Loud Independent Work Time

Discussion in 'Elementary Education Archives' started by mbboss, Oct 31, 2005.

  1. mbboss

    mbboss Rookie

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    Oct 31, 2005

    My class can't seem to stay quiet during independent time, where they are working on their work. I've warned them it's too loud, rang the bell to signal the noise level, switched the lights, taken time from recess, and turned cards. I'm running out of ideas and I'm tired of fighting with it. Any ideas? I'lll take anything.
     
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  3. Miss W

    Miss W Phenom

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    LOL! I'm having the same problems this year. I'm going to try using a stoplight today. I purchased a stoplight poster for $1.99, and put velcro on each light. A frog will be attatched to the other side. When we're not supposed to talk, the frog will be on the red light. When the students can whisper, it will be on the yellow light. When they can talk at a normal level, it will be on the green light. If a student is not observing the rules of the light-they will pull a stick (kind of like your cards). I gave them a stern talking to Thursday, and asked if they think this type of visual might help them. They more or less begged for it. It's about half of my class that I'm having problems with. We'll see if this works.
     
  4. teacherpippi

    teacherpippi Habitué

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    Oct 31, 2005

    My students know the basics of ASL, so when they were loud for the first time this year, I told them that they had to turn their voices off and only speak in sign.

    They LOVED it! They felt like they were communicating in secret. They were quiet. (I could look over and see EXACTLY what they were chatting about... "Oh, John, I didn't know that your Uncle Max catching rabbits had anything to do with that short story"...) And because this is something more difficult than speaking, they had to be selective about what they said- especially those who were only comfortable fingerspelling.

    They loved it so much, that I now tell them that if they can hold the noise down, we will have the last center with voices off (or the next day).

    As a side note: This did require a LOT of talk about when it is approriate to use sign- and that the principal's assembly wasn't it :). Now that they have it, it is GREAT, and our student who communicates with sign gets to have his friends practice.
     
  5. DizneeTeachR

    DizneeTeachR Virtuoso

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    Oct 31, 2005

    mbboss,
    when I subbed in 5th grade a teacher had tickets and would pass out tickets to those working quietly. The kids put their names on them and at the end of the week she drew a couple out and gave away candy bars. The kids really responded to that. This teacher would also have a big jar of jolly ranchers and pass those out to those working quietly!!!!

    When I taught 1st mine were noisy so I resorted to passing out "hugs & kisses" Hershey's!!! My kids loved that as well. We would joke that I threw them a kiss!!!

    GOOD LUCK!!!
     
  6. Upsadaisy

    Upsadaisy Moderator

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    Oct 31, 2005

    I'm not big on the tickets/sticks kind of stuff. If you are really at wits end, have them stop working and put their heads down when too loud. If they don't get to complete their work because of it, make them do it at recess or for homework. Tell them you wished they could have finished in class because you already had homework planned and now they have even more. Then drop it. They'll get the message pretty quickly, I bet.
     
  7. Miss W

    Miss W Phenom

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    Upsadaisy-I've done that several times. It only works for a few. I've got a wild class this year-14 (out of 25) with ADD or ADHD. I've tried stopping and talking to the whole class. It seems to fuel them. They love the attention. And some love the homework. I've even done the "We won't get to watch the fun video at the end of the week" speech, but to no avail. They still talk.

    I wish we could still do candy, but alas...we cannot. Our state is one that has passed a law about no food rewards. Our school does do the ticket system, but the tickets go to the office. Both grades get 2 students pulled and announced over the intercom. They go to the office and get a special treat (pencil, sticker, etc...). I'll have to try that during work time. It's just really hard to stop working with a group to do it. We'll see if it works.

    The reason I do sticks, is so I can keep track of student behavior. We do character charts. If no sticks at the end of the day, they get a sticker on that day. One stick is a warning; 2 sticks is a blue ticket (5 min. off recess); 3 sticks is a red ticket (10 min. off recess); 4 sticks red&blue tickets and note home; 5+ sticks is whole recess, note/phone call home, and talk with principal. I hardly ever get above 3 sticks. The chart goes home at the end of the month, and parents sign it. I also keep track in the gradebook, because we do a Work Habits checklist for report cards. It helps me keep track. If a child has had no blue tickets for the month, they get to eat with me in the classroom.
     
