NEED SOME HELP WITH CLASSROOM MANAGEMENT

Discussion in 'Second Grade' started by Xcop, Feb 9, 2010.

  1. Xcop

    Xcop Rookie

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    Feb 9, 2010

    I'm still very new, only about 3 months into my first year of teaching. I feel like my students are out of control. They talk while I am trying to teach, the play around in line, someone got pushed into bushes last week. Today as we are cleaning up centers and going back to our seat, someone seat a fire outside the bathroom. Yes a fire. I feel like I am keeping an eye on them, but things keep happening. I have a card system that they pull a card when they get in trouble, but haven't really been using it. I also do Popsicle sticks as rewards they get one a day, then they can buy stuff with their Popsicle sticks. They also get to put a stick, which has their name on it, in a shoe box. At the end of the week I pull a stick and that student gets to go to the treasure box.

    Everything I do seems to last a day or two, if that long. Then back to talking when I'm talking running around the class, name calling, picking on each other, yelling across the classroom. Any ideas.

    Oh the fire incident, if it wasn't bad enough that the students brought a lighter to school and set the fire. Afterwards I learned that over half my class knew he had the lighter and about five of them watched him set the fire. Of course no one thought they should let me know, but they are quick to tell if someone looked at them funny.

    Please help, :help:
     
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  3. Touchthefuture

    Touchthefuture Comrade

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    Feb 9, 2010

    Well first of all what you are describing besides the lighter thing is typical 2nd grade behavior. You might want to try something more immediate like a dollar system. I hand out fake dollars for those on task, following the class rules, getting their work done, or showing some sort of good behavior. Then they get to spend their money on all kinds of things:
    (Everything cost $10 and they pay for it all)
    treasure box,
    lunch with teacher,
    candy box,
    pick a job,
    hw pass,
    ice pop,
    ice cream,
    snack item.

    The other advice is to get in touch with the parents. I have a constant conversation with some of the students who need to be reminded why they are in school and what the class expectations are. That has worked with most of behavior problems this year BUT next year you have to start all over.
     
  4. queenie

    queenie Groupie

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    Feb 10, 2010

    Learned about this in training over the summer and it works well for my class this year:

    1) I had a talk with the kids about how we all make choices every minute of every day. Good choices usually bring good consequences, bad choices usually bring bad consequences. I told them that it is my job to keep everyone safe and to honor each person's choices.

    2) Then I showed them a set of "cards." I used heavy cardboard drink coasters for this, but you could use poster board circles or anything you have on hand. I told them that the cards are how I will show them I'm honoring their choices. I discussed how I would place a card on their desk for bad choices OR for especially good choices.

    3) We discuss how they are expected to act when receiving a card (NOT make any comments or touch the card- just leave it lying on the corner of the desk until aI ask for it.)

    4) I tell the students that one way I will honor good choices of the whole group is to give them what I call PAT Time (Preferred Activity Time). This is a 10-minute session at the end of the day in which students get to participate in their choice of activities provided- computers, writing spelling words in playdoh, math games, board games that reinforce counting and reading skills, etc.

    5) Finally, I FOLLOW THROUGH. I gave out cards left and right the first couple days. Now a couple days may go by without giving out one card! But you can't let anyone slide...

    Here's how I enforce it: Just before recess (we have recess before lunch), when the students are lining up, I have those with cards bring them to me and tell me what each card was given for. I reward the good cards immediately (stickers, usually). Then I tell the students with bad cards what the consequences of their choices will be (usually 5 minutes of recess lost per card...sometimes it's a note home...during recess THEY write the note to mom or dad and must bring it back signed).

    In the afternoon, those who receive cards lose some or all of PAT Time while they think about/write about how they can make better choices next time.

    I have been very surprised this year at how well the system works. Hope it's helpful to you!
     
  5. queenie

    queenie Groupie

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    Feb 10, 2010

    Forgot to mention-- I think what makes this plan work is that I'm learning not to take their behavior personally. I mete out consequences in matter-of-fact mode. I let them know I'm disappointed with my facial expressions, I'm sure, so they don't need to hear it in my words, too. I simply continue teaching and place a card on a desk when needed. I try really hard not to let them push my buttons, but keep in mind that they are human beings with choices. They can choose well or not so well and it's my job to show them the reality of consequences in life. If they get tired of the consequences, they'll stop the bad choices. But they'll only get tired of it if I follow through...
     
  6. teaching4God

    teaching4God Cohort

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    Feb 10, 2010

  7. YoungTeacherGuy

    YoungTeacherGuy Phenom

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    Mar 14, 2010

    1. TICKETS! I hand out tickets each day to kids who are on task. For example, instead of saying, "Johnny, stop talking!!!" I will say, "WOW! I LOVE the way Susie has her listening ears on this morning! Here's a ticket, Susie!" Johnny sees that Susie just got a ticket and will (hopefully) emulate her behavior. Each Friday, I have a drawing. Students turn in their tickets and I pick out three-five names from the "ticket bucket." These students get to choose something from the treasure chest. They love, love, love it!

