How to teach students to stop criticizing each other.

Discussion in 'General Education' started by cupcakequeen, May 13, 2019.

  1. cupcakequeen

    cupcakequeen Comrade

    Sep 10, 2014
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    May 13, 2019

    I wasn't sure quite how to word the title, because it's not quite a criticism thing (not always, anyway), but it's close enough. My co-teacher and I are at our wit's end with our 5th graders. They have just gotten so...rude! We've had a number of "real talks," about the importance of minding your own business and making sure you are following directions and not worrying about what others are doing, leaving it up to teachers to correct behavior, and how to ask someone to stop doing something in a nice way, etc. We've even had our guidance counselor do multiple lessons on it, but this group is still struggling.

    A brief snippet of today's conversation, just so you can see what I mean:

    Co-Teacher is reading aloud from the class novel, students are supposed to be following along. I'm circulating around the room to keep everyone on task.

    Student A: *makes quiet humming noise*
    Student B: Stop it!
    Student A: You can't tell me what to do!
    Student C: Yeah, stop it! You're driving me crazy.

    Co-Teacher pauses to regroup.

    Student C: Swings legs, bumps person next to them.
    Student D: Knock it off!
    Student C: What did I do?
    Student A: See! You did it, too! You're a bully.
    Student C: Am not!
    Student B: You are too!
    Student C: Shut up!
    Rest of Class: Ohmygodwillyouallbequiet!

    Repeat many times over.

    In additon to the class discussions/guidance lessons, we've also tried implementing a penalty system (We have a class economy, and they can be fined), but sometimes multiple students will start blurting out in response to another student all at once and it's hard to know who did what/who started it. It's just...insane. They've lost recess (which we really try to avoid doing), had silent lunch, lost out on class rewards, we've conferenced with several parents, moved seats, split up into smaller groups, nothing is helping.

    Anyone ever dealt with this? How did you handle it?

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