I need a new idea

Discussion in 'Behavior Management' started by robinsky, Oct 9, 2008.

  1. robinsky

    robinsky Rookie

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    Oct 9, 2008

    So I have this 7th grade math class that has gotten out of control - I posted a topic on it a few weeks back. I'm a new teacher, and in this class it's been really hard to get anything done because so many of the kids were talking and not paying attention. So yesterday, I locked the door before class, and lined them all up outside. When the bell rang, I told them that it would be a quiet day, and anyone who talked would be sent to another teacher's room two doors down to spend the rest of the period working on worksheets. Well, it worked great! I had to send one kid almost immediately, then 2 more about halfway through the period, but the class was quiet and we got so much done!

    Here's my dilemma: what to do next! Today and tomorrow there is no school, but on Monday, how can I sustain this? The teacher who took them in only wanted to do it once, her kids were taking a test that day so it was quiet, but she doesn't want the disruption during a normal day. I don't want to make waves by sending kids to the office. But I need an immediate response for kids who are talking! Any ideas? Thanks!
     
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  3. Ceyber

    Ceyber Rookie

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    Oct 10, 2008

    It depends on the support from home. It also depends on what you're aloud to do at school :)

    The whole "the earth is going to come crashing down upon your head" trick tends to work, if you can play it right. If they find the consequences for the behaviour so bad, they will change.

    I mark down when kids aren't paying attention or talking out of turn on the board - yes, it's terribly old fashioned, but it works. During the lunch time detention they receive when they hit three strikes, they have to

    a) write an email to their parents, explaining they are in at lunch and why, and

    b) copy the relevant notes from Googling Detention Contracts and hitting the first link (I can't post links...too new)
    (Change these from Australia, these aren't mine, I just found them.)

    In addition, I praise (never reward though, don't reward expected behaviour) when a student has made a good effort to behave. The student who was just in a detention, who obviously wants to have a good next class, gets a "Good work, I see you were really trying this class, thank you". Sometimes in private, if it isn't cool to be praised by a teacher, but sometimes in front of some other students who weren't as well behaved :)
     
  4. missalli

    missalli Companion

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    Oct 10, 2008

    Personally, I would ask around to other teachers and try to find 'homes' for my obnoxious students. Your colleagues should know that, being a first year teacher, you need all the help you can get. Is there a mentor at your school or someone else you would feel comfortable approaching?

    When I have to send students out, I give them a "Think Sheet" also called a Refocus Form -- Google it -- with the following questions/spaces:

    1. The rule I broke was ______
    2. I wanted ___ (i.e. if they were talking to a friend, why? If they got in trouble because they were out of their seat, why? I think acknowledging that the student had a reason for breaking the rules - even if that reason was 'I wanted to talk to my friend instead of working') is pretty powerful for all ages.
    3. My behavior probably made my teacher and classmates feel ______
    4. When I go back to the classroom my behavior will change because I will _____
    5. Am I ready to go back to class? Yes/No

    At the bottom is a place for the teacher whose classroom you have sent the little darling to initial.

    The student comes back when they are done (and ready -- and your buddy teacher can help monitor that). I've told my kids that if they come back and their behavior has changed, I will rip up their Think Sheet and they get a fresh start the next day. Otherwise, they have to take their Think Sheet to the office and explain it to the Principal/VP.

    Just something out of my toolbox. :)
     
  5. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Oct 10, 2008

    As so often happens, you're about to get contradictory advice. Sorry about that, Missalli :)

    I would not send my kids out of the room for anything short of a trip to the dean's office for a fistfight. I handle everything else myself.

    Sending the kids out of the room sends a message to every kid in the room: that this is a problem you can't handle, so you need another teacher to handle it for you. So basically you're giving your authority away to another teacher. There's only so much authority in the universe; once you give it away, there's less left for you.