  8. 1stferg

    1stferg Comrade

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    Oct 31, 2005

    Wow, you have a lot of ADD and ADHD! How long is your independent work time? Are you doing reading groups at that time?

    Maybe you need to restructure your schedule. Instead of doing a large chunk of indep. work maybe do 15 min. then do a whole group activity. Keep alternating until your kids finish their work. I don't know if that will help or not. Just an idea.
     
  9. Upsadaisy

    Upsadaisy Moderator

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    Well, with that many diagnosed with ADD, I can see why the heads down thing wouldn't work. Too long term to connect talking now with future discomfort (homework that night).
     
  10. Miss W

    Miss W Phenom

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    Yep, we have to do small chuncks of time. It's funny what a difference it can make with only one or two children absent. I know which ones are the loudest. I just hope I survive the year with them. I'm sure I will, but it's hard to see how this year will end up.
     
  11. wig

    wig Devotee

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    I tend to agree with Upsadaisy. What they don't complete in class becomes homework.

    When I taught the little ones, I was constantly circling, which I am sure you do, too. Those that were talking I would touch on the head and they knew to put their head down until I touched it again. I also had several extra desks against the wall. If I had to touch them again, they had to work at one of the desks fasing the wall so they would not disturb others. It is more difficult with ADD kids. I would probably just move them out of the range of others so they do not disturb the ones working. However, with 14 of them, you might want to move the quiet ones out of range of the disruptive ones. (You poor thing!)

    Of course working with another group makes it more difficult for you to monitor work. Sounds like you have a lot of children not capable of independent work yet.

    I was looking at your website. I resisted having a website for a while, but now that we have one on our school site, I truly see the value in it. I hope you don't mind if I make one suggestion. On your homework page, I would consider dropping the phrase: Due to student work ethic in the classroom, this schedule may change and just leave the section stating that work not completed in class becomes homework. You can always write a note on the paper as to why it is coming home.

    I truly wish you luck. Let us know if you found anything that works.
     
  12. Miss W

    Miss W Phenom

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    I don't send certain papers home, because I want a grade on those papers. My parents are bad about "helping" with homework.
     
  13. ctopher

    ctopher Comrade

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    I do the this....

    If it's loud I quietly say stop and everything stops....hands, feet, mouths etc. and we wait til the correct behavior is demonstrated and then they are allowed to continue. We spent 2 days doing work during recess the first few weeks of school and now when the noise starts going up the other kids remind their classmates.

    I plan on using the Yakker Trakker next quarter.

    As for all of the students with ADD/ADHD....

    Well coming from a teacher that has been diagnosed with ADHD himself....I've done A LOT of reading about the disorder and the excessive talking and attention getting behaviors are ways of self medicating. It's believed that ADD/ADHD are caused by a reduced blood flow to the front part of the brain. By doing these behaviors they are increasing the blood flow to that part of the their brain. It explains why I would do or say some of the things I would at times just to start things up......now that I'm medicated I feel like a completely different person. Just my 2 cents.


    Christopher
     
  14. Miss W

    Miss W Phenom

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    Most of my kids are medicated. It seems not to be helping. I've tried several strategies, and still have a few more to try. My brother has ADHD, and is not medicated. I'm trying some of the strategies we used for him when he was in school.
     
  15. Upsadaisy

    Upsadaisy Moderator

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    Some kids respond better to meds than others. It is very difficult to find the right dosage/combination/timing for some kids. However, they all need consistent limit-setting (I know you know that very well, Miss W). Yesterday, Halloween, I had given my group a packet of Halloween-themed worksheets which I said they had to complete during the day at their own discretion, but that whatever was not completed would be homework. I'm sure they didn't take me seriously (Homework on Halloween? Is she crazy?). Most of them had not completed the work and they spent all of lunch and recess in silent study hall. That's the way it goes sometimes.
     
