Help with classroom management?

Discussion in 'General Education' started by NewTeacher9, Aug 16, 2015.

  1. NewTeacher9

    NewTeacher9 Rookie

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    Aug 16, 2015

    I am getting a lot of conflicted advice. Pretty much all of the literature on classroom management teaches us to teach procedures on the first day of class and MAKE SURE our students know the rules and consequences for their action. However, my mentor told me not to stress the rules and consequences on the first day (and definitely don't rehearse procedures). She told me I definitely need to let them know the rules, but I don't need to spend a lot of time on it (and I guess just deal with them naturally as the need arises). What should I do?

    I will be teaching 9th grade English.
     
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  3. myangel52

    myangel52 Comrade

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    Aug 16, 2015

    You could have a conversation with each class and have them brainstorm classroom norms or rules, and the consequences for not following them. I have done it with middle school classes, as young as 6th grade, and it is remarkably effective for 95% of the kids. And they know what is expected, so they come up with good rules and expectations.
     
  4. Luv2TeachInTX

    Luv2TeachInTX Comrade

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    Aug 16, 2015

    You start from day one. It's easier to loosen up as the year goes on then to turn around and toughen up.
     
  5. NewTeacher9

    NewTeacher9 Rookie

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    Aug 16, 2015

    Okay then I will be sure they know the rules and consequences the first day. I've made a list of rules and consequences. I hope these are good for the 9th grade.

    Classroom rules
    1. Walk in quietly and begin working on your Bell Work
    2. Respect yourself and others by using appropriate language
    3. Come to class every day prepared and ready to learn
    4. Pay attention and don’t interrupt the teacher or classmates
    5. Turn off personal electronics before entering the classroom
    Classroom consequences
    1. Verbal warning
    2. Final verbal warning
    3. Reflection essay
    4. Detention and a call home
    5. Official office referral
    Classroom rewards
    o For every week you go without breaking a rule, you will get one point. At the end of the nine-week grading period, all points you have earned will be added towards your lowest grade. Example: If you never break a rule during any given nine-week grading period, you have earned the points to turn an 81 to a 90 and so on.
     
  6. MrTeach11

    MrTeach11 Rookie

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    Aug 16, 2015

    Your mentor is there to lean on but you should be doing things in your class that you want to do. If you want to do rules the first day then try that out and if it does't work you can change and try it a different way next year.

    With that being said, I am not a fan of those rewards. It seems like a lot of grade inflation to me. In the grading scale that my school uses, it would be going from a B- to an A- for just following the rules. What if the student has an A already? They would not receive any rewards for following the rules.
     
  7. mathteachertobe

    mathteachertobe Cohort

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    Aug 16, 2015

    I think the added points go to a single assignment, not the total grade for the grading period.
     
  8. MrTeach11

    MrTeach11 Rookie

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    Got it. Bad reading on my part. Makes much more sense.
     
  9. OUOhYeah

    OUOhYeah Comrade

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    Aug 16, 2015

    I wouldn't do the first two. I would do a teacher interview with the student(s) that were involved, and my second consequence is the reflection letter.
     
  10. Peregrin5

    Peregrin5 Maven

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    Aug 16, 2015

    There is some debate about whether or not you should practice rules and procedures, and spend the entire day doing just that, or hit the procedures as they come up.

    I think everyone agrees that you do need to go over the rules the first day, but I can see why there is differing opinion in how to teach procedures.

    It just depends on if you prioritize classroom routines and systems over the content, which largely also depends on your age group. Younger kids generally need to practice rules and procedures. Depending on the area in which you teach, and how well previous teachers prepared them, the older the kids get, the more prepared they are in how to act appropriately in a classroom. I personally like to play it safe anyway and model and teach procedures because there are always kids who didn't come from a background where they learned to behave appropriately in the classroom in 8th grade.

    So it's up to you. I think 9th grade, you could go either way. It may depend on the impression you get from your kiddos the first day as well.

    That said, I think you may find a need to revise your rules and procedures over time. Let it happen, but try not to change so much that you seem inconsistent. Good luck with your year!
     
  11. Linguist92021

    Linguist92021 Phenom

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    Aug 16, 2015

    About your rewards: I would not mix behavior with academics. Meaning, I would not lower academic grades due to behavior, these two are very different things.

    As far as what you asked:
    I think it's very important to go over rules and procedures on the first day; your students should know what's expected of them. How much time you spend on it, is up to you.
    - you can spend the whole class time, show a powerpoint, have them take notes, have them answer questions (kinda like a mini quiz), practice practice practice.
    - you can just go over them, and then as you jump into your curriculum, practice the procedures, allowing enough time for more practice. For example if you want them to line up before they leave your class, you must leave enough time to have them line up again and again until it's right.

    The way I'm going to do it this year is a little more relaxed. We always have a lot of the same students (we teach grades 9-12 all mixed in) so for almost half of them none of this is new.
    This year I didn't make a power point, I made up a form with the questions about the rules, and as we go alone filling them out, we talk about them. I will also assign their seats for them, and distribute their folders, and then at the end I will allow some time for them to talk quietly because I know that's all they want to do. I did it similarly last year and it worked.
     
  12. ms.irene

    ms.irene Connoisseur

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    Aug 16, 2015

    There are certain key procedures that I think are worth taking the time to practice, even with HS students -- passing in papers, for example. I'm not going to spend forever on it, but every classroom is different, and if you make it clear from day one how you want things like this done, everything else will go more smoothly (in my experience).
     
  13. Backroads

    Backroads Aficionado

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    Aug 16, 2015

    I would also keep grades separate from behavior. I'm elementary, but is a reward system appropriate for 9th graders?

    I also have mixed feelings on the reflection letter (do those really improve behavior?) And only do one warning. You're giving them an awful lot of chances to obey a few basic rules.
     
  14. NewTeacher9

    NewTeacher9 Rookie

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    Aug 16, 2015

    Thank you all. I will probably change a lot of things before the school year even begins. And as to the question about the rewards system for high school, I've heard it works, but like most things in education, it depends on your class. However, most high school rewards system I've seen revolve around extra credit and several people have mentioned that's not a good idea so I'm not sure now.
     
  15. HistoryVA

    HistoryVA Devotee

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    Aug 16, 2015

    I go over rules and procedures quickly and then we jump straight into our first lesson. I reiterate rules and procedures every class for about 3 weeks. I don't "practice" procedures because things like how to pass in papers or how to write your name on work isn't important to me, but we go over opening/closing procedures every class.

    I never take an entire class period for introductions/getting to know you/rules, etc, though. We jump straight in to taking notes.
     

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