New Teacher Problem

Discussion in 'Elementary Education' started by TeacherBug08, Aug 27, 2013.

  1. TeacherBug08

    TeacherBug08 Companion

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    Aug 27, 2013

    I am a new first grade/first year teacher. I am posting here to get some much needed advice: My class is just great in the morning. They all listen to me and act like they should. However, after lunch and recess it is like I have a whole different class. In the afternoon, they do not listen like they do in the morning. I don't change anything it is the same management system- is it just first graders getting tired-adjusting to school (tomorrow will be the 5th day). I would just really love some advice on how to fix this before I start pulling me hair out?
     
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  3. Pencil Monkey

    Pencil Monkey Devotee

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    Aug 27, 2013

    Most kids, no matter the grade, are wound up after lunch and recess time. What helps my class is to do silent reading or quiet time. I play soft instrumental music and turn down the lights. My class reads silently. Since your first graders may not be readers yet they can look at picture books or just put their heads down and rest a few minutes. I do allow students to select a spot in the room they want to go to. Some choose the carpet, some like a cozy corner and some will even choose a spot at their desk.

    Give them about 5-10 minutes and then you can go back to your routine. The kids will usually calm down, just make sure what ever you do right after quiet time is something low energy. Then work your way up to more active projects.
     
  4. TeacherBug08

    TeacherBug08 Companion

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    Aug 27, 2013

    Pencil Monkey- Thank you so much for that advice. I will try that out tomorrow!
     
  5. readingrules12

    readingrules12 Aficionado

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    Aug 27, 2013

    This is a problem that is oh so true. The afternoon is always harder. One thing I do is to have the subjects where I have to talk more in the mornings. I make sure I do less talking in the afternoon. I also try to go for an "oreo" cookie approach in the afternoon. The hard outsides are quieter times and the white filling are the noisier times. I might start with reading to them (quiet activity) and then have Science which can be a noisy activity. Then I go for a quiet activity and put on classical music on the background. Then after this activity then I might go into something where they have to move around a lot.

    Hope this helps. :)
     
  6. yellowdaisies

    yellowdaisies Fanatic

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    Aug 28, 2013

    Been there! lol

    I agree with Pencil Monkey. Do something to give them time to calm down. I have some Scholastic books on DVD, so sometimes I will play one of those.

    Another suggestion I have is to include a lot of brain breaks in the afternoon. I have a bucket with brain breaks on popsicle sticks that the kids pick. I've noticed that they need these more frequently in the afternoon. They only take maybe 30 seconds-1 minute, but they help break things up and get the "wiggles" out.

    We have math and science/social studies in the afternoon. I was getting really frustrated with math, so I started incorporating a lot of video/music/dancing type math things, and that REALLY helped. I also incorporated math centers, though not every day. I've found incorporating lots of hands on things seems to help. If it's just a lot of me talking things deteriorate quickly.
     
  7. TeacherBug08

    TeacherBug08 Companion

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    Aug 28, 2013

    Wow! Thank you all so much. I was really getting down on myself. It is good to know that I am not a failure lol!!! I will try all of these ideas out today!
     
  8. yellowdaisies

    yellowdaisies Fanatic

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    Aug 28, 2013

    A thought occurred to me - does your school have half day Kindergarten? My school has full day, but I imagine that if the kids are not used to such a long day it would make things even more difficult.

    But regardless, yes, afternoons can be tough with the little guys. ;)
     
  9. Rebel1

    Rebel1 Connoisseur

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    Aug 28, 2013

    How about a "Positive Reinforcement" game?
    After they come back from getting filled UP with food and junk full of sugar and preservatives,;) start calling out names of those who are acting like they did b4 lunch. Compliment them about how nicely they are acting and how proud you are of them. Place their names in a JAR and just don't say anything about it. If they ask about why you're putting their name in a jar, just say, "You'll find out!" After the class, announce, "Those of you whose names I placed in the jar are getting a surprise out of my TREASURE BOX!" Your TREASURE BOX can be a box with little surprises; markers, pencils, stickers, erasers, OR any little toys that you can purchase dirt cheap at the $1 store or parents can donate some stuff too. Good luck!
    Just thought of this.:cool:
    Rebel1
     
  10. kellzy

    kellzy Comrade

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    Aug 28, 2013

    Part of teaching. It's not you, it's normal kid stuff.
    I have the expectation set that they are to come in and start working on a self starter that they are trained how to do.
    The self starter takes about 10 minutes to do, so they have a chance to calm down before I try to jump back into teaching.
    Good luck!
     
  11. TamiJ

    TamiJ Virtuoso

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    Aug 28, 2013

    Yes, it is normal for them to be a bit louder after recess. We do reading right after, which seems to help. You might want to consider giving them some quiet time. I give them about 10 minutes of quiet time in the afternoon (much after recess time) when they can organize their pencil boxes and desks, read, or rest their head.
     
  12. MissScrimmage

    MissScrimmage Aficionado

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    Yes, this is totally normal. I usually sit at the carpet with a book in hand and once I have about 1/3 of the class at the carpet I start reading the story quietly. It moves the stragglers along and sets the tone for a calm afternoon.

    Like yellowdaisies, I also moved my math centers to after lunch. It gets them moving and involved with one another and you can channel that energy better into learning. (It also gives me lunch time to get everything set up!)

    It's okay (especially in the first few weeks) to give them some free time in the afternoon. They are tired and you can't squeeze blood from a stone.
     
  13. TeacherBug08

    TeacherBug08 Companion

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    Aug 29, 2013

    Thank You!

    Thank you everyone! I have students come in, the lights off/lamps on, and either rest their head or read. I will add writing later on I think. Anyways, this has really helped. I have a lot of experience with 2nd grade and up so I am learning as I go with first grade. It sure is great to get such amazing advice from all of you veteran teachers!!
     
  14. TamiJ

    TamiJ Virtuoso

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    Aug 29, 2013

    Yes, first grade is an energetic bunch, and they come in not doing too much (some of them). It helps me to do reading right after recess because of their squirelyness. I also had to let them do quiet time later in the afternoon as well (organize pencil cases, read, or rest head on desk). It was just a long day.
     
  15. smalltowngal

    smalltowngal Multitudinous

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    Aug 30, 2013

    Glad to hear that things are going better!
     

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