Help with Classroom Management!!

Discussion in 'Behavior Management' started by PinkFish, Oct 5, 2008.

  1. PinkFish

    PinkFish Rookie

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    Oct 5, 2008

    I am a first year teacher and am really struggling with my classroom management. I teach second grade and have tried a few different methods and am finding that nothing is working. I teach two pretty rough groups of kids. I started off just carrying around a clip board and taking marks of their conduct sheets that go home each friday. That didn't work so I switched to a color coded chart with clothes pins and that did not work. I now use a system where they get one warning, then they lose a priviledge, and then they fill out a behavior contract to go home. None of these seem to work and my class is always talking when I teach and I am ready to throw in the towel..
     
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  3. RainStorm

    RainStorm Aficionado

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    Oct 5, 2008

    Finding a classroom management system that works for you and for your students is always difficult.

    Sending a conduct sheet home on Friday is too late. The consequences have to be immediate in order to modify a child's behavior. It isn't terribly effective.

    I also teach 2nd grade, so I'm going to tell you what I do, and you can see if any of it might work for you.

    First, if they are talking and you are ready to teach, I look around and find someone who is doing the right thing. There is always at least one -- sometimes many. In a very loud, cheeful voice, I exclaim, "Lulu! I love the way you are ready to learn!" Then Betty will stop talking and look at me, and I notice her too. "Betty and Mary and Billy, I see you are ready, too. Great! I'm so proud!" You'll get most of them at that point. If there are one or two who still continue, I say "Eddy, aren't you going to do the right thing? We're waiting. We all want to learn. I know you want to learn too!" (Look for the ring leaders, and call them out on it. Keep a pleasant voice, but let them know you are aware they are making a poor choice.)

    Now, some will disagree with this next part -- but I find it highly effective. If Little Eddy continues to talk, I say in a very loud voice "Oh my goodness! I have to stop teaching because Eddy won't make a good choice. I"m sorry boys and girls. Let's hope Eddy will make a better choice right now." Then I stare at Eddy. That usually puts a stop to it instantly. Trust me, the glares the other kids will be giving Eddy will make him think twice about it.

    If only a few are listening, I invite them over to my table and teach just them. "Mary, I see you are ready to learn. Come right on over so I can teach you this really cool thing about..." When you get the first ones who are listening, make it the most incredibly fun lesson you have ever taught. The others will be raising their hands and trying to call out "I'm quiet now!!" and waving their hands around to get you to notice them. Then, I stand up and teach to the whole class, but I let the first ones stay at the table. They like that recognition. Next time, many will want to be quiet first.. just in case I have something else fun planned. Nothing makes you want something more than not being invited....

    Last, I have a behavior form I send home daily if a child makes a poor choice. It is very positively worded, but it asks the parent to support me by talking with the child about whatever is checked off on the form. If I don't get it back signed the next morning, the child has to call home first thing. I never let it slide. Never! It is incredibly effective.

    It goes something like this...

    Dear Mom,
    I made a very poor choice today. I was talking when I should have been listening to the teacher. Now, I don't know the information I need to pass the test on Friday. Ms. Rain wants to know if you will help me to understand why it is so important to listen to instructions so I can get the wonderful grades she knows I'm capable of getting.
    Sincerely,
    Your son, Eddy
     
  4. Tasha

    Tasha Phenom

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    Oct 5, 2008

    That sounds great Rain! I would also let your kids work on earning something together or in groups. Every time they are making a good choice add a link to a chain or a marble to jar or whatever and when it is full, they get to choose a reward (reward ideas: http://fredjones.com/PAT/index.html). At first be very generous with the marble/link/whatever and make sure they will earn something rather quickly. You might even make it where they are sure to earn it by Friday this week so they are sure to see results. Then, you will give less frequent rewards and increase the goal (say jar size or length of chain needed). And, many of the PAT activities are educational, so they aren't wasting learning time.
     
