Help! My kids are ignoring me!

Discussion in 'First Grade' started by 1stGradeNewbie, Jan 16, 2008.

  1. 1stGradeNewbie

    1stGradeNewbie Rookie

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    Jan 16, 2008

    Since coming back from Christmas break, my kids have been HORRIBLE! They have started ignoring me, and disregarding everything I say. I tell them to get quiet, they continute to talk or to talk out or interrupt me. During a whole group lesson, I'll have half the class leaning on their chairs (and I have had them stand), not paying attention, talking, interrupting. It seems the consequences don't matter anymore. (They have to run at recess or sit out in the hall in inside recess). I started a ticket system where they get extra tickets if I see positive behaviors (and also take tickets away), besides the fact that they have a frog that they move up and down on a color. I changed from getting a toy every day (b/c it was getting expensive), to doing a sticker chart and when it is filled, they get a toy.
    There are times I either want to start crying or just all out yell at them, which I can't do either! I am just so frustrating, and thinking about calling in sick tomorrow to get a break from them, which I know is terrible.
    Do you have any suggestions?
     
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  3. smalltowngal

    smalltowngal Multitudinous

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    Jan 16, 2008

    Taking a mental health day is not terrible. I would suggest one. You are trying all the right things that I would have suggested. Maybe when you are teaching lesson you could do something funny. Oh, or at the beginning of the lesson tell the students that you are going to say a magic word (that's obviously out of place) or make a gesture. At the end of the lesson, have the students (who were paying attention) guess the secret word/gesture, and that student gets a ticket or sticker for their chart. Good luck!
     
  4. 1stGradeNewbie

    1stGradeNewbie Rookie

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    Jan 16, 2008

    I might try the magic word -- that sounds like a good idea! Thanks!
     
  5. kwiatt1st

    kwiatt1st Rookie

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    Jan 16, 2008

    I have the same thing going on in my classroom. First I was just taking away suns ( in your case tickets) but that didnt help much. Finally the other day I rearranged my kids desks. They are no longer sitting by their friends or anyone for the matter. I dont know how large your room is but my is pretty big. Each child has about 3 feet of open space to call their own. This has help quit a bit in my room. No one talking to each other and I can walk around each desk when they are not listening. Good luck I know how you feel ;)
     
  6. Miss W

    Miss W Phenom

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    Jan 16, 2008

    I would also try rearranging desks. That seems to work for a little while. I have also, in the past, sent home a blanket letter to parents about classroom behavior. In it I list the rules and consequences. I also list some of the inappropriate behavior that has been occuring in the classroom.
     
  7. Loomistrout

    Loomistrout Groupie

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    Jan 16, 2008

    There is no quick-fix or simple solution. Sending them out of the room is a temporary fix (often more for the teacher than student). They will be coming back. Losing privileges like recess may work with some *if* you can monitor their behavior during this time. Otherwise the little munchkins will find all sorts of games to play so running or sitting in the hall is actually fun.

    When things are falling apart it almost always has to do with structure. We would like to ignore structure and just teach. Not good. You see what happens. Many teachers teach structure the first week(s) of school then sort of take the attitude, "Well, glad I got that out of the way. Full steam ahead."

    An attribute of effective teachers which has been observed and documented is their ability to terminate instruction at any time and shift into discipline. If the kids are leaning in chairs, the lesson is stopped and the lesson on how to sit in chairs takes priority. If they call-out, lesson becomes how to raise hand and take turns. In other words, "Discipline always comes before instruction" - FJ. Why? Not likely much learning is going to occur in a classroom where kids are staring out the window and goofing off.

    Question: Where do you normally stand when directing a lesson or small group?
     
  8. 1stGradeNewbie

    1stGradeNewbie Rookie

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    Jan 17, 2008

    I have tables in my room-- I have 4 tables 2 on put together on each side. It varies where I am in the classroom. If I'm using the board, in the front of the classroom, or we're reading something, I'll be walking around the room. For Math time, I'm generally in front the majority of the time, b/c I have to use so much of the board writing or showing them something.
     
  9. kauni5102

    kauni5102 Rookie

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    Jan 17, 2008

    i completely feel for you. i am doing my student teaching in a first grade class right now, and the kids could care less when i am talking. they are looking around, reading things, laying on the ground... i feel like i can't do enough to make them understand that i need them to pay attention. if you find anything good...let me know how it works! :]
     
  10. Loomistrout

    Loomistrout Groupie

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    Jan 17, 2008

    You are moving. That's good.
    Do you see any relationship where you stand and how the kids behave? Working the crowd can eliminate many problems before they start.
     
  11. MMRbella

    MMRbella Companion

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    Jan 19, 2008

    Every morning I print the word "FUN" on the top of the whiteboard. Everytime the class gets chatty or "out of control", I go over and erase a letter. They know that if all the letters get erased, that we will NOT play a game at the end of the day. If there is at least one letter still up, they know that they will get to play a quick game of S*P*A*R*K*L*E, Sight Word Bingo, Word Wall Swat, etc. It works very well for me in addition to my management system for individual behavior. I use a traffic light, along the lines of Lee Canter's Assertive Discipline.
     
  12. kwiatt1st

    kwiatt1st Rookie

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    Jan 19, 2008

    I really like the "FUN" idea! I think I'm going to try that in my class this next week. THANK YOU!!
     
  13. bonneb

    bonneb Fanatic

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    Jan 22, 2008

    Don't lose heart! This is very common for this time of year. I've seen it happen every year.

    -Go back to beginning of the year training.
    -Get your pace going faster- a quick reward of 10 min. free time or an extra 10 min. outside for those following directions.
    -Keep the work coming without a breath for one hour!
    -separate the talkers
    -tell them you will be calling parents for those who won't quiet down when it is time and follow directions, then make those calls
    - give the whole class a time out, heads down, lights off, no talking for 5 min. or 10 min. Keep trying to do the lesson, keep following through with the time out until they get the point.

    A small non-material reward at the end of a good learning session is great. (Bribery!)

    I find if I up the pace and I am totally prepared with no lag time, they start improving. Today they had 3 pages of handwriting and a book to read at their desks while I tested individually.

    One girl, who never follows directions, did not do any handwriting in 30 minutes! When I was done testing for the day, everyone elso got 20 choice time. She had to stay at her desk and do handwriting. She just marches to her own drummer and is very sad when it comes back to bite her backside! She finished her handwriting and got the last 6 minutes of choice.
     
  14. MissScrimmage

    MissScrimmage Aficionado

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    Jan 22, 2008

    I do the stop light as well. I stand there and wait, giving my best "teacher look". If I have to do it again, I move their name to yellow. It's been effective so far.
     
  15. soozabelle

    soozabelle Rookie

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    Jan 22, 2008

    I do a 3 strikes and your out rule in my class. When it gets to loud, I turn off the lights and give the class a strike. Once they get three strikes, there is no talking until the we transition to a new activity.
     
  16. Mldouglas

    Mldouglas Comrade

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    Jan 22, 2008

    I am sorry to hear that but at least I don't feel bad ...

    I am sorry to hear that you are having trouble with your class. I am sure it is just a case of too much time off. When I read your thread I sort of felt a little better about my day. I am a substitute teacher and I had a pretty talkative 1st grade class today. I am sure that they will settle back in soon.

    Mldouglas
     
  17. TeachtheWorld

    TeachtheWorld Companion

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    Jan 23, 2008

    I do something similar to the "FUN" thing, but I use the word RECESS. If all of the letters are gone, so is their recess.
     
    Last edited: Jan 23, 2008

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