check off that they know HOW to do all of the classroom routines from brushing teeth to sharpening a pencil, etc. The kids LOVE to get another skill checked off and when they aren't following, I can say, "Oh, but you have demonstrated that skill to me!"

    Even if it takes most of a 30 minute period now to get everyone on task the right way because of practicing, it will reap benefits ALL YEAR LONG.

    It *is* hard to be consistent. But, YOU CAN DO IT!!!

    If you are looking for some specific things you can do:

    1. Make a list of all the things you'd like them to be able to do (line up, sit quietly, get out books, etc). Then choose 5. Spend the rest of this week just working on those 5 things. Some skills I can think of: what to do when they enter the room in the morning, how to line up, how to go back to their seats after lining up, how to come to the carpet if you have circle time, how to sharpen their pencil (how to ask, when to ask, etc).

    2. One task at a time, brainstorm as a class what each task will look like.

    3. If there are specific behaviors you want to see or don't want to see, model and have the kids give you pointers.

    4. Go over the list EVERY DAY for at least two weeks. Remind the students EVERY DAY of the expected behaviors. Use your weakest kids as the role models to show the negative and then positive behaviors.
     
  6. teacherpippi

    teacherpippi Habitué

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    Aug 20, 2007

    How do you have your students' desks?

    I love to have kids in groups, but I had one year where they were all INDIVIDUAL until nearly Christmas because they couldn't handle the group thing.
     
  7. teach1st

    teach1st Comrade

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    Aug 20, 2007

    I understand the frustrations too! Today was day three for me and I am having similar problems. I really think the list thing will work.

    I had one extreme problem in my classroom. After lunch, the students had bathroom itis. If one had to go another one had to go. I have a bathroom in my room, but it is only one bathroom. It would take way to long to have all the students go to the bathroom after lunch while the rest of the class is waiting Do I change my schedule and put a read aloud time after lunch so students can use the bathroom as needed for about 15 minutes?

    I am trying the marble jar for rewards but this is as a whole class. The coins would really boost student's individual attention. What do you have the students keep them in? What type of behaviors do you give coins for?
     
  8. love_reading

    love_reading Comrade

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    Aug 20, 2007

    I am doing the coin thing this year too, in addition to my card system. Last year I did the give a sticker when they stay on green then on Friday if they have at least 3 stickers they get to choose a prize from the treasure box. Instead, this year I am going to pay them a nickel for staying on green, in addition to handing out pennies throughout the week for model behavior. Then on
    Friday I will open the store and if they have at least 1 quarter they may "buy" something. I am putting a label with their name on an empty film canister and that is what they will keep their coins in.
     
  9. 1stGradeNewbie

    1stGradeNewbie Rookie

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    Is it cheap of me to not want to do a store, b/c I don't want to continually have to buy little things for the class? Probably. It is hard, b/c it seems I'm always spending money for school!!
     
  10. teacherpippi

    teacherpippi Habitué

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    Aug 20, 2007

    *I* don't think so. So far, I haven't had a class store/ticket sytem. I plan to keep it that way as long as possible so the rewards aren't external rewards.
     
  11. Doublescoop

    Doublescoop Companion

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    Aug 20, 2007

    The prizes in my treasure box that the kids choose most often are the "intangibles". I've put little coupons in for things like "Stay Inside For Recess", "Be The Class Leader", "Eat Lunch With Teacher", etc. As well, a great majority of my treasure box are items I get for free--sticker sheets from Highlights, things other teachers are getting rid of; I've even had parents check their toyboxes for things they don't want anymore (McDonalds treats of the week) and they donate tons of them! Keep your eyes pealed! Kids love the strangest things--pens, balls of sticky tack, bags of beads, balls of yarn.
     
  12. Doublescoop

    Doublescoop Companion

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    One of the greatest things I ever did as a teacher was to sit down and type up my procedures for everything from how to go to the bathroom and what to do when you have a question. This helped solidify for me exactly what my expectations for the kids were. That's #1!!! Once YOU know what you want, you specifically TEACH it and don't let go. Teach it like it's your curriculum because essentially you will NOT teach the curriculum if the kids are not with you!
     
  13. love_reading

    love_reading Comrade

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    Aug 20, 2007

    Not at all! I completely understand! We have a community partnership with a local church. Twice a year they send over a wish list for us to fill out. I always put treasure box toys on my list and they send small trinkets that will last the year. Also, I have had parents send in happy meal toys and other small toys still in good condition.
     
  14. bonneb

    bonneb Fanatic

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    Aug 22, 2007

    No you are not cheap for not wanting to buy prizes! Ask parents to donate things for the prize box. I mean all the parents of your grade or school. They will give things their kids don't play with anymore or McDonald's toys, etc.

    I have begun to wonder about the value of external rewards. Someone brought to my attention the book Punished by Rewards. It has got me to wondering. It says kids need to be motivated from within, and that rewarding them for doing well takes away their internal motivation and rewarding themselves. I haven't come to any conclusions yet and will probably use my rewards this year, but I am thinking.

