How do I keep the first graders in their seats?

Discussion in 'Behavior Management' started by srfjeld, Nov 13, 2008.

  1. srfjeld

    srfjeld Companion

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    Nov 13, 2008

    Hi,

    First year teacher here. Getting the hang of it all, even though I'm told by their own parents that I have a "very difficult" class. One thing I have noticed as work gets more challenging for them is... they cannot stay in their seats. I'll be in the middle of teaching or helplessly trying to conduct a small reading group and they are coming up to me... asking if something on their paper is right... even though we just went over the answer together as a class, or to ask for my help on something. The rule in my room, as in most rooms I would imagine, is raise your hand and I will come to or call on you. Oh... and, sometimes I will be in the middle of helping one student and have 2 or 3 others tugging at my sleeve, pants, shirt, or body part or repeating my name... over and over and over and over and over and over again... The other day I said to myself, under my breath as they were coming at me... "there isn't enough Calgon in the entire world!" Anyone remember those commercials?

    So, what on earth can I do about this??? They are driving me nutso! I have to tell them at least 10 times a day to stay in their seats. Can put superglue on their seats before they come in in the morning? I love the little rascals, but I actually started saying, "Get away from me!"

    :help:

    Thanks,

    Stephanie
     
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  3. lemonhead

    lemonhead Aficionado

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    Nov 13, 2008

    Velcro works better and if there is a true emergency, they an still get up!

    Okay, I am with you on this. Mine were good at first except for a few. Then they got worse.

    First of all, absolutely do not help them if your rule is that they must raise their hand and not come to you.

    Second, sit down with them and review all the rules. Call this "sharing the teacher". You may even want to read a book about sharing. Sharing the teacher is one of the rules of writer's workshop in my class but I use it a lot. Ask them questions and let them tell you. "What do you do if Mrs. S. is doing guided reading and you are stuck on your paper?" "What would happen if you REALLY need to show me your work and I am helping another student?" "Do you put your work right in front of my eyeballs while I'm talking with someone else?" They will eventually start saying things like "Jason, share the teacher".

    Third, look for kids who are doing the right thing. So if Charlie is coming up to you asking for help but Susie is raising her hand, say something like "Oh, I love the way Susie is raising her hand for help" and walk to Susie first.

    Fourth, tell them when you are open for business and maybe show them, too. So in guided reading, you may want to wear a little hat or a laei. This means "don't come to me now, I'll come to you soon."

    Fifth, and this is elementary, make sure you are going to them(within reason). If you are sitting at your desk they view you as captive and come over there.

    Okay, I am just totally rambling and I hope someone has better advice. Today when I go in I am moving a little girl's desk because she pops up several times in 15 minutes to do something. I need to put her someplace where when she stands up she is on an end so that at least she is not visiting.

    Good luck,

    Lemon
     
  4. Samothrace

    Samothrace Cohort

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    Nov 13, 2008

    Sometimes you just have to go over and over things until they really get in the grove. The previous person I think has great suggestions.

    There is always the ask 3 before me. As in..ask your neighbors, if you still don't have the answer then raise your hand. I'm an art teacher so the kids get really excited and are up all the time just to show me and that can drive me crazy! especially when doing a messy project...anything that ever gets on my clothes is on my back somewhere.

    I have also done the ignorance. Even if you are giving large group instruction and they come up to you..I just 'brush' by them. And say to the whole class...does anyone know where Jon is..I can't see him anywhere..his desk is empty! They giggle a little bit but the kid gets right back in their seat. Then I'm usually like..oh there you are..did you have a question?

    Encourage the postive for sure! If it helps I know when I go into classes, b/c I'm on a cart, they often have sticker charts where you can put a sticker on their chart for the proper behavior and when it's filled up they go to the treasure chest or something.
     
  5. cmw

    cmw Groupie

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    Nov 13, 2008

    My first thought was duct tape, my second was those chairs where you put the kids in & they can't get out! :lol: I think a couple of my 5th graders need those.
     
  6. trayums

    trayums Enthusiast

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    Nov 13, 2008

    What has really been working for me is sitting down as a class and creating a chart (I use an I chart with two columns. Students and Teacher). At the top I write, "Working at our seats" and then we write together what it should look like and sound like when we are working at seats. We then decide what I will be doing while they are working at their seats. It works really well. We then practice, practice, practice. I will review it with them each time they need to do something independently at their seats. I also stop them mid-way and we do a check in where I ask them to show me a thumbs up if they were doing each of the things we have on our chart. Our chart has the following on the student side:
    Use whisper voices
    Eyes on your work
    Raise your hand if you have a question or need help
    Leave others alone
    When the chime rings; Stop Look and Listen.

    On the teachers side it says:
    Helping children
    Working with groups
     
  7. EMonkey

    EMonkey Connoisseur

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    Nov 13, 2008

    I almost never make them stay in their seats but if they are not working or if they are wandering they must go back to their seats. If I am doing something where they need to come to me they must line up even if I am just standing there and answering questions or giving stars to finished pages.
     
  8. Crzy_ArtTeacher

    Crzy_ArtTeacher Comrade

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    Nov 14, 2008

    It's funny because like Samothrace said I too am and art teacher and this is constantly happening. I tell the children that they are now GLUED to their seats and they may not get up.

    I've also started saying, "Ms. R has a bubble around her, you poke me and I pop." This rule has come into creation due to all the little fingers that poke me constantly throughout the day. I tell them they will drive me crazy if they keep doing it, and of course it encourages some :dizzy:

    I also have started testing out something for the students that for every time I catch them out of their seats they owe me a minute of time. ...Kind of severe but it works!