  16. meri78

    meri78 Rookie

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    hi-i've heard of a "system" where the teacher writes all of the students' names on the board. each time a student is caught talking too loudly (after a warning), they get a check mark next to their name. you could then take away recess time or whatever based on a certain # of checkmarks, while also rewarding those who didn't get any (or below a certain #). i've never used this system but i think it might work, especially for children who like to show out for attention. after you give them a warning, if they're still loud you just walk up to the board-without saying anything-and give them a check mark. hope this helps!!

    -meri
     
  17. Miss W

    Miss W Phenom

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    That's sort of what our stick and flipping card method is. I have a bulletin board with library pockets on it. The students assigned numbers are on it, instead of names. It only works for so long.
     
  18. newteacher16

    newteacher16 Companion

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    Nov 2, 2005

    At the beginning of each week, I give out an index card to each student. They have a little envelope on their desks that holds the card. As they are working and doing what they are supposed to do, I walk around with a hole puncher and punch the cards of those who are doing what they are supposed to do. The goal for the week is usually 10 punches. If the students meet the goal for the week, they draw a ticket out of a bucket. These tickets are good for intangibles, like skipping morning work and getting on the computer, wearing a hat to school, eating lunch in the room with me, etc. The kids who dont make the goal dont get to pick. At the end of the month, the kids who have met the monthly goal get to have an extra recess on the last Friday afternoon of the month. It's a big motivator, and as soon as the kids see me get the hole puncher out, they get on task. That way, I can focus on positives and don't have to constantly be nagging the kids to get quiet. Also, I'm not overdoing the candy/prizes thing. I have a really tough class this year, so if it works for them...it can work for anybody. :)
     
  19. aslayton8

    aslayton8 New Member

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    team points

    I use table points and it works really well. I let the kids pick team names and give them points for doing the right thing. In my class the winners get to use the computers during silent reading time the next week. It is really motivating. I also add up all the points at the end of the week and for every 10 it is a star for the class. When we get a hundred stars, we get a party. That way, even the losing teams are contributing to the whole class.

    I also use a lot of target talk. Every few minutes, just look for the kids that are doing the right thing and say, John is woking quietly, sarah is working quietly. It reminds the kids what they are supposed to be doing in a positive way. You'll be amazed how this works for every transition! So and so has his book open etc.. not praise, just saying what you see.This only works for independent work if you try to do it pretty frequently. Its hard to remember when they are out of control, but kids want you to think that they are good and they want to hear you say their name in praise.

    It doesn't always work, and you have to decide for yourself what the consequence is for being loud and tell them ahead of time. Even better, have them help you decide what the consequence should be. You'll find that the loudest kids come up with the most severe consequences!

    Good luck, it is a struggle for everyone I think.
     
  20. BethMI

    BethMI Cohort

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    I also do table points. The table with the most points at the end of the week receives 1 "dollar" of our monetary system (I never used to believe in this kind of system, but it has been great!) for each member. I also do the flip cards for indivicual behavior, and noise alerts for whole class. When they are too loud they get "noise alert 1," it goes on until (hopefully not) they get noise alert 3, in which case they lose 5 min. of last recess, if get to NA 4, lose 5 more, etc. They usually don't get to NA 3. I also do privliege slips for individual rewards-thin strips in a coffee can which the children can pick from-things like: write with pen, wear a hat, eat lunch with the teacher, bring an unhealthy snack, etc. they turn in the slip when they want to use it. I also put some on colored paper, if a student picks one on colored paper, he /she gets to pick again.
     
  21. aslayton8

    aslayton8 New Member

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    I like the noise alert system.. that's great!
     
  22. Upsadaisy

    Upsadaisy Moderator

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    I use the observation thing also and find it very effective. Also, 'I'm waiting until everyone is quietly in line before we can go to music" in a very quiet voice. The other students make the talker shush up.
     

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