Need tips and tricks

Discussion in 'Kindergarten' started by Kat03785, Sep 18, 2008.

  1. Kat03785

    Kat03785 Rookie

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    Sep 18, 2008

    This is a book - Sorry! Im desperate - my sanity is at stake!

    This is my first year teaching. I have a class with 14 boys and 3 girls. I have a co-teacher who is in the room with me most of the time. This is the rowdiest class I have ever been with! I am having the hardest time getting this class to be quiet! Its a problem everywhere. They know each other from preschool and they talk in line, in class, on the carpet- EVERYWHERE despite our best efforts. They can only be quiet for a few minutes at a time. Our classroom is very small and I feel like sometimes my ears are ringing because all 17 kids are talking at once! I hate to yell and i hate the way it makes me so frustrated and angry. I don't like being that way!

    On the carpet I am having the hardest time with getting kids to sit up and pay attention. They all want to lay down and roll all over the carpet or touch each other. We have several special cases in our class that we know that there is something physically up with them that is preventing them from paying attention. The rest of the kids just seem to feed off of that energy and its bedlam especially in the afternoons. I try to let them get up to sing songs or just get their wiggles out but it doesnt seem enough, or they get even more silly.

    Also, I can get their attention, get them to freeze and be quiet while I give instructions but 5 seconds after I'm finished talking the noise level is up. Telling them to use inside voices or whisper voices does not work. Even telling them not to talk at all doesn't work. I know they know what to do they just don't do it for more than a few minutes at a time. Once one starts it all goes downhill! Even the specials teachers have asked that I accompany my class to help them.

    I feel like I need to find some kind of appropriate consequences. Something to hold over their heads to motivate them to follow the rules. I've been using the token system and they could care less. We have thought about using the tokens but giving them to the kids and letting them use them to buy items in an auction at the end of the week. I teach at a private school and no behavior reporting is done to the parents ( I was told it would upset them). Any advice that has worked for you would be GREATLY appreciated!
     
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  3. Rachel0624

    Rachel0624 Rookie

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    Sep 18, 2008

    Have you ever heard of bucket filling? There are two picture books out about it by Carol McCloud. I read the books to my students and when they get to loud I say "Oh, no you are walking over my words and it is tipping my bucket, how can we fill my bucket instead?" It seems to work so far because they don't want to make me sad and tip my bucket. It is all about making eachother feel good. Everyday we meet and talk about how they have filled someones bucket or if someone filled their bucket. We also talk about if someone tipped their bucket.

    Another thing that I do is deep breathing exercises from Conscious Discipline http://www.beckybailey.com/disciptip.cfm
    or Brain Gym, it calms them down.
    Anyway I hope this helps.
     
  4. harbodin

    harbodin Companion

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    Sep 19, 2008

    First off, the lack of parental knowledge is a big problem. Often, not always, but often, kids get it together when parents know they are acting like crazies.

    Do you take anything away like outside time or play centers? The children need to realize there are consequences to actions (good and bad). My son's PreK class does a "color chart" (although we are informed daily). They all start out with their names on green. If they need several reminders they are moved to yellow and get a time out. If they move again to orange they miss playground time or centers. If they move to red there is a note home (in addition to the previous two).

    Sometimes in my room, I realize I am going to lose my cool, start talking my softest, and tell everyone they are going to their resting spots. This is not an everyday thing (not for behavior anyway). Today only 3 children sat quietly while I spoke with another teacher, and those 3 got to go outside to play with another teacher while they other 14 had to lay down for 10 minutes. They calmed right down and got it together again.

    I do have to say again, I think parent involvement is important. I can only assume that if someone has told you parents don't want to know they are the "Not My Kid" kind of group, but that definitely stinks for you.

    Good Luck!
     
  5. TeacherSandra

    TeacherSandra Enthusiast

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    Sep 20, 2008

    The class that you have this year is the class I had last year. WOW. There were days that I would begin my reading time with..."ok; today we are not going to read because everyone is just too noisy; so we are going to rest our heads on your tables instead. Only when you can be nice and quiet will we read". After moans & groans (yes, these were 4 yr. olds; honestly, I compared them to high schoolers many times!!!) and heads resting, then we would proceed to go to the carpet.
    You have got to be strong and on top of it...all the time...I know you can do it.

    I have also said, "ok it's time for PE, but we can't go because you don't listen to the coach, so let's just stay here and put our heads down". Again, moans & groans...heads down (for 4 minutes; don't tell them how long!) and then I will say, ok; we're going to try going to PE, but you have to walk quietly to PE and listen to the coach. Are you going to do that???"


    Make sure the ball is in your court! You can do it! The reason we get to do fun stuff is if you're listening and obeying.
    I hope I don't sound like a meanie, which I'm not - I laugh with my students all the time, and I really do think they're precious (most of the time); but by golly...they are not going to make me appear like some stupid teacher who can't take control. :)
     
  6. DrivingPigeon

    DrivingPigeon Phenom

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    Sep 20, 2008

    I'm having the exact same problems. I have 10 boys and 11 girls and my classroom is small. The noise level is HORRIBLE most of the day. I can get their attention for 2 seconds, but then as soon as I start talking they all start talking again. When we move to the carpet to start an activity half of them are lying down, giving each other piggy-back rides, etc. We've practiced lining up and walking through halls too many times to count, yet they are always extremely loud. I've kept them in for recess to practice walking halls, other teachers have come out of their classrooms to yell at them, and still they are so loud.

