How Do I Deal With This Behavior in the Moment?

Discussion in 'Elementary Education' started by orangeblossom75, Oct 5, 2016.

  1. Oct 5, 2016

    Hello, All. My apologies in advance for the long post, but I need HELP! I teach 1st grade and have a student who, when dealt a consequence, will launch into attention-seeking, disruptive, and disrespectful behavior. For example, we use Class Dojo and, after losing a point for breaking a rule, she has engaged in the following behaviors: climbing on top of tables, jumping down from said tables, doing cartwheels on the floor, trying to physically block me and other teachers from using the phone to call her mom or the office, and refusing to follow directions. While I have tried ignoring her behavior and continuing with the lessons, her behavior has turned more aggressive. Yesterday, she did most of the above, as well as kicked another student on the back, scratched (albeit lightly) another student on the face, walked in front of me as I was teaching and made faces at me, walked on the carpet in between students who were sitting on the rug, threw her chair cover and pencil box on the floor and stomped on them, as well as grabbed miscellaneous items around my desk (including a yardstick, which she used to slap on multiple desks). It doesn't help that several students think her antics are hilarious, or make "oooh" sounds when she does something like get up on the tables. I have to also note that I have other students who are behavior challenges, but none to this extent so far. I still consider myself a fairly new teacher (this is my third year), and have never dealt with these types of behaviors in a classroom. I'm still learning my way around classroom management.

    We have a school-wide initiative to reduce behavior referrals, which I think is good. As such, my AP has advised me to try the 2 x 10 strategy (talk to the student about non-school related things for 2 minutes a day for 10 days) and she has been rewarding the student by having her go to her office at the end of the day (on her good days) to get a treat. (I have mixed feelings about this, by the way, because the rest of the class knows she has these behavior issues, and yet she gets rewarded...not sure that's the kind of message we should be sending to the other kids who aren't engaging in these types of behavior.) She has gotten two behavior referrals (one from my AP at the beginning of the year and one from me yesterday). While I don't believe behavior referrals are necessarily the answer, I also feel her putting her hands on other students and disrupting others from learning is unacceptable.

    She had a MUCH better day today and I made sure to really praise her often for acting like a role model student. While I am working on trying to build a relationship with her, I really need to know how I should immediately handle her behavior when it is happening. I don't like having to call the office every time she has a melt down, as I feel like this is sending the message that I can't handle my students, but I don't know what else to do. Any help/suggestions would be greatly appreciated!!
  3. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

    Sep 30, 2001
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    Oct 5, 2016

    She's endangering other kids. Call the office before parents do.
  4. EdEd

    EdEd Aficionado

    Jan 12, 2011
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    Oct 5, 2016

    You might consider a secondary consequence if she doesn't accept the first, or perhaps a way to earn back some points if she accepts the consequence. For example, she may lose a point if she engages in the original behavior, then loses an additional point if she tantrums after the consequence. Or, she might lose 2 points after the first behavior, but can earn back one of them for accepting the consequence and fixing the problem. I'd be sure to prompt her, at first, after the first behavior with something like, "You've done X, I want to remind you that when you lose 2 points, you can earn one of them back if you say 'I'm sorry' and sit back down."

    If you notice a change in behavior, that may give you a sense that the child could control her behavior if she wants to. If no change, for assessment purposes I'd offer a (small) reward when she accepts consequences, then again notice if behavior changes. If the original misbehavior goes up, but tantruming after consequences goes down, you again have a sense that the child is in control of her behavior and you can respond accordingly.
    Backroads likes this.
  5. Preschool0929

    Preschool0929 Cohort

    Sep 2, 2012
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    Oct 5, 2016

    Are dojo points reinforcing for her? Usually when I start an individual behavior protocol, i don't use the group behavior system anymore. It sounds like her behavior is too intense for dojo points to work, and if loosing them is a trigger, I would drop it altogether. I would create a positive system, maybe a token system, where she earns tokens for every single positive thing she does. I don't think a reward at the end of the day is enough. It sounds like she should be reinforced throughout the day. For aggressive behavior there should be a strict time-out/removal policy, or a room clear. I would also work really hard with your class on teaching them what to do when someone is not making good choices and give out dojo points like crazy for those working and not paying attention to her.
  6. Kippers

    Kippers Companion

    Jul 7, 2007
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    Oct 9, 2016

    I teach special education and we are taught to look at what is the function of the behavior. You seem to have nailed it- attention seeking. Does she have academic challenges- is she acting out to avoid work? She sounds like she may need professional interventions beyond the classroom.

    I agree with PP that an individual chart would likely be far more helpful. She might need up to three charts a day with a mark every 10 minutes, so there is near-immediate feedback. You could focus only on the positives, with a goal for 10 happy faces in a 100-minute period, etc. or you could do positive/negative/neutral. You would know best as to how she would respond. Do you have a buddy teacher, preferably at an older grade level, where she can go for time outs- kids don't like to leave the room, they know other kids know they have been bad. Older kids won't think she's funny. If you have a ready packet of worksheets she can complete on her own (math fluency?) you have a system in place.

    I might also work on engaging the class in something really awesome as a reward for getting through the 100-minute period, not even all day. "If we are on task until we finish math, we are going to get to do Play Doh or blocks for 5 minutes at our desks." Most children will police each other.

    Did she attend kindergarten at your school site? I bet her previous teacher has a lot to share. I always contact the teachers of my more extreme incoming kiddos and they are a wealth of help.

    Finally, contacting parent by first saying positives that are genuine and "I want us to be able to work together to help your child to succeed," can get them on board. I've stayed late a lot of days just sitting and listening, and that gives me so much insight most of the time.

    I hope this helps. Sorry to be so long-winded. I know individual charts seem crazy time-consuming, but when you think of the frustration of the traveling yardstick and the whapping, disruption, children being hurt, it brings relief and some level of peace.
  7. TamiJ

    TamiJ Virtuoso

    Sep 18, 2007
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    Oct 15, 2016

    My thoughts, exactly. Dojo is not working for her. She does not respond well to the negative points, so don't use it. Focus on positive reinforcement. Maybe she needs an individual plan. Something that allows her to set some personal goals, doable and reachable goals, that she can be successful with. It sounds like she needs some good strategies to help her cope when she's upset, as well. Those could be taught in class meetings. Clearly there are behavioral issues here and she needs some tools to help her better manage her own choices throughout the day.

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