How to get kids to start class

Discussion in 'Secondary Education Archives' started by EngTeacher15, Sep 29, 2006.

  1. EngTeacher15

    EngTeacher15 Companion

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2006
    Messages:
    138
    Likes Received:
    0

    Sep 29, 2006

    My 4th period class is really rowdy. It splits with lunch, and this doesn't help either. This means I have to quiet them down not once, but twice.

    Even at the start of the first half of the class, I have a hard time quieting them down. A lot of my students are friends and they are up out of their seats talking to each other when the bell rings. I usually have tell them to quiet down and to sit down two or three times. I hate wasting this time at the beginning class. Any suggestions? What can I do to make them be ready to start class when the bell rings?

    :thanks:
     
  2.  
  3. wunderwhy

    wunderwhy Comrade

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2006
    Messages:
    323
    Likes Received:
    0

    Sep 29, 2006

    You could try having a "bell activity" -- something that they need to do immediately when the bell rings that is set up for them already, such as a sentence on the board or overhead that they have to correct. Teach them to start doing this immediately upon entry without you having to "start" class.

    I find that it's better to start class right off with a quiz or structured activity. When I start with checking homework, that just leads to talking and moving slowly. So I give them something to do quietly and then check their homework while they're doing that. Maybe you could schedule quizzes for right when they return from lunch.
     
  4. ms_chandler

    ms_chandler Comrade

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2006
    Messages:
    499
    Likes Received:
    1

    Sep 29, 2006

    BELL RINGER! I turn on the projector before they even come in. They have to be seated when the bell rings or they serve a tardy detention the very next day. If they skip the detention, they get written up. When the bell rings, they need to be copying their bell ringer. I set the timer for 5 minutes, and we go over it when the timer goes off.

    This is the way I think about it: When I was in school, if teachers let me slide, I'd mess around. But, if I knew a teacher was structured and wouldn't let me slip, I wouldn't even try. Kids think the same way.
     
  5. HannahB2

    HannahB2 Companion

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2004
    Messages:
    110
    Likes Received:
    0

    Sep 29, 2006

    I would try to have something written on the board for a journal entry. Questions like "What do you think you'll be doing in 20 years?" and "What is your treasure?" Give them just enough time to get this finished and if it's not done then they will get a zero for the daily participation grade. The zeros that add up will most likely get them being quiet.
     
  6. usfmeghi

    usfmeghi Companion

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2004
    Messages:
    210
    Likes Received:
    0

    Sep 29, 2006

    I give 10 pints a day. This can be taken away for not being on task.

    I addition there is always a warm-up activity. Students are supposed to enter class, grab their journals, and get to work

    I had to tighten my discipline policy. I'm not even giving warnings about gum in class anymore. Gum or food results in an automatic detention. Same for off task.

    They get one warning and then its detention followed by a hone call.

    My 5th is very loud. I threated to call the discipline office which helped as last tme, he told them they would get ...the whole class...would get Work Detail.

    I do have a problem in third. The class was leaving the class messy, so my mentor told me not to excuse class till every paper was picked off the floor. It seems to be helping. I excuse by row

    However, there are spitballs on the wall and while i know the period that is responsible, I am unsure as tlo the indivisual.s I mentioned this in another topic, but thlought I would ask here.

    I am changing the seating arrangement, so hopefully that will help....
     
  7. EngTeacher15

    EngTeacher15 Companion

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2006
    Messages:
    138
    Likes Received:
    0

    Sep 30, 2006

    Well, that's the thing...I DO have bell work! Sometimes it's a journal and other times it's a different activity. Even with bell work, I still have to tell them to be quiet and to start the activity. I'm a traveling teacher, so a lot of the kids get in the room before I do...maybe that has something to do with it.
     
  8. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2006
    Messages:
    27,534
    Likes Received:
    6

    Sep 30, 2006

    I'm in a Catholic HS, so it's easy. When the bell rings, I start the Sign of the Cross, we do a prayer and class has begun.

    Can you have an activity on an overhead sheet, ready to put down? As soon as it's on, you say "OK, guys, let's get started!" whether or not the bell has already rung. Do it with an authoritative (not nasty or mean) sound to your voice.

    And do NOT allow them to move the seats around. As you walk into the room correct that right away.

    Could you ask the previous teacher to close and lock the door on her way out so that you're still first into the room? (Having kids in there unsupervised may not be the best approach anyway.) Or would that create too much a traffic problem in the hallway?
     
  9. EnglishMiss

    EnglishMiss Rookie

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2006
    Messages:
    93
    Likes Received:
    0

    Sep 30, 2006

    Hi rcayia, just wanted to say you're not alone, I have the same issue with one of my classes. I have bellwork almost every day (a journal prompt or sentences to correct the grammatical errors) and my 8th period class of 27 is usually very talkative and I have to remind them a couple times to settle down and get started on their journal. I think my problem is because I haven't been entirely consistent with having something every single day - some days if we have a lot to do I'll cut out the journal, or if I can't think up a relevant prompt for the day's activity! Still working on that consistency in all areas thing... :eek: When you have journals do you think up your own prompts or get your prompts from a book, if so, which one?
     