    I understand that there is a time and place for seated work and active work but the kids need to learn to distinguish the time. I'm not strict about keeping them in their seats but when the time comes that they need to be is when I enforce the strict rules.
     
  9. Miss J. Pre-K

    Miss J. Pre-K Comrade

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    Nov 20, 2008

    Do they really need to be in their seats? Is it that they are not in their seats or that they are coming up to you that bothers you? Some children really do need to stand up from time to time, and learn better just standing up while working. Remember you probably have visual, auditory, and kinestic (body movement) learners in your classroom. Are your lessons addressing all three types? (this is something I ask myself as well).

    Are you giving them some active time before your focused time? First graders are still young and very active. They might need a recess, game, action song, or other kind of movement before you try a focused activity.

    Also . . . "Ask a friend before I help you" and "Walk away" sounds better than "Get away from me" (although I know the sentiment). I use "walk away" a lot with my class. :)
     
  10. srfjeld

    srfjeld Companion

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    Nov 20, 2008

    Thank you for all the suggestions. What I have started doing is writing their names on the board and placing tally marks by them each time they get out of their seat without raising their hands. Each tally mark equals one minute they owe me for recess. They can earn their time back if I see they are making an effort to raise their hand.

    I teach at a direct instruction school so they are expected to remain in their seats while I am instructing. However, this is when they get out of their seats the most. Instead of raising their hands for me to check something, they walk up to me while I am in the middle of teaching to the group. And when one does it, they all try... at the same time. They are able to get out of their seats during seat work time, as that is the time I am doing reading groups. They may get up to sharpen pencils, throw stuff away, request water or to use the bathroom, and also to get fun sheets/or and books when they are finished with their work. They have two recesses and whole class bathroom breaks each day. Also, some of the lessons require them to stand up so they get plenty of movement.

    You are right Miss J, 'walk away' sounds much better than 'get away from me.' I got that phrase from my cooperative teacher last year and I was so used to hearing it that it just slipped out. Didn't bother the kids any, they just went back to their seats and started raising their hands and saying my name over and over and over again.

    It's my first year, so I'm still working out the kinks. Unfortunately, I have a tough class to work them out with, so says everyone else, including the parents.

    I am always striving to find the magical behavior management methods that work with these kids! :)
     
  11. PowerTeacher

    PowerTeacher Comrade

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    Nov 20, 2008

    Check into Power Teaching. This method creates an amazing, positive, upbeat classroom. The kids do a lot of the management end of things for you. It is very effective on the teaching methods and as well.
     
  12. EMonkey

    EMonkey Connoisseur

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    Nov 20, 2008

    One mistake I soemtimes make is answering the questions they ask sometimes when they are out of seats and then not when they ask other times. If you make that mistake, you can start over and say "oops, I made a mistake you go back to your seat and raise your hand." Another thing you can do is create times where it is acceptable to come to you and times where it is not, this can be hard to do in first grade. Another thing is train them to line up everytime they come to you to get you to do something. I train them they can come and talk to me when we are in seat work, transition, or free time. They must line up-I don't like feeling like I am about to be tackled by a bunch of six year olds. When I am directing them anywhere in the class unless they are bleeding to death or some other form of emergency they must not come up to me or get up with out permission. They also have to stand silent when I am doing small group work or individual work.
     
  13. succeed

    succeed Rookie

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    Dec 11, 2008

    I love your advice. It is so helpful!
     
  14. Teacher_Lyn

    Teacher_Lyn Companion

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    Jan 12, 2009

    Last year I had a group of extremely needy, immature second graders that often acted like kindergarteners in terms of wanting the teacher's attention. the way i dealt with it was by using visual cues.

    I went to the teacher store and got a BIG red paper stop sign and taped it up on my desk. That way when a student came over to the table, they couldn't miss the sign and as soon as they started saying, "Ms. Lynn" I would tape the sign.

    I kept it up the whole year, though within a month, i didn't need it.
     
  15. letty21

    letty21 Rookie

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    Feb 6, 2009

    you should play the stand up and down game with your students, so they will understand when to get up and raise there hand up for to help them.

    when the class goes to lunch, you tell the class they can't get up into you tell them to, its a class game. The stand up and sit down game its fun to do.

    So talk to your students and tell them if they listen and if they don't get up from there sit. Tell them your proud of them and your going to tell their parnets that they are doing great in class, so the parents can be so proud of their child.

    When i was going to a day care, i was working with 6 children in my group we were paint. I told them don't get up into I get up, i was going to give each child a candy if the listen to me. The children listen very well, and they didn't get up into i got up to go to a other center. We were in a fun group, and i had fun.



     
  16. letty21

    letty21 Rookie

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    you should play the stand up and down game with your students, so they will understand when to get up and raise there hand up for to help them.

    when the class goes to lunch, you tell the class they can't get up into you tell them to, its a class game. The stand up and sit down game its fun to do.

    So talk to your students and tell them if they listen and if they don't get up from there sit. Tell them your proud of them and your going to tell their parnets that they are doing great in class, so the parents can be so proud of their child.

    When i was going to a day care, i was working with 6 children in my group we were paint. I told them don't get up into I get up, i was going to give each child a candy if the listen to me. The children listen very well, and they didn't get up into i got up to go to a other center. We were in a fun group, and i had fun.
     

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