  5. TeacherC

    TeacherC Connoisseur

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    Oct 5, 2008

    I really like Rain's behavior note idea- I also think that "frequent flyers" that get notes home all the time should have a parent-teacher-student conference, possibly after 5 notes or a certain number in a week or a month.
    Like Tasha suggested, I have a marble jar and the kids earn a "party" when it is full- probably just a 30 min. movie and popcorn or something, but they are all working toward it- this helps kids monitor their peers.
    Your first year is the toughest, once you find something that works for you, it will get much easier! Good luck! :)
     
  6. PinkFish

    PinkFish Rookie

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    Oct 5, 2008

    Thanks for the ideas. I just got done typing up a letter that I could send home with parents. Tomorrow after school I am going to go out and get a jar and some marbles. I am also going to conduct a class meeting and work with the kids to come up with a new set of rules as well as what they would like to do when they fill the jar.
     
  7. teacher143

    teacher143 Rookie

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    Oct 25, 2008

    I gave each student a pipecleaner and they earned beads for positives. The students with the most beads at the end of the week got to pick their fun friday center first. Because there is a limited space at each center there was incentive to work hard during the week.
    I am planning on making this system more cooperative by using cups for each group in my room.
    Be sure to give beads generously at the beginning and tell the student why they earned a bead.
    I overheard a students telling a peer, "This bead was for..."
    This sounds cheezy, but it really works!
     
  8. EMonkey

    EMonkey Connoisseur

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    Oct 27, 2008

    Have the children sit down with you and pick something they believe the class needs to work on and all day check in on how they are doing on the behavior goal for the day. Have them do a new one each day or revisit one they feel the class still needs to work on.

    I would also advise not changing the management plan too often. Even if the first day it doesn't work perfectly keep practicing.

    Check out Tools for Teaching by Fred Jones, the trading time earned for activities that fit with things you want to teach the children that the children enjoy works well in moving things faster.
     
  9. BB0211

    BB0211 Companion

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    Nov 2, 2008

    I use a privelege system in my 4th grade classroom. It is broken into 5 levels. The higher the level they are on the more priveleges they can earn in the classroom. It's super easy and student-managed. For example, during silent reading the highest level of students can go into the library and read on the couches (this is sooo cool to them) and the next highest level can choose their seat anywhere in the room (under my desk, under the table, in the reading area with a pillow) and the lower levels have to stay under their desk or in their desk.


    This is just one example but system works WONDERFULLY!
     
  10. BaseballGrl10

    BaseballGrl10 Rookie

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    Nov 14, 2008

    Do you try to punish them with taking away recess? I know that has worked in the classrooms I've been in. Kind of like your clothespin idea, the classrooms I was in had "pencils" they were made out of paper and laminated. Everyone starts the day on a green pencil, behind the green pencil is a yellow, red and blue pencil. One warning they get moved to the yellow pencil and lose 10 minutes of recess, if they get to warning two the student has to change their pencil to a red pencil, this means they lose an entire recess and a blue pencil for the third warning is no recess for that day (if there are any recesses left) and also all of their recesses for the next day. You also make sure the students switch their own pencils, so there is no question if they say, "...But I was on a yellow and someone moved me to a blue, I didn't do anything," if you had switched their pencil and they didn't realize it. I also love this part from RainStorm, "Now, some will disagree with this next part -- but I find it highly effective. If Little Eddy continues to talk, I say in a very loud voice "Oh my goodness! I have to stop teaching because Eddy won't make a good choice. I"m sorry boys and girls. Let's hope Eddy will make a better choice right now." Then I stare at Eddy. That usually puts a stop to it instantly. Trust me, the glares the other kids will be giving Eddy will make him think twice about it." I've noticed that works really well also.
     
  11. Mrs. K.

    Mrs. K. Enthusiast

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    Nov 15, 2008

    Check out Power Teaching, too - it works with all grade levels.
     
  12. Prof. Mat

    Prof. Mat Rookie

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    Nov 17, 2008

    the clip coard does work but the students seem to get mad when they think you marked them the other methods are pretty obvious try something out of no were ok heres what you do get a chair put it in the front of you class when they act up sit down and time them if more than 10 minuets of you class is used the whole class unless some are extremly good

    then teach what they missed at lunch they wont act up again
     

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