    I would go in on Monday full of enthusiasm. Something along the lines of: "You guys were GREAT on Friday. Copy down tonight's homework, but I'll let you know at the end of the period whether or not you have to do it all. If you can be as great today as you were on Friday, I bet we'll have time to start it in class."

    Then give an assignment that's a bit longer than you would have otherwise. And, if they're good, be SURE to get to those problems. The kids will think they're getting a break for good behavior. You'll know that the problems they're doing are just more practice problems.

    Good luck!!
     
  6. missalli

    missalli Companion

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    Oct 11, 2008

    :lol: There's room for all types around here, I think

    I can see your point, and sending a kid out is not my first option, but I also make it clear to the kids that I am not sending the offender to Teacher X because Teacher X is scarier than I am and will be the one to punish the kid... it's to remove them from the situation temporarily because (1) they are interfering with other students' learning and that's not okay, and (2) to give them time to reflect on their behavior somewhere else.

    This also works for me because I teach a 2.5-hour remedial English pull-out class with a lot of 'problem children' (kids who have learned that it is better to mess around and cause trouble than do work that is difficult for them) and I like having them take their Think Sheet back to their homeroom teacher so they know what kind of day that kid has been having.

    If my class is having a rowdy day, and I send one kid out with a TS, it seems to calm the rest of them down. It just works for us :thumb:
     
  7. Special-t

    Special-t Enthusiast

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    Oct 11, 2008

    This peer pressure worked with 5th graders - I don't know if it will apply to your age group.

    Tell the students the rules ahead of time so they know what's up:

    Put the homework on the board listing pages - ie. 1-5
    When "Jonny" does not respond to the 1st warning - add a homework page for the whole class.
    The other students will start pressuring the disruptive students to be quiet. It takes the "cool" away from being a trouble maker.

    * When they complain that they're being punished for someone else misbehaving - explain that this class is a team effort and that individuals in a team can lift the team up or bring the team down.
     
  8. robinsky

    robinsky Rookie

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    Oct 11, 2008

    Thanks for the great ideas! It's interesting to see the diversity of techniques!

    I think I like the idea of taking away homework if they behave (and get to do it in class), rather than giving extra if they misbehave. There ARE some really good, hard-working, quiet kids in the class, and I would really hate to have them do extra because of the couple of kids who can't help calling out!

    I will try to find another teacher I can send kids out for. It really did work, and I don' t think I'd have to use it too often. But I'm not sure I can find another teacher who would be game.
     
  9. Mrs. K.

    Mrs. K. Enthusiast

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    Oct 11, 2008

    Have you had a chance to look at Power Teaching?
     
  10. PowerTeacher

    PowerTeacher Comrade

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    Oct 11, 2008

    Check Here for all the links for Power Teaching and a step by step how to.
     
  11. Special-t

    Special-t Enthusiast

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    Oct 12, 2008

    Even though I didn't originate this thread, I looked over the website and I'm SOLD! I'm going to try it. It just dawned on me that it could really help me - even as a sub.

    I'm assuming that many teachers use this method ... so knowing the the tricks of the trade could really help with management.
     
  12. TeacherC

    TeacherC Connoisseur

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    Oct 13, 2008

    Hey, I'm just wondering how class went today? I really liked the taking away extra homework idea...too bad I can't use that in kindergarten! :)
     
  13. robinsky

    robinsky Rookie

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    Oct 13, 2008

    Okay, so today I went in, and I let them in as usual before the bell rang, and when it rang I just talked to them, saying I liked how quiet they were and now that I knew they COULD restrain themselves, I expected them to do it, and if I had to I would send them out again (they don't know that I have nowhere to send them!). And they were pretty good, and then my supervisor unexpectedly came to observe me, and I got a little flustered. They still weren't bad, but at one point I guess kids near her were whispering and she gave them a little talking to (she was near the back of the room), and they quieted down.

    Afterward she gave me some feedback, which was basically warranted. I'll just have to see how it goes from here on out. It's overwhelming, sometimes, isn't it?
     

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