  10. katerina03

    katerina03 Devotee

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2004
    Messages:
    1,120
    Likes Received:
    0

    Sep 30, 2006

    I use a bell ringer also. It's the same routine every beginning of class (7th graders). There are still a few in a couple of classes who are natural rowdy and loud, and now the other students keep thm in line because they know that when I get MY way (having a quiet beginning of class and usually a lecture in the middle) they get to do group work or partner work towards the end of class and games on Fridays.
    The kids love this routine so much that they now control the behavior of the "rowdy" ones.
     
  11. mshutchinson

    mshutchinson Comrade

    Joined:
    Nov 24, 2004
    Messages:
    268
    Likes Received:
    0

    Oct 1, 2006

    rcayia,
    The traveling is probably your culprit. Luckily, I'e neverhad to travel, but the fact that you're bustling into the room, they've been hanging out and chatting since before you got there, the environment isn't 'yours', you have some obstacles in front of you.

    I have a traveler who comes to my room. If I let the kids in, I will get them in their seats and most importantly, keep them from getting rowdy before she comes -to try to help smooth out the transition. I try to stick around to help her out for the first 2-3 minutes so she can save 10 minutes of behavior issues. Can the previous teacher do this for you?

    Is it possible that you can leave your things in the room so you have less to set up when you come in? Then you could focus on setting a mood.

    When they return from lunch - 1 greet them at the door and remind them of the task at hand. and 2 you can either harness that post-lunch energy and do something that requires their energy, or try to stomp it out with a forced quiet activity (journal, quiz, other silent activity).

    I may be off on this, but usually I'd go with harnessing that energy and bringing them down gradually. Have them look up and write definitions on the board, then copy them into notebooks, then find them in the reading- or answer pretyped questions on slips of paper then collaborate on a larger question with the rest of their row, then write a long answer to a greater question.
     
  12. Docere

    Docere Rookie

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2006
    Messages:
    60
    Likes Received:
    0

    Oct 1, 2006

    Well, bell work does help I think, so you should keep it nonetheless. It helps to get them thinking and focused, but to do that, they have to be quiet and read what the assignment is, so that's where it's most failing you. Stand in front of the middle of the classroom and look bored. They'll most likely get quiet within thirty seconds. Don't tell them over and over again to get quiet. It does you more harm than good. The silence thing won't work as a start forever though. You should start class by just telling them to do the bell work and read the question out loud. Give them five minutes. Then just move on. If you start explaining the lesson and throw in students' names of the students who are still talking (for example, "Right, Little Susie?"), they will quiet.
     
  13. Corrie

    Corrie Rookie

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2006
    Messages:
    13
    Likes Received:
    0

    Oct 1, 2006

    Walk around with Hershey Kisses (or other small candy) and silently place them on the desks of the students who are on task. The kids who are behaving are the ones who should be getting your attention anyway!
     
  14. katerina03

    katerina03 Devotee

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2004
    Messages:
    1,120
    Likes Received:
    0

    Oct 1, 2006

    Good idea. I pass out "Thumbs UP!" tickets on a regular basis to kids who come in and get started. The tickets allow them to use the RR when they want (students are expected to go between classes) but with a ticket they can go during class, they can use the ticket for 5 pts on a test, I am going to start having the tickets be used for group work or partner.
     
  15. english9teach

    english9teach Rookie

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2006
    Messages:
    74
    Likes Received:
    0

    Oct 2, 2006

    Ooooh... I'm going to steal that idea. :thanks:
     
  16. Corrie

    Corrie Rookie

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2006
    Messages:
    13
    Likes Received:
    0

    Oct 2, 2006

    Steal away! :)
     
  17. Upsadaisy

    Upsadaisy Moderator

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2002
    Messages:
    18,938
    Likes Received:
    682

    Oct 2, 2006

    I like to give a timed quiz at the beginning of class. If they don't finish on time, too bad.
     
  18. katerina03

    katerina03 Devotee

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2004
    Messages:
    1,120
    Likes Received:
    0

    Oct 2, 2006

    I love that idea. Maybe I will do that a couple of days a week.
     
  19. cutNglue

    cutNglue Magnifico

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2006
    Messages:
    9,154
    Likes Received:
    1

    Oct 2, 2006

    I'm curious to know how the quizzing goes. Its not applicable to my grade, just a curiosity killed the cat gene thing happening.
     
  20. coachnick

    coachnick New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2006
    Messages:
    1
    Likes Received:
    0

    Oct 4, 2006

    traveling IS a challenge

     

Share This Page

Members Online Now

Total: 281 (members: 0, guests: 253, robots: 28)
test