Help! 7 weeks to go and I've lost the kids, behaviourly speaking.

Discussion in 'Behavior Management' started by srfjeld, Apr 22, 2009.

  1. srfjeld

    srfjeld Companion

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    Apr 22, 2009

    I teach first grade and they've always been a tough class but lately they are getting worse. I know they say that you lose them a little after spring break but they way my kids respond to me standing at the front of the class to get their attention, I may as well be running an all day play care center.

    My normal tactics of ringing a bell= stop what your doing put your hands on your head and give me your undivided attention has turned into my ringing the bell 3 to 5 times to have a few people put their hands on their heads but they keep doing what they're doing and/or keep talking to their buddies.

    123/eyes on me has turned into 1-2 eyes on you with MAYBE one pair of eyes on me.

    consequence charts? ha!

    oh, and let's not even talk about being quiet to line up, or knowing what a line should look like.

    I'm writing this right now through swollen sleepy eyes b/c i'm absolutely exhausted when I get home... I drink to relax and then wake up around 4 in the morning to obsess about this problem.

    I've found myself counting down til the end of the year. Yesterday I woke up and thought, "Tuesday? There's nothing good about Tuesday." At least there are only 2 days left after a Wednesday.

    I did not used to be this way. I'd brag to my friends about how much I love my job... not anymore. Please give me some ideas on how to take back the control.

    Thank you.
     
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  3. srfjeld

    srfjeld Companion

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    Apr 22, 2009

    I forgot to say that this occurs all day long! The "not listening" starts the minute they walk in the door and continues on throughout the day. Any pointers on what I can do to start the day out right... before the bell even rings? The routine is for them to put their things away and get started on either fix work from the day before or a fun sheet. They can't even get the first part done.
     
  4. Beverly

    Beverly Comrade

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    Apr 22, 2009

    I can't really give you any advice because it sounds like you are trying a variety of strategies, and that's great! My class is only Pre-K, but I'm having a similar type of issue, and I can barely stand it. I'm looking into Power Teaching, which has its own forum on this website and which a lot of people have recommended. As far as I can tell, it gives the kids active patterned responses to cut down on the time that the teacher is lecturing and to make the lesson format more predictable. Good luck, and don't feel alone in your struggle!
     
  5. srfjeld

    srfjeld Companion

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    Apr 22, 2009

    Well, interestingly enough... I've been doing power teaching and I teach at a direct instruction school, so they are used to patterned responses... everything I try with them works for a few weeks and then they are done. :(
     
  6. capfortune

    capfortune Rookie

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    Apr 22, 2009

    What works for me is having immediate consequences for unacceptable behavior. I put the child's name on the board and each time they do another thing wrong a cross is added.Those children with their names on the board at lunchtime have to stay in and write out their timestables.I've found through experience that counting doesn't really work. The children have to realise when you say something has to be done that they do it immediately. Otherwise counting to 3 moves on to counting to 4 etc. I also make sure I make a big fuss of those children who are doing the right thing because quite often they are the ones who miss out on the teacher's attention. Those children who show me they can be trusted are made independent workers. That means if we have to move somewhere in the school I allow them to take themselves. I have a morning session when I put the work to be covered on the board and those independent workers are allowed to complete it by themselves in whatever order they like. The thing that makes my day is acknowledging the good kids. A teacher once gave me good advice when I first started teaching " It's the students who should be tired at the end of the day not the teacher." Good luck.
     
  7. LA/FLnewbie

    LA/FLnewbie Companion

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    Apr 22, 2009

    uggh my 8th graders are just as bad...I swear they are probably LESS mature than your 6 year olds! I have started timing them when they are fooling around and keeping them in from recess to make up wasted time. I lose my breaks, but it has helped somewhat.
     
  8. srfjeld

    srfjeld Companion

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    Apr 22, 2009

    Capfortune, You are so right. The teacher I student taught with last year had a firm belief in no second chances. For about the first month she would give them a few warnings but she gradually moved into "No second chances, You're done!" because they should know by that time what to do. I try that some days and then will lapse back into chances... I'm so inconsistent that it's no wonder these poor kids don't know which way is up. I also firmly agree that the good kids need just as much attention. I was focusing so much on the bad behaviors that the good kids were going completely unnoticed. I made a true effort today and I saw quite a few smiles and others noticing then kicking it into gear to get the job done. Hopefully next year I'll be more solid... I will DEFINITELY making morning routines more structured so I don't have chaos... this morning I wrote my expectations on the board and as soon as the kids came in I greeted them and said, "Look at the board." Then I heard a bunch of kids shooshing each other. LOVED it!
     
  9. ianangelyk

    ianangelyk Rookie

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    Apr 22, 2009

    Don't get offended but, if the hole classroom is acting like that is because the problem is not the students it might be you, may be you need a break. I would sagest to take one or two days off and then try to change your lesson plan, may be is not working for them anymore, may be is to boring or change your teaching style, do something different for them, they like to experience new stuff. Also look for the book Teaching with Love & Logic it has a lot of recommendations in what to do in situation like this.
     
  10. capfortune

    capfortune Rookie

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    Apr 22, 2009

    Great to see things are starting to work for you srfjeld. Each morning before I walk through the classroom door ( the kids are already in there) I stand in the doorway and look around the room. I pat my hand over my heart when I see a student sitting ready. The kids expect this now and it gets the day off to a nice start. THEN.....I deal with the students who aren't readyLOL. I hope you continue to enjoy teaching.
     
  11. sevenplus

    sevenplus Connoisseur

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    Apr 23, 2009

    I just told my husband last night, "I remember now why I like a late spring break!" We just got back from break this week and I feel like the students are just "done" with listening. My class is mostly just chatty and I can get them to listen, but I've had years like the one you are describing.

    What I did once when I was having a particularly difficult time is one morning I closed the classroom door and waited in the hall. When the bell rang and students came down the hall, I told them we weren't going in our classroom until everyone was there and we had a talk. I had them all sit along the wall in the hallway and we waited. Then we had a serious discussion about behavior, my expectations, how things had been going, etc. Then, for a few days I pretty much acted like it was the beginning of the year again in terms of modeling behavior, reviewing procedures, etc. It wasn't perfect, but it helped all of us survive the rest of the year.
     

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