    If you find something that works, let me know! By the end of the day my head is just ringing from the noise. Too many big voices in a little room.
     
  7. Rachel0624

    Rachel0624 Rookie

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    Sep 20, 2008

    For walking the hall have them put "marshmallows" in their mouth. It works!
     
  8. Kat03785

    Kat03785 Rookie

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    Sep 21, 2008

    Its nice to know I'm not alone! I felt alot better this week - I teach at a private school where most of the teachers have been teaching there 20+ years and I was feeling like such a newbie. The specials teachers have even told us that they can't handle them by themselves and we've had to split the class in half and let them teach each special to each group.

    I did have a kind of a stoplight system ready for the start of school with daily behavior reports but my principal told me that they don't do that there. Its a great school but I think they cater a bit too much to the parents. I'm used to having kids do centers at the end of the day but often times we don't get to it because we have a science and social studies curriculum we have to implement. There just isn't time built into the day for that. Its really unfortunate because our room was a 4th grade room so we have no sink, no bathroom and no space for any kind of dramatic play center or anything. We try to get blocks and puzzles out as much as we can but often times we don't finish science or social studies in time.

    I have used so many things to remind them to be quiet - put a bubble in your mouth, tiptoe through the halls, etc. Each lasts for about 10 seconds or so. We have practiced walking in the halls and getting around the classroom SO many times! I'm really starting to feel like this will just have to be the year I suffer through to gain experience and maybe next year will be better. I have already been eyeing the pre-k kids- is that bad?

    This next week will be crazy. Myself and my co-teacher are sick and we will be out of town Wed-Fri for professional development and the sub is the really crazy lady who's been teaching kindergarten for the last 25 years at this school. I have a feeling that little to no academics will get done and we will have to start from the beginning when we get back. Hopefully this will be a good thing and we can start fresh with some new ideas. There's got to be something else we haven't tried! What's worked for you?
     
  9. Tasha

    Tasha Phenom

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    Sep 21, 2008

    One thing I would do is to be sure to follow through. If you are reading and they begin talking and you say "I'm going to wait until everyone is quiet to finish the story" - do that, don't start until they are absolutely silent.

    I would also let them know when talking is OK and at what level. I have had several kids that handled not talking much better after I explained when talking is OK (during seat work if you are quiet and talk only at your own table, at lunch, at recess, during center time to the people in your own group in a whisper voice). They were just having a hard time because they didn't know that they would have a chance to talk, just not now.

    I also think it helps if you do stop and wait anytime it is too loud and that they can't go on with the schedule until you finish and they finish - if they are wasting teaching/work time, you can't move on to recess or centers because now you don't have time.

    Be overly complimentary to the kids who are quiet/working. Have table and/or class incentives for getting quiet/being quiet. For the class, I would give points or chain links by the table for the group that got quiet the fastest or worked quietly (or anything that you choose). When they get to a certain point number they earn something (extra 5 minutes of recess, first choice of centers if you have a free choice day, lunch with the teacher etc...). For the whole class, start a compliment chain - I use plastic links, but paperclips or paper chains work too! Each time the class gets a compliment (from another teacher or adult), we add a link. When the chain touches the floor or the bottom of the BB (or whatever number you choose), we have a popcorn party on the next Friday. We get compliments for walking quietly in the hall, sitting quietly for restroom breaks, cafeteria behavior, etc... If you have to, alert a few other teachers/principals to compliment you when they see the class being quiet. One nice side effect is that the kids learn about giving compliments and begin to learn that it makes others feel good and they give compliments. Last year they would tell anyone who came in the room funny things like "you smell really good" or your hair is nice and yellow" :lol:
     
  10. DrivingPigeon

    DrivingPigeon Phenom

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    Sep 21, 2008

    I've spent some time at school today coming up with a new system. I haven't tried it yet, of course, but I'll share with you what it is in case you want to try it out.

    For starters, each of my tables has a colored shape in the middle (square, rectangle, cirlce, star, triangle). I made a poster that contains each of the shapes. Next to each shape I have the letters Q u i e t printed on cardstock and stuck on with velcro. Here's a picture. If a table is being too noisy I will walk over and remove a letter. I have a sticker chart rewards system set up, and the table who has the most letters remaining at the end of the day will receive extra stickers on their individual charts.

    I'm hoping it will help with the noise level in the classroom during work time, when it's time to line up, etc. I'll let you know how it goes!
     
  11. TeacherSandra

    TeacherSandra Enthusiast

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    Sep 21, 2008

    oh wow, Driving Pigeon, this looks great!! I love it! Now; the group will work together! :) Thanks for supplying the picture too. :)

    Just read your post about your class so I really, really hope this works for you. You know; I really believe that it will! :love:
    Keep in touch and let us know how it went!
     
  12. Miss Nelson

    Miss Nelson Rookie

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    Sep 21, 2008

    I like that quiet sign. I have a very loud class of 24 students. I have tried "restaurant" voices when we work, but my God they just get louder and louder. Dismissal time is the WORST. I am going to try that board ans see how it works. I also am going to start the compliment chain. I also was thinking about making "superstar" necklaces for the most quirt and hard working students. Once they see them getting to wear the necklace maybe they will calm down a bit. I have seen other classes wearing them. I just want the noise level to become tolerable. Right now...URGH :dizzy:
     

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