    2. Small Treats! I buy stickers, stamps, pencils, Skittles, and other small treats. If the class is being super duper noisy, I will say, "Thank you Orange Team for listening and sitting up straight! Here's a smelly sticker for each of you." The other students see that the Orange Team just got a treat, and will (hopefully) adopt the Orange Team's good habits.

    At the beginning of the school year, it feels as though I am constantly handing out treats/incentives; however, as the year goes on, I have to do this less frequently. Try it...it works!!!!!

    I have lots of other tricks, but these are my favorite ones.
     
  8. amyd

    amyd Rookie

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    Mar 19, 2010

    What you describes sounds just like my class!! I started something new this week and it seems to be working (knocking on wood!!). I have been super calm and not raised my voice and I have started carrying around "magic buttons" in my pockets. When I see someone working super hard and following all the rules without being asked too I walk to their desk and place a button on the desk. They are not allowed to touch it or make any comments to anyone who gets it. They can then turn their button back to me and it gives them 10 minutes on the computer when they choose. They have to use it that day so they can't stock pile them on me. So far it has worked so nicely lets hope it continues next week!
     
  9. missidy

    missidy Rookie

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    Apr 20, 2010

    Queenie,
    I really like this idea!! I have been using the traffic light card-pulling system which i really hate and don't use effectively. Your way allows the child to visually see their choice/consequence, like the card-pulling but it lacks the negative publicity (the children who pull their cards like the attention so it's not a 'bad thing', or the card-pullers are so hard on themselves it just destroys their confidence more).

    Do you allow children to have a 'fresh start' and lose their card if they 'fix' their behaviour right away? Do they get warnings that cards will be following?
    What about if they are not at their desk during their poor choice, do they carry the card during the transition from one area to another, or at the carpet during a lesson?
     
  10. queenie

    queenie Groupie

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    Apr 22, 2010

    I don't allow students to lose their cards once earned. I think following through shows them that consequences follow choices. I have given 'good' choice cards in the same period of time that 'canceled out' the 'bad' choice cards. :whistle:

    Sometimes I give subtle 'warnings.' But for most things, they don't usually get a warning. If they are not at their desk during a poor choice, I will usually walk up to them and say quietly, "Please get a card from my desk and remember to (insert desired behavior here) from now on.

    Sometimes I will just say, matter of factly, "Joe, I have asked you to stop calling out answers. Please get a card and remember to raise your hand." Then I continue teaching as if nothing happened. The cards stay on students' desks until time for recess or PAT Time.

    I
     
  11. Teacher Chele

    Teacher Chele Habitué

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    Apr 24, 2010

    I love the idea of having the cards on their desks. I'm thinking of a circus theme next year and the kids will have to keep tickets to earn priviledges(still thinking this through).
     
  12. TamiJ

    TamiJ Virtuoso

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    Apr 24, 2010

    Following through, consistency, is very important. What is the school's policy on discipline? Here's what I do: warning 1: turn card to yellow. warning 2: turn card to orange: lose half recess. Warning 3: turn card to red, lose entire recess, and discipline note send home, and they lose 1 point in conduct. If students lose up to 9 conduct points in a bimester, the school disciplinarian gets involved and calls the parents. As the teacher, you can involve parents before that happens. My parents are mostly supportive, which helps. If you have parents who don't support you, then this is going to make your job much harder. I would, at this point, be very strict with the kids. Only lighten up when you have a set routine and the kids are following classroom rules. Even now, every once in a while my ids will get in a "funk" and on those days, I have to be more strict with them because if I relax, they end up running lose with it. Typically that is not the case, but, like I said, once in a while it is (like right before a vacation!).
     
  13. TamiJ

    TamiJ Virtuoso

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    Apr 24, 2010

    Oh, let me also add that I use positive reinforcement as well. My kids sit in groups and earn group points for various reasons (being ready on time, everyone in the group completing morning work, right answers, etc.). These points go toward free-time Friday, and they are very motivated by it. I will take points away too, like if they need to go to the bathroom or go to get water.
     
  14. RugRats

    RugRats Companion

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    May 15, 2010

    There's an excellent book out there called 1-2-3 Magic for teachers. It details a very simple way to handle behavior in the classroom.
     
  15. hac711

    hac711 Companion

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    Jun 27, 2010

    Sounds like you are having a tough time!
    Here is my advice:
    The next day, go around and give popsicle sticks to students who are doing what they are suppose to do...ignore the students misbehaving (this is going to be hard, but if they are being disruptive, send them outside until they can control themselves) at the end of the day ask who has received a stick today, then you tell those students because they were on task tomorrow you are bringing them popsicles. Make sure you do! Only give them to kids you gave popsicles to. You tell the other kids that its a pity they couldn't control themselves and that you will be calling their parents that evening. Call them! This is classic reward/punishment for behavior. After that, say you are going on a reminder/warning/consquence system. Basically three strikes you're out. At three strikes, call parents and notify admin. It should help!!
     

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