    Hang in there! It takes a while to get the class to become a class. Getting the rules ingrained in their minds will help. Getting the routines going will help. You might have to be really stern, no friendly stuff, for a few weeks. And by all means, make those calls home! I am amazed at the way kids snap to when their parents become involved. Just be sure to have your major points written down before you call, and even practice out loud what you want to say, before you call - it lessens the anxiety a lot. I always try to communicate to the parents that I value and respect their child and want the best for him/her. And that is why I am concerned about the behavior.
     
  15. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Aug 22, 2007

    I'm fairly out of my depth when it comes to how this might work in a classroom full of first graders:

    Would it be possible to start first graders with small external rewards like stickers, just to get things settled down - and then over the course of the year phase in asking a kid whether she'd give herself a sticker for whatever it is? Can first graders do that on any level?
     
  16. bonneb

    bonneb Fanatic

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    Aug 22, 2007

    I think most first graders would believe they deserved the sticker even if they were incorrigable!
     
  17. patti2

    patti2 Cohort

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    Aug 22, 2007

    I would definitely schedule something after lunch which will allow you to call the children one by one (or point to them) to let them go. I used to read a story and send one at a time. When they were finished they would tap the person next to them to go. You could also move to another activity and finish the rest of them. The bathroom issues will subside after they get back into the routine of school.
     
  18. maroki

    maroki Comrade

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    Aug 22, 2007

    I agree with the other posters who said that you need to be firm NOW.

    I taught my first year (ever) last year with an extremely tough first grade class. Even veteran teachers commented they hadn't experienced a class like mine in their careers, and when I asked them at the beginning of the year what to do (just as you are asking), they all responded with the same thing. BE TOUGH and FIRM, and let the kids know you are serious. There is plenty of time to be "nice" and "cool" once you've established routines and procedures in your classroom.

    It sounds like you are worried about putting all the red and sending notes home, but the behavior will not continue as it is once the kids have experienced some notes home and possibly phone calls to parents. You basically have to show them that you ARE willing to put them on red and contact the parents, and then they will believe it and it will become more of a deterrant to negative behavior. Not to say it will stop all the behavior, but there should be a marked difference.

    I had a pretty tough first grade class last year, so PM me if you need to vent or have questions!! I've be happy to listen.
     
  19. pamms

    pamms Comrade

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    Aug 22, 2007

     
  20. flowerpower31

    flowerpower31 Comrade

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    Aug 22, 2007

    Buying stuff for a prize box definitely does add up, but if you're careful about it, you can get a lot of stuff for really cheap. As someone already mentioned, put in free stuff you get (stickers from magazine places, pencils, toys from Happy Meals, etc.). The dollar store also has a lot of stuff you can get in "wholesale" (i.e. packs of 8 bouncy balls for $1, 6 toy cars for $1, 10 pencils for $1, etc.) and they also have the grab bags with a bunch of things in them for $1. All of it is pretty much junk, but the kids LOVE it. And look for party favor stuff. They sell that at Wal-mart and the Dollar Store...you can get a bunch of things in one package for cheap. Also, you could send a note home to parents saying that you're looking for donations for the prize box. McDonald's toys, toys the kids no longer play with (other kids might enjoy them), etc.
     
  21. teach1st

    teach1st Comrade

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    Aug 23, 2007

    I used the list idea as well as started cracking down on pulling cards. The kids seem to be doing much better. Today we had to walk the hallway four or five times before we go back to the classroom from Music because they were so noisy. I pointed out behaviors that were not acceptable and behaviors that were and the students finally caught on quick. I felt they did a better job next time were in the hallway. Thanks for the help. I really think I may be starting to get a handle on the noisy students. Although I may have just jinxed myself.:thanks: :D
     
  22. Olivesmom

    Olivesmom Rookie

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    Aug 23, 2007

    I noticed that many of you mentioned using coins for the class store. I am going to do a store and I think using coins would be great except that I am in a school where stealing is a huge problem. I am afraid if I gave coins to the kids that they will take them from each other. I feel that I need to use something that has their names on it. Any suggestions on how to safe guard from sticky fingers?
     
  23. flowerpower31

    flowerpower31 Comrade

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    Aug 23, 2007

    well, like you said, you could put their names on theirs. Or, you could keep track yourself of who has earned what. That's kinda what I do. I use a color change chart and each student has his/her own incentive chart. If their color stays on green all day, they get a sticker on their incentive chart. For every 5 stickers they get, they get to go in the prize box. Their names are on their charts, though, so I can keep track of who has what.
     
  24. bonneb

    bonneb Fanatic

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    Aug 24, 2007

    One more hint - make sure your class rules are very clear, then when they break the rule, tell them which rule it is they have broken and why they are turning a color. I think a free verbal warning is warranted at this time of first grade, then the yellow warning card. I don't see calling home for a yellow card, unless the yellow card keeps on appearing. We can't expect them to be perfect, and using the yellow card for a warning gives them a visual of "Be Careful now!"
     

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