How Do I Put a Stop to Destruction of School Property?

Discussion in 'Elementary Education' started by glitterfish, Jun 16, 2010.

  1. glitterfish

    glitterfish Comrade

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    Jun 16, 2010

    We had a lot of destruction of property this year in my room. As we collected textbooks to turn in at the end of school, I found that kids had crossed out their names and written in different class names in the front cover. There has also been scribbling done all over the classroom--on name tags, on coat hook labels, supply labels, desks, etc. A lot of the supplies have also been ruined, such as markers being ripped in half, things being cut up with scissors. You get the idea.

    I don't know how to stop this from happening next year. I keep a good eye on my kids and do a lot of walking around the classroom and checking in while they're working. I'm never at my desk. I feel like I'm a pretty good observer of student behaviors. I really don't know how this even happened or if it was just one student or quite a few. Any ideas on how I can put a stop to this next year? The kids just don't seem to have much pride in taking care of the supplies and their lack of respect for the materials just makes me sick. Talking to them about it doesn't really seem to help.
     
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  3. Lynnnn725

    Lynnnn725 Connoisseur

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    Jun 16, 2010

    Oh, wow - that sounds frustrating! Perhaps more community lesssons? I don't really know how I'd deal with that... probably set up a video camera.

    I hope you get a great bunch of kids this upcoming year and don't have to deal with those kinds of things.
     
  4. Missy99

    Missy99 Connoisseur

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    Jun 16, 2010

    That sounds more like the work of one or two rather than numerous kids.

    And I am surprised that no one squealed! My kids reported other students leaving their jackets on the floor!

    Perhaps at the beginning of next year when you are assigning "jobs" to the students you might also name each student a "monitor" to make sure all property is properly cared for.
     
  5. jteachette

    jteachette Comrade

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    Jun 16, 2010

    Model, practice, make Y charts,then have them use just that item(pencil, glue, scissors) in the proper manner. Don't use anything, not even a pencil, until you do this with them at the beginning of the year. Assume that they know nothing about how to use it. The same with books. Teach your expectations, model, practice, reteach when necessary.

    I don't let my students have scissors or glue at their desks, and next year they won't have markers at their desks either. I keep the scissors in a box, and they have to go get them when they need them(I teach scissor safety and expectations before they ever use them). The glue is also in a bucket, so are gluesticks. They may have one gluestick at their desk. The markers will be in their storage cubby for special use next year. We don't use them every day.
    But, in my class, if you use a material in a destructive way, you lose the use of it for a day. If it is used in an unsafe way, you lose the use of that material for a week. The item goes in a plastic bag with the owner's name on it and I put it on my desk. Having to write your work in crayon for a week because you poked someone with your pencil is awfully frustrating, but it doesn't happen again.:)

    As for name tags, have them make their own on a piece of tagboard, then laminate them. They don't scribble on these, they do on the premade tags. I only learned this after many years of trying to get them to stop scribbling on stuff.

    Can you do a book inspection at each quarter? One of our behavior standards is cares for school property...we have to give a grade, so I check!
     
  6. hawkteacher

    hawkteacher Comrade

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    Jun 16, 2010

    I would be really clear about maintaining the room and supplies at the beginning of the year and then throughout the year whenever needed throughout the year. It's all about respect. Respect for the classroom, respect for supplies that belong to you and to your building. Even tell them about what happened this year and how you know they'll do such a better job! If they know it's important to you, they're more likely to do a better job. Some "use" is expected though. Kids doodle, they break things, etc.
     
  7. cmw

    cmw Groupie

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    Jun 16, 2010

    I think the first question is if this is just a classroom issue (of just a few) or a schoolwide issue. I think the destruction of property was my biggest frustration this last year. In my room it wasn't too bad except for the constant breaking the tops off pencils. I also had 2 students carve into the tables. Both I caught (of course nothing was done). :( But our restrooms were awful. The foul language carved into the stalls and written with permanent marker were just disturbing. In my building it was a school wide issue. :( I agree with teaching the expectations to establish how to use supplies.
     
  8. TeacherShelly

    TeacherShelly Aficionado

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    Jun 16, 2010

    I had our P come give a talk this year. Our school supports a school in Africa through fundraisers, and the P went to visit the school in the past. We talk about that school a lot. He told them how they live: they would not dream of dropping their pencil because they will not get another one. They cherish their materials. We are being disrespectful of our own environment when we: break pencils in half, tear the erasers off the pencils, poke pink erasers and tear them in half, etc.

    What I did notice, though, is the pink erasers were poked when students were thinking hard or nervous. I don't think they always knew they were doing it.

    I feel your pain. There was a point I just wanted to find out who was doing it so I could punish him/her. It's hard.
     
  9. oldfashioned

    oldfashioned Comrade

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    Jun 17, 2010

    Showing respect for property is also an expectation at our school, so at the end of every quarter, students complete a self-assessment on how well they followed each of the rules. It's funny, but at the second grade level, everyone thinks they follow all the rules splendidly, so this next step is important. After each student completes their own self-assessment, we have a class meeting to do peer-assessments. Each child must read their self-assessment to the class, then the rest of the class (including me) has the opportunity to agree or disagree with what was read. You may think this is mean, but children are observant and honest with their feedback, and the peer-assessments are a reality check for a lot of kids. The final step is to modify the self-assessments, if necessary, and turn them in.

    Like I said, we do this at the end of each quarter, but if we're having problems with a particular rule, we go through this process more frequently.
     

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